Starting to fee RAW - Please help.
I have been reading about feeding RAW for the past 2 weeks, and I started feeding Fynn (18 months old GSD, 80 pounds) the following on a daily basis:
1. Approx 3/4 pound of raw chicken breast
2. Approx 1/4 to a 1/2 pound of a ground beef mixture of muscle meat, organ meet (I got this from a local butcher who sells this for dogs.)
3. Approx 6 tablespoons of cooked blended Broccoli, carrots, celery, and parsnip.
4. A couple spritzer of salmon oil.
5. 1 Egg Yolk.
6. Every 2 days a tablespoon of pumpkin
7. Every couple of days a teaspoon of honey
8. 1/4 cup of Oatmeal (not cooked)
I feed half of this in the morning and half in the evening.
I am also planning on feeding cooked sweet potatoes. Maybe switching this with the oatmeal.
I also give him beef bones, buffalo bones, and turkey necks. I am just not sure how many of these I should fee a day/week.
Please let me know if that sounds right. Should I be getting any kind of supplements?
I'm glad you're doing raw! The benefits are so great... I am just starting out raw as well. From my understanding, the most important thing when doing raw is nutritional variety over time. Don't just feed the same thing every day. Switch it up a little every day, and throw in some different meats every week if you can. I'm basing my pup's diet on a combination of recommendations from my breeder as well as information I've gathered when I was talking with other breeders, reading articles as well as blogs on raw feeding.
How is your dog taking to the diet? Is he remaining a healthy weight?
Personally, I don't think oatmeal is necessary. I'm not doing any grains with my pup, though there's a pretty good argument for either preference, so I don't think it's harmful to your dog. I would add turkey or chicken necks/backs *daily*, and add a little green tripe a few times a week. Also some sardines or mackerel 2x per week or so.
I don't think supplements are necessary (unless your pup has nutrition or related health problems of course), but I'm doing fish oil with vitamin e (which helps with the absorption of the fish oil), and I'm also considering adding vitamin c. We're also giving her fresh parsley (to help with digestion), and local honey (allergies).
Our dog is just a pup right now, so we're feeding 3x small meals per day, plus raw treats (chopped liver, naturally dehydrated meat, or blueberries) for training. My breeder suggested a "modified raw" diet, which includes occasional raw dehydrated food from Honest Kitchen.
Off the top of my head (we have a schedule on our fridge that is not with me right now), here's our diet plan (quantities omitted, PM me if you want more info on how we are adjusting quantities w/ our pup)...
Blueberries (frozen, dipped in butter, for morning training)
Carrot (pureed + butter) OR apple (pureed + butter) OR swt potato
Cottage cheese OR yogurt + raw egg OR Honest Kitchen
Chopped sardines OR liver (training)
Turkey/chicken neck/back (lunch)
Organ mix (w/plenty of liver) OR raw green tripe/organ mix OR beef (not ground) OR Mackerel
Occasionally a raw meaty bone, and rarer (rabbit, venison, lamb, goat) meat when we can get our hands on it! Just beware teeth problems with too many weight bearing bones! I was looking for a particular article I read about hard biters' teeth cracking when you allow them unlimited big bones to chew...But I can't find it. Just be aware that it can cause issue if unsupervised.
Hope that was somewhat helpful :) Your diet looks good. To summarize, the main stuff I would tweak: Turkey necks more often. Out with the oatmeal. Add green tripe.
I would read the raw feeding articles on the following site. Other than turkey necks, the diet you listed includes no raw meaty bones.
Welcome to the Raw Dog Ranch
Leave out the oatmeal. The veggies are also not needed, but some people like to feed them. My dogs enjoy some table scraps and those will include fruit and cooked veggies, but they are not a significant part of their diet.
Agree with Lisa - please read more into raw feeding. Raw bones are EXTREMELY important in a balanced raw diet. In the above list though, veggies and and oatmeal are not required - you can add them if you want, but might be more trouble than it's worth.
Uncooked oatmeal if probably 100% indigestible for dogs. I think some cookedoatmeal at times is okay, but raw oatmeal on a daily basis is just a filler that goes right through the dog.
You can feed the whole raw egg, not just the yolk. If you feed raw egg, make sure you also feed liver as part of the organ meat portions. Doesn't have to be egg + liver at every meal, the important thing is that your dog gets the variety over time.
Also, that adds up to about a one pound of meat and organ meat for the whole day? Your dog should be getting about 2 lbs a day, so twice what you are feeding.
Every dog is different of course, you need to adjust how much you feed based on their body conditions, but rule of thumb, start with 2 lbs a day (so 1 lb twice a day), and adjust up or down. Watch him, and if he is putting on weight, adjust down, if he seems ribby, adjust up.
Where did you get your info for raw feeding? The lack of raw bone, the lack of variety over time, and the adding of raw oatmeal won't give you a balanced raw diet. I can see why so many vets are against raw when so much wrong information is out there.
You need to incorporate more bone for calcium.
You want 50% muscle meat, 45% raw meaty bone and 5% organ meat. The link Lisa provided is a really great resource on what you can feed and how much.
I supplement with herring oil, but if you feed fish oil, you need to supplement Vitamin E as well.
I agree about getting rid of the oatmeal and increasing the variety in the meats. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbs, so your dog will be fine without the oatmeal, not to worry.
Glad you're trying raw!!
Some things I always have on hand are frozen sardines, chicken backs (these are more bone than meat, so you can up the meat intake when feeding this), I like lamb necks too.
Thank you so much for all your responses. It has been a journey thus far. There is so much information, but I certainly got a couple of things out of it.
1. No Oatmeal
2. More meat
3. More bones
I called the butcher that I got the meat from, and he told me that there is 90% beef and 10% organs like heart and liver in the mixture I am buying.
I do feed turkey necks and beef bones, but not every day. It sounds as if he needs a bone every day.
I also feed more than one pound a day, but not 2 pounds, so I will change that. I have actually seen a drop in weight during the past week.
Beef bones are, for the most part, considered recreational bones and not RMB. Most are just too hard to be consumed easily. RMB are more like turkeys, chickens, lamb, pork (I do not feed lamb or pork leg bones), rabbit, duck, some fish (if they will eat them),etc.
Heart is actually a muscle and not considered organ meat. Organ meat would be liver, kidney, lungs, brains (most don't feed the latter two).
Green tripe is also great.
80 pounds * 2.5% = 32 ounces
45% of their daily intake is Raw Meaty Bones = 14.5 ounces
50% of his daily intake is Muscle Meat = 16 ounces
5% of their daily intake is Organ Meats (liver, kidney, brains) = 1.6 ounces
Start with this and check his weight after a couple weeks. If he is putting on weight and doesn't need to - lower the amounts by 1-2 ounces and recheck in another couple weeks. If he has lost weight and didn't need to, increase his amounts by 1-2 ounces and recheck in another couple weeks.
Every dog is different - different metabolism, different activity level, different caloric needs. I recommend using 2.5% of their weight (if they are finished growing) as a starting point.
Ok, so I am back after a couple of months. Things are going fine thus far. I increases the amount I was feeding, and he has gained some weight. He is now 83 pounds. I have also added Dogzymes Ultra and condroitants as supplements. Every once in a while I add some honey and some yogurt to his food. I stopped adding cooked veggies. Instead I use a juicer and blend carrots, broccoli, parsnip, celery, and some blueberries. I give put a couple of teaspoons in every meal. However, I notice that he has gas at times which is really stinky. I wonder if the veggies do that to him.
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