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I'm getting a german shepherd puppy in the winter from a very well known breeder. I'm very excited. I still like to look up as much information as possible and also I like to look at other breeders just to see their puppies and the information they provide. This one breeder I found feeds a "raw" diet to the puppies and adult dogs. By raw diet I mean she has pictures of them ripping at a whole bunny and whole calf. The bunny and calf for example are dead of course but there is still a lot of blood. I'll be honest I don't know anything about a "raw" diet. I was just wondering if this is a normal thing and if a lot of people do it.

Just like to learn new things :)
 

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My male has never had anything but raw. Was weaned on raw. My advice is if you are going to feed raw, and have never done so before, then feed a commercial raw. It's balanced per government regulations and it's not that expensive to feed a puppy raw.

That gives you time to figure out if you want to continue raw and how to do a homemade diet properly if you choose to do that. And, most importantly, you aren't messing with a growing puppies nutritional needs.
 

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Totally natural, it may seem odd as so many dogs are kibble fed now but a well balanced raw diet is amazing for dogs. Honestly, if you can look past the 'gross' factor it's well worth it

I agree with Michelle, I always suggest starting with a premade when jumping in. Most of it is ground so it's doesn't look any different than hamburger and you can use the time to find sources and mentors who will help you
 

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and btw...I've never thrown a whole animal to my dogs. And never will. My breeder gives them premade and gives them chew bones to start them.
 

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My male has never had anything but raw. Was weaned on raw. My advice is if you are going to feed raw, and have never done so before, then feed a commercial raw. It's balanced per government regulations and it's not that expensive to feed a puppy raw.

That gives you time to figure out if you want to continue raw and how to do a homemade diet properly if you choose to do that. And, most importantly, you aren't messing with a growing puppies nutritional needs.
This ^^^

Both of my GSD were also weaned on to raw!

There are different types of "Raw Diets". Not many are as gory as you saw!:D Once you research how to feed raw you will find that you can purchase "parts", not the whole animal....fur and all!;)


Here are some high quality, commercially prepared, BALANCED raw diets:
Bravo: Discover Balance Raw Diet | Beef Frozen Raw Dog Food Diet - Bravo Pet Food Find a store: Find a Bravo Retailer - Bravo Pet Food
Northwest Naturals: Beef Find a store: Store Locator
Primal: Complete Raw Diets for Pets: Canine Beef Formula Find a store: Primal Pet Foods: Store Locator

This chart shows how much of a commercially prepared diet you would feed: Feeding Calculator "Growing Puppies" = 4% per chart

Moms:)
 

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My male has never had anything but raw. Was weaned on raw. My advice is if you are going to feed raw, and have never done so before, then feed a commercial raw. It's balanced per government regulations and it's not that expensive to feed a puppy raw.

That gives you time to figure out if you want to continue raw and how to do a homemade diet properly if you choose to do that. And, most importantly, you aren't messing with a growing puppies nutritional needs.
Either this or get your breeder's recipe, if your breeder is not throwing whole animals to the dogs like the OP's breeder.

But really, I'd agree with commercial raw when it comes to a puppy. We spent so much effort and money trying to find a diet that really worked for our pup, and looking back, we could have just gone to commercial raw and probably saved money! When I worked out the math for the homemade raw I'm doing now (I was able to get a recommendation from my breeder, and I found a butcher who does all the hard work for me), including meat, organ meat, and supplements, it is still less expensive than the prescription diet she ate for awhile.

I've also heard of other owners just giving their dogs whole frozen chicken quarters, though, and supplementing with organ meats and tripe. Apparently this is done. I can't relax that much about even raw chicken bones, but they seem pretty laidback about it.
 

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My pup was weaned on and has lived his whole 2 years of life on pre-made raw. He is thriving. We feed him K9 Kravings.
 

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I'm getting a german shepherd puppy in the winter from a very well known breeder. I'm very excited. I still like to look up as much information as possible and also I like to look at other breeders just to see their puppies and the information they provide. This one breeder I found feeds a "raw" diet to the puppies and adult dogs. By raw diet I mean she has pictures of them ripping at a whole bunny and whole calf. The bunny and calf for example are dead of course but there is still a lot of blood. I'll be honest I don't know anything about a "raw" diet. I was just wondering if this is a normal thing and if a lot of people do it.

Just like to learn new things :)
Good for you for doing your research ahead of time! Quite a few people on this board feed raw to one extent or another, there is lots of good info here.

When I started adding raw food to my older dog's food a few years ago, I was initially grossed out and paranoid she'd get sick, my house would become contaminated with microscopic deadly germs, "bones are bad!", and so on. Well, in hindsight that was silly.... both of my dogs eat raw food as part of their diet now. My younger dog was introduced to raw by her breeder at a very young age, my older dog was introduced by me (slowly at first) around 4 years of age.

You don't need to feed "extreme" (whole animals, big carcass parts, etc) unless you want to.

I'd recommend signing up for Nature's Variety email newsletter now, they occasionally send out high value coupons for their (balanced) raw diets. You can also start paying closer attention to the different cheaper parts & pieces in the meat department of the stores you frequent. Since I don't put pork hocks, beef heart, chicken gizzards, etc. on the human menu, I never realized what all is out there until I started bargain hunting for my dogs.
 

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It's hard to shake the paranoia about chicken bones - even when everyone tells you that raw bones are fine. It's the cooked bones that are dangerous.

Raw bones are soft, and they don't splinter like the cooked bones. Chickens raised for supermarkets are butchered at only 8 weeks of age, so their bones are still supposed to be soft - but still - I mean - chicken bones!

When I decided to go raw, I thought I'd step up to the plate with my big-girl pants on, and 'take one for my dog". Took a RAW chicken thigh bone (supposed to be a hard, weight-bearing bone), and thought I would check for myself just how soft a raw chicken bone is supposed to be. Had to be really determined that I was going to do this, tiook a big breath, closed my eyes, and took a bit bite! Wow! Bit down way too hard, it was true, they are soft bones! It was like biting into a hard cracker, the bone shattered into bits - I was convinced (after I spit out the bone shards and rinsed my mouth). Chicken bones were soft! Even though they did make a scary-loud crunching noise.

Have been feeding raw without a second thought since. And my present dog is from a breeder that also feeds raw. Gryff has had whole, freshly killed (by him or some other predator), raw wild rabbits and grouse, and I'm glad that he gets the occasional entire animal - much more natural that way.
 

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It's hard to shake the paranoia about chicken bones - even when everyone tells you that raw bones are fine. It's the cooked bones that are dangerous.

Raw bones are soft, and they don't splinter like the cooked bones. Chickens raised for supermarkets are butchered at only 8 weeks of age, so their bones are still supposed to be soft - but still - I mean - chicken bones!

When I decided to go raw, I thought I'd step up to the plate with my big-girl pants on, and 'take one for my dog". Took a RAW chicken thigh bone (supposed to be a hard, weight-bearing bone), and thought I would check for myself just how soft a raw chicken bone is supposed to be. Had to be really determined that I was going to do this, tiook a big breath, closed my eyes, and took a bit bite! Wow! Bit down way too hard, it was true, they are soft bones! It was like biting into a hard cracker, the bone shattered into bits - I was convinced (after I spit out the bone shards and rinsed my mouth). Chicken bones were soft! Even though they did make a scary-loud crunching noise.

Have been feeding raw without a second thought since. And my present dog is from a breeder that also feeds raw. Gryff has had whole, freshly killed (by him or some other predator), raw wild rabbits and grouse, and I'm glad that he gets the occasional entire animal - much more natural that way.
You have my serious admiration. I did not do that. I took the weenie way out and had the butcher include some of the bones from the chicken quarters when he grinds the meat.

She gets raw beef knuckle bones for recreational chewing.
 

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I started only feeding ground as I couldn't stomach feeding whole even being a farm girl. Then I found a supplier who only gave whole rabbits, I wanted a rabbit supply so I asked them to cut the heads off and gut (leaving the organs). I had to hand it over with gloves and then stand back, but they ate it and actually enjoyed it! Now even my 12 lb poodle goes to town on whole rabbit or chicken backs

I still refuse to feed head on, but I've learned to gut and skin and it's not so bad
 

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When I decided to go raw, I thought I'd step up to the plate with my big-girl pants on, and 'take one for my dog". Took a RAW chicken thigh bone (supposed to be a hard, weight-bearing bone), and thought I would check for myself just how soft a raw chicken bone is supposed to be. Had to be really determined that I was going to do this, tiook a big breath, closed my eyes, and took a bit bite! Wow! Bit down way too hard, it was true, they are soft bones! It was like biting into a hard cracker, the bone shattered into bits - I was convinced (after I spit out the bone shards and rinsed my mouth). Chicken bones were soft! Even though they did make a scary-loud crunching noise.

Have been feeding raw without a second thought since. And my present dog is from a breeder that also feeds raw. Gryff has had whole, freshly killed (by him or some other predator), raw wild rabbits and grouse, and I'm glad that he gets the occasional entire animal - much more natural that way.
Wow. :eek: Okay, Castlemaid, you win.

And here I thought I was all brave, married to a vegetarian, learning how to shop in the meat aisle and buy from processors, keeping raw animal parts in the house, getting over my cleaning paranoia.... Nope. You win.

I have to admit, I get a weird satisfaction now, watching my dogs crunch through bones.... since I'm well past the freaking out phase.
 

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When I started adding raw food to my older dog's food a few years ago, I was initially grossed out and paranoid she'd get sick, my house would become contaminated with microscopic deadly germs, "bones are bad!", and so on.
I still have issues with this. I scrub every surface that comes in contact with the raw food containers, with hot water and Dawn Antibacterial. I wash everything in scalding hot water and Dawn Antibacterial. I know it's probably overkill but I've never gotten sick from anything I've prepared or cooked in my own home, even after switching my dog to raw, and she hasn't gotten sick either. Her higher stomach acid takes care of what she eats, and hopefully my insanity takes care of the rest.
 

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I still have issues with this. I scrub every surface that comes in contact with the raw food containers, with hot water and Dawn Antibacterial. I wash everything in scalding hot water and Dawn Antibacterial. I know it's probably overkill but I've never gotten sick from anything I've prepared or cooked in my own home, even after switching my dog to raw, and she hasn't gotten sick either. Her higher stomach acid takes care of what she eats, and hopefully my insanity takes care of the rest.
Understandable. I have a separate set of utensils and designated glass & stainless bowls that I use for all dog food prep, and they go through the dishwasher separately (together) on a sanitize cycle. I think I actually got that idea from someone here, the recommendation to use a different color of utensils, spatula, cutting board (thank you, whoever you are), it works really well. My husband doesn't have anything to do with prepping the dog's food, but he understands - and abides by - "Do Not Cook Or Eat With The Red Kitchen Things". :)

I never would've dreamed that I'd casually deal with so many animal parts & pieces, carefully chopping things up, stockpiling liver... I was a veggiesaurus for a long time. But the visible benefits outweigh the "ick" factor for me, and it doesn't bother me anymore.
 

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I've fed a raw diet for about 15 years now and I'd never go back to feeding anything else! It seems expensive to begin with (especially if feeding commercial raw) but it's nothing compared to what you save on vet bills for having a much healthier dog overall. My oldest dog right now is a 15-year-old Pit Bull whose teeth have never had to be cleaned by a vet, they're still like puppy teeth :) thanks to the raw diet.

I feed what's called a prey model raw diet, or PMR, and it consists of approximately 80% muscle meat, 10% edible bone, and 10% organ meat, of which half should be liver. No veggies, no carbs, and no fruits. My dogs will still eat some veggies (leftovers and such), but I don't include it in their diet.

Most of my dogs' food comes from either friends who hunt, local butchers, or from the supermarket when they have a sale. Some people like to feed all organic, grass fed, pastured, etc., etc., but at one point I had 6 large dogs and there's just no way I could've afforded that, so instead I have 4 large freezers in the garage so I can buy 300 lbs of whatever is on sale at the time.

I'm a little leery of feeding a commercial raw diet because the reason I first started feeding raw was that I wanted to know *exactly* what was in my dogs' food, and I feel that there's still a lot of room for error when others are making my dogs' food, plus a lot of the commercial diets still have lots of fruits and veggies that I don't want to pay premium $ for, and I also don't like the consistency, but that's just my personal choice.

The first few times I fed my dogs chicken quarters I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown :eek: I was sure they would choke and die, or have their intestines cut up by the bones, but (knock on wood) in 15 years we haven't had any problems and the dogs are still crunching up their bones like they're potato chips, lol :D As a matter of fact, I love feeding large pieces, like pork butt or whole slabs of ribs just so I can sit and watch them zone out completely as they lay in the sun gnawing away in total bliss.

We've never gotten sick from feeding the dogs a raw diet, and I stopped disinfecting the kitchen after the first week or 2, lol, now I just wipe it down like I do when I cook for the humans :)

I would definitely recommend joining an online raw group and do your research before you start, because it's important that the dog gets a balanced diet, especially a puppy.

If you're on FB, there's a great group called K9 Nutrition where you can learn a ton about all kinds of diets if you're interested :)

Maria
 

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Mudypoz, your post is the same as I would have typed(though I've only been feeding raw for 9 yrs).
Both of my male pups were weaned onto raw, I had been feeding raw previous for a few years, so knew the balances for pups as well as adults. I always feed green tripe and believe it is excellent for young pups to have in their daily meal(a heeping spoonful).

I remember the first raw meal I fed, a leg quarter to my 6 month old pup Onyx and my 11 yr old senior girl Clover. They had them eaten up within a minute. Not gulping but crunching away. My senior dog thrived and lost weight, she developed more muscle. Her teeth looked much better and she lost that bad breath from kibble caking on her rear molars.
She lived to be almost 15 and I know the raw helped her in her last few years of life.
I have never fed whole animals or heads...my dogs aren't into it, nor do they like rabbit.
I think when people show their dogs eating a lamb or other mammal, it is to feed their ego, and isn't something I care to see.
There is one breeder that many know of that has shown his pack eating a calf or other animal and it is sickening, IMO. The dogs are being forced to eat together....they are clearly stressed.
 

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Raw is the best way to go. Just look into doing it properly. There is a raw feeding sub forum on here with a lot of information that you can gather while reading threads.

For the topic of feeding a 'whole thing' I'd like to do that. But I'm not sure how well it would go. At the Asian markets I can find a whole chicken (minus feet & head, organs inside still). And he loves chicken. But...doesn't like liver & kidney from chickens oddly. So I wonder how that would go... I've read of people with Great Danes who love the 'size convenience' that they can have a whole chicken as a meal. Easy peasy feeding! lol

Then I have also seen whole frozen rabbits (skinned, but everything there, including head). But I don't know if he likes rabbit. When he was young and on kibble, it was a grain free rabbit & chicken, so I'm hoping he would like rabbit. I haven't found rabbit elsewhere around me, and this rabbit feels a bit pricey for a whole one...I think it was 4.29/lb, and that place gives the weight of frozen...so thawed out, it would be even pricier. $5/lb for something that includes bones and organs...that isn't dog food price to me.
 

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I just separated all my stuff today, I have room for nothing else anywhere. My senior has moved to balanced grinds for the most part, she seems to require less bone. She still gets chicken necks a few time a week. I can not feed whole prey either, no heads--the fish is as far as that goes and I'm not fond of that either. I never went as far as checking chicken bones in my mouth but I did try them with cheap scissors and they cut through it fine. I don't foresee going back to dog food ever, they are doing great on raw. I love that I have control over their weight. I do have to watch my senior girl, she was never a big eater but now she will try to steal my goldens food if I don't watch her, she now gets super excited to eat. They all are excited to eat nowadays😄
 
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