Switching to raw with dietary limitations - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 12:14 AM
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One of my dogs is allergic to chicken. I have to test other fowl to see if heís also allergic to that. Iím trying to keep it as simple as I can. If it gets too complicated or I canít find ingredients, it might not be possible to do this.
My view: The KIS (keep it simple)method. If you are planning to use THK then really all you need to do is add raw or cooked meat. THK has done all the other work for you. Acquiring beef isn't difficult. $$$ yes compared to poultry but doable.

I really feel that what makes raw or home cooked diets so intimidating in the beginning is the overwhelming variations of the diet itself. Prey model, franken prey, premade complete, base mixes, dehydrated, frozen, fruits and veggies, no fruits and veggies and on and on.

Add in food/health issues and it can quickly become a quagmire of information needed and choices to be made. Or lack of choices (which is my case). If my dog didn't have sensitivities to almost everything and a gut so stinking sensitive and a host of other issues I wouldn't be feeding raw. Not that I'm against it, just that it was mind boggling in the beginning and I was so worried of doing it all wrong. And truth be told in the beginning I'm sure I did it half wrong. I tried it all and spent a ton of money. Over time with lots of trial and much error I finally realized the simpler I kept things the better the results.

It sounds like you are basically trying an elimination diet to hone in on what is causing the health issues. If your dogs like and will eat THK base mix then I personally feel that is the easiest most effect way to go as a trial and guarantee nutritional balance. If it works out you have a simple meal plan that doesn't require a ton of meal prep, storage space or mind numbing thinking. With true full raw if you still had issues you may have invested in a freezer, a lot of meat and a bunch of supplements just to get started for a diet that didn't pan out.

Now with all that said if THK and raw meat works and you want to venture into going full raw to possibly save on cost down the road the transition would likely be much easier.

Ziva 03.07.2013
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 12:48 AM
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Are you in a rural area where you can go in with somebody to buy like say half a beef or something? I know my mom saves money on meat, mainly pork by going in with somebody and buying half a one every so often from people in her town. We got given an injured bull to butcher. But given that he was injured I wouldn't have fed raw, would definitely want to cook that. Then again we have fed our dogs raw deer meat in addition to kibble but dang does that smell awful. Never saw my dog look healthier though. She bulked up with muscle and her coat was gorgeous and sleek.

Could you look into rabbit? See if any there are any nearby meat rabbit breeders and then if your dogs don't react buy from them or raise them yourself if you could handle that? Goats maybe could be another option.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 02:24 AM
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I can imagine it! I donít have a big freezer but itís a good idea if you do. Do you use different parts of the cow?
Back then I was feeding kangaroo (I'm in Australia). I could get kangaroo tail at $2 a kilo (approx $1 a pound), compared to $5 a tail when buying retail. I've fed kangaroo, goat, chicken, beef and sheep.

(My dog is currently on kibble, Royal Canin Sensitivity Control Dry. Its formulated to assist dogs suffering from food allergies, food intolerances and food adverse reactions. It can also be used to help manage inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhoea and colitis. Its protein is duck, the carbs are tapioca).
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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@Springbrz It’s a form of elimination diet, but I’m also trying to solve two different conditions. So I don’t need to know which protein is at fault but to come up with a new eating plan to stop the symptoms. My younger dog isn’t sick but had a lot of early antibiotics which I think led to his chronic symptoms. He also showed a strong allergy to chicken but it could have been the kibble as a whole and not just protein. I’m nervous about giving him chicken again, though. His reaction was bad as a puppy. Our vet tries very hard but doesn’t think antibiotics caused his reactions and also isn’t sold on full raw.

@Kazel no, urban/suburban. Rabbits are considered exotic meats and are very difficult to find or are very expensive. No one slaughters meat. I think if people had their way, we would not feed our dogs meat at all.

@Dunkirk my female is on RC rabbit and potato. Then I discovered that potato is an inflammatory food and possibly the worst thing she could be on. Kangaroo isn’t available and is illegal/banned in some states.

Would someone please post a sample weekly menu? What you feed, quantities and how often? It would help to know the dogs weight and activity level too. I’m still not sure what to buy.

Last edited by LuvShepherds; 03-30-2019 at 12:12 PM.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 09:53 AM
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You can make feeding a dog like this a full-time job if you want to.



I would first try a base mix from a company like THK or Dr. Harvey's or Sojo's and simply add muscle meat (like beef heart or ground chuck) and see how your dog does on it for a few weeks before investing lots of time and effort (and trust) in Internet people who may or may not know what they're doing and may or may not someone qualified reviewing their recipes. (If you want a recipe, I'd invest in a consultation with Monica Segal or Balance It -- you can play with the Balance It recipe formulator to see how complicated it is to get the micronutrients covered.)



There's no way to guess what's going to be right for your dog. It might need 100% raw BARF-style with something like Feed-sentials added. Or it might need the bulk of fruit/veg (mine does terribly without the added fruit/veg of a base mix). Some do better with added grain too (which Sojo's has, in the form of oats). They're so individual once they have these issues that it's kind of like a detective game to figure out what they're going to thrive on -- if you can use a base mix to hone in on the kind of ingredient mix he does best on, you'll save yourself a lot of time an aggravation of constantly re-formulating on a spreadsheet. Rotating through a few of them might at least give you a simple, time-efficient way of honing in on ingredients you'd put in a home-made recipe in case you want to do a consultation.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Maggie, thank you. Yes, itís overwhelming and I was not sure about the source of the information. She obviously doesnít like supermarket chicken. My female has switched 100%. She loves it and is doing very well. My male is going to use the rest of the kibble and then I will start to switch. She had no trouble changing from kibble to the prepared base and dried beef, but when he was little I added ground hamburger to his kibble and he got diarrhea so badly I quit. How do I switch him over while avoiding that? Using Ziwi Peak seemed to help her. I can try that for him.

I read the ingredients of the base mix and I actually have every one of those fresh foods now, except for coconut. I think the one I have is sweetened. Itís all common human food that I buy each week. I am thinking about alternating between the base mix and preparing my own to save money. Iím still not sure of the calcium source as Iím not 100% sold on bones. Iíve heard too many horror stories. I read that you can give eggs with crushed eggshells. Iím convinced my dogs will eat anything, eat least my rescue. One day I caught her eating a paperback. She got the whole corner and part of the cover. Maybe someone spilled food on it.

I looked for the Segal book Jax recommended and didnít find it yet. I plan to do a lot more reading.
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 04:18 PM
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Eggs are really good for calcium. My advice would be grinding them up into a powder to avoid any sharp pieces cutting up the mouth. I know people will feed egg shells to their chickens instead of feeding oyster shells. Which could be another option. One thing that raw bones do have as a benefit is the marrow. I can understand the desire to want to avoid bones, I know for sure you want to avoid weight bearing bones. Perhaps you could get something to crush/grind them and mix into feed if you decide to go the raw feed route?
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