Raw Food Diet??!?!

Hey everyone!

So i am HIGHLY debating starting a raw food diet for my dogs, instead of this $h!t that we buy at the stores. seems like it is all recalled at one point. I have a friend who is willing to cook/prepare raw food for my dogs so i am wondering what advice and info you have on raw food diets. Also i was wondering for those of you who feed raw food diets, what do the diets include so i can start making one. i am SOOO new to this, never have fed raw. so i am curious how to do it, what to avoid or give, and what and how to do it.

thanks!!
whitney

There are lots of books on the subject and yahoo group lists. You should think about joining them and also searching on the internet. Just about everyone I know does something different, including myself

@tanza:

There are lots of books on the subject and yahoo group lists. You should think about joining them and also searching on the internet. Just about everyone I know does something different, including myself

Do you have a recipe that you feed yours? Just something that i can start out with as an idea?

First Basenji's

I started off with a commercial brand of pre-made raw until I got the hang of it. Quite expensive, but at least I knew they were getting a balanced meal. I really like Primal Raw, and we also have some other local brands.

A couple books I like are Monica Segal's K9 Kitchen – Your Dogs' Diet: the Truth Behind the Hype (Toronto: Doggie Diner, 2002) and Lew Olson, Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals (Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2010). Full recipes and weekly menus are included in those books. A few good diet/nutrition books are worth the investment – and it's really not much $$ to put in for the knowledge. It's also hard to give a recipe if you aim for nutritional balance over the course of several days or a week, as I do. One day they might get ground meat with pre-mix and supplements, another day they might get raw organs thrown into something like Honest Kitchen, another day a whole sardine, another day a whole meaty drumstick, another day maybe it's chicken back + more organs, etc. I admit I don't calculate nutritional requirements as precisely as some raw feeders I know, but they're not on 100% home-prepared diets and I do keep tabs on how they're doing with blood panels, regular vet visits, etc.

You'll need to be prepared to talk to your vet about your diet though. You'll be lucky to find a progressive vet who is supportive of this practice. I don't turn to my vet for nutritional advice, but I am honest with them about how I feed the dogs -- and my current one is "okay" with it as long as they give me a schpiel about how to properly handle raw meat (to cover their own butts, I guess).

First Basenji's

Also Richard and Susan Pitcairn, Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats is a pretty good reference that has been oft-recommended. They're more into home-cooked meals than raw, but it's still a pretty handy reference with lots of useful tables and charts especially when it comes to incorporating grain and carbs, which they do.

There are yahoo groups and FB groups. I tend to alternate raw with their staple of red barn meat rolls as I but premade raw which is pricey for 6 dogs. I use mostly premade raw from darwins naturals or natures instinct. I have ground my own on occasion using chicken, cooked carrots, cooked green beans, squash, pumpkin. Basically whatever vegetables I have leftover from my dinner the night before. My dogs do not like fish, nor do I, but I know a lot of people who make a fish based chum diet for their dogs.

Have you ever heard of Sojos raw dog food mixes? We finally made the switch almost a year ago, and it's been an amazing transformation. All of our B's are rescues, and came to us in poor body condition… One overweight, one under, all with horrible coats. Not long on the new food, we saw a huge change. Now they're all healthy, happy, and acting years younger. You can either choose the complete varieties that include freeze dried raw meat (turkey or beef), or the mixes (which you add your own meat). Also the dogs LOVE it.
www.sojos.com

First Basenji's

@DingoBasenji, we tried a bag of the turkey recipe. I did like the quality of ingredients, and the concept of dehydrated raw really appeals to us for the convenience factor (Honest Kitchen is pretty much always on hand here now). Unfortunately, neither of my dogs did well with Sojos though. Specifically, something about the dehydrated sweet potatoes – of which there are a LOT! -- didn't sit well with either of them. They made Bowpi puke, and something else in the formula might have made her break out in a mild rash (perhaps the pecans?), and they gave Bowdu orange confetti poops. So I finished the bag by picking out as much of the sweet potato as I could!

They do regularly get sweet potato in their diet, but it just seemed like there was something about the quantity and the dehydration process in Sojos that made it not sit well with my dogs. That was just our experience, though. They did enjoy eating it. It's just digestion that wasn't so pretty.

Hi! My basenji, Kiora, has been on a Non-commercial Prey Model Raw diet for about 7 months now and I am loving it! Basically it consists of approximately 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organ, 5% of which is liver and 5% other secreting organ (kidney, pancreas, thymus and spleen). I used to do some Nature's Variety commercial raw as well but stopped because I felt that it was too expensive in comparison with home prepared without any additional benefit.

I really love this diet and can't see switching off of it, ever. Kiora looks better than she ever has: her coat is like silk, she has great muscle tone, her teeth look great, her poo is tiny and turns into white dust within a few days…plus she gets to chew while she eats. Her two favorite things combined.

She gets:

Bone in chicken
Bone in turkey
Bone in duck
Bone in lamb (Ribs...no weight bearing bones)
Boneless beef
beef offal
Boneless pork
pork offal
Sardines
Egg

I also do a probiotic supplement because green tripe is difficult to get in my area.

I would recommend starting slowly with bland bone in meats like chicken and turkey and slowly work up to richer meats and offal. If you are going to do a commercial diet you might consider doing a few meals of raw meaty bones a week for dental benefits.

For books I recommend : Raw Meaty Bones Promote Health by Tom Lonsdale

Good luck! I think you will love raw!

I just took Paolo to the vet as he had been throwing up 4-7 hours after eating last week. Vet said he had some gastritis. When I told the vet I fed him some (1/3) frozen raw (Steve's Frozen Raw) mixed with canned he was like "I wouldn't feeD him raw as he could get bacterial poisoning". I've had Paolo for over 3 months and have been feeding him that and he seemed OK although had been itching and licking himself a lot which could be anything. I was experimenting last week to see what was giving him trouble and it seemed that when I did not include the raw he was not throwing up and when I added it back he would vomit (4-7 hours after). Now one day I came home and gave him a little cook chicken breast, we went for a walk and after we got home he threw it up. I feed the same to my other B, Buddy and he seems fine. They both were getting probiotics in their food as well. This what it says on Steve's Raw Food website.

What about E.coli, Salmonella and other microbes?

Steve?s Real Food uses only the highest quality (100% human-quality) ingredients, but this is a very legitimate concern, and is often the first question pet owners have. It is also an easy question to answer. Properly prepared raw meat-based diets are very safe for dogs and cats. Always be sure to use safe handling procedures including washing hands, bowls, counter tops & utensils used for raw feeding.

"We regularly test our foods for our guaranteed analysis, Salmonella, E.coli 0157-H7, & Campylobacter (click here for our latest test results) to ensure our products safety. We also test our foods for hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides (our food sources are of such high quality that residues are very unlikely, but we love our pets too much to take any chances).

We then instant flash freeze (-50 degrees ) our foods to eliminate the possibility of parasites. This also locks in the freshness of the vital nutrients raw foods have to offer. "

Anyway I have Paolo on just canned right now and the vet has prescribed antibiotics for the week.

For most dogs any microbes in the food aren't going to be a big issue but if you have one that is immune compromised then it is a while different story. I use lots of whole foods in my feeding program but with one dog with late stage cancer and another recovering from an immune mediated disease, I don't feed raw. Honest Kitchen is the closest they get to raw. I also have two that puke anytime they get uncooked egg whites so many of the pre-made raw foods won't work with them.

Lisa,
The Steve's frozen raw has no eggs in it but it does have egg shell powder.
http://stevesrealfood.com/Inside2.pdf

Analysis
Protein: 11.10%
Fat: 10.50%
Fiber: 0.90%
Moisture: 72.20%
Ground Chicken, Chicken Breast
Frame, Chicken Livers, Carrots,
Broccoli, Chicken Gizzards,
Romaine Lettuce, Cantaloupe,
Flaxseed, Extract of Chicory (FOS), Dried
Kelp, Potassium Chloride, Sea Salt,
Sardine/Anchovy Oil, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamine E,
Copper Proteinate, Maganese Proteinate, Oxy-Gon Powder
(Natural Antioxidant), Vitamin D, Eggshell Powder, Dical Phosphate

Does your dog have problems eating chicken since he got sick eating cooked chicken? My Arnie has allergies and I do not feed him anything with chicken or chicken fat in it. I do not feed raw though.

Jennifer

@dcmclcm4:

Does your dog have problems eating chicken since he got sick eating cooked chicken? My Arnie has allergies and I do not feed him anything with chicken or chicken fat in it. I do not feed raw though.

Jennifer

Jennifer,
I've been giving him chicken since I got him 3 months ago. I've been giving them chicken thigh meat (baked organic). He never had any vomiting. but he I have stopped since Saturday. I've also cut back on the amount I was feeding them as I think it was a little too much food. They aren't fat but it puts stress on the digestive system. Vet gave me some 3 cans of Science Diet ID which is turkey and pork (low protein and fat) and recommended 1/2 a can at each feeding which is .415 ounces. I have a scale and weigh it in baggies.
Paolo is doing well right now and has not vomited.

Hi All,

Just joined and stumbled upon this forum while doing raw feeding research. I have a friend who feeds her Aussie raw diet (fresh and raw chicken quarters, eggs, liver, etc..) and she has noticed a huge improvement in his teeth, fur, pretty much his health in general. My 5 year old Basenji girl has food allergies and gets a horrible rash all over her legs and belly.

The vet recommended a very specific (and VERY expensive) hypoallergenic food and 6 months and $220 later she still has allergy issues so I decided to take matters into my own hands and see if raw feeding would help.

I came across a website from a gal named Jane Anderson and she has tons of good information and put my worries about feeding bones (dogs choke on kibble too), potential bacterial issues (dogs systems are built to handle it), and that pre-made raw foods are really no better than feeding kibble (additives, no bones, salt, plus $$$). The more research I did, the more it makes sense to switch off kibble 100% - for the sake of her health!

www.rawlearning.com <– I really encourage all who are considering raw feeding to read her "Raw FAQ"

Thanks for reading! Thoughts and additional information are appreciated. 🙂

My fiance and I feed our Basenji a flavor of Orijen dry food once or twice a day and Stella and Chewy's prepared raw food once a day at most. She seems to prefer the venison over the rabbit, duck, lamb, and beef all offered by the same brand. Of course she's more enthusiastic about any raw food than the Orijen though when we transitioned from Blue Buffalo to Orijen she mowed down on the Orijen. We feed her cooked and raw vegetables once a week mixed into a day's worth of meals. We did quite a bit of research about canine diets before determining that this diet would probably be our best deal for her and us. We are willing to pay for prepared food knowing the pros and cons of that route versus any other…the raw diet requiring daily planning required too much time and space for us.

But now it seems she's having some digestion issues. Over the last 3 months, she seems to strain to go potty and has had three multi-day episodes of diarrhea. At the beginning of the 3 month period, we took her to the vet who said she was badly dehydrated from the diarrhea. He tested her for giardia and although it came back negative he said she could still have it (test not definitive). With some antibiotics and stool hardener her symptoms basically disappeared within a few days but popped up twice again since that original episode. This last time we went to the vet again who tested her for giardia again which was negative. She also gave her a thorough exam including a finger probe into her butt but felt nothing unusual though she said her gut felt a little swollen with liquid when she felt her belly. She then gave us a different antibiotic and a dietary supplement (Fortiflora) and told us to feed June a high fiber wet food until her digestion improved. Once she's doing well on the high fiber food then transition her to our dry Orijen and if she stays normal on that we know it was something in her original diet (presumably the raw or certain veggies) that was causing her digestion issues.

She also said that between the variety of food we feed her, the frequency with which we go to the dog park (a nightmare in some ways because anything goes in public), and anything she may have eaten without our knowledge, we have too many variables for a good diagnosis. She said it could be something as simple as her diet...and of course this vet office is "ok with" but not encouraging of any raw diet though some people there seem to think prepared is better (I think cause there's intact cooked bones in most prepared food I've seen). Of course it could also be some allergy so we should pay attention to everything she's eating and it's specific ingredients to identify if something in particular leads to her symptoms. We didn't get her an x-ray (yet) so of course something could be caught in higher up in her GI tract and causing her issues. But the diet is an everyday variable so its suspect no matter what with these digestion issues.

We know it wouldn't be a tragedy to feed her only Orijen the rest of her life with the occasional raw treat now and then (freeze dried necks and hearts)...but then again we want to keep the prepared raw food in her diet if we can due to its benefits assuming her digestion issues have nothing to do with the raw food. We'll see how she responds over the next few weeks.

First Basenji's

Hi! Just read this thread as I too had done quite a bit of research as I wanted to determine if raw was the way to go for Uzie. Every food I tried just seem like he eventually got dry skin, itchy, and just seemed hungry all the time. Well, for the past month he has done well. but I do not give him so many fruits or veggies on a daily basis. I love to vary it for him, a few days chicken (no side effects), some frozen prepared, and then beef and throw in organ meat as well. What did you mean by this quote: "We feed her cooked and raw vegetables once a week mixed into a day's worth of meals."? Maybe this is the culprit for the diarrhea. The vet found a lot of fluid and if you mashed it or however you gave it, it just could be that there is too much of the fluid from the veggies. Remember, their gut is made to digest meat, as the veggies we give them just go through as bulk. Maybe your girl is getting too much? just a thought and hope it helps. Every time I read about a problem I immediately think' go raw!' Know it is not for everyone. I am still learning. Just the other day, I found out Uzie is a 'GULPER' and not a chewer for chicken necks! I freaked when I saw half the neck go down his throat! He is ok, a semi fast the next day and a little tunafish for dinner the next made me feel better thinking about those bones in there! So it has been three days and all normal stools-phew!

Amazing how much their poop can tell you, best thing you can do is keep a close eye on it, have gotten very good at dissecting Kaisers. If I had been more conscious of what is healthy poop and signs of problems in his earlier I may have picked up his leaky gut sooner. Agree with Buddys Pal regarding vegies, waste of space. Vegies for Kaiser is green tripe. Glad my boy is a cruncher, still manages to swallow big bits( hold my breath and hope it goes down) but only after he has crunched the bone to pieces, cat gets chicken necks and Kaiser gets turkey necks.

Jolanda and Kaiser

We've been feeding Juniper dry Orijen only since the vet visit and all her digestion issues have cleared up. The simplification of the diet does seem to have worked as it eliminated whatever variable was causing her GI distress. She's eating less with the Orijen but certainly not starving herself. We may work raw food back in with small portions every other day or something like that, depending on how she digests the first few raw meals we'll give her in a week or two.

When I said we fed her veggies, we would cook small portions of carrots and peas or sometimes give her a frozen raw carrot (great for chewing and amazing for a teething puppy)…and if we cooked the veggies we'd normally we'd just dump them over her raw food and she'd eat it all like the veggies weren't even there. But I think now we're done with the added veggies since it seems like an unnecessary addition to her diet otherwise. The Orijen is completely balanced so she's getting all she needs from that, raw on top of that would just be for her enjoyment since she lops it up like a steak dinner.

About swallowing food/treats, Juniper has scared us before with a turkey neck. We thought we could look away for a minute, then we were ripping apart our home looking for the neck...but it was never found, so we had to assume she swallowed it in under 60 seconds! That was months ago so she's definitely passed it without issues since then. The good news is she tends to chew on every food item especially the larger it is, just never as much as we'd like (seems like a common feeling of owners of B's). Now we know to watch her like a hawk in case she's feeling too lazy to chew. Thankfully the more crunchy it is the more she seems to like to crunch on it, so she will work on a quarter-cut of a duck neck for a minute before she swallows the pieces she broke apart.

First Basenji's

@nobarkus:

I just took Paolo to the vet as he had been throwing up 4-7 hours after eating last week. Vet said he had some gastritis. When I told the vet I fed him some (1/3) frozen raw (Steve's Frozen Raw) mixed with canned he was like "I wouldn't feeD him raw as he could get bacterial poisoning". I've had Paolo for over 3 months and have been feeding him that and he seemed OK although had been itching and licking himself a lot which could be anything. I was experimenting last week to see what was giving him trouble and it seemed that when I did not include the raw he was not throwing up and when I added it back he would vomit (4-7 hours after). Now one day I came home and gave him a little cook chicken breast, we went for a walk and after we got home he threw it up. I feed the same to my other B, Buddy and he seems fine. They both were getting probiotics in their food as well. This what it says on Steve's Raw Food website.

What about E.coli, Salmonella and other microbes?

Steve?s Real Food uses only the highest quality (100% human-quality) ingredients, but this is a very legitimate concern, and is often the first question pet owners have. It is also an easy question to answer. Properly prepared raw meat-based diets are very safe for dogs and cats. Always be sure to use safe handling procedures including washing hands, bowls, counter tops & utensils used for raw feeding.

"We regularly test our foods for our guaranteed analysis, Salmonella, E.coli 0157-H7, & Campylobacter (click here for our latest test results) to ensure our products safety. We also test our foods for hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides (our food sources are of such high quality that residues are very unlikely, but we love our pets too much to take any chances).

We then instant flash freeze (-50 degrees ) our foods to eliminate the possibility of parasites. This also locks in the freshness of the vital nutrients raw foods have to offer. "

Anyway I have Paolo on just canned right now and the vet has prescribed antibiotics for the week.

Hi! I too took to the idea of feeding 'real' food instead of the processed stuff that keeps getting recalled. Even the high quality food, there runs a risk of salmonella due to the time it takes to digest it. With raw, the dog's stomach is suppose to digest it and will not sit in the gastro-track. The advice of the others is right on, you will find websites, books, and forums with some differences. What I have learned so far in this past 6 weeks:

  1. don't mix raw with kibble on the same feed. you can still give kibble if needed.
  2. every dog will not thrive on a raw. It is up to you to know your pup and do accordingly.
  3. you have gulpers and chewers. when I watched Uzie 'gulp' the chicken neck, I freaked!! (not out loud and didn't disturb him). He processed it and pooped just fine.
  4. you will be an expert in poop reading! this is how you determine how they are processing the food. http://dogfoodchat.com/forum/dry-canned-dog-food/3092-poop-chart.html (this is good! put your snack down before you look at this!)
  5. no need to grind up eggshells (yep, did it…) cause when you feed bone in, they get what they need.
  6. here is basic calculator for how much: http://www.bravorawdiet.com/howmuch.html
  7. no weight being bone of large animals. I have feed wings but not thigh bones….working up to it. the best and less costly way to start is the chicken back. they love it. you many want to start feeding outside or guard the doorway to the kitchen cause they want to 'go somewhere' and munch!!!
  8. some links I liked :http://preymodelraw.com/page/articles.html
    http://www.njboxers.com/top-50-barf-faqs-for-beginners.html#.UpC9liewWp0

ps: some may say to fast before switching, not so. but if it makes you feel good, cook it a little like I did for the older guys(11 &12) and then watch how they love to get fed!!! good luck!

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