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    1. #1
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      bearbuddymarie's Avatar
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      anybody switch a senior to a raw diet ?

      I am concerned about the fact that he has LP, and
      neuropathy in his hind end, and sometimes poops in
      his sleep, and thinking during the change, his poop
      might get softer and make a mess , whereas now
      its pretty firm.

      Any input appreciated !

    2. #2
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      I thought about it but didn't do it. I had problems with making sure that the boys were on the right percentage of everything, and some times I screwed up and we'd have water poops (too much organs) or concrete poops (too much bone), and I don't think Hudler could handle that. It's hard enough to get him to eat regular food right now. He gets about 1/2 can of salmon dog food and about 1/2 cup of cooked bison meat on top. And lately he only eats half of it. Dave can get him to eat biscuits though, but only if they are broken up really small.
      Jen & Tickle!
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      bearbuddymarie (09-03-2014)

    4. #3
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      I switched Justice from a combo of home cooked, canned and kibble to a combination of mostly home cooked and raw prepared, but only the HPP (High Pressure Pasteurized) brands and flavors. I do use kibble and canned as back up, as his favorite is expensive and not always available at the local stores, even with ordering in advance. He adjusted just fine, as it was not much different from home prepared cooked foods for him. I would be afraid to switch a senior in double digits to raw from the grocery store, as there seem to be more pathogens in food they expect us to cook.

      You could try slowly adding a cooked crockpot stew if you normally feed kibble. Put some of it in the freezer to use later in the week or month. I generally feed the LP seniors a stew or, as the condition advances, a slurry that is not dry, as I worry about them choking or inhaling the dry crumbs. I soak the kibble and feed scrambled eggs, rice or potatoes and/or mashed yams or pumpkin, meat and yogurt, as the LP dogs I had in the past also had kidney and/or digestive issues. I add CoEnzyme Q10 for the LP dogs, as it seems to help their endurance, as it does for dogs with heart issues. Sometimes the dogs with arthritis in the rear also have arthritis in the jaw, and it is easier for them to eat and digest cooked, mashed food that is not too sticky. We have used a lot of baby food cereal and baby food meat on bad days over the years for the dogs.

      Of course, when cooking for dogs, one does not put onions in the stew.

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    6. #4
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      Feeding raw to a senior who has never eaten raw requires a little more consideration from my understanding. For example, the amount of bone to meat ratio may not be achievable because a senior may not have the teeth to be able to take bones. Also, rather than loose poop you can have a problem with hard poop. I definitely wouldn't be worried about pathogens in raw food.

      Good luck.

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      bearbuddymarie (09-03-2014)

    8. #5
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      As far as balancing is concerned, don't over-think it. Just follow the basic instructions, add variety over time and there would be no problem.

      I wouldn't be overly concerned about bones, you can always feed softer bones (chicken necks and backs for example) which are unlikely to cause teeth fractures or constipation. On the other hand, you don't have to feed bones, you can feed egg shells, dairy products and give calcium supplements.

      Mine was 6 1/2 when I switched him to raw cold-turkey. He was strictly on kibble before that, and he adapted quickly.

    9. #6
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      Sully was 15 years old when I adopted him and he had a long list of medical ailments including progressive peripheral neuropathy and incontinence. I've fed raw for over ten years and planned to switch him over as well. My initial plan was to wait until his medications were under control and he was well-adjusted to make the switch. He was requiring subcutaneous fluids every few hours and heavy doses of antibiotics for a severe kidney infection, on top of various medications for other senior related issues. Unfortunately, he wasn't eating well at the rescue and was roughly 25lbs underweight when I brought him home and was extremely picky when he wasn't feeling well, so I ended up offering him various sources of protein and let him choose his meals just so he could get some nutrition. Once we got everything under control, I went back to regular meals of boneless chicken and bone-in goat and made a feeding plan from there, altering his meals as I saw fit. I didn't introduce rich organ (heart, liver) for quite some time, but did give some other things. In regards to bones, different protein sources offer a varying degree of bone density and even if they had weak teeth, you can hammer or grind bone, so that's really not a huge concern in my opinion for seniors.

      As with any dog you switch to raw, you run the risk of soft/loose stools, but because of his incontinence issues, you may want to consider adding Forti-flora or Honest Kitchen Perfect Form (which is like pumpkin and metro on steroids, lol) to the top of his meal. I keep the HK product on hand for my fosters, but didn't use it with Sully for various reasons. And the majority of my fosters are switched to raw regardless of age. It's just a matter of finding a balance over time.

      This was Sully's first day home and three months later:



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    11. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Berna View Post

      I wouldn't be overly concerned about bones, you can always feed softer bones (chicken necks and backs for example) which are unlikely to cause teeth fractures or constipation. On the other hand, you don't have to feed bones, you can feed egg shells, dairy products and give calcium supplements.
      Hmm, dogs with laryngeal paralysis can have problems with eating and aspiration pneumonia, so if the dog hasn't any teeth and is having problems eating, or specifically swallowing, due to the laryngeal paralysis then I'd probably mince up the chicken bones.

    12. #8
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      Georgie, I didn't read that the dog doesn't have teeth?

      Aerodogs, good post!

    13. #9
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      Rivers is 7yrs old, started him not quite a year ago. Doesn't have any major health issues though.

      That said, I do not feed solid bones to either dog.

      I do buy 2lb packages of a pre-packaged blend - containing ground ribs, kidney, liver, etc of whatever specie I'm feeding; i.e. beef and add that into ground beef of 80/20. This gives the dogs the calcium they need without eating whole bones.

      I rotate between turkey, duck, fish and beef.

      The 2 pre-packaged companies that I add into the fresh meats from the grocery store, are Steve's and Small batch - both of these companies are affordable with 2 big dogs as long as you're adding in other food sources as well.

      I have not had a single issue with loose stools at all - both dogs took to the new diet without a single hiccup.

      I would be sure to go VERY slow with transitioning an older dog; mixing it between homecooked and raw. I would NOT be giving any dry dog food once the decision to switch is the idea, even as a separate meal.

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      bearbuddymarie (09-05-2014)

    15. #10
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      I have never switched a senior myself, but I am in a lot of raw feeding groups, and all the seniors I have heard about being switch have done extremely well, if anything, I think the owners see more difference in the seniors than a young or middle aged dog.

      Poops will be 1/4 of the amount and firmer. Depending on teeth, you may want to get a meat/bone/organ blend, but I would see if he can chew a chicken quarter or a pork rib as they aren't too hard. I would avoid turkey drumsticks and bigger or harder bones like beef ribs. We have taken polls on raw feeding groups and believe it or not, people have most success with switching cold turkey. I switched Dodger cold turkey and the only time he has ever had soft stools is when he gets too many boneless meals in a row, or too much organs in one meal. The bone is the binding factor in raw fed dogs poop, so you can't skip the bones.

      Another great thing for seniors to have is chicken or turkey feet, it is easy to chew.

      I have no info though on raw fed dogs with LP, I looked it up in my raw feeding groups and didn't see any posts about it.

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      bearbuddymarie (09-05-2014)

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