Dog Food Advisor Forums Jonathan S

Jonathan S

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  • in reply to: Raw Dog Food On the Go? #81582 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I’m up against a similar issue as I’m getting one of my dogs into K9 Search and Rescue. When/if we deploy I’m expected to pack 3 days of food for myself and my dog. Obviously my frozen raw mix isn’t going to work with this scenario.

    I’m still researching, but my intent is to find a good, freeze dried raw food (I found one that comes in flake form, so I think I’ll be going with that) that can be reconstituted quickly with water. That’ll keep the weight down in the pack as well.

    Just remember, as long as you keep it to a quality food that you trust, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about variance from your dogs regular food as (I’m assuming) you won’t be changing their diet up for a really long time.

    Finally, and this is just my two cents, it seems to be easier for adult dogs to switch back and forth on food, while puppies need to be transitioned over a week or so. If it were me, I’d try to stay consistent until the pup is older, ie, no trips for a bit.

    in reply to: help: new to feeding raw bones #80268 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I had that worry the first time I gave turkey necks… my boys swallowed them in big chunks, though luckily there were no problems. I tried giving bigger, solid bones, like lamb shanks, but the amount of fat bothered them a bit.

    My solution has been to incorporate ground meats that include bones in their raw diet… specifically ground duck and turkey necks, ground chicken backs, and ground bone it rabbit. I also leave the big, cow femur sections for them to gnaw on during the day.

    Hope that helps!

    in reply to: Feeding Offal to my babies. #79713 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I don’t have any specifics to give you, but if your dog is happy and healthy, you’re probably doing ok. In my raw mixes organ meats end up being probably a third of the total meat portion of the dishes. In one recipe I use turkey organs, in another I use a combination of lamb tripe and chicken organs. It seems to be working well for me.

    I think you could probably go by a rule of thumb of looking at any prey animal and try to gauge how much of the entire animal would muscle compared to bone and organ. In that case, your organ to meat ratio is probably fine, or a little light.

    Again though, if your dog is doing well and your vet doesn’t think he’s missing some key piece of nutrition, you should probably feel comfortable continuing as you have.

    Sorry I don’t have more specific direction for you.

    in reply to: Raw dog food recipes? #79664 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I have two recipes I use, but I feed half raw half kibble. They are as below. Measurements are not always exact…

    Lamb Recipe:
    2 lbs Ground bone in rabbit
    1 lbs ground lamb
    1 lb reconstituted lamb green tripe
    2 lbs chicken organs (hearts, gizzards, livers)
    2 large carrots
    1 container greens (green juju)
    1 lb of peas
    1 can organic pumpkin
    blueberries
    apples
    coconut oil
    turmeric

    Thanksgivingish Recipe:
    2 lbs ground duck necks
    2 lbs turkey organs
    2 lbs ground chicken backs or ground turkey necks
    broccoli
    butternut squash
    mango
    greens (green juju)
    ground fennel seeds
    ground hemp seed hearts
    1 can organic pumpkin or 1 cup Firm Up! with cranberry

    One thing I did to develop these recipes is I look carefully at the ratings on this site. If Dog Food Advisor praises a particular food for having a beneficial ingredient in it, you can bet that ingredient is going to find its way into my food.

    in reply to: PORK? YES or NO? #79559 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    Just to throw in my two cents… trichinosis is almost completely unheard of in modern, first world pork products. You can cook pork rare for yourself or family without worrying about it anymore. Same goes for your dog. The advice on freezing for a significant time is also good unless you are serving walrus or polar bear.

    My dogs don’t do very well with pork as a protein source, so I don’t serve it only for that reason. I don’t think it is harmful in itself… it’s just that people are only now starting to include it and the old fears are still there.

    in reply to: what am i doing wrong? #79558 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    If he’s healthy, and not showing any symptoms, what makes you think you’re doing something wrong? Next time you take him to the vet for a check up, they’ll run his blood work and check his weight and all that. Let them know what you’re doing and if they’re progressive they’ll either tell you what you need to do differently or let you know you’re doing a good job. If they’re not progressive they’ll tell you you’re a monster and you’ll need to talk to someone else. 🙂

    in reply to: RAW DIET #79198 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    Feeding raw and kibble is something you’ll find a lot of opinions about. Some people say never feed them at the same time because they digest at different rates. Some people say that’s not the case. I say, it depends on the dog. My dogs find the raw too rich on its own, and they have some digestive distress when I feed them raw and kibble in separate meals. I started feeding them raw and kibble at the same time, and no problem! You’ll just have to try and see what works for your dog. I’ve been feeding raw since they were 6 months old and they’re both happy and healthy. I also use a digestive supplement, but I keep experimenting trying to find one that I like. I’ve had good results with Flora4, but right now I’m using a kelp extract that seems to be working really well.

    I have two recipes I use to keep their meals interesting…

    2 lbs. Bone in ground rabbit
    1 lb ground lamb
    1 lb green lamb tripe
    2 lbs chicken hearts, gizzards, livers
    1 lb blue berries
    1 lb greens (Green Juju)
    1 lb peas
    3 eggs
    3 carrots
    2 apples
    1 can of organic pumpkin
    2 tbs turmeric

    Recipe 2
    2 lbs ground duck necks
    2 lbs turkey organs
    2 lbs ground chicken backs or turkey necks
    3 eggs
    1 lb butternut squash
    1 lb broccoli
    1 lb frozen mango chunks
    1 cup hemp seed hearts
    .5 cup fennel seeds
    1 can pumpkin or 1 cup of Firm Up!

    All the veggies or whole things go through the food processor to make them readily digestible. The seeds get ground up. The apples are grated. I make both of these recipes at the same time, put them in individual serving containers, then freeze them. Makes enough for two weeks for both my dogs.

    The common advice I’ve found is to feed your dog 2 to 4% of their body weight in raw food. Since I’m only feeding half raw, I just took the top end and cut it in half.

    Oh, and I feed them twice a day, but when they were younger I was feeding them 3 times per day. Went to twice a day at around 8 months… about the time we shifted from puppy food to adult kibble.
    2 tbs ground turmeric
    coconut oil

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by Jonathan S.
    in reply to: RAW DIET #79163 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I’m not a professional, but I do feed raw to my pups. Do lots of research first. there’s going to be a time and effort commitment as well as a financial commitment. Check out different recipes. Go to youtube and look up Dr. Karen Becker… she’s got lots of really great advice. The hardest thing is going to be convincing yourself that you’re doing the right thing. You’re going to find information out there and opinion that make it seem like handling raw food is like handling poison… it’s not. Take the same precautions you would with handling the food you serve your family.

    The next hardest thing is perseverance. You’re going to affect their digestion and it might be messy at first. That doesn’t mean you should stop. You need to give them time to adjust. You will also need to take into account what proteins may or may not agree with your dog. Also, your raw food, especially if you’re making your own, will likely be higher in fat. That can cause some issues if you’re still feeding kibble as puppy food is usually higher in fat. I had to take my pups off puppy food much earlier than I expected.

    I read some good advice about not feeding 100% raw. Most of your really good commercial foods are focused to provide complete nutrition, so they have vitamins and minerals in there that you might miss. I feed my dogs 50% raw and 50% kibble to make sure I don’t miss anything.

    Another thing I do is review this site very carefully. If dog food advisor thinks that a particular ingredient is a positive thing in a highly rated food, you can bet it’s going to make an appearance in my food.

    I hope this helps!

    in reply to: Puppy Doesnt Like Kibbles #76620 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    It might be tough to find in a puppy formula, but maybe try bigger kibbles? That helped with my dogs. Also, as I understand it, puppy food tends to be higher in fat… that may be contributing. Because of the fat content, I had to move my pups to adult food earlier than I had planned when I started feeding them raw diet as well. Once I did though, their tummies settled down and they started chewing the bigger kibbles instead of wolfing everything down!

    in reply to: Puppy Doesnt Like Kibbles #76600 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I agree with Kate, but also, if she is turning up her nose at wet food as well, it may be the protein source. I’m not sure what flavors your trying, but maybe try something different… fish based food is often a good option when you’re having trouble. My pups are both intolerant of Bison, Venison, and Beef. They do well with Lamb, Turkey, Chicken, Rabbit and Fish. Maybe try to get some samples of different varieties and see if she reacts differently, then go from there.

    in reply to: 7 dogs! #76386 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    Ah, yes, that. Here’s how it went… My wife and I like big dogs, and she was interested in an Irish Wolfhound. I was iffy because of the lifespan. I said, instead of one large dog, we could get two medium dogs… makes sense. We looked around and fell in love with border collies. People warned us that they have a lot of energy… we were ready for that. People warned us that they need to work… we were ready for that too. People warned us that they’re really smart… we were prepared for that.

    Had someone said that we were about to get the dog equivalent of a Ferrari, I might have thought twice about it. 🙂

    I love ’em though… wouldn’t trade them for the world!

    I see by your profile pic that you may be familiar with what I’m saying. Speaking of which, how do you upload a profile pic?

    Jonathan S
    Member

    I’m switching my dogs to Acana. I chose to go to Acana rather than Orijen because of their varieties, especially the single protein source versions they have.

    Have you considered making your own raw or cooked food and actually have that lovely food come from your own hands? I do that and it makes me feel very in touch with my dogs.

    in reply to: 7 dogs! #76382 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I have two border collies… 9 months and 11 months. They’re very fickle about their protein sources… Both are intolerant of bison and venison, one can handle beef but the other cannot. Both are sensitive to changes in fats in their diet… too much fat causes them some nasty stools, but too little and they get dry and itchy.

    I had them on Taste of the Wild for a long time, but they get really twitchy moving from one mix to another. I’m starting them on Acana Sport and Agility this week. I feed them half raw food as well.

    Remember with borders that their metabolism tends to run hot due to their need to work and possibly work long past exhaustion. If you normally feed once a day you might want to consider twice a day for the BC.

    in reply to: Recent raw convert in need of advice #76249 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    Are you giving her raw meaty bones? That would add some calories. You could go with turkey necks, lamb shanks, chicken wings, duck feet, etc.

    in reply to: Acana or Orijen #76190 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I have the same dilemma. I wanted to go directly to Orijen as it seems to get higher ratings here, but I decided on the Acana because there are more varieties to choose from and fewer protein sources per formula. I also like the idea of the single protein source varieties.

    I feel good about either choice as they are the same company and I’ve seen very good feedback on them. I’m making the switch this week!

    in reply to: Raw as a topper #76189 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    There are lots of great recipes out there… here’s a great video I found on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o_IOwiCN2I What these people do for their pups is amazing. I don’t have quite that capacity.

    Most experts will tell you to feed raw separate from kibble because of the time it takes to digest (kibble burns faster than raw). I found with my dogs when I feed the raw separate from the kibble, they get very sick… one of my pups vomited within two hours of me feeding straight raw. I went back to serving raw at the same time as kibble and they were right as rain… I think the raw was just too rich for them.

    I don’t see anything wrong with just feeding ground meat, but remember that there are other nutrients they need that they won’t get there alone. Just look at the ingredients on this website and where dogfoodadvisor.com praises 5 star foods for their good ingredients, and more importantly WHY they praise them. Personally, since getting on this site I’ve been reading reviews and where possible I’ve been including those beneficial ingredients in my mix. Currently my recipe is 2 lbs ground rabbit with bone(expensive!), 2lbs ground chicken or turkey, 1 pound ground lamb, 1.5 pounds chicken hearts/gizzards, 1 pound of reconstituted dehydrated lamb green tripe, 4 raw eggs, 2 cups of blueberries, two apples shredded, three carrots, some small peas, half a mango, mix of greens (I use Green Juju or the local equivalent), hemp seed hearts, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, turmeric. I also play around with some other additives like Firm Up just to see how they perform. Anything not already ground goes through the food processor to break it up for the pups to digest. That recipe gets me approximately 20 x 12oz containers which is enough for 10 days for both my dogs. No, it’s not cheap.

    I like feeding half raw to half kibble because the kibble gives me a safety net in case I’m missing some vital piece of nutrition. As I continue to refine my mix, I’m hoping to change to 75% raw to 25% kibble. Going to wait until after their next vet visit to make sure I’m on the right track.

    You can do it cheaper than I do. Just find the things your dog likes (apple slices, carrots, blueberries) and throw them in their with the meat… see how he does. The best recommendations for portion size I have seen is 2 – 4% of the dog’s body weight in raw per day if you’re feeding 100% raw. If you’re going to do half and half, cut the amount of kibble you’re feeding in half, then cut the amount of recommended raw in half. For me, that comes out to 1 cup of raw and 1 cup of kibble per day, per dog. I feed them twice a day.

    Also, don’t feed raw raw if your dog is a grazer… they need to finish it when you put it out. Don’t want raw meat sitting around!

    in reply to: Nexgard ? Has anyone used it ? Opinions #75942 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    Got it…. and I was completely wrong. It was Soresto collars. As soon as the dogs started using them they stopped eating. What I missed was that they stopped using them and the problem persisted. It turns out the dogs were having a reaction to Blue Buffalo food. The owner switched foods and the dogs were right as rain.

    Sorry for wasting everyone’s bandwidth.

    in reply to: Nexgard ? Has anyone used it ? Opinions #75937 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    Let me see if I can find it… it’s a Facebook group so digging up old information is difficult.

    in reply to: Nexgard ? Has anyone used it ? Opinions #75924 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I’m going to throw a little non-information into this as my memory is poor at the moment. One of the Border Collie groups I follow has had a discussion going about a topical flea treatment, but I can’t remember the name… not sure if it was Nexgard. It’s something you add to a special collar… anyway, the BC’s are having trouble with it as it makes them lethargic and they refuse to eat. This probably doesn’t help you.

    in reply to: Shelf Life #75922 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I’m in the same boat… I have two border collie pups 34 and 36 pounds. Half their diet is raw food of my own creation, so the kibble goes a long way. I want to be able to feed them a variety to keep them interested and I think I’ve finally found the brand I want to switch to as they have lots of choices for flavor mixes (going with Orijen/Acana). I’ll probably stick with the 15ish pound bags so they can be rotated to different flavors on just about a monthly basis.

    I was just curious about if there is a concern over freshness, what is the threshold for that concern. I think I’ll be fine if I keep rotating.

    in reply to: Transitioning a new puppy to raw food #75921 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    Good catch! Most of the boxers I see are very slim, so I forget they’re considered large breed. And hey, what do you know… that’s Dr. Becker in that video!

    in reply to: New to raw…question re: safety? #75920 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I would say you are exponentially more likely to put salmonella in your cookies from the way you crack your eggs than from transference from your dog. Keep clean, be responsible, and stop worrying.

    Remember, your dog can tell when you’re worried… if you’re worried about their paws they could pick up on it. I didn’t catch what kind of dog you have… I have Border Collies and they become obsessive very easily. If I started cleaning their paws on a regular basis I would worry that they would chew them off!

    in reply to: Urgent help, dog refusing raw #75890 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    It sounds like you’re on your way… I was going to suggest questioning the protein source. One of my dogs was picky about, and had bad reactions to bison, venison, and beef. He was cool to rabbit and to chicken, but as soon as I introduced lamb, he was off to the races!

    I don’t think there’s any problem serving frozen. That’s how I introduced goat’s milk… are you giving goat’s milk? I put it in ice cube trays with a couple of blueberries for a nice summer treat.

    in reply to: New to raw…question re: safety? #75889 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I’m going to say this and it’s going to make me sound like a jerk, but I had to get over the bacteria scare thing too and this is how I did it…

    Dogs eat poop.

    Dogs eat cat poop, squirrel poop, raccoon poop, even their own poop. They step in poop, and they pee on their own feet. Salmonella and ecoli are regular things for them and their systems handle it differently than ours do. What else do you suppose they’re stepping in and tracking into your house?

    Yes, they could be getting salmonella and e-coli from the food you give them, but as long as it’s human grade food it’s far less likely than you may think. Besides, if there’s enough chicken juice on their paws to worry you, don’t you think they’ll lick that right off?

    For me, just handle the meet in a responsible way, the same way you would for your family. Be sensible and clean up properly, then let the dogs be dogs.

    in reply to: Transitioning a new puppy to raw food #75887 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I’m not an expert, but I have been feeding my pups raw for a few months, so take this as you will. I think it will depend on if you’re planning to feed commercial raw, or make your own. The steps I would take (making my own) are…

    1. Transition the pup to a quality kibble that you’re comfortable with and watch for any reactions to different protein sources.
    2. Talk to your vet. If your vet is pro raw diet you will get good direction from them. If your vet is anti-raw, you will need to either seek another vet if you are committed to this, or stop talking about food to your vet.
    3. Do research. There is a TON of good information out there. It can be daunting, and some of it will scare you, but do it anyway. Look on YouTube for Dr. Karen Becker. Lot’s of good info from her.
    4. Don’t back down. People will try to tell you you’re doing the wrong thing. Don’t let them frighten you off.
    5. Make a plan. In your research be sure to pay attention to the side effects of going raw and of changing food. Sometimes they can scare you and send you off to your vet or make you stop feeding raw, when really it’s just a natural adjustment reaction, or a reaction to the type of protein or amount of fat you’re using. Know what you can expect to see and be ready to react accordingly. Remember, when you stop feeding raw because of a stool problem or the such, it’s like you have to start over again.
    6. Experiment. Begin adding raw into your pup’s diet and see how they react. Do they take the food well? Do they seem to like it? Start adding other ingredients and see how they react. Try to add the ingredients one at a time or you will have trouble figuring out which one, if any causes a problem.
    7. Once you have a successful recipe, or more than one successful recipe, start replacing the kibble with the raw… go 25% raw to 75% kibble until the pup stabilizes, then go 50% raw to 50% kibble.
    8. Watch your pup’s collar size, and keep tabs on their weight. You don’t want them too skinny or too fat. Hopefully you will have a pro-raw vet that can help guide you.

    For myself I’m sticking to 50% raw 50% kibble just to make sure I don’t miss something important in their nutrition. My mix is pretty good, but a good quality kibble can be a nice safety net. I’m hoping to get to the point where I can do 75% raw and 25% kibble, but I want to refine my process more before I go there.

    I hope this helps!

    in reply to: Starting my dog on raw #75870 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I’ve been feeding my dogs raw for a few months now and the hardest part is finding the right protein. My dogs react badly to Bison, Venison, and Beef, do moderately well with chicken, but thrive on Lamb and Rabbit. It took a lot of experimenting to get it right, but I think I have the right mix now.

    If you’re having trouble with stool, it could be the protein source, or it could be too much fat. I the stool is slimy and greasy, that’s a good indication of too much fat, or it could be IBS. Try backing off the yogurt a bit, maybe try substituting the chicken for turkey.

    I feed my dogs half raw and half kibble. I read some advice somewhere that if you don’t know dog nutrition really well, but you want to do raw, keeping them on some high quality kibble is a good safety net in case you miss something.

    Also, there’s a lot of advice that you should feed your raw and your kibble separately due to the rate they metabolize. I tried that and my dogs started vomiting their meals… I think the richness was too much for them. I went back to mixing the raw with the kibble and they’re right as rain.

    Just don’t panic, and don’t give up. Keep researching, and keep trying. I find this process very rewarding and I feel it brings me closer to my dogs.

    in reply to: Taste of the Wild #75772 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    Agreed! One thing to mention is that my pups are Border Collies, and they’re both under a year old, so their metabolism and tolerance are still being built up. Right now I’m feeding half raw diet (of my own making) and half kibble. I’m just looking to secure a high quality kibble that I’m comfortable with. At the moment my concerns are quality, integrity, and recipe. I spent a long time figuring out what the best/most stable protein source for my dogs are, so the kibble I go to needs to have a recipe that contains the protein source I’ve been moving toward… in this case, lamb.

    In the near future I’ll be moving in a chicken direction, so that will bring up some other possibilities. I’m hoping to get them used to dynamic feeding so that I can keep their food varied and interesting for them without compromising on quality.

    in reply to: Taste of the Wild #75729 Report Abuse
    Jonathan S
    Member

    I feed Taste of the Wild, but I’m looking to come off it. I worry about it being farmed out to Diamond. I see a lot of high marks for it on ratings, but all the customer reviews seem to be negative… though most of those can be chalked up to people not knowing how to select the right protein source for their dog. Right now my shortlist for changing is Acana/Origen, or Fromme.

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)