Jump to content

Menu

S/O -- Raw Food Diet for Dogs


Recommended Posts

I started to post this on the other thread, and it just seemed like a thread-jack. So I'll start a new one:

 

I honestly believe that this is how they were meant to eat.

 

This makes sense to me -- especially after seeing the "snacks" Puppy brings home. Lordy! And the dogs that I've had, and our neighbors dogs, that went after our chickens never suffered any ill-effects from eating chicken bones. ;)

 

But the cost just scares me to death. I'm having trouble just feeding our people right now. I've tried different foods with our "kids" and everything seems to upset their digestion except Purina Lamb & Rice -- and I am *not* a Purina fan. I'd really rather feed them something else!

 

Right now, the four of them (two big ones and two tiny ones) are going through about 70 pounds of food a month -- but I'm hoping that will slow down once Puppy isn't a puppy anymore? They are also, with the exception of Puppy, just a *tad* overweight.

 

Anyway -- my question is -- I'm thinking of starting the two little ones first to see how the cost goes and if I can even find a cost-effective supply around here. But my new buddy -- the little Chihuahua who was abandoned -- has some major issues, like a heart murmur and almost no teeth! And the vet said in not so many words that we shouldn't spend too much money on him -- he's pretty old. He has one fang on the top and a few teeth on the bottom. I thought we might have to get soft food for him, but he turned up his nose at that and went after the Purina the "big dogs" were eating, so he just gets that. Actually, he'll eat almost anything -- I shudder to think what that means when I watch him basically vacuuming up the floor. He even ate the bird seed I spilled on the floor the other day. He's quite handy. :D

 

So -- I'm wondering if he'll be able to eat the chicken wings, etc., that are recommended for the little dogs?

 

I don't even have to ask my vet if he would support a raw foods diet for our dogs. I've known him for ages and I already know the answer is "No!!!!"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would cut/tear things up a little for a small dog or puppy or a dog unfamiliar with anything that is not kibble. After they get used to it, they will gnaw meat off the bone and seem to enjoy this activity - better gnawing there than on your furniture.

Watch the one-fanged dog carefully for a few days to see if he is getting enough food. If you are scared he may not be able to gnaw, you can always get him ground meat.

 

The way I cut down on the cost is by getting the meat directly from a place where they slaughter. There are always things that go into the trash bin. If you tell them you are looking for meaty bones or intact bones with marrow, perhaps a butcher is willing to put a box together for you on a weekly basis.

 

My vet is okay with feeding the occasional bone for "teeth cleaning" but does not think it should be the sole source of food. Of course, it isn't because our big girl is also snacking on carrots, eggs and homebaked bread as well as some rice. She is definitely not overweight and her teeth are clean.

Edited by Liz CA
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been very good for our dog who has a tendency to overweight right from young. On a raw meaty bones diet, plus other scraps from time to time and the occasional can or plate of kibble when we cant get bones at a decent price- she is healthy and happy, and her weight is the best it has ever been, although she still looks overweight, but she couldn't be on the amount of food she eats, which isn't much.

It's also healthy for dogs not to eat every day. In the wild they dont. It so hard as a human not to project and mourn for the dog who is looking at you with those doggy eyes, but it really is better for their system to have a day or two off food each week.

We have a puppy too, but she is only getting raw meat, not bones yet- she's a tiny thing.

 

We get chicken carcasses from the butcher for 50 cents each. We buy 10 at a time and freeze them. The older dog gets one a day, generally. He often has big bags of bones cheap too, but if he doesnt cut them small we cant buy them because our older dog is only medium sized and these bones are huge.

Then we check out the supermarket every few days and look for pet bones on special- they are usualyl cow or lamb bones and fairly large but not impossible for our dog. We can often score a week or two's worth for less than $5.

 

The pup will start getting some chicken wings soon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your vet opposes a raw diet for good reasons. Raw meat is not safe for animals. They are just as prone to salmonella, shigella, and E. coli poisoning as we are. Raw diets may also ignore some key vitamin and mineral requirements. I have many clients who do a raw diet but they still cook the meat (the rest is raw). Also, some of these diets include things like onions or garlic which in too high amounts can lead to red blood cell anomalies and anemia. Also, stay away from grapes and raisins as they will cause kidney damage.

There are so many choices for dog food and I realize there are a lot of bad brands out there. But, often times your dog is reacting to specific ingredients in the food, like corn or wheat or the meat protein.

Some of my patients eat better than I do because their owners put so much time and effort into a homemade diet, which I think is a better name for it than raw. So, just know that I am not against homemade diets but I am against raw meat diets.

OK, I also have to add that bones are not the greatest thing for your dog. If a dog gnaws on a bone and doesn't swallow any of it fine. But dogs that splinter up the bone and swallow them are in for a potential problem. Bone splinters are sharp and can perforate gut. Large bone fragments may get lodged in the gut and or in the throat and require endoscopy or surgery to remove. We see many cases of this at our clinic.

Edited by Soph the vet
Link to post
Share on other sites
Your vet opposes a raw diet for good reasons. Raw meat is not safe for animals. They are just as prone to salmonella, shigella, and E. coli poisoning as we are. Raw diets may also ignore some key vitamin and mineral requirements. I have many clients who do a raw diet but they still cook the meat (the rest is raw). Also, some of these diets include things like onions or garlic which in too high amounts can lead to red blood cell anomalies and anemia. Also, stay away from grapes and raisins as they will cause kidney damage.

There are so many choices for dog food and I realize there are a lot of bad brands out there. But, often times your dog is reacting to specific ingredients in the food, like corn or wheat or the meat protein.

Some of my patients eat better than I do because their owners put so much time and effort into a homemade diet, which I think is a better name for it than raw. So, just know that I am not against homemade diets but I am against raw meat diets.

OK, I also have to add that bones are not the greatest thing for your dog. If a dog gnaws on a bone and doesn't swallow any of it fine. But dogs that splinter up the bone and swallow them are in for a potential problem. Bone splinters are sharp and can perforate gut. Large bone fragments may get lodged in the gut and or in the throat and require endoscopy or surgery to remove. We see many cases of this at our clinic.

 

So Soph, how did or do wild dogs ever survive?

 

I have a lovely book by a local vet which advocates what you might call a home made diet, but it definitely encourages raw meaty bones. But also many other things, such as yoghurt, vegies, fish oil- so that would make up the missing nutrients

Link to post
Share on other sites
So Soph, how did or do wild dogs ever survive?

 

Thank you, Peela -- I wanted to ask the same thing but couldn't figure out how, and then forgot. I don't understand how this diet could be unhealthy for dogs since that's what they were eating before "dog chow." I was actually going to try to find out when bagged dog food first started being manufactured but, like I said -- I forgot.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Your vet opposes a raw diet for good reasons. Raw meat is not safe for animals. They are just as prone to salmonella, shigella, and E. coli poisoning as we are. Raw diets may also ignore some key vitamin and mineral requirements....

 

I'm sure that you're a wonderful vet and that you love animals very much, so I'm speaking only from my personal experience and what I've read. I just don't see how the dogs system is like a human's. Perhaps it is, and I'm incorrect. All that people who feed raw can do, is be careful. I was very nervous about feeding raw, but after feeding this way for a few months, I feel very sure about my decision.

 

I do not feed all bones, I've studied to find the ones that others and I agree are on the "safe" side. Of course, when my dog is out, he doesn't ask me what he can eat. I can only monitor what I give him.

 

Also, bones cut by a machine are not as safe as those ripped away at by your dog. I'm careful that I have a clean source of meat. I buy it at a butcher's and they have good practices for how they deal with meat. IF, due to your dog's teeth, you choose to feed ground, I would choose to do that at home after you rinse the meat. Some use a diluted amount of grapefruit seed extract mixed with water.(I think this is the one)

 

I don't rinse with anything more than water. Some people on the Rawchat group I'm on, do grind their meat for dogs without teeth. If you do this with organs (which is usually the least expensive, heart and kidneys) then you just need to get about 10% bone meal into their diet. So, the percentage that I do is 80% kidney and heart, 10% liver, 10% bone (or bone meal, you can get powdered, maybe raw, ground bone from your butcher??)

 

Cost wise, if I was better at purchasing in bulk, I could get the meat in the bigger city for .60 a pound. I pay $1.00 a pound and it's good for me, as it's 3-4 miles from my house...and I get it fresh.

 

If you choose to feed veggies, they need to be kinda cooked to get a bit of nutrition from them. For me, I feed some raw carrots, but just cuz he likes them.

 

Just like the Vet says, no raisins, no grapes, these can make a dog die... (for any dog!) no mushrooms, no caffeine. No onions and only little bits of garlic (I don't give my dog...any) You can do a search for "ok food for dogs"

 

I guess when I look at my dog, I see an animal that is still built like an animal. From what I've seen, zoo animals have started to be fed real food again, and zoo's swear by it. Their animals are healthy.

 

I love my animal and I am really good to him. He loves lying on the couch by the fire and jumping up and down for his food. (All 68 lbs of him)

 

Peela may be able to validate this, since I haven't dealt with it, but I think it's feeding the dog 2-3% of their suggested weight. I suppose you could feed more and slowly start to lessen the amount. You can kinda tell after a few times when they start to get their fill.

 

It's not necessary or even suggested by some...but occasionally I give my dog goat's yogurt and a banana. This is when he seems like he got into the paper towels or other trash.

 

This is something that doesn't mean that I love my dog less, or someone who feeds their dog kibble loves theirs less.... It's just a different choice... and I feel great watching my dog kinda tear into his meat. (And no, it doesn't make him more aggressive to the rest of us...just his chicken! :-)

 

BTW, I make my dog eat in the bathtub for simple cleaning. It took a few times to train him. I also had to cut the meat into little bites for the first 2- 3 times....Now he can eat the whole thing fine.

 

Carrie:-)

PM me if you want, and I also have a book I can look up, if you wanna read about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Your vet opposes a raw diet for good reasons. Raw meat is not safe for animals. They are just as prone to salmonella, shigella, and E. coli poisoning as we are. Raw diets may also ignore some key vitamin and mineral requirements. I have many clients who do a raw diet but they still cook the meat (the rest is raw). Also, some of these diets include things like onions or garlic which in too high amounts can lead to red blood cell anomalies and anemia. Also, stay away from grapes and raisins as they will cause kidney damage.

There are so many choices for dog food and I realize there are a lot of bad brands out there. But, often times your dog is reacting to specific ingredients in the food, like corn or wheat or the meat protein.

Some of my patients eat better than I do because their owners put so much time and effort into a homemade diet, which I think is a better name for it than raw. So, just know that I am not against homemade diets but I am against raw meat diets.

OK, I also have to add that bones are not the greatest thing for your dog. If a dog gnaws on a bone and doesn't swallow any of it fine. But dogs that splinter up the bone and swallow them are in for a potential problem. Bone splinters are sharp and can perforate gut. Large bone fragments may get lodged in the gut and or in the throat and require endoscopy or surgery to remove. We see many cases of this at our clinic.

 

I totally agree! We tried the BARF diet with one of our dogs and she got ill from it. The vet explained that the big problem is that store meat is subject to all kinds of bacterial contamination that is removed with cooking. Buying a packaged frozen BARF meal at the pet food store also resulted in illness. During the dog food scare I made our own pet food but it was primarily cooked muscle meats. Our old dog also loved bones but was a bone wrecking machine and would not just eat the meat but the bone too....again, making her quite ill. If you want to do a homemade diet, there are some very good cooked pet food recipes on the net.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to get into any debate about the safety of this beyond saying this: do your research, there are plenty of vets who DO support it, & do make an effort to feed human grade meat.

 

Regarding the cost - here, if you source the meat from a butcher or meat packer & buy in bulk (you def need a big freezer), the monthly bill for feeding this way is comparable or less than feeding a high quality kibble (like the 6 star ones referenced in another thread).

 

If you go the prepackaged route, that does end up being more expensive ime, but it is convenient & for some people it's a way to transition.

 

I have seen totally toothless dogs really enjoying gnawing on recreational bone. (oh, one thing, there are recreational bones & then there are bones for consumption - two different things & one of the things you do need to learn about....) however I'd probably select a finely ground meat & bone mix for your chi & see how he does & give the chicken wings & legs as a recreational feeding.

 

http://shihtzustaff.wordpress.com/category/raw-feeding-dogs/

 

 

Here's a link to a blog by a couple women who rescue & foster old dogs - the link is to their raw feeding keywords & you'll see some photos of nearly toothless ancients :001_smile:

Edited by hornblower
duh - forgot the link!
Link to post
Share on other sites
So Soph, how did or do wild dogs ever survive?

 

 

I've been wondering about this, particularly the exposure to things like E. coli and salmonella.

 

I do wonder if wolves taking down game and essentially eating it on the spot isn't a more hygienic situation with regard to pathogens than meat from a slaughter-house?

 

A small amount of bad meat can infect large batches in processing plants. So while I am intrigued by the raw meat idea (and frankly enjoy eating raw meat myself) eating meat or feeding meat from a packing plant to a dog raw is something I need to inform myself about more before I go there.

 

Bill (who admits to being a cautious type)

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been wondering about this, particularly the exposure to things like E. coli and salmonella.

 

I do wonder if wolves taking down game and essentially eating it on the spot isn't a more hygienic situation with regard to pathogens than meat from a slaughter-house?

 

A small amount of bad meat can infect large batches in processing plants. So while I am intrigued by the raw meat idea (and frankly enjoy eating raw meat myself) eating meat or feeding meat from a packing plant to a dog raw is something I need to inform myself about more before I go there.

 

Bill (who admits to being a cautious type)

 

Yes, I researched it for a long time and then I looked high and low for a cost effective way to implement the raw meat diet - combined with a few other things.

Our dog is large and eats also large pieces of bones (cow femur, etc). She gnaws the meat off the bone and then licks the marrow out of the bone until it is hollow. Then we throw the remaining dry, white shell away.

Our rottweiler lived to 14 yrs before he died and this dog has been eating this for 3yrs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Bill

"A small amount of bad meat can infect large batches in processing plants. So while I am intrigued by the raw meat idea (and frankly enjoy eating raw meat myself) eating meat or feeding meat from a packing plant to a dog raw is something I need to inform myself about more before I go there."

This is one of the reasons why I feed pieces of meat -v- hamburger (and don't really like to buy hamburger even for my family to eat, cooked...) I buy pieces that if you want to give a rinse, you could. For me...I'm fine with it just straight from being cut out...to being fed. If you peek into how some of the food that's not human grade is made (and I use to feed my dog...when I was a child) you would be more confident in feeding raw:-) Read about how they render the fat that they use in less expensive food...and what ingredients they use to melt for the fat. Clean Raw meat/poultry could be thought of as Sushi for animals:-) But less $$$$:-)

Carrie:-)

And I'm cautious, too! I still have my 5.5 year old in a serious carseat and can't see taking him out for at least a couple of years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is a very thoughtful and interesting thread. I will agree there are vets on both sides of this highly controversial issue. I happen to err on the side of caution, so to speak. The scientific literature would support that raw meat can pose a risk for the organisms I mentioned before, and clinically, I can show you a plethora of cases where bones have become lodged. Is it the norm? Absolutely not. Of course dogs can eat bones and have no problem. I agree that there are whole populations of wild canids out there eating raw meat and bones as we speak without a problem. There are also those who are going to die in the wild from a bone perforating their gut or from a bad case of Salmonella. But we are not going to hear about them as they are in the wild!

I was merely trying to point out the risks to such a diet for those who may be considering it. There are risks. That is undeniable. You may have a dog that never has a problem. I feel it is my ethical duty to point out potential risks for anything a dog owner wants to try with their pet.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I feel it is my ethical duty to point out potential risks for anything a dog owner wants to try with their pet.

 

I can appreciate that. But do you also point out the plethora of issues associated with giving the dog foods that are available in grocery stores, feed stores, pet stores, and vet offices?

 

I wish I did better for my dogs. Instead, I give them kibble and veggies (and occassionally table scraps).

Link to post
Share on other sites
I can appreciate that. But do you also point out the plethora of issues associated with giving the dog foods that are available in grocery stores, feed stores, pet stores, and vet offices?

 

).

Yes, I do. I don't like a ton of foods that are out there. But often it is not the food but what the dog's immune system sees as a problem. Table scraps for your dog don't seem to cause a problem but for many dogs they do. We have some dogs in our practice that have been on every diet under the sun, including homemade diets and still have skin or ear issues. Thankfully, there is a variety of balanced commercial foods out there to choose from when a problem comes up.

If you were to bring me an allergic dog we would have a 45 minute conversation about diet and other things in the office. So I do address concerns about everything that dog is exposed to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We feed our dog a raw diet and she's so healthy and happy. Crunching those chicken wings helps get rid of excess energy. And she's not overweight at all, which I believe to be a grave health concern for most dogs.

 

Regarding germs: I think much of our problem with salmonella, etc is our lowered immunity. Since our dog has been raised on a natural diet (from birth) I believe she's built up an immunity to bad germs. But, even thinking back to the dogs on my farm growing up and the nasty, grody stuff they'd find and eat... whew! When we do have ground meat, it's from a steer a neighbor raised. I have total faith in it.

 

Margaret

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for being sweet Soph....about differences:-) I'm sure you're a lovely vet:-) I drive my Drs mad, too, as I don't vaccinate, right now. (my children...) Just to let you know...I did try all the foods....they just didn't work for my dog, that's how I found raw...is looking online for what to do with my itchy, thirsty dog.

Just a Funny:-)

Maybe we should have a WTM dog group:-) For those dogs classically fed:-)

Carrie:-)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Of course dogs can eat bones and have no problem. I agree that there are whole populations of wild canids out there eating raw meat and bones as we speak without a problem. There are also those who are going to die in the wild from a bone perforating their gut or from a bad case of Salmonella. But we are not going to hear about them as they are in the wild!

 

 

Yes, this is a good point. When something wild dies, nobody thinks about it.

I was glad though that I did not have to worry much during the recent tainted pet food crisis.

 

I started raw meat and homemade food when we got our mastiff because a website for the "Neo" as the breed was called, pointed to statistics that large dogs often only live to about 7-8 years on commercial kibble and that homemade food was ultimately the better choice. Our other dog had been ailing for some time but we didn't think it unusual because he was 11yrs old and also a large breed. Once I changed both dogs to homemade/raw, the old rottweiler perked up and lived another three years. Coincidence? Perhaps.

 

Feeding homemade and raw is in keeping with my principles on making most things from scratch. It is not for everyone and it is likely not perfect either. Though I hope it is better than "Atta Boy" ! :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

It ocurred to me this morning that I didnt remember seeing anything on this thread about cooked bones, since some people obivously believe it is better to give a dog cooked meat to avoid bacteria. I presume it is common knowledge but maybe it isnt, that cooked bones, especially chicken bones, are much more likely to splinter and get stuck in a dog's throat. The only cooked bones I give are occasionally when I am making a soup stock and I cook a large bone for hours- by then it is soft anyway.

 

I am surprised about all the fear of salmonella poisoning. I realise there have been some scares in the U.S., but I have never come across it here in Australia. I think I did have food poisoning once, and it was not a pleasant experience- I can't remember what gave it to me. But I survived it- my dog digs up bones she has buried for weeks- they can hardly be "clean". She also eats rats that have probably been poisoned (if she can catch them they cant be well!) and birds that are carrying who knows what. I figure a dog's digestive system much be pretty tough if they can handle all the things they will eat.

Not trying to be argumentative, just sharing my own thought process, but I am not a germ phobic person by any means. I never even heard of washing meat before! Except fish, to help get rid of the fishy taste. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger and all that. I do realise some dogs are more sensitive than others- my MIL has a standard poodle with terrible breath who is supposedly fussy with a sensitive stomach- but the sweet biscuits my MIL insists on feeding her for treats can't help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

He was making lick sores on his feet, the vet said he was allergic. I fed him raw food and within days, he had diarrhea - went back to old food. Guess I dont know what I am doing! But I dont know that we can afford a raw diet anyway.

 

Thanks for a good thread -

Link to post
Share on other sites

When switching it's not unusual to get a few days of digestive probs. Some dogs switch with no problems at all, others have an adjustment period. Diarrhea is not unheard of for the first 3-4 days. If it lasts beyond that, I'd try switching the protein source. Introduce only one protein at a time if you have an animal with known allergies or a sensitive tummy.

 

Some people also add digestive enzymes & lactobactillus acidophilus at the beginning. Some owners report a 'detox' where the dog actually gets a bit stinkier, fur gets greasy. This is generally over in 2 weeks & things improve dramatically after that.

 

I think this is kind of like homeschooling - if you don't have a good support group of people who have btdt, it's much harder to do it on your own. I'm fortunate to live in an area where there are tons of people who feed raw & I have a vet who will discuss it at length, & who has a specially trained vet tech who will (in conjunction with the vet) help in developing a suitable raw diet plan for each pet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...