Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Going Raw

I've done a lot of research over the past few days about Raw Diets. Pro's, Con's. The Pros are by far more abundant on my list. I've never really fed straight kibble to my dogs. Granted some days yes its easier to just dip in for a cup of kibble, but the dogs seem to get a bit grumpy about the same old same old. Especially the girls.

I have been feeding Sadie green beans and pumpkin in addition to her reduced kibble for some weight loss, which worked. Ell and Oliver and Zoe were getting kibble, plus different things each night like cooked rice, cooked hamburger, tuna, salmon, mackerel, eggs, cottage cheese and all dogs were getting yogurt. Boy were my parents nervous when I left for a weekend and they had a 'menu' to fill :) Thanks Dad!! Thanks Mom!

I've been following Carolyn and Penni's advice with the raw chicken wings and gave it a go tonight. The dogs thought it was someone's Birthday :)

I have just a little over a week left of kibble for the Cardis and perhaps 2 weeks left with the Hollistic puppy food that Mitcham is on. I've ordered Missing Link as well and have been giving fish oil or salmon oil.

Any helpful hints on what to feed or what not to feed would be great! I was nervous about feeding them apples as I didn't know you could but read Carolyn's blog and felt much better about that!

Pretty nervous about the whole thing but stocked up on cottage cheese, yogurt, rice, chicken wings, beef, lamb, veggies and i hope I'm ready!

After eating much healthier myself, I think its only fair the dogs eat healthier too!

Does the poop eating stop?!


Somerhill said...

Have you looked into rabbits? It should not be too hard to find a local breeder or two who would be willing to sell you their culls.

Kelly N said...

Be very carefully with bones of any sort. Raw or cooked, they can splinter and poke holes in your dogs stomachs. Also with an all "people" food diet you run the risk of pancreatitis in your dogs which can be extremely life threating and caused by too much fat in their diets. As a CVT I strongly recommend that you talk to your vet before changing their diet and that you feed them a good quality, well balanced diet of dog food. I highly recommend Science Diet, but other good brands are Eukanuba or Waltham. The dogs will eat whatever you give them and shouldn't have their diets switched frequently as this can cause intestinal upset.

Kelly N said...

If you are feeding them a high quality dog food they are eating healthy and as long as you control portions and they get plenty of exercise they should maintain a healthy weight. Definite people food no's are onions, grapes, raisins, and chocolate.

Mim said...

Hi Garrett I feed my dogs, Jack Russell, Pyr X, chicken thighs, more meat and a nice raw bone I don't like the wings. My Mom's Papillon eats raw chiken thighs too. Good for cleaning their teeth. I've been culling lots of shetlands this summer so lamb is on the menue also. I cook the lamb burger with brown rice, peas and carrots, eggs and potatos they love it! Jobeth the Jack Russell gets some raw lamb hocks to eat, and the pyr gets the ribe cage when I have them for his teeth. Raw lamb hearts livers and kidneys are on the menue a little at a time. I buy and feed raw beef heart also. I've been doing this for years and their health has been great. No trouble with raw bones here. Never cooked bones! I have more problems with an all kibble diet. My dogs do get some kibble.
Raw rules!

Dawn said...

Garrett, Yes to answer your question if you truly feed a raw diet the poop eating should stop. With a raw diet the system uses up so much of the nutrient from the food, that the poop realy has nothing left in it to entice the poop eaters to eat it. Unlike kibble, which so much is unused in the dogs system, that is why the dogs will eat it. It is still food.
Raw fed dogs poop dries up and turns white and blows away if you leave it for even a couple of days. I would be glad to talk to you about it if you want.

penni said...

You go, Garrett. There are a lot of nay-sayers out there. Raw bones do not hurt the dogs (the cooked ones splinter because they are dried out -- also why you never thaw meat in the microwave. Use warm water in the sink.)

My vet says that before a vet can get out of vet school, he/she must take an oath that they will never recommend raw feeding. He goes on to say that he has a very large number of raw fed clients. He only sees the dogs for "general health" visits or because of an accident -- because they are so healthy. My Cardis look great, stay clean, have wonderful coat -- and the little poops are a blessing.

One of the recommended ways to start full raw feeding is to fast the dogs for a day, and then begin the raw. It seems to avoid any stomach upset. Use wild game whenever you have it -- that's the healthiest meat of all.

If I can help, email me and I'll send you a phone number.

Sarah said...

Go for it Garrett, and soon you'll find that you just add variety and the dogs will do great. you can start with some tripe, it's got lots of digestive enzymes and my friend who ran the Tucson raw co-op for years swears by starting the dogs on tripe if you make a quick switch.

I envy your ability to feed your dogs with stock from your own farm. My dogs love the brisket bones cut cross-ways (I don't really feed them marrow bones), and if rabbit weren't so expensive (cuz I won't buy the rabbits that eat China-imported feed), my corgis go NUTS over rabbit. We do pork necks, chicken backs, turkey backs/necks, etc. The one thing I want to mention is that feeding even just the same part of, say, the chicken, is monotonous. The protein/fat content of different chicken parts is different, so I do backs, and also change up the protein sources. Liver, beef heart, venison, buffalo(cha-ching expensive for me) etc.

Just do a variety, and some days add cottage cheese, some days not. Just like with humans, over time, the dogs will get the variety they need. For veggies, the only way dogs can really utilize veggies is if you puree them, otherwise they generally come out the same way they went in. HAA! So I have fun with the food processor. I buy giant bags of organic carrots from Costco, sweet potatoes, whatever I want, and put them through the food processor. Then I package that into containers and freeze. I'm all about buying the 40lb case of chicken backs (great bones from the pelvis, fat pat, meat, sometimes part of the kidney attached), and put them into smaller bags/containers and freezing. I get out 2-3 days worth and thaw in the fridge. Chicken wings are a bit too pricey for me when I can get the variety of chicken backs/necks, turkey backs/necks for less than $.60 per pound. :-) Enjoy.

P.S. I'm a germaphobe, but so far, I've been able to get a system down where I don't have to constantly agonize over "contaminating" my kitchen! HAA. And the poop eating may stop, although with my old dogs, I think they just plain don't digest everything no matter what they eat, so there is still minimal snackage going on from the others. ;-P

Someone emailed me to say that Hawk the Vallhund had more gorgeous coat than she has ever seen on an SV, and he's been in hot, humid Texas for the last two months. Well, Sherri goes the extra mile to keep him on raw for me, and it definitely shows!

I do feed my dogs kibble sometimes, and when I've been travelling, it's hard on my dog-sitters to do all raw all the time, so I'm fine with feeding both. I used to do kibble a.m. and raw p.m. But I found the organic kibble (and I 'ain't talkin' science diet, haaa!) is so much more expensive than just feeding the dogs real food.

susan said...

We have a weimeraner.

He gets selected leftovers from our plates( we have 4 young kids that don't always clean their plates), rice, raw lamb meat or bones, raw milk, or eggs(eggs should be cooked if fed in large amounts. If I remember correctly there is a biotine? or was it thiomine? inhibitor in the raw egg, but they are ok when cooked). I should say that the food we cook for ourselves is mostly home grown and pretty healthy, and just about all home made. The pancakes are made from fresh ground wheat every morning.
In the spring when there are lots of eggs and skimed milk, this is the majority of his diet, along with the daily table scraps. In the fall like now, the cow is dry and the hens arn't laying well so he gets lamb and rice. It is a good way to use up those cull sheep. Most of the times it is lamb bones and lamb trimmings and rice, but I'm out of bones now, so he is getting the ground mutton that we havn't used yet. He can eat pretty much any bone on the lamb. Crunch crunch crunch. His teath are nice and clean and no bad breath.
The things he dosn't seem to like are bannans and swiss chard. He picks those out. I used to feed him raw chicken backs, but he won't eat them anymore for some reason. I'm glad because I have discovered that backs have the crispyest skin and best flavored meat on the whole chicken.

The science of feeding animals is pretty gross sometimes. When my dad was going to college in the 60's he remembers one study on nutrion that was done. They had several pens of cattle. They took the shit form the first pen and fed it to the second pen and took the shit from the second pen and fed it to the third and so on. It wasn't until the third or so pen that thought the cattle wern't performing well.

I noticed in the news that they have found the addatives that made the babies in china sick(malamine SP?, and another one) in two brands major brands of US made baby formula as well. There should just be no excuse as to why any amount of these products are being used to make baby food.

You just can't trust what is on the labels anymore.

One thing I have noticed is that he has no trouble with ticks or fleas. We havn't had to use the frontline in a long time.

C-Myste said...

I will admit that one or two of mine did not reform from their recycling habits after switching to raw food. They seem to regard Kacy as their own personal pez-dispenser.

As far as apples, they are Alice's favorite food of all. She ate many, many apples while pregnant with her last litter, which was a litter of 10.

One interesting fact is that they seem to enjoy more different flavors than before raw feeding. Last night Molly ate left-over steamed broccoli with relish.

As far as salmonella, I just take the usual precautions with washing the counters and utensils, the same as I would if preparing chicken for human dinner. We're at 17 months now with no problem and healthy dogs. Julie will be 15 years old in just one week.

Wrensong Farm said...

There are a lot of great groups (Yahoo etc) on raw feeding that can answer a lot of your questions.

All the holistic Vets in my area recommend raw feeding.

I do a part and part. A top quality protein kibble and also raw and bones (beef, lamb, buffalo and venison).

I used to feed thighs but stopped after my old Border Collie was choking on something and I pulled out a pretty sharp bone (only me I swear!), so now I feed well ground up raw (bones, and some organs as well).

I have to say all the raw dogs I know are healthy and beautiful.

All I can say is do what you are comfortable with!

Joanna said...

Woot! So glad to see another Cardi person feeding properly :).

Save the rice for your own table--dogs don't need it. Forget anything anybody ever told you about dogs needing carbs; they don't. They don't need veggies either, though many of us still feed a small amount because we can't source organ meats as easily as we can raw meaty bones.

If you're feeding from your own stock, feed the dogs everything you'd normally throw out - stomachs, lungs, intestines, pancreas, all the bones except the leg bones (the weight-bearing bones of sheep tend to be splintery even when they're raw).

Chicken wings are OK to start, but don't make them a main part of the diet. They're too bony and lean. Chicken backs or thigh quarters are better (we personally like backs because they typically have some organ meat still clinging to them).

One lesson from someone who's been doing it for almost a decade - don't stress. I started the way everybody does, religiously measuring and weighing and obsessing over balancing the diet. Now I feed the same way I feed my kids - oh, it's been a few days since you had lung, let's throw that at you. Hey, I didn't know I still had a lamb neck in the back of the freezer; looks like tomorrow's meal. And so on. Also don't be afraid to toss the weight recommendations - lots of dogs, especially mature bitches, need a LOT less than the recommended 2-3%, and many growing dogs and intact males need more. Watch the dog, adjust on a daily basis.

I LOVE switching dogs to raw. You should notice a bit of digestive chaos and mucusy poop - all totally normal as long as the dog is happy - and then, in a couple of weeks, you'll say "Huh. They have really shiny stripes down the center of their backs." And then it spreads down their sides and up to their heads and in about two months you'll be digging your fingers into their coats and you'll have a hard time getting down to the skin because the coat is so harsh and thick. And about the same time you'll realize that the older dogs have white teeth like puppies, and nobody's breath smells anymore.

It is one of the best things you can do for your dogs - bravo!

Jinnie said...

I'd like to do some raw feeding but I'm not sure I can afford it not having my own stock.

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