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Discussion Starter #1
I'm seriously considering switching my 6 month old pup from Nutro Max to a raw diet. I've read thru a lot of the threads here and am hoping that switching diets will help with a skin problem I've (she's) been dealing with since I got her 4 months ago.
I rescued Maggie from the Humane Society when she was 2months and there they were feeding her the Nutro Max Large Breed Puppy. I figured it was a pretty good food, so I continued it when we got home, and she's been eating it ever since.
But also ever since, she's been very itchy and has dry skin just around her neck. The vet said she was probably scratching cause she wasn't used to the collar, but it hasn't stopped. I've tried using special lotions and shampoos, without any improvement.
After reading all the benefits of a raw diet, i'm pretty excited to try it out! A little nervous about the cost though! :)
So do I just jump in feet first? or wean her? Is it ok to feed frozen meat? and what about mixing meats?
oh, and how much should she be eating, currently weighing in at around 60 pounds...as of 2 wks ago.
 

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Oooh exciting! Raw should definitely help with the itchy puppy! Nutro Max has a ton of allergens in it, and is certainly not the best food in the world. And don't worry, raw is usually cheaper than a high quality kibble if you do it right. Check out Rawfeddogs' website for the answers to the rest of your questions and let us know if you have any more! Skylar, Zack, and Abby on the WEB
 

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ok, so i've read over Rawfeddogs website, and read many of his posts here so I think I get what he's saying :) buuuuuut, I've also researched online and have found a lot of sites that say you should add supplements and/or fruits/veggies for extra nutrients. So I'm a little confused now, lol.
Obviously, I want to do what's best for my Maggie, so a majority of her food will be, for now, the chicken and because of her skin, I will be slowly adding fish. But throwing a fruit/veggie treat in as an afternoon snack wouldn't be a problem, would it?
And also, she will be starting a day camp one day a week and they will feed them whatever I bring. What's the easiest way to do that? I dont want to gross them out by sending in a bag of raw chicken parts, lol :) If I do add veggies/fruits, maybe the day she's there would be a good time to do it?
 

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buuuuuut, I've also researched online and have found a lot of sites that say you should add supplements and/or fruits/veggies for extra nutrients.
Thats because some people just can't grasp the notion that dogs are a different species than humans and have entirely different nutritional needs. Dogs are carnivores and humans are omnivores and their digestive systems are different. Threre are many reasons dogs can't digest or extract nutrients from plant material. Regardless of what some want to believe, there is no way around this fact.

Obviously, I want to do what's best for my Maggie, so a majority of her food will be, for now, the chicken and because of her skin, I will be slowly adding fish. But throwing a fruit/veggie treat in as an afternoon snack wouldn't be a problem, would it?
Feeding occasional fruits or veggies won't harm your dogs but hopefully you wouldn't feed so much as to take up valuable room in the stomach that would othewise be taken up by meat, bones, or organs. My dogs have never had a fruit or veggie in 7 years. My 4yo Great Dane, Thor, has never had any in his life.

And also, she will be starting a day camp one day a week and they will feed them whatever I bring. What's the easiest way to do that? I dont want to gross them out by sending in a bag of raw chicken parts, lol :) If I do add veggies/fruits, maybe the day she's there would be a good time to do it?
For day camp, I suggest feeding at home before and after camp on those days. If you want to send some food, perhaps a little ground beef or turkey would be easy for them to feed. You might be surprised, they might get a kick out of watching her eat a chicken quarter. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Feeding occasional fruits or veggies won't harm your dogs but hopefully you wouldn't feed so much as to take up valuable room in the stomach that would othewise be taken up by meat, bones, or organs. My dogs have never had a fruit or veggie in 7 years. My 4yo Great Dane, Thor, has never had any in his life.

For day camp, I suggest feeding at home before and after camp on those days. If you want to send some food, perhaps a little ground beef or turkey would be easy for them to feed. You might be surprised, they might get a kick out of watching her eat a chicken quarter. :smile:
The fruits and veggies will just be a snack then. She loves cheese, carrots, apples!
As for the day camp, she needs at least one meal there, as she will be there for a little over 9 hours, and then we go straight to training class. i'm thinking that i can just send her with a tupperware of food and all they would have to do is remove the lid to serve it :)
I can't believe how excited I am about starting her on this new way of eating!
Are cornish game hens good to feed? I have about 8 of them in the freezer from an 'after t-day' sale :) A good starter food?
 

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Yes any chicken is good and game hens are chickens. They would be great.

My Thor was eating every 12 hours by the time he was 3 months old but it's not a big deal. If you rather feed more often it's ok.
 

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ok, since i'm apparently stupid with math, and i dont know what her ideal adult weight should be, how much food should 6 month old, 60 pound Maggie be eating per day. She's a mastiff mix, and I have no idea how big her parents were, or what type of mastif she's part of, as i adopted her from the humane society.
 

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Well the math part is pretty simple. The part you are having difficulty with is weight. Believe it or not, her present size has nothing to do with how much she should be eating. When my Great Dane, Thor, was 13 weeks old he was eating the same thing my then 5 year old Dane, Abby was. You base the amount on their ideal adult weight.

However fear not. This is not an exact science and there is quite a bit of lee way. Thor was 78lbs at 6 months and he is 156 now. So lets take a guess that your maggie will be somewhere around 125 lbs. That will be close enough for our calculations. 2% of 125 is 2 and a half pounds. 3% of 125 is 3 3/4lbs. The rule of thumb is to feed 2% to 3% of ideal adult weight.

In the beginning its good to start out with the low end of that. So I suggest 2 1/2 to 3lbs/day. Again this is not an exact science and in raw feeding exact measurements almost never work out so don't be so critical in your weight measurements. You will rarely find an animal part that weighs exactly what you want to feed. So if you feed a little more today, feed a little less tomorrow and vice versa.

After a week or so you won't weight anything again. You will know what a meal looks like. Now ... be aware, this is only a starting point in volume of food. Keep an eye on your puppy's build. If she starts looking heavy, lighten up on the volume of food. If she starts looking a little ribby, feed a little more. Like I said, nothing is really critical.

Skinny is more healthy than fat. You should be able to see the back two ribs on your pup. You should be able to see a definate waste line behind her ribs when looking from above. You should not be able to see hip bone or spine. Sooooo ... begin feeding 2 1/2 to 3 lbs/day. Adjust over time as you see how she is built. BTW: You will be adjusting the volume her entire life if you keep her at a good build.
 

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And just to simplify that even more, a chicken leg quarter weighs almost a pound. So if you start with those, it's a fairly easy measuring point.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
sounds simple when you guys put it that way, lol.
Mags had her first raw meal today, after mama ran to the store to get more poultry, lol. Bought chicken quarters and turkey backs,skinless and split. She had one of the turkey, since the package was smaller and i didn't feel like dividing out the chicken tonight, lol. it took her about an hour and a half of going back and forth with the turkey, licking it, throwing it around, shredding it, before she finally finished the last bit. Now, after a water and potty break, she's sleeping heavily (snoring) at mama's feet :)
Here's to hoping this is an easy transition!
Oh, one other thing. I bought a few cans of salmon and sardines, as I wouldn't even eat the 'fresh' fish at the local markets. Though they're packed in water, there's so much sodium in the cans, which I read after getting them home. Should this be a concern at all???
 

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It's only once a week, so it shouldn't be a problem unless she has a medical condition that causes a sensitivity to sodium.

Next time see if you can get turkey backs (good find btw, those are tough to get ahold of), try to get them with skin on them. Skin is a normal part of the animal and an essential part of the diet.

I'm glad your first meal went so well. Better luck with a quicker breakfast in the morning though!
 
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