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I feed our 10 month old Ziggy PPP large breed puppy, and he’s doing very well on it. I usually add some cooked chicken, fish, ground beef or veggies, etc. with one or both meals. I am giving some though to trying to add some Raw to supplement the kibble. Would the Instinct medallions or bites be a good option? I’ve seen them referenced here and they seem to be easily available online at Chewy. Just wanted to get some input from the experience and expertise that many here have gained over time.

Thanks.

Chris
 

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If you are feeding a high quality kibble - which you are - there is no need to supplement it. You might, in fact, wind up giving him too much of certain nutrients. More is not always better.
 

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If you are feeding a high quality kibble - which you are - there is no need to supplement it. You might, in fact, wind up giving him too much of certain nutrients. More is not always better.
So how do I start to give my dog some of the benefits of raw food to see how it goes, while also feeding kibble?
 

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So how do I start to give my dog some of the benefits of raw food to see how it goes, while also feeding kibble?

What are the benefits of raw that you think exist over the kibble? I do not mean that to sound sarcastic or negative at all. I'm just really wondering what you think your dog is not getting from the kibble that raw will give him? (Simply because there really isn't scientific evidence that raw is better, so I'm trying to reassure you that the food you are feeding is high quality and covering all of your dog's nutritional needs).
 

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What are the benefits of raw that you think exist over the kibble? I do not mean that to sound sarcastic or negative at all. I'm just really wondering what you think your dog is not getting from the kibble that raw will give him? (Simply because there really isn't scientific evidence that raw is better, so I'm trying to reassure you that the food you are feeding is high quality and covering all of your dog's nutritional needs).
Thanks, it is actually a good question. In many respects I just want to try to see if I notice any difference in terms of stomach health and skin with a bit of raw mixed in, but I would be very unlikely to go entirely that way. Our puppy is overall very healthy and loves his PPP large breed puppy kibble. I usually add veggies, chicken or some wet food to mix in and that variety keeps him interested for sure. He runs into stomach problems every few weeks, but the vet thinks that in the past has been more a matter of him being a puppy and grabbing whatever he runs into to chew on. As he’s getting older he’s more responsive to the leave it command, and this is not as much of a problem.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who adds raw to the diet from time to time to get input on what if anything they see which could be beneficial. Your question to me has definitely got me thinking though about whether there’s any real reason to try anything different right now.
 

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It sounds bland and boring to us, but often, the best thing for our dogs is a consistent healthy diet - as in, just the kibble, no extras that can cause gastrointestinal issues. If you're having stomach issues every few weeks, I'd try eliminating all the extras. Just feed the PPP - and you may well see him thrive. They don't need extras, and often when you're feeding "from the table," that's where you will run into problems. Their systems aren't like ours and introducing new foods and adding protein (for example, adding chicken on top of adequate protein in the kibble, etc) can throw things out of whack. Just food for thought.
 

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Honestly, there is no higher nutritional content then raw food. Adding a good balanced raw food to any kibble will 100% without a doubt increase it's nutritional value. Kibble is extruded with means it's cooked with extreme high heat and pressure. This destroys well over 50% of the nutrients in the food which is why the food companies must add back a vit/mineral package to replace the missing nutrients. Adding in raw food to kibble is perfectly fine. Once the dog is on it for 7 days or so it will be the norm for them and there is no need to worry about an inconsistent diet.

@Sweet Girl The benefit of raw over kibble...


1. Max nutrition, nothing cooked/destroyed
2. Natural enzymes on the meat that will break down plaque and tartar off the teeth, also will seed the gut with good bacteria. That keeps the breath fresh and teeth clean.
3. Raw is roughly 70% water, Kibble 10%. Kibble pulls water that they drink through the colon, raw foods or foods with a higher moisture content lets water flush the kidneys. So Kidney health is usually much better on Raw.
4. Healthier food should always mean a healthier dog.
5. Kibble also expands in the gut with water, not raw food. This can also lead to bloat/gastric torsion. This is the reason they tell you not to feed dogs for an hour after running and not to run for an hour after eating. Dog will come in and drink a lot after running then if they eat, all that food just expands and can make the stomach unbalanced.
 

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2 of the 4 goldens in my house were weaned onto raw and a 3rd came home on kibble and immediately transitioned to raw. Following my breeder's directions, I continued with raw until 2 of the 3 I had tested for Taurine came back low, thankfully echos were normal. Learning more about raw, the guidance I was provided was insufficient for ensuring a complete/balanced diet--I immediately switched to kibble & haven't looked back. I don't find stools to be much different. From a physical standpoint, my guys have better coats on kibble--saw no change with muscling/energy levels. If you can work with a nutritionist to ensure you're getting a balanced diet with all of the appropriate minerals/vitamins I say go for it, but I don't recommend it for a newbie.
 

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My current boy is on raw. He does 100x better on the raw than any kibble, but that's not to say that kibble isn't good to feed. Feeding raw is a huge time and space commitment and makes things like traveling a lot harder.

It can also be kind of difficult to balance correctly if you're doing it yourself. A lot of people recommend feeding BARF (80% muscle meat, 10% edible bone, 5% secreting organ, 5% fruits/vegetables) or PMR diets (80% muscle meat, 10% edible bone, 10% organ), but neither of them are complete diets - prepping meals in either way will result in your dog lacking in certain vitamins/minerals. If you're feeding a pre-made formula, as long as there's an AAFCO statement somewhere on the bag/container, you don't have to worry about balancing at all.

I started Kaizer on a super limited raw diet just to see what his stomach can handle - that was almost a year ago. Since then, I've been adding some things back into his diet and seeing how that affects him - so far so good. He is NOT getting a balanced meal this way so I have to supplement a lot for him. It drives up cost but until I can figure out what he can/can't have, he'll have to stay on his current diet. I have a whole spreadsheet and everything LOL. I know some people feed half raw/half kibble. I have a friend who feeds mainly raw but feeds like 1/4c of kibble per meal (or per day - can't remember!) just in case she needs to travel.

If you wanted to try raw, you could get those freeze-dried pieces of raw or even the frozen bites of raw and use those as training treats. Instinct sells them and Stella & Chewys does too.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info. I do not have any intention of going with a raw diet as I would be concerned about my lack of knowledge shortchanging my dog from getting a balanced diet. Adding some raw from time to time does hold some appeal to me, and your answers and input were all thoughtful and helpful.
 

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FWIW my dogs are all raw fed and I do believe in it. I feed my kids Primal, but there are many good commercial formulations out there. I don't think a small amount of raw foods (especially a commercial product which is AAFCO certified) could be anything but beneficial to most dogs.

My dogs do get a small amount of kibble as training treats and the occasional "oops, I forgot to defrost anything" meal and they seem to be able to handle going back and forth between them without an issue. That said, I have seen some raw feeders who feel that dog's bodies digest raw and kibble differently and they shouldn't be fed together, so if you want to experiment you might want to start with giving the raw separate from the kibble (either as a meal or as a little lunch or something) and see how your pups do. If they seem to do well with it, you can then experiment with using it as a "topper" for their kibble, if that's your ultimate goal.
 

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My last golden, Odin, almost died at the age of 12, wouldn't eat ANYTHING!! He dropped 10lbs in 4 weeks. I was terrified. The vet did blood tests, xrays, etc and found nothing wrong. He did have a sensitive stomach his whole life. So I just needed to get him to eat. I tried all the different kibbles, and canned food. Nothing worked. In desperation I started cooking food for him but I was worried about that because I didn't really know what amounts I should be cooking of each thing to meet his nutritional requirements. Then I got this dog food cookbook from the vet. OMG it saved me from have a breakdown and he started eating again. He didn't just eat, he devoured the fresh cooked food and I could take a breath and know that he was eating the correct amounts and vitamins. There was a powder with vitamins, calcium etc that I had to add. (which was because the food was cooked) I was too afraid to do raw because of his stomach issues and why ruin a good thing when I got him eating. :)

I just wanted him to eat again and be healthy but he thrived! His fur was never thicker in his life. The feathering was growing so long I always had to trim it. He was actually getting matts at times because of his thick fur, which I had NEVER dealt with before. He had energy again and lived a further 4 years. I know his vet, who is a great vet, thought he may only live a few months when this happened at 12 yrs.

Because of what I witnessed first hand, I am a firm believer that the fresh food, whether raw or cooked is far superior to kibble. The problem is the time it took to prepare. For Odin it meant he lived or he died so that was an easy decision to make. I cooked. I read somewhere that kibble will meet a dog's basic nutritional requirements so they will live. They don't do more than basic and they don’t have to. While that statement may not be entirely accurate it certainly seemed a likely scenerio to me. And lets face it, we all know that fresh food far surpasses processed food for nutrition. Why would that not apply to dog food?

So now we have Ragnar, who is 11 months and I have been struggling with what I am going to do with his food. It sure is nice to just put down a bowl of kibble and not have to spend all that time cooking and freezing it all. BUT I know it is not as healthy as what Odin was eating the last four years of his life. Ragnar is on Fromm’s large breed puppy food. We travel alot and the fresh food is hard. Because of that so we have decided to do kibble but I want to supplement with raw. I will use the commercial frozen raw that is mixed in the proper ratios so I don't screw up. Also 3x a week Ragnar gets some raw green tripe thrown on his kibble and for now, we will do totally raw, 1 day a week. As for him eating the variety, LOL, my last golden ate well but this one is a hoover!

I will be switching from a puppy kibble in a month. I just thought I would toss my two cents in there with my experience. I am not sure how it will all go but I’ll try.
 
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