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Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by katiefranke, Jul 11, 2010.


  1. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Depends what area you are in, but these guys state the % of everything in their minces: Raw To Go

    The Dog Food Company supply a lot of foods other than minces - loads of whole stuff and if you call them they can source pretty much anything for you - very helpful - and they deliver all over the country. MUCH better quality than a lot of the others on the market. The Dog Food Company

    Landywoods and Prize Choice are two of the worst in my honest opinion - seen some HORRID smelling minces appear from them...and as you say, they dont state exact %. Just have a search of Landywoods on here and around different forums and lots of bad reports on wrong deliveries, late deliveries, food gone off etc etc... :( I think Prize Choice is more because it is stocked at [email protected] and you dont know how long it has been at the shop, how it was shipped and stored etc, or if someone left the freezer open (regular occurrence in my local one)...

    It also depends on what you are looking for - muscle meat, meaty bones and offal ground into the 80 10 10 ratio...or BARF-style with pulped vegetables included too...each do different things, so check carefully as to what you are getting...

    DAF say their products follow a BARF-style diet: Durham Animal Feeds but they dont state their breakdown...but I know a lot of people on here use them.

    If you want high-end minces, then you are looking at something like Darlings or Natural Instinct, but both really do come at a premium when you can get the raw ingredients yourself for much less and at the same quality (or better)...
     
  2. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    We get all our food from the dog food co and it's lovely - all of it. The turkey necks look a bit yukky, like an elephants trunk i'd imagine but the dogs love them and look very funny walking around with them in their mouths trying to find the perfect spot to devour them, lol.

    One of our Mals went to the vet recently with ONE case of vomiting and obvious pain in his abdomen. When asked what he'd had for dinner the night before and I said a chicken carcass she was livivd!
    Went on to say how she doesn't understand this "fad raw feeding" thing and thought it was obviously an obstruction caused by the carcass - despite the fact he's been barf fed for over five years. She then went on to tell me how even the wolves she'd worked with at a sanctuary were fed KIBBLE - how awfull!!! Even worse she stated "we do lose some you know" at a time when I was really worried about the boy - made me feel like a potential murderer! :eek:

    One x ray later and no obstruction, blood tests revealed Pancreatitis which can go hand in hand with Hypothyroidism - which he has. I was SO angry, went back to my usual vet at the practice (head vet) and made a copmlaint.
    I said i'm not a fool, have done loads of research into the barf diet and suggested that before she made such an assumption again, she should do likewise. Was also greatly offended that she had the cheek to recommend my changing him to Hill's Science Plan - so as I could bump up her wages a little I feel - grr! :mad:

    Marty had such bad problems as a pup when we got him, constant diarrhoea like water. All different kinds of tests all different kinds of diet advised by the vet - the first being Hill's prescprition (of course) and nothing helped, nothing found in repeat blood tests either. Boiled chicken and rice was the same, the rice came out like it went in and the rest was like pee.
    Poor boy was like this for around two months til we found out about BARF on the net and with no word of a lie, within TWO DAYS he did his first solid poo. Have not looked back, even our chihuahua x yorkie and shitzu x yorkie love barf, tripe and chicken wings being a favourite if theirs.
    When I read aout people having tummy probs with kibble I just wish they'd give BARF a try - it's so easy once you get the hang of it and once all the veg/organs have been portioned up and frozen, it's just a matter of going to the freezer and taking out a days supply - how easy is that? :

    Lovely thread and deserved sticky. :)
     
    #82 Malmum, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  3. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    how terrible!!! :eek:

    That seems to be the standard response to all problems! Lets stick them on science plan - I dont understand how the vets sell that crap :mad: ...it just really shows how little they understand about proper canine nutrition :(

    Thats brilliant to hear how well he is on it and how quickly he took to it! I know what you mean about wanting people to give it a go, especially when they have had so many problems with commercial foods - I honestly havent come across a dog yet that doesnt do well on a raw diet. Its brill :thumbup:
     
  4. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    was having a look at dog food co product list the other day and wondered what they ment by 'whole rabbit' do you know if thats with hair and head on and everything ?
    and also in the list it says 'meaty bones' wondered what types of bones these are exactly ?
    I might order from them once i've got into raw properly (not been able to start yet !! :( ) will just be using the supermarket for first few months to see how they do on it :p

    With the prize choice have you ever tried the 'chunks' selection ? i thought maybe thats not as bad as the minces , IF i did use any of their stuff it would only be for emergencies anyway.

    Sorry for all the questions lol :eek:
     
  5. Souris

    Souris PetForums Senior

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    Hi there, first off, I hope you don't mind if I ask you twenty questions! :)

    We're not getting our puppy until later on this year and after doing my research on food I do want to feed her raw from day one (of course I'd mix in what the breeders are feeding her, gradually moving over to complete raw). However, I'm terrified of getting it 'wrong', even more so whilst she's growing up. I had planned to feed her natural instinct until I could get a firm grip on butcher suppliers around here- having a quick look around last week I wasn't overly impressed by the variety of meat we can get up here (or the price- the butcher neigh on fell into a fit of laughter when I mentioned I wanted meat for the dogs).

    However having seen the dog food company- it looks fantastic. What exactly would be a typical order/weekly menu from them? Do you just buy your meat from them, or do you supplement it with your local butchers/supermarket?

    Looking at it, you could perhaps go something like (?) :
    Monday - lamb breast with some mince
    Tuesday - a raw meaty bone
    Wednesday - chicken necks and wings
    Thursday - Heart and tripe
    Friday (offal night) - liver and tripe
    Saturday- pig pluck and tripe
    Sunday- raw meaty bones

    Would that sound like a reasonable menu for a week? Or am I going drastically wrong somewhere? Is that a weenie bit too much tripe? Is that enough bones, or is that too much bone for her 10% bone? Also, as the previous poster said, what does a whole rabbit entail? Would I be able to chop it up into bits for a few nights? Gosh, sorry, again hope you don't mind the twenty questions guys.

    Should I start off with Natural instinct whilst she's growing up, with a raw meaty bone a few times a week, and then switch her onto a fully raw diet? She will be getting mince from the breeder, so she'd be used to mince when I pick her up.

    How long would you keep an order for? If the minimum order is twenty pounds, that's one big hefty order for just one small dog (she's a Shetland sheepdog puppy). I'm already on the search for a second freezer, so holding 20-30kg or so isn't really an issue, it's just a matter of it going off or not.

    Also, if I was to go down the route of natural instinct, I have a few questions for those of you that feed ground:
    1. Would I be able to feed the ground mince in a kong?
    2. How many times a week will she need to be fed raw meaty bones for her teeth? Two-three-four? Saturday, and a friday, plus a wednesday? Also, what time of day do we put that in? How much of a meal does she need throughout the day with this?
    3. What type of RMB? Chicken quarter? Chicken drumstick? Ribs (off any animal)? Or something else?
    4. De-frosting- if she's getting 250g of meat a day- it then makes sense to de-frost a whole 1kg 'tube'. Will it fit into a kong ok defrosted? Will I need to pop some peanut butter/marmite to keep it in?

    I'm sorry for the long post- I can be a total worrywart when it comes to stuff like this. I am determined that if she gets along with raw, then that's what I'd like to feed- but I'm terrified of getting it wrong whilst she's still growing. I'd hate to cause her to have a deficiency of something because I'm not getting it right- which is the main reason why the pre-packed food like Natural instinct sounds so fantastic whilst I get on my feet in regards to raw. Thanks in advance!
     
    #85 Souris, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  6. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    I asked them exactly the same question myself :)

    Bascially they will prepare anything pretty much how you want within reason, so whole/chunks/ground etc.

    The rabbits are literally whole, fur on etc...however, you just ask and they will gut and skin them for you with a little bit of notice.

    The rabbits are wild and are caught with either nets, traps, rifle or 4/10 shotgun (so some could have perhaps one or two shots in)...However, most are netted where the hunter clears farms and golf courses.

    The meaty bones are a mixture of pork or lamb and have enough meat on them to constitue a proper meal, not just scraps on bare bones like a lot of butchers try to give you for dogs. It is usually things like breasts, necks or ribs. I think you can specify if you would prefer just lamb etc too.

    Just drop them an email or give them a call - very friendly and helpful - and as I said above, if you wanted say pigeon, venison, pheasant etc...they can get all sorts of things within reason with a little bit of notice. :thumbup:
     
  7. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Hi Souris, I have answered your questions as well as pos below - hope that all makes sense! Let me know if you need me to explain anything further, or feel free to PM me and I dont mind giving you my email address to discuss further :)

    I buy the majority of my meat at my butchers and supermarkets to be honest with you, however, having heard a lot of good things about The Dog Food Company for some time now, I recently decided to get some stuff from them that my butcher couldnt get hold of as easily, like the tripe, rabbits and some other wild game.

    I am about to run out to agility training but will be back to post some ideas for an order and feeding for a week at the bottom of this post...

    The first thing that I would say is to be careful transitioning your pup straight onto this much variety. I would suggest sticking to chicken initially and feeding quarters. If we guess 8kg adult weight, that would be about 240g a day at 3%. Split this into 3 meals for a baby pup and thats around 80g a meal. Lumps of thigh or breast meat would be great for meat-only meals and chicken wings, chicken legs or breast & rib bones for the boney meals - very roughly. Once pup is ok on this, only then start adding new things and slowly. I wouldnt add offal all in one go on one night - initially dont give any offal for the first week or so until pup is ok on the raw food (poops firm etc) and then give a tiny weeny piece every day and build up from there.

    Personally, as a final menu for once pup is on raw properly, I think it sounds like a bit too much bone and tripe as you rightly guessed. People have different ideas on what they want to feed but I try and keep to the 80:10:10 as close as pos. This normally works out to feeding one meal a day just meat and one meal a day something meaty but with bone-in like a chicken or rabbit quarter. If I feed something much bonier like ribs, I tend to add another meat-only meal into the week.

    Personally I go for as much variety as possible to ensure all the nutrients are in the diet and then I feel I dont have to supplement with anything. Tripe is an ok source of meat, but not the best or most nutritious, although dogs do seem to love it and it contains some great pro & prebiotics for gut health...so dont feel you have to feed this. I only give this very occasionally - it also reeks!

    Personally, I do not feed minces as mincing exposes more of the meat to the air, so increasing bacteria, and in turn depleting vital nutrients...minced food is not good for their teeth either. I would personally not recommend feeding a mince as a regular part of the diet, but of course many people do happily, so thats something you would need to decide.

    Something to remember about natural instinct that it is following a BARF diet, so contains ground veg etc too and I am not happy about their ratio of bone, to meat, to veg etc either...or their selection of offal included. They also add other supplements etc which I do not like to add for no reason.

    If you would like to feed mince initially and you are weaning them off kibble anyway (sorry not sure what your breeder has pup on), you could feed this as a meaty meal to pup and then gradually switch over to whole chunks of meat and bones etc.

    I normally freeze pretty much everything for a few days before feeding anyway to take care of parasites and try and ensure everything has been used uo within 3 months - although usually there isnt anything left after that long! Its only £20 - so if you had 5 rabbits say @ £2, thats £10 already and then add a few other bits and bobs...but yes a spare freezer is best :)

    It seems very scary and confusing when first starting out - I know, ive been there too :) ...but really it isnt once you get into it.

    As I said above, happy for you to have my email address if you PM me and you can just drop me an email if you have any questions/are worried about anything etc.

    There are some great groups to join too with a wealth of info: 'Raw Meaty Bones' http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/RawMeatyBones/ and 'raw feeding' http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/

    Good luck!! Keep us posted...and have fun with that puppy, bet you cant wait :)
     
  8. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    When we bought Marty a rabbit from the dog food co for his birthday recently it was whole (£2) head, fur, legs tail - everything, all the innads as well. He LOVED it and sort of guarded it for a while like it was his kill, lol. :)

    It was quite big though and more than enough for one meal so had his food cut down for a couple of days afterwards - but it was his birthday treat! ;)

    Browse through the site, the meaty bones are lovely but I do chop the ribs in half as they are quite big.
    Raw Dogfood provides many nutritional and health benefits over traditional wet feed. Our business specialises in BARF
     
  9. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    Thanks for the info :)

    I like the sounds of these guys ! think its great that you can personalise your orders a bit hehe
    My 2 would only need about 90 grams a day each so £20 worth is loads for them ! as i said though ill be making do with supermarket stuff for first couple of months before i go doing big orders and buying a freezer lol

    I wondered where do people usually get their raw fish from ?
     
  10. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    I only feed it every so often so I just buy it from the fish counter at local supermarkets and sometimes my butchers as they stock some fish too :)
     
  11. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    Ha ha - none of mine will touch raw fish, it's like it some alien being, lol. :eek:

    They go near it and when they smell it they're off - as far away as possible.
    All of the Mals did pick up a mackrel once but never again, they initially studied it but no way are they going to eat it - they have tinned sardines or pilchards, very occasionally tuna but it's high in mercury so I rarely give them that.
     
  12. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    Dont know how mine will be with fish lol i know they like cooked fish at least :thumbup: but thing is i only order stuff online so cant really get fish from fresh counter at the supermarket, if you buy the tinned sardines etc which ones do you buy?
    also i found a couple of sites that you can actually order raw whole fish from and they do sardines really cheap, like 1kg of sardines for £3 or something
    Do supermarkets sell raw whole sardines at the fresh counter? :eek:
     
  13. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    I but Glenryck pilchards in tom sauce and Asda sardines also in tom sauce as mine prefer them.

    I know Asda and Waitrose don't sell fresh sardines but you get a lot of variety from the fishmonger - obviously, lol.

    Be interesting to see if you have any success with feeding them, I think I started all mine too late and they thought I was kidding! :lol:
     
  14. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Yep the bigger supermarkets normally have a fresh fish counter (all raw on ice) along with the fresh meat etc counters...just need to check your local ones.

    Where do you have your food deliveries from? I would think they can deliver fresh raw fish from there too...?

    The canned stuff I use as a standby for when I forget to get something out for the dog/cats are these kinds of things:
    http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=258098027

    Sometimes I give sardines or pilchards in tomato sauce, but this can upset tums not used to it - and you have to be careful there isnt lots of added salt and sugar, especially if you want to feed a couple of times a week or something.
     
    #94 katiefranke, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  15. Souris

    Souris PetForums Senior

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    First off- thank you ever, ever so for answering my questions!

    My initial plan was to start off with chicken, introducing everything else gradually over a space of a few months, so the quick mock up I made would have been for when we're in the raw full swing (so to speak). But I do agree with you, looking at it there's way too much tripe and bone in there- I'll try and make a few more meal mock ups over the next couple of days, would it be OK if I passed them by you?

    Our breeder is going to feed the puppies on kibble, with the odd dollop of raw mince. I'm not sure exactly which brand of kibble she's going to feed them on (I will ask however), but if they're being fed like this- could I start the pup off on just mince minus the kibble when she gets home? Or would I start off with say kibble for the first meal, mince for the second, and then something new- like a chicken wing, or a chicken drumstick for tea? Does that sound sensible- or should I keep her on just her kibble for a while?

    Also, in regards to the raw 'detox', will that happen if she's only had kibble for a few weeks from birth? I'll be picking her up at eight weeks, and surely if she suddenly went through a phase of detoxing, that'd really hinder her growth? Or am I just being overly worried?

    If I started her on chicken like you said, with two meaty meals, and then a boney meal in the evening- would she get everything she needs for growing up if it is minus the offal? Would I need to use supplements for the first few weeks until she gets used to the offal?

    You see, it's the variety of what I can give our puppy that really worries me. I don't really have faith in our butchers in regards to sourcing anything that's not a 'normal' cut of meat- would your basic chicken, lamb, beef be enough variety? That was my main worry- and why I was looking at the minced pre-packaged raw, as it seems to be complete so to speak for whilst she's growing up. I'm sure I'm being a total worrywart, but she'll be my first dog of my own, and I'm scared of going wrong.

    I'll join those yahoo groups this afternoon, so thank you for the links! Also, I've dropped you a PM, I really hope you don't mind, thank you ever so again- you've been such a massive help. Whilst I can't think of any other questions now, I'm positive I'll have a question or two more before she arrives- and it'd be lovely to have someone in the know to turn to about it!

    Myself and my other half are really, really excited about this puppy. We've been planning for this puppy now for quite some time, and it's so exciting to see all the pieces fall into place. I'm sure the moment we get her, we'll be spamming pictures of her left, right and centre!
     
  16. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like a plan, sure no probs - just replied to your PM, so email me over anything when you're ready. :)

    Whilst I would normally say feed what the breeder has been feeding, in this instance, as she is feeding mince anyway, I would be very tempted to put pup straight onto mince for the first day and then from day 2 add in some whole chunks of whatever meat the mince is too. Best to stick with the same protein, but adding in the chunks will get pup ready for bigger pieces - not sure if the breeder is feeding normal mince from supermarket (i.e. just human-grade meat) or whether it is one of the pet minces with ground bone etc? Double check what it is and let me know.

    Then after a couple of days I would introduce some small chicken wings and see how pup does...

    Not all dogs go through this - but its mainly those who have been on kibble for some time. As your pup will only have been on part kibble for a couple of weeks since weaning to solids, I wouldnt think you would experience this at all.

    As above, stick to the same protein your breeder is feeding in the mince initially (for a couple of days or so) and then if she seems fine, start adding the chicken. With pups, you can usually go quite a bit quicker with adding in the other items - but that is only a general rule - so all pups are different and you will need to wait and see how she takes to everything. You should be able to get pup eating some tiny pieces of offal after a couple of weeks. And remember, a raw diet is all about balance over time, not every single day, so as long as it all works out over a period of weeks to the right proportions its ok. Raw fed pups actually have a much smoother and longer growth period without the massive growth spurts which can occur on commerical food - which is actually better for them, as it is better for their developing bones and joints.

    Dont worry, that is more than enough variety initially. Most butchers can source wild rabbits for you too. As long as you can gets offal/liver and hearts too from him?

    And you could look at ordering some other items from different suppliers later on. Remember it will take you a little while to build up to that much variety anyway, by which point you will have had a little time to source things.

    I fed my lot on anything I could get from the supermarket and butchers initially - so beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey and some canned salmon.

    Theres actually a Raw Pup list joined to the 'raw feeding' one too which will be full of info for you - so make sure you take a look at that too. loads of people on there with many many years of experience :)

    I bet :) cant wait to see piccies!

    catch up with you soon!
     
    #96 katiefranke, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  17. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    I always order from sainsburys, you cant order fresh fish like that though :( only fillets that are cooked and tinned stuff like you linked.
    One plus point is my mum works at sainsburys so she could have a look for me ;)

    Here is the site i found that you can order fish from,

    http://www.frozenfishdirect.co.uk/buy/sardines-11164-in-detail.html

    You can get sardines, whitebait, mackarel and herring , theres lots more too but those ones are the cheapest :p

    I guess what ill do is get my mum to get me fish from sainsburys for a while until i know the dogs like raw fish and then try an order from that site :)

    Thanks for the replies :D
     
  18. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Yep good idea - hopefully she gets a good discount too!! lol

    Dont worry too much though - a lot of people never give raw fish and just add some salmon oil to all their food instead (which dogs seem to love)... :)
     
  19. chelleANDlottie

    chelleANDlottie PetForums Junior

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    hi
    i have read all the posts on this subject and have been glad of the information.
    i have been trying to feed my westie more raw meats recently after coming accross simler information from cainine angel on the internet.
    we travel a lot with our dog so find it dificult to raw feed all the time, but make sure we do raw feed at least 2 nights a week sometimes more. i would love to raw feed all the time but its just not a reality due to circumstances at present.
    my dogs faverite is any kid of fish tined or fresh. i look on the fish counter for reduced fish and freeze them, she quivers with excitment when she sees what shes getting.
    shes not so keen on chicken legs and loves mince.
    am i doing anything wrong by only doing this part time?
    the vet recently comented on how lovely her coat was and she is very active and alert.
    chelle
     
  20. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    No thats fine - if thats all you can manage for the mo, then thats great! Any fresh foods you can add into her diet are going to be good for her.

    If you are only doing it a couple of days a week, and the rest is kibble/other commercial food, it means that you dont have to worry too much either about % etc. You can just feed what you (or rather she) likes! :)

    Obviously it would be better if you could feed completely raw, but as it doesnt suit for the mo you are doing the next best thing :thumbup:
     
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