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Hi, I am getting my first dog in a week and plan to feed it raw. He's a tricolor sheltie. I was just wondering if I can go raw right away, he is on a crappy kibble right now at the breeder's.
 

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Hi, well i have a 1 yr old American Bulldog and we got her at 9 weeks, and by week 10 ,she was 100% raw,and at about the 6 month mark i switched to "prey model". NEVER had a problem with anything. However from past experience i would stay away from big turkey bones until the dog is much more mature. About 7 years ago i had a 4 month old American Bulldog that gave me a heart attack one night as she was inhaling some turkey legs. So Id stay from big bones. Chicken and rabbit should be fine, and research as much as you can. In my opinion real food is better than ANYTHING thats comes out of a bag or a can
 

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Hi, I am getting my first dog in a week and plan to feed it raw. He's a tricolor sheltie. I was just wondering if I can go raw right away, he is on a crappy kibble right now at the breeder's.
Yes, you can feed a puppy a prey model raw diet. I know many breeders that wean their pups directly to raw. You can feed them most anything once the short introduction period is over. The only bones you need to worry about is weight bearing bones of LARGE animals such as cows, buffalo, etc. All poultry bones are fine.
 

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Absolutely!

There isn't a better choice to feed your puppy than raw. Its the most appropriate diet that you can provide that will give optimum nutrition during growth.

We have raised two of our girls all the way to adulthood on exclusively prey model raw diet without a hitch. In fact, I feel that our Dane puppy grew more progressively than my first did, who was raised on kibble. I didn't see the massive growth spurts and latency periods with the younger Dane. I have known many people who have witnessed the same results.

What I suggest you do to start:

Feed chicken wings that have been whacked with a hammer enough to crunch up the bones a bit. That should help your puppy in the first few days to a week with the bones. A lot of puppies will tear the meat right off the bone and then discard it. That isn't want you want because your pup will end up with diarrhea. Bone is what replaces the dog's need of fiber to bulk up stool. The more bone you feed, the firmer the bowel movements. Remember that in the wild, mama dog would eat food first and then regurgitate it for her pups. So I think smashing RMBs (raw meaty bones, like a chicken wing) with a hammer first does a good job of mimicking this behavior.

Don't be surprised if you see some chunks of bone in your pup's stool in the beginning, this is normal. It takes a while for the digestive system to get used to digesting whole, raw foods. After a while you'll notice less and less of this. Even after years of raw feeding I still see the occasional bone chunk and I think nothing of it. This is what most newbie raw feeders worry about most. I know that I could tell you not to worry about it, but most likely you will be a bit nervous in the beginning, but with time and experience you will gain confidence that what you are feeding is the best out there.

You should feed smashed up chicken wings and drumsticks for at least a few days, if not a week. But eventually you want to smash them less and less so your pup gets the hang of crunching the bones itself. Soon enough you will see that those sharp little puppy teeth can tear through about anything!

Once you have several days of normal bowel movements, start adding in other protein sources. I would start with turkey necks added in alternating meals with chicken. The bones are very easy for puppies to chew and the bone content is pretty high, which will keep bowels normal. After a few days of this without any issues, start with another protein source. I suggest whole raw fish if you can find them. If not bone in canned fish, like mackarel. Keep adding in new protein sources into your rotation until there is a good variety of meats. The more variety the better, but if you can only feed chicken, turkey, beef and fish thats a great rotation.

You will want to feed 10% of your pups body weight per day UNTIL that 10% EQUALS 2-3% of the estimated adult weight. For example:

Lets say your puppy weighs 8 pounds: 8 X .10% = 0.8 pound of food per day (~3/4 of a pound).

Lets say your puppy is estimated to be 50 pounds as an adult: 50 X 0.025 = 1.25 pounds of food per day (1 1/4 pound).

So, by the time your puppy weighs ~12 pounds you will be feeding ~ 1 1/4 pounds per day. Don't continue to increase this amount. This is the amount you will feed until adulthood.

***This is just a hypothetical situation but it gives you a good picture of the number crunching. You will find that you may need to adjust the %'s based on body condition which is more important to follow. This just give you an approximation of food. If you notice your puppy getting heavy (can't easily feel ribs and see a good tucked tummy) cut back on food, even if its like 1% of its body weight. Every dog is different in their caloric needs. This also means if you notice your puppy looking a bit thin, just increase the amount a very small amount at a time. It doesn't take much to increase calories and if you feed too much a lot of the time you end up with a "cannon butt" puppy.

I hope this is helpful, please ask any and all questions you might have :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Will feeding raw help him grow bigger? He is the "runt" of the litter and is noticeably smaller, although the vet gave him blood tests and gave him the ok on health!
 

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No, at least not enough to make a difference. The final size of the dog is based more on genes so the adult size is predetermined so to speak. A small puppy doesn't necessarily mean it will be a small adult as well. Some of the smaller puppies I've watched
grow turn into plenty big as adults.

Raw does however give puppies more of a constant growth pattern which is better for bone and joint health.
 

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I am so glad I joined this forum! I've been reading for a few minutes only and already feel more confident starting our new little monster Tonka (a Dogue de Bordeaux) on "real" food as soon as we get him. We're in Australia and besides Dr Lonsdale, I haven't came across anyone who agreed that starting him on a raw meaty diet as a pup is a good idea due to his "giant" breeding. He will be 9 weeks when we pick him up and I can't wait, at the moment he's on kibble at the breeders and I can tell when we were there that his poop isn't right even though he looks very very healthy.
Any further advise on how to start a giant puppy on this great diet is very much appreciated & needed :)
Thanks again everyone!
- Cath
 

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Giant breed dogs are more in need of a raw diet while growing, contrary to popular belief. I have witnessed (first hand and second hand) that raw is the better way for large/giant breed puppies to be raised. We are raising out third Dane on an exclusively raw diet. Both of our other girls are doing perfectly and Bailey is almost four years old. A raw diet is a low protein diet since most raw meats are around 20-25% protein due to water content. This is the ideal diet for any dog!

What I suggest you do, is hold off your new puppy when it comes home for 12 hours from all food. Water is ok.

Then offer a meal of bone in chicken wings or drumsticks, stripped of all fat and skin that has been smashed up well with a kitchen hammer. Bone pieces should be small.

Don't offer another another meal until the next day.

That next day, offer another meal of chicken like you did the first meal. Do this about three times that day. Don't give anything else at all other than water.

Repeat this way of feeding (adding in a meal or two if needed depending on body weight) for the next few days to a week. Keep an eye on bowel movements. They should be firm and normal. If you see any loose stool continue this feeding schedule for another few days.

Once you get to this point, we will go on from there with what to do next.

Let me know if you have any questions, and good luck!
 

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Thank you so much Natalie. We will definitely follow your suggestion. We pick up Tonka in 5 days and will be taking some time off to make sure we can start him off correctly.

Will keep you posted :)
 

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Then offer a meal of bone in chicken wings or drumsticks, stripped of all fat and skin that has been smashed up well with a kitchen hammer. Bone pieces should be small.

Don't offer another another meal until the next day.

That next day, offer another meal of chicken like you did the first meal. Do this about three times that day. Don't give anything else at all other than water.

Repeat this way of feeding (adding in a meal or two if needed depending on body weight) for the next few days to a week. Keep an eye on bowel movements. They should be firm and normal. If you see any loose stool continue this feeding schedule for another few days.

Once you get to this point, we will go on from there with what to do next.

Let me know if you have any questions, and good luck!
Hi Natalie,

A quick question please.

My mom bought us chicken frames (like 10kgs) and I was wondering if this would be okay for Tonka? Can we start him on this until his poop is okay? Our breeder is also giving us the meat "mince" which she had been giving the litter with their meals. Will this mince be okay to freeze in Tonka's toys, like his Kong? He's 8kg now so his meals should be approx 800gms per day right? Do I include any treats in this figure or just RMB?

- Thank you from Tonka & his humans :)
 

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What I suggest you do is feed nothing but bone in chicken for at least a week. Keep an eye out on stools and make sure he isn't getting diarrhea. Chicken frames are a great thing to start out with, but I would trim fat, skin and organ off of them to make the transition easier. You may also want to whack the frames with a kitchen mallet or hammer to help break up the bones a bit for him.

It's hard for me to have an opinion on the mince the breeder gave you because I know nothing about it. What's in it? Whets the nutritional breakdown? I can say right off the bat that I personally don't care much for blended mixes you can get from butchers because they usually don't cover all the bases for a well rounded prey model raw diet.
 

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What I suggest you do is feed nothing but bone in chicken for at least a week. Keep an eye out on stools and make sure he isn't getting diarrhea. Chicken frames are a great thing to start out with, but I would trim fat, skin and organ off of them to make the transition easier. You may also want to whack the frames with a kitchen mallet or hammer to help break up the bones a bit for him.

It's hard for me to have an opinion on the mince the breeder gave you because I know nothing about it. What's in it? Whets the nutritional breakdown? I can say right off the bat that I personally don't care much for blended mixes you can get from butchers because they usually don't cover all the bases for a well rounded prey model raw diet.
ok, can't risk the pet mince ... I'm nervous enough as it is.

natalie i've been feeding Tonka chicken frames for 2 days now & left it for at least 12 hours to start like you suggested and his poo up until yesterday has been fine & firm but today ... No poo. Is this normal? Should i give him meatier chicken?

help please ... Not sure if i should wait it out or see the vet since he's only a pup :-(

thank u!
 

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I answered this question in the other thread...but again I wouldn't worry at this point. He hasn't gotten all that much to eat in the past few days and since dogs utilize more of the food they eat they poo less.

Since he isn't straining and acting normal there's not much to be concerned with just yet.

Keep me posted please!
 

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I answered this question in the other thread...but again I wouldn't worry at this point. He hasn't gotten all that much to eat in the past few days and since dogs utilize more of the food they eat they poo less.

Since he isn't straining and acting normal there's not much to be concerned with just yet.

Keep me posted please!
Hi Natalie,

Tonka is now 5 months old and I can't believe I was ever worried about feeding him raw! This forum has been a godsend, especially your instructions :biggrin:

At the moment Tonka's diet consists of chicken quarters, salmon heads, pork hocks, chicken & lamb hearts, chicken livers, canned sardines, whole eggs, and whatever else may be on special that week. He's a great weight of 29kgs, very muscly & chunky with a fine showing of ribs. We only go to the vet's for a weigh-in and always get amazing comments on his skin & fur condition. Our vet has not converted across to a raw diet (yet!) but he's very impressed with his diet :wink:
 

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I'm so glad that your pup is doing so well! Thank you for the update, don't hesitate to keep us all updated on his progress :wink:
 
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