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Discussion Starter #1
I am definitely preparing to make the switch...please share any tricks and tips you have to get started.
Also, how do you keep them from making a mess?
I live in WI, it is too cold to feed them outside sometimes. :/

I am also worried about separating them while they eat, or my bigger dog will steal the smaller guys food.

Does anyone have a small dog on all raw?
My cavalier is only about 11lbs...my standard poodle is about 40 (at 10 months).
 

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My tip is ........just start! Get over the hump, and it's all cake from there.

It's not a mess at all. Bailey gets fed on the floor in a certain spot in our kitchen (see my post in your other thread). The only food she gets in a bowl is her fish/organ/egg meal once a weak.

It's really not a big deal, I defrost my meals a day in advance, so when it's meal time the meat is not all the way defrosted, meaning there's really no blood dripping everywhere. And the times where the meat is a little bloody, she licks the floor clean every meal, so it's not a problem.
 

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I am definitely preparing to make the switch...please share any tricks and tips you have to get started.
Also, how do you keep them from making a mess?
I live in WI, it is too cold to feed them outside sometimes. :/

I am also worried about separating them while they eat, or my bigger dog will steal the smaller guys food.

Does anyone have a small dog on all raw?
My cavalier is only about 11lbs...my standard poodle is about 40 (at 10 months).
Welcome! I just made the switch almost 3 weeks ago. I was had the same questions and concerns. The thoughts of raw meat all over my kitchen floor was really making me ill. Well, I took everyones advice and just did it. I dont regret it at all! It is true the dogs will lick up whatever is on the floor! I steam clean my kitchen tile every other day just to make myself feel better. I will cut any meat over the sink and not the counter and if it is a nice day I will go outside and put their bowls down away from each other. I have 3 dogs so I do stay out there until everybodys food is gone so there is NO stealing or fighting going on!!
GOOD LUCK!
 

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We have everyone in the house on a raw diets, from our 3-6lb kittens to our 120lb Great Dane

We portion the food out into 1-2 day packages using storage containers we purchased from Walmart. We feed once a day (sometimes skipping a day if the previous day's meal was larger than normal). After feeding we'll pull another container out and put it on top of the fridge. By the next night it's thawed enough for the dogs.

We'll feed inside or outside. Normally we just go thru dog by dog and hand out pieces. They all stand around waiting for theirs. We toss a chicken back to one, a chicken back to another and work back around. Works out pretty well.

Sometimes they'll have stuff that requires they lay down with it. They'll either do that in the kitchen or on one of the dog beds. They clean up after themselves and then once a week or two the dog beds will get unzipped and washed.

Cleanup in the kitchen is pretty quick. I buy the dillutible antibacterial cleaner and water it down in a big spray bottle. I just give quick spray and wipe to any area I think needs it.

We have a plastic cutting board that we use if we have to cut up any of their meat

They rarely eat out of a bowl. They'd just take it out of the bowl and go somewhere else with it :wink:

Buy in bulk if you can. You'll save quite a bit of $$ that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What are stools like?
I am mostly excited to do this for the dental benefits, I have to admit.

I am pretty sure I can teach my poodle to eat somewhere specifically, but the cavalier is a little bit ditzier. ;)
 

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What are stools like?
I am mostly excited to do this for the dental benefits, I have to admit.

I am pretty sure I can teach my poodle to eat somewhere specifically, but the cavalier is a little bit ditzier. ;)
SMALL... they'll dry up into a white powder after a few days. We rarely scoop poo (usually only after a kibble fed dog visits)

Dental benefits ROCK!! You shouldn't ever have to get a dental done again
 

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Yeah poo is awesome! (never thought I'd say that hahha)

It's small and like John said above, it turns to power in a few days.

I do a mine sweep every couple of weeks just because my backyard isn't that big
 

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Here's my most valuable tip: If you forgot to thaw your meat in time, just put it directly in cold water. It thaws out pretty quickly, AND keeps the nutritional benefits that would be robbed if you microwaved it. :wink:

Richelle
 

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Contact a local meat distributor or wholesale company that is willing to sell to individuals. Seeing as you are located in a larger metro city this shouldn't be an issue.

Cost is a big thing for us, because we have 4 dogs all over the size of 60 pounds. We buy most of our meat from a distributor here in Dever and don't spend more than $1/per pound mostly. Occasionally we will spend $1.50-$2 per pound on game meats or other rare meats that we don't feed on a regular basis.

Here is a post I made a while back that might be useful:

If getting started on RAW, breaking down your cost of meat and freezer space is VERY important especially if you have big dogs or multiple dogs.

Here is our breakdown for our dogs (we don't include the cost of the cat...she gets the scraps LOL)

Finding a freezer is easier than you think, free ones are posted on craigslist all the time so I would say that cost is neglegible.

Here is a guide for determining how much freezer space you will need:

28 cu. ft. of freezer space for ~500 lbs. of meat
14 cu. ft. of freezer space for ~250 lbs. of meat
7 c u. ft. of freezer space for ~125 lbs. of meat

We have an upright freezer that is about 24 cu. ft. and we routinely buy ~300# of meat at a time. We could fit much more considering we package our meat into containers that hold 2-3 days worth of meat.

300# of meat usually will last about a month and a half or two.

We have 4 dogs that weigh:

Shiloh: 65
Emmy: 65
Akasha (currently growing): 65
Bailey: 115

We buy meat that is on average (adding up all the costs of the different meats we buy and dividing by the # of meats) 60-75 cents per pound

Shiloh, Emmy and Akasha all cost us ~ $1 per day to feed

Bailey costs us ~$2 per day to feed

The meats we buy on a regular basis:

chicken backs, turkey necks, beef heart, pork ribs, pork roasts, whole tilapia, pollock fillets, lamb ribs, beef liver, chicken liver, beef kidneys, etc.

This breakdown does not include all the free meat that we have found to come in contact with (trust me its out there, ya just gotta know where and how to look for it ;)

So, looking at the breakdown, is RAW worth it???
We will also post up ads on craigslist offering to buy people's freezer burned or old meat. In the past 4 months or so I would say that we have gotten close to 400-500 pounds of meat this way, most of which was free! You do have to be careful and inspect everything you get..but for the most part I think its an easy way to get a good deal on food. Freezer burned meat is harmless to eat, its just a little dried out and a bit a flavor has been lost, but dogs don't seem to mind at all!

Getting dogs to eat organs can be a big chore. One of our dogs will eat anything no problem. The other two will eat organs if they are seasoned and seared a bit. But Bailey, wont touch any organ in any way shape or form. The easiest thing for me to do is to shove them down her throat...kinda like a big pill! But this is easy because she is a Great Dane and her mouth is big LOL. You might find yourself in a similar situation with organs, which you just have to figure out a way to get them into their diet, because the are an ESSENTIAL part of a complete and balanced raw diet. You can't not feed them because your dogs don't like them...just prepare yourself for that. Its really not a huge deal because you only do one raw organ meal a week or so.

Please, pretty please read and follow the directions in the link below. It is the BEST way to switch your dogs with the least amounts of upset from your dogs, which makes it a LOT easier on you as well. A lot of people want to get ahead of themselves when adding new things in, but it is a gradual process that you have to keep a close eye on. We don't like hearing that dogs get sick right off the bat because they were rushed into things. It will most likely be 2-3 months before your dogs get everything they need in their diet and at that point you are set for life.

Skylar, Zack, and Abby on the WEB

Remember with a raw diet, balance of nutrition comes in time. Just like with us, we don't eat a 100% balanced meal every time we sit down to eat. Over time we get all the essentials in our diet. Apply the same logic to your dog. So don't worry too much about percentages and amounts and weights. We have never calculated anything out, or weighed meat out for that matter, and all of our dogs are at peak performance levels and are in superior nutrition.

Finally...don't hesitate to ask questions. You will have them and none should be ignored. We look forward of hearing of their progress!!!
 

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YAY! Aside from everything that everyone else said...my tip is to feed the organ meals without any other meat at the same meal. I first tried giving a chicken quarter with a little bit of liver in addition. She ate the quarter, left the liver. Then next time, I offered her a larger quanitity of liver and only liver...and she ate it right up =).

Also, I live in Colorado where it also gets fairly cold and I do not want raw meat in my house, so my Rhodesian Ridgeback gets fed outside everytime. When I first started, and it was blizzardy out, she was fed in the garage. But she eats so quick, and loves what she is eating that she doesn't seem to notice the cold, or at least mind it for that short time.

About feeding smaller dogs (I do not, but looked into switching my parent's dachshund to it) just make sure the bones are smaller. i.e. chicken wings, chicken backs, chicken necks. Seperation might be a good idea? I know some people don't, but with my dog, when there are other dogs around, she scarfs her food down and definately doesn't chew the bone up very well.

Good luck and CONGRATS! come back here for ANY questions...people are very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here is another question that might sound stupid, but has your dogs prey drives increased since you started feeding raw?

We have an African Grey parrot, and I don't them to think she's the next meal! :(

Sorry if that is a dumb question, but Echo (the parrot) is my baby!
 

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Also, how do you keep them from making a mess?
I live in WI, it is too cold to feed them outside sometimes. :/
I feed outside unless it's raining.
It doesn't take long to teach them to eat on a towel though. When I feed inside I don't bother with towels, they eat pretty fast, so I just feed them on the tile by the back door, and swiffer when they're done.... but I swiffer by the door every night anyway so it doesn't feel like an inconvenience to me. If i'm out of swiffer pads, I spray an antibacterial and wipe with a paper towel. takes two seconds.


I am also worried about separating them while they eat, or my bigger dog will steal the smaller guys food.
This would be a concern on kibble, too. If they do okay on kibble not stealing eachother's food, then shouldn't be a concern on raw.
I had this problem with my Corgi.. and I admit it, I still do on occasion. What has helped control this for me is teaching each of them to "sit" "wait" and "go ahead" when feeding. I put their food down, and make them wait to go for it until I give the "go ahead" command. Sure, Grissom will try to sneek some of the other's food if he decides to be a brat (as corgis often do) but teaching them these manners at mealtime have helped.

Does anyone have a small dog on all raw?
My cavalier is only about 11lbs...my standard poodle is about 40 (at 10 months).
My Corgi is about 19 lbs and does very well on raw, to say the least. He has a tougher time getting through bones other than chicken, but handles chicken thighs, wings, and drumsticks very well. He can get through pork neck it just takes him a while longer. He eats about half a pound per day, is active, and maintains very well on it.
 

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Here is another question that might sound stupid, but has your dogs prey drives increased since you started feeding raw?

We have an African Grey parrot, and I don't them to think she's the next meal! :(

Sorry if that is a dumb question, but Echo (the parrot) is my baby!
Not one bit.
And I have breeds known to have high prey drive, too. GSD, Boxer, and Corgi. None of them have been effected in this area since putting them on raw. In fact, I have nothing negative to say about this diet.
 

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Here is another question that might sound stupid, but has your dogs prey drives increased since you started feeding raw?
I started feeding Aspen raw a little more than a week ago, and the answer is no. He's always had an incredibly high prey drive, but since I started raw, it hasn't increased one bit. :wink:
 

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Feeding raw meat has nothing to do with "blood lust" or increasing the likelihood a dog will then attack other animals, just an old myth.
I also have an African Grey and 2 other parrots. The dogs pay no attention to the birds. If your dogs are good with your grey now, that won't change. :)

As I have no yard, my dogs eat all meals inside. When Felix was crated, he ate in his crate and Delilah in the kitchen. Now Felix drags his to the dinning room and eats it on the carpet, it hardly touches the ground though and he always licks the carpet after eating! I have my own carpet shampooer but don't use it unless they look dirty. If I'm feeding a bloody/drippy meal or organ meat, they are both gated in the kitchen on the linoleum.

Now, my two are fine eating in close proximity. However, you may have to be more careful in keeping them separated in the beginning until they get used to this new, super awesome (I need to guard this) food. Also, as someone else said, keeping them apart will prevent them from scarfing it down too fast because they are afraid the other will steal it.

Some of my tricks? I have a cutting board and cleaver just for the dogs' meat, I rinse it off after each meal that I use it and stick it in on half of the sink that isn't used. I wash it in the dishwasher every couple of days with the rest. Keeps me from having to wash something after every meal.

I buy antibacterial wipes to wipe down the counters before I make MY meals.

I keep the dogs' meat in the bottom drawer to prevent it from leaking onto anything else in the fridge. Something WILL eventually leak.

Sometimes I freeze things in individual portions (or just separate so they aren't impossible to get apart) so that I can feed them frozen stuff too. I figure it takes them a little longer to eat and keeps them busy :)

Also, I scour the meat department every time I'm at the grocery looking for yellow tag meat :)
 

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BEWARE OF THE SHOPPING FOR BARGAINS BUG!:biggrin:

Actually the thrill of the sale is kinda invigorating. Did I really need to buy that 10#bag of quarters I picked up today for 49 cents/pound when there is probably 150#s already in the freezer? No, but by god the price was good. I have two grocery stores within a mile of where I live, one is a national chain the other is a local 3-4 store company. Check for sodium levels- the national chain chicken always is enhanced with sodium levels 300mg/human serving or more. The local chain is always under 80mg. Same goes with their pork, the packages say enhanced with flavorizors ie salt. We shouldn't eat the enhanced stuff either.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I live near an organic grocery store (The Outpost) and a really good butcher...(Bunzel's)...time to make friends, eh? :)
 

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A lot of people on here will tell you that organic means nothing when it comes to a prey model diet, but I'm one who feeds my dogs the best quality meats I can get: that is why I joined a raw feeders co-op group as most of those people have the same beliefs that I do. I use to order most of my meat in cases through my local community co-op grocery store and I got pretty good prices, just not the variety I wanted.

I do believe that there is lots of crap put into beef and southern grown chicken that is not considered "grain free" "USDA ORGANIC" I have my own personal experiences to back that up!
 

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A lot of people on here will tell you that organic means nothing when it comes to a prey model diet, but I'm one who feeds my dogs the best quality meats I can get: that is why I joined a raw feeders co-op group as most of those people have the same beliefs that I do. I use to order most of my meat in cases through my local community co-op grocery store and I got pretty good prices, just not the variety I wanted.

I do believe that there is lots of crap put into beef and southern grown chicken that is not considered "grain free" "USDA ORGANIC" I have my own personal experiences to back that up!
Its not that I don't believe that organic meats are better, I just can't afford to feed all of our dogs that way! Its just WAY too expensive. And since I know that a PMR diet with regular old meat is much better than anything else I can afford, I stick with it. I wish we could provide them with organic, real free range meats but its not an option at this point...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The butcher at the Outpost (organic place) brings his beagle here, maybe we can make friends. :)
 
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