This is my first post. I’ve been lingering for a while and trying to absorb as much information as I can with raw feeding. I’ve started about a month and a half ago. I’ve been prepping using the BARF model. I want to introduce raw whole fish to their diet. I have mackerel that has been frozen for almost 2 weeks. I am very hesitant in feeding my 4 dogs mackerel with all that bone. Any opinions or thoughts with using a meat grinder to decrease the chances of getting bone lodged into their systems? I’ve read that mackerel is a bit of a tough bone. They’ve had canned sardines but I wanted to try a non-canned fish. Should I cook it and take the bones out? Anyone have any experience with using their meat grinder for fish? Thanks for any advice.
What about chopping the mackeral up into cubes and adding it that way? Or deboning it yourself? Also if you’re on Facebook, join “The Raw Feeding Community” page. Someone there could be able to help.
It is not necessary to grind raw mackerel bone. It is soft and easily chewed.
The BARF model, unfortunately, leads people astray from letting dogs chew and tear their own food. This isn’t to the dog’s advantage.
Thanks Pitlove! Maybe I’ll try that. I tried deboning it raw and boy was that a nightmare. There were so many bones and I gave up.
Bill. Thanks for the advice. They get rmbs with barf. From what I recall the major difference with barf vs prey is the ratio of muscle meat due to the addition of veg/fruit (10%). Besides 10% more muscle meat (and no vegetables) – liver, offal and bone percentages are the same with prey and barf. Chewing and tearing action essentially remains the same. I’m far more comfortable with giving them a large leg quarter before fish because of all those small sharp bones. I really want to just give them a whole fish but it really makes me nervous.
Sorry for additional clarity. I am not feeding commercially produced raw. I’m make and prep for my 4 dogs.
@ Rosmarie A
Just curious, but what does the veterinarian that examines your dogs annually advise?
I ask, because I suggest that you use caution before following advice received online.
You have no legal recourse if you follow veterinary advice from an anonymous stranger and your pet has adverse effects……..,
Rosemarie, the raw mackerel bones are very soft and really aren’t an issue. I feed mackerel frequently, and I’m very risk-averse when it comes to bones.
If you want to maximize “the chewing” of raw mackerel my suggestion is to serve the mackerel (or mackerel cross sections) frozen.
If you feel uncomfortable serving bone-in mackerel, they are not difficult to fillet.
Problems with BARF include:
1) Feeding too much bone. Bone at 20% does not meet the universally recognized need to have a 1.2 : 1 Calcium to Phosphorus ratio.
2) Grinding meats and bones unnecessarily.
3) Too many “recreational bones” that pose risks to teeth and obstructions.
4) The inclusion of non-essential carbohydrates in the form of fruits and vegetables Dogs have higher vitality when they are fueled primarily by energy from fat (with protein secondary). Carbohydrate metabolism interrupts fat metabolism and is a negative for canine health.
Also, understand that some raw fish contains an enzyme called “thiaminase” that disrupts a dog’s ability to use thiamine. IMS Pacific mackerel has “thiaminase” while Atlantic mackerel does not.
The smart way to feed raw fish IMO is to do it is a spaced out fashion (as “thiaminase” is said to dissipate quickly) as opposed to feeding daily. Daily feeding of thiaminase-rich fish can cause serious problems.
@anon101, my very outstanding traditional (one with a high degree of breed specific knowledge with Vizslas as she owns the grand-sire my dog) had some concerns when she learned I was feeding my (then 8-week old pup) a raw diet.
Prime among them was a legitimate concern that the diet provides a proper mineral balance. When I explained my awareness of the calcium/phosphorus ratios and my dietary plan to address the needs, her concerns went away.
In the 4 and a half years since, she has been blown away by the health and condition of my Vizsla. His teeth are gleaming white. Breath fresh. Shiny fur. Strong and clearly rippling muscles. Eyes clear. He doesn’t smell. He carries no body fat. His stamina is off the charts. He winds down easily when it is time. And his blood work is optimal.
My vet loves what raw feeding has done for my dog. She knows Vizslas intimately and is very encouraging of what balanced raw feeding has done for my dog.
He has not suffered from the dental problems, obesity, lack of energy, skin and fur problems, and other ills typical of kibble fed dogs. We had a large “puppy group” who used to meet up almost daily when our pups were young, who still get together. Those dogs (all kibble fed) are beginning to look aged compared with my Vizsla. Not a close call. Other owners comment on the difference. It isn’t subtle.
Strangers who meet my Vizsla always assume he’s a big puppy. It is what vibrant health looks like.
I understand you have an anti-raw position. I think it is very misguided.
It is best to listen to a veterinarian that has actually examined your dog.
Most opinions voiced on forums are:
(of an account) not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research.
“while there was much anecdotal evidence there was little hard fact” · [more]
synonyms: informal · unreliable · based on hearsay · unscientific
What is your purpose @anon101?
You can attempt to discredit the experience of others and outstanding veterinarian that have cared for our dogs over their lifetime and run blood tests and done physical exams.
Too bad the findings run counter to your anti-raw mission.
“My vet loves what raw feeding has done for my dog. She knows Vizslas intimately and is very encouraging of what balanced raw feeding has done for my dog”.
Very interesting. Could you ask this vet to come here to DFA, identify herself and express her opinions on the subject?
Otherwise, I appreciate your desire to express your opinions.
However. It is all anecdotal.
Nothing wrong with that, except that some of us prefer “science based veterinary medicine”.
@anon101, you ask for vet’s opinions on raw feeding and then reject what you hear, seemingly because you don’t like the answer.
My dog as great blood work. And is in top-notch health. All aspects of his condition are optimal, from clean white teeth to a hard muscled lean body that makes him look years younger than his 4.5 years. His vet, who as I mentioned has high breed-specific knowledge of Vizslas, is thrilled with his health and condition.
Science-based veterinary medicine shows that feeding carbohydrates to dogs profoundly reduces their stamina and aerobic capacity.
Sorry, but you are on the wrong path here.
The links that I provide lead to a vet that identifies him or herself.
You are free to voice your opinion (based on first hand, second hand or third hand experience)
You have yet to identify a reliable source?
Post all day long…but I ask you politely, to stop attacking me.
I have no interest in your posts, so please ignore mine.
@anon101, please refrain from making personal attacks. You asked for vet’s opinions. I shared the experience I’ve had. The name calling is unnecessary.
You are free to link (repeatedly) to the same anti-raw veterinarian if you choose, but I see the extremely positive results with my own eyes. I have a very happy vet. And a very happy dog.
I place great reliance on the expert opinion of my veterinarian. She is not a raw food advocate but loves the condition and health of my dog. You have no cause to question her judgement or my honesty in relating it.
@anon101, I have no intention of violating my veterinarian’s privacy. To attack me for acting responsibly isn’t reasonable and it contributes to an environment of hostility towards those who have reasoned differences with you based on the finding of both experience and the evidence of science-based veterinary medicine.
Fat metabolism is superior to carbohydrate metabolism in dogs. The latter cuts aerobic capacity and endurance. The former supplies sustained energy and lifts aerobic capacity. These facts have been shown in dozens of studies and are some of the least controversial issues in canine nutrition.
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