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My spoo, Savannah, is five years old now. I have been wanting to get her on raw for quite some time but have never been in a situation where it was an option to feed it to her full time, but that has changed now. I have had one failed attempt in the past to start her on raw. I rushed into it a bit and when she seemed to be losing weight I panicked and put her back on kibble.

She's been on pretty much every good/ high quality kibble there is and I've never been quite satisfied with the results. It's hard to keep weight on her and her skin and coat are dry and flaky. Since May she has been eating Taste of the Wild which I hoped would result in some improvement but it really hasn't seemed to make much difference. I have researched raw a lot in the past couple years, but I feel better getting personal input from people feeding it to the same breed of dog I have. Anyway, on to the questions.

1. How much should I be feeding a 42lb (not what she weighs now but would I would like to get her up to) female Standard Poodle per day?

2. Is it better to feed multiple meals per day or just one?

3. I live in a small town and my resources are limited (one small grocery store) would it be bad if the main part of her diet were chicken? I know I can get turkey necks/wings, beef heart and liver. I'm not sure about other meats but I'll be going to the store to check that and price things within the next couple days.

4. Sometimes as often as once a month we go to a family member's house for about a week and raw wouldn't be an option there. I can't get any of the commercial raw where I live. Would feeding her grain free kibble while we are there and raw at home be a very bad idea? Right now she eats kibble but a couple times a week I give her a chicken quarter for the dental benefits and she hasn't had any problems with this.

Well, I think that's it for now. Thanks in advance for any advice and input!
 

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I can't help with question #1-3, but I've got a suggestion for #4.

The Honest Kitchen is a company that makes human grade dehydrated food that is delightful for feeding on the road. (Or any time for that matter) They have formulas that are raw, but just dehydrated. My dogs really like it, and it's very easy to prepare. It's just a powder/flake type substance that you mix with warm water and allow to sit. Slowly the food hydrates, and you can see little pieces of vegetable and stuff. I will provide the link below. They sell it in healthy pet food stores and online. Also, their website always has cool recipes and coupons.

Natural Dog Food | The Honest Kitchen

Good luck, and I hope that you will like The Honest Kitchen.
 

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I feed prey model raw because Lola, my pit bull, is itchy, flaky and miserable on kibble, even the best of the best. I've been doing it almost a year now and will never go back. It is cheaper for us to do prey model than pre-made raw or kibble.

Lola weighs around 58 lbs and gets about a pound and a half of food a day. The rule of thumb is 2-5% of their body weight to feed. Lola eats about 3%.
Of that, their diets should be about 80% meat, 10 % bone, 5% liver and 5% other secreting organs (heart is classified as meat, not organ. I buy an organ meat mix from an online supplier, haretoday.com). Obviously, you can adjust this ratio to what is best for your dog.

This spreadsheet I found on another website is really helpful. Here is the link to the post with the spreadsheet

Lola is allergic to chicken, so her diet is based on beef and pork but many raw fed dogs get a mostly chicken diet. You do need to make sure they get some red meat.
I only feed Lola once a day and she does fine.

Is there a reason you can't feed raw at your family member's house? When we travel, we just go to the grocery store when we get there and buy enough food for that week. you can go back, but you need to make sure there are at least 12-24 hours between your kibble and raw meals. They digest at different rates so you don't want to feed them together.

Here are a couple other links that were helpful to me when I was learning:
Link 1
Link 2 (This one also has a lot of other helpful links)
Link 3
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is there a reason you can't feed raw at your family member's house? When we travel, we just go to the grocery store when we get there and buy enough food for that week. you can go back, but you need to make sure there are at least 12-24 hours between your kibble and raw meals. They digest at different rates so you don't want to feed them together.
Thanks for all the great advice. My cousin is against feeding raw. She thinks it's gross and has no yard so I'd have to feed her either in the house or garage and she wouldn't really go for that at all unfortunately. She also has three children and is worried about Savannah spreading germs to them from raw.
 

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I have been feeding the prey model for quite a few months now. The links that KarmasACat posted have some really helpful information. Main thing to remember is not to make it more complicated than it is.

I feed organ meat on Mondays and Thursdays as a side dish. You might make up your own schedule to help you get the right balance at the end of the week.

Since your cousin is against feeding raw at all, I wouldn't worry about feeding some kibble stuff while you are there. Just keep in mind that your dog will likely drink more water (due to higher salt and less water content).

You'll do fine.
 

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The one thing about raw is this: once you start it and see how much your dog loves eating.......your IN. And you become very driven to make it work.

I feed my dogs chicken twice a day, one meal is always chicken, most of them are fed about 2% of their weight. It's affordable and you can find GREAT deals cheap at many local chains, you learn when to visit them. Then you can spend a bit more on your pork and beef. I also feed liver and heart once a week.

Couple things for out of town - go to their local grocery and buy a few packs of meat. OR if need be feed them some cooked meat when you eat.

Where to feed them? You can feed in their crate, wipe up afterwards or train them on a towel, many people do this (I had no success) and their dogs stay on the towel to eat, pull it up and throw in the wash - although once they get used to chewing the meat and bones, the meat doesn't hit the ground often.

Oh and my dogs all put on weight when I was feeding 3% this is why I cut back to 2%, all dogs are different - Raw is great for putting weight on the dogs.

It is WAY EASIER then it might seem.
 

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Hi spoosrule,
I can't help much in this department because I buy commercial raw. The RMBs I give to them in the backyard, the commercial raw with chopsticks. Yep, I noticed that if I left the meat in the bowls they'd carry it somewhere, so I feed them with chopsticks now. I look like a loonie but it's clean that way. If you're thinking about grinding your food, this is a way to feed them. I can understand your cousin's worries though.

Just to add to newspoomom's post, here's another dehydrated brand: Artisan (formerly, Grandma Lucy's)

Grandma Lucy's :: Dog Menu :: ARTISAN Grain-Free Dog Food :: ARTISAN Dog Food (CHICKEN) - 3lb
 

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Karma'sACat : Thanks so much for the raw food links. I've been feeding Butter raw food for years now and there's so much new info on these websites (and old but pleasantly confirming info). It's a gold mine. Feeding raw completely cleared up Butter's tooth tartar problems (and saved me from an $800.00 vet bill).
I also many years ago was given a 3 year old Rottie with constant diahorrea and the only thing that stopped it was feeding him a raw food prey diet. It really was interesting seeing him consume a whole chicken leg with thigh and back attached.

PS regarding the word diahorrea...this forum should really have a dictionary link.
Just my 2 cents. :)
 

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i've been feeding raw for about 7 years now... (maybe 8? gosh i'd have to figure that out *L*)

It's not that hard-

1- 2% for adult dogs- increase for higher energy dogs. Pups get 5%
2- adults 1 x a day is fine- that's what most of us feed- however you cn break it up if that's easier for YOU
3-chicken is fine-i feed on verge bout 90% CHICKEN (nd yeah that's to my one dog who is VERY allergic to chicken in a kibble!) you want to start with ONE meat and stick to it for a few weeks before adding anything else. Heart counts as muscle meat- not organ- just keep that in mind
four-That's fine- i personally go to high quality canned when travelling- we're in the midst of a move- so i've got my guys on a dehydrated raw (You can order this on line (Honestkitchen.com is a good one)
 
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