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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I started my dogs on a raw diet on 04/20/2009. I have an approximately 45-pound (probably less now) collie/terrier mix named Barret and a 15-pound JRT named Vito.

Vito did pretty well from the start and never got sick; however, Barret had a rocky start and got very sick with vomiting, panting and shivering and acting very ill. Barret is 5-1/2 and has been on commercial dog food longer than Vito, who is almost 3.

Both dogs are doing very well now. I feed them in the morning and in the late afternoon/evening. Vito is always ready to eat. Barret usually doesn't want to eat in the morning but is ready to eat in the late afternoon. They come running when I put old kitchen towels on the floor, which I use as their plates. They get more excited when I get their food out of the fridge and take it out of the bag, and they eat it much quicker than they did at the start.

Barret, the older dog, used to have "road kill" breath but doesn't anymore. He seems to be a little friskier than he was but still has a dry nose and a limp. Vito, the JRT, never had any health problems so I can't tell a difference in him.

Here's what I've been feeding them:

  • chicken backs alternating with chicken necks in the morning
  • chicken quarters (little dog gets the leg, big dog gets the thigh), alternating with another kind of meat, pork steak (without the bone) or deer burger so far; I can't find turkey necks here
  • canned mackerel plus chicken liver, heart or gizzard plus raw egg one day a week

Barret doesn't seem to like chicken and looks at me when I give it to him, like he's saying, "Don't you have anything else?" He eats it, though, but would prefer the deer meat, pork or mackerel.

I thought I would have trouble with the chicken necks because of choking but they both have done very well with them and have had no problems.

My question is: Am I doing this correctly? Are they getting the proper variety of meats and the proper balance? They haven't eaten beef yet. Does anyone know of an inexpensive cut of beef to feed them?

Anita
 

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It looks like you're doing everything right to me, good job!

The cheapest cuts of beef I can think of are beef ribs (I can usually find them for $.99/lb).
 

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My question is: Am I doing this correctly? Are they getting the proper variety of meats and the proper balance? They haven't eaten beef yet. Does anyone know of an inexpensive cut of beef to feed them?
I think you are doing great. Be aware that for our purposes, heart isn't an organ, rather muscle meat so beef heart would be good, relatively cheap beef to feed them. Just be sure to introduce beef heart slowly as it is a rather rich meat. I feed my dogs at least one meal a week of beef heart. You need to slowly work up to a whole meal of heart.

I think your dogs have a very good diet. Don't worry about it. You are doing good. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the encouragement on the raw feeding! :smile: I'm glad to know I'm not killing my dogs by feeding them incorrectly. I'm a worry wart

This may be a silly question, but I've never seen a beef heart before. How big is it? I'm assuming it's way bigger than a chicken heart. Is it big enough for both of my dogs or would they each get a heart? Do you buy them in a grocery store or have to special order them?

Thanks for all the help. This forum is great and I have recommended it to others.
 
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