Experienced raw feeders, help! A recap: Gemma is our senior sheltie who we got in January. No teeth. Was on Grandma Lucys dehydrated, got stopped up. Unsure why so we went to The Honest Kitchen and I added in Bravo Balance. Decided to do all raw for her so did one meal of Bravo, one of Hare Today grinds. Still having trouble pooping, found out Bravo is high in bone so went all Hare Today with her. For most days, it was:
Am meal: 1oz boneIN and 3oz boneLESS
PM meal: 3oz boneLESS
She gets chicken, turkey, duck, beef….herring twice a week. I have beef/chicken & turkey organs here and also tripe but have not defrosted it yet. She gets tripe in the beef with bone.
Most of the time, she only poops every other day, last week, she had two full days of no poop. The third day was her first day on the Great Mender, a chinese herb that she got from the holistic vet. She warned me that it can cause diarrhea but she’s taken it from the 19th on, with no diarrhea on the 20th, 21st and 22nd. Then today she had diarrhea. It’s mucousy if that matters.
A friend online who feeds prey model raw has been helping me. She has had me give olive oil three times to get her to go. I don’t know if this is something harmful or if this is what is causing the diarrhea when she does go. I just don’t know what to do next. I want to do prey model raw.
Any advice as to what to do? It’s like she doesn’t go for a day or two, then when she does, its either soft or ends up as diarrhea.
I’m also wondering if I should just put her on canned, something grainfree and mostly meat. I’m just getting discouraged here.
Hi Marie –
Sorry to hear you’re having these problems. I’ve never had an issue like this with any of my dogs, however I can tell you that if you’re feeding 6 oz. boneless per day and 1 oz. of bone-in that she’s
not getting enough bone and the calcium to phosphorus ratio is off. In a prey model raw diet bone (along with fur/feathers) acts as fiber – so while excessive amounts of bone can cause constipation, so can excessive amounts of muscle meat without an adequate fiber source. Possibly a GI detox or colon cleanse might help. Wysong used to sell a great supplement called Colex (definitely would have gotten her moving), but I’m checking their site now and unfortunately it appears they aren’t selling it anymore. Swanson has a GI Detox powder that looks okay/safe for dogs. It doesn’t look as good as Colex did but it might work – I haven’t used it. They have several other colon cleansers but some I’m not sure if all the ingredients are safe for dogs. I know he colex was safe for dogs and the Swanson GI Detox looks safe. Were her stools regular before she was on raw?
Thanks for answering. She was eating mostly boneLESS and still sometimes not pooping unless I gave her olive oil so it appears the amount of boneless doesnt seem to matter much with her. As far as her stools, she hasn’t been a great pooper since we got her, it would take her a few minutes to get it out. Then, 2 or 3 weeks, I think, after we got her is when she ended up stopped up and had to have an enema at the vets. So, I honestly dont know how she has pooped. She was on kibble before we got her.
Before I posted here, I emailed Tracy at Hare Today. I thought she was home from vacation but wasn’t sure which is why I posted here too. This is her response:
“You are feeding 7 ounces a day right now. Is the dog maintaining weight at this? I had said to start at 6.72 ounces so you are a bit over the amount per day I would start with. Do you have a scale and weighing out portions?
Get sardine/anchovy oil or salmon oil which is fish based and use that as a daily supplement not olive oil. Olive oil is not species appropriate for a carnivore.
Try to do 4 meals of all boneless and by all means start feeding the tripe as a stand alone meal, as tripe has a lot of amino acids in it. Do every 5th or 6th meal with the meat/bone/organ grind and once a week add a tablespoon or so of the organ blend and see what happens. As I said you may need to keep tweaking this for her and see what works best. Again some dogs don’t poop every day which can be normal. I personally would not worry about it as long as she is having a BM every other day or every 3rd day.
Another thing you can do is feed a meal of a raw egg. Raw egg will also help loosen stools. Too much can cause diarrhea though so start slowly.”
My response to her is that yes, I apparently have been overfeeding a bit. I do have a scale, she already gets salmon oil. She gets a whole egg once or twice a week, the diarrhea hasn’t happened on those days but I’ll do half an egg. I told her if she poops every other day, I will have to live with that but NOT if it’s diarrhea. I have tripe and ground organs thawing now. I am going to put a tablespoon of tripe into the dogs ice cube trays and freeze them. I do that with the herring.
Comments on what Tracy said? Will check out the GI Detox
Why did you stop giving her any fiber? Have you tried Hare Today’s Whole Carcass Rabbit? It has the fur still in it and that acts like fiber. I don’t know how digestable oils are supposed to help, they are digested…though if I eat too greasy a meal I’ll be messed up for a couple days, it must work.
I agree with Patty – you need some source of fiber. Whether it’s fur, feathers, bone, vegetables or a fiber supplement (like psyllium). And if you’re only feeding boneless make sure you’re supplementing with calcium (800 – 1,000 mg. per lb. of meat). If you’re already feeding fish oil there’s no reason you can’t give the olive oil in addition to that if it’s helping. Olive oil won’t supply the EFA’s a dog needs (why they need fish or fish oil) but it won’t hurt anything and if it’s helping her poop I’d keep doing it. I do agree with Tracy that it may just be normal for Gemma to only poop every other day. I can say that I’ve never had a dog that only pooped every other day and I don’t know of any other dogs like that – but if her stools look normal and she doesn’t seem constipated I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
I stopped giving her added fiber because both Tracy and the online friend who’s been helping me told me to. I have not tried the rabbit and the fact I got three orders from Hare in a month prevent me from buying any anytime soon. I made my initial order, then more to get more boneless (silly me, I didn’t realize how much boneless I’d be using with her) then another with organs, tripe and herring. She is not getting any added calcium….both girls say it’s not needed because she is getting some bone. The olive oil was advised by my online friend to “get her going”. It’s helping her poop but diarrhea. I’ll be honest. Nicer weather is, hopefully, on the way. We actually venture out into the world in nicer weather and I can’t have her only having diarrhea and not normal stool. I don’t know what her normal is, since she’s been on such a variety after coming here. I just want the diarrhea to stop and if she’s gonna go every other day, I’ll learn to live with it but I need normal poop. Im one of those dog owners that if i know she’s “due” and it’s gonna be diarrhea, I’m not leaving the house.
Well I’m going to have to disagree with whoever is saying she doesn’t need calcium. It’s not about if she’s getting any calcium or how much she’s getting even – it’s about the calcium being in balance with the phosphorus. Organ meat is extremely high in phosphorus and contains virtually no calcium. Muscle meat is high in phosphorus and contains virtually no calcium. Bone contains a little phosphorus but is very high in calcium (~2:1 ratio). Dogs must have their diet provide calcium and phosphorus in between a 1:1 and 2:1 ratio (with about 1.2:1 being ideal). The grinds from Hare Today are whole prey so the calcium to phosphorus ratio is in balance – if you add more boneless to that you risk throwing off the ratio. You could probably be safe adding up to 20% of the meal boneless but not feeding 6 oz. boneless and 1 oz. bone in. To do the math – the grinds from Hare Today are approximately 80% muscle meat, 10% organ, 10% bone. 6 oz. of boneless meats + 1 oz. bone-in grind would result in a total of 6.9 oz. boneless meat/organs and only 0.10 oz. bone. This equates to a diet that is only 1.5% bone – a raw diet should be 10% bone. Balancing the C:P ratio is raw feeding 101 and the most important step – I can’t help but question the knowledge of someone advising you to feed predominantly muscle meat and not supplement with calcium.
Is she getting Great Mender and olive oil? If so, maybe a reduction in those and some psyllium for bulk. If the first two are making her go, then at least the fiber will make it solid. Can’t say I’ve had any of those problems with all my fosters. I did get a 8 or 9 year old foster who I put on a canned food+raw diet with some psyllium and no problems. He needed to lose weight. Also try giving her less variety until she normalizes somewhat. Can you just feed her tripe for now till she settles?
The oil has only been 2 or 3 times, when the third dy of no pooping arrived. I never thought of stopping the variety!
If she needs help being regular then keep on using it if it was working for you until you can get the daily dose adjusted. I haven’t looked at any “colon cleanse” products but a reduced daily dose might help keep things moving so she doesn’t go 3 days in between stools. Works for me! I would think olive oil is better than castor oil or mineral oil! And I love psyllium. Buy it in bulk! Whenever we have GI issues here we go to a “simple” diet and psyllium. I have chia seed to. Tripe is suppose to be a “perfect food” yet it is very plain and simple. Even being a raw feeder I will make homemade “cow-dom”. I’m pretty sure that’s not how it is spelled since it’s Thai but it is basically rice porridge with meat/eggs/greens, anything I want to put in it and feed it to my 14 yr old foster with his kibble. I just got him at age 14 so I didn’t want to bomb his system with raw! I dog-sat him in December and he came with a bag of W/D which I begrudgingly fed him since he was not my foster. I work with what I have and feel comfortable with and make adjustments over time.
I am going to post my problem in this thread, because I Need Help!!
Last night Bailey threw up, not a whole lot and certainly not everything she ate yesterday, but still, she threw up mostly chicken and bone. Maybe about the amount of a cup or a little more. AND she had very runny poop last night and watery diarrhea this morning. & or course the vomiting and runny poop last night was in my bedroom. Anyways, this morning I fed her half the amount of Fresh Pet that I normally due, with a bit of yogurt. I need to get to the store after work and get canned pumpkin, but what do I feed her for dinner? Should I keep with the chicken leg quarter, or get boneless chicken or what? I want to see this thru and keep her on raw, but the pancreatitis problems 2 of the members here have had recently have me very nervous and I don’t want to do the wrong thing. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!
Runny poop and vomiting, that’s not good. Occasionally when my dogs eat dense bones they’ll throw up some bone fragments, usually about 8 hours after they eat. I’ve never had this occur with poultry bones though – just heavier bones like marrow bones and knuckle bones (why I no longer feed recreational bones). Are you leaving the skin on your chicken legs? The diarrhea could be from high fat content – the first few times my dogs had raw lamb (very fatty) they had some loose stools. Was she fine with the Fresh Pet? It may be a good idea to put her back on Fresh Pet entirely with pumpkin and a good probiotic supplement to get her digestive system back in order. After everything has been firmed up and there’s been no vomiting for at least a few days I’d mix a small amount of lean boneless raw meat with the Fresh Pet. If she’s tolerating this add a bit more – do this over the course of a week or so. If she continues to tolerate small amounts of boneless lean raw meat try giving her a raw meaty bone again but be sure to remove the skin. All dogs are different and some need a more gradual transition than others. My dogs have iron stomachs and can eat anything, I’ve never done a transition, but some dogs are very sensitive to even the most minor changes in their diet.
Thanks for replying HDM. Bailey has been acting fine today. I gave her a few more scoops of yogurt late this morning, but that’s it. When I started her on the raw chicken on Sunday, I gave her 2 chicken thighs, with the skin removed and 2 chicken legs with the skin. She had the same thing on Monday for dinner and last night’s dinner was a leg quarter with most of the skin removed. She has been doing well on the Fresh Pet. I’ve had her on that for a little over a month.
So, when I start mixing the lean boneless raw meat with the fresh pet, should it be chicken or beef? I have, over the last few days, given her a couple sardines mixed with her Fresh Pet, do you think that could have anything to do with it?
Ok, last question, I am going to go after work and buy the canned pumpkin, but what kind of probiotic supplement should I buy? I have GNC (General Nutrition Centers) near me, would they have it?
It would probably be best to stick with chicken at this point. I doubt the sardines had anything to do with it – but if that was her first time eating sardines, it could be possible.
I’ve actually never been in a GNC, but I’m sure they’d have probiotic supplements. You want to look for a supplement with as many strains as possible. Most of the higher quality probiotic supplements have at least 8 strains.
Good luck! I hope this helps you can figure out what’s going on with her.
Ok, thanks so much! I had started giving her the sardines on Sunday morning. Just a couple bigger pieces out of the tin with a couple of her meals & she’s been fine until yesterday, well, last night.
I sure hope I can get her back on the raw gradually, because my order from Hare Today just arrived yesterday, lol! I suppose chicken feet are out of the question right now too, huh? I kept a few of those out of the package that came yesterday before I put the bag in the freezer. I’ll have to throw those away…
Thanks for your help! I really appreciate it. I’m going to run to GNC in a few to see what I can find.
HDM, or anyone that can answer this, how much pumpkin and how many of these probiotic supplement capsules do I want to give Bailey & how often? She weighs 50lbs.
I give my 40 lbs dogs a tablespoon, so I would say a heaping tablespoon with each meal. I would give what the probiotics say is and adult dose to start with, you can back that off when you are sure she is normalizing.
Ok good, I guessed right then. Thanks Patty! She just got done eating. Hopefully she’ll be ok the rest of the night.
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