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Hi Everyone!

I'm excited to start our raw-fed journey! I've been wanting to start for over a year but have just never had a good opportunity to. I have a ~3-year-old female boxer and her allergies have just been getting worse and worse so I cannot wait to make the switch very very soon! I've done a ton of research and I ask my friend (OldGnarlHead :) ) questions on the reg lol, but I do have a couple other questions before I begin:
  1. I have been giving her Cosequin since August and was wondering when it was safe to take her off of that supplement. Right away? Or wait a couple weeks?
  2. What percentages of muscle and bone should I be feeding her in the beginning? Since she won't be getting any liver or other organs yet.
 

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I would take her off the Cosequin now, and replace that with chicken or duck feet. They are a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin (I can't spell that)!

I haven't ever used ratios. I feed according to the dog. Each one is an individual, and some may need more or less of something than another. If poops are too loose, add a little more bone and vice versa.
 
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I disagree with Jenny's advice. A dog should get 10% bone to ensure they get a 1.2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus in their diet.

This is one of the few universally accepted requirements of proper canine nutrition and the idea that every dog's needs are different is a statement that is wholly unsupported in the veterinary literature.

10% bone will keep the critical calcium/phosporus ratios on target. Getting too far off this ratio (either way) can lead to some very serious health consequences and just "winging it" is the most understandable reason why many vets are skeptical about raw feeding.

It is also a bad idea IMO to delay feeding organs. They provide critical nutrition for raw fed dogs.

PRM raw feeding is great for dogs but it is important to do things right.



Bill
 

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Hi Bill,

Thanks for the info! We're going onto day 6 of being raw fed and I've been giving her 90% muscle and 10% bone (only chicken right now) and she's been doing tremendously on that so far. I was thinking about trying to add in a tinyyyy bit of chicken liver in about a week to see how she does. She's always been one to have a sensitive stomach so I'm surprised she's been doing so well so far on this new diet.
 

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Hi Bill,

Thanks for the info! We're going onto day 6 of being raw fed and I've been giving her 90% muscle and 10% bone (only chicken right now) and she's been doing tremendously on that so far. I was thinking about trying to add in a tinyyyy bit of chicken liver in about a week to see how she does. She's always been one to have a sensitive stomach so I'm surprised she's been doing so well so far on this new diet.
Glad to hear you are having success. Keeping the bone near 10% is not only important on a long term nutritional basis, but is especially important with dogs that have sensitive stomaches.

Too many raw feeding guides misguidedly advocate starting dogs on very heavy bone percentages and--time and again--newcomers have dogs that have issues with dogs vomiting or having GI issues (both constipation and diarrhea) from following such advise.

Bone-heavy introductions to raw feeding set people up to have problems. You are giving your dog a good start with the optimal amount of bone. Well done!

Small introductions of liver is a sound idea. Delaying organs is another misguided bit of advice that is all too common.

Dogs need the nutrients in organs and delay often leads to a food aversion.

Sometimes when starting raw with sensitive dogs in can be a good idea to strip some or all of the skin at first (save it) to reduce the initial amount of fat, and then slowly workig up to full fat.

Many physiological changes need to happen in dog's systems as they convert back to their natural position of burning fat as their primary fuel. Some dogs feed full fat initially can develop loose stools. Glad to hear that's not the case here.

In the longer term full fat is good.

Congrats on a good start!

Bill
 

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Thanks, Bill! I have been taking a majority of the skin and fat off and have been giving her little bits of fat lately as I was starting to notice she didn't have as much energy as usual and now her energy seems to be a little back to normal and her poop is still firm, which is good! Hopefully she won't explode when I start adding in little bits of liver hahaha.

I also had a bit of an unrelated question about throwing up. She's had 3 types of puking so far:
1. She's had hunger pukes, which I'm not concerned about because I know what they are and what causes them.
2. She has thrown up about 5 minutes after a meal. This was probably because she ate a larger chunk of chicken whole and didn't chew and her stomach was probably like "Uhm, no, we're going to try this again" hahaha. So that one doesn't concern me either because I'm 99% sure I know the reasoning.
3. The third type is the one that confused me. She had dinner and then about 4 hours later she jumps out of bed and throws it all up. I noticed that she threw up the entire chicken foot and it was pretty much still in one piece. So is it possible this 3rd puking incident was due to not chewing properly as well? It just seemed weird because it was quite a while after eating her dinner.
 

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Thanks, Bill! I have been taking a majority of the skin and fat off and have been giving her little bits of fat lately as I was starting to notice she didn't have as much energy as usual and now her energy seems to be a little back to normal and her poop is still firm, which is good! Hopefully she won't explode when I start adding in little bits of liver hahaha.

I also had a bit of an unrelated question about throwing up. She's had 3 types of puking so far:
1. She's had hunger pukes, which I'm not concerned about because I know what they are and what causes them.
2. She has thrown up about 5 minutes after a meal. This was probably because she ate a larger chunk of chicken whole and didn't chew and her stomach was probably like "Uhm, no, we're going to try this again" hahaha. So that one doesn't concern me either because I'm 99% sure I know the reasoning.
3. The third type is the one that confused me. She had dinner and then about 4 hours later she jumps out of bed and throws it all up. I noticed that she threw up the entire chicken foot and it was pretty much still in one piece. So is it possible this 3rd puking incident was due to not chewing properly as well? It just seemed weird because it was quite a while after eating her dinner.
The second and third cases seem to be related to insuffiently chewed bone. Hopefully she gets better about that.

Two ways to encourage better chewing in newly raw fed dogs are to either hand feed or to serve bone-in pieces either frozen or semi-thawed.

Smart on slowing introducing full fat. Fat, of course, is the best energy source for dogs and as you are seeing when a dog gets to full fat metabolism they can create sustained energy on demand.

Bill
 

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Yes, I have been doing both of these. I also just stopped feeding her bone at dinnertime (give it to her at lunchtime instead) and that actually has seemed to help a lot as she would usually have her puking incidents in the evening/nighttime.
 

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i was just starting to read this thread and i agree with otherguy in terms of holding the chicken foot. i am a raw feeder, married to a butcher who is freaked out at bones not ground so....we use haretoday, and whatever protein i get is ground with bones, all the other good stuff, and some tripe, and no one pukes anything up. i put my lab, who puked every 6-7 weeks like a tsunami, and all the testing showed nothing and i had already been caught up in a kibble recall (anyone remember that ?) and it didnt matter that she was on what is supposedly a "good" kibble if there is such a thing-my point is, i switched her to raw and it's 9 months and not one puke. so apparently she is sensitive to a preservative used in kibble.
anyway, hopefully your pup will learn to chew, and i get it as my lab is a gulper.
 

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I strongly prefer giving dogs soft-edible bone if possible, as the benefits are too much to give up without good cause.

A few things are critical in my estimation:

1) That dogs chew bone throughly, which may need to become a "training issue" if they are natural gulpers.

2) The percentage of bone should be kept very close to the optimal 10% of the diet. Too much bone irritates the GI tract.

3) That the types of bones used can be easily chewed by dogs and are not ones that are likely to splinter, or are so hard they they put teeth at risk or there is risk of obstructions if swallowed whole, and they they are not mechanically cut to sharp angles.

Bill
 

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I just started my lab on raw feeding about 6 to 8 weeks ago. I started with the commercially prepared foods that had the bone ground up in it. I just started adding some whole pieces with bones such as chicken quarters. Today I gave her a sardine but it was a big one! And it seem to be too much for her she even left some behind. Anyway she has Throwing up her food twice this week immediately after eating. She eats it again right away and noticed she chews up more of the pieces. Hopefully that’s also just a not chewing enough type thing. She gets meat bones organs And vegetables in the 80 10 5/5 ratio. I add a little Kiefer once a day and some very finely chopped vegetables or pumpkin.
 

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very often labs, especially, are gulpers, and i never trusted that my sweet labs would ever handle actually chewing up even something as soft as a raw chicken wing. so, that being said, i use haretoday and always get the protein ground and with the bone in. i once went to a very good fish store as i live near freeport long island, a fishing village, and asked for god only knows what and took out my cuisinart, and gagging ,actually chopped up the stuff with the bones and prn probably skin. it cost a fortune, was not worth the work and specifically remember using it as a topping, not a complete meal. often im tempted to add what i think my husband might use as bait but they look like silvery little fish but decided, nope, not doing it. i m not sure ive used my cuisinart since, as the memory of that day.....anyway, if nothing else, go on haretoday and read their info re raw feeding. as i said, i dont trust my lab to chew. the most one ever did was steal an entire brie off my cocktail table and for sure, it wasnt chewed. another time, i had company, and stupidly barbecued alaskin king salmon for the humans , about a whole fish and i turned around to chat with thank god, a retriever owner and vangie, my black girl lab, carefully slid a quarter of the fish off the plate, cooked, seasoned and i wasnt quite sure when i saw the plate rearranged who the culprit was at the time of the 3 so i grabbed each one and smelled their breath. as i said, my friend a dog lover said "just rearrange the plate, no one will know" (it was a very expensive plate) and he took the leftovers home so...anyway, good luck, with your continuing raw and i'll add that i no longer add vegetables or pumpkin and dont remember why but maybe that haretoday page will talk about it or other raw feeders will chime in. somehow i have a memory of watermelon on a very hot day as a treat. but.,,,not for years. strickly haretoday, ground with bones and i believe they have a huge variety of proteins available. as well as pieces if thats what you want. good luck and keep us in the loop.
 

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So mine was doing the same. Throwing up right after a meal and then eating it back up. I ended up consulting with a holistic vet because it was happening almost every day and I didn't want it to cause problems with her esophagus. She suggested I let meals warm up to almost room temperature (I leave them out for 30 mins before feeding). That fixed the problem immediately! And then she started having bouts of throwing up again, so then I tried using a slow feeder to see if that would help, and that has completely fixed the problem again! Mine will also throw up if her meals are too large. She gets 4 small meals a day (she has GERD which is also why I feed smaller meals throughout the day).
 
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