Poodle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is an offshoot of another thread.

I would like comments on switching to raw. What you like. What you don't like. How I would go about switching. I mean - do you do it gradually like when you change kibble? Things like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,481 Posts
I am not anti kibble. There are some great quality kibble out there.

With that being said. I have loved the switch and my dogs thrive on it. Raw comes in different variations. Mine do meat, bone and organ. When they gain a bit of weight I back it down and add in some veggies which is not that often.

I like:
The variety
They are eating real meat which they should be
No fillers and additives
No diarrhea
Small stools
Grain free
Great teeth!
Good muscle tone
The dogs enjoy it LOTS
They eat in under 5 minutes - no clean up, mine eat outside
Affordable to good quality kibble
Not switching foods every other month
Not worrying about recalls

Dislike:
Nails grow super fast
Coat grow super fast (this can be a pro for some)
Some will say prep work but it depends on what route you choose - I am fine with it. Takes on average 10-15 minutes a week.

Switching is not difficult. Pick a day and do it.

I started out this way:
For 30 days nothing but chicken and or Turkey. Wings, drumsticks and quarters. Their bodies need to adjust to the bone. This takes a while so you do see major changes in poo.
The next month introduce another protein - I did pork. So pork and chicken. Chicken for one meal, pork for the other.
Month three - Another protein fish or beef. Again add variety, switch the portions around.
Once month three goes well. I typically feed one meal with bone and one boneless.

Once they are doing well then you will gradually move onto liver, heart, kidney. I do this in small portions even now. I am not fortunate enough to stumble on some good organs :) So mine tend to get calf or chicken livers.

You can feed any proteins really but with raw, take it slow. My dogs also turn their noses at fish SO I must rely on sardines and whiting (canned).

Things to think about.
1) what are your resources ie: grocery, co-op, butcher
2) how much freezer space (I have a chest and hold a lot) this allows you to stalk up on mega deals you find
3) where is the best place to feed? I started in the kitchen with x-pens, it just didn't work and eww it was messy, same with crates, too much clean up for multiple dogs.
4) in the beginning your dogs are adjusting so you may get occasional pukes with some bone fragments. NORMAL. This will go away.

I hope this is not information overload, just want to give you my experience.

I don't take orders that well, but Taxtel (PF member) said "JUST DO IT " one day and I did, thanks Terry! She was a great mentor:)

There is a great deal of information on yahoo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I am pretty lazy. Those frozen patties appeal to me. My vet sells some of them and various pet stores do to. So I think that is the way I will go. Too lazy to make my own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,611 Posts
Purley, I feed Henry and Millie premade raw. They eat Nature's Variety Instinct medallions and they do very well on it. It's too expensive to feed this to both dogs for every meal, so they eat kibble for dinner and raw for breakfast.

So, the downside is that premade raw is quite expensive. Your pup is a mini, so that does make things cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
631 Posts
I got in to raw because Lola, my pittie, has awful allergies and food intolerances. Premade wasn't an option because I wanted and needed to know exactly what she was eating and control it.
I started with just chicken (quarters since she is a big dog). We added another protein after a month or so. Unfortunately, we realized that Lola is allergic to chicken and so she doesn't get any (Dixie does). Then after another couple weeks, added in liver, then other organs. Now we use an organ grind because of how picky my herd is.
We buy in bulk as much as we can and then when we get home from the store package the food as individual meals. For us, since we buy all the close out we can, it is much cheaper than feeding kibble. I don't think it is any more time consuming than kibble is either.
Pros:
I control exactly what my dogs eat.
Clean teeth-no brushing!
Great coat
Species appropriate diet
Much less poop and less stinky
Better muscle tone
Once you get in to it, it's easy.

Cons:
Faster nail growth (not as big a deal for me since I grind their nails weekly anyway)
I guess the prep time? For me it is less than I was doing with kibble

Here are some of my favorite links for new raw feeders:
Post with a very helpful raw spreadsheet
Link 1
Link 2 (which has other good links)
Link 3
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,736 Posts
I don't have enough knowledge to comment, really, but I've started dabbling with part-raw, part-home-cooked. Vasco was getting high-quality kibble plus a serving of NatureDiet wet food, plus some leftovers. Now, he's getting kibble plus leftovers plus some raw, chicken wings and mince for now. Eggs, raw or cooked occasionally.

I haven't been doing it long enough to see if there is any difference, but he is certainly VERY interested in dinner. Things I toss in his bowl include yoghurt, rice, some vegetables, bits of apple, pretty much anything that isn't spicy. I avoid bread/grains, although he gets pizza crusts on Friday (we all need some junk food sometimes :)).

I'm still playing with it, but I like knowing what he's eating is good quality, and he likes the variety.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,481 Posts
I am pretty lazy. Those frozen patties appeal to me. My vet sells some of them and various pet stores do to. So I think that is the way I will go. Too lazy to make my own.
Honestly there is nothing to make other then separating meats once or twice a month into containers that hold a few days of meat. And you can still feed partial frozen meats - some dogs prefer this.

As far as camping, it depends on how much "roughing it" you are doing LOL. Whatever you eat (other than the items dogs cannot eat) they can eat. :) Also on Raw dogs can eat once a day or every couple days. Just as they do in the wild. The key is if you know you will do this, feed their full servings for the day or two. And then treat with hot dogs, jerky etc.

Goal - my dogs eat nothing I would not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
It doesn't matter because we never go camping.

So if you buy all this raw meat, what do you do with it? Do you grind it up? Do you cut it into chunks? You would surely have to have it in small pieces.

The thing I am worried about is bones. I am really worried that little dogs will get bits in their throats and start choking.

I guess if I switch, I will switch all three of them. They get 3/4 of a cup of Natural Balance Lamb and Rice each a day. I will price out the patties.

If you only feed raw once a day and kibble one - then do you still get the benefits of the no stinky, solid poops etc etc??

Thanks for all the advice - really useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,481 Posts
It doesn't matter because we never go camping.
lol -Not a camper either so that problems is resolved.

It depends on the size of your dogs. The poms will eat a wing or drumette no problem. It takes the smaller one a bit longer to learn to crunch it down but once they get it, they are good.

Suri and Olie are 50lbs - so they get a total pound a day. A chicken quarter is almost always about 1 lb. So I split it. So if I have a couple packs I take 5 minutes split it up throw into containers and freeze it. When I am ready for it, I thaw it the night before. Next day its ready to go for a few days.

Heres how we prep for the small ones. I use wings almost no prep to these. (again when you buy bulk packs split it or separate into your containers and toss in the freezer or fridge) If I find thighs cheap (which is often) I usually take my meat knife and whack the thigh in half. This gives the small ones their boneless chicken. But they eat the bone too ;)

Beef and other proteins you just cut it up to what each dogs serving sizes are.

I place all our together by protein. So I will always have a container of chicken for 3 or 4 days and another protein usually pork for the same days. So I am switching and giving variety.

You can also use storage bags but I don't trust them. So I sent and got containers from walmart real cheap and the dogs foods go in these.

Odd thing is when I started I was doing things ass backwards so I am trying to simplify how I have done it because once you get a rhythm its kind of easy and not time consuming at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,648 Posts
Pro's

-healthy especially for dogs with allergies
-the poop really seriously this is what keeps me on raw *L* i haven't poop scooped in years... give em a week and they jsut disapear :)
-the teeth- even on premade/ground the teeth are better then on kibble.
-anal glands- haven't expressed one in years!
con's-
-if you rmaking your own- time (which i do)
-cost... although it would be somewhat close to high quality kibble- on 'normal' sized dogs- my aussies eat a wack load and up my cost. However i source my own. i feed 4 dogs for about $100 a month on my sourced meat. IT would significantly higher on premade (i feed 5lbs of food a day on average- so premade cheapest at $2/lb you do the math *L*)
-travel- however i just take packages of dehydrated and that's easy as pie (though more expensive then what i pay for raw- works so easy for when i travel and doesn't bother the dogs)

When i switch i just switch straight over. i dont' wean in. But do prepared some dogs pee more until they grasp they don't need to drink so much to get their

If i was rich i'd be on premade 99% of the time. :) easy as pie- not much more work then kibble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Yes, a friend of mine described camping as a holiday without any of the conveniences!!

I am wondering if anyone else with a small dog was worried about giving chicken bones!?

Is it totally impossible for a little dog to half chew a bone and get a bit stuck in its throat??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Darcy's been on raw for about a month now. Pros and cons are similar to those above. Biggest con for me is that as a non meat eater I have to store and handle meat! It turns my stomach a little, but I can live with it for the convenience and benefit I know it has for my boy.

In terms of con re: travel - we get around this by feeding kibble when we need to. Our dogs have no problem switching back and forth. In fact I almost always have kibble on hand just in case I run out of raw or haven't defrosted any.

I'm planning to try Darcy on chicken wings soon, so I can't comment on small dogs with big bones yet. But the way he has been getting bone so far is ground up chicken with bone. My mom found a butcher who grinds it up for her. She buys 50 pounds at a time and stores it in a big chest freezer. We supplement this with organ meats, ground non bone meat, canned fish etc. You just want to be careful not to feed too much bone because it makes their stools very hard and difficult to pass (this has happened once to Darcy, and he yelped as he was pooing!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,708 Posts
I've had absolutely no problems with my two toy dogs and bones, but I do supervise them, just in case. Sophy got a piece of a soft one stuck across the roof of her mouth, quickly and easily levered free with a finger. There is probably more danger from very tiny bones, or from weight bearing leg bones, than from chicken quarters - the only reliably documented case of serious injury from raw bone I have been able to find on the web was a dog that got a shard of raw marrowbone caught in its throat, which migrated perilously close to the heart. There are also documented cases of dogs choking to death on kibble, though, so nothing is entirely risk free. Lamb and pork ribs are good because most of the bone is soft, but they is big enough to need chewing.

One big advantage for me is cost - and that is at UK meat prices. Feeding two small dogs and two cats I am saving several hundred pounds a year over premium kibble, with the major advantage I know exactly what they are eating (and can very easily adjust quantities to keep them at their perfect weights). Downside - it fills up my freezer, and can occasionally be a bit messy, and I hate the smell of raw tripe!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,611 Posts
It doesn't matter because we never go camping.

So if you buy all this raw meat, what do you do with it? Do you grind it up? Do you cut it into chunks? You would surely have to have it in small pieces.

The thing I am worried about is bones. I am really worried that little dogs will get bits in their throats and start choking.

I guess if I switch, I will switch all three of them. They get 3/4 of a cup of Natural Balance Lamb and Rice each a day. I will price out the patties.

If you only feed raw once a day and kibble one - then do you still get the benefits of the no stinky, solid poops etc etc?? Thanks for all the advice - really useful.
As soon as I started feeding Millie raw for one of her meals, her poops improved immensely! I can only imagine what it would be like if she was on 100% raw!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Purley, glad to see you started this thread.

I'll address the small dog and bone issue as I have a rat terrier. She's smaller than a mini but a bit bigger than a toy.

When you buy pre made raw, everything is ground up, so there is really no risk of bones getting stuck anywhere. However, I also feed her whole unchopped, uncooked chicken backs and necks.
The reason I'm not worried about this is twofold:
1. As fjm said, there's just as big a risk of her choking on kibble as on a piece of bone.
2. raw bone is fairly soft and flexible, especially if you compare it to cooked bones and most dogs enjoy chewing and crunching the bones before swallowing. Sometimes, feeding a dog that usually scarfs it's food down without chewing a whole piece of chicken back or thigh will force the dog to slow down it's eating.
Dogs stomachs are extremely acidic and will break down raw bones VERY easily. Any extra calcium that their system doesn't use is expelled in the poop which is why the poop usually turns white and breaks down into a powder that just crumbles up and disappears.
Don't overthink this. Just try it. If you don't think it's for you or your dogs it's just as easy to go back to your regular food routine.

Hope this helps. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
558 Posts
As I considered which route to take with Ruby, I researched all that I could in order to make the best choice for US, at this point in time.
There are so many great things about feeding raw.....coat, teeth cleaning, improved nutrition & digestive issues...etc....Truly, I am very impressed at reported results!
However, it is the risks that hold me back from a total commitment. These are my top three concerns;
1. The constant "watch and pray" with every meal that I'm not prepared to deal with on a daily basis. The chance of a bone lodging/piercing ANYWHERE in the digestive tract (mouth to anus) is always present, no matter how close I may monitor the meal.
2. There is the risk of breaking teeth, even if the bone is NOT a weight bearing bone. (As I have recently had experiences with teeth issues, I've become painfully aware of dental correction costs for dogs!)
3. When my dog has to be fed by someone other than myself, can and will they monitor the raw feed as effectively as I would?

Dealing with aquiring, portioning, storing, preparing, feeding, even traveling with raw food may not be as easy as kibble, but I think I could manage these kinds of associated issues. I even considered getting a grinder to help lessen the chances of the bones being the culprit! But, when I step back and look at the big picture, quality kibble with added homemade is my best choice for the time being. Ruby is only 6 months old and thus far she eats fine, no signs of allergies or being picky. As she finishes this bag of Wellness Puppy, I'll transition her to the Fromm line of kibble and add in some "goodies" that Whitepoodles was kind enough to suggest. Hopefully all will go well and Ruby and I can BOTH do well!:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
There is a pet store here in the city that sells this:

Natural dog food, natural cat food — raw food and pure fish oil pet supplements

Its made locally and its ground up which eliminates my paranoia about bones getting stuck. They are closed today. I will check them out tomorrow and price it out.

Tyson needs to lose weight. But Lucy needs to gain weight.

I heard they lose weight on raw so it will be good for Tyson - but what about skinny minny - how will she do on raw?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
I also worry how things will be when I can't feed Nickel by myself, e.g. boarding. That's why I stick to the Honest Kitchen (dehydrated raw) for the time being. I add in raw liver and raw egg yolk every other day. I supplement his meals with salmon oil and the Missing Link Puppy. His training treats include only grain/gluten/wheat/soy/corn free kibbles and zuke's. His kong contains yogurt or cottage cheese and grain-free kibbles. I give him a raw chicken wing once a week and I have to monitor closely. His poop has become smaller, firmer and less smelly. He rarely has any ear wax since he's switched to the Honest Kitchen. [Although he's showing allergic symptoms recently, almost everyone here and I believe it's more likely an environmental allergy rather than a food-related one]

I may start to alternate between dehydrated raw and pre-made raw (Primal and/or NV or the food from a local natural pet food store) after he recovers from his neutering. And I may consider switching over to raw when we move out of our condo and have a bigger freezer. So, do I want to switch him to raw (not pre-made nor dehydrated)? Yes. Am I going to do it now or in the near future? Probably not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
I dabble in raw, i buy raw chicken hearts, liver, chiken and feed it to them. I would LOVE to jump completely into it but i have somewhat of a minor fear with bones. My mom has a somewhat BIGGER fear of bones.

I keep saying i'm going to jump right in it and feed the prey model type but i just gotta do it like someone else suggested... and NOW.

I need to jump in with both feet, get a mentor because feeding raw can feel overwhelming to the novice, and just do it.

It first started out with raw patties, pre-made, which is great, except the furkids get no dental work from their meal.

I visit my grandparents and they LOVE my deaf Boston Terrier and she adores my grandfather who happens to hand out those darn pupperoni treats to the dogs. At the time i didn't have the heart to tell him i don't give that to my dogs, so he gave my boston some. A few days later BIG mistake. My boston was horribly itching, tear stains, itchy feet, licking her paws. I felt horrible. It ended up taking a month to get out of her system. I ended up giving her pre-made raw patties for a month straight because i was at the time trying to determine if it was food related or enviromental. Turns out it was the treats, not her kibble or anything. I was wondering if the company may have changed their formula and even wrote them but they didn't. I saw the benifits from feeding her raw during that month. Tear stains, gone, itching, gone. Poop smaller, and she drank very little water.

I believe in raw, i just got to muster up the courage to bypass this fear of feeding raw meaty bones and it getting lodged in their throat or something major. Yes there are always risks, with raw meaty bones like there is with kibble. I just have to set my fears aside. I will. Soon...lol.
This week we cooked for the girls, they LOVED it. Their stools were also darker, firmer and smaller from their home cooked meals. I can tell the difference with their kibble stools, raw stools and home-cooked meal stools... can you say i have too much time on my hands??? :scared:
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top