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The more I keep reading about the different dog foods, the more the raw diet intrigues me. I would like to switch my little toy to Innova when it is time to switch to adult food. However, my vet doesn't sell it anymore. I can likely find it elsewhere, but wonder how long anyone will carry any particular brand. I'm not opposed to switching from time to time, but I want a quality food.

This is where a raw diet comes in.... I could control her diet (which could be worse if I do it wrong). In the long run, would you say it costs more/less than buying a quality kibble? Do you give raw/meaty bones? If so, what would you suggest for a toy poodle. It scares me to think she could choke although I have heard that this is only a concern when bones are cooked.

I have seen several sites suggest cooking the meat and several that suggest against it since it cooks the nutrients out and is less natural. Has anyone had any problems with salmonella or worms? To help with prep time, do you tend to make a big batch and freeze extras? I've heard pumpkin will help a dog make the switch since it will help keep the stool firm (hopefully).

I guess there are so many questions and so many variations on what a well rounded raw diet can be. If you have a book you would like to recommend, please let me know.

It sounds like there are so many people on here that are big proponents of feeding raw. I would like to know how you do it for your dog(s).
 

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I don't really know that much about it, as my mom is the one who preps it all for our PWDs. But I do know day to day she just feeds meat/ veg from the fridge. If she's going away for any length of time, she grinds up meat and veg in a big batch and then freezes portions for me to defrost. So you can do it either way.

She learned a lot by becoming a member of this Yahoo Group: http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawpaws/
 

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First off I'd like to recommend you read the book Raw Meaty Bones.
It's free on the internet at:http://www.rawmeatybones.com/book.php
That will answer all your questions :)


I could control her diet (which could be worse if I do it wrong).
There is a possibility, depending on what kind of raw food you feed...if you decide to go with raw meaty bones or prepackaged raw food -
Some prepackaged stuff is not what they call "complete" meals... which means it doesn't have all the vitamins etc. that dog food has on it. Which could cause some problems in very active dogs.

In the long run, would you say it costs more/less than buying a quality kibble?
Yes, for a toy dog it actually works out pretty much the same than buying dog food.
Do you give raw/meaty bones? It is recommended that you give raw meaty bones as the chewing action they do to clean the meat off the bones also "brushes" their teeth... which is why most people switch to raw.... less dental problems.

If so, what would you suggest for a toy poodle. It scares me to think she could choke although I have heard that this is only a concern when bones are cooked.
I started Ponki on raw chicken.... I started out by replacing one meal with a raw chicken drumstick. She soon didn't care for the kibble anymore and at first it's scary cause they literally consume it bone and all in a matter of minutes. They can throw up bone... this is normal... it's just their body's way of dealing with pieces too big to be digested. Raw bones can not splinter in their guts... that's why you should never cook them. Chicken bones, pork ribs or smaller animal bones (rabbit, mice etc.) is usually recommended for smaller dogs as these are considered "soft" bones and will not damage teeth when they chew on it. I don't like giving marrow bones and when I do I make sure it has quite a bit of flesh on it so teeth don't crack or damage when the dog chews on it. (especially larger breeds may try to crack marrow bones to get to the marrow - NOT GOOD)

I have seen several sites suggest cooking the meat and several that suggest against it since it cooks the nutrients out and is less natural.
If you are going to switch to raw.... don't cook the meat! This can cause diarrhea.
Has anyone had any problems with salmonella or worms?
I've had Ponki on raw now for 3 years.... and I've never had a problem with either. Off course keep in mind that you are working with raw meat... you need to be very careful of where you feed them and extra caution needs to be taken if you have kids around.... and sanitize bowls after every meal.
As far as the worm are concerned.... buy human quality or prepackaged meat. Also if you have them on a heartworm preventative that already takes care of half of your problems as some heartworm meds also kills other kinds of worms. If you are very concerned about worms you can always do a regular stool check with your vet. I've never had problems with worms.
To help with prep time, do you tend to make a big batch and freeze extras? Yes, you can freeze a big batch and thaw as needed... thawing meat out kinda becomes a habit after a while.
I've heard pumpkin will help a dog make the switch since it will help keep the stool firm (hopefully). I've never heard this ?!?!?!?!
But pumpkin can help if you experience diarrhea/constipation while you switch as this is usually good to use to control a dog's bowels regardless of whether you switch or not.

It really is not as big a deal as some people make it out to be.... I do have to say it's a bit more work than just scooping kibble. But if you feel about your dog the way I do, it's no hassle.
 

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There are a couple different methods when entering the 'raw' world the three that I am most familiar with are

Prey model, which works out to be 80% mucsle meat(heart going in this catagory) 10% bone 10% organ meat with 60-80% of that being liver.

BARF which includes veggies and a combination of everything above, usually also includes supplements.

pre made raw food which are usually ground up and frozen then cut into disks which are super easy to feed however I have not found one that does NOT stink before it goes down the trap.

When feeding any method where much of the meal is ground up it is important to let your dog chew on a RMB for at least 10minutes to get their gut juices flowing. aswell as the dental benefits.

The goal is complete nutrition over time, not at every meal. I feed the prey model and i feed 9 days of bones and muscle then one day of organ meat with a probiotic or yogurt (to prevent the runs that can follow) also the day after organ day can produce 'tarry' stool from the liver-dont panic!

With a small dog I would start with chicken wings, necks and feet for the chewing, so they learn how to chew(like little kids they need to learn to chew their food properly of else the get stomach upset or choke) in the first month i would limit the protien source that you feed your dog to chicken and turkey, then 2-6 months try to feed EVERYTHING you EVER plan to feed them if you can. this prevents picky eaters later in life (I have one now and because he's just gotten worse and organs are not being consumed i've had to supplement kibble-jerk!)


So basically meat that you can use-anything that is human grade and is an animal including fish/fishbones/fishorgans. My youngest loves 'fish day' with fish heads :p

When I first started I jumped in the pool with my clothes on. I made mistakes along the way but my dogs didnt suffer from it, they are healthy as could be! And I wouldn't change it for the world.

As far as price I lucked out and my Pops is a butcher, but he has people that come by his shop and he gives a BIG deal on food intending for dogs/cats. My food bill would be about $120(canadian) if I fed only kibble(feeding orijen) plus yearly dentals that woudl be needed but I spent $45CND the month I was away with them and didnt have access to the shop.
 

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I hunt, so getting rabbit meat wouldn't be a problem. But my question is - could I give my dogs the rabbit meat I get? I would skin it, since those things are COVERED in fleas, but what's the say on wild meat? It doesn't have any hormones whatsoever, but it's also not health tested either (obviously)

I've heard that humans can starve on a pure rabbit died alone since it lacks so much nutrition lol
 

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I have seen several sites suggest cooking the meat and several that suggest against it since it cooks the nutrients out and is less natural.
If you are going to switch to raw.... don't cook the meat! This can cause diarrhea.
Has anyone had any problems with salmonella or worms?
I've had Ponki on raw now for 3 years.... and I've never had a problem with either. Off course keep in mind that you are working with raw meat... you need to be very careful of where you feed them and extra caution needs to be taken if you have kids around.... and sanitize bowls after every meal.
As far as the worm are concerned.... buy human quality or prepackaged meat. Also if you have them on a heartworm preventative that already takes care of half of your problems as some heartworm meds also kills other kinds of worms. If you are very concerned about worms you can always do a regular stool check with your vet. I've never had problems with worms.
Ponki - great reply and very thorough! I also find the raw diet to be very intriguing, tho I know that I would never switch Snoops to it. Just not my thing... I do however cook him chicken as a treat every now and again and shred it up and mix it with his kibble. We haven't experienced diarrhea, but perhaps that's because we are mixing it. Each pup is different, right?!

As for the worms - Snoops recently had a bout with tapeworm. I had written that he is on monthly Interceptor (not knowing that it doesn't cover tapeworm... d'oh!). Just as a reminder for myself and anyone else out there ... Interceptor prevents heartworm disease, controls adult hookworm, and removes and controls adult roundworm and whipworm infections in dogs and puppies.

Good luck BFF with Zulee and the possible switch to raw! :eat:
 

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I hunt, so getting rabbit meat wouldn't be a problem. But my question is - could I give my dogs the rabbit meat I get? I would skin it, since those things are COVERED in fleas, but what's the say on wild meat? It doesn't have any hormones whatsoever, but it's also not health tested either (obviously)

I've heard that humans can starve on a pure rabbit died alone since it lacks so much nutrition lol
You bet you can! With wild game meat I usually freeze the meat for a few months to deal with the parasites. Then feed them the rabbit whole(depending on the size of your dog obviously :p) I skin and behead when I get rabbit it really bothers me watching them eat thumper.

Rabbit is very healthy for dogs! rabbit is high in protien, B12, Niacin, Iron and Selenium. dogs process food differently than we do so something that would be lacking for us could be the opposite for them. I read somewhere that rabbit is high in cholesterol, but I'm not sure if thats wild vs farm rabbits or good or bad cholesterol.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for such wonderful resources and personal accounts. This will really help me figure out how to go about this. I know if I start feeding her raw, it will be very difficult to start feeding kibble again.
 

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I hunt, so getting rabbit meat wouldn't be a problem. But my question is - could I give my dogs the rabbit meat I get? I would skin it, since those things are COVERED in fleas, but what's the say on wild meat? It doesn't have any hormones whatsoever, but it's also not health tested either (obviously)

I've heard that humans can starve on a pure rabbit died alone since it lacks so much nutrition lol

My husband and I both hunt. Our dogs get bear, deer, and moose meat when available. I have not had any problem with it and it doesn't cost us anything but our time to get the game.
 

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spoospirit, You say it doesn't cost you anything except your time to get the game, but oh what fun you're having during your hunt. Thats great, having fun hunting and also being able to feed your beloved fur babies for free. Also great that you and your husband enjoy the same types of sports, doing things together is always nice. We also like to fish and hunt. Do you hunt rifle or archery? Do you have any picture you would like to share, especially of bear or moose.
 

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SpooSpirit that is pretty awesome that you hunt together. It would be neat to see some pictures. Do you ever take the dogs with you?
 

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I also wanted to thanks to all for great info. I don't have a puppy yet, but I'm determined to do everything the best for her and the raw food sounds very good.
I have a question. When they eat raw chicken, is there a possibility of salmonella transmission from them when they give kisses?
 

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I do have photos but they are on my other drive. I'll have to get them and start another thread with them. Since we hunt large game, the dogs cannot come with us much to their chagrin! The GRD has a complete meltdown when we leave her in the garage to go hunting. Poor thing.

They get to go fishing with us and horseback riding too so we make up for it. They are the recipients of many fresh fish that aren't too bony. Taffy will catch her own if I don't watch her. BTW, we just discovered that my large Koy is missing from the little, decorative pond. Me suspects a thief in the house by the name of Taffy!! He must have been 10 - 12" long!

I would like to train Taffy on birds but need a mentor. I hunted land birds when I was in my early 20's.
 

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I also wanted to thanks to all for great info. I don't have a puppy yet, but I'm determined to do everything the best for her and the raw food sounds very good.
I have a question. When they eat raw chicken, is there a possibility of salmonella transmission from them when they give kisses?
I guess there could be. We always wipe our dogs faces with a wet paper towel just after they have finished eating to get any excess meat juice off.
 

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spoospirit,

Oh I'm sorry about your Koi, but have to admit it's kinda' funny too, I can just picture Taffy fishing in your koi pond, thinking to herself, look Mom what I caught. We also have a pond with koi in it. We have 6 koi about 12" to 14" and about 5 lg. gold fish. Our pond isn't really large enough for that many fish of this size, so are either going to add more ponds or get rid of some of the fish, hopefully not the same way that you got rid of yours though. LOL. Our dogs have never eaten raw fish, they will sometimes watch the koi and will even try to drink from the pond, which I stop them from doing this because I know that it is not good for them, but they have never acted as if they wanted to go after the fish. We have had sandhill cranes come right up to our pond, which is only about 4 ft. from our back door and snatch fish right out of the pond. We ended up having to put a net over the pond to stop the cranes from doing this. Anxiously waiting to see some of your hunting pics.
 

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Only had my last hunt on the drive

MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME!!

Here are some pics from the last successful hunt I had. In the close-up it is pretty obvious that I was still quite sick back when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I look a lot better than that now.

I also include some snowshoeing photos of my husband and I with Brandy. Hope to get out and do that this year with the spoos too!


 

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Oh WOW!!
I know that people do,but HOW can you kill something that is alive and looking at you?
Do you ever feel any guilt?
I feel guilty when I kill a mosquito.
I am not trying to make any statement here,pro or anti.
I eat meat,but I guess I just like to have it murdered for me...LOL.
 

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Oh WOW!!
I know that people do,but HOW can you kill something that is alive and looking at you?
Do you ever feel any guilt?
I feel guilty when I kill a mosquito.
I am not trying to make any statement here,pro or anti.
I eat meat,but I guess I just like to have it murdered for me...LOL.

That's OK. I take no offense. To take the life of an animal is not an easy thing to do. If it were, I would be very concerned about my ethics and attitude. There is a lot of consideration before pulling the trigger as we are both very ethical hunters. Is the animal of good size? Are there any little ones around; better to wait to see if any cubs of fawns come in. Is it a good shot so that the animal won't suffer? Did you do plenty of sighting with your weapon to make sure the shot places where you want it to?

We take hunting very seriously. I always kneel beside my animal and thank God for the gift of food for our family and ask Him to take the spirit of it home with Him.

I think because of this, we appreciate what we eat more than many who go to a market and buy pre-packaged meat without a thought for where that meat came from. I have actually stopped people in their tracks as they started to criticize me for killing an animal just by asking them if they eat meat and whether or not they realize that the meat in the market was on the hoof or leg at one time too.
 

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Ponki - great reply and very thorough! I also find the raw diet to be very intriguing, tho I know that I would never switch Snoops to it. Just not my thing... I do however cook him chicken as a treat every now and again and shred it up and mix it with his kibble. We haven't experienced diarrhea, but perhaps that's because we are mixing it. Each pup is different, right?!

As for the worms - Snoops recently had a bout with tapeworm. I had written that he is on monthly Interceptor (not knowing that it doesn't cover tapeworm... d'oh!). Just as a reminder for myself and anyone else out there ... Interceptor prevents heartworm disease, controls adult hookworm, and removes and controls adult roundworm and whipworm infections in dogs and puppies.

Good luck BFF with Zulee and the possible switch to raw! :eat:
Thanks :) I've given only cooked meat, and it gives my dogs diarrhea. If I mix it with other stuff it's not that bad, but they still had really loose stools.

I agree ... one really needs to go with what works for you. Not everyone that follows a raw diet likes it. My dobes are not on raw cause they experienced constant diarrhea... even thou I switched them the same way I did Ponki.
I've tried switching them to raw many times with the same result, which is unfortunate. So I've finally settled them on Acana.

Good luck BFF.... I do hope you find something that works for you. There truely are a lot of options when it comes to raw feeding :)
 
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