Feeding Raw (non-commercial) to Large Breed Puppies

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  • #32311 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo
    Member

    Currently feeding my 6 month old shiloh half raw (Primal) and getting ready to move the 3 month old to raw as well. I want to switch to full raw but cost is prohibitive with commercial foods so I’ve decided to order my MPC and do it myself.

    My concerns are:

    -Do I still need to consider kcal and calcium/phosphorus ratio? If so how on earth would I calculate it?

    -If someone has experience with this do you think it will be completely overwhelming to keep everything ordered in proper quantities with two very fast-growing pups? The older is now 85 pounds and the younger is 40.

    -Should I wait til younger pups adult teeth are in (raw meaty bones)?

    I’ve done quite a bit of research and really want to do it but still feeling a bit overwhelmed. (Originally posted on Feeding Large Breed Puppies topic)

    #33163 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo ~

    I am a nanobyte of information away from going raw. I spent two months researching the best kibble to buy for my Golden puppy and now I’ve spent another eight months researching the best way to feed my growing boy and have come to the conclusion that raw is the way to go. Unfortunately, I am also concerned about balancing not only calcium and phosphorus but everything else, protein, veggies, supplements.

    Being at a similar point in the raw decision as you (everyone makes it out to be no big deal but it is intimidating nevertheless), the best I can offer is to share a few things I’ve learned along the way and hope it’s helpful.

    Having had a Golden that required double-hip surgery before she was two, proper bone growth was a huge concern for me. If you’ve been to the LBP nutrition forum (https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/#post-33156), you’ve probably already read some of the suggestions that Hound Dog Mom posted at the beginning of the thread. If you haven’t, do – It would’ve saved me a lot of research time if I’d found the forum ten months ago. Although I waded through the technical jargon in many of the articles, I found the article by Baker most useful and objective. Now that Mystery is 10 months old, I’m allowing more calcium in his diet than Baker’s recommended .8%. I’ve changed his kibble to one with a higher calcium content (from Innova to Orijen), and have started giving him an occasional RMB and raw egg (yeah, puppy steps).

    I can’t speak to whether a puppy should eat raw bones until their adult teeth are in except to say that when I asked my breeder about food choices, I was told he starts giving his puppies chicken backs at six months.

    As far as balanced nutrition goes, I’ve considered “balanced” frozen raw brands but they really are expensive and there’s much debate as to whether they’re safe. I’ve read so much conflicting, contradictory and even argumentative information that I have to take a few days off research just to clear my head. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get my Mystery off kibble.

    That said, I did find an Internet conference (what will they think of next), on feeding raw that is hosted by Dogs Naturally Magazine. You can find more information here: http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/raw-roundup/. It isn’t until the end of the month but I’ve already registered and am hopeful to glean that last nanobyte of information so that Mystery will be eating only raw in March.

    #33164 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    WOW, Sharon!! Way to go! Baby steps are fine and that conference sounds amazing.

    When I started feeding raw, I started with what made it easiest for me, which at that time was DinOvite. That gave me time to do research even more and get comfortable with balancing diets. I now use commercial balanced raw(Darwin’s), commercial grinds that I balance(Hare Today and My Pet Carnivore), premixes(Dr Harvey’s Veg to Bowl, See Spot Live Longer Dinner Mix), and homemade balances raw. This way I get convenience the days of the week that I need it, a really great selection of different proteins, RMBs a couple times a week, and all the other features I was looking for in a raw diet.

    #33166 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo
    Member

    Thanks Sharon, Patty and all research from HDM! It’s so good to have someone near the same point with feeding raw etc. It’s such a challenge! Can’t wait to check out the raw roundup internet conference. Thanks so much for sharing that. I too have used some frozen raw (Primal…and yes it’s VERY expensive) and will continue that when things are crazy here or I’m on vacation etc. but I really want to do the more natural whole raw most of the time.

    I actually made the jump last week. Primarily because I found a specialist vet in our area that is holistic and does nutrition counseling for raw etc and figured I couldn’t do much harm in a week. I have an appointment with her tomorrow so I decided to start with some of HDMs raw diets from the beginning of the thread. (Wow!! A LOT of work!) But I’m convinced this vet can provide support because she helped so much with our GSD several years ago. He was such an awesome GSD but somewhere between 7 and 8 years old he started showing signs of DM (degenerative myelopathy). Our traditional vet gave us 6 months max with him but a friend recommended Dr. Ava Frick so we took Baron to see her. Thanks to Dr. Frick and stim therapy, acupuncture and natural supplements we were blessed to have a full 18 QUALITY months with our boy. So I checked with her and found that she does do nutrition counseling etc.

    Both pups are going to see her tomorrow so we can discuss raw diets and the best way for them to get the best nutrition possible. All our dogs, other than Baron, died from some form of cancer affecting the digestive organs. Can’t help but feel that diet was the primary factor. So I’m determined to do anything in my power to provide these pups with quality food and life.

    Have to say I’ve been overwhelmed a lot during the last week but I’m glad I started ahead of time. So many more questions to ask from a much more ‘real world’ vantage point! The younger pup is barely over 4 months but does pretty good with chicken backs. I will relax with it much more in the next 3 to 4 weeks as she gain her adult teeth. She just worries me with the way she attacks her food! The older male (all of 7 months) is more mellow in many ways and will lay on his rug with a turkey neck or chicken back and take time to enjoy it. But I have to say it’s a lot like watching my kids eat a meal I’ve prepared. Very fulfilling 🙂

    BTW, we have all hardwood floors so I have struggled with feeding spots and found that the one that works best for me (us) is a large machine washable rug per dog covered with a large bath sheet (towel). The rug keeps the towel in place and most of the time I can just wash the towels and re-use. The rug beneath only needs an occasional wash.

    I will post what I hear from Dr. Frick after the visit tomorrow. And I will also include some of the challenges I’ve hit over the last week along with any suggestions to help address them.

    #33178 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I got outdoor tablecloth material from Walmart for when I feed things like that indoors, but I usually put them outdoors with messy meals. Eating a certain amount of dirt is healthy.

    #33198 Report Abuse

    Patty ~

    You know, way back when, I remember giving our Sunset the DinOvite but stopped when we moved to Prague. I’d completely forgotten about that.

    I did call Primal to talk with them about their food and was thaaaat close to placing an order until I looked at the Primal thread on dogfoodadvisor. What a catastrophe, wading through all that. In the end, I decided not to order any – a setback in my confidence.

    I was looking at some the photos folks have posted here of their dogs eating RMB and I think it was HDM that had a pic of one of her dogs eating a whole quail. What? I want that! Minus the feathers of course. I did give Mystery a bone last week when it was warmer outside He went at it for over an hour while I enjoyed some quiet time over the waterfall and pond. Since I let him chomp away at apple tree branches, I wasn’t worried about the dirt too much.

    I did try to give him a bone in his crate one day when temps were below freezing but he wouldn’t touch it. I opened the door of the crate and he brought the bone out with him. I tried to get him to stay on the 8’x6′ linoleum scrap but couldn’t keep him there. OCD kicked in, the bone came up and I set about steam mopping the crate, linoleum and wood floor followed by soap and water. I think I’ll try taking the tray out of the crate and start training Mystery to stay on it while eating.

    I so appreciate that you shared the list of foods you’re feeding. With that, you’ve given me a better idea of what a diet should look like than anything I’ve come across so far. Thanks! I’d also read somewhere that balance doesn’t have to happen with every meal – it could happen over the course of days. That’s a little freeing. I’ll let you know when we get to our first raw day.

    #33199 Report Abuse

    Sue ~

    I wish there was a holistic vet near me but the closest one is in Charlotte – 2 hours away, so I would definitely be interested in what yours says about the raw diet.

    I think a lot of my hesitation comes from not knowing exactly where to get fresh raw food. I initially thought that if I went to the grocery store I would be feeding Mystery human grade food. But then you have to find organic, grass fed, etc., etc. Of course, there are no chicken backs in the meat department, though I did find turkey necks. My local store said they could order some tripe but when that came in it was white, processed tripe – no good.

    I’m going to try to find a local butcher, but how I’ll ever know if I’m getting quality meats. Oh, genius that I am – I just realized I could get a whole chicken and cut it up myself. Cows, maybe not.

    I like your idea of a washable rug and towel for RMB eating but right now I can’t keep Mystery on an 8’x6′ piece of linoleum. I’m going to try some “place” training on his crate tray to see if I can get him to stay in an area that he’s familiar with – except without the bars. I can add a towel to that but like our other Golden did, Mystery thinks a towel is for rolling around on.

    I look forward to hearing about your visit with Dr. Frick.

    #33205 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Hi Sharon

    That’s exactly right!! Just like we balance our diet over time by eating variety, it’s a good way of balancing our dog’s diet too. You have time to figure out things like adding a can of oysters here and there for zinc and selenium or add some ground nuts for manganese.

    #33217 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Sharon,
    how about putting him in his crate and his food in a dog bowl, even if you have to buy a bigger one. If he doesn’t start on it in fifteen minutes, pick it up and try the next meal.

    #33250 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo
    Member

    Sharon,

    Dr. Frick had good general information but she doesn’t have a dog and isn’t doing it so not much in the way of practical advice. She did add a few supplements because one of my pups, Loki, has pulmonary stenosis so she gave some things to help his heart. She is looking over the actual meal plans and going to provide recommendations. She thought it all looked very good (I brought in a few of HDM’s meal plans from early in the Feeding Raw topic. She did say that it would be better to customize the herb and fruit supplements based on what each dog needs. And we discussed ways to do that. I’m going to take all the actual ones I use in and go over them with her next week.

    I signed up for the Dogs Naturally conference. Thanks so much for providing that info. I’m looking forward to it and wish it was sooner! Not sure where you live. I placed my first order thru MyPetCarnivore.com. They make deliveries to various areas once a month, plus you can get orders delivered UPS but only when desperate as shipping for that type of delivery is expensive. I also found another place called rawpaws.org. They also run deliveries to several areas but I think both of these are primarily midwest US. Another frequently mentioned on this site is hare-today.com I haven’t looked into their shipping fees etc. I know they do ship fedex and UPS but no idea what it costs. I’ve also been able to find chicken backs and gizzards at Whole Foods; gizzards, liver, turkey necks at a local grocery store.

    I will go through more of my info from Dr. Frick once I’ve had some time to digest and after we go over some specific diets etc next week.

    #33253 Report Abuse

    Inked Marie ~

    Mystery currently gets his kibble inside the crate. I don’t close the door but the food and water stay inside while he stands half in and half out. I did try to give him a RMB inside the crate but he wasn’t interested in it until I opened the door and he climbed out with it. I left him in the crate for about 20 minutes but he just laid down and fell asleep. The crate is 42″, anything larger and I’ll have to add a new room to the house. 🙂

    I will definitely continue to feed him inside his crate when we make the jump to raw. It’s just those RMB are going to have to be outdoor treats only until I can get him to stay in one place inside the house. We’ll get there.

    Thanks for the advice.

    #33256 Report Abuse

    Sue ~

    I appreciate the update and the sources for food. I’ve actually had a MyPetCarnivore tab open for the last few days as I’ve done research on different foods. Patty also mentioned the HareToday site, which I have been to as well. One of the things I have been looking at in addition to quality is location. I’m in NC so obviously, I’m looking for companies closest to me to be sure I not only get a better shipping rate but more important, that the food has less time to thaw in transit.

    I’m determined to order some raw today – and let the fur balls roll like tumbleweeds around the house another day. I’m headed to Costco tomorrow so I’ll pick up some whole chicken.

    I’m so glad you signed up for the conference. I think one of the best things lacking in a web conference though, is the ability to network and discuss topics/concerns/issues between sessions. We’ll have to compare notes afterward!

    I did make a connection with a gal that delivers food in our area but the list of foods she sent me was ginormous and I didn’t have time to pick through all the food types and brands. Now that I’m [somewhat] armed with better food brand I’ll do a search on her list for the ones I have a little more confidence in.

    I’m sorry to hear about Loki. I don’t know anything about pulmonary stenosis in dogs. Is this inherent in his breed? When we got Sunset, we didn’t know much about genetics, she ended up having double-hip surgery before she was two. It cost us over $10K. Before deciding on Mystery, I spent months boning up on things like COIs and US and international codes for hip, eyes and shoulder coding. And now I’m doing everything I can to make sure Mystery has every opportunity to live as long as possible.

    #33287 Report Abuse

    Well, I’m now frozen to my sofa. I went over to Hare-Today and decided I’d just price out what he says he feeds his dog over a two week period. First off, he says a puppy should eat 10% of their weight, I’d read 4% elsewhere – is there a difference between raw and rendered? I decided to start with 4% – about 2.5 lbs per day. So, into the cart went everything he’s feeding in 5 lbs quantities so I’d have an idea what it would cost to feed Mystery for four weeks. YIKES!

    Those fur balls are starting to bother me.

    #33305 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    Sharon,
    Sorry, I’m a little lost. Who is “he”? I’ve never fed raw to a puppy but an adult is usually 2-3%.
    I just ordered 42 pounds of goat and 13 pounds of turkey from Hare Today yesterday!

    #33354 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I go by 2.5% of expected adult weight and then adjust as needed. A very young puppy would need 10% of it’s weight per day, but an almost grown puppy would only need 3% of it’s adult weight. And a pup with a slower metabolism would only need 2% of it’s weight as it approached adulthood. I find it easier to start based on expected adult weight and adjust regularly according to body condition.

    #33358 Report Abuse

    Marie ~
    Sorry about that – “he” would be the person (I suppose it could be a “she”), from Hare-Today that posted the two week feeding schedule.

    Patty ~
    I went over to MPC and not only do they have links to a plethora of information on raw feeding but, though I didn’t do a line-by-line comparison, it looks like their prices are better than Hare-Today. I didn’t take into account shipping costs so I’ll have to take a look at that. I had some problem with the shopping cart at Hare-Today – if I didn’t keep adding stuff it would completely empty the cart after just a few minutes of inactivity. Aack! I don’t shop well when I’m being rushed.

    I did read about the percentages in the Raw Feeding 101 article from MPC. Thankfully, Mystery is already well beyond needing 10% of his body weight at nearly 60lbs – full grown will be 85lbs. I also appreciated the Raw Feeding Calculator link. What a great resource that is. I’m going to start Mystery at 4% of his body weight – he’s been on a growth spurt for a couple weeks where is body has gotten longer, typical of an English Creme, but his waist isn’t keeping up. I can’t see his ribs but I can feel them more than I would like.

    I’m going to order a fridge for the garage this afternoon. I thought about just getting a freezer but with our house full of kids and grandchildren this past Christmas (and hopefully our great grandson and his mom next year), I figure I can use the extra fridge space too.

    I’m also headed to Sam’s to pick up some whole chicken, just to start Mystery on an ingredient he’s already been getting for training treats. I’ll feed him his kibble in the morning until it’s gone and chicken in the evenings. The fridge/freezer should be here by Wednesday and that will give me time to order some essentials as well as try to find a co-op of folks in my area who might be buying in bulk.

    OMG! We’re actually doing this!!! Yaay for Mystery!

    #33361 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo
    Member

    Found this raw feeding calculator on rawpaws.org website. Looks nice. Would like opinion for other, more experienced/knowledgeable raw feeders please. Also if anyone has personal experience with rawpaws.org.

    http://www.rawpaws.org/display/main/Raw+Feeding+Calculator

    Thanks!

    #33370 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Yes, MPCs prices are better. I prefer the 1 lb chubs from Hare, but I order from both places regularly. In fact, I’m about to place an order with Hare in a few minutes and it was MPC a couple weeks ago. I haven’t had any problems with their shopping cart so I don’t know what to tell you.

    #33384 Report Abuse

    Sue ~
    It appears whomever created the spreadsheets, both agree on the percentages because the only difference between the two is that liver and organs are split on the one you provided. I copied column B and pasted so that I could see side by side, the monthly requirement for Mystery at his current weight and what it would be at full grown weight – just so I would order the right size freezer.

    Patty ~
    I ordered the fridge tonight. Took Mystery with me and for the very first time – he didn’t throw up. It’s about a 25 minute trip to Home Depot though we stopped at the vet first to get his actual weight, 58 lbs, and walked around outside for a few minutes before getting back in the car. We spent about an hour in HD and then I popped over to the grocery store for some milk and a whole chicken and a container of chicken livers. They had a turkey back so I also got that so I wouldn’t have to cut the chicken up or give him kibble again tonight.

    When we got home I put the turkey on the counter and he must’ve smelled it because he kept trying to nose up to it. I removed the meat from the bone – I just didn’t want to bother with any unnecessary mess, put it in a large stainless bowl and set it down for him in his crate. He went at it like it was the best thing he’s ever tasted – and it probably was. My little five month old Maine Coon, Falkon, got wind of it and jumped in the crate to steal a piece. Unless I close the crate door, I imagine Mystery is going to have to share all of his meals with Falkon from now on. (Falkon steals all kinds of food – peas from my colander, bread from the table, crab chowder from a pot on the cooktop (I have all induction so there’s never the possibility of him getting burned), the kitten is brazen.)

    All in all, I’m really pleased. Taking that first step wasn’t as hard as I anticipated. I snapped a shot of Mystery and Falkon in the crate. I also took a shot of Mystery laying on the floor. Obviously, his butt looks a little large because of the way he’s laying but you can still see how he looks a little on the thin side. Even so, I’d rather he be a little thin than too fat at his age.

    (Bizarre how these photos look stretched.)
    http://i1301.photobucket.com/albums/ag112/FlutePixzy/IMG_9011_zpsd11a7caf.jpg
    http://i1301.photobucket.com/albums/ag112/FlutePixzy/IMG_9022_zps5654dd12.jpg
    http://i1301.photobucket.com/albums/ag112/FlutePixzy/IMG_9021_zps00e611a3.jpg
    http://s1301.photobucket.com/user/FlutePixzy/media/IMG_9021_zps00e611a3.jpg.html

    #33390 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    If you haven’t read them yet “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown and “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” by Dr Karen Becker are both great resources for balancing meals.

    #33399 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo
    Member

    Sharon, Just reading through posts. Congrats to you and Mystery!! I’m maybe a week or so ahead of you. And it’s starting to get easier. This site, plus the books Patty mentions above, are great support and encouragement. Please keep me posted on your progress, challenges etc and how you address them.

    Seems like my biggest challenges, other than stressing over getting the right amounts for my particular pups, is thawing time and cleanup. If I haven’t planned ahead I won’t have the right items thawed so that I can put meals together. And I’ve washed my hands so many times within a short period that they are incredibly red and raw. I got some rubber gloves but then I’m taking them off frequently and it’s a hassle too. I keep telling myself that once I get a good system down most of these issues will work themselves out. Oh and my first MPC order wasn’t as complete as it needed to be so I’m running to the store for missing items.

    But my pups are in heaven!! Which makes it all worthwhile.

    #33412 Report Abuse

    Hi Sue’s Zoo,

    Glad to hear it’s going well. Can you post a pic of your pups? I’m seriously considering a shiloh for my next dog.

    #33432 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo
    Member

    RescueDaneMom, (Sorry, everyone, I know this is off topic) Here’s a recent photo of Loki and Michonne (please ignore the back yard). Loki is a 7-month old 84-pound male (breeder said he’s probably the largest she’s ever had, so not exactly representative of the breed) and Michonne is a 4-month old 40-pound female. I cannot praise the breed or breeder enough. Mine came from Solace Shilohs in Seattle. We have always had GSDs (some rescues, some from breeders) but after losing the last ones, I decided to try to find a breed without all the potential health issues. It seems like we always ended up with the ones that had something rare yet still specific to GSDs. So I researched (primarily on dogbreedinfo.com) and came up with the Shiloh. All the great qualities of GSDs but breeding is carefully controlled to attempt to eliminate as many as possible. Of course, we get Loki who ends up with a heart problem. We must be a magnet for dogs that need special care.

    Loki is so huge, not sure if his ears will stand but guessing they will, just later than normal as he still has a lot of growing to do. Anticipate 140 to 150 pounds as his adult weight. Michonne is much more the norm and will probably be about 110. And they are SO enjoying their new diet! We have an older GSD to transition, then the two cats. Also any number of 21-23 years old when home from college and my 86-year-old mom and 4 horses at a boarding stable. Thus the Zoo 🙂

    And here’s a link to other photos on my Phanfare page for the dogs:
    http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/7Xjb0XLd/1/6201469

     photo IMG_0041-2_zps73b272d5.jpg

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by  Sue's Zoo.
    #33463 Report Abuse

    They are beautiful!!! Solace is one of the breeders I had bookmarked. Thank you so much for sharing!

    #33619 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo
    Member

    Thanks RDM! The temperament is so sweet. They really want to please and are very smart. Good luck with your decision. I couldn’t be happier. Though I pretty much love all dogs so it would be hard to disappoint me :).

    Sharon, how are things going? I keep reading about the 80/10/10 ratio, etc. but I kept wondering how do you determine the amount of bone they’re getting. Finally found a few links that help and here’s what I found (reposted from a FB group I belong to)

    Chicken:
    Broiler or Fryer whole, meat and skin and giblets and neck 31%
    back, meat and skin 44%
    breast, meat and skin 20%
    drumstick, meat and skin 33%
    thigh, meat and skin 21%
    leg, meat and skin 27%
    neck, meat and skin 36%
    neck, meat only 75%
    wing, meat and skin 46%
    wing, meat only 68%
    Capon 27%
    Cornish Hen 39% no neck/giblets
    Roaster 27%
    Stewing 32% ( 27% bone, 5% separable fat)

    ribs (pork or lamb) – 45%
    ribs (veal) – 35%

    Lamb:
    Shoulder – 25%
    whole leg – 15%

    Pork:
    Feet-30%
    Tail-30%
    Shoulder-25%
    Butt-10%

    Turkey:
    Turkey Back – 41% bone (with skin removed 51%)
    Turkey neck – 42% bone
    Turkey breast – 10% bone
    Turkey wing – 33% bone
    Turkey leg – 17% bone
    Whole turkey – 21% bone

    To calculate the amount of bone in a piece of meat you multiply the weight of the whole piece by the percentage of bone. For example, if you are feeding a 5lb whole chicken, you will multiply 5 x the percent bone for that piece. So 5 x .31= 1.55. That means there is 1.55lbs of bone in that whole chicken. You don’t need to calculate this for every meal, but a good rule of thumb is that 30%-50% of your dog’s diet should be made up of meat with edible bone. More if you are feeding meaty pieces like leg quarters and breasts and less if you are feeding bony pieces like ribs. (Written by Briana Alford)

    #33637 Report Abuse

    Sue ~
    I purchased the book by Dr. Becker that Patty mentioned, but we’re going to have a setback here in one day – and a rather expensive one at that. We finally got our winter snow which means delayed freezer delivery, delayed food delivery from MPC – it’s been sent but UPS won’t be able to make it up the mountain until it stops snowing and someone decides to clear the road. Mystery has just two servings of chicken that will get us through Friday morning. I wonder if I should just thaw a flank steak and cut it up for him. Hmmm…

    Other than the coming food shortage, everything seems to be going well. When I cut the chicken up, I weighed it out and put it baggies. When I finally get going with larger amounts of meat, I’ll use the vacuum sealer to create a variety of single portions. I’ve found that if I pull out portions two days ahead of time, they’re completely thawed when I’m ready for them.

    As for clean up… that’s getting a little easier. At first, Mystery was a bit put off by the one paw out to be cleaned at a time. I use an old soapy rag to wipe his paws as he comes out and then use the same rag – washed and soaped up a second time, to clean inside the crate. He’s getting used to the routine.

    The one with the biggest problem is Falkon, my little Maine Coon carnivore. I had been giving him some of the raw chicken but then read that feeding raw and kibble can create digestive problems so I stopped. He now spends dinner time slipping his big polydactyl paws between the crate bars and into Mystery’s bowl. Because he’s poly – he has the usual four “fingers” and an additional two “thumbs”, it doesn’t matter that his claws are clipped, he uses those opposable thumbs to snatch some food and even grabbed a bone that Mystery dropped yesterday. Mr. Mischievous!

    I appreciate the list of meat to bone percentages you posted from the FB group. When I cut the whole chicken up for Mystery, I didn’t worry too much about the ratio, I just figured, if he found the chicken himself he’d eventually get around to eating the whole thing, skin and all. Using the calculation given, Mystery’s chicken was a little over 8 lbs., multiplied by 31% means there was 2.48 lbs. of bone. So now what do we do? I guess we are supposed to strip the meat from the excess bone. Next time. I can’t wait for the raw conference.

    I took a look at the photos and videos you posted on phanfare. A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E!!!

    Edit: I just took Mystery outside and the steps from the porch to the sidewalk are missing. Our footprints from when we went out two hours ago – gone. My boots sank upward of my ankles. Pulling out whatever red meat I have in the freezer.

    #33641 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo
    Member

    Sharon,
    I’m beginning to wonder if this winter will ever end! Though it sounds like you’re having a rougher time of it than we are in St. Louis. And it sounds like you must be in a fairly rural location. But I think pulling out some of your less expensive cuts to get by is a good idea since you’ve already made a start towards raw. That’s just my two cents from a novice raw-feeder! The stories about your Maine Coon are priceless. I can almost see him as I read. Except for the obvious physical differences his personality reminds me of our tuxedo cat, Gizmo.

    As far as managing the bones etc. based on what I’ve read I wouldn’t worry about one feeding or even several but trying to balance it over a week? Maybe longer since Mystery isn’t a puppy? I try to be more careful of the Calcium/Phosphorus ratios with two large breed, fast growing puppies because in a week they can grow significantly and in a month, one of them could easily gain another 10 pounds!

    Good luck with the snow and food. Try to stay warm and dry. And keep me posted!

    #33642 Report Abuse

    Sue ~
    That 8 lb. chicken was supposed to be just the start until my MPC order came in. I figured I could work out the calcium/bone/organ stuff as I was packing portions from my order. I’m not a veg head but it’s rare when I eat meat and then only certain cuts, so the only thing I found in the freezer was some seasoned lamb, a flank steak and some chicken thighs I had portioned to boil in broth for use as training incentives – I put a tasty chunk in my mouth and Mystery is fixed on me (and when he’s not, I eat it).

    I pulled out the flank steak and a couple of thighs. If I didn’t season the flank steak before sealing it up, we ought to get at least another day and a half out of it – no bones though. I do still worry about calcium since Mystery’s only 10 months old. I know they can absorb excess calcium better after six months and he is getting more, but I’m not ready to go all out yet. I just had a great thought – I can always raid my neighbor’s freezer – they’re out of town, assuming I can get the quarter mile up their steep driveway.

    Mystery keeps barking at the snow and Falkon keeps attacking the windows as the snow flurries by. We are kinda rural – about 3200′ up in the mountains of NC. Still, when I can get down the mountain, I’m only 20 minutes from the grocery store, Walmart, Sam’s… There’s only five homes up here and only three are occupied year-round. Nice and quiet. With all this snow though, I wish I could let Mystery run wild in it, but he still doesn’t have perfect recall at 10 months old so the best I can do is hook him up to a post on the house and let him roll around in the snow. If it’s decent out tomorrow, maybe I’ll run the 50′ rope around a tree in the yard so I can get some pics of him hopping around.

    #33674 Report Abuse

    slvet2
    Member

    The American Veterinary Medical Association, does NOT recommend raw food diets for dogs. For more information go to the website: http://www.avma.org

    #33680 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Dear slvet2

    We are fully aware that the AVMA is perfectly fine with dogs eating kibble that is contaminated with salmonella and worse, but has taken a stand against raw, the natural diet of dogs. The kibble industry has deep pockets, and the AVMA is for sale.

    #33689 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo
    Member

    Well said Patty! I love my vet. But when it comes to feeding, they just seem to be following the typical path.

    I started on this quest because EVERY single dog I’ve had in the last 30+ years died from cancer of a digestive organ. And they were on higher end kibble. There has to be a reason and diet is obviously the first consideration. Even though several of my dogs lived a ‘normal’ life span for their breed, some did not. And how do we know that normal wouldn’t be higher if all dogs ate raw and/or natural diets?

    Since first discovering this forum when I wanted to find the best foods for my new puppy (months before he came to us), I have spent uncountable hours researching raw vs kibble and have found so much evidence supporting raw that I can’t imagine any other reason (except the one Patty mentions) for the AVMA to have a problem with it. Because even though I’m sure there are some feeding raw that aren’t fully balancing the diet and must choose lower grade food and less variety as they feed their beloved pets, I still cannot believe what they’re doing is more harmful than some comparably priced kibbles.

    What has most impressed me is the obvious interest and care raw food proponents have shown in searching for the best they can provide for their pets AND their willingness to educate others. Most I’ve come into contact with are intelligent people who spend many, many hours researching and preparing the best food possible. I have yet to see one of them disparage another pet owner for feeding kibble etc. They have, instead, recommended the best possible kibble for their price point and offer suggestions for rotation etc to get as much benefit as possible.

    Which reminds me to say thanks once again to all the wonderful people on this forum–Patty, HDM, RDM and many others–that spend time answering so many questions from others (me included) who are just learning about better nutrition for their dogs.

    #33692 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo
    Member

    I’ve been catching a lot info about commercial raw as I research whole food or DIY raw. According to what I’ve read some, including NV, include denaturants. They may not add it themselves but it’s there when they get it. At least that is the info I found from 2012. Bravo does not as theirs is essentially fit for human consumption. I believe Primal is the same. I would like to see DFA include this info when evaluating a dog food. Also some raw food providers sell denatured meat. If it’s a concern for you, just be sure to check your provider.

    MPC clearly states that theirs does not. And I checked with RPI and they do not use denatured meats. Looks like Big Dan’s Trucking does.

    Anyone have more info?

    #33708 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Denaturants are used when bad meat is used, so I stay away from companies that use them. I know that activated charcoal is a denaturant, I can’t think of the other one I know of off the top of my head.

    #33920 Report Abuse

    The good new is that I received my package from MPC two days late due to all the snow up here but my UPS driver confirmed that it had been on his truck, outside in 20 degree weather. Everything was still frozen – yaay!

    I let it all thaw just enough to be able to separate it into single serving portions and then repackaged it using my Food Saver. I’m not convinced this first shipment was the best I could do but I placed another order last night and feel much better about the balance of meats, organs and bone. We’ll get there.

    The great new is that I have have a lead on half of a cow – from my UPS driver who’s been getting his half from a friend that has a family farm, raised on grass, not GM, local, $2/lb. A local meat packing company will cut it up for me. My husband has made me promise to not feed Mystery the filet mignon.

    For the poop experts out there – I’ve been reading what everyone’s written about poop. So far Mystery’s runs everywhere from a dark umber to a light brown. He even had one yesterday that was mostly light but had a single dark stool in it. They’re definitely not the nearly black, noxious piles he used to leave and they’re much smaller. Does all this sound normal?

    #33978 Report Abuse

    Sue’s Zoo
    Member

    Duke the Boxer posted this in the LBP topic:
    ‘The way HDM calculated the percentages of the calcium is from usuing this formula
    1)Multiply calcium% by 1000g. That gives you the grams of calcium/kg
    2)Divide the grams of calcium/kg by the kcal/kg for the food. That gives you the grams of calcium/kcal.
    3)Multiply the grams of calcium/kcal by 1000/1000. That gives you grams of calcium/1000kcal.

    Ive calculated food that say the max calcium is 1.5% but after the calculations the food was over the 3.5g of calcium per 1000kcal’

    This is exactly why I’m still so uncomfortable feeding raw to my large breed pups! The whole point it doing it is to give them the best nutrition but if I screw up the calcium/phosphorus ratio etc I’ve just caused a problem that could be serious. And it seems fairly complicated to get it right. I’ve used a couple of books that are helpful but I can’t ask specific questions. This forum has helped tremendously but I’m still so insecure about it. Looking forward to the Raw Feeding Web Conference next weekend.

    In the meantime does anyone know a good place to get nutritional values for various meats that include the bone, as well as green tripe etc? I found a website that I can use to add ingredients and get total values but, of course, the only items already in the database do not contain bone, etc. There’s a small fee if you want to do more than 3 recipes but if it help me get this right, it’s worth it :).

    #34120 Report Abuse

    Lablubber ~
    In answer to your question from the Large and Giant Breed Nutrition forum about raw sourcing:

    I decided a few weeks ago that the best diet for Mystery would be raw. Having made that decision, I didn’t think I should wait just because I didn’t have a local source for meat so I started pounding around the raw food thread and large breed raw thread. I asked questions about how to start, what to feed… I knew I wasn’t interested in freeze-dried or frozen patties – my boy is going to eat “manly” meat, where I could find a reliable, trustworthy online place to get meat and poultry and any other essential real food to get me through a search period. Based on recommendations here, I chose My Pet Carnivore (MPC).

    Since I would have to wait for my first shipment, I headed to the grocery store, picked up a non-GMO, organic whole chicken as well as some meat with bones in them. I pulled out my German meat cleaver and a cutting board with grooves and discovered an expensive knife and cutting board does not make one a butcher. Next time I’m just going to give it to the meat department and tell them to hack it up for me.

    Last week I found a farm that grass feeds, no GMOs, but they do feed grains in the three weeks prior to slaughter (I’m still checking to see if that is standard practice and if not, why it’s done and whether it effects the quality of the meat (other than the tripe) – more questions for my conference list). I may be able to get half of a cow in a few weeks at $2/lb. So, I have a 20 cu.ft. freezer arriving on Saturday and I continue to look at local resources including a dairy farm where they usually put down male calves, as well as chicken, goat and other natural farmed animals. Until then, I’m happy using MPC for all of my meat. I received my second shipment from them today, thank goodness – twice what I ordered the first time and I feel better about the balance of foods. MPC sells a number of balanced grinds – chicken, tripe/organs/etc. They also sell fine ground meats (I assume for small dogs), as well as coarse grind.

    So, the answer to your question is – yes, you can buy from a reputable market. It’s cheaper in the long run since you don’t have to pay high shipping fees to ensure frozen mean doesn’t thaw before it arrives. (If you live near MPC they have pickup points.) The first local meat market I called not only couldn’t tell me whether the meat they sell is GMO free but they seemed irritated that I asked. Not going there! I’m also looking for a co-op of folks who are feeding raw but that is turning out to be more difficult to find than I expected.

    As for supplements, I’ve been giving Mystery garlic (pest control), and a vitamin C complex (gum health, immune support, antioxidant), from Springtime from the day I brought him home, that hasn’t changed now that he’s on raw. He’s also getting two 825mg capsules of curcumen (variety of cancers, inflammation, among many others), sprinkled on his food and about a tablespoon of coconut oil which I started him on for a skin condition that cleared up in a matter of weeks and continue to give him for a myriad of benefits. I may be adding krill oil to his list of supplements as well.

    In addition to all the help you’ll get here, if you go to mypetcarnivore.com, whether you intend to buy or not, they have some links to some great articles on feeding raw – right side, about half way down the homepage. If you sign up for Dogs Naturally Magazine, they email you a link to download their Raw Food Primer.

    There are folks here who are much smarter about all of this than I am (which is why I’m here), and they have been really helpful during my transition to raw. Keep asking those questions!

    #34126 Report Abuse

    Lablubber
    Member

    Thank you for all of your help and I will continue asking questions as well as reading all I can.

    The Lablubber

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