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Discussion Starter #1
Currently on homemade - it's pricey and very time consuming. Plus lots of supplements. Would love to try raw (BARF) mainly because I feel she is lacking the proper calcium/phosphorus in her diet.

Does anyone have tips on how best to start for nervous beginners? ie, raw eggs with shells before giving raw meat? which bones are easist to digest - turkey neck or chicken backs? should organ meats be tried last?

So far she has tried frozen raw green tripe without issues. Also had tuna (which I thought was cooked) but ended up with mushy poops from that. :wavey:
 

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Faux Wanda
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If you want to start feeding raw, the first thing to do is find several good suppliers of inexpensive meat. Then make sure that you have a freezer in your home big enough to take advantage of bargain priced meats. We got a freezer just for the dogs meat. To me, that was the hardest part to starting to feed raw. After you find your sources and a freezer to put them in, the rest is easy.

I still have to feed fish carefully or mine will get runny poops also.
The best way to start feeding, in my opinion, is to give chicken leg quarters. As their bodies adjust to them, you can start adding other meats. The bones in the chicken, duck, turkey, rabbit, are the easiest to digest. I don't do BARF but have been doing whole prey model (frankenprey)for almost 3 years. I know that there are some BARF feeders on here and also more experienced raw feeders and I hope they chime in.
I will say that I was very nervous at first. Try not to let your dog see that. I actually researched for about 3 years before I ever started.

I joined several yahoo groups, rawfeeders, was just one of them but the people on there were very helpful.
I hope this helps.
 

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Bernie and Oliver's Mom
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When I switched to raw I started with Chicken Leg Quarters and Chicken MM. I did this until the dogs were having solid poos. Then I added one new meat source - waited for solid poos. Then added another, etc. We did Chicken, Venison, Pork, Beef, and Turkey. Once we had a few meats in rotation I started adding organ meat. I did a small amount 4 days spread over the week since organ meat will give a dog new to raw the runs if it has too much too soon. Once they had firm poos again I switched it to organs 2X a week (just easier for me). I use an 80/10/10 ratio of MM/Organ Meat/Bone. I occasionally throw and egg in there once a week or so. I'm just now learning more about the benefits of eggs and how to feed them.
I also supplement with Salmon Oil and Wholistic Canine Complete Joint Supplement which has Vit C, Glucosamine/Chondroiton, and a probiotic.

My biggest tip is to always be researching and educating yourself. :)
 

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I've been doing raw for 18 years, I did prey model for 18 and with my new pup, I've done barf/prey model with my new pup, I would only recommend pure prey model if you are feeding primarily organic and grassfed meats only because I don't trust the nutrient content of the grain fed antibiotic fed meats. Also do not feed mainly ground meats and carcasses, it's believed that doing this can lead to taurine deficiency. As for a good starter meat, chicken legs are popular however I prefer to start on turkey necks as many dogs have issues with chicken. Start on 1 meat and each week add 1 item, you can start introducing organ meat at the 8th week. The ratio for the meats should be 80% muscle meat but it also includes hearts, tripe. 10 % bone, all bone is pretty good for your dog but stay away from bare bones and cooked bones, only raw meaty bones, also stay away from weight bearing bones from large animals, like marrow bones. 5% liver 5% other organs, preferably secreting organs like kidney, spleen, pancreas, however eyes and brains work too.
If you keep that ratio the calcium phosphorus ratio should be good, as for fish, they are preferable with organs but make sure u freeze them for a week before being fed, canned sardines in water work well. If you get a good greens powder and mix it in with a homemade banana berry smoothly and feed 2 times a week it's sufficient. Il even give wheat grass occasionally. When you start feeding I would highly recommend you use diatomaceous earth for the first few days, it will cleanse his digestive system and help him adjust. Fish oil is a must and will help a lot although its pricey. Glycoflex is a great joint supplement and coconut oil is also great. Also GREEN TRIPE IS YOUR FRIEND. Good luck with raw feeding :D


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Discussion Starter #6
When I switched to raw I started with Chicken Leg Quarters and Chicken MM. I did this until the dogs were having solid poos. Then I added one new meat source - waited for solid poos. Then added another, etc. We did Chicken, Venison, Pork, Beef, and Turkey. Once we had a few meats in rotation I started adding organ meat. I did a small amount 4 days spread over the week since organ meat will give a dog new to raw the runs if it has too much too soon. Once they had firm poos again I switched it to organs 2X a week (just easier for me). I use an 80/10/10 ratio of MM/Organ Meat/Bone. I occasionally throw and egg in there once a week or so. I'm just now learning more about the benefits of eggs and how to feed them.
I also supplement with Salmon Oil and Wholistic Canine Complete Joint Supplement which has Vit C, Glucosamine/Chondroiton, and a probiotic.

My biggest tip is to always be researching and educating yourself. :)
Hi there. What is MM? And when you say wait for solid poops - about how long did that take? Should I stop if she gets the runs?
 

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Faux Wanda
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Hi there. What is MM? And when you say wait for solid poops - about how long did that take? Should I stop if she gets the runs?
I believe that the MM being referred to is muscle meat.
Don't stop for loose stools, just don't add anything else until the poops have been solid for about a week.
When I started, I used a chicken leg quarter and added thigh meat to get it to the weight that I was giving my dogs. I started out giving them 1 lb 8 oz. or more and they started to gain weight so I cut it back to between 1 lb 4 oz to 1 lb 8 oz.
I still weigh all of their food.
I do know some raw feeders who just eyeball it but I don't think I will ever get to that point.
 

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Bernie and Oliver's Mom
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all bone is pretty good for your dog but stay away from bare bones and cooked bones, only raw meaty bones, also stay away from weight bearing bones from large animals, like marrow bones.
Tuco, I have yet to venture away from chicken/turkey for a bone source because I'm nervous that the bone I choose will be too hard for my dogs to chew. Are lamb and pork necks okay or are those bones too hard? What about the bones attached to pork chops?

Thank you!
 

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Bernie and Oliver's Mom
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Hi there. What is MM? And when you say wait for solid poops - about how long did that take? Should I stop if she gets the runs?
Sorry! MM is Meaty Meat :). For my dogs (both being puppies) we had firm stools within a day or two. Don't stop if your dog gets the runs, just give them meat with more bone in it. You can reduce the bone as the poo firms up. Right now the ratio isn't a huge deal because it'll balance out over time - so feeding more than 10% of bone at first until your dogs body adjusts is fine!
 

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Tuco, I have yet to venture away from chicken/turkey for a bone source because I'm nervous that the bone I choose will be too hard for my dogs to chew. Are lamb and pork necks okay or are those bones too hard? What about the bones attached to pork chops?

Thank you!
Pork and lamb are suitable in size, I'd say no weight bearing bone from anything heavier than a large hog. Even with weight boarding bones like marrow bones, most dogs don't have a problem,only the occasional dog will have a chipped tooth. To simplify yes all those bones are great


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Bernie and Oliver's Mom
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Pork and lamb are suitable in size, I'd say no weight bearing bone from anything heavier than a large hog. Even with weight boarding bones like marrow bones, most dogs don't have a problem,only the occasional dog will have a chipped tooth. To simplify yes all those bones are great


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Just for clarification - when you're referring to RMBs are you referring to edible ones or ones to chew on? Because weight bearing bones (like marrow bones) are never okay for a dog to try and eat. I'm talking about bones that are edible - as in can be chewed up and swallowed, not gnawed on.

For the OP:
As of right now I am 100% sure that the bones from rabbits/poultry are safe to be consumed (for a Golden Retriever - smaller breeds are another story).
 

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Yes I'm talking edible bones, and no most dogs would be able to eat weight bearing marrow bones, there is just the chipping a tooth risk


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The simplest way is to feed whole animals like rats and mice and birds and rabbits. You can get high quality feeder rodents, birds and rabbits from reptile supply houses like rodentpro.com. You can get rabbits locally pretty much everywhere, although you don't want to go nuts with the rabbits because they are so lean and can lead to "rabbit starvation", at least in humans.

They come frozen, and once you thaw them you can just throw a couple on the ground and let him go to work. Its actually neater and more convenient than dealing with canned food.

I watched him like a hawk at first, but he instinctively knew how to eat these things. He gnaws on them till the bones are crushed , then nips of sections like a hot dog and swallows them whole. So everything is wrapped up in a slippery coating of fur or feathers and goopy stuff. It's totally different from the frantic way he hoovers canned food. I think the experience of carefully eating food that takes some effort is an important part to this. He certainly seems more satisfied afterwards.

I started my cats on this last year and when we got our golden puppy a couple months ago, started switching him over. So for now, they all eat the same animals, which makes purchasing simpler.

I trained the cats to eat in an oversized litter pan (new and clean!) to contain the mess, but it's surprisingly bloodless. Neither he nor the cats leave much of anything behind. But once we move to rabbit sized prey, I still think our puppy will be eating outdoors.

When he's older, I plan to get things like lamb heads, crack them open a little and throw it in the kennel with him and let him work on it for a couple of hours.

With whole animals, there's no guesswork about nutritional ratios, no mixing, no measuring. Just try to mix it up with as many small prey animals as you can find, whatever he would be taking down in the wild.
 

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The simplest way is to feed whole animals like rats and mice and birds and rabbits. You can get high quality feeder rodents, birds and rabbits from reptile supply houses like rodentpro.com. You can get rabbits locally pretty much everywhere, although you don't want to go nuts with the rabbits because they are so lean and can lead to "rabbit starvation", at least in humans.

They come frozen, and once you thaw them you can just throw a couple on the ground and let him go to work. Its actually neater and more convenient than dealing with canned food.

I watched him like a hawk at first, but he instinctively knew how to eat these things. He gnaws on them till the bones are crushed , then nips of sections like a hot dog and swallows them whole. So everything is wrapped up in a slippery coating of fur or feathers and goopy stuff. It's totally different from the frantic way he hoovers canned food. I think the experience of carefully eating food that takes some effort is an important part to this. He certainly seems more satisfied afterwards.

I started my cats on this last year and when we got our golden puppy a couple months ago, started switching him over. So for now, they all eat the same animals, which makes purchasing simpler.

I trained the cats to eat in an oversized litter pan (new and clean!) to contain the mess, but it's surprisingly bloodless. Neither he nor the cats leave much of anything behind. But once we move to rabbit sized prey, I still think our puppy will be eating outdoors.

When he's older, I plan to get things like lamb heads, crack them open a little and throw it in the kennel with him and let him work on it for a couple of hours.

With whole animals, there's no guesswork about nutritional ratios, no mixing, no measuring. Just try to mix it up with as many small prey animals as you can find, whatever he would be taking down in the wild.
Start off with that method is a bad idea, and I can tell you what they feed their rodents leaves them nutritionally void, that's why snake owners gut load them for a week. Introducing the whole animal all at once will leave a formerly kibble fed dog with dhiarhea for weeks. That's why people introduce organ meat so slowly. These rats aren't regulated nor meant for human consumption, in my opinion it's not a risk worth taking


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