I got my Darwin’s Turkey order Wed and it was packed so well and still very frozen so I put all of it (which was ALOT) into the freezer and kept one pack out for in a couple of days ( Today). Darwin’s called me the day the shipment came in and walked me through how to make a hopefully smooth transition start. I can honestly say I was very very nervious about starting a raw diet for my dogs since I hate meat with a passion ( I do not eat it)
Day one: Per advice from Darwin’s – Feed my usual mix and add in just half a teaspoon with each dogs meal of Darwin’s and mix in enzymes ( Mercola Brand) Now I have a VERY picky Shihtzu that will only eat out of my hand her kibble and can food but not this morning, she was trying to eat everyone elses and when I put her bowl down ( shes always last eating because shes so picky) Everyone else would eat her food before she got a chance but not this morning she actually ate all of her mixture right out of the bowl…OMG …I have not ever seen her do that in 2 1/2yrs she was born.
My short coat Chihuahua ( GiGi) smelled the Darwin’s in the bo as soon as I brought it in and put it on the floor. She was litterally climbing the walls wanting what was in that box ( Frozen Darwin’s LOL! I truely believe she would have eaten it frozen she wanted it that bad..hehe!
Now this is just the first day on it and the first feeding so I am hoping we do not have issues and I guess my only concern is the sweet potato since we are on a potato free diet. Time will tell if it agrees with GiGi since she is the one with intestinal allergies to what we do not know yet but for sure she is allergic to insect bites but that is not food related. Keep your fingers crossed for us. This is going to be a very slow process and we hope to make this work for our girls. I love the extra container they send to keep the raw in but I just for right now wish the porportions were a bit smaller since I am sure within 48 hrs I will be throwing some away.
Is it normal for them to want to eat grass after starting on Darwin’s? It is only a half a teaspoon of Darwin’s mixed with the regular kibble so I don’t get why they would want to throw up. I am feeling bad for adding something new with them once again 🙁 The best part is that they wanted it so bad and now they act like they feel bad. The directions say it is good for up to 48hrs in the refrig after defrosting it and it has already turned brown, is this normal? Thanks I am a bit parinoid.
No, the eating grass is not a normal reaction to Darwin’s. And yes, it is normal for it to turn brown. Try giving them a spoonful of it without any kibble, maybe you have the rare dog that can’t handle raw mixed with kibble. Also, you can partially defrost it just enough to divide it in to smaller portions and refreeze what you don’t need immediately.
Hi nectarmom –
I wouldn’t be too corncerned about your dogs eating grass. Canine herbalist Juliette de Baircli Levy says that dogs bring on deliberate internal cleaning by eating grass, the grass helps to expel bile, mucus and other impurities. It’s not a strange thing for a dog to be eating grass and it doesn’t ncessarily mean they’re trying to make themselves vomit. If this becomes an ongoing issue, often if you add cereal grasses to their diet the behavior will lessen or cease completely. You can grow your own with a sprouter or buy a grass kit (they sell some specifically for pets). You would take the fresh grass sprouts and mice them and mix with your dogs’ meal. You can also buy grass supplements – wheat grass, barley grass, kamut grass, etc. Cereal grasses rich sources of several nutrients including chlorophyll, enzymes, amino acids and various trace minerals. I include wheat grass in my dogs’ whole food supplement and I grow fresh grass for my cats to nibble on.
Thank you Patty I will try that this morning. HDM , I have seen the dog grass sprouts. I sprout beans all the time for my parrot. I will see if I can find the website again where I bought the bird sprouts. I believe it was called The Sprout People. I just cannot get over how well my Shihtzu is eating her food out of her bowl every time and seriously I have never seen her so excited about eating..ever!
Can you recommend which raw bones I should start out with that are safe and small enough for tiny dogs?
Patty I will try the partial defrost Thank you both so much , Jennifer
Try replacing a meal with a chicken wing or a half or whole(depending on size) chicken neck or duck neck. If you ever cook Cornish game hens, cut off wings and legs before cooking and give them. Sorry, I forgot, are you staying away from chicken? I have the butcher cut up turkey necks to a size my JRT can handle and a turkey wing can be cut to pieces, then froze, to use over multiple days.
Yes we are on turkey. I think in my situation it is best that I do not over load my dogs with raw meat on a bone due to they are so sensitive to change in anything in a diet. I am currently having issues with my shihtzu after day 2 on just mixing a half a teaspoon of Darwin’s turkey. Shes eating and no temp but shes very sluggish which is surprising due to my one with intestinal issues is fine and my shihtzu is following me around like there is no tomorrow and shes never like that. My shihtzu’s stool was a bit soft but not runny but I don’t like the way she is acting and nothing else has changed in her environment but the Darwin’s. I do things slow with them since they have had alot of issues with diet change. I am super parinoid of introducing any type of Raw with my dogs so I am taking baby steps to do this transition if it even works. Thank you both for your wealth of info and just to let you know it has been taken in and I really appreciate the advice.
My JRT used to have a super sensitive tummy. I used to have to take a solid month to do any transitions. Fortunately, over time and with healthier feeding practices, she has gotten better. I can now feed her something different at every meal with no issues, but it took over half a year to get her there.
NectarMom, how’s it going now?
Marie, everything seems to be falling into place. It is nice not to have to hand feed every little piece to my Shihtzu to make her eat she eats right out of the bowl and the only problem I am having is keeping each one out of each others bowl LOL. But I think thats a good thing. For now I think we will stay half Brothers Allergy and Half Darwin’s since we have seen improvement with both. And of course I will continue giving Mercola enzymes and Probiotics. Yesterday all stools were firm and no issues so I am real hopeful. Thank you for asking Marie 🙂
Glad it’s going well! One of mine is on half Darwins, half Brothers Allergy!
Mine are also half Brothers Allergy and half Darwin’s, except that I’m finally going to get to try Micah on Brothers Red Meat and see how he does!!! And I also do some homemade raw.
I was at the store today picking up some can pumpkin and I was telling the Nutritionist there that my dogs were on partial raw and the reason I was asking him is because my vet claimed that I was so worried about salmonella poison from kibble and now here I am feeding RAW…He didn’t get it. Now the nutritionalist there at the store said that the raw they carry has been prepared against salmonella? Does Darwins also do this? I have found that my shihtzu has been puking in the futon where I couldn’t see it so I called Darwin’s and they are suppose to call me back tomorrow with some suggestions.
What about giving them Raw Goats Milk? Darwin’s told me to mix some Tripe in with the Raw but I didn’t want to make matters worse by introducing something else into the mixture.
Hi nectarmom –
Some brands perform what’s called “high pressure processing” on their “raw” food to eliminate bacteria. Darwin’s doesn’t do this and – IMO – that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t feed HPP “raw” and would only recommend it in the case of an extremely immune-compromised dog. HPP is just one more process – processing should be limited and food should be kept as close to its natural state as possible. HPP has been shown to cause denaturing of proteins. It’s also speculated that it may affect the fats and enzymes as well. A normal bacteria load present in raw meat is not a concern for a healthy dog. My dogs have been eating raw for almost 2 years, in which they’ve likely been exposed to salmonella numerous times, and have never gotten sick. If bacteria is a concern I’d recommend supplementing with quality probiotics (a healthy population of “good” bacteria will help your dog to keep “bad” bacteria in check) and adding foods that have natural anti-bacterial properties (such as unfiltered apple cider vinegar and coconut oil).
But if you are feeding just raw or mostly Raw such as I am feeding 1/4 Brothers and 3/4 Darwin’s Raw turkey so where are my dogs vitamins and minerals coming from? I wonder if that is why they are trying to eat grass and now dirt? They’re stools are firm and they gobble down the Darwin’s without any issue now besides the trying to eat grass and dirt. They get enzymes on the food in the morning and probiotics on they’re food in the evening. IMO for them to do this there is something missing that they are not getting. Darwin’s claims they put ACV in the Raw. I don’t know but just trying to learn and understand more so my dogs get everything they need. I am lovin the Darwin’s with my dogs because they are eating it so well and the stools are like they should be. My last beloved dog died from cancer and I believe it was from some ingredient in kibble so I do not want this to happen again if I can prevent it.
I am going to change my review just a bit because I do not know if it is the Raw causing this or not. I feed at 6AM every morning before I go to work and then usually around 5:30PM I feed again. I am mixing 1 TBSP of Raw with 1/8 cup of Brothers Allergy, less than half TSP of pumpkin and wellness 95% turkey and then mixed with that in the morning they get half a scoop of mercola enzymes and evening meal they get half scoop of probiotics. My problem is in-between because all the sudden hours later after a meal some are throwing up clear foam. Is this because they are needing something in between meals? I was thinking of getting some mercola bones for them to chew on. We have been on a good routine before the Raw added where 2 of my girls are loosing weight and they needed to. I don’t want to add anything else to the diet to make them gain weight. Stools are fine and no throwing up any solid food so just the throwing up hours later the clear foamy liquid. Any suggestions on what I can give them? Thanks 🙂
I have no idea if this has anything to do with the puking but some dogs can’t handle raw mixed with kibble. Maybe feed them at different meals and see if that helps.
I don’t think it has anything to do with mixing kibble with Raw being that if that was the case they would throw up solid food after being fed. They are throwing up clear foam hours later. Even one of mine threw it up this morning when we woke up. She was heaving and I put her off of the bed so she wouldn’t throw up in my bed. This was not regurgitating it was throwing up.
Well now the same dog threw up once again this evening the frothy liquid so we are stopping the Raw until I can speak to someone at Darwin’s so they can tell me what is going on. What is strange is that they eat at 6AM in the morning and then throw up at 4PM in the afternoon so they are throwing up after they digest the Raw. Now I have the Raw causing issues along with the kibble causing acid reflux, just lovely!
If this is just one dog throwing up, I’m thinking its not the raw. I don’t know if Darwin’s can answer about a dog vomiting. Have you called your vet?
It is not just one dog, it is all 4 but at different times. It happens mainly after they have digested the Raw. My vet would not know about Raw because he does not recommend it. My dogs were not throwing up food. They were all fine except for the acid reflux until we started the Raw. I am pretty sure I have to find a grain free , potato free , low protein turkey kibble.
Well Marie you were right and when I am wrong and someone is right I say so and Marie we tried just giving Raw in the morning feeding and then In the evening I give them the kibble and no one threw up any frothy stuff. We did the same yesterday and the same today and no vomiting froth. Actually symptoms of acid reflux have been less too. I am debating going all Darwin’s. My dogs love Darwin’s. I may try to add the Darwin’s duck slow with the turkey and see how it goes. Darwin’s called today to check in with me and I let them know that everything has calmed down and I believe the issue was mixing the kibble with the Raw. Thank you to Marie, HDM and Patty for your support and advice 🙂
I’m trying to figure out if I should say I’m glad I was right, lol. I am but only because I want your dogs to continue with Darwin’s! Glad the dogs are better.
Do you have a freezer for storage? I ask because if you can get 40 pounds at one time, you get a 10% discount.
Keep us posted!
LOL! Go ahead and say ” It tried to tell you so” I have a small 5cft freezer that I am waiting to pick up this weekend 🙂 After all this time I may have found my miracle cure food for my intestinal allergy pup 🙂 Whewwwwww lets knock hard on wood!!!
Hi NectarMom –
I’m so glad to hear the raw is working! Personally, I’d go all Darwin’s if you can – you’ll probably get results a lot quicker than with a kibble. I started with a 5 cft freezer too and now I’ve added three more full-size upright freezers – I’m a frozen meat hoarder lol. I truly believe once your dogs get going on a quality raw food like Darwin’s you’ll see such great results you’ll never want to go back to kibble. I know I’d never even consider feeding kibble again unless I got into a situation where financially I had no other options.
HDM, I am seriously leaning that direction. In a million Years I would have never said I would feed my dogs Raw! Now it is all I want to feed them. The thought of filling up my garage with freezers and hearing my husband tell me ” What are you up to now??” Makes me chuckle. I am just so glad they are lovin the Darwin’s. After I am completely comfortable with the amount of Darwin’s I am feeding then I plan to introduce other Raw things on my own. I am now looking at Urban Wolf’s website….LOL!!! I may need rehab when it is all said and done.
I love Urban Wolf! It’s my favorite pre-mix. I love that it doesn’t have synthetic vitamins and minerals and the dogs seem to digest it better than other pre-mixes I’ve tried. I always keep a bag on hand for when things get hectic and I can’t make their meals completely from scratch.
You once posted where you found Urban Wolf cheapest. Now is a good time for a repeat.
Doggiefood.com is where I get mine. If you order direct from Urban Wolf they charge an arm and a leg for shipping – free shipping from doggie food.
Thanks, I’m actually ready to order some in a few days.
Patty how do I know if I am feeding my dogs enough Darwin’s at each meal? I don’t want the ones that I have worked so hard to get the weight off of gain it back. I have 3 chihuahuas and a Imperial Shihtzu, none weighing over 11lbs. Right now in the morning I am feeding 1/4 of one of the squares of Darwins in the morning with enzymes on it. Then I divide up they’re evening dinner of kibble and can topper. They get 1/2 at 2pm and the other half at 6pm with probiotics mixed in. They are never excited with the kibble and can topper but they eat it. I think they are wanting all Raw but I want to make sure they are getting the amount they require to maintain weight and not loose or gain. I am confused on the eating amount. I just called Darwin’s today and went ahead and told them to send my next order because these foo foo dogs of mine are loving this food so much. I cannot get over the acid reflux is very minimal right now and my girls seem much more active than they have in a very long time. WOW
I meant each dog gets 1/4 of the Darwin’s meal pouch. There is 4 pouches and one pouch cut into 1/4 for each dog , I hope that made sense.
I suggest you give Darwin’s a call….I don’t know that I’ve seen a food calculator on their site.
Generally for raw you want to feed 2% – 3% of your dog’s weight. I’d start there. To be more accurate, however, you could just figure out how many calories your dogs were eating before and figure out how much Darwin’s they’d need in order to be eating the same amount of calories – Darwin’s provides calorie content on their website.
I can tell you that I was feeding my JRT 1/2 cup of Brothers and when I started feeding raw I substituted 1/4 cup of Brothers for 1/4 cup of raw which is 1/4 of a pouch. That maintained her weight for months, but recently with the cold weather I’ve had to up her feed some.
The amount is going to vary dog to dog so the only way to know for sure is to see how much each dog needs by feeding it and seeing how they do.
Thanks Patty , That gives me an idea of how much to feed. darwin’s wasn’t sure because like you said each dog i different. The good news is we have decided after our next batch arrives we are going all Raw with all 4 of our girls. JRT are a bit more active than chihuahuas and shihtzu’s so I think 1/4 twice a day will be fine. My husband sees the difference in our two problem girls and he agrees lets go all Raw but he says no way are we feeding chicken bones or any Raw whole bones because one of our chihuahuas inhales her food and she has almost choked before on pig ears (we fed those a long long time ago and read up how bad they are and stopped. He does not want any of the dogs choking and dying from eating a chicken neck or wing (rolls eyes) but at least he has agreed to all Raw. My freezer will be here tomorrow and just in time for me to fill it with my new 20 lbs of Darwin’s .
Question, has anyone tried mercolas gentle chews? Are they safe for dogs with allergies?
My dogs like the Mercola gentle chews, but then they like everything. The chews don’t last more than 5 mins for my small shelties. I don’t think they are as nutritious as raw necks or wings.
What can anyone recommend as a dental bone without bone LOL…My DH will not allow the dogs to eat any part of an animal that has big bones that they might can choke on. I really want to stick with Raw things but it looks as though I am limited since we are on just turkey Raw. Also don’t they need Omega 3 and 6? What should I get for that? I just got my order from Mercola and I am adding the Spiralina tablets in with the Raw.
Try a beef rib bone. My dogs don’t eat them, just gnaw on them. They are too hard to eat and also too large to choke on. What about antlers? They come in many sizes also. I also had some bison ribs and they are too hard to eat and too big to choke on as well. I bought the bison ribs commercially and they didn’t have meat on them, just the bone.
Thanks Sandy! I will try those sometime. Darwin’s recommended Marrow bones because my one piggy chihuahua swallows things whole and has choked before and they said that with the marrow bones as small as my dogs are they cannot bite off big pieces and choke on them so I added a couple of bags of those on my order and we will see how the girls like them. In the past we got the basted knee cap bones ( not raw) and they loved those so hopefully they will like these and they will stay busy chewing on these. I wanted to order the Duck necks but Darwin’s said they have bones in them and my dogs could possibly choke on them if they tried to swallow the whole thing.
We have several empty marrow bones and rib bones and a couple antlers just laying around the house! You can also fill the empty marrow bones with something like yogurt or whatever and freeze it. All the necks have small bones 🙁
Sandy, I never thought about reusing the marrow bones, great idea!
Darwin’s told me when the dogs are done chewing on themto put them back in the freezer to use for another day. Sandy where did you order the rib bones and how big are they? What about Trechea does it have bones?
Trachea is almost all cartilage with a little bit of meat. It’s a good chewing workout, so I believe it helps with teeth. But aren’t you sticking to just turkey? Or are you avoiding chicken, but other proteins are OK?
I am avoiding chicken because I know whenever my shihtzu eats it she starts chewing on her side really bad. I am venturing out on a limb here and trying other types of protein in hopes that I can rotate between proteins. Next I think in the Darwin’s meals I will try duck but slowly mix it with the turkey and see what happens. I might give Trachea a try since it has no bones.
We so need an edit on here LOL!
What about turkey hearts? They are small enough that my girls could probably handle those and the Trachea and gullet mixture with green tripe? Ok now you got me being a food hoarder LOL!
The trachea/gullet/tripe mixture is ground so no chewing needed. The beef ribs I bought at Kroger. 3 ribs in a package. They were about 6 inches long and when the meat has been eaten off, it’s about 3/4 inch wide. The trachea from GT.com you would definitely need to cut up. It was wrapped in plastic but it appeared to be about 10-12 inches long and pretty wide on one end. I was going to cut it one up into 3 or 4 pieces. But after I thaw one out, it might look different!
One of my dogs can’t handle chicken in kibble, but he can handle it raw as long as I only give it for one meal every few days. Once you go raw, it is amazing the changes you see in what your dog can handle.
I have 3 different companies raw in my freezer and 3 different homemades too. I also have beef ribs, goat ribs, and sheep ribs. And duck necks, turkey necks, and chicken necks. Close to 100 pounds total.
Which is nothing compared to what Sandy has…
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