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Hi

We have a pup with one lame back leg and need some advice from you: What does the raw feeding approach recommend about avoiding skeletal problems in large breed puppies?

She might just have sprained her leg in a regular fasion, but because it did not get better by itself over several days the vet is understandably concerned about damage to growth plates, inflamation, etc. He has put her on a few days of low dose Rimadyl (NSAID) and recommended changing to Hill's Science Diet, Eukanubra, etc. Hill's is a truly awful formula that I would never give to a dog; Euk I know less about but it contains below the minimum safe level of Calcium for dogs, which would be going in the opposite direction risk-wise. (This vet, nice as he seems, has two dogs with severe atopic dermatitis, a condition that he firmly believes to be "incurable", so...)

I know why he advises the change - to ensure correct Calcium balance, so we could use a much higher quality kibble for this, such as grain-free Canidae, which we may do, or at least go back to 50:50 ... but I would like to know what large-breed raw feeding owners do to ensure safe and healthy bone growth in pups???

FYI, our pup is female, intact (for now), 4 months old and 14.2kg. She has a lovely strong and balanced frame, not too fat/thin. She is a Golden Retriever X Standard Poodle, with the GR genes quite dominant.

We started her out on 50% raw and 50% kibble. Five weeks ago we converted her to 95% raw. Currently we feed...
  • Beef mince / Chicken mince (quite fatty) - 2 cups, every day
  • Chicken necks / Lamb necks / Roo tails - most days
  • Sardines - 2 x week, snack quantity
  • Whole egg - 3 x week, usually without shell
  • 'Vets all Natural' dry mix 'Puppy' - 1.5 spoons, most days
  • Raw vegetables and/or berries - 1 spoon, most days
  • Supplement containing Vitamin C, Brewers Yeast, various green foods, Milk Thistle and a smidge of Magnesium - most days
In the wild dogs must get huge levels of Calcium, no? All those bones. It would be way higher than the 2.5% considered the upper safe limit when feeding dry foods. The above raw diet actually has much less ingested bone/calcium than I would expect her to eat if, say, she caught a whole chicken, so I am quite confused about this whole area.

My first instinct to improve the balance of this diet would be to give her more soft ingestible bones like chicken, not less!! Please advise!

:confused:
 

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What breed of dog is your puppy? How large do you expect her to get as an adult?

We have three Great Danes that have all been raised on exclusively raw diet. We feed a variety of raw meaty bones from different protein sources, fish, eggs, and organs. All three are the epitome of health. From my experience, very few puppies on a raw diet get bone growth disorders as long as their diet is well rounded and complete.
 

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Remi was brought up from 13 weeks on a raw diet as well. He is 7 months now and is growing steadily & strong. I have not seen the huge growth spurts I saw with my lab who was kibble fed. He's growing very steadily.

As long as you are making sure your dog is getting adequate amounts of nutrition from a variety of proteins and not going over board on the bone/calcium you should be just fine.

Its against contrary belief that a raw diet is "high" in protein which causes them to grow too fast........its the complete opposite. A raw diet provides them with a solid amount of protein & nutrients to give them a slow & steady growth rate.
 

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I have been warned off raw from "experienced" large and giant breed owners as it will not provide enough calcium and to gives to much protein. There are plenty of threads on protein so I won't repeat as that was not the question asked :). However, my rottie is fine on raw and everyone who looks at her seems impressed with how she has developed. And like those above we saw none of the scary growth spurts.

For calcium:
Royal Canin (what I fed before raw) has 1.2 % calcium my pup should be getting 595 g per day which = 7.14 g or calcium.

I feed 1000 g of raw food daily (averaged out to 80 % meat 10 % bone and 10 % organ)
so I give 100 g of bone. This gives 7.7 g of calcium (workings below). A raw diet can be modified to give almost any amount of any nutrient you want.

The sciencey bit

Bone is made from 60 % calcium salts mostly calcium phosphate (the rest is connective tissues like cartilage)
calcium makes up 13 % of calcium phosphate
This makes bone 7.7 % calcium
 

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... but I would like to know what large-breed raw feeding owners do to ensure safe and healthy bone growth in pups???
I have a 6yo Great Dane who was raised on prey model raw since he was 12 weeks old. He was fed exactly the same thing as my then 5 year old Dane, Abby. Same amount, same food.

We started her out on 50% raw and 50% kibble. Five weeks ago we converted her to 95% raw. Currently we feed...
  • Beef mince / Chicken mince (quite fatty) - 2 cups, every day
  • Chicken necks / Lamb necks / Roo tails - most days
  • Sardines - 2 x week, snack quantity
  • Whole egg - 3 x week, usually without shell
  • 'Vets all Natural' dry mix 'Puppy' - 1.5 spoons, most days
  • Raw vegetables and/or berries - 1 spoon, most days
  • Supplement containing Vitamin C, Brewers Yeast, various green foods, Milk Thistle and a smidge of Magnesium - most days
In the wild dogs must get huge levels of Calcium, no?
No, they don't. They get exactly the right amount of calcium. Chicken necks are pretty small for dogs the size of yours. I would change to chicken backs or even quarters. I would eliminate the Vet's All Natural stuff as it's just not needed. Also eliminate the veggies & berries, and supplements for the same reason. You should feed a variety of animal parts from a variety of animals. Feed mostly meat, some bone, and some organs. Plant matter such as veggies, berries, etc just have no place in a carnivore's diet.

All those bones. It would be way higher than the 2.5% considered the upper safe limit when feeding dry foods.
You are getting bones and calcium mixed up. They are not the same thing. Bone as a alot of calcium in it but it is not calcium.

The above raw diet actually has much less ingested bone/calcium than I would expect her to eat if, say, she caught a whole chicken, so I am quite confused about this whole area.
Chickens are a little hight in bone content, around 30%+ but your pup only need somewhere around 10% to 15%+/-.

My first instinct to improve the balance of this diet would be to give her more soft ingestible bones like chicken, not less!! Please advise!
I think you are worried too much about bone. Remember "Mostly meat, SOME bone, and some organs". Exact amounts just aren't all that critical. Dogs/wolves in the wild, don't measure the amount of bone they eat, they just eat what they can.

If you don't measure the exact amount of calcium you eat or the exact amout you feed your human children, there is no need to measure it for your pups either. You are trying to take a very simple task (feeding a puppy) and making it into something very complicated.

ETA: WE love animal charities here. We just don't like them coming in here soliciting donations on their first post. Thats just too spammy. Hang around a couple of months, make posts and participate in the board and you will be given more opportunities to talk about your charities.
 

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My dog has an injury and is on raw, check into rehab, I have been doing excercises for a couple of weeks and have seen a 50% improvment since starting.

I was also told to not feed raw.


My dog was hurt when he was just over a year old..

He was injured over a year ago and his rehab is still working...

He was on kibble when he was injuried
 
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