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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

In a few weeks I will pick up my 8 week old male GSD. I have done a lot of research and I want to feed him raw. My concern is that my breeder is feeding him regular kibble and I want to transition him "cold turkey" but I don't know if I should just start him off with ground meat or RMBs. I've received the advice of just starting him off with ground meat. Does this sound like a good idea?
 

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A raw diet needs to include raw bone and raw organs, as well as raw meat. You can buy products that include all these ingredients in a ground form--they grind up the bones and all.

but a pup can handle more than you may think. chicken bones are quite soft--an 8-week old can certainly handle chicken wings and necks, and can do legs and backs by 10 weeks.

If you think the pup may need some help with the RMBs you can always pound them a bit with a mallet or cleaver and help "pre-chew" it.

I don't think that ground meat all by itself would be a complete diet for your pup. Ideally it should be about half RMBs, about half muscle meat (which could be ground if you want to) and a tiny bit of organ meat.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was going to add each item gradually. I thought if I added organ meat immediately it might be too much for him. So you don't think I should just start out with ground meat for a week or two and then add RMBS and after that add organ meat? I should just start him off with everything? I just want to make sure I do this right.

And I didn't realize I could buy these products already grounded. Where would I get these?
 

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Bravo and Oma's Pride are a couple of brand names that make ground raw products that are "complete." (but they are expensive.)

Or you can buy a grinder and make your own! (just kidding.)

I do think that starting with a single protein source is a good idea--say, just chicken. But you could feed a balanced ratio of chicken in RMB, muscle meat, and organ. Make sure that chicken is being tolerated and digested well for a week, then expand and add another item, say ground beef or turkey. Now there are two things in the diet. Go with that for a week or so. Then add one more--maybe eggs, or fish. Then add one more. In this way you can gradually add new items to the diet but if anything causes problems you'll know which one it was because it's the "new" thing in the diet.

Keep the organ meat small--like one ounce at most--a piece half the size of your thumb. One chicken liver is enough in a meal.
 

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Nature's Variety also makes a premade raw diet. The only caveat with the premades is the price! GSDs can eat, on average, between 1.5 and 3 lbs a day (depending on activity level, age, etc.). I know the NV medallions go for about $12 per 3-lb bag. Too expensive for me to feed on a day-to-day basis and Risa (my Mutt) only eats about 1 lb a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the information.
I have another question and I'm sure it won't be my last. I've been seeing that a lot of raw food experts put raw eggs in the dog's diet. What are the benefits of eggs? Is is just to add variety? I was just curious to know.
 
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