Dog Food Chat banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking into Raw feeding for some time now and finally decided to make the switch. We have 3 dogs; 2 mutts -- one a 65 lb RottX, the other a 100ish lb LabX -- and a Miniature Schnauzer. The lab has some suspected, but undiagnosed allergies, seems to get fat on air and seems to be aging ahead of his years so he is a big part of the motivation to go raw, but we would love all three of the dogs to be on a raw diet.

I wasn't able to find just one cut of chicken at a reasonable price locally, but I did find big bags of "country style" chicken for .59 per lb and decided to go with that for our first week.

Tonight I had planned to give them some chicken with a reduced portion of dry dog food to kind of wean them onto the idea of raw.

I cut some meat off a drumstick for the Miniature Schnauzer and that worked wonderfully.

For the RottX I put a whole drumstick in her dish with her food. And for the LabX I put a whole thigh in his bowl with his dry food. Neither of those two seemed to know what to do with it. They licked it. Picked it up and moved it around, but neither tried to eat it. I didn't expect them to have trouble as they're not exactly pampered and both are accustomed to big chew bones.

So I took the pieces back up and cut them into smaller portions. I cut the drumstick in half and the thigh I cut into about 2inch by 2 inch sections. Put that back in their dishes and they seemed to get the idea after that.

Now for the questions...

1) Both of them proceeded to pick the biggest piece in their bowl and run into my living room with it to eat it off the floor. For obvious reasons, that's not such a great idea. I'm guessing because it seemed like a "treat" they wanted privacy for eating it. If any of you have had dogs that did this, did they eventually stop? Or will I have to take to feeding them outside forever?

2) I know chicken bones are supposed to be safe when raw, but I just have to clarify. They were breaking the bones into pieces with their teeth and presumably swallowing those small pieces -- one of which I picked up and felt -- and they didn't seem at all what I would call "flexible". Are we sure this isn't going to cause problem? :confused: :redface:

3) Do you all cut your dogs' raw food into bite sized (or slightly larger) pieces everyday?

I appreciate any advice and guidance you can offer! I'm all ears!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,128 Posts
I've been looking into Raw feeding for some time now and finally decided to make the switch. We have 3 dogs; 2 mutts -- one a 65 lb RottX, the other a 100ish lb LabX -- and a Miniature Schnauzer. The lab has some suspected, but undiagnosed allergies, seems to get fat on air and seems to be aging ahead of his years so he is a big part of the motivation to go raw, but we would love all three of the dogs to be on a raw diet.
Awesome! I'm glad to hear that you have decided to go raw, its really the best thing you can do for your dogs...your patience will pay off!

I wasn't able to find just one cut of chicken at a reasonable price locally, but I did find big bags of "country style" chicken for .59 per lb and decided to go with that for our first week.
What specific cuts were in the bag?

Tonight I had planned to give them some chicken with a reduced portion of dry dog food to kind of wean them onto the idea of raw.
When switching to raw, you do it "cold turkey"...no pun intended :wink:

I wouldn't suggest feeding raw and kibble mixed at all. Just take the plunge and go straight into feeding raw meaty bones. Donate the rest of your kibble to a rescue group or shelter.

I cut some meat off a drumstick for the Miniature Schnauzer and that worked wonderfully.
You really need to feed ONLY bone-in chicken to all the dogs for the first two weeks, minimum. Not just meat by itself.

Bone is necessary to keep dogs from getting diarrhea. Bone acts as a constipator and adds bulk to their stool...kinda like fiber does to a kibble fed dog's poo. The higher the bone content of the RMB, the harder the stool will be. That is why its very important to feed bone one type of bone in meat for two weeks straight, most of the time people choose chicken to start off with.

For the RottX I put a whole drumstick in her dish with her food. And for the LabX I put a whole thigh in his bowl with his dry food. Neither of those two seemed to know what to do with it. They licked it. Picked it up and moved it around, but neither tried to eat it. I didn't expect them to have trouble as they're not exactly pampered and both are accustomed to big chew bones.
This is a good move, BUT if they don't know what to do with the meat...leave them be and let them figure it out on their own. Trust me, they will in time (mine did). The guideline that we suggest going by is giving your dogs ~15-20 minutes to eat, if they haven't touched it pick it up and store it for their next meal. Don't feed anything in between this time, no treats or anything. Offer it again, if they eat it great. If not, pick it back up and ofter it next meal time. Eventually they will get hungry enough to figure it out. Just be patient, it will pay off in the long run.

So I took the pieces back up and cut them into smaller portions. I cut the drumstick in half and the thigh I cut into about 2inch by 2 inch sections. Put that back in their dishes and they seemed to get the idea after that.
This is actually not a great thing to do. You never really want to cut bones because it changes their structure making it easier for them to splinter wrong and become a choking hazard. You want to feed RMB's that are big enough for your dogs to have to chew up to fit down the hatch.

You also don't want them to become dependent on you cutting up their food every meal time. That will take away from their dental health benefit, not to mention the added risk of choking.

Let you dogs do the work and learn on their own.


1) Both of them proceeded to pick the biggest piece in their bowl and run into my living room with it to eat it off the floor. For obvious reasons, that's not such a great idea. I'm guessing because it seemed like a "treat" they wanted privacy for eating it. If any of you have had dogs that did this, did they eventually stop? Or will I have to take to feeding them outside forever?
This does not surprise me. Ours still do the same, but we have trained them to stay on their dog beds to eat inside. It actually doesn't make a mess in the slightest bit because they always do a really good job at licking their dog beds clean. I just launder them often to keep them clean-ish. The fact that we don't actually sit or lay down on the dog beds helps with the gross factor LOL

You can train your dogs to eat on towels if you want to feed them inside, but it might just be easier to feed them outside if that is an option.

Dogs like privacy when eating, especially raw food because they value it much higher than kibble. It is best to let them take it to where ever they feel most comfortable...in reason of course!

2) I know chicken bones are supposed to be safe when raw, but I just have to clarify. They were breaking the bones into pieces with their teeth and presumably swallowing those small pieces -- one of which I picked up and felt -- and they didn't seem at all what I would call "flexible". Are we sure this isn't going to cause problem?
Its not :wink:

If those types of bone chunks caused issues, all the raw fed dogs out there would be long gone by now. I can say with all certainty that raw chicken bones are perfectly fine to feed. BUT I want to stress it again that you shouldn't cut up the pieces of chicken to entice them to eat because that CAN make the bones dangerous.

Eating raw bones comes naturally for a dog, BUT it takes time for a dog newly switched to raw to be able to do this efficiently. This takes time, sometimes a couple months to reach full capability to digest them. Digestive enzymes have to be adjusted to digest raw foods because they are so different compared to the enzymes that are needed to break down kibble (this is the reason behind the "cold turkey" switch to raw because it "confuses" the body when it has a tummy full of processed kibble and raw unprocessed meat and bone). Our dogs can swallow whole big bones (pork ribs for example) and they are capable of breaking them down completely. If your dog swallowed a whole rib bone, it wouldn't be as capable of breaking it down. This is the reason why chicken is the usual pick for switching dogs to raw. WHY? Because chicken bones are VERY soft and easy to digest compared to most others (not to mention chicken is cheap :wink: )

3) Do you all cut your dogs' raw food into bite sized (or slightly larger) pieces everyday?
Smaller cuts of meat: NEVER. EVER. Like I have stressed before, this is not something you want to do at all. The only things that I will cut into smaller sizes is whole turkeys, pork shoulder roasts, whole pork livers and whole beef hearts...or any BIG chunk of meat (by big I mean 5+ pounds when whole). These are just way to big to be fed to dogs for one meal.

I appreciate any advice and guidance you can offer! I'm all ears!
I appreciate you taking the time to learn and feed your dogs raw!!!

Here is a link that you should really read through, because it sounds like you might need some guidance through this whole ordeal....not saying that you shouldn't post up here, but just as a reference or guide that you should follow!

How to get started | Prey Model Raw

Keep us posted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Natalie!

I read for the first time about not combining kibble and meat right after posting this. *sigh* I'll toss the remaining kibble out and just go with Raw from here. I'm hoping, since they got very little meat and bones tonight it won't cause them too much trouble. The RottX has eaten worse, so I'm not too worried about her, but the LabX would be the one to give me trouble if one was going to.

I'll also throw away the pieces of chicken I cut through bones on. It was just one drumstick and one thigh and I took them away when I started noticing the bone fragments just to be safe so they got very little of it.

What would be your suggestion on getting the Mini Schnauzer both bone and meat in one meal without cutting it up though? I cut about 3/4 of the meat off a drumstick for tonight and was planning to give her the bone and remaining meat for breakfast tomorrow (that was before we had the size/bone issues with the bigger dogs). She only weighs about 10 lbs so she doesn't need a lot of food in one sitting. And also how to get that in her without it taking HOURS for her to eat. I've no doubt she'd try, but she's small and a very dainty eater.

(Off to read that link now, hopefully I didn't ask too much that will be covered there...) :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Whoops! I think I missed a question. There are thigh/drumstick combos in the bags. I thought when I bought them there were going to be backs and bone-in breasts as well. But after opening the first 10lb bag I didn't find any. So thighs and drumsticks it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,128 Posts
Thanks Natalie!
Anytime! That is what we are all about here :wink:

I read for the first time about not combining kibble and meat right after posting this. *sigh* I'll toss the remaining kibble out and just go with Raw from here. I'm hoping, since they got very little meat and bones tonight it won't cause them too much trouble. The RottX has eaten worse, so I'm not too worried about her, but the LabX would be the one to give me trouble if one was going to.
Don't worry too much about it, not the end of the world. A little diarrhea is not something to lose any sleep over, and most dogs switched to raw will have diarrhea at some point or another. Its just a normal part of life on raw foods...just like us humans, it just happens sometimes LOL

And donate the food to a rescue or shelter instead of just throwing it out! They can always use that kind of donation!

I'll also throw away the pieces of chicken I cut through bones on. It was just one drumstick and one thigh and I took them away when I started noticing the bone fragments just to be safe so they got very little of it.
I wouldn't worry too much about it at this point. Just give the whole chunks of meat next meal time and nothing but. Give them no more than a half hour to figure it out. If they don't, pick it up and store until the next meal time and re-offer it to them. They will catch on!

What would be your suggestion on getting the Mini Schnauzer both bone and meat in one meal without cutting it up though? I cut about 3/4 of the meat off a drumstick for tonight and was planning to give her the bone and remaining meat for breakfast tomorrow (that was before we had the size/bone issues with the bigger dogs). She only weighs about 10 lbs so she doesn't need a lot of food in one sitting. And also how to get that in her without it taking HOURS for her to eat. I've no doubt she'd try, but she's small and a very dainty eater.
Try starting off with chicken wings and drummies, that is what we started off with when switching our 9 pound Great Dane puppy. You can also whack it to death with a hammer (simulate crunching of the bones) to help her get used to eating bone in meats. Just whack it a bit less each time until she is a pro at crunching up whole bones on her own...which will be soon! Even small dogs have very strong jaws and teeth to get though the food that you feed. You will be amazed after a while!

Its ok to cut meat off of the bone, just not cutting up the bone. Its also ok to cut up a chunk of meat that is bone in, but just as long as its through a joint (like splitting a chicken quarter in half....the thigh from the leg) to make it the ideal size of a meal.


(Off to read that link now, hopefully I didn't ask too much that will be covered there...) :)
Its pretty much all covered there...I wrote that website LOL. But its perfectly fine to come here and ask questions, by all means don't hesitate to ask ANY and ALL questions!!! Even if you just need a little reassurance on something that is covered elsewhere. You should also read through the other pages there to become more informed about WHY you are doing this and how to do it most effectively and efficiently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Great, thank you for the advice.

There's only about 3 cups -- if that -- of kibble left and we live on a farm so don't worry. Around here to "toss" something means it's either headed for the chickens, the pigs or the compost. In this case a little will go to each the pigs and the chickens as a small "treat". :)

They all seem very satisfied with what they got for dinner tonight so we'll try again tomorrow and see where we get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,128 Posts
Sounds like heaven to me! We would love to be on a farm someday.

Keep us posted on the progress :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I'm back with an update. :)

They were all pretty hesitant still this morning, but eventually figured it out. It's interesting to watch their different eating styles. And their reactions to the switch.

The schnauzer has yet to eat much of anything. She's easily distracted and doesn't seem too interested. I figure when she gets hungry she'll take the time to eat her dinner. Until then... she'll be fine. She's never been a big eater anyway.

The Rott X figured it out pretty quickly this morning and knew exactly what to do this evening when I brought dinner out. She's a big fan of raw already. She was bright eyed and bushy tailed wagging and smiling waiting for me to set the bowls down.

The Lab X... he's not such a fan. He figured it out this morning and ate a drumstick. But tonight when I brought the bowls out he was only excited for dinner until I sat it down and he saw what was inside. He took his thigh out and went over and sat down in the grass and just kept looking from it to me, to the Rott X eating a few feet away and then back at it with a sad look on his face. Then he laid down and kept up with the glancing around for a while. I wasn't sure he was going to eat, but just kept watching. He didn't even sniff it..... until our Rott X finished her portion and came over. Suddenly that chicken thigh looked a lot better to him. He growled in her general direction and shoved the whole thing in his mouth and started chomping away. Success! LOL!

No upset tummies so far. Though they're outside on their own, doing their own thing for much of the day so I guess I could have missed an diarrhea that may have cropped up they're all acting normally so they apparently feel just fine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jodysmom

·
Registered
Joined
·
939 Posts
Haha...I had to use the motivation of another dog as well when first feeding my little guy.

He quickly took to it though.

Best of luck to you...I'm sure you'll notice a huge difference. :biggrin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,128 Posts
Yay! Thanks for the update and I'm glad things are going smoothly! From the sounds of it all of your dogs will be pros at eating raw food in no time. Keep up the good work :biggrin:

I don't think he is sad about it one bit, he knows exactly what to do with it but just waits til a sibling comes along to eat it. This is normal. Its like he is thinking "I have something and you don't, so HA!" Our wolf hybrid will "guard" her meals too, even ones she doesn't even like. For example, she *hates* organs, but will defend a bowl of them on the floor even though she has no intention of eating them at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,550 Posts
Glad to hear things are working out well for you and they're starting to figure it out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all for the encouragement and advice.

Our lab and rott crosses have both figured this all out now and the schnauzer finally ate -- though I did have to separate her since it took her a lot longer to eat and she never would have gotten any eating done with the other two standing over her drooling because they had already finished their portions. She ate about half of a drumstick before trying to tote it off and hide it in her toy box for later. So the other half is in the fridge for dinner time.

For anyone out there reading this and considering raw, I can say that even just on day 2 there are some changes we've noticed in our dogs for the better. Our lab used to have the most putrid gas. Every night he'd settle in on his bed in the familyroom and stink up the place. Last night after just one full day of raw eating and one half raw meal the night before he had NO gas whatsoever. It was nice not to have our nostrils burning for a change.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DaneMama

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,128 Posts
Thank you all for the encouragement and advice.

Our lab and rott crosses have both figured this all out now and the schnauzer finally ate -- though I did have to separate her since it took her a lot longer to eat and she never would have gotten any eating done with the other two standing over her drooling because they had already finished their portions. She ate about half of a drumstick before trying to tote it off and hide it in her toy box for later. So the other half is in the fridge for dinner time.

For anyone out there reading this and considering raw, I can say that even just on day 2 there are some changes we've noticed in our dogs for the better. Our lab used to have the most putrid gas. Every night he'd settle in on his bed in the familyroom and stink up the place. Last night after just one full day of raw eating and one half raw meal the night before he had NO gas whatsoever. It was nice not to have our nostrils burning for a change.
THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! It is always such a great thing to hear from people that its the best thing that they have done! You're a wonderful dogmom!!!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top