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Old 08-29-2012, 06:47 PM
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Default My Raw Feeding Plan

Hello! Totally new here but have been researching raw feeding for a couple of months. I am currently feeding organic, pre-packaged with a bit of kibble and neither is doing very well (both are rescues) so I'm preparing to ditch the kibble and move on to raw meat and eggshell for calcium.

Currently and in conjunction with researching the calcium issue, I am looking at bones which is how I came upon this forum.

I have a raw feed plan and the bone issue isn't swaying me from controlling the calcium using powdered eggshells. I am also looking at enzymes, as I believe this is the problem for my female, Annie, who has been doing less than stellar since she was found abandoned. She was, apparently, a "breeder" and I'm wondering if she had been on raw food, prior to being found.

My plan is a combination of insights from several sources

This is my start plan
Quote:
Fast your dog for 24 hours before starting this diet. Water should be available to your dog during the fast. This will give time for the old dog food to pass through your dog’s digestive tract. It is important to follow this procedure to limit digestive upset. This is an important step, ignoring this step greatly increases your dog’s chance of having digestive upset.
  • Day one and two: Feed a portion 1/4 the size of a normal meal.
  • Day three and four: Feed a portion 1/2 the size of a normal meal.
  • Day five and six: Feed a portion 3/4 the size of a normal meal.
  • Day seven: Feed a full portion.
Special Note: The whole process takes 8 days when you include the 24 hour fast. This method will allow your dog’s digestive tract time to adapt to the new food.
The food is a standard feed of boneless raw meat, eggshell powder (1/4 tsp per 100 grams of meat) and an enzyme supplement mixed with some water to rehydrate the meat and mix the supplements

I've chosen this plan and the supplements to control the calcium due to lack of blood in the feed and, hopefully, to fix some pre-existing digestive problems - especially in the female.

I've chosen this plan, mainly, because I'm a wuss. I don't think merely feeding meaty bones can provide the necessary calcium because calcium is provided by bone AND blood. And I don't want to have to guess how much and over or under do the calcium because it's so important and I can't know, for certain, what's what unless I also remove the bone from the equation, and rely on supplementing calcium.

I am NOT so stiff-necked about the enzymes but I don't fully understand the ratios regarding the organ meat - secreting and non-secreting - nor where in the heck you find it!

I understand that my plan may seem strange and that I'm a bit stubborn when I get an idea stuck in my head, but does it appear problematic? I had already decided against vegetables and I use sea salt in water, which they take when they need those trace minerals (unprocessed sea salt contains up to more than 80 such minerals) and ignore it when they don't.

This is my first foray into the nature of domestic animals but I do know a little about what happens, with regard to animals, in general - for instance, a canine will eat just about anything and continuously, if they aren't getting the RIGHT nutrients but they require very little when prey/proper food is plentiful. Some confuse this with the idea that dogs are omnivores, but they aren't. They just listen to their bodies when the body says something critical is missing and in the absence of sufficient prey, will take in great gobs of just about anything that contains any trace of what they need in an effort to replenish.

I also know that when the body doesn't get what it needs, it enters a mode of operation in which nutrients and water are rationed and that this "mode" of operation should - when all is well and good - only be temporary and stop once prey becomes plentiful, again. Basically, dogs fed commercial dog food are in a constant state of physiological rationing that slowly destroys certain, "less critical" organs and systems and makes them appear to just want to eat all the time. By "less critical" I mean systems that can be put on the back burner, temporarily, to keep bone, heart and muscle in a state of readiness for the reappearance of prey.

Anyway, that's just babbling. What I am seeking is any and all criticism of my feeding plan. Short of hunting or providing live prey, I'm not entirely sure...but I DEFINITELY want your thoughts on any big holes you might see in my plan.
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2012, 07:24 PM
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It is great that you are putting so much thought into your dogs diets and doing your research.
Most raw-feeders on this forum (myself included) feed 'prey model raw' which is designed to replicate the proportions found in whole prey, so 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organ, of which half should be liver (so 5% of total diet) and the other half other secreting organs. (Kidney, pancreas, spleen etc)
As for calcium, dogs don't need a huge amount (the 10% bone more than covers it) but the calcium to phosphorus ratio is very important. I am sure Tracy will be along to advise on this. I personally only use eggshell when they have an egg! (I use eggs and oily fish as a source of oils, every couple of weeks)
As long as your diet includes organs and a lot of variety in the types of meats offered it sounds fine. Bones do have dental benefits as well as providing stimulation, so you will have to provide something else for these needs, eg antlers.
I didn't fast mine, but did start with just chicken and introduced other meats gradually. Organs were introduced last, as they can cause loose stools. Keeping the quantities small to begin with is a good idea too, over feeding can also cause loose stools.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:01 PM
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Ok, my thoughts ...

24 hours is too long to fast a chihuahua. They are small dogs with fast metabolisms. The smaller ones can have problems with hypoglycemia. Plus, I just don't think its necessary. If you want to fast, go 12 hours. But I would not fast a chi past that.

Calcium plan.... Eggshells are Ok but I would encourage you to feed some meat covered bony parts for your diet. If you are scared of choking on a bone, just hammer the meat and bone or use scissors and cut into tiny pieces. Meaty bones are an important part of a raw diet for dental health. VERY important in our breed where teeth are genetically awful. It's not unusual to see chi's losing teeth left and right at a young age. They are typically poorly rooted and prone to decay. A raw meaty bone a couple times a week would be a great add in to your plan. I'm not talking about consuming a whole chunk of bone, I'm talking about raw beef or pork ribs where they get the gnawing benefits but don't consume much of the bone. Pork necks are great. Some meaty marrow bones work as long as you don't have power chewers and remove most of the fatty marrow. Turkey necks are great for chi's. Chicken necks, wings, and backs will be consumed, so if you don't want your dogs to eat the bones, then don't feed those. But a big meaty bone is a great addition that I totally recommend for you.

Another thought on calcium values. Most (if not all) kibble contains at least 150% of the RDA for calcium. This can be problematic in giant breeds. But if you are shooting for the EXACT amount of calcium needed, you can create a spreadsheet with all foods fed and compare them to the AAFCO standards. It is an arduous process, but some people really like numbers and ratios and percentages.

Just remember that egg shell is about 97% calcium carbonate whereas bone is a network of not only calcium, but other minerals (phosphorus being a big part), collagen, and (in ones that apply), marrow, which contains fats and other nutrients. The elemental calcium content of eggshell is about 40% with hardly any phosphorus, whereas that in bone is about 30% and contains a hefty amount of phosphorus, too. In other words, they're not equal from a nutritional standpoint.

I would also be concerned with an egg shell only diet that the dogs will have loose stools. Bone provides the "fiber" needed for firm stools. If you do egg shells only, you may have to tweak the diet and add in pumpkin or a veggie slurry to help firm up stools.

Start your meat meals with chicken. Move on to turkey if you want. Then go on to pork, beef, venison, mutton, lamb, etc. The more variety you can feed, the better. Hearts are excellent in all species. Try to keep your plan red meat heavy. In fact, you wouldn't need to feed much poultry at all if you aren't using them for the bone content. Red meats have a better nutrient profile than poultry. Try to feed a variety of muscle meats ... heart, gizzards, steaks, roasts, tongue, etc.

Organs. They are necessary. Muscle meats just don't contain the high levels of vitamins and minerals contained in organs. Liver is 10% of a raw diet. Not sure what country you are in... but organs are easily found in most walmarts here in the states. You can find beef and calf kidney, usually frozen. You can get chicken livers in the fresh chicken section. Turkey livers are usually frozen as well. The other organ required can take a bit of looking... I have found kidney is the easiest to find. My local walmart carries it. Ethnic markets are GREAT. You can find spleen, brain, pancreas there. Can't identify it? That's OK. As long as it's squishy and its an organ, it will do.

Absolutely CAN'T find organs anywhere? Then you may have to order from a place like hare-today.com. There are other raw feeding suppliers popping up all the time. But you can't skip them. They are essential. They are 'rich' and can cause loose stools, so add them in last. Eggs also fall in this category.

What enzymes are you using? They differ very much in quality. Be sure you are using a good reputable brand. They are fragile, so if they aren't fresh, you are just adding a bunch of dust to the food that won't do a thing.

What other supplements are you adding in? Fish oil is a great one. One regular 1000mg strength fish oil for people is fine. Give one drizzled on food or on a plate every other day or so for a couple of weeks. Then 2-3 times a week is fine. Omega 3's are missing in factory farmed meats. If you feed only grass fed organic meats, then you can skip the fish oil. Some dogs like fish - you can do meaty meals of fish as well, salmon, sardines, smelt... oily fish are best. If you are feeding fresh fish, limit it to once a week or so because of high mercury levels found in wild caught fish.

I don't know ANYONE who gives live prey to their dogs. Unheard of in our breed and I would think very much looked down upon, even by hardcore raw feeders. If you do wish to feed whole prey, you can look at hare-today.com for a wide variety of fresh whole prey items. Or you can look at the reptile supplier places which often carry frozen feeder rats/mice and chicks or quail along with rabbits for their snake people. This is not necessary, but many 'sticklers' often like the added insurance of feeding the entire prey animal, skin, blood, organs, bones. Whole prey is a nice addition if you want to add it. Just thaw and hand to the dog. Up to you if you want to go there or not.

This is a friendly group and lots of knowledgeable and helpful raw feeders here so ask any questions you have and we will help you.
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Last edited by Brodysmom; 08-29-2012 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:36 PM
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"as long as it's squishy" - ROFL! I definitely do NOT want to feed whole prey - so that isn't an issue.

Since I wrote my initial post, I've been thinking about chicken wings and after reading your posts, I'm definitely leaning toward meaty bones instead of the eggshell powder.

We actually have several ethnic markets, for our size - we are in Central Illinois. So I'll definitely look for some "squishy" organs!

I'm not sure about the fasting - Hoot - my male - often skips an entire day, on his own, though he's always ready for a chunk of liver, lol. I suspect I've been feeding him too much as I keep forgetting that he's less than half the weight of the larger female.

I suppose what is most important is to just get them raw and off the kibble. I suspect they will "tell" me what they need. I don't know why I'm worrying about it so much.

I SO appreciate the input - thank you VERY much! I believe I'm going to stick with my original plan to start, since I'm ready to go, and it doesn't make my brain tilt - but then gradually introduce and shift over to your 80/10/10 plan - if I can get it straight in my head. It took me so long to get my original plan straight in my head...ROFL! I want to get them started, ASAP.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:56 PM
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Glad to hear it!! Have you shared pics of your two yet? Do! We love pictures here. Oh and thank you for saving them. Sounds like they were in a bad place until you came along.

Brody can skip a day of eating too. I don't worry about it. But he is offered food twice a day. Its his choice to eat or not.

Prey model is a great diet. Tried and true. Not sure if you've seen this website or not, but it's a great one to get your head around what to feed, etc. Highly recommend.

http://puppybutt.weebly.com/uploads/...raw_rv.4.1.pdf
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:02 PM
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Go for it, it is really very simple and becomes second nature after a while. I have lots of fun finding new things for my dogs to try. Recently we tried pigs spleen for the first time, (not a huge success!), and minced goat, which they love.
Tracy is a great source of information, we are very lucky to have her here to advise and guide us.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:12 PM
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Posted a pic on my "newbie" thread.

https://www.chihuahua-people.com/newb...tml#post972027
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:19 PM
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Ha! Well, the pic post didn't work so I'll try it here...

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