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Old 01-05-2013, 10:14 AM
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I'm making the switch!

So i'm making the switch from kibble to a raw diet in the next few weeks, i'm just waiting until the pups finish their current bag of Blue Buffalo. I've done a lot of research - online, books, searching forums, reading articles, reaching out to my breeder and her contacts, etc. I still have this nervous feeling about it though, probably just because its so different from what I'm used to. I plan to start with the prey-model raw diet using a 80/10/10 meat to bone to organ guideline. After the dogs have adjusted to the diet I'm going to supplement as I see fit - they enjoy fruits and vegetables so I figure as long as its in moderation it can't hurt! I think I'm going to feed them based on a target weight of 75 - they both seem to be pretty close to the standard GR. So thats about 2.25 pounds a day, then I'll adjust this to their needs. I'm going to start with chicken for the first week or so and then slowly add in more variety. I want to feed 2 meals a day which I think will be okay for the pups since they'll be 4.5 and 6.5 months when the switch happens.

To the experienced raw feeder does this sound okay? I would love if people could list what the meals during their first week of raw diet feeding consisted of. What are some signs that I should look for that the switch isn't going well? Also, where do you feed your dogs? I want to feed them in the kitchen, but since we're dealing with raw meat should I be mopping up after every feeding? Maybe buy a mat for them to eat on?

I'm sure I'll come up with more questions before and when I begin the switch; thank you for all your advice and support!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:24 AM
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Good luck!! I'm pretty envious because I really want to feed raw but it looks like Molly is allergic to chicken AND turkey so raw would be too expensive for her. I fed her some raw turkey dinners and she started itching like crazy and her eyes got super goopy.

I know it's wasteful but I put her dinner on top of aluminum foil on the kitchen floor. I had newspaper under that too. If I were going to try raw again, I would use a large foil baking pan. That way I would be able to reuse them.


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Old 01-05-2013, 10:35 AM
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I made the switch 2 years ago and like you I was very nervous. I probably researched for more than 3 years before I actually did it. Since then I have successfully switched 7 dogs with no problems. I have just switched my new puppy and didn't have any problems with her either. I waited until I was ready to start feeding her twice a day instead of 3 times for convenience sake. The big dogs get fed once a day. My only regret is that I didn't switch sooner.
When I first started each of them, I started with just chicken. I would give them a leg quarter. I then did as you are suggesting by adding different meats and organ meat until they were fine eating anything.
None of mine get over 1 1/2 lb. per day.
The more you do it, the easier it gets.
Make sure that you have enough freezer space to stockpile food for them when it goes on sale. I purchased a 15 cubic ft. chest freezer just for the dogs food.
I feed mine outside on the front porch or the back deck. I do know people that feed on a mat in the kitchen but it is just easier for me to feed outdoors.
Do you already know where you will be getting their food? It is a good idea to have a couple of suppliers.
Good luck with your switch.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldhaven View Post
Do you already know where you will be getting their food? It is a good idea to have a couple of suppliers.
Good luck with your switch.
I don't know of any local butchers where I live now (there's a great one by my old house 2 hrs away ) but I'm planning on getting my meat from Costco, Stew Leonards, Reg Supermarkets, Whole Foods, etc depending on what meat is available and the sales. I really like Costco for buying in bulk and a lot of the time I can find organic meat there. I really want to find a local butcher though, I think that'll be a good way to get the less desirable parts of animals like organs and what not.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vhuynh2 View Post
Good luck!! I'm pretty envious because I really want to feed raw but it looks like Molly is allergic to chicken AND turkey so raw would be too expensive for her. I fed her some raw turkey dinners and she started itching like crazy and her eyes got super goopy.

I know it's wasteful but I put her dinner on top of aluminum foil on the kitchen floor. I had newspaper under that too. If I were going to try raw again, I would use a large foil baking pan. That way I would be able to reuse them.


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Allergic to chicken and turkey, the poor thing! I'm not sure if they can do this with animals but can you have an allergy test done? I've read that sometimes things like your Molly experienced can happen when switching to a raw diet because its almost like a detox. Like all the bad toxins are coming out or something like that.

This is an excerpt from Kymythy Schultz book Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats:

Quote:
Detoxification
When your dog or cat begins to eat nutritious raw food, the nutrients in teh food will give its body enough strength to do some serious healing or "detoxing." Some pets never show nay symptoms of detoxification. But in case yours does, you should be aware that the signs include discharges, pimples and rashes, loose and/or mucusy stools, bad breath, dirty ears, and body odor. Old problems may make a brief reoccurrence while deep healing takes place. The more "garbage" you pet has inside its body, the more intense the detoxification will be. Detoxification is good as it allows your pet to rid itself of toxins, leaving the body much cleaner and healthier. Detoxification symptoms may vary according to the individual. During detox, you may notice stools containing mucus and parasites. Hurrah - its not in your pets body anymore! Detox time varies with the individual and its toxin load, but a few days to a few weeks is normal.
Thank your for your advice !
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:43 PM
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I wondered too if it was her body detoxing but it was so difficult seeing her so itchy. I definitely will try again in the future.


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Old 01-13-2013, 12:12 AM
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Today was day one of the switch! Fed him a couple of chicken thighs for breakfast - frozen because I figured he'd try to inhale it. He loved it! Because it was such a big meal it was the only one he got today. I didn't want to feed too much to start. I meant to feed two meals, but I froze the meat before separating into portions and couldn't get it any smaller oops. He seemed to do well all day, but now he's throwing up. He threw up one small bone and the rest has just been liquid. I'm not sure if its from the chicken or from the vaccines he got today (rabies/DHLPP). Is this a normal reaction. He's seeming a little lethargic right now. I'm super nervous starting this fingers crossed I do everything right, I just want whats best for my furbaby!
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:19 AM
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I've never heard of a dog barfing due to a rabies vaccine, I'm guessing its the bones. I don't know anything about raw feeding but you may want to take out the bones before you the the meat to your dog.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:29 AM
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The three days I fed Molly raw, she would regurgitate pieces that were too big, chew them up, and swallow again. Usually it was something very boney like turkey neck. She never threw up any liquid though. The lethargy could be from the vaccines.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
The three days I fed Molly raw, she would regurgitate pieces that were too big, chew them up, and swallow again.
I'm thinking this is part of it. After doing some research it looks like what it is is bile. Its yellowish and foamy. It sounds like it happens if the dog is hungry and his body is expecting food and not getting it. The body produces the digestive enzymes because it thinks its getting fed...but then no food! so it gets an upset tummy and throws up. I think this makes sense since he always gets at least two meals a day and all of a sudden got one. I gave him a small piece of chicken a few minutes ago hopefully to ease his stomach for the night.

...he still hasn't pooped today though (one poop this morning before I started the raw diet...none since). maybe too much bone, we'll see what tomorrow brings!
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