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Hello, all:

So, I finally started Mesquite on raw a few weeks ago and she's doing very well. Her ear infections seemed to clear up instantly. She's currently on a diet of chicken and turkey, with small amounts of beef heart mixed in (she will not, will NOT touch poultry organs unless cooked).

We're clicker training for everything from basic obedience to her reactivity/aggression issues, so we go through a lot of treats. For a long time we used Natural Balance rolls but she pretty much lost interest in all flavors of the rolls about a month and a half ago. When I was carrying them, she wouldn't respond to my clicks. I was at a loss for a while, and her training slipped a bit, which is ultimately unacceptable because she really really needs work on her reactivity.

So, for the last couple weeks I've been buying turkey gizzards, giblets, and liver which I would cook with a tiny bit of garlic salt, cut up, and use for treats. All these meats are very inexpensive, so they're attractive as a treat option. And she really, really liked them! However, Trumpetjock (fiance and resident raw feeding consultant) expressed concern that using even cooked organ meat as treats would throw her diet and system out of whack since her diet would ultimately include more than 10% organs because of the treats.

What do you think? Should I be concerned? What are other treat options that run about $0.50 a pound?
 

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I don't know about that Trumpetjock person - :p kiddin'.

Honestly, I don't think it's going to totally derail the diet. Raw feeding is pretty forgiving and it's not an exact science. There are some weeks where my dogs get almost 30% organ and others where they might get 5%. Balance over time is key....The only thing you might notice if you're feeding too much organ is loose stool, then just cut back or change what you're giving as treats.
If you're looking for other treat suggestions - you could try bits of cooked chicken breast (the pieces dont need to be very big), hot dogs are always a hit in my house and of course CHEESE.
 

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Hot dogs is a great option, and they're very cheap. If I really want something enticing, I will cut the hotdogs up and sprinkle with garlic. Then pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds. The smell really gets their attention.

As far as the organ meat, I can’t think of any problem besides loose stool. But you could always just measure out one pound or so every week for treats, and subtract that from the amount of organ meat you feed in the week. That way your 80:10:10 will stay in balance. But honestly, I think it’s possible to ever get that exactly right. At the end of the day, you just have to do your best and hope nature irons out the kinks.
 
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