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Discussion Starter #1
I have an Italian Greyhound/ JRT mix who weighs about 12 lbs. She is very svelte, built just like an IG, and the problem I have when feeding her is she bloats very easily and becomes very uncomfortable. I cannot feed a whole meal once a day, it has to be split up because of the bloat. Also, due to my work schedule, her dinner meal is fed by someone other than me who is not willing to feed raw meat in her house, she is often puppysat during the evenings elsewhere. To make sure her dinner is being fed correctly she gets Wellness Core Ocean in portionpaks from smartpak. (I formerly fed Orijen 6 fish but it is not available from smartpak, I stick with the fish as my main ingredient to help with her dry skin as she will not eat fish oil.)

I would love to feed her raw but due to the aforementioned dilemmas I simply cannot feed a completely raw diet. So, my questions are as follows:
Is it okay to feed a partial raw diet?
What are things I can give her for her raw portions that are easily obtained in small quantities as she is a small dog?
Would freeze dried raw be a good substitute for the kibble to get a better raw diet?

Thanks!
 

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You could definitely do half raw, half kibble or really any combination you want, as long as you make sure the raw part is balanced. I would balance as you would an exclusive diet for a 6 pound dog (half her weight, since it's half her meals). There are several threads on raw feeding going right now, so I'd stop by those and also do some of your own research. There are all kinds of resources available explaining how balance a raw diet if you do a quick search. If you have an iPhone I recommend the Raw Dog app. It has a nice calculator so you can quickly determine how much meat, bone, fat and organ your dog will need.

Oh, and if you want this to be cost effective, I wouldn't buy anything in especially small quantities because 1. small dogs are capable of eating big hunks of meat just fine (just don't overfeed) 2. you'll probably want to buy decent amounts of meats you find on sale, then freeze them for later use. I usually buy a bunch of different meats and organs, then separate them into bags of balanced diets for 1-week, so that I just defrost a bag each week. That way you don't have to worry about making sure each individual meal is perfectly balanced-- as long as it works out over a week or month etc, it's fine if the dog gets more or less of something on a given day.

If you feel like you're in over your head, a premade frozen or dehydrated raw diet would be just fine. It's more expensive but it's certainly more convenient. The only part I don't like is that since they are ground, the dog does not get a chance to chew on raw bones/meat to help their teeth. But it's still certainly better for their teeth than kibble IMO. Darwin's has a really awesome introductory offer if you wanted to just try it out. http://www.darwinspet.com/darwins-raw-dog-food/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think I may be able to swing feeding a whole raw diet of the pre-made as long as I am not sending a chicken carcass for my dog to gnaw on at the dog sitters. I got her several months ago from a shelter in Ohio and when I took her to the vet he was concerned about the plaque on her teeth as IGs are prone to periodontal disease. I think the meaty bones would be important for her so could I do the pre-made raw diet supplemented with a raw meaty bone in the morning? What bones would be good for her size?
 

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For bones you could do chicken wings, drumsticks, backs, and turkey necks to start. You can also break other larger pieces down for her if they are too big.
 

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If you're only feeding the premade for half the diet, I would try to actually balance the other half (by including organs). A balanced diet is 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, 5% organ (other than liver). The total diet should be 2-3% of the dog's body weight daily. Good raw meaty bones would be chicken quarters, wings and necks (the latter two are very bony). You want to eventually get as many protein sources into the diet as possible, with a minimum or 4 (chicken, pork, beef and fish are easiest for me). When you're first starting out, though, you can feed exclusively chicken without issue. What I did at first, was buy a whole chicken that includes giblets and just cut it into daily portions (you can eyeball it, calculating how many pieces to cut it into, assuming if the chicken weighs x amount and she needs x amount per day). Chicken is what most people use to transition their dogs to raw.

Here's an example of how to calculate a raw diet:

At 12 pounds, feeding 3% of your dog's body weight, she would need a daily total of 5.76 ounces:

4.61 ounces meat
0.58 ounces bone
0.29 ounces liver
0.29 ounces other organ

If you're only feeding for half the diet, each raw meal would be half that so 2.88 oz:

2.30 ounces meat
0.29 ounces bone
0.14 ounces liver
0.14 ounces other organ
 

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I would do the freeze dried and raw vs. kibble and raw. Ziwipeak, Only Natural Pet MaxMeat, and Real Meat Pet are all companies that make dried, all meat raw. Whenever Duke goes to shows we used Wellness 95% meat canned that could be an option too, although I'd go with the freeze dried. If you can't find fresh tripe when the time comes Tripett makes a canes tripe that can be substituted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. I actually recently started my dog on Canine Complete Joint Mobility, but she won't eat it unless it is mixed with a little bit of ground beef. She is really funny, she will grab the ground beef and run into the corner to eat it! I figured she has responded so well to that little bit that it would be better to feed her raw more often. I have a couple more questions, and they may seem stupid, but I myself eat about a 70% raw food diet for health reasons, which means I consume only a small amount of meat and don't really like handling/butchering meat. Can you buy organs from a butcher or grocery store? I have read that tripe is very healthy, but you can't get the processed kind from the store, where do you buy tripe? My girl has severe separation anxiety and someone told me to try giving her a frozen turkey or chicken neck while in the crate to keep her busy, is this safe? Can you buy those at the butcher? I personally won't even eat meat off the bone, not for any ethical reasons, I guess I am just weird, so this is kind of a whole new world for me...
 

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You can buy organs from the butcher or the grocery store. Not every store will have them out on display. You can usually ask the butcher for them though or if you have an Asian/ethnic market nearby they usually have a better selection and often lower prices on organs. We buy tripe from a local pet store but you can also order it online. You should supervise any feeding in case she chokes, same as feeding kibble. Once she gets accustomed to raw a frozen turkey or chicken neck will only take her a minute or two to polish off anyway so wont keep her too busy. Yes you can buy them at the butcher, people often use them for a soup base.
 

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I have found chicken livers, hearts and gizzards at the grocery store, as well as beef liver and sometimes beef heart. When you buy a whole chicken it usually comes with a few organs, last time I got a neck, a liver and two gizzards. You'll have to just look around. They might be available in places you frequent, you just pass over them because they aren't something most people buy. Anything you can't find in the store can be usually gotten online, either whole, or in the form of whole carcass grinds. This is a good place to look: https://www.hare-today.com/ Btw, I was a vegetarian for 9 years and just started eating meat again a few months ago, so I can relate. ;p

I would not give raw bones unsupervised. There is a small choking hazard that I would not risk. I recommend Nylabones, antlers, bully sticks or filled, frozen Kongs in the crate if you want to give her something to do to distract her.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for sharing that website with me, the pre cut pieces make this seem a little less daunting to me. With the formula you gave me for figuring out how much to feed the meat and bones are measured separate, but what if you ate feeding meaty pieces? Here is what I think I would be comfortable feeding for the meat and bone portion: small goat bones, small meaty beef bones, chicken and turkey pieces, whole sardines, small pork bones and rabbit pieces. I think I would also be willing to try the quail and maybe the rabbit heads, although they kind of scare me. For the orgasm portion I was thinking of going to the grocery store, getting a variety, grinding it and freezing it in ice cube trays. I would use the premade only for when she is being puppysat. Is that an adequate variety? And on that note, I think I have to check out craigslist for a freezer...lol!

I have never been a straight up vegetarian because I really don't mind meat as long as there is no bone to be seen. It is purely a psychological thing as I had a broken neck from my bones not developing correctly in my neck and, even though I'm all fixed up and bionic, I can hear the bones moving and grinding in my neck. It freaks me out still.

Lolli is my first carnivorous pet that is all my own. I go to great lengths to ensure my horse and prairie dogs get the best and most natural diet available, I felt I could do more for my dog as well. When I decided to get her, I drove 4.5 hours from Buffalo to Ohio to pick out a dog from an over crowded shelter. She had such a terrible start in life that I want to do the best I can for her now.
 

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Thanks for sharing that website with me, the pre cut pieces make this seem a little less daunting to me. With the formula you gave me for figuring out how much to feed the meat and bones are measured separate, but what if you ate feeding meaty pieces? Here is what I think I would be comfortable feeding for the meat and bone portion: small goat bones, small meaty beef bones, chicken and turkey pieces, whole sardines, small pork bones and rabbit pieces. I think I would also be willing to try the quail and maybe the rabbit heads, although they kind of scare me. For the orgasm portion I was thinking of going to the grocery store, getting a variety, grinding it and freezing it in ice cube trays. I would use the premade only for when she is being puppysat. Is that an adequate variety? And on that note, I think I have to check out craigslist for a freezer...lol!

I have never been a straight up vegetarian because I really don't mind meat as long as there is no bone to be seen. It is purely a psychological thing as I had a broken neck from my bones not developing correctly in my neck and, even though I'm all fixed up and bionic, I can hear the bones moving and grinding in my neck. It freaks me out still.

Lolli is my first carnivorous pet that is all my own. I go to great lengths to ensure my horse and prairie dogs get the best and most natural diet available, I felt I could do more for my dog as well. When I decided to get her, I drove 4.5 hours from Buffalo to Ohio to pick out a dog from an over crowded shelter. She had such a terrible start in life that I want to do the best I can for her now.
First off, best autocorrect ever. What a strange kink. :laugh:

Anyway, that sounds like enough variety to me in terms of meat. I would caution against grinding up the organs though...I think it can damage some of the vitamins in them (especially taurine). I actually don't know a whole lot about that but remembered hearing about it so I always fed organs whole (or obviously cut into portions in the case of big things like beef hearts/livers etc). I would make sure you're getting organs from at least 4 different animals as well, as some can be too high or too low in certain vitamins and minerals. Like I believe, for example, that turkey liver is high in vitamin...A I think?, so you wouldn't want to feed turkey organs exclusively because of it. It's all about variety. As for determining the bone content of a food...I honestly just eyeball it. Or you could weigh particularly boney cuts like wings, I suppose. But yeah, it's not that easy to weigh out the bones when they are part of a big piece of meat, which they usually will be.

If you want to try premade raw, I cannot recommend Darwin's enough. Their introductory offer is SUCH a steal ($14 for 10 pounds is less than the kibble I usually buy!) When you order they put you on an auto-shipment, but the duration between shipments is pretty long and they have great customer service, so it was easy peasy to cancel the auto-shipment (since I couldn't afford the food on a regular basis). If you can't find premades locally (I cannot) then Darwin's has good pricing, but with shipping it might not be able to compete with other brands if you can buy them in the store. IMO it is one of the best though. I really wish they weren't online only.

Good for you for going out of your way to pick up your pup in Ohio. That's actually where I'm located. :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow! I cannot stop laughing, I post from my phone as that is the only internet access when at work and I use swype so I tend to make mistakes. I always reread before posting and I have no idea how I missed that... I am definitely going to order the starter from Darwin's, thanks for that, too. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out, researching and getting an opinion our info from someone who actually feeds this diet are to totally different things. Especially in the food industry, there is so much misinformation out there! And talking to vets isn't always helpful because chances are they are being paid to promote a certain food. I assumed it would be okay to grind the organs, got it right this time, because they are ground up in the premade diets, but I guess I still have lots of research to do! Thanks again for all your help!

Btw, your dog is beautiful! I love her face and ears!
 

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I assumed it would be okay to grind the organs, got it right this time, because they are ground up in the premade diets, but I guess I still have lots of research to do! Thanks again for all your help!
Well, that's actually a really good point. Hopefully someone more experienced can come by and help with that one. I'm rather new to all of this myself but have been researching here and there for years. I've also gleaned a lot of information from other members of this forum.

Btw, your dog is beautiful! I love her face and ears!
Thank you! I think she's pretty good looking myself, but of course I am biased. ;p
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Haha! I'll be the first to admit my dog is a weirdo, for being 12 pounds she is long, tall and gangly. She has the body of an IG, the hair and tail of a JRT and bat ears... But, something that unique can only be found at a shelter!
 

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Haha! I'll be the first to admit my dog is a weirdo, for being 12 pounds she is long, tall and gangly. She has the body of an IG, the hair and tail of a JRT and bat ears... But, something that unique can only be found at a shelter!
Where are the pictures??
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have some pictures in an album on my profile. There is one of her on a rock that really shows the length of leg...
 

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Kafkabeetle beat me to the Darwin's link. I hope to someday feed prey model raw but for now, I feed half Darwin's. It's shipped direct from the company, which I like because it's fresh. I have it in my freezer less than a month from when it was made. It's not cheap but it's cheaper, for me, than the Stella and Chewey's I tried before.
Good luck!
 

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I have some pictures in an album on my profile. There is one of her on a rock that really shows the length of leg...
Huh, for some reason I can't find an album on your profile.

EDIT: Oops, I lied. Gosh, she is a cutie. :)

 

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Just a couple things to add.

Heart is a muscle not an organ so you can feed it as part of the meat content of the diet rather than organ content. Many raw feeders feed primarily beef and pork heart for their red meat as heart can be cheaper.

Grinding organs and meat exposes more surface area to oxygen which starts the oxidation process. Oxidation overtime will lead to loss of vitamins, particularly vitamin C, A and E. If ground right before feeding the loss of nutrients would be negligible but if you are going to be freezing and then thawing ground organs you may be losing a significant amount of vitamins.
 
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