SO. Thanks to HDM, it has come to my attention that making my own raw food for my Louie (10-pound Silky terrier) is actually more cost-effective than buying a high-quality kibble and is obviously much more healthy for my baby.
There are a lot of threads here, obviously, devoted to raw food recipes and diets. Currently my boy is on Earthborn Hollistic Primitive Natural. He’s not doing well on it. I had been feeding him a combination of that and the Earthborn Hollistic tubs (the lamb-based ones), but took those out to see if they were the cause of his upset. I think not. The tubs are expensive and I just have come to the conclusion that I’d rather he be on a raw diet. But, just like everything else, this task of changing his diet (yet again) is so daunting and I am so terrified and essentially stupid and ignorant and I really need you DFA Gods’ help!
I have heard varying opinions in the forums about adding probiotics and enzymes. Someone said there are natural probiotics and enzymes without having to add and pay for supplements. How/when do I do this with a raw diet? How do I do this on his current diet while I’m transitioning to a raw diet? How do I transition to a raw diet? Are there specific recipes for smaller breeds versus larger breeds, older versus younger dogs, etc.? Is it okay to feed him nothing but raw? Can I freeze/store what I’ve made if I’ll be on vacation?
My boy is essentially inactive. We go on walks every day and he gets very excited and runs around the house whether we’re coming home for work or from taking the trash out, but then he calms down and takes a nap. I heard 2% of his body weight for an inactive dog is what I should be feeding him. Is this correct? Does he fit the description of an inactive dog? What is the definition of an inactive dog?
There is so much misinformation out there! So many threads to read through, so much confusion! He’s my first dog and I want to do right by him, he deserves the best.
I always do these posts and I’m always very anxious about finding out how best to serve my canine baby because I know how important diet is, and I want him to have those perfect, firm stools and not feel lousy.
I guess I’m just being somewhat lazy to ask for a guide as to how to do this perfectly. I know it’s going to take some time and a lot of effort!
“I have heard varying opinions in the forums about adding probiotics and enzymes. Someone said there are natural probiotics and enzymes without having to add and pay for supplements.”
There are naturally occurring probiotics in foods like kefir and yogurt and raw goat milk and tripe (which tripe also has enzymes). It really depends on how healthy or unhealthy your dog’s gut is. Has he eaten a variety of foods so that he produces a variety of natural gut flora? Or has he only eaten a few foods for a long period of time? Also yogurt usually only has a few strains of acidophilus. Some store bought probiotics have over 10 strains which I think is ideal. I have both Mercola and Dr Langers probiotics.
“How/when do I do this with a raw diet? How do I do this on his current diet while I’m transitioning to a raw diet? How do I transition to a raw diet?”
You can give probiotics and/or digestive enzymes with meals as you are transitioning and even when he is completely on a raw diet. I still feed kibble and raw so I still use these products. You can transition him to a raw diet in various ways. You can slowly introduce raw (like frozen raw medallions or raw bites like Instinct brand has) a couple times a day as treats to see how he does or you can feed one meal of old food and the next meal of raw food. Or every 3rd meal of raw food. Depends on how his stools are! Also raw foods generally have more fat so you must take that into consideration.
“Are there specific recipes for smaller breeds versus larger breeds, older versus younger dogs, etc.? Is it okay to feed him nothing but raw? Can I freeze/store what I’ve made if I’ll be on vacation?”
A homemade raw diet is good for all breeds and ages (except maybe for breeds prone to pancreatitis) and he can be fed nothing but raw. You can freeze in small batches and pull out what you need for 2 to 3 days worth. For vacation, if you’re taking your dog you might be interested in freeze dried raw as it is shelf stable. Some examples are Stella and Chewy’s, Nature’s Variety Instinct and Vital Essentials, Nutrisca and Primal. I wouldn’t give him marrow bones in the beginning as they are just fat.
Yes, he is an inactive dog. After you start feeding, be sure to weigh and/or monitor “body condition score” so that he is an ideal “shape”. My dogs are heavy but are still of good body condition for their breed. There a several “body condition score” photos you can see online.
I use Vital Essentials freeze dried nibbletts as treats and food. Be sure to use a recipe book to make sure he is getting all the nutrients he needs. “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown or “Real Foods for Healthy Dogs and Cats” by Becker/Shaw and Lew Olsen has books as well.
Another option to homemade is to use a Premix – where you just add meat or meat and oil. Ex: The Honest Kitchen, Urban Wolf, Dr Harveys, Grandma Lucys. These are easy to use until you get the confidence to make your own!
I had my raw recipe book for a few months before I got the nerve to do it. Now I thinks it’s easy.
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