Postings by Meridian's Family

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Raw Food Diet > How to afford a raw food diet
Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '14 3:20pm PST 
Getting meat/bones/organs for feeding dogs I think comes with a learning curve. If you're starting out with the grocery store being your only resource you will indeed likely find it's more expensive than kibble. Raw can really be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it, though. The trade off is time and effort. It is also really subject to locale. Some places are simply going to be cheaper/easier than others. If you decide the types of items you want to get, and in what quantities you can handle, just start making phone calls and searching the web. Investing some time in searching out a couple reliable suppliers will pay off in the future. It might be frustrating and you might feel like you've hit dead ends, but if you keep at it you'll find what you need at the right price!

This is an old post in the annals of Dogster that might be of interest:
https://www.dogster.com/forums/Raw_Food_Diet/thread/689112

If you use the "search" tab here on Dogster you can probably find a lot of other threads where people talk about sourcing meat and the financial end of things, too. If you're willing to share some specifics like where you are and if, say, you have transportation to go pick things up within a certain distance of where you live, we might be able to help you with some specifics, or just help you search the web for good ideas.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Ginger, Apr 7 1:46 pm

Raw Food Diet > Balanced diet? Supplements? First post...
Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '14 3:03pm PST 
Sounds like you're doing a great job with your cats. Your dog should fit right in! Though his needs/wants will be marginally different than your cats', if anything I'd think a dog would be 'easier' if one had to choose. Dogs are carnivores, though not 'obligate' carnivores as you point out. The only real difference this makes isn't so much something that applies to a diet you provide, as the way your dog could subsist versus his feline counterparts if push came to shove, so to speak.

The biggest difference will probably be the sheer size of items you need to feed your dog versus the cats. You mention chicken thighs for the cats -- is this a ground up mix, or whole bone in thighs? While a ground mix is acceptable for dogs, it's not ideal. While you might reach a point in adult-hood where your dog can be tossed something the size of a chicken thigh, it will get gulped down quickly, and won't provide much chewing, chomping, pulling, shredding action, and most importantly, pieces that small for a shepherd pup/adolescent could present as a choking hazard.

You'll likely want to start him off on chicken quarters/halves or even whole chickens. Once he's comfortable with that you can start feeding a variety of appropriately sized chunks of other bone-in meats as meals, and, of course, you'll need to work in the organs meats. Chances are as a pup he won't need to be eased into a proper raw diet in the same way older dogs being transitioned to a raw diet sometimes do, but it's wise to be a little careful with the organs at first. They're really nutrient-rich and can cause loose stools in some dogs at first.

The supplement issue is one people have a lot of varying opinions on. If you're feeding a well-balanced diet of meat, edible bone, and organ you really shouldn't have to add in a bunch of supplements. He will be getting everything he needs from the food itself. Some people like to give a cold water fish body oil supplement if relying on non-grass-fed meats/game meats, as the nutrient profile for grain fed meats is really skewed when it comes to the polyunsaturated fat profile. The high Omega-3 content of the fish oil is the most species-appropriate way to make up for the very high Omega-6 content of grain-fed meat. While most added supplements aren't likely to be in amounts that are harmful it's probably an unnecessary expense at best.

Sounds like the biggest change when your pup comes home will be a lifestyle one more than a nutrient one. If you 'free feed' the cats you're going to have to keep their food away from the dog, and find a way to not create a competitive environment for the cats. If the free-feeding thing is working for the cats, great, but free-feeding is not a good plan for a dog, especially a puppy.

Congrats on the new addition to your family and welcome to Dogster! The forums are plagued with spammers currently, but if you can ignore all that it's a great resource for getting questions answered and sharing experiences.



wavewave
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Maxwell, Apr 7 1:28 pm


Raw Food Diet > Raw diet and hunger

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 29, '14 9:50pm PST 
Oopsie, 4 tablespoons of food would be 2 oz, not 1, sorry. Still, though, 2 ounces for a 4 pound dog is only 3% of the body weight.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Ginger, Apr 1 1:28 pm


Raw Food Diet > Anal glands

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 29, '14 6:40pm PST 
A "full" anal gland doesn't necessarily indicate trouble, but an impacted, abscessed, or ruptured gland(s) is definitely a situation. When you went to the vet the first time did they think there was an actual issue and/or prescribe any meds or do a manual expression of the gland? Has she expressed a LOT of fluid at once out of the gland(s) on her own? Does she lick the area and/or scoot her butt around on the ground a lot? We can't really assess the situation from afar, as there are so many variables, but if you want to share more info we might be able to provide more helpful info.

A lot of people have their dog's anal glands expressed by groomers or vets as a regular thing, which -- contrary to what most people think and do -- isn't actually a very good idea unless it really needs doing. Encouraging the normal regular expression of the glands is what you want, and a good diet is first and foremost. Sounds like you probably have that much covered! Are her poops well-formed and solid? A good poop, so to speak, keeps the glands healthy and expressing regularly. The more you mess around with squeezing and expressing the gland the more irritated they can get. Same goes for a dog who's glands are causing discomfort and licks and licks and licks.

The anal glands are essentially a sebaceous gland -- glands that produce an oily/waxy substance. As with any gland (or any other system in the body), they don't exist in a vacuum. The overall health of the body will affect the anal gland secretions, which often gets overlooked, as most vets operate within a system where body functions and individual organs and processes are considered independently of the whole. Impactions (which lead to abscesses and ruptures) are basically caused by abnormal consistency of the secretions that can't pass thru the opening into the anus properly. The fluid builds up and problems can ensue if the gland isn't expressed -- normally or manually by a human. Making sure the whole body is running healthily and efficiently with a proper diet, exercise, mental stimulation, and healthy emotional state should help keep everything running smoothly -- including anal glands. Things like intolerances and allergies (especially ones expressed thru the skin) might be tied in to anal gland problems, so if there are any other issues it might serve you well to address the "big picture" and see the anal gland issues follow on their own.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by , Apr 2 2:54 am


Raw Food Diet > Raw diet and hunger

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 29, '14 4:55pm PST 
Is your food measurement 2 tablespoons 2 times a day? If the total amount you're feeding in a day is 4 tablespoons, that only works out to an ounce of food a day (Ounces being a more usual measurement of raw food in increments smaller than pounds.) This is a VERY small amount of food. Even if your guys are eensy teensy tiny -- let's say 4 pounds -- an ounce of food isn't even 2% of their body weight. Most small dogs need a lot more pound-for-pound than their bigger counterparts -- 4%-6% on the low side. I know small active chihuahuas who eat more like 8%-10% of their body weight per day and maintain healthy slim body weights.

While acting hungry all the time can be due to lots of things, in this case they really might be hungry, or just not satisfied with the meals they're getting now. If the info in your OP is indeed accurate, you might want to revisit your feeding plan and make sure the allotment of meat, edible bone, and organ meat from your ground food is more inline with the average for small dogs, and then tweak from there. A little bit of "people food" and treats are, of course, fine, but the bulk of the diet should be coming from the actual diet and not incidentals. I know it can be hard with small dogs! Another thing to help them get satisfaction out of their meals is to make sure that even though the big part of their diet is a blended ground mix, that they're still getting the opportunity to chew and interact with their food more by offering meaty bones in their whole form several times a week at least.

Oh, and serving raw food frozen won't necessarily help with the risk of bacterial contamination that might be present in the food. Freezing doesn't outright kill bacteria as much as it slows down the processes of proliferation. Assuming you trust the company you get your food from to source quality ingredients and prevent contamination at the processing stage, you shouldn't have to worry about it. Granted, things do happen, but serving frozen food unfortunately won't eliminate the risk.
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Ginger, Apr 1 1:28 pm

Raw Food Diet > Howdy strangers!
Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 29, '14 8:52am PST 
Nice to see some familiar faces amongst the spammers!
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Savannah Blue Belle, Apr 7 8:01 am


Raw Food Diet > Tips on freezing meat

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 23, '14 9:18pm PST 
I've actually had the opposite experience from Maxwell with the butcher paper. I LOVE THAT STUFF! My experience is that anything wrapped snugly will withstand freezer burn far longer than plastic bags and wraps or rigid containers. I use it for people-food as well as dog food.

As you guys have been discussing, the problem with using rigid containers is the fact that you can't "burp" out the air, and it's air contact that promotes freezer burn. While freezer burn isn't the end of the world, there are nutrients that aren't air-stable, and if a plastic wrap gets a hole in it, you will discover chunks of meat that are literally almost completely dessicated, which is not good. Butcher paper is much sturdier than plastic wrap or bags. Another drawback is that with a lot of rigid containers the food can't be released from the container unless it's at least partially thawed, which is just an inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless. They also create bulk unless you've got efficiently packed containers in sizes that stack well. Butcher paper packages stack pretty well. Another drawback with containers and plastic is labeling. Butcher paper is great, because you just write right on it with a marker and it stays clear and legible even thru a lot of digging around and rearranging. Butcher paper also doesn't get all stuck in folds of meat when you invariably toss it in the freezer, only to have it re-settle in a slightly different shape and freeze that way.

That's my ode to butcher paper. big grin
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Taggert, Mar 24 1:14 pm


Raw Food Diet > Howdy strangers!

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 23, '14 7:54pm PST 
Hey there raw Dogsters! I was just doing some writing on the raw feeding theme, and I referred to raw feeders as a 'subculture' without even thinking about it. I hesitated for a second seeing it on "paper" (sounds better than computer screen), and then went right along writing.

My mind has been wandering since, and I got to thinking about how darned close we came to losing the Dogster forums recently and how much I FREAKED OUT, even though due to just lifestyle stuff I haven't been able to spend time here for a long time. (For those of you who don't "know" me, I was a regular face around the Dogster forums for a bunch of years.) During that several weeks between the announcement that we were to lose the forums and the announcement that we were not losing the forums I went into a frenzy of exporting thread content to PDF files to have just for myself in case it all went *poof*. Wow. We sure do have an LOT of information here, and so many countless hours spent talking and teaching and learning from each other. Sometimes it's serious, sometimes it's goofy, sometimes we even fight, but it's all been so important. The scare of losing it all made me realize what I was taking for granted.

So, yeah, I just wanted to say "hi", and mention that I'm going to try to be a little more of a presence around here again for a bunch of reasons. At the top of my list is the fact that I miss it!

dog
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» There has since been 6 posts. Last posting by Savannah Blue Belle, Apr 7 8:01 am


Raw Food Diet > Monthly Diarrhea on Raw

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 26, '13 10:51pm PST 
Are we talking uncontrollable liquid or just soft regular poos? I don't mean to second-guess you, I'm just trying to gauge the situation. I'm not saying it couldn't be due to food, but if you've got a diarrhea situation every month or so on what almost seems like a schedule, I might take a closer look at what's going on. Did he have any digestive system trouble on his former diet or did these things start when you started raw?

Like the others suggested, the first thing I'd cut out would be the coconut oil. It's not entirely species appropriate, and might be causing upset. I, as a human, tried supplementing with coconut oil and I learned that if I take more than about a half a teaspoon of the stuff even with food I get awful heartburny sensations. I probably weigh about 5 to 7 times what your Corgi does! This makes much more sense than chicken being the problem.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Ember FDX, Apr 28 9:05 am

Raw Food Diet > Toy breed bone suggestions
Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Apr 26, '13 10:32pm PST 
Will they not eat bone if left to their own devices? Your post is a wee big vague. Letting them just have at the food with no hovering or interruptions will be a positive step towards your goals. To help with choking risk, feed a big chunk of something and let them gnaw what they need off. Don't, say, feed just the neck if it's too small.

Good small items with edible bone include "cornish game hens" (which are just small chickens), quail, rabbit, and whole prey usually intended for reptiles. You can also halve medium sized chickens. If chicken necks are too small, try turkey neck portions. That might prove a good RMB for a very small dog where they can chew off enough edible bone to fill their bone requirement. Lamb bones are also good for small dogs. Even the smallest bones will be good sized raw-meaty-bones for them, but they'll probably be able to at least eat some rib bone, and the cartilaginous parts of lamb leg bones could prove very good.
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by Hula, Apr 29 7:37 am

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