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Old 01-29-2011, 10:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Raw Feeding FAQs

This post will answer some of the frequently asked questions about feeding a raw diet. Feel free to post your questions on this thread and I'll update the top post with the answers!

What is a raw diet (BARF, SARF, SARD, etc)?
A raw diet is exactly what it sounds like - feeding your dogs (and cats) raw meat and bones.

Aren't bones dangerous for dogs to eat - like chicken bones? My vet said they will puncture the dogs stomach/intestines!
COOKED bones are dangerous. RAW bones are safe. We have members of the board that have been feeding their dogs raw chicken bones for over a decade and never had a problem.

What do all those acronyms stand for?
BARF = Bones And Raw Food (this acronym is attributed to Dr. Ian Billinghurst, a Australian vet who is credited with starting the raw feeding movement)

SARD = Species Appropriate Raw Diet
SARF - Species Appropriate Raw Feeding (these both came about when Dr. Billinghurst copyrighted the use of the term BARF in regards to raw feeding)

RMB = Raw Meaty Bones (any food item that contains meat and edible bone)

MM = Muscle Meat (any meat without bone)

OM = Organ Meat (liver, kidney, brains, eyes)


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Old 01-29-2011, 10:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Awesome Sticky!

More frequent questions:

What about Salmonella and other bacteria? Won't my dog get sick from eating infected raw meat?

and:

I really hate the smell of Liver. Can I skip the Organ Meats and just give my dog a multivitamin?
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I am glad that this is posted and I will be following it.

Some more questions, why are a lot of vets against feeding a raw diet? I know my vet is against it and she was naming Salmonella and other bacteria as a major problem?

I will say that from the time I regestered on this forum, it has appeared to me that the majority of the dogs getting sick, weather it be from runny stools or vomiting or just not eating has been from kibble fed dogs. The "raw fed" group seems or appears to be having less problems.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for this post! I was worried about the bones!
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denali Girl View Post
I am glad that this is posted and I will be following it.

Some more questions, why are a lot of vets against feeding a raw diet? I know my vet is against it and she was naming Salmonella and other bacteria as a major problem?
Vets who seem to stay current and who don't have a vested interest in any dog food company would not hold that opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denali Girl View Post
I will say that from the time I regestered on this forum, it has appeared to me that the majority of the dogs getting sick, weather it be from runny stools or vomiting or just not eating has been from kibble fed dogs. The "raw fed" group seems or appears to be having less problems.
Dogs can eat things that would make most humans very sick or very dead. The design of the canine digestive tract is quite different from ours. My own dog is raw fed (since July '10) and since switching she has put on weight and never has had any runny stool. Also, as a side benefit, stool volume with raw fed dogs is quite small and breaks up into an ash fairly quick so much less yard cleaning necessary.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How do raw feeders handle vacations, like a week long without access to a freezer? How long can the raw be kept NOT frozen before feeding?
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castlemaid View Post
What about Salmonella and other bacteria? Won't my dog get sick from eating infected raw meat?
Dogs' digestive systems were made to handle food heavy in bacteria... they are very short and contain strong acid. Kibble takes longer to digest, and that is why you see e-coli/bacteria related recalls with kibble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denali Girl View Post
why are a lot of vets against feeding a raw diet? I know my vet is against it and she was naming Salmonella and other bacteria as a major problem?
Generally, vets certainly mean well, but were likely given incorrect information in vet school since the very few nutrition courses they took were likely sponsored by a pet food company (usually Hills (Science Diet), Iams or Eukanuba). Pet food companies are, of course, going to say that ONLY dog food is good for dogs. Additionally, with all there is to learn in vet school, there simply is not time to focus too much on nutrition.

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Originally Posted by dogless View Post
How do raw feeders handle vacations, like a week long without access to a freezer? How long can the raw be kept NOT frozen before feeding?
I usually bring along a cooler. I will keep the majority of the dogs' food frozen, knowing that it will slowly thaw out in the cooler. If I'm going on a really long trip, one cooler will be stocked with completely frozen meat, and I won't open it until my other cooler (containing non-frozen meat) has been used up.

If I know there's a grocery store in the area I will be traveling to, I will plan on buying some meat on the road.

As far as how long it can be kept unfrozen... for dogs it's considerably longer than humans. We will go a week or more with unfrozen meat and still feed it to the dogs. Be forewarned that it may get a bit stinky... but the dogs usually don't mind!
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogless View Post
How do raw feeders handle vacations, like a week long without access to a freezer? How long can the raw be kept NOT frozen before feeding?
Alot depends on WHERE you are going.

Most every town in America has a grocery store of SOME type ... and they have meat. Even if you just feed chicken for the week it won't harm the dog.

When we went to dog camp for the weekend we took the food, frozen, in a cooler. By the end of the weekend the last of it was mostly thawed.

If you are going camping, in the wilderness, where they really won't be ANYWHERE to buy stuff and you can't carry a cooler - I would just get some good kibble to feed for that time and then switch back to raw when you return.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What is the reason behind not mixing raw and kibble?

I have been mixing a small amount of pre-made raw (Natures variety) into my dogs kibble and she has really liked it and seems to be doing well on it. I have also mixed in some meat scraps from when I am cleaning meat into her kibble and she likes it.

What is the issue with doing this?
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh, and I also know some rawfeeders that will switch to premade raw for their vacations, particularly if they're going to be staying in hotels.
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