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Senior Dog with Allergies switching to 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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Ella

1316540
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 28, '13 4:31pm PST 
I have been reading the forums all day about the prey model and feeding raw and think I have a few questions before I make the switch. I am a 13 yr old german shephard who just got a new home a year ago. When I was adopted, I was already itchy and my mom was told that I have had ear infections almost constantly since they've known me. Over the last year, I have tried lots of different foods, but I am still all itchy and have bad ears!

So my mom is switching me to raw...but has some concerns....

At the age of 13, is it too rough on my system to make such a drastic change?

I tend to INHALE my food, can anyone recommend a good RMB that will force me to chew my food and bones so I don't hurt myself? My mouth is pretty big, so I'm hoping for something that I can't swallow in one bite!

I have not been allergy tested by a dermatologist, so I don't know what foods to try and what to avoid at this point....I am allergic to EVERY kibble it seems. Is it ok to start with chicken? Or should I pick a less common protein?

Finally....where are all you other puppies going to buy your meat? Most of the items I see listed for RMB, I can't find at my local grocery store.

Finally, for anyone with allergy suffering dogs that have been helped by a raw diet...did you see a decrease in itching almost immediately? Or did it take several weeks to see any improvement?

Sorry for the long post, but I am just about to go purchase the things I need to get started and don't want to miss anything obvious!
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Ella

1316540
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 28, '13 4:33pm PST 
One more quick thing....Because I am older, I do have to take a glucosamine supplement. Has anyone heard of dogs being allergic to these? I am taking glucosamine DS, 2 tablets a day and its the only thing that keeps me up and running around like a pup should. When doing food elimination for allergy reasons, should I stop taking these as well?
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Bruce

Here's BRUCEEE
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 28, '13 7:30pm PST 
Hi there, I can't answer your question about a senior dog switching but I can say that Bruce is allergic to kibble with chicken in it. However, he can have raw chicken just fine. No problems at all.

As for RMB, a larger bone like beef marrow bone might be good, just monitor of course.

Bruce also has hip and elbow dysphasia. I got him a 10 day laser therapy treatment, which made him change drastically. After that, the supplements, heat pads bad massages on bad nights, and raw feeding has helped. He is still stiff but I don't think raw will cure arthritis completely.
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Ella

1316540
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 29, '13 10:48am PST 
Thanks Bruce! Anybody have a suggestion on where to buy RMB?
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Obi

Sassy Britches!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 29, '13 2:10pm PST 
I suggest the clearance meat bin or section, asian/hispanic markets, co-ops can order wholesale when you get going and make friends with farmers.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 29, '13 7:41pm PST 
I wouldn't buy marrow bones, the leg bones of half ton animals are very dense and a gulper would be trying to break the bone to swallow it before the two legger regains his/her senses. A lot of gulpers are worried about us humans that way I think.

Try half chickens for starters. You can continue to feed chicken as a bone source forever if you like to, no reason feed all the strange things some of us are lucky enough to come across if they are too expensive and hard to find. I really like pork/beef/lamb ribs, pork neck and pig feet as bigger harder to eat bony meat but that is for later. You can also very badly bone a pork or lamb roast and give the dog that bony meat. Be sure that bone is covered with an inch of meat all over. For now stick to plain unenhanced big chicken bits. If she has trouble try skinning the chicken or even cutting the breast meat off to reduce the size of the meal and make it even bonier.

Max doesn't have bad allergies but did start raw at 8 years of age and did just fine. I was even able to gorge him at first but now that he is 13.5 years old he does better on daily bone and fed twice a day. I even chunk up his boneless meat for him now.
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Ella

1316540
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 5, '14 5:07am PST 
So things are going well so far. Hardest part is worrying if she is getting the right ratios of everything. She definitely loves eating raw. I think she would eat and eat until she was sick if I let her.

So my question is, I found chicken leg quarters for cheap, So that's what we've been doing. It's only been a week, but how soon do you think i should add in organ meats? And do the chicken leg quarters have enough meat or should I be supplementing it with some othrr meat source?

Only problem i have now, my beagle and corgi are so jealous! I can't afford to raw feed all 3, but i know they sure would love it too.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 5, '14 7:54am PST 
On chicken legs alone she is not getting a balanced diet nor should she when she first starts out. It is far too high in bone at about 30% and there are some minerals and vitamins lacking plus the omega 3:6 ratio is wacky because chicken is extremely low in 3 and high in 6. A chicken leg only diet is a very poor diet and not acceptable. This needs repeating as it is easy to get stuck with cheap chicken and small tidy poop not realizing that the dog is likely going to go downhill on the diet rather than improve.

Before starting organs substitute a bite of some other boneless meat for some of the chicken, beef/lamb/pork to start getting the variety and keep the bone content and meal size the same. If you are sticking to a strictly chicken diet as an elimination diet then get chicken hearts and gizzards to try out [if you can source them you can balance a chicken only diet save for the bad omega fatty acid balance] or start chicken liver. I took Max's estimated daily requirement of organ - one ounce, froze several of them and then slivered as small as possible and gave him one first day, two second day and so on until he was eating his whole ration of that particular organ then repeated with the next organ. Sounds tedious but he adores organ and never had serious trouble with too much organ. Easy enough as the slivers were ready to go in the freezer.

After a couple months of eating all the meats and organs you expect to be offering then start cutting back on the bone fed. Easiest way would be to offer a boneless day a week, then 2. With a base of 30% bony chicken to get 10% bone you would feed that bony stuff every 3 days but you do what you need to do, even every other day is only 15% and okay. I needed to look for less bony cuts and smaller bony cuts as Max and I really needed daily bone for a long time so I was doing things like cutting chicken wings in half and using chicken feet and small whole fish for very small amounts of bony meat.
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Ella

1316540
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 5, '14 11:59am PST 
Ok thanks for the tips. I am still struggling with looking at a piece of meat and guessing the % meat or bone. I figure that will get easier over time. I purchased some whole chickens yesterday and plan on feeding that tonight (no organs included). She will get half the chicken...is that still more bone than you would recommend?

When you prepare a meal for your dog in advance, what components do you usually include in every meal? Or do most out there do bone for one meal, meat for another, organ for another...

Sorry for all the questions, even after reading tons of info, I'm not very confident I'm doing this the best way possible and don't want to make her sick
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Sun Jan 5, '14 1:09pm PST 
Yes, bony whole chicken is far more bone than dogs need. Right now you do need to feed it though as it firmed up the poop like fiber from veggies and grains do if fed a kibbled diet.

I actually have been having problems with this. A friend had to harvest a number of young healthy egg laying chickens so I have whole feathered uncleaned chickens in the freezer. Fed alone the poop is extremely hard and painful to pass for my dogs so I have to feed boneless before starting the chicken, take away the chicken before they are done [Ginger is NOT a fan] and give them boneless meat, feed boneless meat for a couple days and finally give them the rest of that chicken along with more boneless meat. Amazing to me. Uncleaned chicken is whole prey and ought to be balanced as a complete diet. Nope, not these chickens! Oh, I keep the chicken in a bin inside a paper bag in the refrigerator. It doesn't smell and we don't have to look at it.

So as soon as you see good quality poop very slowly start introducing the next protein until she can eat half bony chicken and half new meat then switch to the next meat and once all the usual meats are fine with her tummy start organs. You may be able to feed a regular quarter along with the boneless in which case the diet is about 15% bone or you may need to use bonier cuts of chicken like backs for half the meal to keep the bone content higher.

I started out with no room to store Max's raw food so I made up daily baggies of bony stuff, meat and organ then started out by feeding about half at each meal going to once a day as one of his meals ended up being a small bite of meat some days. The baggies for a month stored very compactly on less than half of one freezer shelf - he only eats 20 pounds a month. If I packed up baggies these days I would pack 2 days of food and just have half in the refrigerator.

What I actually do now is have 2 pound tubs of meat and tiny tubs of organs that last about 2-3 days in the freezer and bony stuff in bags. There are undivided packages and boxes of meat/organ in the freezer to work on later, no reason to do a marathon repacking if the freezer can hold the bigger stuff fine. Have a tub of meat and organ in the refrigerator and feed through it with bony stuff as needed. Ginger gets bone every 3-4 days and Max gets bone daily. I never feed an organ only meal although Max sure would enjoy that. I always feed organ with bony stuff. So Ginger gets meat 2-3 days in a row then bony meat and 3-4 days worth of organ the next. Max gets chicken ribs for bone plus beef or pork meat and beef or pork liver and/or kidney daily. He cannot even handle a meaty pork bone plus organ without a tummy ache these days so chicken ribs it is and Ginger gets the big stuff.
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