Thank you both for your responses. I do freeze chicken necks and wings beforehand because I read that it was an extra safeguard to kill any possible bacteria. But then I have been thawing them for 24 hours before serving. Are our puppies able to chew semi-frozen wings?
Nemo, do you have any recommendations for what's best to mix with ground raw?
Is gulping entire necks and wings normal for a 4 month old Basenji puppy?
After starting out with 'high-quality' grain-free kibble, I decided in mid-April that I would take the raw diet plunge. I initially started with store-bought 500g portions of BARF-style meals (usually chicken or turkey with ground bone, veggies, etc). Realizing that it would be a bit expensive in the long run, I recently started supplementing with whole raw chicken necks and wings as part of his meals. However, my basenji puppy barely chews them. He usually gives them a few back teeth chomps and then gulps them down whole. On the second occasion I fed one he gagged and screamed when a chicken wing apparently had trouble going down, and I feared that it was going to rip his guts on the way through his system! Nothing bad came of it, luckily. On a few other occasions he has gagged a bit after swallowing, sometimes minutes later. Yesterday he seemed kind of funny with his teeth. Like he felt something was wrong and didn't enjoy tugging on his chew toys. I can see that his adult molars must be coming in because there is only a slight protrusion of them from the gums. I wonder if that could be an issue, too?
After the screaming incident I decided to cut the chicken necks in half using a normal kitchen knife, and break the wing bones in the middle with a hammer and flat-edged screwdriver, removing any splinters or sharp edges just in case.
Do any experienced raw feeders out there know if gulping is normal behaviour and if I'm doing the right thing in cutting the bones in half? I sometimes just feed minced meat (with an egg with crushed shell), but I've read that the raw bones are an important component for calcium intake and for maintaining dental health.
Thanks for the suggestion giza1. Have you actually used yours yet? I am a bit hesitant to use (fake) grass as my basenji will more likely go on hard flat surfaces (as he does now at the breeder's) most of his life rather than grass. I also wonder about clean-up. The website says that the potty park is bacteria and smell resistant (i.e. not 'proof'!), but I imagine it is a bit cumbersome cleaning the grass fibers thoroughly enough that all traces of feces are removed. That's one of the reasons I would be interested in hearing about personal experiences with these things.
Apart from a 2009 post I found for an adult basenji that was ill, I was wondering if anyone else has any experience using the Ugodog potty for a Basenji?
In mid-March I will have a 10-week old Basenji puppy and am trying to figure out the best solution for potty location and house training. I live on the top floor of a 7 storey flat in a densely built urban environment. If I took my Basenji to the street, he would go on cobblestone as the nearest grass is a 10-minute walk away. However, I have a rooftop deck and was thinking that if I bought a ugodog potty or something similar I could train him to use that.
In mid-March, I shall bring home a 10 week old Basenji puppy. After much research I have decided on crate-training. However, I have a question:
Will the puppy be able to adapt to two crates? I was thinking of keeping one in the bedroom next to my bed for sleeping at night and one in a different location while I am at work.
Thanks. Yes, it a 'Portuguese' basenji as the breeder is local and listed with the FCI. She only breeds basenjis. Although my first visit to see the puppies will probably be in about a week, I get a good vibe from her on the telephone. For example, she wanted to wait longer before I see the pups so that their immune systems are stronger from breast-feeding. She has taken a number of pictures and even videos and emailed them to me. She says she even provides a little hand-out in Portuguese to all new owners so they have a better understanding of the breed and what to except. Sounds promising, right?
If everything goes according to plan, in about mid-march, I will be acquiring a 10-week old male Basenji puppy. I have done lots of research leading up to choosing this breed and so am preparing myself, based on what I've read, for what looks like a challenging adventure with never a dull moment!
I am certain you will find me posting lots of questions on this forum in the coming weeks and months.
And as soon as the new bundle is settled, I will try and post some pictures!