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Discussion Starter #1
Hi - Ozzy (Siberian Husky) is 4 months old and is on a home cooked diet as he is unable to digest processed food at all. He is doing well on the cooked diet and looks great, BUT I want him on raw. We started him off on cubed raw muscle meat which he loves and have started giving him raw chicken wings and necks, which he loves. The problem I have is that Ozzy won't touch the food with his paws. He puts the whole wing or neck in his mouth, moves it around crushing the bone and then swallows it. Whole! My husband nearly had a heart attack when he saw this (one of us always stays with Ozzy while he eats). He now wants me to stay with the cooked diet for Ozzy. Any advice on how to handle this?
 

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What he is doing is perfectly normal. Dogs are carnivores and don't chew in the same way humans do. We chew food into a mush before swallowing it. We have digestive juices in our saliva and the food begins to digest in our mouths. Dogs on the other hand merely crush their food into it's small enough to fit down their throat. They have no digestive juices in their saliva and digestion begins in their stomach. They can swallow some amazingly large pieces. My Great Danes swallow whole chicken leg quarters after chomping them a few times.

Some of the people have youtube video's of their dogs eating raw food. Maybe some of them will post links again in this thread so you can see their dogs eat.

Sounds like Ozzie has things down pat. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for this. It would have been a tragedy to take this away from him as he enjoys raw so much.

He will not eat in the house and takes his food, wing by wing, outside to eat in the shade under a tree and gets agitated if we try and keep him in the kitchen to eat. Either my husband or I will then traipse after him and watch him from a distance - we worry that he will choke to death.
 

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Either my husband or I will then traipse after him and watch him from a distance - we worry that he will choke to death.
It's good to watch them in the beginning but that worry will disappear after a few months of incident free eating. :smile:

ETA: It won't be long before he is too big to eat wings, necks, and drumsticks. He will be eating backs, leg quarters and breasts.
 

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If you are worried about him choking you can feed him larger pieces of meat now, like a chicken quarter, so that he really does have to work a bit harder to eat it. You would just not give him quite as many pieces to eat! I think Akasha had her first quarter by the time she was 3 months old, and she was a small Dane puppy.
 

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Like they said, it's totally normal for them to swallow their food like this. Digestion begins in the stomach, not in the mouth for a dog, so the food only has to be small enough to fit down their throat.

Also, don't be alarmed if he ever brings it back up only to eat it again. The first time my Boxer puppy threw up her lunch (still whole) I thought it was the most disgusting thing ever... but she just chomped it a little better and ate it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all so much. I must say I am amazed! I honestly thought he would do himself an injury. I feel a bit like an idiot, but will definitely feel more comfortable knowing you are all just a few clicks away. Thanks again for the quick response - I am sure Ozzy thanks you too.
 

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Nothing more to add but to say your husband needs to read this thread too! :) It's just the way it is in dog chomping. I certainly understand, however, that people need to ask questions, ease lingering fears, and get right about any misinformation. All part of the process.

Think about how far we have strayed from what's natural in the world. We are so conditioned by the dog food marketing machine that kibble is normal, we freak when we see a dog eat like it should. I was REALLY worried when I first began. For our own people lives, remember the same forces are at work driving what we eat and convincing us that pasta in a can is lunch. This journey into raw has helped clarify a lot for myself in terms of my own diet, eating, and choices--really spotlighting how manipulated we all are. Soapbox rant over. :)
 

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I'll just reaffirm everything everyone else told you so if your husband does read this, then the more positive responses, the better! My dogs practically slup down drumsticks like a wet noodle, but give them a leg quarter and they have to actually take a little time to crunch and chew through it which is better for their teeth. I'd recommend just feeding something that's larger so your dog actually has to chew it, as was previously mentioned. also, he's still learning how to eat the raw food, so give him time and he'll learn how to crunch and chew and manipulate the food with his paws.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok - my husband is on board! Ozzy is actually very lucky, if he did not have this intolerance to processed food, he would be on dry food. I would never have thought of putting him on raw - I don't even know of anyone who feeds raw.

I can't wait to see the improvement feeding raw will have on his coat. He is a beautiful boy and looks great, but a real shiny coat will be a bonus.

ps Our Vet was initially not keen about home cooked feeding, he is a firm believer in a balanced dry food diet. When Ozzy went in on Monday for a kennel cough injection he was impressed by Ozzy's condition and asked a LOT of questions - he is going to be even more amazed the next time he sees Ozzy.
 

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Our two are about 7 weeks(???) into this, and I don't remember yet seeing use of the paws. Pretty much the pieces just to round and round, in and out, until its down the hatch. Sounds pretty much normal from my limited experience. Good luck and enjoy the experience that your guy is having.
 
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