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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I'm almost ready to start the dogs on turkey necks. But no stores have them. :frown: I phoned up a meat market, and he said that he is not getting into the dog meat food thing, because he has been burned by dog owners ordering food and not picking it up. He said, yes they can do the chicken quarters and chicken backs and raw meaty bones for chewing. But that's about it. He said that turkey necks are a rare and hot commodity.

Since I don't feel like phoning every meat market in Calgary, I want to use food I can find in the grocery store until I can slowly make my way to butcher's shops in the area and see what I can do.

So right now they are getting chicken quarters and chicken wings. What should I do for Monday - and please be specific:smile:. Should I start with fish - sinch fish is pretty easy to find? If so, do I still give chicken backs? Would I do a whole week with fish?

Thanks!!
Carol
 

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I don't think it's a big loss to not have turkey necks.

I'd buy whole chickens, unenhanced (less than 100mg of sodium) and whack them up into 4 pieces and feed through them. I wouldn't do wings unless they were attached to the breast. I wouldn't do backs unless they were attached as well. Wayyyyyyyy too bony, although some people like to do heavy bone at first.

How are stools? How long have they been on chicken?

If they are progressing well for the next few days on chicken, then go to pork. I'd do a large picnic roast and divide up for them. Just do a bite with the chicken at first to make sure it's well tolerated. NO need to rush.

Add in your proteins slowly. Once you have them easily eating chicken and pork, then you can go to beef. Then add in organs.

Slow and steady wins the race.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So...

My dogs have been on chicken backs for a week, then chicken quarters and backs for a week. So now I should do a beef roast. I'm not sure what a picnic roast is?? Also should I have something for bone - like chicken back? Please be as specific as you can - I'm still a newbie!!

Thanks!!

Carol
 

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I wouldn't feed beef at this point. It is a very rich meat and should be worked up to.

Since you are unable to get turkey, I think that pork would be a good substitute. (Have you looked in the regular grocery store for turkey necks? I have seen them from time to time).

Picnic roast is pork. It is also known as pork shoulder roast. Basically, it is a huge boneless roast with a large, oddly shaped/cut bone in it. It is one of my staple meats, but I don't feed the bone because of the way it is cut.

I would caution you on feeding completely boneless meals at this point in your transition. You seem to be having good results so far, and I wouldn't want to see a setback. I might feed half your meal in pork and half your meal in chicken back.
 

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you can also get turkey breast, bone in....or turkey and a chicken back....

it's the protein you want to try...turkey's really not in season right now, so money could be a issue, but you can try a turkey thigh, a turkey drummette....maybe even the wing part of a turkey wing, if you can find them...

but if you can't....just feed some turkey meat and a chicken back for the bone part....

if that doesn't work....i'd suggest a lean cut of pork to start and then add in fattier cuts...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ania's mommy - yes, I've looked in all of the major shopping centers here, and I haven't seen turkey neck. The stores are saying they don't like to get things that don't sell well. I've had a hard time just finding chicken quarters and backs!! That's why I've had to use chicken wings as a substitute for chicken backs.

I thought that picnic roast was beef - thanks for clarifying that! I'll do that - half meal in pork (brought in gradually) and half in chicken backs.

Re - I do have some turkey meat (not very much) in the freezer. I could try that first if you think that's better than pork.

Carol
 

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Do you live in a relatively large city or at least close enough to one to drive there? Many of the larger cities have wholesale meat distributors that would carry things like turkey necks. I would do a google search and find one if you can.
 

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Using the chicken backs for your bone content is fine. Going to pork next is fine. If you'd rather go to turkey, that is fine too.

Just go slow. Stay a little bone heavy for now (feed the roast with a chicken back, for example).

Watch stools. If they get sloppy, add in a chicken back for extra bone at the next meal. If the stools come out crumbly, the dog is straining to poop (constipated) or the stools come out white - you're too bone heavy. You will become an excellent poop watcher. You make adjustments according to how your dog is processing the food.

Many people use chicken quarters of backs as their bone content. It's easy and cheap. If you'd like to use pork bones - use a rack or ribs or riblets for edible bone. (Stay away from cut bones like in a pork steak or pork country style ribs with bone). You are looking for whole bones, not ones cut with a saw.

Once you are good on pork (or turkey) or whatever you choose as your next protein, you can add in some beef. Most people are fine with those 3 as their primary meat sources... poultry, pork, and beef. If you can later get some venison or add in some fish - that's great.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Natalie - wholesale meat distributor - okay I'll google that. Yes I am in a large city - I'm just not sure how to go about getting cheap meat. But a wholesale meat distributor sounds like a good idea!!

bd5853 - I guess I'll get a pork shoulder roast then. And try to find some more backs. Kind of exciting to go to another animal source (I don't get out much :redface:) :biggrin:

Thanks!!
Carol
 

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Natalie - wholesale meat distributor - okay I'll google that. Yes I am in a large city - I'm just not sure how to go about getting cheap meat. But a wholesale meat distributor sounds like a good idea!!

bd5853 - I guess I'll get a pork shoulder roast then. And try to find some more backs. Kind of exciting to go to another animal source (I don't get out much :redface:) :biggrin:

Thanks!!
Carol
Sounds good! Just remember to go slow. Don't feed a whole meal of pork roast now. Do a bite or two WITH the familiar chicken. If all is OK, then add in a bit more and adjust to the new protein GRADUALLY. This will help prevent a blowout. :)

And Yes, I understand your excitement. Meat shopping is a blast. Pretty soon you will be feeling REALLY SORRY for those poor doggies that have to eat cereal in a bag for every meal. :rolleyes:
 

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If you can find a pet store that carries the raw food brand Primal you could probably ask them to order turkey necks for you. We sell them at $7.99 for a pack of 3. Probably not as cheap as a butcher, but if you can't find them anywhere else that's an option
 

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i only said turkey because that's what i did. i had a little trouble finding turkey necks, so i used chicken backs for bone and turkey thigh or breast for the meat.

i'm also one of those people who failed the first time and was determined not to fail again, so their intro to any protein involved 1 inch cubes for a week to see how they did and then i would give a meal a day for a week....

from turkey, i went to pork but went with pork loin, which is the least fatty...then i upped the fat content.

but, in all truth...if your dogs are doing well, certainly you don't have to be as, ahem, paranoid as i was LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Ubershan- I could try that. Thanks.

Well, I do want to be as paranoid as you, Re. My dogs had diarrhea for 2 months, because their diet was changed repeatedly. The kennel staff gave them their dog food which was supposed to be hypoallergenic (so they insisted there would be no stomach upset - yeah, right), then after many, many, many days of feeding them boiled rice and boiled hamburger, and starting them on small amounts of their dog food once their poo was solid (adding 8 pieces of kibble to their boiled food caused diarrhea again - bloody diarrhea. I could add one or 2 pieces, but 8 was the limit) - they went back again to the kennel; whereupon (stupid me, forgetting to bring their dog food) they gave them the SAME brand but a different meat - I was feeding beef kibble, they fed fish kibble - the diarrhea came back. It was just awful.

So this is a big question - How do you keep feeding them different things without diarrhea. Let's say that my dogs have been gradually introduced to every type of raw food, then they haven't been on beef for awhile, so I give them a hunk of beef. Will I have to reintroduce slowly every time they go back to another type? I'm really concerned about this. Or maybe I should just stay with chicken forever?????

Please help!

Carol
 

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there is no getting around the squirts....carol...so resign thy self to it...

what you won't deal with is months of diarrhea which is a colitis or irritable bowel syndrome that kibble often perpetuates.

keep in mind that the very definition of colitis is inflammation of the colon...and it's a symptom and a syndrome...not a disease.....and in the raw world, easily handled, just like teeth get better and stomachs get UN finicky.....with some exceptions....but again, it's a matter of trial and error.....

you are going to learn your dogs.....it is not just a transition for them. it's a transition for you.

your entire way of thinking will change, because now....if you oops...you can fix it by adding bone and the squirts go away.....because NOW, it's NOT diarrhea...it's cannon butt..it might look like black squid liquid, but it just means i gave too many days of beef heart or llama and oops, forgot to give bone...

and then it goes away....just by going back to basics...

the foods you're introducing now...are going to become a little richer....and this is when you find out how your dogs tolerate bone and boneless and fat and fattier....

so you take little baby steps with them...let the flora and fauna change in their digestive systems...because it's going to take six months to a year for them to get used to this new way of eating.....

and then give yourself the mantra.....it's not diarrhea...it's not diarrhea...

you add one protein at a time...using chicken as your fallback....using bone as your constipater....and when introducing new proteins, less is more in the beginning....

and, no..once they get used to a protein and have been on raw for a while, you won't have to reintroduce....on the other hand, you're going to want to give them beef as often as possible, because, well, they ARE carnivores and red meat for them is wonderful....

chicken is the least nutritious, although it offers what it offers....and it's great for soft bone.....but your dogs can't eat it forever and stay healthy...the more variety your offer, the better it is for your dogs....if you can't find something, then you can use something else.....

it's going to be okay, promise.....
 

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Once a dog has been slowly introduced to a new food source say beef and their digestive juices have become adjusted to digest that new food source they shouldn't have a problem going back and forth between food sources, However you do not want to wait for several months to add in beef back into their diet after they have had it.

After your dogs have been introduced to most of the food sources you want to try to add those sources in weekly, and maybe just use the chicken backs at night as a poo constipator. You will get the hang of it and don't rush things, it will all come with time!:smile:
 

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So this is a big question - How do you keep feeding them different things without diarrhea.

Will I have to reintroduce slowly every time they go back to another type? I'm really concerned about this. Or maybe I should just stay with chicken forever?????
Carol
Have you had any problems with diarrhea while on raw? Tiki got pretty suddenly introduced to eating raw and we haven't had a problem with diarrhea at all since changing. I haven't been transitioning slow like most here though, but she had been getting a little premade raw (not much, just as a topping) with her kibble for months, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it.

We had diarrhea issues from time to time on kibble, especially when she switched from one to another, but not a single problem on raw. I don't know if I just got lucky or what, but with a mostly beef and pork diet we haven't had any problems. If I gave her chicken I'd probably be singing a different tune though... :wink:
 

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hey, ubershann...not everyone transitions slowly.....i think many just jump right in and all is well...

for me, it was ignorance and my dogs suffered from my own exuberance because i was overfeeding them and not giving enough bone....

it was enough to make me quit....and it took a month for me to start again....cleaning up cannon butt is blechy enough....but the things we do for our dogs, eh? :)

the next time i tried again...i moved very slowly, probably too slowly.....but it gave my dogs a chance to transition and it gave me a chance to really learn how to do this thing called raw.

every once in a while, they will get the squirts. i think it's inevitable.....

if i don't feed enough bone and i'm feeding a really rich muscle meat, like heart...malia will get the squirts....every dog is different and the same. bubba can eat more fat in one sitting than malia can.....i am learning my dogs.....which is really cool and now i'm glad i went so slowly the second time.

i don't necessarily recommend it to others....it did work for us...and now my dogs can eat pretty much anything i give them....can't wait to do lamb tongues and goat.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Oh! You guys are wonderful!!!

Re -- you're right - it's going to be okay!!! I'm going tomorrow to scout out some butcher shops. And I'm going to find either turkey necks (not likely) or a pork shoulder. I'm also going to either get or order a case of chicken backs. I can't seem to find them regularly at the grocery store. So I can't count on that.

WhiteLeo - that makes a lot of sense! Although, I think I'll give the bone in the morning. Otherwise I don't think the diva will eat it. I think she'll hold out for the good stuff. So I'll just keep refeeding her the same piece of bone until she eats it. Then I'll give the meat. Although, I think she likes the chicken backs much better than she likes the chicken quarters. The last chicken quarter I gave her has lasted 2 days, and I'm going to give it to her tomorrow too. So maybe she doesn't need chicken quarters. She could just do backs and some pork, beef, or whatever. I could just bypass the chicken quarters (once she's finished this one)

ubershann - They have had absolutely no problems on raw with their poo. It's been wonderful. All the years they have been on kibble - there were always episodes of diarrhea, loose poo and always copious amounts of poo. So if they never get diarrhea again - that would be fantastic!!!! OTOH if they do - c'est la vie!

Wish me luck at the butcher's tomorrow!!

Thanks again,
Carp;
 

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Re- That's good to know that not everyone transitions slowly. Just from reading the posts I got the feeling everyone did it really slowly so my first thought after Tiki quickly made the leap was "uh-oh!" :eek: but then I realized she's doing great so I shouldn't worry. I've dealt with loose poop and a couple days of diarrhea before (usually just loose) and it's no fun to pick up! We haven't had a single day of it since going raw, plus she only poops once, maybe twice a day. It's so nice!

Carol- Good to hear there's been no diarrhea! Isn't the reduction in pooping wonderful? I think that's the best selling point there is for raw! lol! :biggrin:
 
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