Considering raw deit for my new pup
Hey everyone my name is Matt and am new to the forum. I've read through a lot of posts on here and found them very helpful. I'm new as well to GSDs and just got my first one 2 weeks ago this coming Saturday. He's 4 months old and has been eating Pro Plan. I've read a lot online about feeding raw, am just wondering if anyone near the Chattanooga area is feeding raw to help assist me where to find good deals on meats and help on any questions I have. I've tried calling around here to pet shops and kennels but everyone wants to sell me a 6lbs bag of frozen food for $35 and tells me not to buy my own meats and feed. They say its not good and to much work and it wont be the right diet. Just trying to get on the right track of where to get the food and what to get I found a lot of helpful info at the link below I would also like to know about what vitamins and supplements they need in addition to the raw diet.
for puppies it is critical to feed them in correct ratios
because i am fairly new to raw and worry about my adults getting the right ratios at times i would personally feed a balanced kibble to a puppy
especially with all the joint and growth problems sheps can be prone to
but if you study and make sure your ratios are correct raw could work
i am just not brave enough to do it myself :shrug:
(Sorry for the crazy long reply)
I honestly have no experience with transitioning a puppy on to raw. Although from what I've read, your guy should be able to handle regular raw meals.
There are many people on here MUCH more knowledgable than me, but here's a few key things that I found really helpful as a newbie.
- Start by feeding meals that weigh about 2-3% of your dogs' body weight, and adjust upwards or downwards as necessary. (feeding a puppy is a little different here, you'll feed 2-3% of your puppy's estimated ADULT weight, and adjust up or down as needed.)
- Balance is important! An ideal diet will consist of about 80% MM (Muscle Meat), 10% Bone, 5% Liver, and 5% other OM (organ meat). HOWEVER, balance is not needed in every meal, you just need to be sure you're balancing over time. (my dog gets her balanced diet over every 3-4 days)
- When beginning, DO NOT start with the totally balanced approach, your poor pup may suffer from cannon butt as a result. :poop: :p Start with ONE protein (I used chicken), and feed bone-in meals (Chicken leg 1/4). Over a period of a few days, increase MM to proper ratio, and after your dog is doing well on that, begin to SLOWLY add SMALL portions of liver, working towards the full 5%. (After that's established, begin to add variety and other OM, MM, etc.)
Here are some resources I found to be very helpful:
Raw Feeding (RF) (on yahoo! groups, and on Facebook)
Raw Feeding Community (Facebook)
And the RAW forums here, of course!
Finding good, reasonable food sources is a biggie for raw feeders. I started by buying stuff from regular grocery stores, and have branched out over the last few months. Free stuff is the best (hunters can be a fabulous resource), but even ordering from online suppliers should certainly be less than $35 for 6lbs! If there's a co-op that delivers to your area, that can be great too! Do a little local research and see what you turn up.
I did a lot of calculating when I started raw, and I've figured out that if I average $1.60/lb or less, I will be paying the same (or less) than when I was feeding kibble (Orijen). I've been able to stay under my budget with little to no trouble. I splurge on something if I get a great deal, or score some free stuff. :)
Supplements and what is or is not needed are a HUGE ongoing discussion in the Raw community. :crazy: Some believe that all the dog needs is meat, bones and organs. Some believe they need a vegetable and/or fruit puree. Some add all sorts of oils, powders, you-name-it to every meal. Ask 3 different raw feeders, you'll probably get 4 different answers! :D
Personally, I decided to feed with a prey-model diet as my starting point. (Prey model, or PMR, is the faction of raw feeders who believe in the meat/bones/organs ideal.) Lena has been doing fabulous, but I also feed her veggies/fruits on a semi regular basis, she gets fish oil when there is no fish in her diet, and she gets garlic as a flea/tick preventative, among a few other things.
Just do some research and only feed what you're comfortable with. Even if we never figure out the "perfect" way to feed raw, our dogs seem to be pretty happy with it. ;) :wub:
ETA: Here is a link to a page that has some info about % of bone in certain cuts/pieces of meat.
I feed my adult dog raw and when I run out of kibble I'm changing my pup over as well. I buy prepared meals for pups so I don't have to worry about balancing as much.
But, keep in mind, raw is balanced over time, with variety, if fed in roughly the correct proportions. You don't need a PHD in nutrition to feed a toddler, why do you need one to feed a puppy?
As long as you're feeding roughly the right amounts of fresh, whole food and offering variety, you'll be ok :)
Check out www.rawdogranch.com
Raw feeding is no where near as complicated as it looks on paper(and as some people will tell you) and there is no issue with feeding raw to puppies, in fact it's much healthier for them because they grow much slower on raw which is better for their joints, etc. Puppies are much easier to switch and you can just switch cold turkey, I did that with my adult dogs too... No need to slowly transition.
Like mesonoxian listed above, if you're on Facebook(or making an account to just join this group) I highly recommend joining the raw feeding community group... They really are a much better resource for raw feeding then this forum and you can get answers much faster. They also have a huge list of files with info on how to get started and with almost 8,000 members there are sure to be people in your area to help you out!
The main thing is just to make sure you're feeding the proper ratios(like mesonoxian listed above) and feeding a wide variety of proteins(minimum 3-4 but more is better) and to make sure the bulk of the diet is red meat. Even though chicken is cheap it will not provide a balanced diet on it's own in fact they don't even need it but most people use it because it's cheap.
This is bar none my favorite starter guide: http://www.chanceslittlewebsite.com/...l_raw_rv.7.pdf
Facebook group, I'd join only this group as there are some raw feeding groups that are not helpful and very rude to new comers...
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