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Tons of Questions about Raw!

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!

  
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Member Since
03/19/2013
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 4:32pm PST 
Ok here goes. Thanks in advance!

I currently care for a dog and a cat and would like to raw feed both.

Let's start with the dog. At present, my fridge is broken, so I've been feeding a kibble frown . It's called Victor beef kibble.

http://www.victordogfood.com/

I'm thinking of switching to the Costco Kirkland brand instead, which I can get for about the same amount of money. The Kirkland might have slightly better ingredients but isn't local and comes from Costco. Is there another good dry kibble I should be thinking about buying?

Now on to raw. Nibbles was previously fed about 2 helping scoops of oatmeal in the morning, and 2 drumsticks at night. I continued to feed her this diet when i first started caring for her. Now I realize it may be incomplete.

Eventually I switched to a "natural" ground chicken raw pet food from a company called Fran's Fryer's, which came at a bargain price of 99c a lb. This food is made from chicken and chicken bone. But no organs.

I live close to a supermarket so after feeding Nibbles kibble for a while (after the fridge broke), I realized I can still feed her raw by buying meat daily from the market. As a consequence, I've been buying more small packages of chicken necks and chicken gizzards which I can get a good deal on. Or I can just buy a leg quarter for Nibbles at about 1.30$ lb.

Some may be wondering why I haven't gotten a new fridge. I will of course....but frankly I've been enjoying the benefits to my own health(serious weight loss and increased energy) from not having so much dairy around lol!

ok now on to my questions...

-Nibbles is no more than 50 lbs. So theoretically, she only needs 1 lb of meat per day? Really? If I go back to the raw regimen, should I cut out the oatmeal?

-If I was using the legs and oatmeal diet (as some of my friends continue to do), how would you best supplement it? Fish oil? Liver? I can get those, but chicken hearts, brains, etc are harder to find.

-How would you supplement the ground chicken/bone food source (besides the liver and fish oil)?

-Can I give too much bone/calcium? I've fed necks alot lately cause I've got a cat who also likes them. I imagine feeding chicken legs as the meat source runs into the same issue.

-Can I feed gizzards as a meal? I can't find any info online on whether too many gizzards can be hazardous.

-I've read that the organs should come from the same meat source? Is that scripture around here, or is that contested?

-What is likely more bang for my buck---ground beef chuck at 4$ a lb or chicken tenderloin at 2.80 lb?

-How important is it to feed more than one meat? Does one of the sources need to be red meat?

-What is the conventional wisdom on feeding oatmeal and rice as a supplement to the meat?

-I give Nibbles an average of 1 carrot a day, sometimes 2. She occasionally gets a little lettuce. What other vegetables should she be getting?

Ok that's plenty for the first post. Heartfelt thanks in advance to anyone who read all that!
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 5:52pm PST 
-Nibbles is no more than 50 lbs. So theoretically, she only needs 1 lb of meat per day? Really? If I go back to the raw regimen, should I cut out the oatmeal?

-What is the conventional wisdom on feeding oatmeal and rice as a supplement to the meat?


Thereabouts. Every animal is different - my girls weigh about 45 and 50 lbs, but my little girl is so active and my big girl so lazy they eat about .85lb and .75lb respectively.

Oatmeal (or rice) is irrelevant to a raw diet. That said, you can feed it, if you want to balance it in as more of a "deconstructed kibble" type diet - which I have done at times to cut costs. I prefer to avoid grains entirely and went with low-glycemic legumes instead. Carbs can also help keep weight on extremely active working dogs.

-If I was using the legs and oatmeal diet (as some of my friends continue to do), how would you best supplement it? Fish oil? Liver? I can get those, but chicken hearts, brains, etc are harder to find.

-How would you supplement the ground chicken/bone food source (besides the liver and fish oil)?


Chicken and oatmeal is an inherently flawed diet. Supplementation can't fix it.

-Can I give too much bone/calcium? I've fed necks alot lately cause I've got a cat who also likes them. I imagine feeding chicken legs as the meat source runs into the same issue.

Absolutely. Calcium needs to be balanced against phosphorus. Feeding too much bone can also significantly increase the odds of intestinal impaction or bowel perforation.

-Can I feed gizzards as a meal? I can't find any info online on whether too many gizzards can be hazardous.

Yes, but I wouldn't do it often. Gizzards aren't really an organ, but aren't really a meat... They contain a lot of good stuff, but not everything, and when I looked them up for my own interest (they're delicious stir-fried in garlic) I found they actually have an arsenic content.

-I've read that the organs should come from the same meat source? Is that scripture around here, or is that contested?

Generally doesn't matter. Some dogs will get stomach upset from too many meat sources in one meal, although organs are different than muscle meat anyway so I haven't found it to be a big deal.

-What is likely more bang for my buck---ground beef chuck at 4$ a lb or chicken tenderloin at 2.80 lb?

I personally wouldn't pay more than 70 cents/lb for chicken. If you really want to get each part of the chicken in your diet, buy whole chickens instead of individual parts.

If you're in the grocery store, ground beef isn't so great either... Look for sales on pot roasts, shoulder steaks, and whole beef chuck. Typically you can get them $3/lb and they aren't so processed.

-How important is it to feed more than one meat? Does one of the sources need to be red meat?

Variation is less important than balance. You can not balance a diet without red meat.

-I give Nibbles an average of 1 carrot a day, sometimes 2. She occasionally gets a little lettuce. What other vegetables should she be getting?

Neither accounts for anything unless they are cooked or pureed. I personally add veggies for some extra fiber but otherwise they are not a vital part of a raw diet and it doesn't really matter which ones you feed. Some veggies and fruits can aggravate health problems (tomatoes, citrus are extremely acidic, etc) which is something to be aware of if your animals have any existing conditions.

Edited by author Tue Mar 19, '13 5:54pm PST

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Member Since
03/19/2013
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 6:19pm PST 
Thanks for the reply! Can't seem to figure out the html here so I'll use quotes for now.

"I prefer to avoid grains entirely and went with low-glycemic legumes instead. Carbs can also help keep weight on extremely active working dogs."

Interesting. Are lentils/beans/peas/sweet potatoes in that category? Nibbles does love beans, but I thought her protein should come from animal sources.

"Chicken and oatmeal is an inherently flawed diet. Supplementation can't fix it."

Yikes! Is the problem lack of variety of meats, or not feeding whole chickens, or both?

"I personally wouldn't pay more than 70 cents/lb for chicken. If you really want to get each part of the chicken in your diet, buy whole chickens instead of individual parts.
If you're in the grocery store, ground beef isn't so great either... Look for sales on pot roasts, shoulder steaks, and whole beef chuck. Typically you can get them $3/lb and they aren't so processed."

Thanks, great info. I guess I need a grinder or butcher's knives! In fact I think I'm going to go see what the La Michoacana has tomorrow.

So you have no qualms about feeding raw pork to your dog? If pork is ok, I'll take a closer look at that section.

"Variation is less important than balance. You can not balance a diet without red meat."

Very interesting. Do you have a favored source that goes into more detail on this?

Thanks again. It's a lot of fun to learn about this stuff!
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Sandy

tiny...but fast!
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 7:28pm PST 
I believe the correct ratios for feeding raw is 80% meat 10% bone 10% organ but someone correct that if I'm wrong. I feed a premade raw but it would be expensive to feed to a bigger dog. It sounds like your diet may be missing the organs. If I understand correctly u r feeding the chicken legs with the bones in them so maybe u could get some beef organs to balance it like liver. There r some older threads on here for people nee to the raw diet. Look at some older threads for advice. Grains are not a part of a raw diet but veggies are given by some.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 7:33pm PST 
A very talented dogster made up a spreadsheet that included the nutrients dogs need. You can enter your dog's details to find out how much of what your dog needs Here is the thread where the link is posted. Chicken is very low in a number of key nutrients. I know when Max gets what he needs according to that spreadsheet he is better off. It is based on NRC requirements.
http://www.dogster.com/forums/Raw_Food_Diet/thread/49 1589

Pork is good stuff. At least some bone is edible for most dogs and the meat is inexpensive and higher in zinc and iron than chicken.

Watch out for enhanced meats. Chicken, turkey and pork are commonly processed with a salty substance to increase weight and tenderness of the meat. The processed meat often bothers dogs and they will have upset stomachs and/or diarrhea. If the label reads more than 100 mg sodium per serving the meat is enhanced.
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Bullie

1284557
 
 
Barked: Tue Mar 19, '13 8:12pm PST 
I follow the Prey-Model Raw plan. I made my feeding regimen very simple by going with whole prey. For example, when I feed chicken, I feed the WHOLE chicken - including the gizzards/heart/liver that comes in a little baggie stuffed inside the whole chicken in most grocery stores and I even get the chicken feet with it. This way, the nutrition is balanced. I also feed whole rabbit except I take out the fur because I can make use of the fur to make Christmas presents. I feed the rabbit with the innards. I get my rabbit from the same place I get my rats to feed my kids' pet snakes.

Of course, I can't feed the whole pig or the whole cow. So for pork, I get the pork shoulder because I can get those for cheap at the local butcher. And for beef, I get the beef hearts which I can also get for cheap at the butcher. I get beef liver and beef kidney from either the grocery or the butcher - getting it from the butcher requires a bulk buy. Sometimes the butcher has beef spleen so I get those when they're available. Then I get green tripe from the raw feeders co-op. Then usually, I get the canned salmon from the grocery next to the tuna if I don't see any fish on sale. Then, occasionally, I'll add an egg in there - the whole egg complete with egg shells.

So yes, I feed 1.5lbs of food for my 60lb dog. The guideline for PMR is 2-3% of the dog's ideal weight - adjusted to suit your specific dog. Out of this meal, 80% should be muscle meat (hearts, tongue, gizzards and tripe are considered muscle meat), 10% is bone, 5% should be liver, and 5% other secreting organs. You don't have to balance all that on a daily basis. You can go with weekly, or every 2 weeks.

A whole rabbit or a whole chicken (including innards) would give you this ratio.

This is what I got last week:
Walmart:
Chicken Gizzards - 99cents a pound
Chicken leg quarters - $6.95/10lb bag
Wild Caught Salmon (in the freezer section) - $3.95/lb

Butcher:
Beef hearts - 99cents a pound for a 60lb case (this will last me a looooong time)
Pork shoulder - 99cents a pound
(an 8lb shoulder gives 7-lb meat and 1-lb bone. I don't give the bone as a meal - I give it to the dogs as a chew toy).
Whole chicken (with innards) - 99cents a pound
Beef liver/kidney - $1.49/lb

Co-op:
Green tripe - $1.69/lb (including the shipping/handling fee to get the tripe from New York to the lady who runs the co-op)

I don't give plant matter as a meal except for what is in the green tripe. But, I sometimes use sliced bread for training treats and the occasional steamed broccoli/cauliflower when I'm cooking it for the family.

Hope this helps.
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Gray Dawn- Treader

Don\\\'t Tread- on me
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 7:03am PST 
You need at least two secreting organs--one is liver, and the other can be things like brains, kidneys, sweetbreads, or even testicles.

Can I give too much bone/calcium? I've fed necks alot lately cause I've got a cat who also likes them. I imagine feeding chicken legs as the meat source runs into the same issue.
Keep an eye on the poop. How much it too much can vary from dog to dog. If your dog has constipation, you need to feed less bone.

How important is it to feed more than one meat? Does one of the sources need to be red meat?
The more variety, the better. I'd try to feed at least four different types of meat. (For me, that's beef, chicken, pork, and turkey. When I can, I throw in things like fish and oxtails.)
I'd try to make at least half of the meat sources red meat.

I give Nibbles an average of 1 carrot a day, sometimes 2. She occasionally gets a little lettuce. What other vegetables should she be getting?
Many of us on this site don't feed vegetables at all. If you do, to my understanding, they only take up a very, very small portion of the diet.

Edited by author Wed Mar 20, '13 7:03am PST

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Bullie

1284557
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 7:14am PST 
Also...

You don't need a grinder unless your dog has a problem with his mouth/jaw/teeth that prevents him from crunching/tearing the food himself.

I can throw an entire rabbit to my dogs and they can eat it all including crunching through the skull. It takes them over an hour to get it done, though, but it's quite stimulating for them. I feed my dogs in my kitchen so I chop up the meat in manageable pieces (e.g. I cut up the chicken into quarters) so they can finish eating in under 10 minutes.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 9:16am PST 
Bullie, unless you are feeding chickens with all the innards and blood that is more bone than dogs need. I tried giving Max a grocery store whole chicken and he had fossil poop big time, he doesn't have that when I give him whole fetal lambs and furry rabbits as they have all the guts and blood so the bone content is closer to 10%. And he generally won't eat the lower legs so I suspect he really is eating about 10% bone. So I am forced to offer cut up chicken bits with more meat unfortunately.

I just posted this on a different thread. Shows how much stuff is in a whole animal.
http://web.archive.org/web/20061016171802/www.serve.com/Bat onRouge/nutrition/tissue_percentage_of_common_prey.htm

This one has been beyond me a couple times but you could compare the nutrients found in whole prey chicken found here.
http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/zoo/WholePreyFinal02May29.pdf
t o what is in raw chicken from the grocery store. This would be minus the calcium and phosphorus in bones of course. You can see the chicken has 31% bone as well.
http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/774?fg=&man=&lfacet=&c ount=&max=&sort=&qlookup=&offset=&format=Full&new=
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Member Since
03/19/2013
 
 
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 9:30am PST 
Thanks so much for the helpful responses...

Some conclusions I've made so far

1) I need a fridge with plenty of freezer space!
2) I need to have liver...looks like about .5 lb a week.
3) I'm going to look at my supermarket and see about brains & kidneys etc.
4) Thanks for the tip on beef hearts! I've heard those are good for the cat too.

What'd I'd like some more opinions on.

-Feeding raw pork is ok? One of my friends says this is a no-no so I'd like some more confirmation if she's wrong. Is pork ok for the cat too?
-If I understand it correctly.... I can get by with pork/beef/turkey/chicken and a little fish? All those aren't hard to get ahold of, though it sounds expensive to feed my dog raw beef. Any link to an inexpensive source of rabbit in the DFW area would be appreciated.
-After livers, are kidneys considered the most important organ(2.5%)?
-Are gizzards and hearts muscle meals or should these only be 5% or less of the diet? Or both?
-Flaxseed and/or fish oil? Which is better for dogs and cats? If I don't feed fish reguarly, is it necessary?
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