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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone.

I brought my ten month old frenchie Murph into the vet yesterday to be neutered.

Everything went well, except they found some things on him while he was under.

1) They said his coat/skin is incredibly dry/flakey. I knew this already and have been giving him a tsp of salmon oil each night at dinnertime. It's been 1-2 months since I've started this.

2) He had a pretty bad yeast AND bacterial infection in BOTH ears. This is so disheartening, as just about 2 months ago, he had a bad yeast infection in one of his ears (can't remember which one).


He's always licking/nibbling his paws, and they look red and ouchy.

I just started him on California Natural grain free (lamb formula) two days ago, so I know it's too soon to see any improvements, but these issues seem like it might be a good idea to try raw. I just don't want my bud to be itchy and miserable his whole life :(

Premade raw is the only option I can really do right now. I know it's not ideal, but it's what I can deal with right now. Any suggestions on best premade raw? I was gonna look into the Nature's Variety line.

Do you think that these issues of his could be solved by a raw diet? I know raw diets are often said to be miracle workers and can clear up a lot of issues, so I am willing to try it with my little guy. I know frenchies can be prone to these issues to begin with, but I want Murph to have the best life possible.

Also, on a sidenote, the vet tech said that they questioned whether it might be reaction to flea bites, even though they didn't find any fleas or flea dirt on him. She suggested I get a good flea and tick preventative, I'm sure she meant the chemical ones they sell. I have not used one on Murph because again, frenchies are sensitive to everything, and he'd be the one to get a bad reaction to it. He lost hair all around his face and eyes when he got the rabies vaccine, so I'm afraid to use any chemicals directly on his skin.

What are some good natural preventatives? I know some people have said good things about the bug off garlic that you sprinkle on their food. I also have a natural spray that I got at the holistic pet food store that smells like cinnamon lol. I could use that, it's just a bit of a pain and gets all wet. But I'm willing to keep up on it if I have to! I really don't want to use Advantix or Frontline on him.
 

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Going raw could definitely fix those problems. XD I know that a big plus about raw is the skin and coat. I know there was someone on here with a dog that was loosing fur, had horrible skin issues and they started him on raw, and now he's got a great coat! And there was someone else who had issues with bacterial infections in the ears, and raw fixed that up right as well.
 

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I'm 99% sure that switching to raw will fix the problems. I had similar issues with my Emmy before raw and I haven't seen an issue in nearly two years. If you remove yeast from his diet it will greatly cut down on the yeasty ear infections (secondary bacterial infection).

Premade raw patties are expensive and come with a bunch of stuff your dog doesn't need. BUT they are a step in the direction. Why not try feeding small, easy cuts of meat?chicken wings and drummies would be great for him, just remove the skin, excess fat and whack with a hammer a bit in the beginning. It might be $2-5 per pound CHEAPER to feed this way. I remember looking at natures variety once and they have the exact same turkey necks that we feed but cost nearly $8 per pound and we get them for $.70 per pound. Just give it a thought. Either way you will be making a decision that he will benefit from :biggrin:
 

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If you want to go pre-made, I wouldn't recommend Natures Variety. They have recently gone to a pasteurization process that is suspect and they have also had a recall.

I'd recommend Stella and Chewy's, either the freeze dried raw or the frozen. Primal is good, as is Bravo. All of those are nationally distributed and shouldn't be hard to find.

ZiwiPeak is another food that is very good, although very expensive.

A prey model raw diet really isn't that hard. If you want to learn more about it, just ask and we'll help you. And YES... I think getting your dog off of kibble and onto raw will help.

For now I would recommend NO flea preventatives, NO heartworm, and NO vaccines. Get him healthy and then revisit those issues.
 

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Premade raw is the only option I can really do right now. I know it's not ideal, but it's what I can deal with right now. Any suggestions on best premade raw? I was gonna look into the Nature's Variety line.
While premade raw is far superior to kibble, it's not going to help your yeast problems too much because the premade stuff still has the same ingredients as kibble that cause that stuff. There are plenty of carbs in the premade stuff and the carbs are what you want to eliminate.

Do you think that these issues of his could be solved by a raw diet?
They can be solved by eliminating the carbs in his diet but that would mean a prey model raw diet.

I know raw diets are often said to be miracle workers and can clear up a lot of issues, so I am willing to try it with my little guy. I know frenchies can be prone to these issues to begin with, but I want Murph to have the best life possible.
Prey model raw CAN be a miracle worker to some dogs, premixes not so much so.

She suggested I get a good flea and tick preventative, I'm sure she meant the chemical ones they sell.
Use flea preventative when and if you have fleas. Otherwise don't.

What are some good natural preventatives?
Unfortunately there are none. Some people say garlic is but most who try it say it doesn't work. Another natural thing is diatomaceousearth, human food grade. Some say this works but a lot of people say it doesn't. On both items, my thinking is that people who say it works wouldn't have had fleas even if they hadn't used it.

The easiest best thing you can do for your little dog is prey model raw diet. Check out my web page in my sig for some information on it. Its really not difficult to feed and is cheaper than the premium kibbles and MUCH cheaper than premade raw. I have 2 Great Danes and 2 cats I feed raw to. Others here have more than I do and we all do fine. Feeding one little frenchie would be a cinch. :smile: He would be as easy as one of my cats or easier. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info guys, I really appreciate it. Somethings gotta give, and I want my little dude to be happy. He's such a happy go lucky guy naturally, so sweet, the vet techs were fighting over getting to care for him yesterday. :biggrin: Makes me happy to have such a loveable dog, he wins your heart within minutes. So I want his physical body to match that beautiful soul he has.

I would be interested in doing prey model, but would really need some help in that department :( Would anyone be able to give me an example menu for the week for him? He's only 20lbs, and could stand to GAIN a pound or two, but that's also not too important, he's a little hunk the weight he is now :) I just really wanna do it right and help him, so I could use some serious guidance.

So it sounds like premade mixtures might not be good, does that include the freeze dried? I was gonna look into those, as those sound like the best options due to my living situation right now (staying with a friend and her family, helping her to raise her frenchies this summer(.
 

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I would be interested in doing prey model, but would really need some help in that department :( Would anyone be able to give me an example menu for the week for him? He's only 20lbs, and could stand to GAIN a pound or two, but that's also not too important, he's a little hunk the weight he is now :) I just really wanna do it right and help him, so I could use some serious guidance.
For a 20lb dog, raw is not nearly as space or time consuming as it is for most of us on here. When i was feeding my 20lb Corgi raw, the first couple months I actually did it out of a cooler because of my living situation. I promise you, it's MUCH more simple than you think it is, and you probably already know a lot more than you realize.

The first two weeks, you'll want to start with JUST chicken, bone-inclusive. Drumsticks, thighs, and wings are all acceptable cuts for this size dog. I am on a budget as a small business owner, and I opt for quarters, and just take a minute to cut the thigh and drumstick into two pieces, only because it's a cheaper cut. Now, I feed twice a day, and being only 20lbs, half a pound per day is all it should take to maintain a healthy weight, but each dog is different, so that may go up or down slightly, but that's a good starting point.


Here's an idea of how I feed my 20 lb dog raw:

Two meals per day, one is always bone-inclusive chicken.

Monday: Cut off of pork roast, boneless. AM, chicken thigh PM
Tuesday: Whole Sardines (2) AM, Chicken drumstick PM
Wednesday: chunk cut from beef brisket, boneless AM, Chicken thigh PM
Thursday: Pork Heart AM, Chicken Drumstick PM
Friday: Lamb Breast AM, Chicken Thigh PM
Saturday: Turkey AM (boneless or bone-in depending on the cut) Chicken drumstick PM
Sunday: Half a Tilapia AM, Chicken thigh PM


Each day I also feed a chicken liver, and a small chunk of beef kidney, except for on days I feed heart or whole fish, but that's something you won't need to bother with for about two months into feeding raw. This is just an EXAMPLE menu, it doesn't need to be all scheduled and planned, just feed a variety of parts from a variety of animals, some bone-inclusive, some not, and you'll be fine. Mostly meat, some bone, some organ, the more variety the better. We feed goat, elk, venison, buffalo, and other novelty sources when we can get our hands on them. Some feed a whole meal of organs every week, others feed small amounts daily.


ALL that being said, ALL you have to worry about for two weeks, is Chicken. That's it. We'll be here to answer any questions that you come across, but taking it one step at a time is the best way to not get totally overwhelmed, and in time, you'll see how simple it is, and you'll find yourself simplifying your routine even more. I went from weighing and labeling every single meal, and planning which days they eat which food, and now, I just eyeball some hunks of meat, and throw them in a bin.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
im already overwhelmed LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm a bit worried about bones with him also cause he's a braecephylaic *sp* dog and they can choke easier :confused:
 

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im already overwhelmed LOL
That's why you just take it one step at a time. It's really really simple, I promise.
JUST Chicken for two weeks. That's it. That's all you need to worry about now. Then, you'll add about one new source per week until you have suitable variety. Trust me, when you jump in, you'll realize just how simple it really is. Everyone is overwhelmed at first, promise.
I'm a bit worried about bones with him also cause he's a braecephylaic *sp* dog and they can choke easier :confused:
I too was concerned about this at first, and I also have a flat-faced pooch (Boxer) and trust me, they can handle it just the same as other dogs.
 

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That's why you just take it one step at a time. It's really really simple, I promise.
JUST Chicken for two weeks. That's it. That's all you need to worry about now. Then, you'll add about one new source per week until you have suitable variety. Trust me, when you jump in, you'll realize just how simple it really is. Everyone is overwhelmed at first, promise.

I too was concerned about this at first, and I also have a flat-faced pooch (Boxer) and trust me, they can handle it just the same as other dogs.
Okay, thank you. I appreciate it so much! So I need to feed him about 1/2lb of chicken a day for the first two weeks?

I need to begin looking into where I can get these meat sources from. Gonna call around tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
And I know this is probably a silly question but...

How DO they digest those bones? How do the bones not puncture organs in their tummy lol? I just think about myself trying to swallow a chicken wing whole and it scares the bejesus out of me LOL.

And for the first two weeks, I don't want to feed any hearts or livers right?

Do you suggest doing one or two meals a day when doing a raw diet?
 

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Okay, thank you. I appreciate it so much! So I need to feed him about 1/2lb of chicken a day for the first two weeks?
Yes, exactly, and it's as simple as that! Feel free to split it into two meals, sometimes that makes the transition easier, but one is fine, too.

I buy quite a lot of my meat just at Wal Mart. Chicken Leg Quarters are SO affordable if you're willing to do the cutting, otherwise thighs, drumsticks, and wings are really good starting points for a smaller dog. I spend about $10-$12 a month feeding my 20lb dog.

Some people remove the skin at first, but I haven't found it to be necessary with my dogs. I'd give it a go skin-on at first, and only remove it if you see mushy stools.
 

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How DO they digest those bones? How do the bones not puncture organs in their tummy lol? I just think about myself trying to swallow a chicken wing whole and it scares the bejesus out of me LOL.
Being carnivores, their entire digestive system is designed to handle meat, bones, and organs. Bones in their raw form are very digestible, it's cooked bones that are to blame for all those horror stories about dogs eating bones.You, as a human, probably should be thinking about swallowing chicken wings. lol:tongue:

And for the first two weeks, I don't want to feed any hearts or livers right?
Nope, just chicken. Organs and heart shouldn't be introduced for about two months, and even then in small amounts to start. I wouldn't concern yourself with them now.

Do you suggest doing one or two meals a day when doing a raw diet?
That is entirely up to you. I have always fed two meals. It's just what I do in my house, but most raw feeders that I know feed only once a day. It's unimportant, whichever way you decide to go in the long run.
However, during the transition phase, I think two meals is better, allows their systems to adjust with less food at a time. I wouldn't say that it's a big deal either way though.
 

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Yes, exactly, and it's as simple as that! Feel free to split it into two meals, sometimes that makes the transition easier, but one is fine, too.

I buy quite a lot of my meat just at Wal Mart. Chicken Leg Quarters are SO affordable if you're willing to do the cutting, otherwise thighs, drumsticks, and wings are really good starting points for a smaller dog. I spend about $10-$12 a month feeding my 20lb dog.

Some people remove the skin at first, but I haven't found it to be necessary with my dogs. I'd give it a go skin-on at first, and only remove it if you see mushy stools.
Okay great, thank you. Walmart and Target are right up the street, will go check it out tomorrow. Should I buy frozen or fresh? It's obviously gotta be plain right?
 

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Okay great, thank you. Walmart and Target are right up the street, will go check it out tomorrow. Should I buy frozen or fresh? It's obviously gotta be plain right?
Either one really is fine. In my experience, Wal mart has been MUCH cheaper than target. Plain, yes, unseasoned. I admit that when I see really good deals on "enhanced" meat, I don't pass them up, but you don't want anything basted or glazed or anything like that... just plain ol' Chicken.
 

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Here's an idea of how I feed my 20 lb dog raw:

Two meals per day, one is always bone-inclusive chicken.

Monday: Cut off of pork roast, boneless. AM, chicken thigh PM
Tuesday: Whole Sardines (2) AM, Chicken drumstick PM
Wednesday: chunk cut from beef brisket, boneless AM, Chicken thigh PM
Thursday: Pork Heart AM, Chicken Drumstick PM
Friday: Lamb Breast AM, Chicken Thigh PM
Saturday: Turkey AM (boneless or bone-in depending on the cut) Chicken drumstick PM
Sunday: Half a Tilapia AM, Chicken thigh PM
That sample menu is very helpful since I get most of his bone from chicken too. Though I read somewhere that chicken shouldn't make up 50% or more of a raw diet and also that 50% of your meat should be red meat? I'm thinking it's false, so if someone could just put my fears to rest :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think I'm going to be going with a premade raw, NV's line most likely.

I was reading on a french bulldog forum how bone is usually ground up or not included because of frenchies having issues with it and almost choking to death.

i talked to my mom and she is supportive (mostly lol) of me trying him on a raw diet and is willing to help with the extra money.
 

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As much variety as possible is ideal, but really even just one meat, one kind of bone, and liver only is still superior to any kibble on the market. I would say that bone-in chicken probably makes up about 40% of what I feed. I tend to make the chicken meal smaller than the "other" meal every day. I chicken and turkey make up pretty much all of the bone my dogs actually eat. I feel comfortable with the amount of variety that i feed on a weekly basis (chicken, turkey, pork, fish, beef, lamb) and add in extras when I can. For my situation, I feed more chicken to keep it affordable. Because pork and whole fish are pretty reasonably priced, sometimes on those days I don't use chicken at all, depending on what's in the freezer.
 

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I think I'm going to be going with a premade raw, NV's line most likely.

I was reading on a french bulldog forum how bone is usually ground up or not included because of frenchies having issues with it and almost choking to death.

i talked to my mom and she is supportive (mostly lol) of me trying him on a raw diet and is willing to help with the extra money.
ahh scare tactics of the commercial dog food industry are alive and well! Very well then, commercial raw is still a step above kibble, but don't expect it to solve all the symptoms, as it still contains the plant matter and carbs that kibble does. They're more of a "raw kibble" than a species appropriate diet. Nv is probably the most popular commercial raw, but primal and others are still a bit better.
 
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