Trying toswitch from kibble to Raw food
I have a 6 month old german shepherd she has been eating kibble since we go her. My boyfriend and i want to switch her to the raw food diet but aren't sure how to go about it. What is the easiest and safest way to switch from kibble to raw food? And what is a good diet to stick with, and amount of raw to feed as she gets bigger/older?
First I would suggest visiting and reading this website http://www.rawdogranch.com/rawfeeding.html The person who made it is a member on here (Lauri and the Gang).
I will give you a starting point though, because I know that helped me when I started. There are a few different ways people feed raw, but the one I liked for its simplicity and that made the most sense is the "Raw Prey Diet."
Basically the idea is to "remake" a whole prey animal for each meal by including muscle meat, raw meaty bone, and organ meat in the each meal. Below I have broken it down a bit for you...
I feed the prey model of 50% MM, 45% RMB, and 5% OM.
MM = muscle meat, and is any meat that does not have bone and is not an organ (chicken breast, beef roast, etc). Heart is considered muscle meat.
RMB = raw meaty bone, and is anything that has a bone (chicken leg, quarter, necks, chicken backs, etc). Obviously the amount of bone will vary depending on what animal or part it comes from, but just test and see what your dog does well on. Also, recreational bones (really hard bones that don't really break down) are not RMB, they are not actually part of the diet - just a fun time for your dog. BE SURE YOU FEED RAW BONES!!! They are safe, bones become unsafe when they are cooked.
OM = organ meat, anything that is organ (kidney, liver, spleen, etc.)
Also, it is suggested to start with one protein to ensure there are no allergies and to not overwhelm your dog's stomach. Over time, you add in other protein sources one at a time to gain the variety. Once the dog has been on raw for a while and you know what they can/will eat, then you can mix protein sources no problem. In fact it is best to get about 5 different protein sources over time to ensure a good variety of nutrients. It's also important to remember that they don't need everything with each meal. It's balance over time, which makes it easier to prepare meals.
So for example, when we started raw feeding with Bella we started with just chicken for about two weeks. Then we introduced small amounts of beef and gradually increased. Then we added goat, etc., etc. This process allows you to make sure there aren't any allergy problems.
I would also suggest starting out with buying from the local grocery store. That way you don't buy a huge amount of goat meat and then find out your dog is allergic or doesn't like it.
I actually did a day of research and drove around to every grocery store near my and now use the ethnic grocery stores for the majority of Bella's meat. They tend to have better prices and more variety.
The key is to start, and learn as you go. It seems way more overwhelming than it is.
The last thing I will say is to try and get some green tripe. It is great for dogs and has great nutrition. The only problem is that you have to find a source. It is not the white stuff you find in grocery stores, that has been cleaned and bleached and has almost no nutritional value. The good stuff is raw and smells like a barn.
First, check out my website - Welcome to the Raw Dog Ranch It has lots of information on the basics to starting a raw diet.
At 6 months of age I would suggest starting with around 5% of her body weight as the amount of food to feed each day. Try that for a week then weigh her and see how she is doing. If she is gaining too much weight - cut back her food by about 1%. If she is losing weight - increase by 1%.
I recommend switching cold turkey. Feed her the last of her kibble then be ready to feed her raw at her next meal.
I also recommend letting a dog miss one meal before starting raw. Kibble has been sprayed with fats to make it smell appealing to dogs. Raw has little to no odor. Many dogs show little to no interest in their first raw meal. Having them be a little more hungry (from missing one meal) can help them try this 'new' food. :)
I would start with the easy proteins to get - chicken, turkey, beef, pork and lamb.
ANY part of a chicken is good. ALL the bones in a chicken are safe for a dog to eat. Turkey necks and backs are good. I prefer not to feed turkey legs as those bones are tougher/harder.
Beef necks - some dogs can handle those bones, some cannot. Beef heart is a great muscle meat.
Pork necks are a little 'softer' bone than beef necks. Also - pork heart is a good muscle meat.
Lamb necks are softer than both beef and pork. Lamb breast is also good. The downside of lamb - it is pricey.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you how much to feed.
Basically, Lauri suggests feeding about 7% of the puppies CURRENT weight until about 8 months. This is a starting point and should be tailored to your dog. Basically pay attention and make sure they aren't getting fat (feed less) or too skinny (feed more). You shouldn't be able to see the ribs, but easily see them - like the bones in your hand.
After 8 months then it depends on activity level, but somewhere between 2-3% is the general starting point. Again, use the same technique to watch for weight gain or loss.
I would follow Lauri's suggestion on the 5%, she's been feeding raw a lot longer than me.
|All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:13 AM.|
Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2