Hello! I am very new to the raw dog food world, and I’m finding it to be overwhelming! But… I want what’s best for my dog child, so I need some help please 🙂 I will fill you in on the details first, since I’m not sure what you all need to know. My canine child is a 1 year 3 month old Doberman Pinscher. His health is normal. He is currently on Fromm Gold Large breed dog food. He eats 5 cups a day, 2 1/2 in the morning, 2 1/2 at night. He was previously abused, so he has some problems with eating quickly *or at least I assume the abuse was a huge factor*. I have given him raw turkey neck before as a treat *AFTER I searched to make sure it was safe*, and he loved it. I started looking more into it, and that’s when I found all these things about raw feeding and how it’s great for them. I can’t afford to feed him entirely raw, so I’m looking to supplement. I was thinking of switching him to Taste of the Wild, but I am wondering if this would be a wise switch as well. We tried the puppy pacific stream formula when he was young, (3-5 months?), but that was right after we had picked him up from a situation where he wasn’t being fed. The food was too rich for him at the time, and he had mushy poo’s. We ended up trying a few different foods, but went with Fromm, as it seemingly fixed his poo problems. I’ve been reading that Taste of the Wild is a good food, but I wasn’t sure if I should try it again.
I am also always looking for long lasting chews for him. I made the terrible mistake of giving him a beef knuckle bone when he was young, and he ground his canine teeth down a little bit 🙁 I will feel terribly guilty for the rest of my life for that. Regular rawhide scares me, so right now he gets Digest-eeze and pork chomps. These are not enough. He FLIES through these.
SO BASICALLY, I am wondering
A. If I should supplement his kibble with raw? And if so, how should I do this? How much raw? How much of a kibble cut back? And how often should I feed raw? Is this something I should mix WITH his kibble every day? Or feed raw in the am, kibble p.m? I am so lost!
B. Is mixing a kibble while also feeding raw going to hurt him?
C. If I should switch his food to TOTW? Is this worth trying again?
D. ARE THERE ANY CHEWS OUT THERE THAT WILL LAST LONGER THAN 10 MINUTES FOR MY DOG THAT AREN’T GOING TO HURT HIM?!?!
Haha! Crazy dog mom essay over. Thank you in advance for your help, and I apologize for all of the questions! I am just totally overwhelmed!
Also, he is around 100-105 pounds. I forgot to mention his weight…which I’m sure has an effect on how much he will be eating.
I would stick with Fromm. Taste of the Wild is manufactured by Diamond, and while the food is good, the company is pretty shady and has a long history of recalls. A lot of people here recommend a rotational diet with kibble, there’s a few threads on it around you may be interested in 🙂
As for feeding raw. I personally wouldn’t mix them in the same meal, as this can give some dogs digestive upset. I would feed one meal as kibble, and one meal as raw. For raw, you want to feed him 2% of his body weight per day. So if you’re only feeding one meal of raw, cut that number in half. So since he is 100~lbs, he would need 2 lbs of food per day. Since he is only getting 1 meal a day of raw, that would be 1lb of food at his mealtime.
Start him out slow with just poultry for awhile to get his tummy used to it. Then you can gradually start introducing other meats like beef, pork, etc and organs, which are an important part of the diet. When feeding something bony like a turkey neck, add in some nice meaty meat like chicken breast or hearts (about half the weight of the bones worth) to cut the calcium and prevent constipation.
I currently feed my dog kibble in the morning and raw at night (next week we make the switch to full raw!!) and he does well on it.
For chews, you can try giving him a frozen turkey neck and let him work on that. It can keep a dog busy for hours.
You could also look into antlers, although I know some people have reservations over them being too hard.
This is a good thread to read to find some information on raw food – https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/menus/
Thank you both for your help. I won’t be switching to TOTW. I have found on DFA that Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain-Free is a 5 star food. Is it worth changing to if my dog is already doing good? Or would it be good to change just because it’s higher quality and grain free?
You’re very welcome!
I’m currently feeding that kibble to my dog, actually. Some people don’t like Merrick foods but I think as long as you keep an eye on recalls, its good. My dog has done very well on it. You could certainly switch to it, but have you considered doing a rotational diet? You could use it in your rotation. Rotating foods helps expose dogs to new proteins, binders, and vitamin/mineral makeups. You could pick 3-4 brands you like (For example, Fromm, Castor & Pollux, Acana, Nature’s Variety Instinct) and rotate through these. You could rotate every bag, every week, etc, it’s up to you. Just a suggestion 🙂
That was actually my next question! About the rotational diet, if he seemed sensitive to foods when I first got him, is it okay to still do the rotational with him? It took about….3-4 months to finally find a food where he wasn’t leaving beaver sized cow piles all over the yard 😛 And also, if it is okay to do with him… when I start to near the end of one bag, would I do a slow transition over a week? Or just go cold turkey from one food to the next? I definitely want to do whatever is best for him. My last vet was insane and pushed science diet like no other. She thought that the foods I had him on were too rich. After that, I just took it upon myself to find a good food that set well with him…and ended up finding the dog food ratings on here thankfully. I will be trying a more holistic vet for his annual this April.
I would still try it, personally. Do you know what ingredients he was sensitive to perhaps? I would just switch reaaallly slowly at first and watch for any signs that he isn’t tolerating it. Some companies will send samples of their food to you to try, so you don’t have to commit to a bag.
Finding multiple foods for him is a good idea in case there are ever formulation changes or recalls.
Some people switch cold turkey, but with his digestion issues imo a slower transition may be better for him. You could also look at adding probiotics/enymes to ease the transition, especially when you start out.
Ughhh I hate when vets do that! It’s like being sprayed with perfume at the mall. I’m actually in school for veterinary assisting and in our text book it has a chart for various diseases/conditions (ex: kidney failure, pancreatitis) and under recommended diet, every single one has some variation of Hills. Like no guidelines or anything about why to feed certain foods. The chart lasts like 5 pages. It’s insane.
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