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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm not adverse at all to the idea of feeding raw, but just not ready to make a full transition either. I know I'm not supposed to feed raw and kibble together due to different digestion rates, but would giving Louis some raw here and there a couple times a week be a bad idea? I was thinking chicken wings or some chicken feet to start.

I also don't know how much to give, or if it would offset the nutritional balance of the kibble.

Sorry if this question has been asked before, there's just so much information to sort through here and absorb!:eek:
 

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It definitely wouldn't hurt nutritionally, but you need to find out if you're dog can handle it. Some can't handle being fed both at the same time...not necessarily in the same meal, but in the same overall diet. Too much "confusion" for the body I would assume, because the system would be going back and forth from one mode of digestion to another. Some dogs do just fine doing this but others cannot.

I would definitely give it a go, because it certainly doesn't do any harm to try. What I *highly* suggest you do is not feed a kibble meal at least 12 hours before giving a raw one. Kibble takes 12-24 hours to go through a dog's system, depending on the dog and food. So its best if your dog starts off with a clean plate so to speak. Then after you do a raw meal, don't feed a kibble meal til the next day. I would only do this maybe twice a week tops.

What is keeping you from making a full transition? Because maybe waiting until you ARE ready to make that change would be best for your dog as well as you. I'm not trying to pressure you in any way, just trying to help!
 

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I know I'm not supposed to feed raw and kibble together due to different digestion rates, but would giving Louis some raw here and there a couple times a week be a bad idea? I was thinking chicken wings or some chicken feet to start.
It's better than not giving any raw at all and who knows? You might just start adding more and more raw and less and less kibble.

I also don't know how much to give, or if it would offset the nutritional balance of the kibble.
Can't tell you how much to give. You would not feed kibble that meal. Try 1% of your dog's body weight/meal if you feed 2 meals a day.

What makes you think your kibble is balanced now? What is balance? Who determines that? What criteria do they use?
 

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transistion

I give some rare /raw as some meals and since I feed 2 x a day I give it usually the night meal a few times a week.I have to give boneless when I do
My Dilemma ,I have a dog that never learned to chew only swallow Yup just like
Boa!So we have had to work hard the last 8 months, trying to put obstacles in her way and teach her to slow down.
We have already pulled several bones and large meats out of her throat.
So do go slow and test and watch your dog to make sure they get it!
Next step for me will be to possibly cut the meat/ wings into larger and then larger chunks I guess. I will let you know if I'm successful, as this is an adult dog.
 

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I give some rare /raw as some meals and since I feed 2 x a day I give it usually the night meal a few times a week.I have to give boneless when I do My Dilemma ,I have a dog that never learned to chew only swallow Yup just like Boa!So we have had to work hard the last 8 months, trying to put obstacles in her way and teach her to slow down.
Dogs aren't humans and don't have the "table manners" humans like humans do. Dogs are carnivores and in the wild must eat their food fast before another carnivore comes along and takes it away from them.

They don't chew food like we do. We chew our food into a mush before swallowing. Dogs merely crunch it small enough to fit down it's throat and then swallow. Amazingly large pieces can fit down their throat. My dogs swallow chicken leg quarters whole pretty regularly. Just last night I gave one of them a chicken drumstick and it was swallowed whole. No problems at all. Occasionally when they swallow a piece too large, they will "bring it back up", chew a few more chomps and swallow it again.

Next step for me will be to possibly cut the meat/ wings into larger and then larger chunks I guess. I will let you know if I'm successful, as this is an adult dog.
You really don't want to cut wings smaller. The smallest of dogs can eat wings whole. My cats eat wings and drumsticks. You want to force them to chew by giving them pieces that are so large they can't swallow them without "chewing".
 

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I did the same thing, started with kibble and raw bones, then started adding raw meals here and there. I didn't know much in those days, no idea about the different digestive rates or that you should start with chicken - we went straight into pork and beef. To my surprise, I found she ate the meat and was leaving the kibble. This got me worried that she wasn't getting enough kibble to get the vitamins she needed, so I started researching, found this site and that was that. I'm doing the same thing with a cat right now, but now I"m a lot more educateded!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It definitely wouldn't hurt nutritionally, but you need to find out if you're dog can handle it. Some can't handle being fed both at the same time...not necessarily in the same meal, but in the same overall diet. Too much "confusion" for the body I would assume, because the system would be going back and forth from one mode of digestion to another. Some dogs do just fine doing this but others cannot.

I would definitely give it a go, because it certainly doesn't do any harm to try. What I *highly* suggest you do is not feed a kibble meal at least 12 hours before giving a raw one. Kibble takes 12-24 hours to go through a dog's system, depending on the dog and food. So its best if your dog starts off with a clean plate so to speak. Then after you do a raw meal, don't feed a kibble meal til the next day. I would only do this maybe twice a week tops.

What is keeping you from making a full transition? Because maybe waiting until you ARE ready to make that change would be best for your dog as well as you. I'm not trying to pressure you in any way, just trying to help!
Thanks for the help! I hope he can tolerate it...I wouldn't say he has a sensitive stomach but his body definitely is easily "confused." I've been giving him some boiled chicken, peas, broccoli, and yogurt in addition to his kibble lately hoping to introduce variety into his diet. He has been having really loose soft ice cream stool for the past week; I'm guessing the peas aren't necessary and may even be contributing to that so I don't know if giving him some raw would help that or make it worse.

I'm not ready to make a full transition because...I guess I was hoping that if I switch him to Orijen, it would be almost as good; the next best thing (I know I know, almost isn't good enough :frown: which is why I'm taking this step). I also am honestly a little scared. I didn't even know people fed raw in the States until a few months ago when my friend told me she knew someone who did. It's funny, my mom never had dogs her whole life, but she knew feeding raw meat and organs was best for them because that's what her brother always did when they grew up in Taiwan and his dogs were healthy as can be. Dog food is just so commercialized that growing up, I thought it was what all dogs are supposed to eat. Plus, there's also the issue since I have parrots. They don't interact a whole lot with Louis, but he likes to go up to them once in awhile and nuzzle them, or sneak a lick in here and there. Not sure if him having Salmonella mouth will cause any harm. I was thinking of feeding him outside on the deck, just don't know how long the bacteria would linger in his mouth. And the last thing, is the husband, who thinks feeding raw meat is "gross" :mad: But don't worry, I am working on that one and I will get my way eventually:biggrin:

I just have some figuring out to do. Where to feed him, how much, how to clean, how to store, etc. etc. And I just don't like to dive into something until I've done a lot of 'research' and have a decent idea of how I'm going to go about it. I'm still really new to this whole 'dog thing' and I have much to learn.

It's better than not giving any raw at all and who knows? You might just start adding more and more raw and less and less kibble.
That's what I was hoping for. If some raw is better than no raw, maybe this will be my gateway of getting in and making the whole conversion. Researching kibble is all I've been doing since I got him. I've spent the last 3-4 months reading whatever I can find on kibbles and I could probably bury myself there for much longer. But all I keep finding is one or two kibbles which meet my criteria, lots of additives and potentially harmful chemicals, inconclusive studies, and unanswered questions.

Can't tell you how much to give. You would not feed kibble that meal. Try 1% of your dog's body weight/meal if you feed 2 meals a day.
So he's about 15 lbs. right now, and the max he will ever be is probably around 20. Some kibble in the morning and a chicken wing or drumstick at night maybe? Danemama, I saw another post you had on chicken wings and how it might have too much skin to start with so I might try a drummette and peel back some of the skin? It's Memorial Day weekend, so I'm going to a cook out at my aunt's and hoping to steal some chicken. Not much of a meat eater myself, so if I did go full raw, all the meat in the freezer would belong to the dog! hehe :)

What makes you think your kibble is balanced now? What is balance? Who determines that? What criteria do they use?
That is true... It's funny how some things can be more eyeopening when they are thrown right back at you. I read somewhere that supplementing with cooked food might throw off the balance of kibble, but I guess I was thinking in terms of homemade cooked diet and how you need to watch the ratio of vegetables, meats, rice??, eggshells to get proper nutrition. So maybe I wouldn't need to worry about that with raw. Must stop thinking so much like a human :wink: Just out of curiosity though (not trying to disagree, and maybe this is a stupid question), how do you know how balanced a raw diet is? I think with kibble or commercial foods it's easy to read the label and see a breakdown of nutritional requirements, and therefore lead one to think a certain food is meeting certain guidelines etc. Whereas with raw, there are no numbers, no charts, no visual data, etc. Know what I mean?
 

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I've been giving him some boiled chicken, peas, broccoli, and yogurt in addition to his kibble lately hoping to introduce variety into his diet. He has been having really loose soft ice cream stool for the past week;
Cut out the peas, broccoli, and yogurt. Give the chicken raw instead of boiled. Should help to decrease the "confusion" in his system...
 

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Thanks for the help! I hope he can tolerate it...I wouldn't say he has a sensitive stomach but his body definitely is easily "confused." I've been giving him some boiled chicken, peas, broccoli, and yogurt in addition to his kibble lately hoping to introduce variety into his diet. He has been having really loose soft ice cream stool for the past week; I'm guessing the peas aren't necessary and may even be contributing to that so I don't know if giving him some raw would help that or make it worse.
It doesn't surprise me that he is having loose stool with the variety that you are giving him. You are correct in thinking that the greater variety the better, BUT you have to keep in mind that it needs to be *appropriate* variety. Leaving the broccoli, peas and yogurt will really help with the diarrhea. All three of those things are not ideal for a dog to eat.

I don't think giving raw chicken with his kibble is going to help his stools. He sounds to be a bit more on the sensitive side as far as what he is able to handle.

If I were you I would pick either exclusively raw or exclusively kibble. Not both. We will help make you more comfortable with the thought of raw. Most newbies to raw are afraid, but it only takes feeding the first few meals to make that scared newbie into an addict! I don't know how many people I have seen in your shoes, skeptical at first and then blossom into a confident, knowledgeable and experienced raw feeder. It sure doesn't take long.

I'm not ready to make a full transition because...I guess I was hoping that if I switch him to Orijen, it would be almost as good; the next best thing (I know I know, almost isn't good enough :frown: which is why I'm taking this step).
Orijen would not be the "next best thing" but rather a premade, manufactured raw diet. They are still not ideal because of all the inappropriate ingredients that they add in to increase the "filler" content of their patties. Another downside to these diets is that they are *very* expensive compared to both kibble and a prey model style diet.

I also am honestly a little scared. I didn't even know people fed raw in the States until a few months ago when my friend told me she knew someone who did. It's funny, my mom never had dogs her whole life, but she knew feeding raw meat and organs was best for them because that's what her brother always did when they grew up in Taiwan and his dogs were healthy as can be.
Its ok to be afraid at first, but the reason you're here is to learn and gain experience. And that is why we are here, to help you get over your fears! There are hundreds of thousands of raw feeders in the US, and we are converting more and more each day. The raw movement has been around for a long time 30+ years and is really starting to take hold here. We are seeing "combat" in all areas in the media and from the government, because the big corporations that make dog food are scared that they will lose all of their customers....and they should be!

What are you in particularly scared of with feeding raw? Don't be afraid to post up what your concerns are because we wont be able to help you if you don't tell us. There's nothing to be ashamed of!!!

Dog food is just so commercialized that growing up, I thought it was what all dogs are supposed to eat. Plus, there's also the issue since I have parrots. They don't interact a whole lot with Louis, but he likes to go up to them once in awhile and nuzzle them, or sneak a lick in here and there. Not sure if him having Salmonella mouth will cause any harm. I was thinking of feeding him outside on the deck, just don't know how long the bacteria would linger in his mouth.
There are several raw feeders on here that also own birds. Send a PM to Spookiechick on here and she will help you through this issue. All I know is that she has never had an issue with bacteria and her bird. And her bird is one of her babies!

And the last thing, is the husband, who thinks feeding raw meat is "gross" But don't worry, I am working on that one and I will get my way eventually
This very well may be the hardest battle!!! Men can be hard headed, but he *will* see the effects that is has on the dog and *will* be amazed. Then, you can bask in the glory of hearing him tell you that you were right all along! There have been countless wives who post up wanting to make the switch and the hubbies are just not on the bandwagon. But they eventually do because the wonders that raw works are astounding and clear as crystal to the novice eye. Tell him to put his big boy pants on and not be afraid of the meat :wink:

Where to feed him
Feed him where ever you feel the most comfortable. We feed outside most of the time. If the weather is too crappy outside, then we have trained our dogs to eat off of their dog beds. You wouldn't even think that they had just had a meaty delightful meal on their beds because they lick them so clean. Sometimes the meat doesn't even touch the beds and just goes right into the mouth, crunched a few times and then swallowed.


Feed ~2-3% of your dog's *ideal* adult weight per day in meat. You said that he will weigh ~20 pounds as an adult. So you'd end up feeding 0.4-0.6 pounds of meat per day. So just about a half pound. You could split that into two meals, 1/4 pound each meal or just feed once a day (we only feed once a day).

how to clean
Clean the same way you would after preparing meat for yourselves. Disinfect all containers and utensils. Wash any towels or bed covers that he eats off of. We really do minimal cleaning to be honest. The dogs do most of the cleaning! Since we don't spend any time on their beds ourselves, I don't have a problem with them eating on them.

how to store
You will store the meat in a freezer which is ideal. Unless you plan on getting meat a few times a week at the store and just keeping it in a refriderator. We have 12 quart containers that hold ~10-15 pounds of meat which lasts our 4 big dogs about 2 days. You could do something similar, but just use a smaller container and put 2-3 days worth of food in it. Thaw it out when you are ready.

Here is a picture of *one* of our freezers:



And I just don't like to dive into something until I've done a lot of 'research' and have a decent idea of how I'm going to go about it. I'm still really new to this whole 'dog thing' and I have much to learn.
Well, then you have come to the right place. Please take advantage of the "search" feature at the top of the forum to look anything that comes to mind up. Just type a key word or phrase into the bar and hit search and I guarantee a whole bunch of threads will come up.


That's what I was hoping for. If some raw is better than no raw, maybe this
In your case it may not be because of a sensitive system. Like I said earlier...some dogs can eat anything and be fine while others have a much harder time. From the sounds of it he might be too sensitive for you to be able to do partial raw.

Some kibble in the morning and a chicken wing or drumstick at night maybe? Danemama, I saw another post you had on chicken wings and how it might have too much skin to start with so I might try a drummette and peel back some of the skin? It's Memorial Day weekend, so I'm going to a cook out at my aunt's and hoping to steal some chicken. Not much of a meat eater myself, so if I did go full raw, all the meat in the freezer would belong to the dog! hehe :)
If you were to give him a drummie or a wing, do your best at skinning it first. The skin contains most of the fat and fat can be irritating to the system if the dog is not used to eating fat like that. And if you were to give either a wing or drummie, I suggest the wing because it has more bone in it and will be less likely to cause diarrhea. Raw bone is a constipating agent in the gut and keeps raw fed dogs stool firm (if you were to feed NO bones all you would see is diarrhea).


That is true... It's funny how some things can be more eyeopening when they are thrown right back at you. I read somewhere that supplementing with cooked food might throw off the balance of kibble, but I guess I was thinking in terms of homemade cooked diet and how you need to watch the ratio of vegetables, meats, rice??, eggshells to get proper nutrition. So maybe I wouldn't need to worry about that with raw. Must stop thinking so much like a human :wink: Just out of curiosity though (not trying to disagree, and maybe this is a stupid question), how do you know how balanced a raw diet is? I think with kibble or commercial foods it's easy to read the label and see a breakdown of nutritional requirements, and therefore lead one to think a certain food is meeting certain guidelines etc. Whereas with raw, there are no numbers, no charts, no visual data, etc. Know what I mean?
You know a raw diet is balanced because all a dog would eat if it were wild (like its closest extant relative the wolf) is meat, bones and organs from a variety of prey animals. So if you feed meats, bones and organs "modeling" what their composition would be in a prey animal you know that it is balanced. This idea has brought up the ~ ratio of meat to bone to organ of 80:10:10 respectively. This is just a guideline, so don't take it too literal. Just think of the way that you eat...you don't have a complete and balanced meal with all the nutrients you would need to survive in just one meal. Balance over time!
 

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Just out of curiosity though (not trying to disagree, and maybe this is a stupid question), how do you know how balanced a raw diet is? I think with kibble or commercial foods it's easy to read the label and see a breakdown of nutritional requirements, and therefore lead one to think a certain food is meeting certain guidelines etc. Whereas with raw, there are no numbers, no charts, no visual data, etc. Know what I mean?
I'm glad you asked that question. "Balance" is a human concept. Animals don't worry about balance. There is really no need for humans to but there are a lot of people with very sophisticated degrees who wouldn't make any money if they couldn't convince us we need them to tell us what we should eat. ALL the "balances" are arbitrary numbers invented by one or another person or group of people. The human nutrient triangle was just redone a few years ago and it'll be redone again and again as different people decide different things.

Now, about balance for dogs ... Feed a dog meat, bones, and organs from a variety of animals. Feed mostly meat, some bone, and some organs. There ... thats balance. Nature has taken care of that for you. No need to worry about specific numbers. They really don't mean much. The only really even close to important number is carbs. The number of carbs you should feed yoru dog is exactly ZERO.

In your diet, do you count carbs? protein? fat? calcium? sugars? starches? ALL the different vitamins and minerals? Do you know what they should be? Does anyone know what they should be? Does anyone know what they should be in relation to each other? I think the answer is a resounding, "heck no!". :smile:

So you see, worrying about a balanced diet in dogs or humans is a futile exercise. Nature has taken care of balance for dogs ... mostly meat, some bones, and some organs. Thats it, period.

Nature took care of balance for humans but we have screwed up our diets so much we aren't eating anything close to what we should. If we ate all natural foods, we would be 100% better off but we aren't gonna do that, are we? :smile:
 

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I just want to add that I was very much like you a year ago. A little distrustful of the kibble world, but scared to jump into raw. I worried about balance too. Decided to just slowly add in some raw a bit at a time and use it as a supplement.

Well, my boy started refusing the kibble! And holding out for the raw! He knew what the good stuff was. He won't touch kibble now with a ten foot pole.

So while you may think that you are managing your dogs diet the way you want him to eat... he may tell YOU what he prefers. And don't be surprised when he turns his head away from his kibble and wants the good stuff. The raw. The food he was meant to eat. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you everyone for the useful advice. I will take all the information to heart. I took out all the crap from his diet and his stools have returned to normal. I should have known better :frown:

If a partial raw diet might be too much for his tummy to handle, what about starting off with just bones? I want him to at least get the teeth cleaning benefits for now, and was wondering if I should give him RMBs or just bones (or if there's really a difference), and what bone would be appropriate for his size (15-20 lbs)?
 

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There's really no appropriate exclusive bone to give a dog, although some people give marrow bones but I don't recommend it. RMB's are the core of a raw diet that we feed because raw meaty bones are bones with meat attached, sometimes a good deal more meat than bone (chicken quarter for example).
 

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and bones are not the only part of raw that gives dogs their pearly whites...

taking the sugar out of their diet is more of a contributing factor than the bones.

kibble is so filled with sugar, in the form of starches and carbs....and dogs don't generally brush their teeth, so it sits there, rotting teeth and gums...

hard to get tooth disease or gum disease from a hunk of protein/fat
 
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