I am going to try to make this brief!
My Rodie is a 20 pound almost 2 year old Boston Terrier. I got him from a breeder at 5 months and she was feeding him a raw diet (one of the reasons I wanted one of her pups). I remember he had a normal stool when I first brought him home, firm and a tad chalky in color. Well, after I got a hold of him I could never keep his stools consistently firm and I was so worried about compromising his nutrition with my own raw feeding. At the time he was also a finicky little guy and I had not yet found this site, so we gave up and went round and round with high quality kibbles and also some wet. Some we tried were: Instinct limited ingredients, Wellness, Acana, Origen.
He has had softish stools really what seems like ever since. I hate to go into detail, but, I think it will help. First thing in the morning stools seem formed and firm, not perfect always, but firm. After breakfast, stool is small and runnier. Before dinner, stool will be formed and more firm, yet still not perfect. Last one of the day is usually softer, but, usually formed. So, it appears that after meals stools are have tended to be softer which makes me believe it is food.
Some time during all of this, my dog store owner told me that I feed too much. I was feeding a cup a day (half cup twice), so I cut him down to 1/3 twice each day. I have been feeding him Fromm pork and peas for some months now as the stool seems to be firmest. I have tried pumpkin and even a homemade recipe and he will not eat it.
I can not forget that this pup came to me with a normal stool and although I have tried everything, I can not get normal, consistent stool produced. He is otherwise, of great health.
I decided after finding this site that I would try raw again. I did not know that my local pet food store sells pre-made raw, and after reading I started to gradually incorporated it in to his kibble. I hope to soon be able to transition him to a home-made raw diet once I feel I have the knowledge and have him stable.
I have also started giving him Nuturvet enzymes and probiotics with each meal. The raw I am adding is Stella and Chewy Rabbit formula (frozen not freeze dried). His first stool of the morning has seemed to have firmed up, but, his second (after eating) has been pretty runny. After some trial and error, I think I may have added too much raw too fast and after backing up a bit, it improved some.
My questions is, should I continue to make this transition with out finding out what type of proteins or ingredients are troublesome to him? Is it still possible that I am over-feeding? I really want to make this transition with confidence because I feel it is the best thing for him.
I know he had a full fecal test when he was younger, but, I wonder should I have him tested further?
Your feedback is greatly appreciated. I hope, with all of your knowledge and help, be able to transition Rodie to a successful raw diet.
Yes, you should have him retested for parasites. Have you talked to the breeder about what exactly she was feeding?
She was feeding him chicken grinds, ground beef, and TOTW. When I got him she told me that he should be able to eat small chicken pieces whole. I was cutting off the meat and feeding the bone separately. I tried to feed fish, ground beef, and organs, but, he appeared to become finicky and raw food sitting out does not work. Before finding this site, I read a lot of controversial info about grinding the bone and had no access to a grinder anyway. In summary, I just did not feel knowledgeable enough to feed raw and rather than compromise my boy’s health and nutrition, I decided to switch to a high quality kibble.
I will take him to the vet and have him tested in the next few days. I do have concerns that they are not going to be “supportive” about a raw diet based on what a vet tech said to me once when I was in.
Thank you for responding!
I love my vet and she is a great vet in many ways, but I don’t discuss raw feeding with her. I use half raw and half kibble and when they ask me what I feed, I always tell them what kibble I feed(They’ve never heard of it either, but weren’t interested enough to ask). It’s just not a discussion I’m willing to have with them, especially now that AVMA has taken an official stance against raw feeding.
Make sure they send the fecal specimen off to the lab for analysis.
Look for Dr Karen Becker’s book “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” and Steve Brown’s book “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet.” They will both help you make balanced meals and have a better understanding of what needs to be in each meal.
Have you tried feeding either a chicken wing or leg whole? He may have been eating a bit more bone which is probably why he had the small formed chalky looking stool.
Your pup sounds like he might be a good candidate for grinds from either My Pet Carnivore or Hare Today. Have you checked out either of them by chance?
Here’s another great site with lots of info about feeding a raw diet and balancing it properly:
Thanks Betsy, and yes, I have been to both sites picking out mock orders! Grinds were definitely on the list just as soon as we are completely knowledgeable and confident. Until then, I am sticking with premade. I want to say that I recall his breeder saying that she ground whole leg quarters, I’m not sure if that would make a recipe of too much bone. While after all of my research on her breeding program, I have only seen one litter at a time with months in between litters, when I got Rodie she had him left over from a previous litter and had 8 little babies! She said she was grinding for them, but, that I should be able to feed small whole parts.
Thanks Patty, I have arranged a fecal exam. I would hate to think my little guy has parasites and I have over looked them! I will check out the books right away. I did not realize that the AVMA took a stand against raw feeding, that is troubling.
On a good note, Rodie’s first #2 of the morning was perfect today! I wonder if it is the probiotics/enzymes?
I have a question, is it ok to continue to mix the raw and Fromm kibble at each meal? We have been doing this for about 9 days. Should I try for one raw one kibble? I’m not entirely sure he will touch the kibble alone……
I always mix raw and kibble and have never had a problem and many people here do the same, though I do know someone that has one dog that can’t handle them mixed.
The large kibble companies have far too much influence over the AVMA. I would go so far as to say they are in their pocket. The AVMA claims they have taken their stance for health reasons, but they totally leave out the fact that more dogs AND people have died from tainted kibble than from tainted raw dog food.
I just have to say that I totally agree with Pattyvaughn’s statement abour the AVMA and the major kibble producers.
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