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    1. #1
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      First Day on Raw Diet

      Yesterday, my dog's dinner consisted of kibble and 2 spoonfuls of canned dog food. Today I put together her first raw breakfast: chicken necks, boneless chicken thighs, chicken liver, hearts and gizzards. I also included 1 egg, 1/2 cup veggies and some NuPro supplement. I'm following Dr. Becker's BARF diet and I think I have the meat proportions just about right.

      I grinded all the meats together, portioned them out into pint jars and stored them in my chest freezer. I should have enough for 2 weeks. If things go well, I'll probably grind enough meat to last a month or two the next time I prep. I made the veggie mix in a food processor: carrots, Napa cabbage, red peppers and melon. Put a few jars in the freezer. I'll also be feeding her raw eggs, sardines, and the occasional chicken wing throughout the week.

      My dog ate her first raw meal with no problem, although she will eat anything I put in front of her. She has a pretty strong stomach and is in good health, so I went right from kibble to raw. I know some people say to fast your pet for 24 hours before transitioning to a raw diet, but others recommend going cold turkey. I'm hoping she doesn't come down with a case of cannon butt. Once she acclimates to the chicken I'll go with some turkey and then beef. Eventually I hope to rotate the three.

      Anything I might have missed? I surely would welcome any feedback.

      Thanks!

    2. #2
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      Sounds great! I switched cold turkey too. I am not sure about the organs though, they might give her diarrhea. If that happens, avoid feeding organs for a couple of weeks and stick to one protein source.

    3. #3
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      Berna--thanks for the advice. I will be monitoring her poops for the next few days. I've read that it takes longer for a dog to digest raw meat than kibble. So far, no change in her stool. I gotta say, it feels good to know she is eating a balanced and healthy diet.

      I'm feeding her 2 cups of food twice a day. Does this seem like a lot for a 70 lb fairly active 3-year-old lab?

    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by YellaSadie View Post
      Berna--thanks for the advice. I will be monitoring her poops for the next few days. I've read that it takes longer for a dog to digest raw meat than kibble. So far, no change in her stool. I gotta say, it feels good to know she is eating a balanced and healthy diet.

      I'm feeding her 2 cups of food twice a day. Does this seem like a lot for a 70 lb fairly active 3-year-old lab?
      It's usually by weight not volume. And it depends on the dog. However, it's generally 2 - 3%. I started at 2% and made changes based on my dog's weight and current activity level. For example, my younger dog (20 months) eats about 2.5% and my older dog with an ongoing weight problem gets about 1%.

      The food you're feeding sounds fine, though I might have waited a bit to add the liver, heart, and egg. The liver and heart can be rich and the fat in the egg can be rich to some dogs. I feed these things, but only now that everyone is acclimated. That said, see how it goes and if it's no problem, that's great! Both of my dogs, prior to the switch, has a propensity for random diarrhea, so I was extra careful.

      Also, do you know that you don't have to grind the meat/bones? There are a lot of advantages to feeding the food whole that you just won't get with grinding it up.

      Welcome to the world of raw!

    5. #5
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      No actually, kibble takes longer to be digested.

      I agree with Labradorks, try feeding 2% of her weight and go from there.

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Berna View Post
      No actually, kibble takes longer to be digested.

      I agree with Labradorks, try feeding 2% of her weight and go from there.
      Oops--I had it backwards. I thought kibble would be digested faster, but it makes sense that it would take longer to break down processed food than raw whole foods.

    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      It's usually by weight not volume. And it depends on the dog. However, it's generally 2 - 3%. I started at 2% and made changes based on my dog's weight and current activity level. For example, my younger dog (20 months) eats about 2.5% and my older dog with an ongoing weight problem gets about 1%.

      The food you're feeding sounds fine, though I might have waited a bit to add the liver, heart, and egg. The liver and heart can be rich and the fat in the egg can be rich to some dogs. I feed these things, but only now that everyone is acclimated. That said, see how it goes and if it's no problem, that's great! Both of my dogs, prior to the switch, has a propensity for random diarrhea, so I was extra careful.

      Also, do you know that you don't have to grind the meat/bones? There are a lot of advantages to feeding the food whole that you just won't get with grinding it up.

      Welcome to the world of raw!
      Thanks for the info. I was concerned that I was overfeeding my dog. The ammount of raw food vs kibble is about twice the volume. But then the ammount of calories in a cup of kibble is about twice that of raw, so this make sense. I realize that by grinding my meats I am depriving my dog of her natural instinct to tear and chew her meat. But my dog is a gulper. She swallows chicken wings whole, so to begin I wanted to avoid intestinal problems. Once she is acclimated to a raw diet I may move on to a prey diet.
      Last edited by YellaSadie; 03-27-2015 at 10:39 PM.

    8. #8
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      We followed the percentage charts based on age/weight and activity level and ended up feeding too much - but that's easy to adjust. Just watch her waist/ribs and reduce or increase accordingly. We also waited a couple of weeks to add the organs which are very rich. The first couple of weeks we had yucky poop almost like they were detoxing. Then we got to the small compact poops that are a great side effect! If they strain too much back off the bone a little. When we first started raw our dogs inhaled the wings too so we stopped them. We tried it again almost a year later and now they all get one or two each morning. I can hear them crunching through the bone. I think in the beginning they loved the raw so much they inhaled it. After it became more normal they slowed down a bit.

    9. #9
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      Thanks, Shelly. I'll try the chicken wings again sometime down the road. 48 hours and her poops are small and solid. This is with 80% meat, 10% bone, 10% organ and some veg thrown in. I also added a can of sardines to her dinner. She seems to be doing just fine, although I don't want to tempt the cannon butt gods.

    10. #10
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      There is now some evidence kibble DOES digest faster than raw. I think the key statement is the last paragraph.

      DIGEST THIS: Kibble May Actually Digest Faster Than Raw | The Raw Feeding Community

      Chicken wings are pretty small and easy to gulp. What about a turkey neck? The ones my raw supplier gets are huge, much bigger than any that ever came stuffed inside a turkey I bought to cook for ourselves. To start I held on to one end so gulping whole was not possible. Well it isn't possible but they try anyway, some of them, think they are pythons. I wore cheap cotton gardening gloves so I could get a grip.

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