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With the problems I've been having with kibble over the past few months, and now not knowing what to expect from Natura, I'm thinking, since we finally just moved into our own house (yay!) that I might like to try raw again if I can in fact find a cheaper source of meat out here. But I've got a few questions. Things I didn't think about before as I never fed more than chicken or a few pieces of steak (aside from organs). So, I guess I'll just list my questions and I'm sure you guys can help me out. I'm sure they're dumb questions, but questions I don't have the answers to none-the-less lol

1) Can you really feed any kind of meat? Like, if I buy a beef roast can I just cut in into portions? Or a pork loin, pork roast, or pork chops?

2) Are there any uncooked bones they CAN'T have? Can they have say, raw rib bones, raw pork chop bones, ect.?

3) How often do you need to add in organs and liver? Weekly? Monthly? Is there anything that they do need daily? (other than muscle meat)

4) Will it do harm if I'm not measuring out food every day? Say just throwing them a chicken thigh or leg and calling it a meal? Or do I really need to watch how much I give them every day? I used to measure out just muscle meat, but it's hard with bone-in meats.

5) I have a concern with fish. I've read that, even to dogs, raw fish can be dangerous. Is this true? Or can I just lightly cook fillets to rule out any possiblity of danger? And what about bones? If we catch some fish at the lake, and lightly cook it, will any tiny bones we miss hurt them?

Thanks in advance everyone! :)
 

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1) Can you really feed any kind of meat? Like, if I buy a beef roast can I just cut in into portions? Or a pork loin, pork roast, or pork chops?
Any kind of meat is absolutely fine. Wedo recommend starting with one kind for the first two or so weeks, and generally chicken is top pick because it's not nearly as rich as red meats. I also stay away from cuts of meat that have oddly cut bones, because they can be sharp where they're cut. But, I've also given them oddly cut bones when it's been given to me for free, I ust don't like to risk it much.

2) Are there any uncooked bones they CAN'T have? Can they have say, raw rib bones, raw pork chop bones, ect.?
Most raw bones are totally fine. I stay away from any weight bearing bones of large animals because they're more dense than a dog's tooth- designed to hold hundreds (sometimes thousands) of pounds.
I also prefer "whole" bones, meaning not cut at weird angles because they can be sharp, but that's entirely a personal preference.

3) How often do you need to add in organs and liver? Weekly? Monthly? Is there anything that they do need daily? (other than muscle meat)
Organs should make up roughly 10% of the diet (but remember exacts are unimportant) and that can be done daily, weekly, or monthly. however you prefer. I think the popular way of doing it is to feed them one day a week. I personally prefer to give a little every day, and chicken livers are perfect size for doing this. I give all of my dogs a "glob" of liver per day, and a chunk of beef kidney. These are the only organs I have readily avaliable to me, so that's all they get for now. Liver is the only "must" organ, but kidney is great too. The more variety the better.
It doesn't mater what you feed on a daily basis. Just feed mostly muscle meat, some bones, and some organs, and you'll be fine.
Balance over time is key.

4) Will it do harm if I'm not measuring out food every day? Say just throwing them a chicken thigh or leg and calling it a meal? Or do I really need to watch how much I give them every day? I used to measure out just muscle meat, but it's hard with bone-in meats.
When I started raw, I literally measured every single meal, to the ounce, and cut of any excess, and had scheduled feeding times.
I no longer weigh anything, I just kind of eyeball it and most meals I'm sure are a little heavier than what they're "supposed to be."
Just like with kibble, or any form of feeding, amounts are unimportant, just watch body condition. If one of mine is looking chunky, I feed once a day for a few days (i generally feed twice) if one is looking a bit too thin, I throw them an extra chunk of meat.
While measuring in the beginning can be a comforting reassurance, over time I learned it's quite unnecessary and just adds work to it that makes it more difficult than need be.

5) I have a concern with fish. I've read that, even to dogs, raw fish can be dangerous. Is this true? Or can I just lightly cook fillets to rule out any possiblity of danger? And what about bones? If we catch some fish at the lake, and lightly cook it, will any tiny bones we miss hurt them?
Salmon caught in certain areas CAN be dangerous. Unless you're spending huge bucks, you're buying farmed salmon and this concern is null and void anyway. (wild saught salmon is VERY expensive)
Most of what I feed ends up frozen for a period of time anyway, but if you're concerned with fish, freeze it for two weeks before feeding it.
Or just feed canned fish, but that's not as ideal as whole fishies.
Cooked bones of any kind are dangerous. That being said, if yo're deboning and cooking a fish, i dont think itty bitty bones you might miss would do much harm. I do, however, think it's unnecessary effort. I feed whole talapia and bass at least once a week. I also feed carp (yuck. but it's so cheap) when this already cheap fish goes on sale at the asian market, making it dirt cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Any kind of meat is absolutely fine. Wedo recommend starting with one kind for the first two or so weeks, and generally chicken is top pick because it's not nearly as rich as red meats. I also stay away from cuts of meat that have oddly cut bones, because they can be sharp where they're cut. But, I've also given them oddly cut bones when it's been given to me for free, I ust don't like to risk it much.


Most raw bones are totally fine. I stay away from any weight bearing bones of large animals because they're more dense than a dog's tooth- designed to hold hundreds (sometimes thousands) of pounds.
I also prefer "whole" bones, meaning not cut at weird angles because they can be sharp, but that's entirely a personal preference.


Organs should make up roughly 10% of the diet (but remember exacts are unimportant) and that can be done daily, weekly, or monthly. however you prefer. I think the popular way of doing it is to feed them one day a week. I personally prefer to give a little every day, and chicken livers are perfect size for doing this. I give all of my dogs a "glob" of liver per day, and a chunk of beef kidney. These are the only organs I have readily avaliable to me, so that's all they get for now. Liver is the only "must" organ, but kidney is great too. The more variety the better.
It doesn't mater what you feed on a daily basis. Just feed mostly muscle meat, some bones, and some organs, and you'll be fine.
Balance over time is key.


When I started raw, I literally measured every single meal, to the ounce, and cut of any excess, and had scheduled feeding times.
I no longer weigh anything, I just kind of eyeball it and most meals I'm sure are a little heavier than what they're "supposed to be."
Just like with kibble, or any form of feeding, amounts are unimportant, just watch body condition. If one of mine is looking chunky, I feed once a day for a few days (i generally feed twice) if one is looking a bit too thin, I throw them an extra chunk of meat.
While measuring in the beginning can be a comforting reassurance, over time I learned it's quite unnecessary and just adds work to it that makes it more difficult than need be.


Salmon caught in certain areas CAN be dangerous. Unless you're spending huge bucks, you're buying farmed salmon and this concern is null and void anyway. (wild saught salmon is VERY expensive)
Most of what I feed ends up frozen for a period of time anyway, but if you're concerned with fish, freeze it for two weeks before feeding it.
Or just feed canned fish, but that's not as ideal as whole fishies.
Cooked bones of any kind are dangerous. That being said, if yo're deboning and cooking a fish, i dont think itty bitty bones you might miss would do much harm. I do, however, think it's unnecessary effort. I feed whole talapia and bass at least once a week. I also feed carp (yuck. but it's so cheap) when this already cheap fish goes on sale at the asian market, making it dirt cheap.
Thank you so much for all this info! I'm going to really start hunting for cheaper meat, and hopefully try this again. It's start to sound better and better and I really think it'll all be worth it.
 

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Here's a getting started guide that I wrote that has the skeptical newbie in mind. It's the method that most of us here who raw feed live by, used ourselves and highly recommend for others planning to switch. Many people don't have any issues when switching their dogs to raw when following this guide, or similar ones. This forum is a wealth of knowledge and experience. All of us here started where you are right now.

http://preymodelraw.com/2010/02/05/how-to-get-started-feeding-a-prey-model-raw-diet/
 

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5) I have a concern with fish. I've read that, even to dogs, raw fish can be dangerous. Is this true?
The thing I would worry about with fish you catch yourself is how clean is the water they come from. Fish can absorb some pretty nasty chemicals. If the water is clean, so is the fish.

Or can I just lightly cook fillets to rule out any possiblity of danger?
Cooking is the wrong thing to do. If you are concerned about parasites, freezing for a few weeks will take care of that. If you are concerned about bacteria, don't be. Bacteria is no big deal to dogs. IF you are concerned about chemicals, neither cooking or freezing will do any good.

And what about bones?
Raw fish bones are not a big danger to dogs. Cooked bones are another story.

If we catch some fish at the lake, and lightly cook it, will any tiny bones we miss hurt them?
Don't worry about raw bones. Don't cook anything with bones in it. Don't cook, period. No need to and nothing positive comes from it as far as a dog's food is concerned.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here's a getting started guide that I wrote that has the skeptical newbie in mind. It's the method that most of us here who raw feed live by, used ourselves and highly recommend for others planning to switch. Many people don't have any issues when switching their dogs to raw when following this guide, or similar ones. This forum is a wealth of knowledge and experience. All of us here started where you are right now.

How to get started feeding a Prey Model Raw Diet | Prey Model Raw
Thank you very much, I'll bookmark that and read through it!

The thing I would worry about with fish you catch yourself is how clean is the water they come from. Fish can absorb some pretty nasty chemicals. If the water is clean, so is the fish.



Cooking is the wrong thing to do. If you are concerned about parasites, freezing for a few weeks will take care of that. If you are concerned about bacteria, don't be. Bacteria is no big deal to dogs. IF you are concerned about chemicals, neither cooking or freezing will do any good.
Thank you. I'll just use my judgement if we happen to catch much this year. We don't really fish at any lakes that we wouldn't eat the fish out of ourselves. But I buy a lot of frozen tilapia, so that may be good enough for the dogs as well.
 

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Something I haven't seen peoplle thinking about. When catching hatchery fish out of a lake or stocked pond-most of these guys are born in the pacific northwest and trucked all over to their new homes. All the hatcheries in oregon have the salmon poisoning bacteria in their tanks. It is not cost effective to try to eradicate it.
Also when freezing the fish your freezer should be maintaining 0*. All fish sold for human consumption have been frozen at -32* for 24 hours.
 

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1) Can you really feed any kind of meat? Like, if I buy a beef roast can I just cut in into portions? Or a pork loin, pork roast, or pork chops?
Yep!

2) Are there any uncooked bones they CAN'T have? Can they have say, raw rib bones, raw pork chop bones, ect.?
Weight bearing bones should not be fed.

3) How often do you need to add in organs and liver? Weekly? Monthly? Is there anything that they do need daily? (other than muscle meat)
Most people add a little bit each day but it doesn't really matter as long as it is 10% of your dog's diet. I do it weekly.

4) Will it do harm if I'm not measuring out food every day? Say just throwing them a chicken thigh or leg and calling it a meal? Or do I really need to watch how much I give them every day? I used to measure out just muscle meat, but it's hard with bone-in meats.
Eh, not really. But I MUCH prefer that it is measured.. that way you KNOW you're not over- or under-feeding. If you get a simple diet scale, bone-in meats are pretty easy to weigh (you may need one with a big basket though).

5) I have a concern with fish. I've read that, even to dogs, raw fish can be dangerous. Is this true? Or can I just lightly cook fillets to rule out any possiblity of danger? And what about bones? If we catch some fish at the lake, and lightly cook it, will any tiny bones we miss hurt them?
I'm not sure exactly. Some fish are okay, some aren't. If you aren't sure about a certain fish, freeze it for a week and then feed it. :smile:
 

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2) Are there any uncooked bones they CAN'T have? Can they have say, raw rib bones, raw pork chop bones, ect.?
First, make sure whatever bones you feed always have meat attached to them. Next, deciding which raw meaty bones to feed depends a lot on the size of your dog. Always avoid the weight-bearing bones of larger animals (such as steer and hogs, but not chickens). Small to medium sized dogs may have trouble with turkey bones, for instance, while larger dogs will have no issues with them. Most dogs can eat pork and lamb ribs, bone and all. Not many can completely eat a beef rib.

I also always avoid bones in steaks and chops which often have sharp edges and points that can injure your dog. Also on beef ribs, I usually remove the small piece of spine that is usually sawed off and left attached to each rib when the rack is separated from the spine. It's just the perfect size to pose a choking hazard in some dogs.

Bottom line for my two dogs (one is 17 lbs and one is 42 lbs), for meaty bones I feed chicken legs, thighs, backs, wings, and necks, turkey necks and wings, pork ribs, duck wings, and beef ribs (although my dogs can't eat much of the bone from a beef rib they love gnawing on them). My dogs have a hard time with any turkey bones that larger than the bones in the wings but larger dogs should be able to enjoy turkey legs and thighs.
 
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