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I have been feeding Johnny Blue wilderness large breed puppy food and he is doing rather well. Stool has never been lose and he eats without hesitation. He is going to be 4 months on the 14 of May. A week from when he came home I noticed an ear infection. I took him to the vet for a general check up, I mentioned the dirty ears and she gave me ear mites medication, that didn't work so she gave me ointment for ear infection, while the matter has improved it has been almost 2 months of continuous dirty ears. He is also rather smelly, even after a bath, and I noticed him biting his paws and scratching often but he has no fleas or ticks at all. I'm thinking allergies? After doing research I'm thinking about switching to a homemade diet, I have the time to do the research and prepare appropriate food for his nutritional needs. I don't want to go 100% raw so I was wondering if it would be okay to feed him lightly cooked Bravo blends and light amount of veggies? Or should I just do it 100% from scratch? Sorry about the very detailed question. Thanks.
 

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Do not cook the bravo!!! If you get the mix with bones in it, cooking it would be bad!! My sheltie eats raw food and loves it! I give him preference by the honest kitchen with raw meat added. If you don't want to deal with raw foods, I would try the honest kitchen. You can add cooked meat to the preference but raw is better for dogs.
 

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Thank you. You actually addressed my concern even though I didn't directly ask. I did read that bravo has bone content which is why I was unsure about cooking it. I like the idea of raw but I have heard a lot about the possibility of bacteria, so I thought it would be as simple as cooking the food to avoid any chances.
 

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My sheltie has pancreatitis and has been eating raw for four years and he hasn't had any problems. Occasionally he will have loose poos but that's probably the pancreatitis. He is a lot healthier eating the raw then when he ate kibble. No scratching, ear infections, no odor, and more energy!
 

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If you aren't sure about raw, there are a lot of other good dog foods out there to consider. Since the puppy has an odor, I would guess the ear infection, probably yeast based, is not gone, which would explain the dirty ears. If your vet is not addressing this appropriately, I would suggest finding a new one and having those ears checked again. eta - rather than changing foods and jumping right onto raw, when he appears to be doing ok on the food he is eating.
 

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I've been raw feeding successfully now for over a year, and it just takes some common sense during preparation, just like when you are preparing your own food.

For a cooked product, I know some folks who really like My Perfect Pet. It comes in little packages that you can thaw for individual meals, and is probably about as close to a commercially-prepared raw you can get without cooking your own.

All Natural Human-Grade Food for Dogs | My Perfect Pet | Home
 

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Thank you all for your time and opinions . I like our vet but I do feel like she might be a little outdated? For lack of better words. I like the idea of raw, but I have been debating on it due to the fear of bacteria and what not. I mean let's be realistic though, Johnny goes to the park, diggs his way to china and back, smells butts, and he is fine. What does worry me is that he has never had loose stool and when he drinks water from the park's fountain he gets watery, but when we get back home it is back to normal( he drinks filtered water) so I'm afraid his tummy won't handle the change too well?
 

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We have had great results with raw but we fed prepared patties that contained the correct amount of organs, bones, etc. As far as bacteria and balancing the raw diet, here are some links I have found helpful. It's a fine balancing act when feeding raw but when done right, can be highly beneficial. If done wrong, can be dangerous.
Is Your Raw Pet Food Nutritionally Balanced?
Myths About Raw: Are raw-fed pets a health risk for humans?
The Biggest Myths About Raw Food
On the Mercola website, if you search raw diet, you will find a lot of lectures done by Dr. Karen Becker, breaking down the basics.
Good luck!
 

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The Completely Healthy 'Pet' Food Your Vet Probably Vilifies
We love our vet for many reasons but she was very against our feeding Jack raw. Fortunately, we did our own research and after three years of fighting allergies, skin conditions, eye conditions, ear infections, joint issues with synthetic meds, he cleared within a week on raw and never took another med again.
 
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Thank you Angela, I actually started considering raw after stumbling onto some of those websites you listed but I was looking for more personal opinions from "real" owners which keep leading me towards raw, I do tons of research and asking around so I think ill do fine with the balancing.
I was thinking about purchasing different blends of bravo, the organ meat, fish, turkey Ect and mixing it with eggshells, fish oil, sweet potato, and the occasional cuts of meat from the grocery store. Does that sound reasonable? I live in Miami which isn't very "butcher shop" or local farm friendly, so I have to stick with the grocery store meat and the only store that carries bravo around here is All pets emporium. I feel like everyone here feeds their dogs from grocery stores kibble , which is probably why we are so limited In raw options. I have never even met someone with a golden or seen one at the park.
 

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You know, I really don't know exactly what to put in a home formula for raw. I was feeding expensive patties bc I was nervous about nutritional deficiencies and or overdoses of fat soluble vitamins. So, we have been feeding our dogs premium kibble (Jack died six weeks ago) bc we felt we couldn't afford the patties for all of them. But your post got me thinking again so I ordered 'Dr. Karen Becker's Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats' which gives exact ratios to balance calcium, phosphorus and vitamins etc. Some negative reviews but those were by the people who didn't really want to learn the science behind the diet (they just wanted a plain recipe). Lots of positive reviews if you are motivated to learn and also reviews that say they are now making balanced raw food for cheaper than what they paid for premium kibble. If you want, I can pm some tips after I receive and read the book. I just want to make sure the food is balanced. I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to this...would hate to hurt my pooch when intentions are so good!
 
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I'm sorry about Jack, Johnny has been with me only two months and I already feel like life would be different without him. Thanks for the offer to send me some tips :) but I'll go ahead and purchase a book or two myself. I have read a lot about balancing their diet, what repeated the most was to include organ meat, fish oil, eggshells, some veggies to simulate their prey's stomach. If you use different blends of protein ( fish, turkey, pork, beef) it should supplement the required nutrients.
 

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Nice! Sounds like you know what you are talking about. Keep us posted as to how Johnny does! Good luck! :)
 
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I have Dr. Beckers book. Her diet sounds good but it seems like it is a pain in the butt to make. I have fed the prey model and used pre made raw. If you can afford it then I would go with Grandma Lucy's or the Honest Kitchen. It's easy and you know you're giving a healthy food. If you want to learn more about raw then I would advise you to look on a gsd forum that has a ton of good info, German Shepherd Home or Welcome to the Raw Dog Ranch
 

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I fed raw to Tayla with no problem. Lily would regurgitate about 3 meals a week. Our vet who practices Chinese medicine said raw food is considered cold food (not temperature wise) and dome dogs can't handle it. I switched them both to Grandma Lucy's freeze dried and they are doing great.
 
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I can't offer any experience with raw diet, but the smelly ears and chewing of the paws is definitely a sign that your dog is allergic to some ingredient in his food. I'd really consider a different vet.
No matter what you switch to, you should make a list of the ingredients in his current food to help you narrow down the culprit. Most common culprits are likely to be corn or other fillers.
 

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I have been feeding my dogs a 100% raw diet for well over 15 years. I truly believe there are many more dogs helped by a raw diet than those that can not handle it.
Now to address some of your "issues". Understand that just the excitement of going to the park (or any FAVORITE place) can definitely affect the dog's stools.
As for the allergies. Feeding raw is quite often the magic pill that works for dogs with all kinds of allergies. However it is not 100% fool proof. If your dog is allergic to chicken for example, he will be allergic to it whether it is in kibble, cooked or raw.
Feeding certain raw items can also be too much for a dog's system. Most dogs can not handle a lot of organ meat as it is too rich for them and they will get loose stools from it.
I vary my dog's diet on a regular basis between chicken, turkey, duck and lamb. I use to "make" my own but for the last 5 years or so I have fed Oma's Pride which is very similar to Bravo. My vet is NOT a believer in a raw diet but she does tolerate it.
Lastly. If you handle the raw food with the same respect and care you do your family's food there will be no issues. I promise you that.
I say give it a try for a couple months, you really have nothing to loose.
 
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I'm sorry about Jack, Johnny has been with me only two months and I already feel like life would be different without him. Thanks for the offer to send me some tips :) but I'll go ahead and purchase a book or two myself. I have read a lot about balancing their diet, what repeated the most was to include organ meat, fish oil, eggshells, some veggies to simulate their prey's stomach. If you use different blends of protein ( fish, turkey, pork, beef) it should supplement the required nutrients.
I also really like the book Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Lew Olson, PhD.

Our vet wasn't thrilled about raw initially, but we've been doing it for about a year and when he saw Kea last month for her spay surgery and assessed her overall health, his instructions were to keep doing whatever we're doing because it's clearly working! She doesn't have any allergies or anything that I know of, but people always comment on her lack of a doggie smell. She's kind of a mellow girl and is on the small side, so she gets probably about a pound of food per day (2/3 meat, 1/3 fruit/veggie mix) split into two meals and an occasional recreational knuckle bone. I just eyeball it and if she looks like she's gaining or losing weight, I adjust accordingly.

I use supplements from the company Nature's Farmacy since I do home prepared raw (KA calcium since I feed boneless meat at the ratio of 1/8 tsp per cup of raw food, a joint supplement that also has probiotics, and a general multivitamin).
 

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Wow so many helpful tips :) thank you all. I am definitely going to get Johnny on a raw diet, since he is so young the transition shouldn't be too rough. Yesterday I met someone at the park that feeds her boxer raw diet, she is a vet technician and told me that the vet she works with doesn't approve of raw diets but since she switched her dog (has been 8 months) he stopped having allergic reactions and shedding reduced noticeably. The allergies will be hard to narrow down since the most common ones are grains related but his current kibble ( blue buffalo wilderness large breed puppy) is supposed to be grain free. I will try to find the best affordable way to feed him the best possible diet. My husband and I don't have kids so we have extra time, little extra money and a lot of love for him.
 
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