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Large Breed Puppy's Raw Diet

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your dog's diet, please contact your vet!

  
Oliver

1282869
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 20, '13 2:51pm PST 
Hi all, just joined Dogsterwave. I just started my 4 month old GR on a raw diet last Saturday. I started with bone-in chicken and once he adjusted to that I started adding in pork liver (started this weekend). So far so good with the consistency of poos. My biggest concern is because he's a large breed puppy I want to make sure I get his nutrition right so it doesn't affect his growth. I have read that feeding too much bone can cause skeletal issues and feeding a raw diet lacking in certain vitamins and minerals can cause problems. I know right now he's not going to be able to get the assortment he needs because I slowly have to transition him to new meats, but as I get closer I'm nervous I'm going to mess it up. I was looking into supplements and read some scary information about excess vitamins and minerals causing problems. I know I want to add a salmon fish oil pill because he won't be eating much fish and most of the beef will probably end up being grain-fed so those cuts will be missing some essential fats. What other supplements to you recommend? Also, if I do feed fish is it okay to feed it whole - bone and all? Right now I'm feeding a whole chicken cut into 1 lb pieces (fed twice a day) Is this too much bone for him? I'm going down to 1.5 lbs a day because he's gaining a little more weight than I'd like - rather have him leaner so its easier on those growing joints! Also I've been feeding him twice a day, but have read I shouldn't do that until he's 6 months. Should I bump it back up to three feedings? Thank you all and I look forward to your responses! I feel like no matter how much research I do I still need to hear more from individual's experienced in this area!
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 20, '13 3:52pm PST 
Welcome to Dogster!

Sounds like you're on the right track. As you said, the main thing you want to watch with a growing LBP is sticking closely to the 10% bone. Generally if you feed just enough bone to keep stools firm, you should be good. Slow, steady growth is much healthier than fast and bursty, and a correctly proportioned raw diet will give you that nice slow growth.

The fish oil is the main supplement to make sure you're giving when feeding commercially raised meat. Other than that, as long as you work up to feeding 80% meat (with as much of it being red as possible), 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% other secreting organ, he should get all the nutrients he needs. I also started a glucosamine/MSM/chondroitin supplement right away with mine as a preventative, but that's not a requirement.

At four months old, a Golden Retriever should be fine with twice a day feedings. If he seems to do better with three or you're more comfortable with feeding more frequently, that's fine too. But if he's not having problems, I'd stick to two.

Since you're primarily only feeding bone-in chicken, he is currently getting more bone than he needs, but short term imbalance isn't something to worry much about. I would start introducing new proteins like beef and pork before organs, so you can cut down on his bone content. Organs are very rich and quite likely to cause some loose stool, so introduce those very slowly, like slivers at a time, and do feed bone with them to help firm up stools.

Puppies generally adjust to raw more quickly than adults, as they haven't been on kibble as long, so when stools look good, feel free to add in a bit of something new. Remember that balance over time is the goal, so every meal doesn't need to be completely balanced to the 80/10/5/5 ratio. Most people aim to achieve those amounts over the course of a week or 10 days.

You can feed fish whole, but not every dog is willing to eat it that way. Also be careful with fish like salmon from the Pacific Northwest, as it can contain a parasite that causes salmon poisoning, which is fatal if left untreated. Most people choose not to feed Pacific Northwest salmon raw for that reason. Most fish, however, is perfectly safe to feed raw, bones and all, if your dog will eat it. Fish like sardines are a good source of omega-3s, and are most commonly found canned (look for ones canned in water with no added salt). Only other concern with fish is watching mercury levels if you'll be feeding it with any regularity, as some varieties are much higher in mercury than others.

I'd highly recommend reading through Chance's Beginner's Guide to Prey Model Raw PDF. Tons of great information about switching and just raw in general.

Edited by author Sun Jan 20, '13 4:05pm PST

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Crash- Dynamite

Live up to your- Name!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 1:09pm PST 
sounds like you are doing fine. My dog is rather large too, GSP and has been 100% RAW fed since he was 4 months old. His growth has not suffered at all, infact he is at the top of his height and weight for his breed (not fat at all!) Could be genetics, food, or a combination.

Welcome welcome
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Oliver

1282869
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 3:21pm PST 
Thank you both for your responses! Definitely easing my fears about messing up nutrition. I just noticed on my pup that his lower right canine is cracked down the middle and red where the crack is. Is it still safe to feed him raw (bones and all) until I can get him to the vet? Have you experienced cracked teeth before? I think it may have happened while chewing on a marrow bone cry my poor boy, i feel like such a bad mom!
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Crash- Dynamite

Live up to your- Name!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 21, '13 3:59pm PST 
I would take him in. You're not a bad mommy, most people have no idea what bones are suitable for dogs. Especially when we see all those bones at the pet store that marketed directly to you for your dog. Most of those are what we call WRECK Bones, because they are too hard.
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