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Dollie has been eating Nature’s Variety Raw Lamb since November 2010. She’s done really, really well on it but I would like to add RMB to give her the added tactile benefit of exercising her teeth. Everything I’ve read discusses how to go from kibble to raw but I haven’t seen anything on how to go from 100% processed raw to adding RMB into her already raw diet. Most of what I’ve read says to start with chicken and gradually add to that.

Should I start with chicken? Or should I start with lamb? And if I start with chicken, when I cut the back out of the chicken I eat (I eat organic), can I just give that to her without freezing first? How often should I supplement RMB into her diet?

I’m considering gradually going away from Nature’s Variety to my own Prey Model but I’m a little intimidated. Should I do it really slow like recommended from going from kibble to raw or can I do it faster?

And as a visual treat for opening up my thread, here’s a recent picture of her.
 

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Good decision ;)

I would start with Chicken. And do exactly as you thought with the backs.

The only meat I am aware of that people throw caution at is pork. Now pacific salmon, does need to be frozen prior to eating, all others are fine.

If its just for dental, I would look at feeding some nice solid bones once or twice a week. And I would just eliminate the regular scheduled meal.

I keep forgeting about pigs feet......they are an excellent bone choice for dental benefit and a nice snack, light meal. Pork shoulder, shank are nice bones too.

My introduction of bones went like this: poulty, pork, beef, lamb & fish.

I always read if your going to switch to full on Raw just do it all at once. I did.
 

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I have been feeding Russell Prey model raw for nearly 2 months. I agree with Olie, I just did the switch. I feed an organic chicken carcass (Back & ribs, with most of the meat removed for human) in the morning, he gets a lamb, beef or pork rib for lunch and 1/2 lb ground meat for dinner. I also dehydrate beef liver and kidney and he gets those for treats throughout the day. It's been great so far! Russell is 7 months and 65 lbs, so I'm feeding about 2 lbs a day.
 

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Thanks Olie! If I feed bones once or twice a week, how long do you think I should stay at chicken before moving on to something different?

And PoodlePowerBC - thanks for the input! Russell is a big, lucky boy! How do you dehydrate your organ meats? Do you do this in the oven on low?
 

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Sure PD, because you are only doing it once are twice a week, I would start with the poultry and if all goes ok, go ahead and move into your other proteins.
 

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I have a question about the pig feet. I thought no load bearing bones because they might crack or break teeth. I have been feeding turkey necks, chicken wings and back, pork neck for my toy with some liver does that sound appropriate? Are pig's feet OK?
 

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CT - yes to both, what you are feeding is fine and so are the pig feet. IDK when you started, just be careful if you are in the early stages with feeding too much liver. If your dog is doing fine with it - keep doing it. ;)
 

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I have a large smoker/dehydrator that I use, but the oven on low would work. It takes me approx 5 hours at around 250, leave overnight then another 1 to 2 hours at about 175 to thoroughly dry. As Ollie says, too much organ can cause diarrhea, so give sparingly. But honestly, just a crumble is like magic in training :) I Used to give a "complete" ground meal for the evening meal, but I have switched to just meat and bones. BTW ... Stunning photo of the Princess!!!
 

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I started feeding bones to my mini twice a week since he was maybe 14 weeks old. I started with chicken necks and wings and then moved to turkey necks and then to oxtails and recently I added lamb and fish. I feed Nickel the same protein source two or three weeks and then I introduce a new one. Now I feed him bones 3-4 times a week and we can go back and forth between different proteins without any problem.

Other times I feed him ground raw (beef/lamb/turkey, grain free) made by a local natural pet food store Jeffrey's Natural Pet Foods I switch flavor every two or three weeks. They already have organ meat in there so I don't have to worry about that. I just throw in a raw egg, yogurt or some cottage cheese here and there.

One day when we move to a house, he will get his own freezer and eat his meal outside - no more ground raw.
 

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i feel like such an idiot :doh: when i read the bantering back and forth about raw because you are all so knowledgeable. chocolate millie recommended some books to me and i've been reading (as often as possible) about raw and why to feed raw. i guess i just can't wrap my brain around it, yet. i am feeding jessie nature's variety instinct chicken formula and i mix cooked chicken breast in it and sometimes EVO 95% chicken & turkey, canned. she is such a BAD eater. sometimes she goes to her bowl, other times she couldn't care less. when i give her the raw and she doesn't eat before i go to work, i have to depend on my mom to put the food down and pick it up so that the raw doesn't go bad.

i'm at wits end. reason i'm contemplating raw is because of her awful stomach. she's still regurgitating water for no apparent reason. i've been giving her pepcid and then she's fine. there is some sort of sick cycle going on with her and my husband blames me because i changed her food. i can't get him to understand that i changed her food because of her bad stomach. i'm so frustrated. i really don't know where to turn, medically. other than the regurgitating she seems fine: energetic, happy, playful, etc.

i don't know how to go about this raw thing. haven't gotten to that point in the book that actually explains it. then i come across this and you guys make it sound SO easy!! i'm thinking maybe i AM the cause of her problems and i'm the nutty one. :der:

sorry for venting - didn't mean to highjack the thread into something else. just really feel frustrated. thanks, guys...
 

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Jessie's mom: Don't blame yourself. I made it sound like it's easy but trust me, I went through the phase that I wanted to just go back to kibbles. Every dog is different so it will take some time to figure out what works for your girl and what not.

I started with NV raw too but I switched to Primal raw really soon. Nickel was chewing his paws and suffered from ear infections and the stool was not as good as people rave about. And my husband complained how the NV raw was taking up the freezer space. That's the first time I wanted to switch him back to kibbles. Then I switched to Honest Kitchen, a dehydrated raw. Stool was a lot better but then tartar started building up even I brushed his teeth every night. Paw-chewing and stinky ears persisted. That's the second time I wanted to switch back to kibbles. Then the holistic vet suggested Primal raw. The reason why he thinks Primal is better than NV is that, all Primal formula is made of single protein source (except the Turkey one) and it's easier to us to figure out what Nickel's allergic to. And he told me to start with some exotic meat, like rabbit or venison. And within a week, firm small stool, no more paw-chewing and no more stinky ears!!! My boy's allergic to chicken! I fed him NV chicken and there's chicken in the dehydrated raw. Then I put him on Primal beef and then lamb .... everything has worked perfectly. Then I started throwing in bones. The holistic vet said I should feed him chicken necks too. I was confused and then I found out that Nickel is allergic to processed chicken. Raw, organic chicken necks/wings are fine.

Then I found out about this local pet store that makes their raw food FRESH, daily. They gave me a few sample and Nickel is crazy about it. It smells so much better than the Primal, NV, etc. My husband said it smells so fresh and real that he doesn't mind eating them (cooked, of course).

Sorry for being long-winded but I want to share this with you because I want you to know that it does take time but once you find out the "magic formula", you will be so happy. Now Nickel produces perfect small firm stool once per day, no stinky gas, no ear gunk and no scratching/chewing or whatsoever. His teeth are clean and his breath smells nice. And he has one iron stomach!

Good luck and don't give up.
 

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i feel like such an idiot :doh: when i read the bantering back and forth about raw because you are all so knowledgeable.....sorry for venting - didn't mean to highjack the thread into something else. just really feel frustrated. thanks, guys...
Don't worry about hijacking the thread Jessie's Mom. I guess I would say that I'm a little intimidated. Because her eating NV has gone so well, I'm afraid of messing a good thing up!

I'm going to start her on chicken backs and will duly report back on the experience.

Thank-you everyone for sharing your knowledge. If you don't mind, I'm sure I'll have more questions to ask.
 

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You know there are some great books out there on RAW as there are on MANY other things in life - for me, I like to cut to the chase LOL, call me lazy. I read up on the internet as well as went to a Nutrition forum that has a Raw section.

I thought about it for months..........and one day I just got sick of the issues I was dealing with and jumped in! I thought deep down I would throw in the towel eventually......18 months later the dogs are going strong. No issues with them eating, no stomach upsets and no more changing foods again! I hated that part with kibble. (FOR ME)

My suggestion is NOT to over think it. Get the basic information you need to start off with and pick up the rest as you go.

Example - to start off with you are using one protein for 3-4 weeks, so plenty of time to prepare for the next organ. And so on...

The first couple of days the dogs will be like wth is this.....once they "get it" it is amazing to watch how much they enjoy their meals. How easy it is to feed it (after its prepped) little to no clean up.

I went a lot by this site. It's a quick start guide. Quick Start | Prey Model Raw
 

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Raw

My collie was 11 when we switched to Honest Kitchen raw and grain free kibble. She was underweight due to the stress of moving, and always had recurrent diarrhea. I was nervous about the switch. After, she went back to her normal weight and her digestive system was clearly a lot healthier! She lived to be 14.
 

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Jake was on raw from about age 4 until a year or so ago and then he got pickier. My holistic vet switched him to raw to deal with allergies, and I never looked back. A great book is "Give Your Dog A Bone" by Dr.Ian Bililnghurst ---he is one of the pioneers of raw eating and it is a very helpful book and covers lots of questions I see on this thread.

I tried to keep him grain free, at least most of the time, so when I used kibble the last year or so, it was Orijen. He had 2 ACL surgeries in the last couple of years, his first at age 11 -- when the vet surgeon checked him out to be sure he would be ok with the procedure, he said he was sooooooooooooooo healthy and had the vitals of a much younger dog. Not sure if the (raw) diet had anything to do with it, but I have to believe it did. I ran up against many vets who are totally against it, but I will mention that his regular vet, once he found Jake was on raw, had a fit and said it was bad for him, etc., and said you can't believe what you see on the internet regarding the diet.....interesting, tho, he called me back a week later and said, you know, I owe you an apology. I did some checking and he could not find any study showing side effects from a raw diet, or any other issues. He was going to look into it -- mind you, this was 10 years ago, but still.
 
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