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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I'm taking the plunge and switching Manny over to raw...I've done a lot of reading and research and I really see nothing but benefits, so I'm going to do it for him.
I've decided on using the Sojo pre mix and adding my own fresh meat to it. My question here is how do I transition Manny from his current food (Taste of the Wild small breed) onto the new raw diet? Do I slowly change him over, or is it best to go cold turkey (no pun intended).... I've been giving him freeze dried meat treats and topping his food with some of the freeze dried toppers from Trudog (I got several little samples with the dental spray), and tonight I gave him a nice piece of pork neck bone with a decent amount of meat on it (hoping I didn't jump the gun with this and end up with tummy trouble here). It came in a pretty good sized package of 6 or 7 neck bones, which I will freeze and offer him once a week. I also bought a package of Tyson chicken livers, gizzards, and hearts, and wonder if this would be good to start him off on when my Sojo's pre mix arrives in the mail. So what would be the best way to get him started?

Also, Lola will be 7 weeks and should be ready to come home next weekend, and I want to just start her off on raw (hoping she likes it and wants it!). I work 4 days a week and come home for lunch. What would be best to do for her for the time I'm at work? Should I just leave kibble in her kennel? I know this seems silly, but Manny always went to work with me, so it was no big deal. Unfortunately a change in vocation means Lola won't have the same advantage.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. Any insight and help here would be MOST appreciated!!!
 

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I would switch cold turkey, but go very slowly introducing new proteins.
I usually start on just chicken, both with bone and plain meat. You want to get the balance of meat to bone just right. when you have had consistently good poos for at least three days you can add a second protein, just a bite at first alongside the chicken, building up to a whole meal.
I don't usually introduce pork until the dog is doing well on a variety of other proteins. Pork is a great meat for established raw eaters but can be very fatty and difficult to digest for a newbie.
Organs and eggs are not introduced until around week 6, as like pork, they can make the stool very soft.
You want to concentrate on getting the bone to meat ratio spot on first, and you do this by watching the poo. Too soft and you need to add more bone, too firm, white or crumbly and you need to stop feeding bone and just feed boneless until the poo is back to a good consistency.

For the puppy, you can feed to appetite before work and at lunchtime, then when you get in and later in the evening. She shouldn't need food leaving down in the day, but may do overnight. I had Ziwipeak (air dried raw) down for my pups at night but they rarely touched it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Ok, so the pork will stay in the freezer for a while, and I'll separate out the gizzards and hearts into smaller portions and freeze them until we're ready for them. In the mean time, back to the store for some chicken thighs and wings...probably some breasts as well. My Sojo's should be here tomorrow, so that will be perfect timing.

For Lola, because this weekend will extend as a holiday weekend for us (her breeder will be busy with family coming to town), we have our pick up date for her set for July 8th. I'm crazy excited! LOL!
I usually split my 8 hr days in half, so she will only be home without me for a maximum of 4 hours at a time. I have an hour for lunch (thank goodness I work only 2 miles away!) to let her eat as much as she wishes. So with this routine she should be okay without leaving food out in her kennel for her then? I'm a crazy worry wart, so I just want to make sure.

Again, thank you so much for the help!!!!
 

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Mine didn't need to eat more often than every four hours, but at 7 weeks were still having regular feeds from mum. They fed until about 10 weeks, which is common in Toy breed puppies, is there a reason you are getting your puppy at such a young age?

The chicken gizzards are safe to feed as meat, (they are pure muscle) but I would save the hearts and livers for later. (Heart is technically meat not organ when it comes to raw feeding, but again quite rich so not a great starter meat.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As far as I know, the woman is preparing to move in the very near future, and wants to be able to have her 2 females spayed and her male neutered before she does, so she needs the mommas dried up as soon as possible. She assures me they are eating well on softened kibble and are doing well at learning how to drink water (when they don't go wading in it).

I went to our local mom and pop meat market this afternoon(the only place in town where you can get locally grown, organic meat products), and purchased a whole chicken...well, minus the feathers, feet, and head. I asked if they had any raw bones, but they said they smoke and sell those for dog treats, so no luck there. I'll just have to stick with the in carcass bones for now at least.
In the mean time, I'll portion out the chicken and gizzards for meals now, and store away the hearts and livers for later. I can't wait to go back to that meat market, though! They have all kinds of stuff there...even frog legs! Not for me (I don't think I could choke those down), but maybe for the dogs?? It's definitely a novel protein source! LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OH! And I meant to ask.... Is it safe to feed him the chicken bones right away, or should I wait until his stomach pH has a chance to adjust to the new diet? I just don't know if it will be acidic enough straight off to digest bone? And what about the rib bones...are they safe? I worry about them getting stuck in his throat.

Also, for Lola... should I start her on ground meat, or just go ahead and offer her chunks? And same question for bones. Will she be able to crunch them yet, or should I hold off, or... ????
 

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Some people start off with no bone, but I have always included it, otherwise you would get very soft stools. I have always started with chicken bone and not had an issue. Remember that bone content is only 10% and you may have to start lower, so it is not a lot of bone. The carcass/ribs are actually really soft and mostly cartilage.
If you wish you can feed ground chicken that contains bone whilst your dog is adapting, it can make working out the correct amount easier.

With my pups, who were raw weaned, they started with ground chicken for the bone content. They had bones to chew and strip, but they couldn't eat enough whole bone for me to be certain they were getting the 10% bone they needed until around 11/12 weeks. Then they started to lose their teeth so again were unable to eat bones lol, so ground meat with bone was their main calcium source as young pups.
They are quite tiny Chis though, only 3lbs and 4lbs as adults. A larger Chi pup may have no issue chomping bones. So definitely offer whole pieces and see how she does, bony meals are a great workout for a young pup who needs to chew.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Excellent! I can't thank you enough for the help!! I want to do everything right when it comes to both of them. :)



ETA: JUST got my Sojos! Oh my gosh it looks and SMELLS delicious... I think even I could eat it! LOL! I have no doubt Manny is going to dive right in. :foxes_207:
 

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I have switched my dogs over to raw from the day I get them (I get rescues). The chihuahua adapted right away, my border collie had a grumbly tummy for about a week, but no accidents or loose stools. They LOVE it! Both my rescues were labeled as "picky eaters". HA! They know when dinner time is, and start begging!
 
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