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Alright, so after thinking about it, I would actually be interested in learning about raw for my Papillon. While I still can't see how commercial foods can be horrible for you dog, I do think he would enjoy eating raw. I think it would be fun for the both of us, but on the other hand I'm worried that...well, I posted this on another thread discussing dry food for my other dog who can't eat raw: "Raw sounds great because it doesn't involve the cooking and seems so natural...on the other hand, if I don't balance the diet exactly right, then my dog suffers because I screwed up and I'll be kicking myself for not just feeding commercial food that I knew wouldn't do my dog any harm. I would feel awful, especially because my Papillon has no issues with any type of commercial food." So that's the short of it. I know there are lots of posts about raw, but I've read so many posts, threads, forums, and online articles that my mind is in a jumble of confused and discouraged pieces! So if anyone is interested, I am looking for answers to at least a few of these specific questions just as an outline to see if the raw diet would even fit in our lives--I don't want to keep drowning if I know I'll never be fit to swim!

Here's some basic information about my Papillon:
-Almost 5 years old
-Neutered
-Naturally limits his food intake and stays on the lean side
-Gets tartar build up pretty quickly even though he chews ALL the time
-Is on the large side at almost 12 inches and about 11lbs
-Is pretty neurotic at home, wiggling all over the place, but does very well in obedience classes and has good focus. He also settles down after a little while and spends a lot of the day curled up with me while I do schoolwork.

I have read that raw food could even help balance that neurosis out, although I have to admit I'm a little skeptical! I know that at least it should help with the tartar. He had a dental once before and wow that was spendy! Anyways, here is my LONG list, I would appreciate any tips!...

What would the general cost of raw per month be for a dog his size?
-I am a college student on a limited budget.
-He currently eats 1/2 cup kibble per day although he often goes a day or a day and a half without eating--he's a little strange!

How much would I need to feed him every day?
-He's active, but not extremely...so would it be 2% or 3% of his body weight?

How often should I feed him?
-Is it better to do the gorge and fast approach or feed regularly?

How can I make sure that I am varying his diet enough?

What are the effects of feeding him a diet that doesn't vary enough?
-Will it hurt him if, for example, if I can only find chicken, fish, pork, and beef to feed him?

Are vegetables necessary?
-He's anti vegetable, I think--he won't even eat carrots!
-The BARF diet types say veggies, Prey Model Raw says no...

Should I supplement the diet with a multivitamin?
-I know that good diets shouldn't need supplementation, but I worry that he might miss out on some nutrients.

What can I feed in place of raw if we are camping or traveling?

Will he be able to eat all the little bones in the meat or will I have to take them out so he won't choke?
-For example, all the little ribs in chicken and bones in fish.

What kind of training treats can be used when a dog is eating raw?
-Again, my weird little dog won't eat carrots! Lol! I also don't have a dehydrator.


Phew! Finished! If you read all that, thank you for even taking the time to bother to do so!
 

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What would the general cost of raw per month be for a dog his size?
My 26lb dog eats about 0.5lbs a day which costs me around $30 a month so I would expect you could feed at 11lb dog on $15 a month or less.

How often should I feed him?
I think this depends on the dog. My dog does best on two meals a day but many prefer once a day. With such a small dog I would go for 1 meal a day because his meals will already be very small and you wont want to be cutting up pieces of meat/bone too small.

How much would I need to feed him every day?
Start at 2% while you are transitioning and then if he needs more, you can slowly increase to 3%. A few very active dogs need more than 3%.

How can I make sure that I am varying his diet enough?
At a minimum you should try to feed at least 4 types of protein and follow the 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other secreting organs guideline.

What are the effects of feeding him a diet that doesn't vary enough?
-Will it hurt him if, for example, if I can only find chicken, fish, pork, and beef to feed him?

That should be enough for a base diet. If you can add it a bit more variety once in a while then that should be fine. I can get duck, turkey and lamb when it's on sale for example but they aren't fed too often in my home.

Are vegetables necessary?
I personally believe there is no need for vegetables in a properly balance prey model raw diet. We feed some veggies as treats but I don't count them as part of his diet. Making sure you are getting a varied supply of organ meat is key for ensuring your dog is getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need. Eggs are also a good source of vitamins.

Should I supplement the diet with a multivitamin?
If you take the time to balance the diet then I don't think it is necessary. If you are worried that you aren't feeding a balanced diet then I would research the multivitamin very carefully so you are not over supplementing which can sometimes be worse than having a small deficiency.

What can I feed in place of raw if we are camping or traveling?
I feed raw when we camp and travel, just pack it in a cooler with lots of ice but you can use dehydrated raw like Ziwi Peak or the Honest Kitchen instead.

Will he be able to eat all the little bones in the meat or will I have to take them out so he won't choke?
He will be able to eat all the bones, no problem. They are great for cleaning teeth. My dog has been on prey model raw for 2 years and has never chocked on a bone. You wont want to feed heavy weight bearing bones from pork or beef as they can be too hard.

What kind of training treats can be used when a dog is eating raw?
You can feed regular commercial treats if you want (though I would wait until your dog is fully transitioned) but I prefer single ingredient dehydrated treats like dehydrated liver or chicken. Easy to carry and still close to the raw diet.
 

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I would say, specifically dealing with multivitamins, that you should go with a good whole foods supplement. Something with a mixture of fruits and veggies. Probably more likely to be sold as a antioxidant supplement than multivitamin specifically.

The reason for that being, like mentioned above, you have to worry about over supplementing as well. The only cases of over doses of vitamins have been with synthetic vitamin use. It's pretty much impossible to over dose on vitamins from food. Not a single case of it ever happening.

Scratch that: very rare cases of ppl overdosing on vitamin A from eating polar bear liver and dog livers (mushers that got stuck somewhere and ate their sled dogs). That can't happen from beta carotene though, if the body had enough vitamin A it won't be converted and just turns your skin orange. So, I would worry more about over doing the liver in a raw diet than giving a supplement with beta carotene in it. If your dogs skin turns orange then you need to cut back on the supplements lol. Mainly, just pay attention to the amount of fat soluble vitamins and the minerals in the foods you feed and supplement if needed just don't over do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
THANK YOU! That has helped a lot! Do either of you have certain recipes you follow that you know are nutritionally balanced? Or use some sort of rotational system?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh! One more thing. This may be a "duh" question, but should the meat/bones be defrosted overnight before the dog eats them?
 

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It is probably best to start with fully defrosted meat though some dogs prefer their meat or organs frozen. I have fed frozen and semi-defrosted meats with no issue but a fully defrosted piece is probably easiest to eat so would be best for a dog transitioning.
 

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Oh! One more thing. This may be a "duh" question, but should the meat/bones be defrosted overnight before the dog eats them?
I usually thaw the meat first. But if I'm trying to keep my puppy busy, I'll leave his meal frozen on purpose, takes him longer to eat that way :p.
 

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What would the general cost of raw per month be for a dog his size?
This depends on your area, but my 7 lbs dog costs me about $20-30 a month. For a 11 lbs dog I would imagine it costing you maybe $30-40 (if you are in the US it will probably be cheaper)

How much would I need to feed him every day?
This also depends on your dog. I would say start at 2% in the beginning and adjust accordingly depending on the body condition of your dog. I feed my dog 2.5% of his body weight.

How often should I feed him?
I feed my dog once a day. I do also do gorging/fasting once a month or so with really large items for cleaning his teeth. Or I will let him have the big thing for 15 mins and then take it away and serve again the next day. Any smaller than 1 day meals will be hard for your because your dog is so small.

How can I make sure that I am varying his diet enough?
Usually the rule of thumb is 2:1 ratio for red meat VS white meat. You want to give as much variety as possible. The most basic I would say would be 3 different proteins. Usually you start with only bony chicken at the beginning though until the dog's stomach is able to handle richer meats.

What are the effects of feeding him a diet that doesn't vary enough?
Chicken, fish, pork and beef is already a pretty decent variety. My dog gets chicken, pork and beef as staples, and then one or two novelty meats that I change each month (so quail, duck, goat, lamb, mackerel, are some of the other options).

Are vegetables necessary?
BARF is incomplete. You can give pureed veggies if you wish, but I personally have not found a big difference in health by supplementing with veggies. My dog gets mostly meat (he gets some veggies here and there), and he is perfectly healthy. It can depend for each dog.

Should I supplement the diet with a multivitamin?
A balanced PMR diet does not need supplementing. If you are not feeding fish high in omega-3s regularly and you are not feeding grass fed beef, then you should supplement omega-3s with fish oil.

What can I feed in place of raw if we are camping or traveling?
There are lots of freeze dried and air dried options (Stella & Chewy's, Ziwipeak, etc.) that would be good for that.

Will he be able to eat all the little bones in the meat or will I have to take them out so he won't choke?
Chicken bones will be perfectly fine for your dog. The rule of thumb is that the piece should be bigger than your dog's mouth to ensure chewing. Some bones I would stay away from such as beef bones and weight bearing bones because they tend to be too hard, even for some larger dogs.

What kind of training treats can be used when a dog is eating raw?
I oven bake/dehydrate my treats. I also use regular treats. So far my favorite oven baked treats I made at home were chicken hearts. I cut them into little rings (they look like little olives lol) and then I baked them at 400F for an hour :)
 
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