Another lurker here eager and (almost) ready to make the switch to raw. Like other newbies, I have so much respect for everyone here for not only committing so much time and effort to their fur babies, but also taking the time to answer endless, potentially stupid questions from nervous dog moms like me! I would never even have known about raw diets, let alone been able to work up the nerve to take the plunge if it weren’t for this forum, so thanks to all of you!
Some background info: My fiancé and I just adopted our little one, Lily, two months ago from a rescue. She’s 41 lbs and the vet estimates her age at around 1, much younger than the rescue thought – her teeth were pretty yellow when we first got her but presumably because she wasn’t given anything to chew on to clean plaque, so they thought she was 2 yrs 8 months (!), which leads me to think she sadly may have been malnourished as a puppy since they were feeding her as an adult. As soon as we gave her bones and chew toys her teeth became pearly white. Anyway, we switched her to Fromm’s Surf and Turf kibble when we got her, but we noticed she started itching more and more. Took her to the vet to ask about the itchiness as well as a suspected UTI, but the diagnosis for the itching was understandably vague. We’re not sure if it’s a food allergy or environmental – she doesn’t have fleas, and we’re pretty sure it’s not a yeast issue. She doesn’t smell yeasty at all and I think the vet would have picked up on that. So after a recent bout of diarrhea due to too many high fat treats after a training session, I figured it would be a good time to begin the transition to raw after her system cleared up. I fasted her for a meal then fed her a mixture of white rice and pumpkin for two meals, which brought her poos back to normal, then began feeding her a 50-50 mix of ground turkey and pumpkin with the See Spot Live Longer mix added in. The vet is holistic and also trained in Chinese medicine, and she suggested that I switch to beef instead of turkey since chicken and turkey is considered “hot” and could be contributing to the itchiness, so yesterday I made the switch to ground beef and her poo was still fine this morning. But then I remembered reading somewhere (I think on preymodelraw) that it’s not recommended to start with beef, but I think for the time being I’ll stick with it just to avoid changing her diet too many times (unless anyone here would strongly advise against starting with beef?). At the moment, her daily food (divided into two meals) is 1 lb 90% lean ground beef + 2 tbsp SSLL + 1/2 tsp hempseed oil + 1 tsp coconut oil (just started adding it) + 1 human probiotic. She is also currently on a one week course of antibiotics for the urinary problem.
I have Steve Brown’s Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet, ordered the Dr. Becker’s book, and have read through many of the threads on this forum but like other newbies I’m getting lost in all the information and feeling as overwhelmed as Cyndi was in the thread where she first started, lol. I’m thinking of sticking to the ground boneless meat with the See Spot Live Longer mix for a bit while I figure out all the supplements that are needed and place my meat orders. A few questions that I’d really appreciate if someone could help out with:
– I know you can’t add the See Spot Live Longer dinner mix to bone-in meats, but am I also correct in assuming that if I begin adding RMBs in the PM and continue to feed boneless ground meat + See Spot Live Longer mix in the AM that it would be too much calcium? Ideally I’d like to continue using the SSLL simply because it’s the easiest way for me to not have to worry that her nutrition is unbalanced while I’m still learning to balance her meals myself. I did see the most recent topic mentioning CarnivoreRaw but that’s a bit out of my budget. Hound Dog Mom, do you use the Twinlab Daily One with or without iron? Also, I noticed the Twinlab does have calcium in it, does that not matter because the amount is so low? If I choose to go the multivitamin route, can I then add other things like fruits and veggies and such without worrying about overloading on a specific vitamin/mineral or will I have to be careful with what I add?
– This may be a bit much to ask, but if one of the veterans has the time to respond I would be so grateful. Could someone make a list of the essential vitamins/minerals (or alternatively, foods that will provide those vitamins and minerals) that MUST be added to a diet that consists of boneless meat in the AM and RMBs in the PM, and the approximate amounts? This is the part I’m feeling especially in over my head with. Vitamin D, vitamin E, fish oil, manganese, so many different things I’m seeing that they need, it’s hard to not feel kind of scared to do it all from scratch, which is my eventual goal. I think I’m having a hard time figuring out what is absolutely necessary vs. optional but ideal.
– So from what I’ve read so far it seems to be a good idea to start her on chicken backs and quarters, then begin alternating boneless meat every other meal. How many meals should I feed the backs and quarters before I begin incorporating boneless meals? Also, should I already be giving her supplements during this time, or should I wait until she adjusts then begin adding supplements. As for stuff like organ meats, heart, and green tripe, how long should I wait before beginning to incorporate those? I promise I have read the other threads, but I’ve seen a few different recommendations on timelines so I thought I’d pose the question again just so I can be clear about it.
Thanks in advance to anyone willing to take the time to answer my questions!
Ha ha! You sound way ahead of where I was when I first started! Lol! It sounds like you’re off to a really great start. I’m not one of the pros on here, but I know a bit more than I did back then, lol! I’ll let someone else take the other questions, but I think you’re ok with adding the RMB in the evening, anyone can correct me if I’m wrong though.
Good Luck to you and your pup! You’re off to a great start! 🙂
Oh & btw, your dog is adorable! 😉
- This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Cyndi.
Thanks for replying Cyndi! You’re definitely way more pro than me at least 🙂
Yeah we love our little ball of adorbs – Bailey is super cute too, love the ears! I feel like such a creeper that I know your dog’s name lol, but I seriously read through that entire thread of yours from when you first started, and reading about you getting over the initial difficulties got me thinking that maybe I can manage this raw thing too. So I have you to thank most of all! 😀
Awww, well I’m so glad I inadvertently helped! If I can handle feeding raw, anyone can, lol! I did the same as you and read a whole lot of the posts in raw feeding forum before I asked questions. Thank god for google, because that’s how I found this site. The people here gave me the courage to finally say ‘Ok, I’m gonna do this’, although it did take a while.
Just keep asking questions. Sometimes they may not get answers, and other times you get a ton of help. Just depends on who sees your question. Good luck to you and welcome to DFA. Like I was told a long time ago, “It will be ok, you’re here now”! (wish I could remember who said that to me, but they were right! 🙂
Love your well thought out questions Lilmonster! In my experience feeding raw to 2 older dogs and one 2 yr old I vary the diet so so as not to cause the problems you mention. As natural scavengers dog benefit from variation. So they eat a variety of fruit and veg in season, eggs when my hens produce well and quality meats with bones in. By feeding clean quality foods, and yes, on occasion quality dog food I have healthy active 11 yr old German shepherd and 12 yr old pit shepherd mix and 2 yr old Doberman. All alergies cleared up and they run the farm like puppies. Also since their food changes regularly there is no pickiness. I continue to read extensively and ask many questions and refine my efforts but the proof is in the vitality of my dogs.
Thanks again Cyndi! 🙂
Kritterlady – thanks for responding! I hope my little one will be as healthy as your pups when she’s in the double digits. I wish we lived on a farm, I can only imagine how happy and healthy Lily would be with fresh food and so much space to run around. Sadly, we are big city bound, but we can dream!
Never mind about my first and second questions everyone, they’ve been resolved!
FYI to any other newbies out there feeling lost or thinking about buying one of the recommended raw books, Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs & Cats just arrived in the mail today, and taking a quick flip through it I already feel so relieved. I was on the fence about buying it because I had already read Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet and still felt confused, so I was worried that getting another book with more information would just add to the overwhelmingness. Fortunately, it’s really well organized and gives menu plans that are easy to follow, as well as detailed information about essential and optimal vitamins and minerals. While Steve Brown’s book is also very informative, it wasn’t quite as straightforward, at least to me.
Question about the pumpkin – I’ve been doing an approximately 50-50 beef pumpkin mix because I saw it suggested somewhere as a food elimination diet, but wondering if I continue to feed so much pumpkin if she’ll end up constipated from all the fiber? Currently it’s roughly 6 or 7 oz of pumpkin to 8 oz meat, twice a day. I’m thinking the answer to this is going to be “as long as her poops look fine then it’s ok” – someone correct me if I’m wrong please!
Actually, I feel kind of silly asking this but what exactly constitutes dog constipation? How many days of no poops would be considered abnormal? I’ve noticed Lily is already pooping MUCH less since we switched her to raw – we used to call her poop monster. I’m kind of amazed at the difference. So much unnecessary stuff in that kibble!
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