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Raw Feeding: everything you need to know!

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


  1. beautifullily

    beautifullily PetForums Newbie

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    Great thread, has answered lots of my questions!

    I'm taking ownership of a new puppy on Friday who has been weaned onto a raw meat diet and was in two minds as to whether to continue with it. As a new puppy owner I very much feel that I will have lots to contend with and would be happier with the convenience of dry foods. I've since been looking at the Natural Instinct website and their complete raw food pouches and am now more willing to keep up with it.

    If I went down the Natural Instinct route would I need to add anything else to the food? If I went for the puppy mix would having the same food everyday be OK?

    Any advice gratefully received!!

    Thanks
    Fay

    Edit: have found the Natures Menu products now and their frozen blocks seem to work out cheaper than Natural Instinct - any views on either of these companies?
     
    #141 beautifullily, Sep 8, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  2. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    If you feed natural instinct puppy you would still need to feed whole raw meaty bones a few times a week to get them used to ripping/tearing/crunching and keeping their teeth clean. You might also want to read a bit more into it as it contains things you may not want to feedd - for instance as a raw feeder you will need to read around the arguments for feeding vegetables and see if you agree with this. I also do not like the fact that they add cod liver oil, as this contains a lot of Vit A.

    The quality of the natural instinct meat sources is very good which is why it is much more expensive than the natures menu stuff.

    Personally I do not feed the commercial pre-made raw products so cannot advise too much.

    Why dont you have a chat with your breeder? If the pups have been weaned onto raw meat I think that they would be more than happy to advise and guide you through it. It will be so much easier with a breeder to rely on to help you through it :thumbsup:

    What breed are you getting? I bet you are excited :)
     
  3. beautifullily

    beautifullily PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks Katie, we're getting an ESS, very excited indeed!

    I'll talk to the breeder tomorrow - from what she's said previously I think she's been feeding him on commercially made raw food. I've got some Nature's Menu from Pets at Home today so at least I have something to feed the pup when he arrives and I'll take it from there.

    There's lots to take on board as well as learning about the pup himself!
     
  4. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Im sure you will do fine :)

    Just make sure you check with your breeder on what proteins pup has had so far - so is she feeding for instance beef and chicken at the mo?

    If so, then stick with these for a little while to settle him in before you introduce anything new.

    At least if you start with the same as the breeder, it will give you a little time to research and work out how you want to feed :thumbup:
     
  5. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    Had a really horrible experience with last nights dinner :(

    Gave them both their thighs and all was going fine , Charlie finished hers no problem.
    Tammy had eaten about 95% of hers and then started choking on a bit of meat she was trying to swallow! before i could even do anything she suddenly collapsed and started having a seizure!! :eek: i was in total panic and had no idea what was happening or what to do , I've never experienced anything like that before :frown:
    It only lasted about 8 seconds and then she stood up, she still had a bit of food gripped in her mouth as i was in too much shock and panic to of got it out ... Charlie then decided to help out and came over and took the food out of Tammy's mouth for me!
    Tammy then just sat down next to me and looked really confused and disorientated so i just stroked her and talked to her softly (whilst crying my eyes out!) and then after about 30 secs she just snapped out of it and went off outside and did both her toilets and then she's been absolutely fine since...
    I'm pretty sure it was because she choked though and not some other reason as i spent all last evening reading about it and read other stories of the same thing happening to their dog after choking , if it ever happens again though i'll be getting straight to the vet!

    I shall hold onto the food for her and maybe even cut it up a bit from now on as i never want to risk her choking on it again!
    She's always been a bit of a choker... the amount of times she's choked on rawhides/tripe sticks etc , she even chokes on water everytime she has a drink! She's not even a gulper or fast eater or anything , just prone to choking on things :rolleyes:
    I shall have to try and modify her diet to suit her better as she just cant cope with big lumps of chewy stringy flesh :( (for now anyway)

    Was all going so well too :frown: can't get that horrible moment out my head , i really thought she was dying :crying:
     
  6. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear this :(

    I would make sure you tell your vets about this, they need to have a record of this - sounds like a proper seizure, which could be a sign of an injury, underlying health issue or epilepsy.

    The fact that she literally just went from one second gagged on a bit of meat to the next second collapsed and fiitting (I assume you mean by seizure?) is not something that just happens from food. If she had just choked, then she would have been gagging etc, and if she lost consciousness from no air she would not have been fitting...and would not have regained consciousness unless the food was disloged and she could breath again :(

    It is very likely that the onset of the seizure caused her to choke rather than the other way around, as when one starts the muscles can tense up and this would have constricted her throat round any food...Im afraid the symptoms you describe sound exactly like what happens during a seizure, including the sudden onset, disorientation afterwards etc...

    Im really sorry hun, you need to have a think to see if anything could have caused it...has she had any trauma to her head? Has she any health conditions?

    What happened during the seizure?
     
  7. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    Well at first she was standing chewing and then she started making funny noises that she does quite often when she cant breath very well, does it alot while eating too so i didnt think much of it , but then she got worse and seemed like she really couldn't breath and then stumbled forwards , went onto her side and then started convulsing all over , legs straight out and flailing around :( from when she went on the floor it lasted maybe about 8 seconds and then she stood up and came sat next to me , and just sat there all confused etc for about 30 secs, I noticed her tongue was bluish while she sat too .
    I wrote down the time and some details after it happened just incase too although i dont think id ever forget it!!

    She has never had any health problems in her life , absolutely nothing ... she has no other symptoms to indicate any underlying problems as far as i can tell :confused:

    Theres another thing i read that can cause seizures which was being allergic to something or eating something toxic, i wondered is it possible theres something in the chicken... or like you mentioned in the other thread about ingesting the cleaning residue or something?

    I took extra precautions today and rinsed that mat off really well and fed Tammy a boneless thigh out of my hand and she's been fine all today.

    When i read causes of seizures it did say they can be caused by asphyxiation (suffocating) too so it must be possible in some cases
     
  8. SlingDash

    SlingDash PetForums Senior

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    Well this has definitely made our minds up once and for all about not feeding any more raw, meaty bones!

    What a horrific thing to go through - for both you and your dog!

    :(
     
  9. EBT

    EBT PetForums Junior

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    First day yesterday on raw diet. Just chicken breast in the morning without bone so they/I could get use to it. Ate that happily, then in the evening they had chicken thigh and side each, bone and all. Bit worrying watching them (the older one does scoff down her food normally) but they both chewed and crunched up their chicken quite happily. They surprisingly took their time, even just licking it for a bit. Gentle start with not much bone I know but don't want to rush it. Having chicken drumstick and thigh tonight. Bit more bone in that so hopefully all will go well again :thumbup:
     
  10. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    Just fed them thighs with bones in and held onto Tammy's while she ate and all was fine :) She gets on so much better with my help, no choking or funny noises at all! :thumbup:
    Also i gave them their first little tiny piece of liver so i half expect some runny poos lol
     
  11. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Hi blobbet - dont panic about the cleaning of the mat etc...i wouldnt have thought it was this or anything in the chicken.

    You would have known if it was an allergic reaction - fits can happen as a result of this, but it would be much worse and it would be because of allergic reaction that the throat would swell and oxygen would be cut off etc.

    It would be possible if a dog choked on something big enough (this could be anything, a ball, a lump of rawhide, a sock! etc) then it could cut off the air-supply and they could pass out and fit from the lack of oxygen...but then unless the object was removed, then they wouldnt recover so quick? :S

    Hhhhmm, well keep an eye on her, fingers crossed it was just a weird one-off, but if you see ANYTHING unusual, not just when eating, then I think you should assume there is something wrong and should discuss with the vet.

    Glad to see you are being practical about it though and rather than giving up you are doing the logical thing and holding the food :thumbup: I hope everything is ok and she gets on better like this. Oh yes, liver is an interesting one!! Sometimes it is absolutely fine, sometimes not so! :eek: Lets hope they are ok with it :) ...just to say, if they are ok with it, dont be tempted to give them any more straight away the next day, leave it a couple of days and give a similar-sized piece...
     
  12. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Yeay! sounds like a good start :thumbup: and the amount of bone is just fine. Remember total bone content only has to be about 10% of the diet so that normally equates to say one bone-in meal a day and one meaty meal.

    Keep us posted on how you get on :)
     
  13. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    I really hope it was a weird one-off , i'll be keeping a close eye on her to watch for any other symptoms etc .

    There are many ways of feeding raw too so it's not like if the one way doesn't work then you have to give up :) as people say , you adjust it suit each individual dog so if Tammy needs a bit of extra help then im happy to do that :thumbup:

    They seem to be fine so far after the liver last night , i'll wait a few days before giving any more though ;)

    Also i had a question...

    What can you do if something you order comes already frozen but you need to portion it up? is it ok to defrost it and then cut it all up and refreeze it?
    For example i have some liver that came in a tray already frozen in a big solid lump , i just tried to slice bits off with scissors lol
    and i have these big lamb chops things which need portioning up but you'd need an electric saw to cut through those frozen :lol:
     
  14. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Exactly! :)

    No unfortunately once defrosted, you shouldnt ever re-freeze anything. :(

    You could try putting it inside a couple of plastic bags and whacking it with something heavy and see if it breaks up a bit? However, if this doesnt work, then you will probably have to give up on using it for their portions.

    However, dont throw it away, as what you can do, is defrost the lot, then boil it, cut into cubes and use as training treats...or you could mix it up with flour etc and cook it to make some liver cake - again great for training treats?

    I will dig out a recipe for liver cake for you - dogs LOVE it :thumbup:
     
  15. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    Ah ok then , it doesn't matter too much, i realised actually those bits of lamb are big enough for both so i can defrost one bit and then cut it in half :p
    And the liver i can manage to cut bits off while its frozen still , got some poultry shears being delivered some time this week so should make things a bit easier in future lol :thumbup: i ended up with about 4 months worth of liver though :)eek:) so i could still try make some treats out of some of it ;)

    I plan to maybe get a dehydrator down the line too so i can make them my own healthy treats! :D

    Does the stuff from the dog food company get delivered fresh or frozen?

    Just had a funny image of me hammering a chisel into a lump of frozen meat lol... i wonder if that would work :rolleyes:
     
  16. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    lol!!! :D

    From the dog food co, some things come fresh and some frozen (I think most of the bigger things are fresh so you can portion them before freezing) - but they are very good, so just call or email any queries and they get back to you pretty quick. They are very flexible.

    PS: here you go - a recipe for liver cake :D http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-health-nutrition/122494-where-do-i-find.html
     
    #156 katiefranke, Sep 13, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2010
  17. bernermum

    bernermum PetForums Newbie

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    What a fantastic thread, I found it whilst looking for suppliers of ready made barf diets?
    I have been feeding my Bernese a semi barf diet since they were 4 months old but was getting fed up of the supermarket bought chicken being a bit smelly in my fridgeand still feeding them some complete a day as I worried that they were not getting all the correct foodstuffs in their diets :scared:.

    After looking at the ready mades wow seems a bit pricey - I currently spend around £6+ a day feeding my 2 boys I am now considering making my own:).

    I just need to find a supplier of lamb ribs/ chicken carcasses/wings etc that isn't going to cost the earth
    Does anyone know of any around the Kent/Surrey area.

    Regards

    CJ
     
  18. MarKalAm

    MarKalAm PetForums Senior

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    The Dog Food Company - Products Page

    Scott delivers to Surrey. :thumbup: Much cheaper than £6 a day :scared:
     
  19. katiefranke

    katiefranke PetForums VIP

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    Yep would definitely recommend the above! :D

    wow - £6 a day for two dogs!!? I usually buy all free-range meat or wild game for my dog and cats and still dont spend that much!! :eek:

    The Dog Food Company are also really good because you can ask them to source pretty much anything for you and they will get it if you give them a bit of notice. Plus they will prepare how you need - so whole, chunks, minced etc... :thumbup:
     
  20. Blobbet

    Blobbet PetForums Member

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    I'm wondering how many times you've said this now lol :rolleyes:
    I only joined a month ago and i'm sure i've seen you type pretty much the same sentence about 5 times in various threads :lol:
    I know i'm a culprit for making you say it too :eek: hehe

    My two had their first bit of lamb today wooo, they ate it just as happily as they eat chicken :p , i think the pieces were cuts from a lamb leg cos they had a round bit of bone in the middle which was rock hard! They couldn't crunch it up at all lol, they've been carrying them around for hours just licking them and chucking them around :lol:

    Got my poultry shears delivered today too :thumbup: they shall certainly come in handy when i'm buying whole chickens and rabbits etc to cut up ;)
     
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