Switching to raw with dietary limitations - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Switching to raw with dietary limitations

My dogs each have health problems that are likely diet related. After a lot of research and answered questions (thank you so much for the help to the members here who gave me advice) I have decided to switch both dogs to raw. One was diagnosed with IBS. It took a year to get a definitive diagnosis because not all common symptoms were present and they were intermittent. The other has chronic purple bacterial skin blotches, scaling and rashes. They were cultured twice and both times the results were the same. I am switching the most seriously impacted dog first, then the other after I settle on a diet plan. I bought Honest Kitchen grain free base because it has the most anti inflammatory properties and Ziwi Peak beef. I decided on beef as the only meat source because one dog is extremely allergic to fowl and neither has eaten much beef so they are less likely to have developed sensitivities.

The problem with prepared raw is the cost. $400-600 a month depending on what I buy. I looked at Stella and
Chewy which has excellent ingredients but for a 75-80 lbs dog it’s over $400 a month just for one. I don’t care for Ziwi Peak. My older dog loves it, the other dog pushed it around in his dish when I gave them each a small amount to test. The problem is that I don’t like it at all. It has a weird texture, it stinks and it is half crumbled to dust. It is also expensive.

Can I use THK base and fresh beef without bones as the only meat source, along with goat milk kefir and coconut oil? I have had supplements recommended to me, but I’m trying not to add to much other than pure food as I think that is part of the problem. My younger dog can’t seem to eat anything that is too chewy or hard or tough. It literally took him a long time to eat the little bit of Ziwi I gave him, which is dry and chewy. I will not feed that dog bones. The other dog has a tendency toward stomach ulcers and bleeding so I won’t give that dog bones either.

If not this, is there a better or different way to use dehydrated raw with fresh meat? I have been using
Fromm which I love and hate to give up. While it is a good kibble, it has too many ingredients to even use it to test for food sensitivities. I’m completely committed to switching diets, even though up until this week I thought raw was nothing more than a fad. After reading about both their different medical conditions, I decided they are most likely caused by diet and I need to go all in on making the best choices for them. I want both dogs in the same diet for convenience. Any suggests you have will be helpful.

Last edited by LuvShepherds; 03-28-2019 at 04:20 PM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 10:35 PM
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According to THK ingredient list calcium and phosphorus are both added to their base mixes so forgoing bone shouldn't be an issue. The only thing I see missing is omega-3's. I feed only beef and use organic cold pressed hemp oil for omega 3's (Z can't have fish).

This link is helpful in understanding balancing omega-3 and beef diets.
https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.co...ltimate-guide/

Ziva 03.07.2013
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I’m a little lost with all of this. Still trying to learn all the basics. Mine seem to handle fish but because they have been on it so long, I’m trying to stay away from it. I don’t know which protein is bothering each of them.

What types of beef do you give yours?

Last edited by LuvShepherds; 03-28-2019 at 11:02 PM.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 11:24 PM
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I have a large freezer, and saved a lot of money buying in bulk from a wholesale supply butcher when I was feeding raw. The downside was my bathroom looked liked a crime scene when I repackaged 20kg (45 lb) frozen blocks of meat into single serve size portions. Using the bath was easier and quicker for cleanup than my kitchen.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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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?
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post

What types of beef do you give yours?
As much as I would love to feed organic grass fed beef I can't afford it. I shop around to find the best price I can. That usually turns out to be large sirlion/eye of the round roasts from Sam's Club (about $2.89-$3.19/lb). Takes a bit of time cutting into small cubes (my fussy dog won't eat large chunks or tear at meat). In a pinch I will use 80/20 ground beef. I prefer not to use ground beef as a regular source of meat mainly because the more processed the meat before I get it the more likely of contaminants (think all the recalls the last few years). Now if I'm cooking it I will use it. I do at times cook her meat just to change things up a little or if she refuses to eat for a couple days. Her way of telling me she wants cooked dinner...lol!

Our Lidl frequently has organic grass fed ground beef on sale for $2.50 for a lb package but they limit 4 per customer. That would only be enough for 2.5 days The up side is when I buy it for the humans in the house we share with the furry one.

I don't use base mixes (again, fussy dog won't eat them). I feed cubed beef, varied beef, lamb, goat organ meats; add bone meal powder for calcium; hemp oil and a vitamin blend I make myself using Dr. Karen Beckers recipe to balance the diet.

I also free feed a limited ingredient lamb and rice kibble. Some day's it goes untouched, some days she eats maybe a 1/2c and other days she chooses to eat kibble over her raw. Like tonight. It works for her so I go with it.

Ziva 03.07.2013
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 10:53 AM
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The THK base mixes are all designed to make a complete meal when an appropriate amount of raw OR cooked meat is added (or even eggs). So you can literally add hamburger to the THK and get away with it because it has added micronutrients to balance it out so that you don't have to keep a spreadsheet to track them.

I feed THK with raw beef. If I can get it, I use ground heart (with or without 10% or less liver and kidney for extra nutrition) because my dog loves raw beef heart. The problem I have is that I have to drive about an hour to find a butcher who will grind up the hearts for me right now. If I can't there, I will just use ground chuck. He's always been a hard keeper and seems to do better with more fat in his diet, so 80/20 meat is okay for him -- with a fat dog, or a dog at risk of pancreatitis, I'd use leaner meat. If there's a sale on any other beef (stew meat, etc.) I wouldn't hesitate, at least if the store would grind it or chop it for me...if you don't mind doing that work at home, you will have a lot more options!

I talked to THK about bone, and they said for an adult, the calcium they added to Preference/Grain Free is sufficient but there's no harm in also feeding some recreational bone if you choose to, or even using a frozen product like Primal Grinds (80% heart/10% organ/10% ground bone, with no added vitamin packs) as your meat in the base mix. You don't have to -- but you won't hurt the dog if you do. For adults, the nutrition is a range that's flexible enough to give you wiggle room.

Primal Grinds runs about $4-ish per pound. Since it has no added vitamins, it actually works pretty well with a base mix. It's not labeled as complete without the added vitamin pack, but those are already in the base mix. It's hormone/antibiotic-free beef too, so it's a little better than most grocery store meat. Keeping a few chubs in the freezer will give you options.

I agree with adding fish oil. You can do this in capsule form or squirt some into the mix that you prepare. If you buy it bottled though, be sure to store it in the fridge. Interestingly, the THK employee that I talked to by phone also added fish oil for her own dogs.



Another thing to consider for a dog with chronic issues is a digestive enzyme added to the base mix. This might be something like Prozyme or an all-in-one supplement like Glandex. I add the enzyme powder at the same time I add the water to soak the HK mix.

Last edited by Magwart; 03-29-2019 at 10:59 AM.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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My dogs think fish oil capsules are treats. I keep it in the refrigerator. I will try enzymes. A local friend just contacted me with butcher shop info. I have to drive a ways but it’s worth it. I may try to keep my IBS dog on some Ziwi because of the added nutrients. She is tiny and doesn’t eat large quantities. My WL dog burns up a lot of calories and will do well on fresh. Both dogs have no trouble adding weight if I don’t watch it, even with exercise.

Grass fed is organic and pricey. I don’t even buy it for myself. My friend said I should at least feed raw turkey necks but both my family and vet think bones are too dangerous. My smaller dog likes to swallow things whole and my younger one doesn’t like chewy foods. Maybe vines are different though. I also would have to keep them completely separated while eating because they will fight over food if given the chance.

My local feed store carries Primal Grinds. I didn’t buy any yet because you have to thaw out the whole tube. I’ll check. It would be worth keeping on hand if I run out of fresh raw.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 07:06 PM
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Neck bones are fine but I always found turkey necks to big and way to much bone. I feed rabbit, duck necks nd any part of a chicken. Look at Monica Segel's K9 kitchen book. Then make a spreadsheet based on the NRC requirements. I made one that I keep adding foods too.

As far as thawing out the whole tube - I feed Faren about 8-10 oz per meal. So a 5# roll will last 3 days? You can also slice thru those and rebag them.




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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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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.
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