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I'm interested in starting my dogs on a diet like this, I'll probably keep dry dog food on hand, but here are my questions:

Do I need to ween them onto the raw diet by feeding them a little less of the food they're used to and maybe start with a half a chicken breast each?

Do I need to worry about any bones choking them (like pin bones in fish or the tiny bones in wings, ect...)?

Can I go into a butcher and ask for meat scraps? Like fat trimmings, bones, and chicken necks. Do they even sell the hearts and kidneys? (Shamefully, I'm pretty clueless here. I live in a city and there are many butchers here, have I ever walked into one, no. I have no idea how this works!)

Nutritionally, how do I know if they're getting everything they need?

What I think I understand: minimal to zero grains, uncooked fruits and veggies, fish oil daily and raw egg every other day. Feed beef and chicken on separate days. ?

Not sure if this matters but one is 6 and the other is almost 2 yrs.
 

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You don't need to wean them onto raw. You can switch them cold turkey, no pun intended, after a fast period of at least 12 hours.

With any diet there is always a risk of choking but as long as you give appropriately sized portions and your dog is chewing properly the risk isn't any higher than other diets. Bigger is actually better to prevent choking because it forces the dog to chew their food.

You can ask your butcher for off cuts but you will need to pay for them. Yes they sell the necks, hearts, backs etc. the price will probably be cheaper than other cuts but that really depends on where you live and what the market for those items are.

You need to feed 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organ of a variety of proteins (at least 4) to balance the nutrient requirements of your dog. You can feed raw oily fish or use fish oil to supplement for omega-3s if you aren't feeding primarily free-range meat. You can do a yearly full blood panel on your dog to make sure they are doing well internally. You will also be able to see changes externally such as coat condition, eye goop, poop etc. to see how they are doing.

www.preymodelraw.com
 

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Thanks, especially for the percentages, that makes it much easier to plan. Hopefully I can start the new diet within the week.
 

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I'm interested in starting my dogs on a diet like this, I'll probably keep dry dog food on hand, but here are my questions:

Do I need to ween them onto the raw diet by feeding them a little less of the food they're used to and maybe start with a half a chicken breast each?

Do I need to worry about any bones choking them (like pin bones in fish or the tiny bones in wings, ect...)?

Can I go into a butcher and ask for meat scraps? Like fat trimmings, bones, and chicken necks. Do they even sell the hearts and kidneys? (Shamefully, I'm pretty clueless here. I live in a city and there are many butchers here, have I ever walked into one, no. I have no idea how this works!)

Nutritionally, how do I know if they're getting everything they need?

What I think I understand: minimal to zero grains, uncooked fruits and veggies, fish oil daily and raw egg every other day. Feed beef and chicken on separate days. ?

Not sure if this matters but one is 6 and the other is almost 2 yrs.
Here is the ultimate starting guide, give it a read!
http://www.chanceslittlewebsite.com/uploads/7/6/9/2/7692088/beginners_guide_to_prey_model_raw_rv.6.pdf

-No weaning necessary. It's better to switch "cold turkey" as raw and dry digest differently so mixing can cause tummy upsets. It's often recommended to fast your dog for 12-14 hours (adult only, do not fast a puppy) then start on the raw. Expect loose stool at first! Some dogs adjust better than others, but expect to have a little digestive upset for about a week as their body adjusts.

-The bones you want to feed are the soft, flexible, edible bones like in poultry, fish, and small game. Do not feed plain chicken necks or wings as they are the perfect size and shape for your dog to want to gulp down whole. Feeding things semi-frozen will help them to chomp instead of swallowing whole. If your dog does swallow a larger piece of something and does not choke, then you're good to go! I've seen my 40 lb husky swallow an entire chicken drumstick and it digested just fine. Sometimes dogs will barf up things that are too big to sit comfortably in their stomach. It's fine to let them eat it again if they want it.

-You can call or walk in. I usually do something along the lines of "Hi, I make a homemade diet for my pets and was wondering if you have scraps and offal available like heart, liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas, tongue, things like that." I say homemade instead of raw because to the uneducated you often experience shock and surprise and I don't want to spend my time explaining it lol. I explain as much as they want and ask though. I will also throw in how much I'm willing to pay pretty early int he conversation so I don't waste their time or mine.
*Co-ops are an AWESOME resource. http://www.dogaware.com/diet/rawgroups.html

-You can search on the USDA site and compare to the nutrient requirements of dogs. You'll be fine as long as you feed a variety and follow the 80-10-10 guideline like Gally said. Broken down, this means 80% muscle meat (roasts, steaks, any meat attached to bones, heart, lung, and tongue), 10% edible bone, 5% liver, and 5% other organ (brain, pancreas, spleen, kidney, ovary, testes.)

-Dogs are carnivores. They do not need plants at all. No grain, no veggies, no fruit. Uncooked veggies go right through! Give a carrot and you'll see all the bright orange bits in their poop the next day. Do not give dairy either, dogs are mammals and only need milk as infants. I do give mine some occasionally as a snack but it's not a significant part of their diet. A bit of carrot when I'm making a salad, a few blueberries that are too squishy for my liking, a nibble of banana, and let them lick out empty yogurt containers when I'm done with them. It's up to you if you and your dog's digestive system how often you give egg. Mine get 1-2 eggs per week. Some people give an egg a day, some people never give egg. I like the variety.

-Do add fish oil daily unless you are able to feed meat that has been naturally fed (grass-fed beef, free-range chickens getting bugs and worms, etc). Commercially fed meat is very low in Omega 3.
 

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Get essential information about feeding raw food to your dog from this link:
http://www.aboutdogfacts.com/raw-diet-for-dogs/
Hmm.
About 80 percent of muscle meat including the fat
About 10 percent of organs
15-18 percent of green tripeAbout 10 percent of raw meaty bone
Raw eggs
That equals about 120%.

Your need to add some vegetable like carrots and spinach and fruits to the raw diet of your dog.
False. Dogs do not need plants (or dairy) in their diet.

Try to alternate feeding your dog on raw food diet with something else like kibbles.
No! They digest differently and can cause bad tummy upsets if you mix. Some dogs do fine mixing but some don't. A clean switch is best, no mixing.
 

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Okay, so I've been feeding raw for about 3 weeks now. Today was the first day that I added chicken thighs and Loki got a bone lodged in his teeth, at first I thought he was choking. It was really scary. I tried removing it but it was really wedged in there, he finally dislodged it on his own, but I don't want anything like that to happen again. Not a great first experience for that. Anyway, another question or two; I completely understand that dogs don't need any type of plant source, but I always hear how good canned pumpkin and ground flax seeds are. I've even heard that you can use flax as a protein source. Opinions there? And I keep seeing that you have to feed green tripe. I have been feeding beef tripe, is okay?
 

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Canned pumpkin is a bandaid when your dog has diarrhea. Flax is probably recommended mainly for the Omega 3, but fish oil is a better source of it for dogs.

"Green" tripe means it is unwashed. It's a good thing to add! If all you can find is white, bleached, clean tripe then skip it. If it's white, it has no use. It should be greenish brown and stinky.

Good tripe:


Worthless tripe (Worthless for dogs! Fine to eat it yourself, I know there are a couple Mexican dishes that use tripe and probably many dishes I don't know of.)
 

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So I've been researching raw, and more so observing since I joined, and I feel like its actually a pretty simple process that as long as I follow the guidelines, I could probably do quite easily. But my boyfriend has recently become pretty skeptical and told me that if the vet says its okay, he's up for it, if not he's still up to switching to a higher quality kibble, and of course the Stella & Chewy's really isn't too shabby of a food as a topper.


Does anyone have any advice about talking about this to a vet?
I'm pretty much thinking its going to go badly, but I would love if there was a way to bring it up with her that would make it seem like I have a planned, well-rounded diet that I would want to implement. (I'd be doing PMR as it seems to actually be quite a simple way to get all of Cosmo's needs met, and less complicated then BARF).

I think I may write up what my plan for his diet is and show it to the vet to see whether or not she approves. so if I have anything wrong or if you have ideas on how else I could present my case for a raw diet, please butt in!!

I know how much Cosmo should eat in a week (he's 20 pounds which is what I believe to be is going to be pretty close to his adult diet), and it basically consists of 36 ounces of muscle meat, 4.5 ounces of bone, 2.25 ounces of liver, and 2.25 ounces of other organs (spleen, kidney, brain, pancreas). Every day he needs a total of 6.4 ounces of food. But aside from that I've only just recently started to calculate the bone percentages in foods I'd be giving, and how much of say a chicken neck he'd need.
 

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So I've been researching raw, and more so observing since I joined, and I feel like its actually a pretty simple process that as long as I follow the guidelines, I could probably do quite easily. But my boyfriend has recently become pretty skeptical and told me that if the vet says its okay, he's up for it, if not he's still up to switching to a higher quality kibble, and of course the Stella & Chewy's really isn't too shabby of a food as a topper.


Does anyone have any advice about talking about this to a vet?
I'm pretty much thinking its going to go badly, but I would love if there was a way to bring it up with her that would make it seem like I have a planned, well-rounded diet that I would want to implement. (I'd be doing PMR as it seems to actually be quite a simple way to get all of Cosmo's needs met, and less complicated then BARF).

I think I may write up what my plan for his diet is and show it to the vet to see whether or not she approves. so if I have anything wrong or if you have ideas on how else I could present my case for a raw diet, please butt in!!

I know how much Cosmo should eat in a week (he's 20 pounds which is what I believe to be is going to be pretty close to his adult diet), and it basically consists of 36 ounces of muscle meat, 4.5 ounces of bone, 2.25 ounces of liver, and 2.25 ounces of other organs (spleen, kidney, brain, pancreas). Every day he needs a total of 6.4 ounces of food. But aside from that I've only just recently started to calculate the bone percentages in foods I'd be giving, and how much of say a chicken neck he'd need.
Unless your vet is a holistic vet, I highly doubt he/she will tell you it is okay to feed a dog raw.

Have a look at what Dr Karen Becker and Dr Peter Dobias says to convince your boyfriend, maybe? Or I would contact a holistic vet in your area...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3wLTlqnMMg

Vets get very little training on nutrition from what I know, especially when it comes to raw food. Even Dr Sophia Yin knows nothing about raw food (try having a look at her website), the only info. she has on it are from seminars that examine incomplete raw diets like BARF.
 

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Unless your vet is a holistic vet, I highly doubt he/she will tell you it is okay to feed a dog raw.

Have a look at what Dr Karen Becker and Dr Peter Dobias says to convince your boyfriend, maybe? Or I would contact a holistic vet in your area...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3wLTlqnMMg

Vets get very little training on nutrition from what I know, especially when it comes to raw food. Even Dr Sophia Yin knows nothing about raw food (try having a look at her website), the only info. she has on it are from seminars that examine incomplete raw diets like BARF.
I don't know if she will tell me its okay (well theres actually 3 of them), but I just have a feeling if she says no, my BF is going to be much harder to convince haha. He just worries, and I understand his concern, we both care pretty deeply for Cosmo.

I think most of it comes from the fact its "scary" and "complicated" but in your opinion is it really that hard? I feel like after some really heavy researching the last few weeks it finally clicked last night how this diet will probably be easier then I thought. As long as Cosmo is getting his organ and liver ratios, and the basic meat to bone ratios (of course in appropriately sized portions), we should be fine, I presume?


On the other side of it though Cosmo just had his second raw egg ever, and Koko actually just had her first (they both LOVED it), and he's totally fine with the raw egg, which some people seem to view as controversial so maybe I could use that as some leverage haha.
 

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If the vet says no, it's usually because 1) They're worried about bacteria harming you and 2) Feeding an unbalanced raw diet can be horrific and cause a lot of health problems. When it comes to bacteria, there is not a single case of salmonella confirmed to have been caused by feeding a raw diet to pets. You are trusted to handle raw meat for yourselves because you use common sense hygiene like washing your hands immediately after as well as all surfaces the meat touched. Do the same when your pet is done eating- and no puppy kisses after. Hundreds of people have gotten sick from salmonella in dry pet food, so saying raw is unsafe due to bacteria is ridiculous because dry processed foods have bacteria too. Make sure you do your research and understand what to feed, what not to feed, and follow the basic 80-10-10 guideline.
http://www.chanceslittlewebsite.com/uploads/7/6/9/2/7692088/beginners_guide_to_prey_model_raw_rv.6.pdf

I suggest you find sources before you start to make sure you can ultimately be feeding at least 3 different protein sources (and ideally different cuts of the same animal) as well as a variety of organ. Liver should be around 5% of the diet and other organ 5%. That other organ is kidney, brain, spleen, pancreas, sweetbread (thymus), testes, ovaries, and arguably lung. Don't forget about feeding oily fish such as sardine, herring, mackerel, or smelt if you are feeding commercially raised grocery store quality meat (as most people do) or supp with fish oil. If you're giving fish, make sure they are wild caught. If you're giving fish oil, make sure the only ingredients of the gelcap are fish body oil, gelatin, and glycerin. No Vitamin E, mixed tocopherols, soy, rosemary, citrus, etc.
 

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If the vet says no, it's usually because 1) They're worried about bacteria harming you and 2) Feeding an unbalanced raw diet can be horrific and cause a lot of health problems. When it comes to bacteria, there is not a single case of salmonella confirmed to have been caused by feeding a raw diet to pets. You are trusted to handle raw meat for yourselves because you use common sense hygiene like washing your hands immediately after as well as all surfaces the meat touched. Do the same when your pet is done eating- and no puppy kisses after. Hundreds of people have gotten sick from salmonella in dry pet food, so saying raw is unsafe due to bacteria is ridiculous because dry processed foods have bacteria too. Make sure you do your research and understand what to feed, what not to feed, and follow the basic 80-10-10 guideline.
http://www.chanceslittlewebsite.com/uploads/7/6/9/2/7692088/beginners_guide_to_prey_model_raw_rv.6.pdf

I suggest you find sources before you start to make sure you can ultimately be feeding at least 3 different protein sources (and ideally different cuts of the same animal) as well as a variety of organ. Liver should be around 5% of the diet and other organ 5%. That other organ is kidney, brain, spleen, pancreas, sweetbread (thymus), testes, ovaries, and arguably lung. Don't forget about feeding oily fish such as sardine, herring, mackerel, or smelt if you are feeding commercially raised grocery store quality meat (as most people do) or supp with fish oil. If you're giving fish, make sure they are wild caught. If you're giving fish oil, make sure the only ingredients of the gelcap are fish body oil, gelatin, and glycerin. No Vitamin E, mixed tocopherols, soy, rosemary, citrus, etc.
I believe it may have actually been you who posted it, but I've been following the Beginner's Guide to Prey Model Raw pdf file, and for some reason it made it seem a lot easier then I originally thought. I found mypetcarnivore which doesn't seem to have too bad of prices, and I can get a variety of meats from there. But I also have Sams Club, Costco, and a variety of local butchers as well. My Pet Carnivore has a pickup location right near where I live, which I figure would be a good source. I definitely will not be jumping right into it, and knowing myself will probably right out a 1-2 month plan of action, with all the math completed before I even begin to shop around or jump right into feeding him raw. I liked that the Beginner's Guide file said to break it up into a week of feeding, so some days I could feed say .5-1 ounce of liver, 4 ounces of RMB, 1 ounce of kidney etc, and then other days go with say tripe, lung, heart, and only a small amount of RMB, as long as I'm fulfilling the WEEKLY requirements. (From what I understand)
 

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Probably, it's my go-to link! Really great guide- but it is only a guide, there are so many ways of feeding raw and it's fine to tweak things. Many dogs need more or less bone for example to have good poops.

For future reference:
Organ
Liver
Brain
Kidney
Spleen
Pancreas
Sweetbread (thymus)
Testes
Ovaries

Meat
Heart
Gizzard
Stomach/tripe
Poultry eggs
Tongue
Penis (ahem, bully stick)
Uterus

Arguable:
Lung, technically should be fed as meat under the saying "If it does not secrete, feed it as meat" but it's an organ.
 

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Probably, it's my go-to link! Really great guide- but it is only a guide, there are so many ways of feeding raw and it's fine to tweak things. Many dogs need more or less bone for example to have good poops.

For future reference:
Organ
Liver
Brain
Kidney
Spleen
Pancreas
Sweetbread (thymus)
Testes
Ovaries

Meat
Heart
Gizzard
Stomach/tripe
Poultry eggs
Tongue
Penis (ahem, bully stick)
Uterus

Arguable:
Lung, technically should be fed as meat under the saying "If it does not secrete, feed it as meat" but it's an organ.
Cosmo, as an example should get about 4.5 ounces of bone, in his diet for the week. Would it be okay to have days where there's no bone included, as long as his poop is good and his needs are being met thoroughout the week? From all the sights I've been reading from it seems that for liver and organ its okay to spread it out throughout the week as long as they get what they need, but is it alright to do the same with bone amounts?
 

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Cosmo, as an example should get about 4.5 ounces of bone, in his diet for the week. Would it be okay to have days where there's no bone included, as long as his poop is good and his needs are being met thoroughout the week? From all the sights I've been reading from it seems that for liver and organ its okay to spread it out throughout the week as long as they get what they need, but is it alright to do the same with bone amounts?
Yes but this is way later. At first you will want to introduce more bone. Dogs who don't get bone everyday in the beginning often get very soft stools. Oh, and make sure to pair organs with bone!!

ETA:

Also maybe ask him if he would give you a chance to show that it's good for the dogs. Ask him to give you like two months of trying raw. Tell him if it doesn't go well you will go back to kibble. Chances are in two months you will probably see a big improvement in your dog's health and that should give you a bit of leverage ;)

My boyfriend was a bit skeptical at first too... heck, even I was skeptical/worried at first... but the improvements we saw changed everything.

Also, you're right. Once you read a bit and you have a good guide, like the one that Sibe just linked, it's super easy! You also have to remember they're approximate... you don't have to make it exactly 80-10-10 but it's a good place to start. Some dogs need more bone, etc. so a lot of people just kind of eyeball it haha.
 

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Just boney chicken for the first week, and maybe 2 weeks if the dog is taking longer to adjust. I like giving chicken leg quarters and split chicken breasts (breast with ribs attached) to start.

Then, yep! I feed a bone-in meal like a chicken leg quarter, lamb ribs, turkey neck, etc about 2-4x a week depending on how boney it is. The other days are boneless (I feed once a day, which is fine for adult dogs, puppies should be fed more often). They get liver a couple times a week, and other organ a couple times a week. The way that works for me is that I package up meals into tupperware, or ziplocks for awkard shaped things. Mine need around 13oz a day so I'll put say 10oz of boneless pork shoulder roast and 3-4oz of organ. A chicken leg quarter with a few oz of sweetbread. A turkey neck with a couple oz of brain and then maybe I'll add an egg to that too. Tupperware gets stacked up in the freezer. I do big shopping trips/pickups and butcher & package for a couple hours but then I'm set for the next 2 or 3 weeks. A also do stuff for the cats and that add a lot of the time since I chop stuff up into lil bits for them.

For example, this is moose or elk roast with pork belly (belly is fed as meat, it's really fatty and I wanted to add fat to the lean game meat). I make stacks of the same type of meal and pop it in the freezer. I have stacks of several different things, most have organ in them.


Kitty buffet, gets layered in tupperware so there's some of everything in each tupperware.


 

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My boyfriend was a bit skeptical at first too... heck, even I was skeptical/worried at first... but the improvements we saw changed everything.
I'm pretty sure most people think they are going to kill their dog at first. After a few meals you really relax about it, and after a few weeks you're really liking it, and after a few months you can't imagine why you never did this before and can't imagine ever giving kibble again unless you absolutely had to.
 

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I'm pretty sure most people think they are going to kill their dog at first. After a few meals you really relax about it, and after a few weeks you're really liking it, and after a few months you can't imagine why you never did this before and can't imagine ever giving kibble again unless you absolutely had to.
Haha exactly. I was terrified when I first had to make it on my own!! I'm so much more comfortable/confident with it now :p
 
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