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Hello all!

I have been feeding my dogs store-bought BARF patties every evening, and a high quality dry kibble every morning for years now, but two months ago I decided to switch them completely to raw. I have been doing a lot of research and plucked up the courage to make my own raw dog food. The latest batch was a 50/50 mix of grass fed beef and turkey, mixed with ground up chicken wings and chicken feet, beef liver, lamb heart and kidneys, lightly steamed and blended carrot, zucchini and spinach, blueberries, ground raw pumpkin seeds, ground flax seeds, 3 lightly boiled eggs shells included, kelp powder and spirulina powder. I have been adding a teaspoon of kefir every evening, and I’ll give them coconut oil a few times a week. They get chicken wings once a week, as well as a recreational lamb bone once a week. I give them whole sardines, tinned mackerel, tuna and/or salmon in spring water 2-3 times per week. I try to make each new batch with different ingredients, like lamb or chicken, as well as different dog safe fruits and veg.

My oldest dog, a 6 year old cavoodle called Treacle, has vomited twice this week (greenish yellow and foamy) either very late at night or early in the morning. Her coat doesn’t look as fantastic as I was promised by all the articles I’ve read online, and her stools have been VERY mucousy from time to time. My other dog, an American cocker spaniel called Pepper, has had constipation with the previous batch I made (she seems ok stool wise with this newest batch) and has seemed a bit low in energy. Is anyone able to advise me on what I’m doing wrong? I’m looking for answers from experienced raw feeders only. I wanted to give them time to adjust to the new diet before seeing a vet to make sure all their nutritional levels were being met.

Thank you in advance!
Sophie, Treacle and Pepper
 

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I'm probably not an experienced enough raw feeder for you - have been feeding my one Rottweiler girl raw for going on 3 years. Before that from the time of the Chinese melamine deaths until her death, about 6 years, I fed my last Rottie girl a homemade cooked diet.

If you've done much research and investigation, you already know you can get many, many different opinions on best raw diet. Also, without proportions/amounts, I don't think even raw diet experts could give an opinion about what you're feeding. Just as a list, the individual things all sound good.

However, I can say that I remember from when I researched the cooked diet that mucousy stools were said to mean too high a fat content, maybe not in general but just for that particular dog. My girl had mucous in her stools when I first started. I cut the fat content and the mucous disappeared.

I admit I got so sick of worrying about balance and completeness I recently switched my girl to Dr. Harvey's Raw Vibrance base mix - just add meat (no bone), oil, and water. She's got allergies and that's the only complete diet base mix that works for her. Of course if you bought the cheapest meats, you could get fat content up high that way too. It's expensive as all get out for a dog my girl's size, but easier and less worrisome for me.
 

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I'm probably not an experienced enough raw feeder for you - have been feeding my one Rottweiler girl raw for going on 3 years. Before that from the time of the Chinese melamine deaths until her death, about 6 years, I fed my last Rottie girl a homemade cooked diet.

If you've done much research and investigation, you already know you can get many, many different opinions on best raw diet. Also, without proportions/amounts, I don't think even raw diet experts could give an opinion about what you're feeding. Just as a list, the individual things all sound good.

However, I can say that I remember from when I researched the cooked diet that mucousy stools were said to mean too high a fat content, maybe not in general but just for that particular dog. My girl had mucous in her stools when I first started. I cut the fat content and the mucous disappeared.

I admit I got so sick of worrying about balance and completeness I recently switched my girl to Dr. Harvey's Raw Vibrance base mix - just add meat (no bone), oil, and water. She's got allergies and that's the only complete diet base mix that works for her. Of course if you bought the cheapest meats, you could get fat content up high that way too. It's expensive as all get out for a dog my girl's size, but easier and less worrisome for me.
Thank you for the reply! Yes everyone has an opinion on what dogs should or shouldn’t eat. The more I learn about commercial dog food, the happier i am that I no longer feed it. But unfortunately I’m just not seeing great results with the raw diet yet. The only good thing with my dogs is they have both lost weight, which was much needed as they were chunkers (my Mum feeds everyone like an Italian nonna!). I don’t think treacle has mucusy stools because of high fat content, as I trim all the fat off the chicken wings and only get 4-5 star meats (higher the star, lower the fat). Who knows what’s causing the upset tummies with that dog! I have considered a mix but have found those to be way too expensive. I’d rather just make it myself for less!

Thanks for your help! I hope I can turn this around before our family gives up on the idea of raw feeding completely. :/
 

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That's a ton of ingredients from a ton of sources to introduce all at once. Any one or more of them could be disagreeing with them. I'd cut it down to a couple ingredients and see if the dogs' digestion settles, and if it does, gradually re-add ingredients until you find the problem.

Then again, you'll probably want to totally disregard this advice because I currently feed kibble, lol. My deepest apologies for replying to this thread without your permission.
 

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Try eliminating the ingredients one by one. Your mix is quite complex and could be simplified.

The trouble could easily be from one of the many ingredients.
I agree! i suspect it could be the turkey, but yes it could well be anything else I added. I will be going back to basics with the next batch I make, but for now they are back on the store bought barf patties with a few add-ins. Do you have any suggestions as to why their coats look so dull?

thank you!
 

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That's a ton of ingredients from a ton of sources to introduce all at once. Any one or more of them could be disagreeing with them. I'd cut it down to a couple ingredients and see if the dogs' digestion settles, and if it does, gradually re-add ingredients until you find the problem.

Then again, you'll probably want to totally disregard this advice because I currently feed kibble, lol. My deepest apologies for replying to this thread without your permission.
Excellent advice, thank you so much! I agree, I think there may be something in there that disagrees with their tummies :(

thank you for your input :)
 

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I was under the impression that BARF was a raw diet? It sounds more like you want a home-cooked diet. This is a somewhat older article from the Whole Dog Journal that reviews three books on home-made dog food. Home-Prepared Dog Food Diet Books - Whole Dog Journal

I do know that when I was thinking about feeding raw (prey-model), it was advised to start with a single protein, like chicken, and introduce others one at a time.
 

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A couple of books I found helpful as guides which were written by knowledgeable people. These may be good references for you.

Real Food for Healthy Dogs & Cats by Dr. Karen Shaw Becker, DVM
Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Lew Olson, PhD
Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Dr Pitcairn, DVM, PhD

Yes, cut the ingredient list to just one or two at a time. Build to the diet that works for your dog and lifestyle.
 

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I think the advice to simplify until you figure what's causing the problem is good. However, I admit to being one of those who analyzes diet ingredients and wants to know that calcium/phosphorus ratios are in safe ranges, fat, protein percentages, etc. Because I'm like this I found Monica Segal's books the most helpful.

As to coat, the allergy girl who started me feeding raw always had a dull coat - Rottweiler, so you can really see that the black doesn't shine. So I turned to a raw diet, which allowed avoiding anything on her reactive list. Skin problems cleared up, but her coat still didn't shine.

Then I read an article in Dogs Naturally Magazine, a good source for people wanting to keep things, including diet, as natural as possible, but IMO extreme in a lot of ways. The article was talking about phytoplankton. I was using fish oil for omegas, and figured what the heck, I'd try it. I was and still am stunned. In a relatively short time her coat bloomed. Right after a bath it can look like black glass.

My understanding is phytoplankton doesn't provide enough Omega 3s, so I still use some fish oil. She's getting about half the recommended amount of each, and her coat has stayed great for a couple years now. Needless to say what worked for one dog may have no affect on another.
 

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Hello all!

I have been feeding my dogs store-bought BARF patties every evening, and a high quality dry kibble every morning for years now, but two months ago I decided to switch them completely to raw. I have been doing a lot of research and plucked up the courage to make my own raw dog food. The latest batch was a 50/50 mix of grass fed beef and turkey, mixed with ground up chicken wings and chicken feet, beef liver, lamb heart and kidneys, lightly steamed and blended carrot, zucchini and spinach, blueberries, ground raw pumpkin seeds, ground flax seeds, 3 lightly boiled eggs shells included, kelp powder and spirulina powder. I have been adding a teaspoon of kefir every evening, and I’ll give them coconut oil a few times a week. They get chicken wings once a week, as well as a recreational lamb bone once a week. I give them whole sardines, tinned mackerel, tuna and/or salmon in spring water 2-3 times per week. I try to make each new batch with different ingredients, like lamb or chicken, as well as different dog safe fruits and veg.

My oldest dog, a 6 year old cavoodle called Treacle, has vomited twice this week (greenish yellow and foamy) either very late at night or early in the morning. Her coat doesn’t look as fantastic as I was promised by all the articles I’ve read online, and her stools have been VERY mucousy from time to time. My other dog, an American cocker spaniel called Pepper, has had constipation with the previous batch I made (she seems ok stool wise with this newest batch) and has seemed a bit low in energy. Is anyone able to advise me on what I’m doing wrong? I’m looking for answers from experienced raw feeders only. I wanted to give them time to adjust to the new diet before seeing a vet to make sure all their nutritional levels were being met.

Thank you in advance!
Sophie, Treacle and Pepper
Sounds like acid reflux, my older dog couldn't handle raw diet, when he burps, he'd burp up acid, sardines are rich omega oils are rich but needed, so look for other foods that have Omega 3, I use Tuna or salmon + boiled sweet potato as main carb, maybe make his meals more leaner lower fat less ingredients & add a supplement powder instead, the Coconut oil would make his acid worse, its weird but my boy does best on a low fat kibble now, no big wet meals, I feed 5 smaller meals a day 7am-1/2 cup kibble ,9am-1/2 cup kibble ,12pm Tuna sweet potato ,5pm- 1/2 cup kibble & 7pm -1/3 a cup kibble & for Lunch he gets his tin Tuna & sweet potato & a boiled egg mashed all together other meals are his Turkey & potato kibble.
 
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