Forum Replies Created
It is salmon and trout that is from the Pacific Northwest that can carry the parasite Nanophyetus salmincola that is itself infected with an organism called Neorickettsia helminthoeca–not trichinosis–that causes fatal “salmon poisoning” in dogs.
There are conflicting reports about how long and at how deep a temperature one needs to freeze salmon to kill the Neorickettsia helminthoeca.
That a producer is talking about trichinosis and NOT Nanophyetus salmincola and Neorickettsia helminthoeca gives me pause.
It is Neorickettsia helminthoeca that caused death. The parasite Nanophyetus salmincola is just a carrier.
I’m an enthusiastic PMR raw feeder but there is no way I’d feed salmon from the PNW to a dog raw.
This is a fatal illness unless it is recognized and treated quickly. Not worth the risk IMO.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by Spy Car.
To expand on what Haley said (which is well said) the reasons for the proportions she gave s because they provide a dog with optimal nutrition and it avoids mineral deficiencies and imbalances.
One of the critical issues in canine nutrition is hitting near the target ratio of 1.2 : 1 for calcium : phosphorus.
Feeding soft edible bone at 10% (with an 80 meat meal) ensures one is in the proper target range.
The organs are powerhouse supplies for other vitamins and minerals. Regular feeding at 10% (5%/5%) is nutritionally necessary.
Otherwise, (as Haley said) you’d need to balance the meals with calcium and vitamin supplementation. Not a solution I’d choose unless I had no alternative.
Just feeding meat alone would eventually lead to nutritional imbalances and health problems.
I’d cut the veggies. They are a negative in a balanced canine diet.
Wait, you are putting beet juice in the broth and are surprised the stool is red? LOL.
Stop the beet juice and see if red stools go away.
Anita, chicken thigh bones are great for 60 lb dogs, but not for ones who are 14 lbs. Try small portions of chicken breast ribs or smaller bones from Cornish game hens.
The target amount of food you listed (4.48 ounces ) is 2% of body weight, which is typically about what a large dog requires. However, tiny dogs are typically closer to 3% (or 6.72 oz).
Best to feed by condition and not a strict formula. But remember you are trying to promote steady weight loss.
The worst move you can make is to add carbohydrates (vegetables) to your dog’s diet as this will undermine fat metabolism and interfere with weight loss.
Aimme, you have great Goggle skills. Do the searches. All verifiable studies. Please don’t cast aspersions that are unsubstantiated.
There was a study sponsored by Iams (IMS) where dogs who were fed a high-carb diet (and were thus de-conditioned) were put on treadmills with masks and devices that would test their VO2 Max scores. As expected, these couch-potatoes scored very (very) poorly.
Then the same dogs were put on a diet that was relatively high-protein and high-fat. Nothing about their rearing or keeping changed otherwise. After a time they were retested. The increases in VO2 Max score were dramatic. These formerly de-conditioned out-of-shape couch potatoes had VO2 Max scores that were very close to those of elite canine athletes.
This was due to diet alone.
This is wholly in keeping with my own long experience training and raising canine athletes.
Field trial dogs are almost always fed a diet that is at least 30/20 (protein/fat). Not 23/15. And smart field trailers supplement kibble diets with additional animal proteins and fats.
Field-trialers tend to be very quiet about the supplementation because the sport is completely dominated by Purina which sponsors field-trialers with free food, and plays for prize money and the cost of running competitions. Bad mouthing Purina in any way is not a way to win friends in that sport.
30/20 is not “optimal,” to be sure, but it is above the minimums that most seriously de-tune dogs. You are making my point for me.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Spy Car.
Yes, I’d be very grateful if you could re-port my response. I have no idea what went wrong, but I don’t have a copy and put a fair amount of time into my response.
A thousand thanks for asking!
Most Golden Retrievers are not in peak physical condition because they’ve been de-tuned via a high-carb diet, which they are particularly vulnerable to along with Labs.
Any sporting dog should be capable of expending sustained energy. Carb-burning is not sustainable. Fat-metabolism provides sustainable energy.
Mushers are actually mixing sporting dogs into their gene pools (and sometimes directly into their teams) because sporting dogs have even more endurance that Northern dogs.
I think t borderlines on cruelty to take strong athletic breeds and feed them on rations that rob them of their vitality and endurance. Anyone who is around dogs can see the devastating consequences of feeding Goldens (and Labs) on high-carb diets. Almost all are grossly over-weight, out of condition, and are often limping. It is a shame.
One would think a short race like Greyhounds might be the one instance where a high-carb diet would not be disadvantageous, but I recall that a study found the opposite: that high-fat fed dogs were faster. There is no advantage to feeding Goldens any amount of carbohydrates. Doing so crashed energy and drastically cuts stamina (as measured by VO2 max scores.
People and canines have evolved very differently. Two conflate our nutrition needs is an error.
I think it is quite a euphemism to refer to Goldens and Labs who’ve had their natures as high athletic breed taken from them due to a diet that de-conditions them and promotes obesity, muscle and joint issues, and lethargy as “companion animals.”
No. These are dogs who have been de-tuned by bad diets. A Golden raised on a high-protein/high-fat diet is a very different beast.
With due respect, Aimee, a Golden Retriever is a sporting dog and thereby bred for very intense levels of physical activity.
Unfortunately, we see too many Goldens who are de-tuned, obese, and/or crippled due to muscle or tendon tears as a result of high-carb low-protein/fat diets.
All these problems are tied to an inadequate diet.
Feeding a dog carbs is a way to literally cut the dog’s stamina.
A Golden should be vital and active and be fed a diet with sufficient protein to reduce the odds of muscle tears and enough fat to be the primary energy source.
Far too many Goldens are overweight, out-of-condition, and crippled. They do poorly on cereal-based food.
And that’s an understatement.
I, in turn, would encourage dog owners who care about nutrition to delve into the published verterinary medical literature as it is very clear from the evidence just how deleterious a high-carb (low-protein/fat) diet is for dogs.
The scientific evidence is not ambiguous.
Feeding dogs plant-based rations as a cost-cutting (profit promoting) move comes with serious and predictable health consequences. That’s true whether those rations include grain or replace the grain with other starches and plant-proteins.
The veterinary literature shows that a protein content below 26% greatly increases the risks of dog’s developing muscle tears and the odds of those injuries repairing poorly. A 23% protein ration is abysmal. Adding water doesn’t change that.
High carbohydrate percentages have their own well-demonstrated problems as does an insufficiency of fat in the diet.
That’s not “opinion” but what is demonstrated in the veterinary literature.
Positioning oneself against the preponderance of scientific evidence doesn’t make one’s “opinion” equally valid. LOL.
A 23/15 diet is a very poor formula that will cause a dog foreseeable health consequences.
Who feeds only kibble?
I’d say millions upon millions of dog owners do just that.
If one wants to build something to last, one should start with a solid foundation. Building on a “base” of high-Carbohydrates (and low Protein/Fat) is like building on sand. It is unwise to build on a bad foundation.
Your proposal that “kibble” is only a starting point to be supplemented with DIY items flies in the face of your posts about how big dog food companies hire nutritionists and engage in food trials to maximize their product offerings. LOL.
A 23/15 formula is dismal. Junk-food formulas should not be the base of a dog’s meals.
Fromm Adult Classic has only 23% Protein. This is woefully deficient. This very low Protein content puts dogs of serious risks for tearing muscles and not repairing well. 26% is the absolute minimum one should consider to avoid high-risks of muscle injuries (with higher amounts being more optimal).
In addition to being very-low protein, this Fromm’s formula is also very low fat (15%).
This is an atrocious option for feeding a sporting dog.
Feeding high-Carb, low-Protein, low-Fat food is a sure-fire path to bad health in a Golden Retriever.
The Royal Canin formula on this website’s review page lists 26% Protein, 11% Fat, and 55% Carbohydrates.
These sort of numbers virtually guarantee a Golden will grow to be obese, have rotten teeth, and will have no stamina. It is simply an atrocious diet.
Dogs thrive on Fat metabolism. They were shaped by evolution to have Fat as the primary energy source, with Protein being secondary. This diet is an extreme low-Fat/high-Carb diet.
It is antithetical to best feeding principles.
anon101 constantly attempts to equate people who follow the scientific evidence with those who support pseudoscience (such as homeopathy). It is an absurd logical fallacy.
The scientific evidence is conclusive: canines have no essential need for carbohydrates in their diets. Dog food manufacturers add carbohydrates only to fatten their bottom lines.
There is nothing positive about feeding dogs grains. Feeding peas may have worse consequences, but that doesn’t improve the downsides of feeding grains.
Once again, the inclusion of grain in a canine diet is not a positive. Nor is using plant-based proteins to replace animal proteins.
Some ingredients used in kibble to replace substandard and non-essential carbohydrates and proteins from grain sources may present bigger risks that feeding grain, but that doesn’t make grain a positive.
The so-called “food trials” that commercial dog foods are subject to are a joke. The “nutritionists” at large dog food companies are not employed to maximize the health and welfare of dogs, but to find the cheapest and most profitable ingredients they can market as dog food. This generally means replacing animal products with plant-based products.
Dogs have no essential needs for grains in their diets.November 19, 2018 at 11:50 am in reply to: I learned to feed my dog REAL food and you can too! #126930 Report Abuse
Your dog will be even better off if you stop grinding the meat and stop feeding vegetables.
How much does the Ridgeback weigh?
As a rough rule of thumb, raw feeders generally give dogs a daily meal of 2-3% of body weight. Even at 3% rations of 1.6 kg would typically sustain a dog of 53 kg (about 116 lbs). 53 kgs is well above the normal range of Ridgebacks.
One of several things is likely going on.
One. There is an emergent medical issue that coincidentally came along in the same time-frame as the food switch. Least likely, but if weight loss is excessive it would be wise to check with a vet.
Two. The formula you are using is too low fat. Fat is the optimal energy source for dogs. About 30% fat is ideal.
Three. Mostly likely, your Ridgeback is leaning out the way raw fed dogs typically do. Ideally, a Ridgeback will show some ribs. If the dog is maintaining or (more likely) building muscle mass while dropping it fat layer, then you’ve achieved an ideal situation for the dog’s health and well-being.
Raw fed dogs are almost always leaner and more well-muscled than kibble-fed dogs. Most people have gotten used to the look of dogs that carry a lot of fat on their bodies and perceive that as “normal” when, in fact, it is a sign of obesity.
If you are concerned I’d see your vet. But know that raw fed dogs almost always lean out and will drop the fat layer that eating carbohydrates promote. With that comes an increase in vitality and good health that is especially positive in reducing strain on joints.
Instead of responding to a long and reasoned criticism of SkeptVet’s methods outside the particulars of this one study, you charge me with having a strong bias against SpetVet, which is an ad hominem (personal) attack and one that is purely false, while ignoring all the other problems I outlined.
I began reading his blog out of an interest in canine nutrition and was attracted by his declaring himself in favor of science-based medicine (a position I hold strongly).
Instead of finding a person with an affinity to science, as I’ve read his blog over time I’ve discovered that he is a polemicist who skews his reports on scientific studies to his own ends, insults anyone who disagrees with him as anti-science, uses half-truths and untruths to advance his arguments, attacks others for using human nutrition studies as evidence for canine nutrition (yet does the same thing himself), attacks others for using anecdotal reports as evidence (yet does the same thing himself) and is a person who constantly attempts to mislead readers into believing a lack-of-evidence is itself evidence.
SkeptVet seems to relish his role as a bad-boy and truth-stretcher who deliberately inflames others and who operates as an internet troll, to the point where he gleefully publishes his yearly “hate mail” on his blog. His antics may fit the era we are living through, but they are not the methods of those of us who favor dispassionately weighing the evidence.
I did figure out his identity and read his review of neutering dogs and cats and the same truth twisting was readily apparent in his conclusions. He has earned my mistrust as a source of good information.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Spy Car.
Aimee, they free fed the dogs for 16 weeks and it is of little surprise that dogs ate more and got fatter on the more delicious menu option.
You notably ignored all the other problems with Skept Vet’s methods. If I have a bias against him it is due to reading his materials (coming to them with an open mind) and finding out that he’s very prone to shading the truth and insulting anyone with whom he disagrees. He constantly attempts to make the lack of studies look like proof that there are no benefits to [fill in the box]. He attacks anecdotally reports when they go against his predispositions while embracing anecdotally reports when they support his opinions. The same with conflating the needs of humans and canines. He uses human studies when it suits him while criticizing others for making that “mistake.”
You allude to his “peer review.” I’d like to check that out. What is the name of Skept Vet?
Nah, SkeptVet is a polemicist who engages in argumentation by misleading his reader through the use of half-truths, trying to use a lack-of-evidence as it is itself “evidence,” and he belittles anyone who has an opposing viewpoint as unscientific thinkers and food-faddists in contravention of the truth.
The article on Coconut Oil is classic “SkeptVet.”
He begins from sentence one saying “Healthcare and nutrition fads are an unfortunate fact of life,” as his way of denigrating everyone interested in providing better nutrition for their domestic animals that the stuff that comes in bags from the commercial producers (who products are always backed by SkeptVet). Not a good start for someone who has pretenses of “objectivity.”
And it only gets worse from there in the first paragraph as he standers everyone who seeks better animal nutrition as being prone to media manipulation and adherence to “quick-well-quick schemes and medical bogeymen.” This is an offensive attitude that borders on slander. By inference, he suggests that commercially processed dog foods have “yielded true revolutionary improvements in health,” without substantiation and against the evidence of obesity, dental disease, and food-induced lethargy in kibble fed dogs that is impossible to escape.
He then tries to link human “fads” to an irrational extension to pets. More insulting polemics, devoid of facts or evidence thus far. Just inflammatory language and insults.
Then he states a proposition that I agree with in the main (but one that he later goes on to contradict himself), which is :
“Often, even when there is some real scientific evidence for the benefits or risks of some healthcare practice in people, there is little or no evidence to support claims about these practices applied to our pets. Extrapolation from people to pets is inevitable, but it is also very risky.”
Dogs are not people. They have different nutritional needs.
Then Skept Vet goes directly to attacking the use of coconut oil in humans as a fad. Why? He just told his readers that extrapolation from people to pets is very risky, so why is he doing it? Clearly as yet another way to throw shade at others. It is wrong, condescending, and unscientific. Zero evidence presented thus far.
He then goes onto talk about coconut oil, putting the non-hydrogenated oil in scare-quotes as “virgin” oil. WTF?
He then goes on to recognize that (in humans) that not all forms of saturated fats are unhealthful (as misinformed nutritionists and the medical-science community believed until recently). And that medium-chain triglycerides (as found in coconut oil) may be protective against cardiovascular disease in humans (after warning of the risks of extrapolation earlier). Has he made a point yet, other than making insults? No.
He warns that “only about 15-20% of the fats in coconut oil are true MCT,” without suggesting what levels are ideal from a nutritional science perspective (and remembering that he is discussing human needs at this point, not dogs).
He then goes on to attempt to pejoratively link exuberant health claims for humans with dramatic claims for benefits it pets. More polemics and virtually no science at this juncture (and we are pretty deep in). Just the ongoing tactic of painting those considering coconut oil as a supplement as being in league with food-faddists and medical bogeymen.
When he asks: Does it work?, he starts off–yet again–with humans (despite his warning not to extrapolate at the top of the article). What gives?
He seems pained beyond reason to admit that “studies looking at MCTs in the diet show some potential benefits [in humans].” Since that doesn’t fit his agenda, he then quotes a research summary that starts: “Coconut oil is not a cure-all. Well, no kidding! Skept Vet’s tactic here, which is his standard MO, is to attempt to link dietary items that may be beneficial with extremism. That’s not science, but dishonest debate tactics.
Buried in the quoted summary is that “It is possible to include coconut oil in a healthful [human] diet.”
To remind ourselves, SkeptVet has to date spoken mostly about human nutrition, despite his anti-extrapolation warnings, and he begrudgingly has to admit possible benefits.
He then admits there are very few dog food studies and he is not faithful in how he represents the ones that have been done. For example, he makes a claim that dogs fed “coconut oil lost less weight and had more body fat than dogs on diets with other sources of fat.” What he leaves out of the summary is that the dogs in the study found the food with more coconut in the mix (relative to vegetable oils) much more palatable than the dogs with foods high in vegetable oil, and these dogs were allowed to eat their fill. Not honest science here. No mention by Skept Vet that the study lacked portion control. Big suprise that dogs given unlimited access to food ate more of the delicious food. Good grief.
He mentions, and casts skepticism and insults, on research that shows coconut oil shampoo might be beneficial in treating mange. A topic that is not germane to a discussion of animal nutrition on any level, but seemingly another opportunity for Skept Vet to insult a “research group with a strong bias in favor of such “natural” treatments. This guy clearly has an ax to grind.
Not much science at this point. But a great deal of shade.
Then he gets to his classic line: “There is no clinical research of any kind showing a significant benefit from dietary or topical coconut oil in the prevention or treatment of any significant health problem.” By saying this he means to give readers the impression that there has been voluminous research which has demonstrated a lack of benefit. But that isn’t the case.
All that can be said truthfully is that there have been very few studies of coconut oils and there risks and benefits in dogs. Instead of making the lack of evidence ((one way or another) Skept Vet tires to make the reader believe a lack-of-evidence is itself evidence. This isn’t true and it is the way dishonest people with agenda present information to readers. Skept Vet uses these same tactics constantly.
He asks “is it safe?” Then talks about human studies (what about that extrapolation warning doc?) that show “no significant short-term risks [for humans].” Long-term safety and effect on obesity, CVD undetermined.
Then he turns to anecdotal reports of gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs fed too much coconut oil. One needs to remember that Skept Vet howls when those he brands food-faddists bring up anecdotal reports, but it doesn’t stop him.
The fact that adding additional fats to dogs rations (which is generally a very great positive when fat levels are low) needs to be done slowly, as there are many physiological changes that occur as dogs transition into fat-metabolism (the process they were shaped by evolution to thrive on, and one that is undermined by cereal-based kibble diets). Sudden changes are not good, even if one is improving the rations.
Again, Skept Vet delivers another of his classic lines: “There is no controlled research evidence investigating the safety of coconut oil in dogs and cats.”
Thus far Skept Vet has established nothing.
He concludes that “coconut oil might have health benefits in humans, but there is no conclusive research to support this” (which is semi-irrelevant given dogs are not humans). He then suggests that any benefits to dogs are anecdotal (due to a lack of studies) when the only evidence he gave of potential harms was purely anecdotal (which he fails to recognize).
So after a long and insult-filled article, what do we get? Not much.
Almost zero science to support either harm or benefits to dogs. The only anecdotal risks are easily avoided by transitioning to fat supplement slowly and keeping amounts in moderation.
Typical Skept Vet.
SkeptVet is a polemicist with an agenda who abuses the principles of science to support his “opinions.”
Not a reliable or credible source of info as he skews his arguments with half-truths.
Beware of this guy.
Again, the problem with so-called grain-free processed kibble diets is likely due to an ingredient (or combination of ingredients) that is interfering with taurine.
The problem is NOT due to a lack of grain in the diet. Many people have been hoping to avoid the obvious issues with overfeeding carbohydrates in the form of grains and it appears many of the grain-free kibbles created other problems. But the problems do not stem from a lack of grain consumption.
Dogs do not have an essential need for carbohydrates in their diets, whether from grains or other sources. Likewise, substituting incomplete plant protein sources for complete animal proteins is not in the interest of a dog’s health and well-being.
What is imperative to remember is that a lack of grain isn’t the cause of DCM.
That point keeps getting conflated in the discussion of “grain-free” diets.
@anon101, not sure if your last post is addressed to me (or not) but rest assured that I don’t feed my dog road kill. All his meals come from ingredients that pass USDA inspection for human consumption.
It is a shame you try to slander others when the science isn’t on your side. Bad show.
@Patricia A, it doesn’t seem the evidence is conclusive at this point. I certainly don’t claim to have the answer to whether small-to-moderate amounts of pea protein are high risk or not.
If I had a breed that was predisposed towards taurine deficiently I think I’d take extra precautions (including blood tests) are the ramifications are quite dire.
@joanne l, I don’t think that everyone knows (or agrees) that grains are empty fillers that are in dog food only to reduce cost and that they are unnecessary and detrimental to optimal condition.
IMO the problems with alternative fillers (like peas) are being used to absolve grains form their problematic role in canine rations and to even lift them up as a positive feature in dog food when that’s not the case.
Being less bad that an alternative doesn’t bad a bad ingredient into a good one.
As to cost, I’m able to feed a balance PMR-style diet for no more than I’d spend on a so-called premium kibble. And every dollar goes towards optimal nutrition rather than processed cereals and rendered animal products.
The concerns about peas (etc) should not be used to rehabilitate fillers like grains as positive ingredients. They are cost cutting fillers whose inclusion in dog food comes at a cost to the vitality and condition of dogs that consume it.
@anon101, innumerable scientific studies have demonstrated beyond doubt that fat-metabolism provides a far superior and sustainable energy source for dogs compared with burning carbohydrates.
Studies have ranged from sled dogs, to hunting dogs, to greyhounds, to ordinary “couch potato” dogs. All point to the same results. Dogs fed a high-fat diet have improved stamina and dramatically higher endurance as measure my VO2 Max scores that dogs fed high-carb diets.
To say this established science is “only opinion” flies in the face of the published nutritional literature. It is simply untrue. This is one of the most studied and conclusively demonstrated matters in all of canine veterinary nutritional science.
You are dead wrong on the science here.
Carbs are NOT a great energy source for dogs. Simply untrue. Carbs will flood muscles with glycogen (while whacking out dog’s blood sugar responses) but that spike of energy is very short lived and isn’t sustainable. Carbs lead to a classic boom and bust in energy.
In contrast, fat metabolism provides dogs with a nearly limitless energy supply and one that doesn’t spike blood sugar responses.
Endurance, vitality, and stamina of dogs who burn fat are far higher than dogs fed high carb diets. Carbohydrates decondition dogs.
Dogs have zero need for grains or other carbohydrates in their diets. They are a pure negative and are included in modern processed foods only as a profit-boosting measure.
Grains have zero benefits for dogs.
That some replacements for unnecessary grains in commercial dog foods may prove to be even worse alternatives than the grains they are replacing doesn’t make grains into a positive.
Arguing otherwise is a logical fallacy.
Carbohydrates and plant proteins are not optimal ingredients for canine nutrition.
BillOctober 19, 2018 at 3:53 pm in reply to: Drug-resistant salmonella from raw chicken sickens 92 people #124662 Report Abuse
Don’t feed the troll…except perhaps a little raw chicken.
BillOctober 18, 2018 at 12:46 pm in reply to: Review of Dr. Jean Dodds' book Canine Nutrigenomics #124600 Report Abuse
SkeptVet reminds me of the corporate shills who defended the tobacco companies in the 1950s and 60s who claimed there was no evidence that cigarettes caused cancer.
Lack of evidence isn’t evidence. This guy claims (preposterously) to be for science-based veterinary medicine while jumping through hoops to use half-truths and misleading statements to support the pet food industry.
Not a person on the side of science, but a bad actor with an agenda. Not trustworthy.
BillOctober 8, 2018 at 12:56 pm in reply to: Current best options for Lite/weight reduction dry foods #123291 Report Abuse
@Chris, the thinking on weight loss for senior dogs is all backwards.
By replacing calorie-rich fats with carbohydrates senior dogs (and all dogs) become increasingly deconditioned directly due to their diets.
It has been well demonstrated in a dog food study that high-carb (vs high-fat/high-protein) dramatically reduces the stamina of dogs as measured by VO2 Max scores on a treadmill.
By feeding reduced fats and higher cabs you are literally cutting a dog’s vitality and ability to produce and consume sustained energy.
If you wish to promote weight loss and good health the best food forward is to feed a very energy dense high-protein/ high-fat diet in reduced portions. This sort of diet has several advantages. One, it will promote movement and energy consumption, which is an overall health benefit vs sleeping all day. Two, fats trigger the dog’s brains to feel satisfied. Three, it is not a benefit to canines to run around with full bellies, and–in fact–it is the worst thing for them.
A dog with a belly full of high carbohydrate food will slug out. A dog that is not stuffed and has fat to burn (which canines can do endlessly vs the boom and bust of carb burning) will be much more active.
Please consider a re-think.
This is a zombie thread from July.
Anytime Linda. My pleasure!
I really hope optimal nutrition provides your dog her best possible years.
If you have any questions, now or later, I’m happy to help.
Please stop trolling the raw feeding subforum.
Moderators, please don’t reward this behavior by locking this thread.
Sorry that you don’t like legumes or offal. There is nothing offensive in my posts. Please stop with these antics.
I’m so glad my posts have helped you!
You will never find “spleen” in markets (under that name anyway), but you may find them as “melts.” My advice is to seek out so-called “ethnic” markets or supermarkets if you have any in your area. Markets that aim at Asian, Latino, Middle-Eastern, or Russian/Armenian clientele are much more likely to carry odd bits.
I have a market that sells sweetbreads (pancreas and thymus glands) very inexpensively, which surprised me, as sweetbreads when well prepared are a great delicacy for humans.
As one gets into raw feeding, finding ways of sourcing inexpensive items that diversify the dog’s diet tends to become part of the experience.
Since my Vizsla, the same size as your dog at about 60 lbs, has such powerful neck and jaw muscles due to raw feeding since 8 weeks, I generally serve his food straight from the freezer. And he loves his food! The is no hyperbole when I tell you that he leaps high into the air (almost 4 feet up) when it is meal time.
Not thawing promotes better chewing, is more convenient, and reduces risks of cross-contamination. It is not “necessary,” and if your dog doesn’t like it there is no need. But many dogs who come late to organs and are averse to them when thawed will eat them when they are served frozen (it is a texture thing in some cases).
I do need to put some work into cutting and bagging fresh ingredients as “portions” in preparation for packing into the freezer. But the actual mealtimes are a snap. I just grab an assortment of prepacked portions, open, and serve.
As you spend time trying to roughly balance meals (incorporating the ideas and bone percentages above) try to think in “portions” and rough fractions. Individual meals can be a little over or under the target goal of 10% bone, as the most important thing is to maintain balance over time. If you go “bone heavy” one day (say you serve a chicken quarter with one portion of “meat” one day), then go lighter on bone the next (maybe a neck or a wing with relatively more meat).
After a time this “balancing” really does become second nature. You won’t need “math” as you become confident with your powers of estimation.
If you have any questions, I’m happy to help you Linda.
This is a very good thing that you are doing for your dog.
I’d like to hear about your progress.
It is necessary to balance nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, but feeding a 80/10/10 diet keeps minerals balanced and the organs supply all the nutrients a dog or puppy need to thrive.
It is far more optimal to start a pup on raw—during a time when excellent nutrition is most critical–rather than feeding pups a junk food diet. Just like it would be a bad idea to raise a toddler on Happy Meals from McDonalds, feeding commercial kibble is a very substandard way to feed a growing pup.
Raw feeding is actually extremely popular among large and giant sized dog owners as it promotes slow steady growth, lean muscle development, reduced body fat, and strong joints.
@ Patty R, starting my (now 4.5 year-old) Vizsla as an 8-week old puppy eating a balanced PMR diet from day one is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Like anyone who is conscientious, I had read a great deal of conflicting information, including the scare tactics on such disreputable websites as “SkeptVet.” I made a deal with my wife that we would proceed, but would abandon the raw diet if there were any problems.
Instead, both our highest expectations have been surpassed. Our dog has thrived. His teeth are still pearly white, he’s super lean and very well muscled, and has both great energy and endurance, but is also calm when he’s not working and winds down in the house. His coat is soft, his eyes are clear, the amount of stool is scant, and I’m frequently told he “looks like a supermodel.”
Our vet (very traditional) has breed knowledge (she actually owns my dog’s grand-sire) and she is extremely happy with both his condition and his bloodwork.
I’ve owned may great canine athletes in my long years owning and training dogs. I only wish I’d know about PMR style raw feeding sooner, I have some feelings of guilt that I fed my dogs such crap in my former ignorance of optimal canine nutrition.
There is no comparison between the condition achieved with feeding a dog what their species was shaped by evolution to thrive on vs the unnatural cereal-based products that are supplemented with plant proteins and rendered meats. The differences are not subtle. When I meet a raw fed dog I know it without a word form its owner. I’ve had other raw feeders (complete strangers) come up and say “I see you raw feed.” It is that obvious a difference.
Feeding a balanced raw diet is the best thing one can do for their canine companions.
I’m glad that helped. I intended to add one more thing. I will now.
To help you visualize. Remember we started with the (30% bone) chicken drumstick? I suggested looking at this as 3/10s of a meal, right?
So you’d add two roughly equal sized portions that would also be 3/10s of a total meal (each), so 6/10s together, plus the 3/10s from the drumstick to get 9/10s. With me?
Now you need the last 1/10. The organs. The easiest way “to see that” (meaning no scale) is to picture what one of those 2 meat portions would look like if they were cut into thirds. One-third of a single meat portion (one of the two meat portions) is 10% of a meal.
Looking at meal building this way help make meal balancing easy.
I happen to pack my meat portions in “snack-sized” ziplock bags, that are then packed by type in larger ziplocks. This makes it easy for me to grab “portions” and to keep meals roughly balanced.
I hope this helps you.
Linda, it is not super complex, but there is a ratio of minerals (calcium to phosphorus) that needs to be maintained.
You can do that by making soft edible bone about 10% of the diet.
Here are some bone percentages of common chicken parts:
Chicken Breast (with ribs) 20%
Leg Quarter 28%
Chicken Wings 46%
You can balance by eye. Say you are feeding a drumstick. They are 30% bone. If you figured in parts of 10, a drumstick would provide 2 parts of ten in meat and one part of 10 in bone.
So if you fed two portions of boneless meat that are approximately the same size as the drumstick, you’d have 3 parts of meat from the first portion, 3 parts of meat from the second portion, plus 2 parts of meat from the chicken drumstick. So 8 parts of ten altogether, which hits the target of 80% “meat.”
The drumstick would provide the 10% soft edible bone.
No need to weigh this. You can estimate.
The last 1/10 is organ. You can (despite what someone told you) feed liver every day. However, only half the organs should be liver. The “other” should be things like kidney, sweetbreads (thymus and pancreatic glands), melts (spleen), etc).
To make my life easier I freeze organs in sizes that match 10% of the diet and then alternate days. The first day is a “lever day” and the next is an “other” day. If you can only get beef kidney, that’s OK.
Don’t be dissuaded from beef heart because of one story on the internet. Beef heart is highly nutritious and tends to be inexpensive. Fatty pork like leg, shoulder, and butt are economical too.
Do add new proteins slowly. Smaller to larger pieces.
It is not super complicated to balance bone. If you take a little time to estimate (by eye and using the weight on meat packages as a guide) you will soon find portioning second nature. Meals can be a little over or under on any given day, the key is to be in the general ballpark over time.
Overfeeding bone over the long-term can lead to very bad health consequences. It is one of the legitimate criticisms of raw diets if and when people don’t feed in reasonable approximation to 10% bone. 10% bone and 10% organs, combined with 80% meat, will give your dog the most optimal nutrition.
Carbohydrates in a canine diet directly reduce stamina and energy. But cutting these out as much as possible you should see the renewed vigor you’ve already noticed maintain or increase. Unfortunately, many “senior” dog formulas start cutting protein and fat (and increasing carbs) at the life stage where older dogs are already losing energy. It is the worst possible approach and one that will advance lethargy.
I hope this helps you.
Linda, great to read about the beneficial effects on your old girl. Reducing carbs and increasing fat and protein is the dietary means of increasing energy and muscle building.
I’m not a bit surprised you are seeing benefits.
I have one quibble with the raw feeding approach you are using thus far. Too much bone. Way too much bone. The target percentage should be about 10%. You are probably pushing 28-30%. No done harm in the short term, that that much calcium to phosphorus will cause a mineral imbalance. You need to add more meat to this mix. Preferably that would include some red meat (beef heart is very nutritious and often inexpensive) and some fatty (cheap) pork (like leg or butt).
I’d also add beef kidney at 5% of total diet. The organs provide the vitamins. Supplements are unnecessary, but organs are critical.
If you make these adjustments you could stop the kibble.
I hope your dog feels better and better.
Corn gluten meal is very inferior to meat. That’s the point.
CGM is an unbalanced plant protein source that’s put into dog food to make it look better on paper by upping the protein percentages.
@joanne l, with formulas that include grain the pet food companies often use “corn gluten meal” to boost the “protein” percentages despite this plant-based protein source having an unbalanced amino acid profile.
It is the same game of replacing expensive animal proteins with cheap plant-based proteins.
When I dehydrate dog treats, I freeze them on a flat tray immediately post-dehydration and then (once frozen) I pack them in ziplock bags and keep in the freezer.
Freezing them individually (prior to bagging) keeps the treats from sticking together once bagged and frozen in ziplocks.
Freezing eliminates any need for preservatives. I personally would not use liquid smoke, soy sauce (or rice).
Just pure meat and organs.
To follow up on what Susan wrote above, when my (now 4.5 year old) Vizsla was a pup, we fell in with an informal group of fellow dog owners who met up almost daily in what we called our “puppy club.”
Although our meet-ups are far less frequent than they used to be, we still get together from time to time.
The way my dog has aged vs his classmates is quite obvious to all. He is the only one who is raw fed (and has been since he was 8 weeks old).
You get better teeth, better coat, less body-fat, more muscle, and gleaming vitality. The differences in condition are not subtle.
IMO a balanced PMR-style raw food diet (no plants) is the best thing one could do for their dog.
The difference in condition and vitality is not subtle.
Grains would not be a part of an ancestral canine diet. Canines were shaped by evolution to consume an animal-based diet with very low amounts of plant-based foods.
Feeding dogs kibble was largely a post-WWII phenomenon.
Carbs in a diet drastically reduce a dog’s stamina and aerobic capacity, do a number on teeth, encourage obesity, dry the coat, and contribute to general ill health and lethargy.
Have you ever seen a dog raised on a balanced PMR diet? There is no comparison in the condition. The only thing that’s ridiculous is believing one can feed a dog processed cereals and rendered meat “products” and think one won’t have serious health issues down the line.
When pet food producer “add taurine” it is in the form of a synthetic powder manufactured in China.
As an alternative, one can feed taurine-rich foods like beef heart.
In the current commercial dog food mess, people turned away from foods containing grains because carbohydrates in a canine diet and plant-based proteins are not optimal. To market to those consumers many manufacturers simply replaced carbohydrates and plant-proteins from grains with non-grain plants.
Some of those alternative ingredients may interfere with taurine absorption/conversion, but that doesn’t suddenly make “grains” a desirable dog food ingredient.
Canines did not evolve to thrive on eating cereal-based diets. There is no mystery why these issues keep cropping up. You have healthy dogs when they are fed a species appropriate diet. Otherwise, not so much.
If the odds are 1/10 of a bag of kibble having storage mites and one purchases 12 bags of food a year, one almost guarantees exposure to storage mites.
1/10 is hardly a comforting statistic.