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Hello all! I'm looking to switch my two yorkies to a raw diet asap. I'm getting fairly familiar with the ratios and the amount needed but since they are rather small, (7 lbs) I'm not quite sure what to start with and how to proceed. I've read it's best to start with chicken wings, backs, or necks--or do I just buy a whole chicken and try to mix pieces of bony meat with the chicken breast part, etc? Then I read a few articles saying not to give the small breeds the wings or backs or necks..so now i'm confused. Most of the info out there really does seems to be for large breeds. So SMALL BREED OWNERS WITH EXPERIENCE PLEASE HELP!

Also, They are both older dogs-9ish years old ( I don't know what took me so long). Both have teeth issues and I'm hoping a raw diet would help this. One of them went from having a very thick coat to it being incredibly dull and recently she has shed a lot. The vet says there's no sign of thyroid issues, SO I'm hoping a healthier diet will help her! She is also the one that has more periodontal issues and has had a number of her teeth extracted--mostly the small teeth in the front (incisors) and some premolars. She still has the canines and molars. But since the extraction she has resorted to vacuuming up her food (no more chewing). You would think that would minimize the tartar buildup, but it HASN't.

Anyways, tips for getting dogs that don't chew their food to chew would be very helpful. Also which cute to start with to make sure they get nutrients needed but to minimize the risk of choking, blockage, etc.
 

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If I worry about my dogs not chewing and potentially choking, I either give them a piece that is so large they have no choice but to chew (IE, my 14lb dog gets a whole chicken back to gnaw on - he can't even fit the whole thing in his mouth, therefore he can't choke) or I put a clamp on the end of a smaller piece which also prevents them from just inhaling. If she really won't chew, it may just not be comfortable and you may have to feed ground meats and supplement calcium, or buy a premade raw food that has the bone ground in.

I see no reason not to give a small dog wings, backs, necks, etc. When you first start, it really depends on the dogs and how they do. Some dogs transition easily, others have upset tummies for a while. You start with boney meals because they keep the poops firmer. Organs are rich and can cause diarrhea in dogs who aren't used to them. Chicken leg quarters are a great place to start - or drums for smaller dogs, as well as wings, necks, and backs. Make sure you take off as much of the skin as possible as it'll give dogs the runs sometimes.

A week or two of an unbalanced diet won't harm a dog - it's long term lack of proper nutrients that's bad, so start off with mostly boney meals and watch their poops to see how they do. If their poops are solid, you can start adding in some organs to one meal and then start working with other meats like beef and fish. A lot of people try to jump into raw too fast and then give up because their dogs get upset tummies - the key is to go slow and watch your dogs poops to see how they're doing. If you're worried, a multivitamin can be given while they're in the transition phase.
 
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