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Discussion Starter #1
After the fiasco last week - and fasting everyone for a couple days - I switched everyone to a BARF/raw diet. Feeding time is a frenzy (working on that) but after eating they're MUCH calmer. I got in the mail yesterday Tom Lonsdale's book "Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones Work Wonders" - and will alter slightly what I've been doing. But here's the question. My other half thinks they aren't getting enough and wants to get a bag of kibble to give them an afternoon snack. I am so not wanting to do this...and it's not getting through how much. I think they'll do fine on what they're getting without the kibble...and the whole reason for getting away from kibble was because of the problems last week. He said we never had a problem when feeding Pedigree - which was true - but for how long? On theother hand it could be I'm seriously overreacting too. Does anyone else give small amounts of kibble once a day? Why/why not?
I know my feelings but also that it's not been rational this last week.
 

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Just my experience, no kibble. For some dogs, even feeding it at a different meal can cause problems when that meal is a lunchtime or afternoon snack. Grimm cannot tolerate kibble when he gets raw, it causes a slowing/traffic jam/overgrowth issue, that causes significant problems for him. For my dog, it is clearly either or-- raw or kibble.

That said, many people here feed a little premium quality kibble regularly without problems. Just be aware some dogs do not do well having raw and then a kibble midday meal.

Why not wait and watch? Wait to see what your dogs' weights are in a week. If they look thin, feed more raw.. if chubbified, feed a bit less raw.


Remember, dogs having lived a lifetime eating kibble are like we would be if we spent every day eating only Total dry cereal 3 times a day... and then someone offered us a nice juicy fresh peach! Dogs get a lil enthusiastic when starting raw, but they are not starving, not hungry.. just super-thrilled about the fact their bodies know they are getting what they need now-- ALL the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes they need.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mine are always eager eaters...and I'm not real high on putting any more money into kibble of any kind. They're eating fine, seem more content, no vomiting this week, a couple have gained a little weight so need to cut back a bit on them. I started at about 3% of body weight...figuring I could adjusts from there. No more surprises in the hallway at night either.

The key point will be if it puts weight on Jim - if it does as I think it will there will be no more protest. But it'll take a few weeks to see.
 

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My dogs eat RAW with joy and enthusiasm. I do feed kibble(totw pacific stream) one or two feedings a week. They eat this happily as well.
I have not had any problems in doing this, but Onyx has had right ear infections off and on and has been chewing her feet some, so I am having her tested for allergies when she gets her blood drawn for heartworm check. I hope she isn't allergic to chicken~as that is the main protein I feed.
 

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I don't know what your previous issues were, but I'll state my opinion upfront -- No Pedigree.

Now, I don't think that kibble and raw can't be intermixed. There are some commercial foods (including kibbles) that are formulated with an eye toward raw. I like Instinct by Nature's Variety for this very reason (Nature's Variety sells raw products as well). But other grain free foods, like Wellness, Evo, etc work well too. Why? Because these are premium-quality, high protein foods, similar to the raw food that you're feeding.

But honestly, the Instinct I buy (my GSD eats it in emergencies only) costs $49 for 23 lb bag. That's $2.13 per pound. That's more expensive on a per-pound basis than much of the raw meat that I buy for my dogs. So if my dogs LOOK like they're not getting enough food (and snorffeling around their plates after dinner doesn't mean they need more food. It means they really like the food they had, and want more. Kind of like me and the plate of brownies.
), I can give them an extra chicken drumstick for $1.19 per lb. That's a heck of a lot cheaper than appropriate kibble.

If they're losing weight fast, I may need to rethink the meat I'm giving, or supplement something that's fattier than meat, like low-fat cottage cheese and eggs (my GSD eats these almost every day). But the thing is -- and I think we all do it at first -- we ALL have been, well, indoctrinated that commercial food is the only "complete and balanced" way to feed our dogs. We get nervous. We worry, what if they're not getting a balanced meal? What if I'm not doing this right? What if they're starving? (And they love the new food so much that they act like they're starving,
which doesn't help! ) But it takes time for your dogs to get used to their delicious new diets as well as for you to decide exactly how much each one eats and what, if anything else, you're going to feed.

I've been there. I recommend that you simply go with the process, as Patti recommends and work things out over the next week or two (it doesn't take very long). But you can supplement appropriate kibble if you want. A lot of people do with absolutely no harmful side effects. But you don't need to. And it may be cheaper to simply feed more meat if you need to.

BTW, my guy eats 4% of his body weight. He's an active working dog. So it does take some tinkering. He was hungry in the beginning. But he didn't starve. Though he sure acted like he was!
 

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I second the no Pedigree. Get a high quality kibble. I mix raw and kibble without problems and have been doing so for years.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd fed Pedigree for several years up north without a problem. Down here had a dog that seemed allergic to several foods, including that one so changed. Was recommended I go to a high protein no soy - which I did. In the last month I've had dogs get suddenly and violently ill on the food and four dogs died, two daughters of my old girl, my show dog and a rescue dog. There's supposedly "nothing wrong" with the food and the only alternative around here is Science Diet, Iams, Nutro etc - and I don't trust any of those either. ProPlan - maybe. But am sooo gunshy on kibble right now I don't want to use it - am trying to get my other half to change thinking they need a crunchy snack in the afternoon. It's not the dogs - it's him. And being as I have to ive with both of 'em..! So anyway after having my two 'shadows' cremated I fasted everyone for a day then started with meat. I'm very leary to touch kibble again.
 

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Why not get some beef ribs or other bones and give them a bone to chew on in the afternoon? This would be much more fun and rewarding than kibble!
 

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You can have it shipped from petfooddirect.com I don't trust Pedigree or Purina.

Or buy turkey necks or marrow bones and let them have those. You could also get high quality treats for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm looking for other sources here - had posted to a couple of local lists and no response as to anyone else feeding raw or any butchers in the area. (I hate it here). So am also trying to balance economics with it - mainly what I can find is chicken leg quarters and ground turkey and liver. Trying to find other meats that aren't $3-4/pound. Have not been able to find chicken or turkey necks. Ribs are *expensive*. Liver is easy to find reasonable (chicken, beef or pork).
 

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I was just reading up on the devastating mass dying of your other dogs and I'm so sorry for you! Since you didn't do a necropsy to exclude the kibble as the toxic agent, I would def. NOT feed any kibble right now. If you don't think they get enough food, cook them some rice or potatoe or whatever.

I would also get blood work done on your existing dogs asap. They could very likely show changes (elevated liver etc) in their system-from whatever toxins the other dogs died off (just not enough to kill them yet). But I would def. check them out. You need to get to the source of what killed your dogs, and since your vet doesn't seem overly concerned to what happened, maybe it's to good idea to switch to someone a little more caring. Gosh, I really hope you're not going to lose any more dogs!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've sent some of the food to be tested - the manufacturer picked it up. And held some back. I'd had bloodwork done on one dog before it all started - $70 and it showed nothing significant. There was only two possibilities - and I can't confirm or clear either nor do I like the idea of either being it.

After the first round it was insisted that it was hookworms and whipworms - that the dogs were "loaded" with them.

I'm steering clear on anything but human grade at this point. I have rice, oatmeal, potato if I needed to stretch the meat. I got 50# of leg quarters, about 10# pork neck bones and 15# ground turkey today...will have to get some mackrel and a little more variety but I'm much more comfortable with it.

I couldn't save my fox terrier or last Gael daughters but subjecting others to it is just not an option for me. The dogs seem more content...and I feel like the idea of kibble snacks is for my other half not the dogs needing it. And I think he has an issue feeding 8# of meat to the dogs when it's food we could eat...not that we've gone hungry!
I returned the unopened bag of stuff I had. It's true I've never had a problem with Pedigree or ProPlan but right now it's still kibble and something I'm not sure I'll ever be comfortable with again.
 
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