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Discussion Starter #1
It looks like I will have Grimm home from training in a bit over a week.
I will give him another few weeks to settle in back home before making the cold turkey switch to raw. During that time, I do want to shore his system up with a quality probiotic product that I know he tolerates really well, in preparation for the raw switch.

Next week I will go shopping for raw food for the freezer and anything else I will need to ease his transition.

I am hearing advice that because Grimm has had mysterious GI issues in the past (bacterial overgrowth, his pancreas supposedly is fine, had EPI testing done and he is ok.. but I don't think he tolerates much fat well), that I should begin raw accompanied by a bit of enzyme product to ease his transition. But, don't raw foods have enzymes? On the other hand, maybe his system will need extra enzymes during the initial switchover, because he has been a kibble-fed dog and his body will need extra help to know how to process raw?
I want to buy this now if I will need it for the switch.

Big question: Going shopping next week, I must choose a meat for my RMBs and MM. Turkey is easy for me to get (hearts, maybe a lil ground turkey, and necks and drums) but I can also get chicken too (necks and drums--no wings or backs here-- and hearts, stomachs, and breast meat). In your opinion, does it matter if I start him on chicken or turkey? Which is easier for a dog's tummy and system to adapt to first? He has crunched big fat turkey drums before as a snack (he upchucks the knobby end the next morning if i don't whack it smaller with a hammer first), and both chix and turkey are available here. I just want a meat that is easy for his body to begin with. Opinions on what's easier on a dog for starting?

Enzymes needed for switch-- yes or no?

Chicken or turkey easier on a dog to start raw?
 

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Either chicky or turkey would work to start with. Most of us start with chicken just because it's cheap and the bones are easy for most dogs to crunch and digest. But either poultry is generally considered to be 'bland' (as far as a raw diet goes) and makes a good starting point.

As for enzymes, I know some people will add them if they notice a dog having problems with eating raw. But most of us start by just tossing our dog raw meat one day and going on from there.

To (hopefully) give you some piece of mind, I'll tell you how Ris started. I wouldn't have done it this way had I researched more before starting, but we all make mistakes.

While Ris was at the shelter, she was eating Science Diet (*blech*) and who knows what she ate before that. I'm willing to bet it wasn't anything of quality. I started her on raw the day after I brought her home (chicken wings). She did have some digestive upset--but no emergency diarrhea. Just loose poop from stress. I think her soft stools lasted for a couple days before she was fine. She had some days when she didn't poop at all because she was using most of what she ate to put some weight on. And because I was feeding too much bone at the time, she was a bit constipated for a while. I also started with too much variety. Jumped right into pork, beef organs. . . Not a great idea. But she survived.

So if sensitive-tummy Ris can handle my mistakes. . .I don't forsee Grimmi having too many troubles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Jamie. I guess is Ris survived, so can Grimmi.
I will work up to variety slowwwwwly. Promise!
 

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I would highly recommend you start with turkey. Chicken is MUCH fattier and knowing Grimm has issues with excess fat I wouldn't feed chicken at all.

If you do choose chicken I would remove the skin.
 

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According to my favorite website (well, next to this one), chicken and turkey are pretty much equivalent in fat content. I ran a search for breast meat, no skin, raw. The sample sizes are 71 grams of chicken vs 111 grams of turkey (the chicken's breast is smaller); both have 1 gram of fat.

The turkey has 27 grams of protein vs. the chicken's 16.

So turkey contains more protein per serving, and it contains a smidge less fat. But is it *materially* less fatty?
Not the way I see it. If turkey is cheap, go with that. But I wouldn't be particularly concerned about feeding Grimmy chicken. And peel off some of the skin either way.

http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c20BJ.html
http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c20Dq.html

(Compare these to this entry:
Beef, chuck, shoulder clod, top blade, steak, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 0" fat, choice, raw [Beef Value Cut, Flat Iron Steak, Infraspinatus -- 254 grams -- 29g fat. This is where I think we start to get into trouble with fat content]
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you Natalie and Lori! This info all helps. Chicken is probably something that I will have to feed, but I can take off the skin from some of the chicken legs he gets.

It looks like my regular month, after he has transitioned, will probably look like this:

2 weeks turkey (some hearts & some ground turkey will be the MM, and drums and neck pieces will be the RMB, turkey liver tiny piece the OM)

2 weeks chicken (some breast meat & stomachs will be the MM, legs or drums the RMB, tiny piece of turkey liver or beef kidney the OM)

1 week beef (beef heart and some ground will be the MM, chicken or turkey drums the RMB, and the OM will be either chix or turkey liver or kidney tiny piece)

*Fish: 1 or 2 times each week during the month, a meal will be swapped out with a whole fish. Not sure what type yet is easiest for me to get here.

Each of the meals will have about 60% RMB, 35% MM, and 5% OM.
I know I do not have to do this each meal, but, this makes it easier for me. (percentages will change if he does better with more or less bone) I will not be using any OM during the first few weeks of the switch.

The supplements will come after a month of being on raw. I will do just salmon oil and coconut oil.. the salmon oil has vit E added.

Pork here is much too risky, lamb too costly. Gonna be a chix-turkey-beef-fish life for Grimm, me thinks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
oops.. wanted to add that the occasional fish will be added only after the first month, so he can get used to the turkey, chicken, and beef weeks.
 

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I guess used as a muscle meat there is not really that great of a difference.

I was referring more to the chicken RMBs as being more fatty than the turkey RMBs.

Between Segal's 'K9 Kitchen' and 'Optimal Nutrition' she writes that:

turkey necks skinless 100 grams as fed: mean fat % 3.75
chicken necks skinless 100 grams as fed: mean fat % 9.46

turkey wing 100 grams as fed: mean fat % 10.51
chicken wings 100 grams as fed: mean fat % 19.63

turkey thigh 100 grams as fed: mean fat % 10.38
chicken quarter with skin 100 grams as fed: mean fat % 21.19
chicken backs with skin 100 grams as fed: mean fat % 17.15

So on average the chicken RMBs are twice as fatty as turkey RMBs thus I would not recommend chicken RMBs for a dog that doesn't tolerate fat well.
 

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Do you have access to green tripe? I get mine from aplaceforpaws and they just sent a newsletter listing two pages of all the benefits of tripe. It is full of natural beneficial digestive enzymes, vitamins, fatty acids and amino acids(omega 3's and 6's) and probiotics(many helpful microorganisms). The enzymes help to keep the teeth clean, even if they aren't eating bones to help. I would add this to your diet if you can get it! PM me if you'd like a copy of their article.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Natalie, those fat percentages are interesting. Guess I may now and then skin a chicken RMB. I am not sure, I will begin him with turkey.. then switch to chicken (remove skin some of the times).. and if he tolerates both, that will be great, as well hopefully as beef and occasional fish. Natalie, I truly appreciate your educated input and quoting from books that I don't have and cannot get. THANK YOU!!

Onyx'sGirl, I *think* I can get green tripe here? It is I think called Blättermagen, and is sold at the pet supply store in the freezer case.. looks like a lil package of frozen single-serve lasagne, but the color is grey-brown-green. Can the probiotics and enzymes still be live and working if it was frozen?
 

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I get mine frozen, as that is how a place for paws ships it. I'll pm you with the article.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wednesday is raw shopping day for my first time! Grimm's bag of grain-free kibble runs out in two weeks, and it is finally time to do his switch. I will start with turkey for the first 2 weeks.

A few pre-shopping Qs: I keep hearing turkey neck is a "better" beginner's RMB than a turkey drum? Grimm has had drums before and loves them, but sometimes the next morning he vomited a bit of knobby bone end. Can I still do drums (if I whack the end with a hammer, maybe), or should I wait until his body adjusts?

How much yogurt do you guys give? The yogurt here in Germany is very intense in flavor.

Okay. Just spinning my wheels in prep for Wednesday's shopping trip.
 

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I don’t like turkey legs. Turkeys are much older when slaughtered and their legs need to be very strong to support their weight. The bones in turkey legs are much harder than the bones in chicken legs (slaughtered at 8 weeks of age).

If your dog is a good chewer and hasn’t had any problems with them then I wouldn’t worry. But it’s not an item I would start out with on a dog new to raw.

As for the urping – I believe that’s natures way of dealing with things the dogs CAN’T digest. I don’t worry too much if it happens occasionally.

Turkey necks are VERY high in bone. If I was feeding them I would go maybe 30% turkey necks and 70% muscle meat. Some dogs handle high bone better than others and it is safer to overdo bone in an adult dog than in a still growing pup.

I only feed yogurt if there’s some leftover and I don’t want to eat it. I don’t see a need for dairy products in an adult dogs diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you, Jamie and Lauri. A turkey neck RMB is safer to begin with than a drum, maybe? I saw a turkey neck, it was as big as my elbow. I will have to chop the neck in 2 or 3 pieces, they are HUGE!

Thank you both for the input. I am trying to do this as safely as possible for Grimm. I have the feeling he will love going all raw!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Tough call...
Grimm does love to crunch the drums. He gets a contemplative, Zenlike look on his face. Major mondo boku bonus if one of the bones during his meditative crunching gets split lengthwise, and Piggy gets to lick out the creamy rich exposed marrow before crunching the rest of it.


But, maybe I will also see how he does with a section of neck. Lauri, I never saw a turkey neck before, just the one that is on my freezer now. How big are the bones in it? Did anybody actually see the bones in there and how big they are? Maybe the size of a cherry or bigger? Is he likely to choke on them moreso than a drum? Think I will buy both drums and a few necks which can be cut in half... just to see how he does on them. Worse case scenario, my DH will eat the necks.... RAW.
(i walked into the kitchen last week to see DH enjoying a raw turkey heart like an apple!!
Culture is totally different here!
)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Natalie-- okay. Going raw shopping tomorrow. I'll choose the drums, but keep a neck or two in case he has that morning vomit thing with the knobby bone end.
I will still try to clobber the knobby bone end before i give it to him, though. Sorry to be so wimpy-- big transition, after months of researching.
 
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