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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

After having seen Brody's amazing theeth and shiny coat as well as having read Brodymums sticky on the subject, i am starting to consider going raw with my two dogs. For one thing, i really dont like the idea of not knowing what exactly they put in the canned or dried food you get in the store... What i wonder though, is, what is the best way to start them off? I read the sticky and got the fact that chicken is a good start. However my question is, is it better to start them off on the frozen stuff until they learn that they are now on a raw diet, or should i simply just give them a chicken wing/leg and let them have a go at it? Or, as they are not used to having to tear their food apart, should i start shreding it in the food processor for them to get used to the taste etc?

Another question i have is, how similar egg and chicken work for the digestive system for the dog. I fed my two an egg yesterday (locco only had half an egg and left the rest) and hm...welllets just say i had a whole lot of cleaning this morning as his stomach went a bit...crazy over night. My bad though, without thinking i had earlier in the day been giving him a raw hide chewing thing which i know makes him have to go after a while...totally my bad. But Lady, who has no problem with the raw hide thing also tend to have a loose stole after having had an egg. I presume their digestive system will get adjusted and its all about taking them on more regular walks to start with?

I presume it is not the best to start them off on the frozen stuff you find in the pet store? Unless they have chicken? Does the frozen stuff have all that they need in form af bone content etc as well?

Anyway, i have thousand and one thoughts about this subject :) I will have to suck up to the butcher near by too i think hehe. OUt of curiosity, which is more cost effective. Raw or store bought food? My thought is that raw, especially if you make it yourself, ought to be more cost effective in the way that the dogs get what they need and not alot of fillers and stuff. This make them need less food. Also, as eating raw, unles run in the food processor, takes longer time, does that not also give their bodies time to better process the food? I am also all for the mental stimulation it will bring them but i cant help but to worry about salmonella in chicken and the like. How can i best avoid that?

See...thousand one one questions. Appriciate any suggestions, advice support etc etc.

All the best

Lady and Locco's mum
 

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I'll try and help you out .... :)

Most people suggest starting with chicken as it's easy to digest. I like cornish hens because they are small and the right size for chi's. But you can use regular chickens if you prefer. Start out bone heavy in the beginning to keep stools firm, so think wings/necks/backs. You will gradually adjust to feeding mostly meat (80%), a little bone (10%) and organs (5% liver and 5% other organ such as kidney) but that comes in time.

Don't use a food processor. Their teeth are made to do the job. :) They don't need pre-chewed food.

You can use a pre-made product if you want to. Many people like them as they are already balanced with meat/bone/organs but they certainly do differ in quality so do some label reading and try to find one that doesn't contain veggies. They are a filler and not needed. Meat, bones, and organs are what you are looking for. I don't know what products are available in Germany, but you can join the raw feeding list on yahoo and their are members from all over the world who can give you advice. (Although that group is very much prey model - and doesn't advocate premades at all). But they could steer you towards meat supplies and butchers, grocery stores, etc.

rawfeeding : Raw Feeding for dogs and cats!

Once you join the list, you can spend a lot of time reading through the archives and just about every question you can think of will have already been asked and answered, so it's a great resource.

No eggs right now! As you found out, they can cause loose stools. Eggs are for experienced raw eaters only. Save that for later. Much later. ;) Right now you just want to do chicken with bone.

I wouldn't do rawhides either. Do you have bully sticks there? As you transition over to a different diet than they are used to, minimize stomach upset by not doing too much all at once. Just do plain old chicken with bones for at least a week or two. Then once they are eating well and the stools are satisfactory, then you can add in other proteins (pork is a good second meat) one bite at a time. Then you can eventually branch out to beef.

Do it yourself raw is usually much cheaper than a store bought pre-made raw product. Plus you know exactly what is in it! And isn't that the point? :)

Start slow. It's not a race. Go easy and do some reading until you feel comfortable. Then come back with questions and we will help you.

As for the salmonella issue, I don't worry about it. Germs and bacteria are everywhere. Dogs lick their bums, and of course stool is FULL of bacteria, right? They don't wear shoes, they are animals after all. Their digestive systems are different than ours and they can handle it. (Unless immunosuppressed or some other health problem). Here's some good reading on the subject if you are interested. This is an excellent website by the way so spend some time going through the other pages.

Myths About Raw: Will the bacteria in raw meat hurt my dog?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi,

Thank you so much for the support :) So, yesterday Lady and Locco copped down their first raw meal. I spent the first 20 minutes helping Locco to get a grip on things as he is obviously not used to it. Lady had not much trouble figuring things out...she is a former street dog so only god knows what she hs ben eating before :) It took Locco a good hour to finish his half of a chicken leg but he was ver diligent and i was amazed that he could focus for so long. After the meal, both dogs were exhausted and spent the rest of the evening sleeping. Locco had a small poo in the morning and also later in the afternoon however Lady has not had a poo for almost 24 hours now. Is that normal? I dont want her to be constipated. Maybe there was too much bone for her? She also had half a chicken leg. Today i gave them some chicken hart, stomach, liver and a small chicken leg. They had a bit of an issue with all but the leg but i guess they will learn. They were not very hungry today and the sweetest thing was that Locco was trying to hide the rest of his food in the towel i used to feed him on. When i was about to give them the rest of their meal later in the evening he still was not very hungry and was mostly just goofing around. They spread around the food in my entire living room playing as they were eating or rather not really eating :) Will serve them in the kitchen or something tomorrow i think and perhaps in separate room so they wont distract each other. It works fine with the bony things but its harder with the soft parts. I got a hold of a lot of things at one of my local grocery store and i will put it all in containers tomorrow and keep in the freezer. I will start of with the chicken but i got a pigs hart, liver and some bony things too for later. Now i am just waiting for Lady to POO!! :)
 

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Poops are smaller and less frequent because their bodies are using the food and there's not as much waste. Too much bone can cause constipation though, so I would feed a meat only meal (just plain chicken meat) and see if that gets her going.

I would not do liver this early. Organs can cause loose stools and once you start that, it can be hard to stop. You want to go really slowly at first to get them used to this new diet and let their systems adjust. No organs, no eggs, no extra stuff at all. Just plain old chicken meat with bones and if they seem constipated, - just the chicken meat for a meal or two.

All that other fun stuff in your freezer will be great! But later! ;) Don't get ahead of yourself.

Also remember not to overfeed. Sounds like you gave pretty big meals? Brody is 5 pounds and he could never eat a whole chicken leg at one meal. That would be wayyyyyyy too much food. Brody eats 2-3 ounces a DAY. You will want to start at 2-3% of ideal body weight. Here's a raw calculator to help you determine how much that is. Most average sized chihuahua's eat about 3 ounces a day. An ounce is the size of an ice cube or about a tablespoon. That is very little food.

Calculate
 

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A good deal of what I have learned about raw feeding has come from Brodysmom so no need for me to repeat the things that she's said. My best advice is to take her advice and take it slow for the first week or so with only meat and a small amount of bone. And once you do start introducing the organs, try really hard to stay around the recommended 10% ratio or else your little ones really WILL get the runs!

The only other thing that I wanted to add is that a normal sized chicken leg will make for about 2 1/2 or three meals for Zippy and a small sized leg would be good for two dinners. He would eat more if I let him and I did make that mistake at first. However, after a couple of weeks on the raw diet he got noticeably plumper so I cut back by a couple of ounces at each meal and he is now looking quite trim and handsome.

Keep up the good work and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you guy for the support :)

Locco is doing really well on the raw food and has totaly figured out the chicken "thing". Lady eats very well too but still haven't been doing "the potty" after 48 hours :-O. They are both on chicken meat only at the moment as i want Ladys stomach to start moving. She seem all happy and everything so i think she is just fine. Perhps she just dont need to go. She hasn't shown any sign of having to poo when we have been out so...I think, please correct me if you think i am wrong, but if she was constipated, she woudl at least TRY to poo??? But she doesn't.

Here comes my next question/observation. Locco has shown a quite remakable behaviour since going raw and I wonder if any one else has eyperienced this. Both Lady and Locco get their food in their own bowl and at the moment i feed them in seperate rooms. When they are done, if i am not fast enough to pick up Lady's bowl, Locco marks it. This has so far only happened two times. First time i was not sure if that was really the case but since i noticed the same yellow "stains" in Lady's bowl also the second time, i came to the conclusion that he marks her bowl. This has never happenend before when they were on canned and dry food. I wonder if the raw food brings out a more "primal" erge in Locco to mark the food. He is not yet castrated so obviously he has more of an erge to mark his territory etc...has anyone experienced this before?
 

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I'm glad that Lady finally went! Yay!

I've never heard of the marking behavior around the raw food. That is a new one to me. Very interesting. I would guess that since it's a high value item, he is marking it as his own.
 

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Yeah, it lifted a great burden off my shoulders when she went today. Jippi!!!

I think you are correct in regards to Loccos marking. Not only did he do it beside the bowl but actually he did it IN the bowl. So good thing Lady had finished eating ;-) The only thing now is that Lady refuses to eat her liver. She wont have anything to do with it. She will let Locco get to it right in from of her even. She has always been a picky eater...like mummy maybe. I wont touch liver either hehe. I wonder if there is anything i can replace it with though, or how i can get her to eat it.... I haven tried any other intestine foods...not sure if chicken stomach counts as intestine since it has so much meat on it? We will see how things progress. n saturday we have a vet appointments for Loccos last shots and i will discuss the new diet closer with my vet. She knows i have changed the diet to rw and suggested i add some fiber to the food s Lady had problems going. I sprinkled some crossed flaxseed on the food today and added a bit of olive oil so we will see how it all goes.
 

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You have plenty of time to add the liver. It is only 5% of the diet, so that's like one bite. There are lots of tricks for organs ....

roll in parmesan cheese
sear in a hot pan with a little bit of butter
Throw a piece on a hot BBQ grill just for a second on each side
liquify in a blender and mix in with ground beef or something she likes
disguise by putting a tiny piece of liver under the skin on a piece of chicken
dehydrated liver

Since you just started raw feeding, I wouldn't even worry about liver for at least a month. She won't be deficient in that time. Organs are usually added close to last.

I regulate stools with bone content. Too loose? Add more bone. Too hard? Add more meat. Easy.
 

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Zippy HATES chicken livers! He's much better with beef liver so we've been sticking with that. He really does seem to enjoy beef kidney so they were worth the hunt.
 

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Zippy HATES chicken livers! He's much better with beef liver so we've been sticking with that. He really does seem to enjoy beef kidney so they were worth the hunt.
oh yeah, great post Zippy! You can try different kinds of liver.... beef, calf, pork, etc. Some dogs don't like chicken liver at all.
 
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