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Hi everybody, I switched to raw about three weeks ago because my 4 mo puppy was having diarrhea on kibble--even the bland stuff the vet gave us! A couple I met at the dog park told me about switching their 4 dogs to raw and the amazing benefits they saw, and I was sold! I cold-turkey switched her, and her poops almost automatically got better. We haven't been totally in the clear, 1 out of every 4-5 poops is still like melted frozen yogurt, and it's usually A LOT, which from what I've read is abnormal for dogs on a raw diet. The runny poop could be because when I initially switched her, I was feeding her boiled sweet potato or carrot at every meal which I read is unnecessary and can cause runny poops. For the first 2 and a half weeks she only ate chicken as she adjusted to the raw diet, and then I introduced pork on Saturday and beef/turkey on Sunday. Her poops after the new proteins were AWESOME: solid, dark in color, small.

This is essentially what she's eating now:

AM - raw chicken quarter; raw egg
PM - some combination of beef tips, ground beef, boneless turkey breasts, pork rib

(M, W, F she gets one chicken liver with her PM meal, and she gets fish oil every day with it. She also sometimes gets salmon/sardines with her AM meal).


BEFORE I introduced the new proteins this Saturday, she had started itching pretty bad, and it's gotten worse the past few days. She scratches at her hind quarters, her hips, her back, her ears. She's at the vet today getting checked out because of the itching, and they mentioned she may have a chicken allergy (there aren't any fleas/bugs visible). They're also extremely judgmental about feeding her raw bones, which makes me feel anxious and like I'm intentionally putting Leia in harm's way. Being honest, when she eats the pork ribs she barely chews them and it kind of freaks me out because I'm always certain they're going to cause an obstruction. I decided last night I wasn't going to give her pork ribs anymore and just stick with the boney meal being the chicken quarter. It's 30% bone, so her PM meal can be all boneless and her total bone content for the day would be around 15%, which is good, right?

Any advice on her daily menu, like should I add/change anything? Any advice on what the itching could be? When she initially started itching, she wasn't getting her fish oil regularly and I read somewhere it helps with dry skin during the winter. I live in North Texas and the allergies here are AWFUL and so is the weather because one day it's winter and the next day it's hot. I've been giving her Benadryl the past two days and it hasn't really helped her, at least not that I've noticed. Are there any other things that can help her with dry skin if that's all it is? Could it be a chicken allergy if her poops were only gross 1 out of every 4 to 5 times when that was exclusively all she was eating?

I know that was a lot, but my vet isn't helpful with her new diet and so I'm just looking for some support/advice. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
One more thing. I have been buying her meats at the grocery store. I get organic, grass fed, hormone/antibiotic free, blah blah blah. I saw somewhere grocery store meats can be bad because they may be bleached/filled with salt. I'd be interested in joining a co-op, I just don't know where to find one.
 

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hi......that is quite a few proteins for only three weeks......

maybe you're intro'ing too many proteins too quickly......

how old is your dog and how much does she weigh?

i'd advise against giving benedryl, as benedryl has seizures as a side effect for dogs......

i would make sure i'm not overfeeding.........and start over.....with chicken for a few weeks, both bony and boneless.....stop feeding all of the other things
and slow down the introduction of proteins......
 

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First of all, it sounds like you are feeding too much at once in the pm meal, along with organ,fish oil, and all the boneless together is probably causing the too soft poops. Stop the oil for now, and when you give organ, give it with bone in meals. I never give organ with boneless, it's asking for digestive trouble.

I also get get a lot of my meat from the grocery. Look at labels on the packaging to see what the sodium content is. The lower the better, and not all has sodium enhancements. When I buy chicken, for example I look for around 75 mg. Too much will also cause the poop issues you are seeing.

The bleaching you are talking about is in store bought tripe and intestines. They have to be to be sold for human consumption. There is no nutritional value in those, so don't bother. The biggest thing is looking at the sodium content.

And vets in general know very little if anything about nutrition. They are against raw majority of the time, because they just don't understand it.
 

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It is impossible to know how big your 4-month-old puppy is, but I'm guessing BIG.

An option for your twice a day feedings (that I'd cut to one evening feeding once nearing full grown) is to split items like quarters into thighs and drumsticks and feed one at each meal (especially if the pup has any dirrahea issuses). Both boneless and ovely boney meals can cause issues in sensitive dogs.

Do be sure you are not overfeeding. Sodium, too much initial fat, and over-feeding are 3 of the biggest causes of dirrahea.

Do, as Jenny suggests, feed organs with a bone-in piece.

I think you are wise to stop feeding rib bones if your pup is swallowing large pieces whole. This really are an obstruction risk and your caution is well-advised.

I'm a dissenter on the need for an elaborate transition of proteins (with protracted time spent feeding chicken only) but the one advantage of adding one item at a time is seeing if it triggers a food intolerance or allergy.

Not sure about the conditions in North Texas, but in Los Angeles we are having an early Spring with high-pollen etc. Most skin allergies are contact allergies (not food based). I'd wipe the dog down (paws expecially) to see if that helps.

Bill
 

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Thanks so much for the replies! She just hit 40lbs today, she's supposed to be between 60-70lbs when full grown. She eats about 2lbs of meat a day, which is about 3% of her adult body weight. Is that too much?
 

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Thanks so much for the replies! She just hit 40lbs today, she's supposed to be between 60-70lbs when full grown. She eats about 2lbs of meat a day, which is about 3% of her adult body weight. Is that too much?
I think everyone on this forum would tell you to feed by condition and activity level, and not by any formula.

Look from overhead, does the dog show a defined "tuck" (waist)?

Palpate the ribs. How much of a fat layer is there?

I strongly prefer my dogs to run lean, especially as pups. That means showing a little rib, just not pointy hips. Society generally looks on rolly-polly puppies as a "good thing," when it is not.

You will have the best perspective on the amount to feed your dog. Just know that raw fed dogs tend to run lean, but well-muscled (especially as they mature). This leaner body type is far better for health and joints that the standards of obesity we've come to accept as "normal."

5% of current body sounds high to me, but—again—rely on your best judgement not any formula or doubts from those (like me) who have never seen your dog. Do accept that a raw fed pup does not have to look like a corpulent kibble fed puppy to be healthy. The opposite is true. Aim for lean with slow steady growth.

Bill
 

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two pounds a day? whoa.......

yes, we differ about frequency of offering proteins.......usually because the people we see have a situation.....if my dog is rolling right along, transition to a variety of proteins is relatively fast......relatively.

if i have a dog who is being overfed, as yours is, from day one, i would step back and punt, feed less and start over.
 

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I've seen far more "situations" from people feeding too much bone-in chicken (with too high a bone percentage) for too long than difficulties from feeding different proteins. By a long shot.

Too much bone is the #1 problem with novice raw feeders in my estimation. Too much bone causes dogs GI distress that sets up dogs poorly for their transition to raw. I concur that is is important (on many levels) not to overfeed.

One doesn't want to stimulate overly fast growth, put undue stress on developing joints, nor upset the GI tract with too much food.

Bill
 

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The vet ruled that the itching was coming from seasonal allergies and told me to give her benadryl twice a day.

She is very skinny. She's a poodle mix (so pretty fluffy), and we recently got her shaved, and when I saw her without all her fluff I felt she looked too thin! My vet and her doggy daycare reassured me that she was a healthy weight and puppies should be skinny/lean. I attached pictures to see!

IMG_0881.jpg
Leia.jpg

Originally I was feeding her 4% of her CURRENT weight, so closer to 1.5lbs/day and she always acted like she was starving. She'd sniff around all her bowls and her kennel and the trashcan like she wanted more food. That's when I upped her food to 2lbs/day because she was looking skinny and acting hungry after meals. Yesterday I cut her back closer to 1.5lbs after reading about overfeeding, and she seemed fine.

Everything I read said to stay around 10-15% bone/day. So I've been giving her one meal with a higher bone ratio (drumsticks, chicken quarters) and one meal with no bone to even out her daily percentage. I think I may be giving her too much bone though because this morning she threw up stomach bile and there was about a 2in, skinny bone fragment in her bile. This isn't the first time she's thrown up bile, she's done it about 3 times this past week--all in the morning right before breakfast. Has anyone else experienced this? Or experienced bones being thrown up? The bile can apparently just mean she's feeling queasy from an empty stomach because raw food gets digested so quickly compared to kibble so their stomach is empty longer. I told my vet she had been doing this and she said maybe she "caught" something or she also suggested the empty stomach thing.

Side note, to ease my mind, I ordered her two weeks worth of food from Texas Tripe. It's all ground with the right amount of meat/bone/organ ratio (80/10/10). At least that way I won't have to worry if she's getting everything she needs or about any more bone hazards.
 

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Oh, another side note. Leia is VERY active. She goes to doggy daycare 3-4x a week and they hike 6-10 miles while she's there. There are no cages/kennels, and she literally is either hiking, swimming, digging, or playing with other dogs from 8 AM - 6 PM. On days she doesn't go to daycare, we spend at least 2 hours at the dog park swimming, hiking, or playing with other dogs, plus the walks she gets in the morning and at lunch. She's a poodle/german shepherd mix, so she needs a lot of exercise. That also is why I upped her food intake to the 2lbs because she plays and works so hard, when she is restless and sniffing for more food, I feel she needs/deserves it. Lol.
 

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The vet ruled that the itching was coming from seasonal allergies and told me to give her benadryl twice a day.

She is very skinny. She's a poodle mix (so pretty fluffy), and we recently got her shaved, and when I saw her without all her fluff I felt she looked too thin! My vet and her doggy daycare reassured me that she was a healthy weight and puppies should be skinny/lean. I attached pictures to see!

View attachment 13233
View attachment 13241

Originally I was feeding her 4% of her CURRENT weight, so closer to 1.5lbs/day and she always acted like she was starving. She'd sniff around all her bowls and her kennel and the trashcan like she wanted more food. That's when I upped her food to 2lbs/day because she was looking skinny and acting hungry after meals. Yesterday I cut her back closer to 1.5lbs after reading about overfeeding, and she seemed fine.

Everything I read said to stay around 10-15% bone/day. So I've been giving her one meal with a higher bone ratio (drumsticks, chicken quarters) and one meal with no bone to even out her daily percentage. I think I may be giving her too much bone though because this morning she threw up stomach bile and there was about a 2in, skinny bone fragment in her bile. This isn't the first time she's thrown up bile, she's done it about 3 times this past week--all in the morning right before breakfast. Has anyone else experienced this? Or experienced bones being thrown up? The bile can apparently just mean she's feeling queasy from an empty stomach because raw food gets digested so quickly compared to kibble so their stomach is empty longer. I told my vet she had been doing this and she said maybe she "caught" something or she also suggested the empty stomach thing.

Side note, to ease my mind, I ordered her two weeks worth of food from Texas Tripe. It's all ground with the right amount of meat/bone/organ ratio (80/10/10). At least that way I won't have to worry if she's getting everything she needs or about any more bone hazards.
Not all dogs need 10% bone. Some need less, some need more. The 10% is sort of a guide as to where to start, but not necessarily a definant thing.

In the beginning as their bodies are learning to digest bone, sometimes you will see fragments. That goes away once they are adjusted. But it can also be from over feeding bone as well. And sometimes they can have "hunger pukes", so to speak. I have one who will do it occasionally in the mornings. If she does, I just give her something small like a couple chicken feet or a drumstick, and she's just fine after.

I am not a fan of ground food, in most cases. When you buy ground with bone and all ground in, you don't really know how much bone is actually in it. They may say 10%, that doesn't mean that it really does. It could have too much or too little which can affect some dogs if it's the wrong amount. Also, by feeding ground you are missing the dental benefits of eating whole bone. It's needed for tooth and gum cleaning. Dental health is a huge benefit to raw. It's also good for some mental stimulation.

By looking at the pictures you posted, she looks fine. A raw fed dog will be leaner and have more muscle tone than a kibble fed dog.
 
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Since we're not even a month into raw feeding, could it be beneficial for Leia to have actual bone less than once a day? I don't want to lose the dental benefits of her chewing/tearing at a bone, so maybe I could feed her a chicken quarter 2-3x a week and ground/boneless the rest until I see her poops have consistently been good and her body has adjusted to digesting bone? A few people on this thread mentioned I could be feeding her too much bone, so maybe doing the ground meats for breakfast every day, and then for dinner switching between boneless and bone-in, leaning more towards the boneless? I know she loves her raw food and I want to stick with it, I just want to make sure it's agreeing with her and she hasn't been totally in the clear yet with her poops.
 

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I personally would not do ground at all. Whatever proteins you are feeding as ground boneless, it would be much more beneficial to feed as boneless chunks. Even though it's boneless, there is still the benefit of the chewing and tearing of the meat.
 
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Seasonal allergies sound more likely than a food allergy. Wiping the dog off with a damp microfiber towel after she has been outdoors can help reduce suffering.

Leia doesn't look overweight. But—again—base your feedings on her condition and activity level. Palpate ribs, etc.

As long as you are feeding two meals, I'd split the bone-in pieces between the two meals to avoid a bone-heavy meal and a boneless meal. Meat insulates the GI tract from bone. If I had to feed a bone heavy meal, it would be an (end of day) evening meal that the dog could sleep off, not a morning meal that the dog had to run on (as this is harder on dogs).

The 10% bone ratio hits the target for the balance of Calcium to Phosphorus of 1.2:1 that the best veterinary science has determined is optimal for canine nutrition. I've seen no evidence that dogs are variable in their need to maintain a proper mineral balances, and there are many maladies that result from either too much Phosphorus (relative to Calcium) or too much Calcium (relative to Phosphorus). I'd say being close to target is critical.

I know my (very outstanding vet) is sketical of raw feeding ONLY on the basis of some owners not being mindful of the need to keep Ca:p in balance.

Bill
 

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OH! So Leia has weird "pencil" poops sometimes. Like she'll have a good, normal poop followed by a little pile of "pencil" poops, and sometimes her poops are just "pencil" shaped. Like super skinny, but pretty good form/consistency. Do any of y'all have experience with "pencil" poops? I read they're caused by a tightening of the intestine/rectum in response to inflammation or some type of obstruction. Which brings me to my next question:

Back to the pork ribs. She ate 2, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Should I be worried about a possible obstruction from them? They were gone in like 20 seconds so I don't know how much chewing she did. Never feeding her ribs again! Last night after her chicken quarter she had a good poop, and then 2 small pencil poops. Her poop right before bed was also a pencil poop. This morning's poop was thicker, but it poured rain all night, so it was hard to tell what it's consistency was because it was in a puddle.

Sorry for all the questions. I worry a lot, and this is so new. Thanks!
 

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It sounds like the poops are just smaller, which is normal for raw fed dogs. They digest so much more (nearly all) compared to kibble.

Dogs don't chew like we do. It's more of a chomp chomp and down. As long as the rib wasn't swallowed whole you should be fine. How many did you give her? One single one? If so, you may want to give at least two that are connected together. That will cause more chewing and may make you feel better about feeding it. When I feed pork ribs, all of my aussies get three ribs connected.
 

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Your dog looks fine, really. It takes a lot of getting used to what dogs are actually supposed to look like, take it from me. It actually looks like she could even lose a little and be better off for it.
And trust me, you'd know if she had an obstruction. My dog once ate some raw too fast at the beginning an she puked it back up. After that she chews pretty well. They learn. Also, the most important thing I can tell you is to stop thinking of your dog like a person. Your dog is perfectly designed to eat raw meat and bones with no problem. Their stomach acid is around 1-2 pH, so VERY acidic. A person's stomach acid is more around 3 (doesn't seem like a lot but pH changes by a factor of 10 so it's pretty significant). As long as they break the bone to increase the surface area a little more, their stomach can handle it just fine. I know how freaky it can be to watch them devour bones, especially when you aren't quite used to it. The first time I gave Cricket a turkey neck (very dense bone) she cracked the bones maybe three times and swallowed it. Made me FLIP out, I wanted to make her throw up! But I just waited and waited and she was 100% fine. Definitely don't give up on the ribs yet!

And don't sweat raw too much. You're here. You know this is the best for your pup. You'll do just fine :)
 

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Since we're not even a month into raw feeding, could it be beneficial for Leia to have actual bone less than once a day? I don't want to lose the dental benefits of her chewing/tearing at a bone, so maybe I could feed her a chicken quarter 2-3x a week and ground/boneless the rest until I see her poops have consistently been good and her body has adjusted to digesting bone? A few people on this thread mentioned I could be feeding her too much bone, so maybe doing the ground meats for breakfast every day, and then for dinner switching between boneless and bone-in, leaning more towards the boneless? I know she loves her raw food and I want to stick with it, I just want to make sure it's agreeing with her and she hasn't been totally in the clear yet with her poops.
I'd advise against. Too little bone can cause diarrhea in some dogs. Too much bone can cause vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea.

Until you've really settled I'd try to split the 10% daily bone between meals (as best you are able) and feed neither bone-free or overly boney meals.

In time your dog may prove she isn't "sensitive" and you can modify. Personally, I rarley diviate from (roughly) PRM ratio meals. I think it is easiest on the dog and my guy has never had any GI distress.

I also prefer whole (non-ground) meats whenever possible. Some items (like green tripe) are only availble to me ground, so ....

Bill
 
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