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I want the best for my babies.Period. It seems as if raw vs kibble may be the way to go. Should I speak to my vet, or consult a professional? I wouldn't even know where to start!
 

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Unless you have a REALLY good vet, most vets will tell you NOT to feed raw, as they are not very educated in the nutrition department. My dad is a vet and has been for 40 years and he said that I know more about pet nutrition than he does. I have done a lot of research on it, and gotten a lot of great information from several different websites including this one. This is what I have learned from my research/other websites etc, Basically you want to start off with chicken or cornish hens, and feed that for 2-4 weeks until you have consistently solid/normal stools. You feed 2-3% of their body weight per day, if you have a puppy you feed 2-3% of their estimated adult weight per day. After they are doing well on the chicken you gradually start introducing other proteins (pork, lamb, beef etc), then add organs. Eventually you want to balance your diet at 80% meaty meats, 10% bone, 5% liver, 5% other organs (heart/tongue/gizzards are considered meaty meats). When adding different proteins, slow and steady is the key, don't be in a rush to start feeding different things, maybe a sliver of the new proteins/organs when you get to that point. At first you might get some abnormal poops as their body 'detoxes' from a lifetime of feeding kibble. If you get really hard poops/constipation then you want to decrease the bone content, if it's soft, increase the bone content. And I was told at first you want to feed bone in every meal. Cornish hens are about 20oz, Zoey weighs 4#, and is supposed to get 1.6oz per day so a hen lasts for about 10 meals. Some dogs don't need bones with every meal as I am learning with Zoey, so she may just get boney meals 2-3x a week, we will see as she adjusts to raw feeding. I'm sure more experienced feeders will chime in, but just wanted to add a few of the tidbits I have learned. Here is a raw food calculator that makes it easy to calculate how much each dog should eat: Calculate
 

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I wouldn't speak to your vet unless they are pro raw, vets are very uneducated in the nutrition dept. as they get very little schooling on nutrition, and it doesn't cover feeding a raw diet because no one benefits from it but the dog.
If I were you, I would peruse the raw section here, read, read and read some more then come up with questions that you have. We have a great bunch of people here who feed a raw diet who are more than willing to guide and help you.
Raw really is the best you could do for your dog. Read the success stories, thats a good place to start.....
 

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As the others have said dont talk to your vet about it unless they know about it but very few do. And lucky enough for you, there are many professional raw feeders right here on these boards at your disposal! Just ask all the questions that come to mind!!! I will warn you that once you start raw it becomes a new way of life not only for your dogs but for you as well :wink:
 

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When I asked my vet about raw feeding, and this was a couple of years ago, I just got a lecture on salmonella and bowel blockages. At the time I thought, well, he is the expert so he must know what he's talking about, so I listened to what he said.
I since found out what he told me wasn't necessarily true so switched my dog over to raw. I must admit though I'm too chicken to tell him, (I hate arguments) so I just go with the flow and he presumes she eats kibble.
 

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Stay right here at this site, and you will learn everything about raw you could EVER imagine and then some. The support is unbelieveable and you will be talked through every step. You will have confidence in no time! :biggrin:
 

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raw is like putting a rabbi, a priest, and a minister in the same room....

you'll get different opinions, depending on whom you ask.

i did tell my vet we were feeding raw. actually, we have a vet appointment now that they are four months in to have blood draws and a general check up....we did when we were two months into it and we will do it now....and that will be that.

my vet has nothing to say about what i feed my dogs, other than it's important that he knows what i feed my dogs so if g'd forbid, something happens, he will have a complete and true history.

however, my vet is a great support system for me in many ways....

here is what i have observed so far since switching.

i live in an apartment complex where my dogs come into contact with many people during the day...they are very well petted dogs...

the general comment is --- i've never seen coats like THIS before.

their teeth are white
coats are brilliantly black and feel luxourious
my eleven year old corgi mix bounces. she bounces and now annoys the three year old pug, rather than the other way around.
they are both lean and muscled, instead of soft and flabby
their energy is different, which is not to say they don't have any and the pug still gets excited...but it's different..it's not frenetic..it's not nervous...it's not anxious...
lack of starches will do that...
their breath is great -- except after sardine day....

from head to tail....i have never seen this before in a dog..and i fed premium dog foods...even when i cooked for them...they looked and acted nothing like this.

as to how?

every dog is the same and different.

when their stools are a little soft, we give them a little extra bone...

it gets easier over time...when they are done transitioning, give them as much variety as you can afford....

don't get nuts about germs....dogs can handle it and you've got palms that are designed to protect you from germs..that and a little soap...

learn as you go...

read through every post on this raw section and you pick up tidbits you never knew before....

this website, after so many others, is the one that got us through to the other side...
 

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i did tell my vet we were feeding raw. actually, we have a vet appointment now that they are four months in to have blood draws and a general check up....we did when we were two months into it and we will do it now....and that will be that.
Don't waste your money. Blood panels won't tell you anything regarding diet. I can't think of anything in a general checkup that would indicate anything regarding diet. If you just did these things 2 months ago, unless you can see something, nothing has changed.
 

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Don't waste your money. Blood panels won't tell you anything regarding diet. I can't think of anything in a general checkup that would indicate anything regarding diet. If you just did these things 2 months ago, unless you can see something, nothing has changed.
we get malia tested every few months because well, she is old...we're probably a little over protective of her...then again, she had a less than desirous beginning nutritionally and medically...

she's the only dog i know or had that ever got rocky spotted mountain fever...and giardia at age ten..she's just 'that' dog....who gets odd things....we have always been concerned and considerate of her immune system....

bubba? well, his beginnings weren't exactly auspicious and his eyes need to be checked anyway....so that's part of the visit...

there is a relationship between diet and objective blood work...blood work will certainly tell me a story....

their chemistry panels should give indications of liver function and kidney function and pancreatic function....and blood health....

so diet does indeed play a role...

total rbc count and hemoglobin/hematocrit... will show anemic conditions and tell me to feed more red meat.....if that were the case

white cell counts show infections....and possible allergies, depending on the particular count...if eosinophils are way up, i figure there's an environmental allergy....nothing to do about it, but i know...

so i don't see why getting values every so often is a waste of money....

seeing as we went from one type of feeding to a whole different type...for me, it's simple science to look at lab values in a dog to assess a part of their health.

we might just have to agree to disagree on this one, bill....
 

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there is a relationship between diet and objective blood work...blood work will certainly tell me a story....

their chemistry panels should give indications of liver function and kidney function and pancreatic function....and blood health....

so diet does indeed play a role...
I don't know ... I don't think it does. The blood panel will tell you if those organs are functioning at the very instant the blood was drawn but won't tell you if you are feeding too much bone or not enouth fat or there is a deficiency is one of the vitamins or minerals. It only tells you if those organs are operating properly. Actually depending on what the dog's last meal was, if it was recently, it can throw the test off.

so i don't see why getting values every so often is a waste of money....
I have never been one to spend money at the doc's office "just in case". I just last year started giving my Great Dane Abby yearly blood panels because of her age. It's not because I am concerned about her diet in any way. She has been eating this way for 8 years and if something was wrong with the diet, I would know it long before now.

BTW: The vet said she has the liver of a 3 year old, whatever that means but it sounds good. :smile: All her values were well within the normal. I operate under the assumption that if something is not working in the body, there will be an indication that something is wrong. I don't go looking for invisible goblins.

seeing as we went from one type of feeding to a whole different type...for me, it's simple science to look at lab values in a dog to assess a part of their health.
I had Abby and 2 Goldens when I first switched to raw and their blood values didn't change with the diet change. Again, I don't think blood tests will tell you that you are feeding too much bone or fat or the diet is deficient in any nutrients. I have never put a lot of faith in one blood panel anyway.

we might just have to agree to disagree on this one, bill....
Me agree to disagree? No!!! Never!!! :biggrin:
 

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I don't know ... I don't think it does. The blood panel will tell you if those organs are functioning at the very instant the blood was drawn but won't tell you if you are feeding too much bone or not enouth fat or there is a deficiency is one of the vitamins or minerals. It only tells you if those organs are operating properly. Actually depending on what the dog's last meal was, if it was recently, it can throw the test off.



I have never been one to spend money at the doc's office "just in case". I just last year started giving my Great Dane Abby yearly blood panels because of her age. It's not because I am concerned about her diet in any way. She has been eating this way for 8 years and if something was wrong with the diet, I would know it long before now.

BTW: The vet said she has the liver of a 3 year old, whatever that means but it sounds good. :smile: All her values were well within the normal. I operate under the assumption that if something is not working in the body, there will be an indication that something is wrong. I don't go looking for invisible goblins.



I had Abby and 2 Goldens when I first switched to raw and their blood values didn't change with the diet change. Again, I don't think blood tests will tell you that you are feeding too much bone or fat or the diet is deficient in any nutrients. I have never put a lot of faith in one blood panel anyway.



Me agree to disagree? No!!! Never!!! :biggrin:
i must have been drunk when i said that....

indeed, what you just said about your older dog's liver being that of a three year old...is an indication that what you are feeding her has benefit....her numbers are all excellent...aging people and for our purposes, dogs....the values change as we age and reap our poor or well chosen decisions...

so, for instance, the obese dog or person might have higher liver enzymes because of fatty liver disease (wrong kinds and too much bad fat) or might have higher blood sugars...(too many sugars and wrong kinds of sugars and starches, oh those terrible starches)

so, yes, feeding too much fat as with anything else can change the blood levels and enzyme levels....

blood tells a story...and while it may not tell the interpreter that my dog had fish the night before....

if malia's blood is drawn in the spring, her eosinophils and naturophils will be elevated because she has a sensitivity to new grasses, like hayfever....

if drawn in the winter, they are within normal limits.

certainly, if my dog were on kibble, i would not be surprised if blood sugars were higher than normal...indicating taxation on the pancreas...

i'm not looking at the senior panel we have drawn on malia each year because she is over eight years of age, but every value tells a story....

food plays a significant role in blood work....

i have lab reports from my bandit who died in november 2008...his liver enzymes were through the roof.....and no apparent reason could be found.

had i not been ignorant...i would have related the use of menadione and higher than normal liver enzymes.....so blood indeed tells me things....now.

and whilst i don't expect to see anything abnormal, that is exactly the point....she is eleven years old and has had the greatest immune system...

whenever malia gets sick, we draw blood because she is an odd dog....

right before raw, she had giardia, so two months later, we drew blood to make sure there was nothing else going on...had nothing to do with diet.

now, i want to see this draw versus last year when she was on wellness super five....

i don't think there will be a marching band's worth of difference...what i expect to see is good bloodwork....she is not the bionic dog, after all...

and, in all truth, to the OP -- my apologies for bill and i going off on a tangent...but the basis of feeding raw is not JUST because my dogs are wolves in doggie clothing...it's for their HEALTH.....their optimum health..and blood work will say it is so....:)
 
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