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I know that dogs are carnivores so it doesn't make sense to me to feed them kibble and stuff, in fact, I really don't like feeding my animals anything that I would eat myself, so even though I've been looking for high quality kibble I would like to know more about raw feeding.

I am going to be getting a Border Collie x Red Heeler puppy in the near future, I'm not sure about the weight of her parents... if I had to guess I'd say that both are in the 50-65lb range. Here are my questions:

1) What types of meat should I feed?
2) Where can I buy some good meat? (I live near Bellingham, WA)
3) How much do I feed her? She is going to be a working dog/jogging partner so I would think she'll need more food than a lap dog?
4) What about bones? I've always heard that bones (fish/poultry/pork) are bad for dogs because they can splinter and damage internal organs?
5) What are some "recipes" that you use for your dogs?

Any feedback is appreciated!
 

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Hi Leann,

Thanks for popping over here to the raw forum to check things out. Starting a dog out on raw when it's still a puppy is the best time to do this, and the most beneficial for the dog's development. Congrats on looking into the raw option for your Border Collie/Red Heeler!

First, I HIGHLY recommend you read these two web sites:

How to get started feeding a Prey Model Raw Diet | Prey Model Raw

Skylar, Zack, and Abby on the WEB

I also recommend you just browse through the threads in this forum as you have time. There is tons and tons of information here that will paint a very accurate picture of the raw feeding experience for you.

To answer some of your questions though...

1) What types of meat should I feed?
Almost any kind of meat is appropriate including beef, pork, turkey, chicken, fish, lamb, deer, and other game. What's important is which one you start with and which cuts/parts to feed that are appropriate for the size of your dog. You will want to feed meat, meaty bones, and eventually, organ meat and that is all your dog will ever need. These details are answered very thoroughly in the sites referenced above.

2) Where can I buy some good meat? (I live near Bellingham, WA)
Someone from your area will have to answer that specifically but any meat from the supermarket, butcher shop, your favorite local hunter, etc. is appropriate. We have a regular raw feeding member here, whiteleo, who lives in Bellingham and can probably assist you with specific local sources.

3) How much do I feed her? She is going to be a working dog/jogging partner so I would think she'll need more food than a lap dog?
The general rule is 2 to 3% by weight of the dogs ideal ADULT weight. This is just a guideline and it's not really critical to be exact in this. There is more on this topic in both of the sites referenced above.

4) What about bones? I've always heard that bones (fish/poultry/pork) are bad for dogs because they can splinter and damage internal organs?
COOKED bones and any large, load-bearing bones (like the femur from a steer) can be very dangerous. Dogs are naturally equipped to eat most raw bones with ease. They are an essential part of their diet and they provide incredible dental benefits. Do a search through the threads here on teeth to see what I mean.

5) What are some "recipes" that you use for your dogs?
There's no recipes. Just cut up the appropriate pieces of meat, meaty bones, and/or organ meat and feed them raw. The cuts and size of the pieces will change as the dog grows but that's it.

Hope this helps. Please ask a lot of questions after you've read some of the above mentioned material.

Jay
 

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I know that dogs are carnivores so it doesn't make sense to me to feed them kibble and stuff, in fact, I really don't like feeding my animals anything that I would eat myself, so even though I've been looking for high quality kibble I would like to know more about raw feeding.
Wonderful that you're looking into raw feeding, it really is the best thing that you can possibly do for your dog. Just remember that they are carnivores, and we are omnivores. I feed my dogs tons of stuff that I would never eat, then again, I'm a picky eater. Some people have issues with the "ick" factor in raw feeding, but knowing that you're doing the absolute best for your dog is so worth it. Raw meat used to totally gross me out, now I can play with raw pork heart and not be phased. Go figure.

1) What types of meat should I feed?
Anything and everything you can get your hands on. The more variety, the better. The only things you really need to stay away from are weight bearing bones from large animals, and some fish should be frozen for two weeks before feeding if wild caught.

2) Where can I buy some good meat? (I live near Bellingham, WA)
Look for co-ops and wholesalers in your area. I don't have any of those near me, so I have to go the grocery store route. I have a ton of luck at wal mart, but be sure to check out the meat sections at each grocery store around you, and over time you'll learn who has the best prices for what. Food4Less has been a godsend for us as well. Ethnic markets are great places to look, and I've hear a few people having luck at WinCo if you have one.

3) How much do I feed her? She is going to be a working dog/jogging partner so I would think she'll need more food than a lap dog?
With pmr, you'd feed roughly 2-3% of ideal adult body weight, so I'd say for an estimated 60lbs, about 1 1/4 lbs of meat, bones, and organs per day is an excellent starting point. From there, just base your portions off of body condition, feeding more or less depending on body score.

4) What about bones? I've always heard that bones (fish/poultry/pork) are bad for dogs because they can splinter and damage internal organs?
Cooked bones are dangerous, raw are not.
I stay away from oddly cut bones as much as possible, I admit to giving tbone type bones when given to me for free, but I don't buy them. Also, weight bearing bones of large animals (femurs, knuckles) as well as cooked bones of ANY kind.

5) What are some "recipes" that you use for your dogs?
About 40% of what I feed is chicken leg quarters, because that's how I make it affordable for us, having 4 dogs.
I feed twice a day, and one meal is almost always bone in chicken.
For dinner, I rotate
pork, beef, turkey, whole fish, heart, lamb breast, and goat. I feed small amounts of organs per day, but I think most people feed a whole meal of them once a week or so.

you want to feed mostly meat, some bones, and some organs, but don't worry about exact percents. If you're feeding too much bones, stools will be dry and crumbly. If you're feeding too much organs, they;ll be dark and mushy. It's pretty easy to obtain the perfect balance by monitoring stools at first.
 

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1) What types of meat should I feed?
The easier question would be what NOT to feed because that list is much, much shorter. I would stay away from lots of ground meats, feeding ground meat is okay in moderation so like once a week is fine. Ground meats harbor more bacteria and also lacks any dental benefits since they don't have to chew it at all.

If you feed salmon, or other fish from the Pacific Northwest, it needs to be frozen for at least 2 weeks to kill of the bug that causes salmon poisoning in dogs. I would just freeze ANY fish for a few weeks to be safe. Which also applies for any wild game meats as well.

Stay away from any weight bearing bones such as knuckle bones and long leg bones from heavy animals like cows. They have the potential to break teeth (I see it happen all the time at work- vet clinic) and you don't want any broken teeth!

Also stay away from any odd shaped bones like Tbones, because they have a greater potential to cause blockages.

As far as what to feed:

Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish, lamb, venison, elk, buffalo, rabbit, llama, kangaroo, etc, etc, etc. You certainly can't feed too many different protein sources. The ideal raw diet has as much variety as a dog can handle (some dogs can't handle certain types of meat due to differences in nutrients). We feed all the above meats in our rotation, some more often than others.

2) Where can I buy some good meat? (I live near Bellingham, WA)
You're in great luck. There are several members that live up near you who can help you join up in the excellent co-op they have there. Whiteleo and Ania's Mommy are the two members that come to mind, so send them a PM to get more info!

Here's the co-op list I have put together:

http://dogfoodchat.com/forum/raw-feeding/1647-raw-feeding-co-op-list.html

3) How much do I feed her? She is going to be a working dog/jogging partner so I would think she'll need more food than a lap dog?
The starting guideline for figuring out rations is 2-3% of their IDEAL adult weight in pounds of food per day. You will have to adjust that accordingly to your dogs specific needs but this is a good place to start. Most dogs fall into this range of food per day. If she really is an active dog, then most likely she will be at the higher end of that range.

4) What about bones? I've always heard that bones (fish/poultry/pork) are bad for dogs because they can splinter and damage internal organs?
Raw bones are just fine to feed, but like before stay away from weight bearing bones and odd shaped bones. DO NOT FEED COOKED BONES!!! These are the dangerous ones.

5) What are some "recipes" that you use for your dogs?
The "recipe" we feed consists of ~10% raw bones, ~10% organ meats (liver/kidney from various sources) and ~80% muscle meats. Nothing more. The only supplement we give is fish oil capsules.

Here is a "getting started" guide I wrote that will help you along the way! Good luck!

How to get started | Prey Model Raw
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The good news is.... my boyfriend likes to hunt and we will be moving to Wyoming this winter for a few years so I'm certain there will be no shortage of deer/elk/etc. in the freezer (I can't actually bring myself to shoot an animal... I just shoot them with my camera instead).

Fish oil capsules? Like the ones you find in a human drug store? The Omega-3 capsules or whatever they call them now?

Thank you all for the information. I will definitely read the guides that were given as well as browse through this forum.

EDIT: OH! I thought of another question for you guys... if any of you have cats, can you feed them the same food as you are feeding the dogs? Or do you need different amounts of things? I know two of my cats will catch and eat birds, mice, etc. but I would like to start feeding them raw as well because I know it will be better for them.
 

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As you can see, others have given you really good advice on the logistics of raw feeding.
If I could do things again I would have started my pup on raw right from the get go. We switched about 9 months ago now (I didn't want to mention that in the kibble forum).
I just buy meat and fish from the supermarket (I can't find any co-ops round here) and feed every different type of meat (and fish) I can find. My only criterea is that it has to be raw, and big enough so she has to chew it somewhat - so she can't swallowed it whole. Your pup will also need liver, which is where I really quite envy you as I have to force feed it. If I had had the brains to start her off on raw from the beginning, it would have been so much easier to introduce new foods before she had a chance to become fussy or set in her tastes.
I think you will find most ACD's are in the 40-45lbish range, and I don't think BC's are that much heavier than that either.
Don't forget to post some photo's!
 

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The good news is.... my boyfriend likes to hunt and we will be moving to Wyoming this winter for a few years so I'm certain there will be no shortage of deer/elk/etc. in the freezer

Fish oil capsules? Like the ones you find in a human drug store? The Omega-3 capsules or whatever they call them now?

Thank you all for the information. I will definitely read the guides that were given as well as browse through this forum.

EDIT: OH! I thought of another question for you guys... if any of you have cats, can you feed them the same food as you are feeding the dogs? Or do you need different amounts of things? I know two of my cats will catch and eat birds, mice, etc. but I would like to start feeding them raw as well because I know it will be better for them.
SUPER jealous of the hunting and game meat. I seriously need to befriend a hunter. Big time.

Yes, just normal fish oil capsules.

Cats, too are carnivores. Raw meat, bones, and organs are exactly what they should be eating!
 

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You have to be careful with switching cats to raw because they are stubborn and will starve themselves. This poses a risk of hepatic lipidosis which is a form of liver failure. If your cat won't take raw foods gladly don't force it like you can with dogs. But they can eat pretty much anything you feed to a dog just in smaller quantities. The only thing that you have to be careful of is feeding only fresh meats. Dogs can't eat rotten and spoiled meats but cats can't handle that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for the input. I think I've figured out how to get started once I bring her home.

At the moment I'm questioning which puppy I'll get. When I first saw them they were only about 4 days old and I picked a favorite based on markings (after all, that's the only thing to base it on at that age) however as they are growing into personalities I'm trying to evaluate the one that I like originally to see if she'll work with my lifestyle. My goal is to get a dog that will be friendly but protective so that if someone breaks into my house (which has happened before) she will bark/growl at them rather than run and hide (which my mother's dog would do... or he would try to lick them to death).

With that being said, I will add pictures of my cats to my signature... and the puppy when I figure out for sure which one I'm taking.

One more question, I know that when changing foods dogs can get diarrhea which is to be expected but should I be more worried about this when switching her from the kibble they've had her on to raw than I would be if I was switching her to another kibble? If so, how often would you suggest I take her out to go potty? I already plan on taking her out at least once an hour and after eating/playing/napping so that she doesn't have to attempt to hold it.

@Corgi: My boyfriend says if we end up with too much meat to fit in our freezer(s) we can try to ship you some... though I'm not sure how expensive it is to ship in a refrigerated truck.
 

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Thank you all for the input. I think I've figured out how to get started once I bring her home.

At the moment I'm questioning which puppy I'll get. When I first saw them they were only about 4 days old and I picked a favorite based on markings (after all, that's the only thing to base it on at that age) however as they are growing into personalities I'm trying to evaluate the one that I like originally to see if she'll work with my lifestyle. My goal is to get a dog that will be friendly but protective so that if someone breaks into my house (which has happened before) she will bark/growl at them rather than run and hide (which my mother's dog would do... or he would try to lick them to death).
Definitely wait until you can get an idea of personality because temperament and disposition are far more important than looks. Go and meet the puppies once you can. Go several times if the breeder will let you (and they should if they are a good breeder). Trust me :wink:

One more question, I know that when changing foods dogs can get diarrhea which is to be expected but should I be more worried about this when switching her from the kibble they've had her on to raw than I would be if I was switching her to another kibble? If so, how often would you suggest I take her out to go potty? I already plan on taking her out at least once an hour and after eating/playing/napping so that she doesn't have to attempt to hold it.
Diarrhea is a normal part of life. If switching *any* diet its a possibility to see diarrhea and even vomiting, bottom line...don't lose sleep over it. BUT switching a puppy to raw is the easiest thing to do. They have all the natural instincts when it comes to eating what they are meant to eat that most adult dogs lose after years of eating processed kibble. Its like they still have their "inner wolf" alive when they are just young puppies!

The reason why we suggest/recommend feeding nothing but bone in chicken cuts for the first few weeks is because its generally a very mild protein for dogs to digest and the bone to meat ratio is higher than most other RMBs (raw meaty bones= bones with plenty of meat attached). The higher the bone content with a RMB, the more it will create firm stools. Bone acts as a constipator and binds stool together (replaces the need for a fiber source in the diet...ie rice, corn, wheat). So if you notice loose stool or diarrhea, just feed a higher bone content meal for a few days. You can do this by buying cuts that naturally have more bone or cut away some of the excess meat off. This also works backwards, meaning if you see constipation or "powdery" stools feed less bone and more meat.

Keep the questions coming :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I can see them every day all day if I want too... my boyfriend's mom bred them. The only problem with that is that she has an adult care facility in her home so it's kind of awkward sitting there all day.

Do I need to worry about inadequate nutrition for the first few weeks if all I am feeding is the chicken? I thought they needed the organs and omega-3 from fish in order to be healthy?
 

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Do I need to worry about inadequate nutrition for the first few weeks if all I am feeding is the chicken?
Your pup won't be getting ideal nutrition for the first few weeks but thats no big deal in the overall scheme of things. No one gets an ideal diet every day anyway. By the time you are feeding 3 or so meats and occasional liver & other organs, everything will be balanced out.

I thought they needed the organs and omega-3 from fish in order to be healthy?
They need omega-3 from somewhere but it doesn't have to be fish. If you are feeding wild game, O3's won't be a problem. Plenty of O3's in that.
 

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Couple of questions:
So, even when it is a really young pup, thats not even on kibble yet, you still have to ease it into raw feeding with the chicken only process for a few weeks? I was wondering if tiny bits of liver and other types of meat could be introduced right from the start and see how it goes and if there are any problems then switching it to chicken only? It never ocurred to me that their stomachs would be that sensitive at such a young age, so that is interesting to know.
 

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Puppies switch MUCH faster and easier than adult dogs, so the chances that they will have a rough time is much lower. BUT we always want use caution with any dog and minimize the chances. When we switched Akasha at 8 weeks she had a few days of runny stools but eventually had normal bowel movements consistently.

If normal bowel movements are consistent for several days it's generally ok to move faster with them. Puppies I would say can be switched over completely twice as fast as adults. So by a month into raw feeding they should have a well balanced diet. You certainly could add in a small bit of liver and see if the pup could handle it but if not you know to back off with either the quantity or give the adjustment more time. The ultimate goal in the switch is to make it as easy on the dog as possible, so you have to pay attention to see what it can handle.
 

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Pups are usually a lot easier to start on a raw diet because they haven't been eating kibble for a long time. And you can push them as fast as you want to but expect at some point you will push them too fast and have digestive upset. All my switching phylosophy is based on switching with the minimum amount of problems. I tend to be real conservative when switching either pups or dogs but also, when people follow my instructions, they usually have very little digestive problems in their dogs.

You can feed tiny bits of liver or anything else you feel comfortable with but be ready to clean up some messes that may or may not happen. I think sensitive stomachs are not a problem at a very young age but maturity of digestive system may be. I don't know ... just being careful. I got my Thor at 12 weeks of age and switched him just like an adult dog. Did not have one vomit or diarrhea. I like that. :smile:
 

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The good news is.... my boyfriend likes to hunt and we will be moving to Wyoming this winter for a few years so I'm certain there will be no shortage of deer/elk/etc. in the freezer (I can't actually bring myself to shoot an animal... I just shoot them with my camera instead).

Fish oil capsules? Like the ones you find in a human drug store? The Omega-3 capsules or whatever they call them now?

Thank you all for the information. I will definitely read the guides that were given as well as browse through this forum.

EDIT: OH! I thought of another question for you guys... if any of you have cats, can you feed them the same food as you are feeding the dogs? Or do you need different amounts of things? I know two of my cats will catch and eat birds, mice, etc. but I would like to start feeding them raw as well because I know it will be better for them.
I give omega 3-6-9 oil from spring valley. It's fish, flaxseed and borage oil I buy at walmart. None of my crew will eat fish so this is how I supplement that.
 
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