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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am intrigued by the idea of putting Paco on raw food. I have read so much that my head is swimming but I definitely want him to be healthy. I have always heard that bones were dangerous for dogs but if I understand it correctly, that is just cooked bones not raw bones, right?

Brody's mom, I read your formula of 80% meat , 10% bones, and 10% organs, right? but do you give them fruits and vegetables ever? I have read that apples and sweet potatoes are good foods for them. Do you disagree with that?

If I am repeating questions please forgive me. I have been reading all of this all day...lol.
 

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Good for you! Keep learning! Keep reading! Keep asking questions! :)

You are 100% correct. Raw bones are great. They are necessary in a raw diet. Cooked bones should NEVER be fed.

Veggies and fruits are not necessary. Dogs don't have amylase in their saliva which is necessary for the breakdown of the outer wall, cellulose, of the veggies. Therefore, they just pass on to the stomach and then pass on through, virtually unchanged. UNLESS... you break down the outer wall of the veggies and fruits by blending them or crushing them into a pulp. Then they can absorb some of the nutrients. Some people like to add veggies and/or fruits, which is fine. You just have to crush them first. They don't add much in the way of vitamins/minerals to the diet, but they can add fiber which some dogs do well on. We are so brainwashed in this society that veggies and fruits are good, that it's hard not to believe that our dogs can benefit from them too!! (Thus all the marketing hoopla where you see the fruits and veggies being advertised on the dog food bags.)

If you did want to do veggies, go ahead. But keep them at a small percentage of the diet. Like 10%. Or use them for snacks/treats. I wouldn't make them a large part of the diet. Our dogs usually like the taste and crunch. Most animals are attracted to sweets, (wolves have been observed snacking on wild grapes/berries occasionally) but they aren't necessary for a healthy diet.

A few good links to further explore this subject ....

Myths About Raw: Are dogs omnivores?

Myths About Raw: Do wolves eat stomach contents of prey?

Dr Billinghurst, the founder of the BARF method of feeding (Bones and Raw Foods) does like to add veggies and fruits. He feels they are beneficial. He also thinks that dogs are omnivores. (Although they are classed as carnivores by the smithsonian institution).

He also says to feed them blended/crushed.

BARF Diet Specifics - Bones, Meat, Offal, Vegetables, Fruits & Other Nutrition Food Products for Pet

There is a division in the raw feeding world between prey model followers (the 80% meat, 10% bone, 10% organs) and the BARF followers who are much more liberal in fruits and veggies and feed a higher bone content (up to 50% in some cases). Which one is best? Do some reading. Do some more research. Read some studies. Then make up your own mind.

The bottom line on fruits and veggies is that they will not harm your dog. They may even be beneficial. Are they necessary? The jury is still out for some people. But.... the benefits of a raw diet go far beyond this discrepancy. Both camps believe that a healthy diet with fresh foods, and no grains and minimal processing is best for our dogs. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Appreciate your patience with a newbie! ;) Will keep reading. Paco is almost up to 4# so he would be eating a very small amount of raw food. Hmmm... it just occurred to me... he may need slightly more because he is still a puppy, right? Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had to laugh at the idea of raising animals to butcher for my dog to eat. I know exactly how that would end up... with a pet chicken, a pet goat, and a pet cow!! LOL
 

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Yes puppies need more food! Give 2-3% of their projected adult weight. Some people say 10% of their current weight. So if he weighs 4 pounds, that would be 6.4 ounces a day, so maybe 2 ounces 3xday to start. Then you can go up if needed.

I couldn't raise my own food to butcher either. ;)
 

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But.... the benefits of a raw diet go far beyond this discrepancy. Both camps believe that a healthy diet with fresh foods, and no grains and minimal processing is best for our dogs. :)
Well said. I think people get caught up in the little stuff when the thing that makes raw feeding good are the broader issues of minimal processing and fresh foods are what matter.

At our house we feed 70%muscle meat, 10% bone (in the meat of course) 10% organ and 10% veggie. I consider my method a sort of prey model + because I have never read a BARF diet that made too much sense to me. One of my dogs has an intolerance to root veggies so we don't feed any potato, carrot, turnip etc... For me I have read a lot of research and I think that the way I feed veggies (cooked and blended) provides some nutrients that are beneficial to my dogs. With that said I know dogs on prey model who look just as happy and healthy as mine. The veggies are really a personal preference in my opinion. Just keep the amounts small if you feed them, dogs mostly need meat, fat and bone.
 

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Just my two cents, I feed raw and follow the same model
as Tracy, and for the record have learned TONS from her.

I don't do veggies. I was nervous about starting this diet but
now I could NEVER imagine feeding anything out of a bag
or can to my dogs. Also, it takes VERY little work! I was put off by
people saying they didn't have time to do all the work to feed
a raw diet. Don't let anyone discourage you, it really takes very little
time.

People also talk about the cost, feeding raw costs very
little. I would spend much more on commercial foods than I spend
on raw, and that includes the fact that I often purchase the
more expensive beef cuts ( mostly because they are lean ).

I hope you do switch Paco to raw, and if you do, you will find
tons of support here from wonderful people who will happily
walk you through any question you may have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
another question.... is it real messy? I don't know if Paco will keep everything in one place. You mentioned a towel. Do you put the raw food on a towel when you feed your dog? I am pretty sure what I want to do now I am trying to figure out how...
 

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another question.... is it real messy? I don't know if Paco will keep everything in one place. You mentioned a towel. Do you put the raw food on a towel when you feed your dog? I am pretty sure what I want to do now I am trying to figure out how...
When I had one dog I fed him on one of those plastic-ey table cloths. Now I feed the dogs in their crates or outside when the weather is nice.

If you feed on a mat or a towel you might just have to move the food back to the mat a few times. Eventually the dog will figure out that they only get to eat if they stay on the mat. To feed them in their crates I just pull out all the bedding and put the food down in the crate. Both dogs do a good job of cleaning up after themselves, I just wipe up with some diluted vinegar in a spray bottle. I used to use clorox wipes but I felt like they were leaving too much residue that the dogs were ingesting the next time they ate. As everyone has said feeding raw really is simple and for me it costs less than feeding a "good" kibble. There is some figuring out of stuff in the beginning, but now I find it simple and I am so glad I did it. Nothing could get me to go back to kibble after I have seen the results of raw.
 

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Yep I agree with the posts here. :) I can't imagine feeding kibble again either. If I HAVE to do something convenient (and really, we can make raw pretty darn convenient), then I use ZiwiPeak or Stella and Chewy's in a pinch. But as for regular kibble? Nah, I'd never go back.

I feed on a towel. He starts licking his lips when the towel comes out because he knows dinner is coming! He lays on it and eats there. It really is not messy at all. I just throw the towel in the wash when it needs it. He learned really quick to eat only on the towel. :)
 

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Again ( lol ) I do the same as Tracy! :tongue1:

The towel actually becomes apart of the "feeding ritual" both
of mine are sitting on it waiting before I ever get their food
to them.
 

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I'll chime in too...I basically follow the prey model now with veggies added here & there, in other words no real schedule to them. I mostly use collards, ginger and parsley. I put it all fresh & raw in my Vita Mix Machine and then transfer to ice cube trays to freeze. They will get about a teaspoon or 1/2 of the ice cube with dinner. I will give carrots and the center cuts of romaine lettuce for treats too on occasion.

I was a BARF feeder for many years with great results. Now I am very loose with my percentages of meat/bone/organ/veggie, but it averages out very close to the prey model.

I also supplement regularly.

I've had happy healthy dogs for 14 years feeding all natural! Good luck and keep asking questions as they arise :)
 

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I think Theresa is following Dr. Pitcairn. :)
 

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Ours have fruit and veggies. Mainly to bulk out their food, I can't bear them looking hungry all the time! Harley isn't keen though, he gives me 'the look' when I hide pureed veg in his meat. Bambi will eat anything that fits in her mouth though!
 
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