Hello, everyone! I’ve had some trouble getting responses from other raw groups, so I though I would try here.
We started our nearly 7-year-old Westie on a raw diet about a month ago. She eats chicken thigh meat, occasional eggs (without shell because we dry and grind them sometimes and she doesn’t even digest THAT well), chicken wings, liver, gizzard, and veggies (the veggies aren’t included in her meal calculations and are purely extra. We have fed them to her since she was a puppy and know what she digests flawlessly).
She does not digest bones well. With wings, she will often have extremely mucusey poops with long chunks of undigested bone (she gulps). If we give her larger bones (drumsticks) every other day instead of small ones everyday, she vomits for 24 hours. We tried neck bones early into the raw feeding process, and she just threw up undigested bone, so we thought they were too dense.
She never seems ill until she vomits, her coat is softer than on kibble, and she has lots of energy, but we really don’t know what to do. I know vomiting is sometimes part of the process, but it doesn’t seem healthy to vomit two meals in a row because of one.
Does anyone have any advice? She’ll happy eat anything (except thawed liver – we have to give it frozen for textural reasons), so all suggestions are possible.
Thank you very much!
- This topic was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Natalie R.
I hope you will rethink the raw diet thing, raw doesn’t agree with all dogs.
Just a couple of examples.
Thanks! Yes, we are aware of those issues and are keeping an eye out for discomfort or unusual behavior. So far, the vomiting I described was not alarming because she acted well before and after and we could easily figure out the cause and avoid it in the future.
We would like to exhaust our resources for raw before trying something else, and we refuse to give commercial dog food (even high quality stuff) after reading several scientific studies about it. We chose raw over cooked homemade food because bones provide calcium in what should be an easily digestible form. Since she does digest bones when she chews and doesn’t digest ground eggshell, we aren’t sure if we could use many alternative calcium sources for a cooked diet.
Hi Natalie R,
I am so sorry to hear of your issues but on some level it does comfort me to know that my dog (60 lb Coonhound) is not the only one who experiences great difficulty in digesting bone. Although it doesn’t provide any dental benefits, I would highly suggest moving your Westie’s diet over to a raw ground diet. I feel confident in doing this after many many attempts at feeding whole bone and having my dog vomit just the way you described with yours. Didn’t seem sick, didn’t seem abnormal, just seemed to vomit up bone. We have transitioned to fine and coarse ground raw chubs in every protein variety imaginable from Hare Today Gone Tomorrow (bone, meat, organ blends) and this seems to have cleared up nearly all of her issues. I would strongly advise checking this out for your dog too if you don’t want to compromise on the health benefits of raw. You’ll have to keep up with the teeth brushing with the loss of the RMBs, but other than that I think you will find a significant difference and improvement in GI upset and digestibility.
I post this link from time to time, if nothing else, I think it has some good tips http://www.homeovet.net/dynamic/php/downloads/dog-c8470f2c75dbe4b683205c3919ee2310/dog_diet_complete.pdf
Thank you both!
A friend offered today for us to borrow her vitamix to blend raw chicken after hearing about our problems. We plan to try out what you suggested, Coonhound Mama; it’s reassuring for us, too, that our dog isn’t the only one with trouble eating bones. I read some raw food vets say that it’s okay to give recreational bones like beef knuckles that still have meat attached for teeth-cleaning purposes. Our dog does very well with her deer antlers (doesn’t chew too vigorously and hurt herself), so we may add that to make up for lost jaw exercise and hygiene if grinding works out.
To anon, thanks for the resource! I don’t think grains will work for our girl because she reacts so badly to even oatmeal shampoo (we can feel how inflamed her skin becomes through her thick coat), but the bone meal guide is useful. Every dog is different, so I know some would thrive on that diet plan. I will bookmark it for its produce and vitamin references especially.
Oh that’s great! I hope the grinds work for your pup. I am wondering if dogs that aren’t big chewers have problems with PMR simply because they aren’t interested in vigorously chewing things. Ours sounds a lot like yours in that she is very good with large recreational load-bearing bones and antlers, but not so much the edible dietary bones. We do like you mentioned and provide RMBs for recreation and teeth cleaning once or twice per week and brush every day. I hope you find a solution that works!
When I first read your post, the first thing I thought also was to switch to grinds. 🙂 My two favorites are My Pet Carnivore and Hare Today.
I can’t answer your questions but wanted to say that you need at least two more proteins & at least half should be red meat.
InkedMarie: thanks! We are trying to transition her (we have some fish to add once per week, and we recently added the egg), but since she’s still having problems with basic bones and pollen allergies, we’re being slow with the transition. We will probably introduce the fish in a few days, and we have some turkey for tonight. She had allergies when we introduced it at thanksgiving, and we wanted to wait for them to subside before we tried again in case it was actually a reaction to turkey or we would have continued sooner. Still, I hadn’t seen any recommendations for just HOW many kinds of meat should be in rotation, so that is very useful! Thank you very much!
DogFoodie: thank you! It’s always good to have reassurance.
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