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Discussion Starter #1
How long should it take for my dog to tolerate a raw diet? Barret, my collie/terrier mix (about 45 pounds, 5-1/2 years old) is not feeling well again. He ate only one chicken back today but looks and acts sick and didn't want anything else to eat since this morning.

Is there a reason why a dog should NOT eat a raw diet? I'm pretty sure if I take him to a vet in this area, they will tell me he shouldn't be eating raw meat and to put him on a vet-recommended dog food.

Has anyone else experienced this with their dogs?

My other dog is tolerating it pretty well (Jack Russell, about 15 pounds, almost 3 years old) except for some issues with wanting to drag it away from the eating spot.
 

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Give him some skinless boneless chicken breast for a few days. About half pound in the morning and half a pound in the evening. What are his stools like?

If I remember correctly, you are feeding around noon and 6pm. Those meals may be a little close together. Try feedings about 12 hours a part.

As for he JRT, you are going to just have to step up, be firm and don't let him move his food.
 

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I am telling you this from my experiences (not trying to persuade someone one way or the other, so don't attack me on this). I tried raw feeding for a long time on three different occasions. I've never had a good experience with it. I breed Labrador Retrievers, and only want the best for them. I tried raw with the best expectations and was very disappointed. All of my dogs were vomiting, having diarrhea, scratching and itching like crazy, and had dull, lifeless coats. It was so bad I had to stop showing for 10 weeks! Not only did I noticed physical changes, I noticed behavioral changes. My dogs seemed as if they were not getting what they needed. It was like they were craving nutrients. They gulped down vitamins and supplements (begging for more), stole food from the kitchen table and counter, and raided the cats' litter boxes! I've never seen any of these behaviors in my dogs before. Usually I only give supplements to my pregnant or lactating females. The others would not usually eat them, as they were obviously getting everything they needed. When I tried raw they were just gobbling them up. None of my dogs have ever counter surfed, stole food, or raided litter boxes. They are all taught to be very well behaved and I've never seen them even beg at the dinner table, let along steal food. For me, at least, I will never go back to raw food because I cannot risk the health and wellbeing of my dogs like that.
 

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I guess you might not have gotten the concept of feeding ALL the different raw componenets that need to be fed in order to be a complete and balanced diet.
 

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I am telling you this from my experiences (not trying to persuade someone one way or the other, so don't attack me on this). I tried raw feeding for a long time on three different occasions. I've never had a good experience with it.
Thats funny. Tens of thousands of people have great experiences with it. When someone says that "a dog" has problems with a raw diet, I think MAYBE the dog has a problem but when a single owner has problems feeding a raw diet to multiple dogs, it has to be the owners fault. Something is being done wrong.

I breed Labrador Retrievers, and only want the best for them. I tried raw with the best expectations and was very disappointed. All of my dogs were vomiting, having diarrhea, scratching and itching like crazy, and had dull, lifeless coats.
What exactly were you feeding? 99.99% of people who feed raw have exactly the opposite experience.

It was so bad I had to stop showing for 10 weeks! Not only did I noticed physical changes, I noticed behavioral changes. My dogs seemed as if they were not getting what they needed. It was like they were craving nutrients. They gulped down vitamins and supplements (begging for more), stole food from the kitchen table and counter, and raided the cats' litter boxes! I've never seen any of these behaviors in my dogs before.
Supplements aren't needed with a proper prey model diet. That may be the cause of your problems. I have seen those same symptoms in most every dog whether fed raw or kibble.

Usually I only give supplements to my pregnant or lactating females. The others would not usually eat them, as they were obviously getting everything they needed.
Now you are getting into the "very difficult to believe" territory.

When I tried raw they were just gobbling them up. None of my dogs have ever counter surfed, stole food, or raided litter boxes. They are all taught to be very well behaved and I've never seen them even beg at the dinner table, let along steal food. For me, at least, I will never go back to raw food because I cannot risk the health and wellbeing of my dogs like that.
Thats more difficult to believe stuff. When you get ready to learn the proper way to feed your dogs a nutritious raw diet, post here and you will get lots of help. Feeding dogs a diet of raw meat, bones, and organs is 1,000 times healtheir than feeding highly processed cereal made from refuse from human food processing plants. There is just no comparison. Dogs have been eating raw meat, bones, and organs from many different animals for millions of years. Their bodies are designed to eat, digest, and eliminate just those things. Dogs have a lot of difficulty digesting carbs and other plant material.
 

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Me an Tater bug wuz down at the crek last nite and you knowd wot dat silly dawg done? He ate a bull frog. Sur did. Now Iz been areeding all dis stuff bout dawgs atein raw stuff but I neber heard nuttin bout atein bull frogs. It wuz not as bad as dat Bojangles raw fried chikin he ate. He jest ate it and smiles.

Iz bull frog considered a fish? I wuzn't sur. But ifn dat Tater start atein my stranger of bass, I iz gonna whop him one rite crossed his bee hin. Demz iz fer me to fry in momma's big ol black skelet floatin in lard wiff sum hush puppys and col slaw and sweet ice tee. I might giv old Tater bug, Lucy and Mutt a plate ifn I catch enuff.
 

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So war duz bull frogs fit in the rotation? Oncet da weak? Twict da monf? Or jest win he acatches one? Y'all gotz to let me knowd cuz I tink he wood ate em every day ifn he gets ahold of one. I don't wanna seez him hopin round da cabin like a toad one day cuz he ate too many.
 

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So war duz bull frogs fit in the rotation? Oncet da weak? Twict da monf? Or jest win he acatches one? Y'all gotz to let me knowd cuz I tink he wood ate em every day ifn he gets ahold of one. I don't wanna seez him hopin round da cabin like a toad one day cuz he ate too many.
I'd say just wait until he acatches one. He'll eat'em when he want's em.
 

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Wellz dat is exactly wot I iz gonna do. I luvz Tater bug but hez always agittin hinself into sum trouble. Hez a silly dawg but luz him anyways. Lucy and old Mutt ainta gonna mess no frogs - now dats fer sur.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Silliness aside, I'm stopping in to report on my two dogs' raw diet experience. I want to give this a good try because I'm convinced that raw is better. I've gotten a lot of good advice from this forum and sort of had my hand held while doing this. I just got scared when the bigger dog, Barret, got sick but, guess what? He's feeling better! Yay! I think he's going to do okay now. He's been eating just one chicken back a day but at least he's not acting sick anymore. His stool is sort of mushy.

He refuses to eat more than once a day and that is usually towards evening. This evening, between 6:30 and 7:00, he ate 1 chicken back and started on another one but then quit so I put it back in the fridge.

As far as them eating where I tell them, the marker thing worked! I had to start by holding the chicken back while they gnawed on it and then slowly lowered it to the towel on the kitchen floor . . . and they stayed there and ate it without trying to run off with it! Pack leader POWER! (grunt) :biggrin:

I'm thinking I should keep feeding chicken backs until the bigger dog is up to 3 a day. Is this correct? The JRT is already eating his quota and wanting more. Should I go ahead and graduate him to chicken legs?
 

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He refuses to eat more than once a day and that is usually towards evening. This evening, between 6:30 and 7:00, he ate 1 chicken back and started on another one but then quit so I put it back in the fridge.
Is he eating anything at all other than the chicken back a day plus a little bit of another back?

As far as them eating where I tell them, the marker thing worked!
Of course it did. Wouldn't have told you about it if it wouldn't work. :smile:

I'm thinking I should keep feeding chicken backs until the bigger dog is up to 3 a day. Is this correct?
Not exactly ... feed them until his stool is solid for several days in a row. Try feeding him half a back in the evening to see if you can get him hungry enough to eat half or more in the morning. The purpose of that is to try to firm up his stool.

The JRT is already eating his quota and wanting more. Should I go ahead and graduate him to chicken legs?
If stools are firm, yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Breakthrough! Barret, the bigger dog, ate 1 chicken back this morning around 7:30 a.m. and gave me the hungry look several times during the day and then ate 1 chicken back this evening around 7:00 p.m. I tried to give him more than 1 this evening, but he didn't want it. As far as his stool now, I'm not sure because I wasn't the one to take him out today. I know it was kind of mushy yesterday, though. I'm very pleased that he's now eating 2 backs a day and not getting sick and actually wanting to eat.

They're both catching on pretty quickly to me putting the towel down on the floor and getting the "chicken bag" out of the fridge, knowing that it's meal time. They don't even try to carry their food away now. Barret, the mixed breed, used to growl if someone would go near his food (the dry stuff), but I picked up the chicken back he was trying to eat in order to help him get a better chew on it and I didn't hear him growl or, if he did, it was very little and not like usual. Maybe the dry stuff was making him grouchy?
 

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I tried to give him more than 1 this evening, but he didn't want it.
Great. I knew things would work out. You seem to have this overwhelming urge to feed him too much. I strongly suspect that was the problem in the beginning. Keep his meals small for now. In time, after his body adjusts to real food, you will be able to feed him 2 days worth at a time but not now. This is a process to get him adjusted and get his digestive system to produce the right enzymes to digest meat and bones. Don't try to rush the process. It causes problems.

Barret, the mixed breed, used to growl if someone would go near his food (the dry stuff), but I picked up the chicken back he was trying to eat in order to help him get a better chew on it and I didn't hear him growl or, if he did, it was very little and not like usual. Maybe the dry stuff was making him grouchy?
You are not doing him a favor by holding the meat to make it easier on him. He will figure it out. If you are not careful, in a few days or weeks, he will not eat unless you are holding it and believe me, you don't want to get that started. It's best just to let him work it out for himself. When my dogs first started eating chicken quarters it took them 15 to 20 minutes. Now it's less than 30 seconds. It just takes practice. Practice he won't get if you are holding one end.

Just relax, sit back and enjoy watching your dogs learn to eat. Don't hover over them. It only makes them nervous and makes learning more difficult. They will get it. They are dogs. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I guess I'm being a mother. :smile: Mothers worry about their "children" not eating enough. I know . . . they're dogs, not children.

So if the bigger dog didn't want to eat this morning, that's okay? (I was happy that he ate twice yesterday.) Should I try to feed them on the same schedule every day and if they don't eat when I put the food out, then just wait for the next feeding? Maybe I was already told this . . . just want it confirmed.

Both dogs' stools are now hard, so now I can move them both to the next step.
 
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