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Discussion Starter #1
Well, OK, it is finally time to plan doing the raw thing and leaving kibble behind. I have a lil' freezer, have several butchers nearby, and recently got the support of my vet!
I can begin raw in a little under 2 months. Grimm will be ready for his raw switch in a lil' over a month-- when he returns from send-away training.

How would my first month look like? How do I make this switch safely? I have some unique concerns.

1. I am in a city in Germany-- so I can not get:
"canned pumpkin
"chicken necks, backs, quarters, or wings without weird seasonings (but chicken legs and whole chickens i can get-- but they are TINY here)
2. I live on the 12th floor of a highrise with slow elevators... diarrhea is a word best not even spoken here!

3. Grimm has had some mysterious, undiagnosed itch-y issues in the past. (he is fine now)
4. Grimm has had 2 experiences with a mysterious SIBO-like bacterial overgrowth diarrhea chronic condition in the past.
5. Grimm's system (pancreas?) gets angry at too much fat in food.

The pluses are:

1. German butcher shops are like a cross between Frankenstein's lab and The Twilight Zone:
I can get collossal bags of turkey hearts, turkey necks, boxes of chicken stomachs, beef heart, beef lungs, kidney, chicken livers, whole rabbits without fur-feet-head, and lots of types of European fish.

Grimm is about 85 lbs, should probably be a bit heavier but not much. He is not very active. He is 17 months old. His current food is Orijen 6 Fresh Fish, and I think he gets about 5 1/4 cups per day.. in 3 meals. (too much to divide into 2 meals IMHO)

My questions:
Can I ever get to a monthly schedule that looks like this?
2 weeks chicken, 2 weeks turkey, 1 week beef (the RMBs for 'Beef Week' would be turkey)--- with 2- 3 lunches per each week being fish?
2. What would our first month look like? What, how much, of each body part? I just have to convert to grams here in Europe... 500 gramm is about a pound.


It seems so cmplicated and overwhelming... This all seems to me intimidating. But I wish to do this for Grimm so very much!
I am significantly visually impaired, and have innumeracy (inability to add, do simple mathematics). I still think there must be a way to think simply and just do this in the right proportions... or maybe it is too complicated? Can I really do this?
 

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I would start him with either Chicken OR Turkey for about 2 weeks. Nothing else just one or the other. Once one proves to be OK then start adding the other for one meal then 2-3 meals of the original meat, then the new one and gradually work it up so by the end of the week or two he is getting about 50% of each protein source. Do this gradually with adding the other items the same way. Just add them gradually to the mix and keep notes on his poop and his likes and dislikes.

Remember to just use TINY amounts of organ meat because when OM is overfed you WILL have to deal with the runs. If you feed the whole chickens I would not worry about OM for quite some time as there will be some in the whole bird (same with whole rabbits I assume).

You might want to remove some of the chicken/turkey skin as this would be higher in fat. Remember he will need SOME of the skin/fat but probably not as much as is on the birds.
 

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I have the book called the Ultimate Diet. I wish you lived closer(3.5 hours is a bit of a drive) so I could help you with the chicken wings/thighs/whole. From what I read you want more, lots more, muscle meats and just a little organ meat. I do love that we can get rabbits easily around here.

I am trying to figure our cost of a raw diet at the moment for 3 dogs. Also where to get Kelp/Alfalfa?
 

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Ohh at 85 pounds he would want to eat about 2 to 2.25 pounds a day to start. Depending on his activity and metabolism he may need as much as 3 pounds but might need less than 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the response, Amaruq and also Danielle! This is sounding complicated already. I think I am in over my head without even starting LOL! Maybe I need to see a mealplan for someone during their switch to raw with a big dog. I will scout some sites.

Amaruq, that means turkey for 2 weeks, then begin with 1 meal being chicken.. then 2 - 3 turkey meals again, then another chicken meal.. then every other meal is chicken.. then chicken for 2 weeks, then do the same 'dance' to seque into beef?

I totally understand about not much organ meat. But, I am confused trying to imagine, trying to picture how much of what to start and begin those first weeks. I will scout out sites to find where someone shows a plan for begining a big goofler dog on raw.

Thank you for the help so far!
 

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Do you ever get to the Heidelburg area? MIL is there and I go about every 2-3 months if I can help it. I know you said you have a little freezer but is it big enough to stock up a little?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Disabled, on welfare, TINY freezer.. but hey.. I wanna do the raw thing! Even if I can only buy a week's worth of food at a time (probably two weeks), I want to learn how to do this properly for Grimm. He is my very best friend. He deserves me to learn how to begin this safely for him.
 

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Bummer...

When are you moving?
Maybe then you can get a bigger one!
A small but decent size in the paper isn't to much. We bought ours for 25 euros and it is a deep freezer, only 5 drawers but it is better than the tiny thing in the fridge!
 

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Patti, in the beginning it DOES seem overwhelming. I remember when I finally brought Ris home and said "This is it." It seemed pretty complicated and I made a lot of mistakes. Thankfully, Ris' gut did okay with a lot of variety at the start, an overkill of OM, and too much bone. Whoops. I wouldn't make those errors again! But once you get the hang of it, you get your own little system going and it's not so bad.

I'm not a huge fan of math but I know of two different ratios people follow when raw-feeding their dogs. I know some people follow the 80:10:10 (80% MM, 10% RMBs, 10% OM--with 5% being liver). Others follow 60:30:10 (60% MM, 30% RMBs, 10% OM--with 5% being liver). I'm probably a bit in between as Ris does better with a bit more bone in her diet. A lot of it ends up being trial and error. Poop too mushy, add more bone. Too hard, feed less bone.

In the almost 2 years I've been raw-feeding, there have only been two incidences where Risa had OMG I HAVE TO GO NOW! poop. Once was when she was sick. The second time was after eating a fatty pork shoulder roast.
 

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Quote:I can get collossal bags of turkey hearts, turkey necks, boxes of chicken stomachs, beef heart, beef lungs, kidney, chicken livers, whole rabbits without fur-feet-head, and lots of types of European fish.
Let's make this easy. It really isn't as difficult as you're thinking it is...but you'll learn that only by doing it. Until then, you'll just have to trust us that this isn't that big a deal.

The ingredients that you list are perfect---if you never find anything else, you'll be fine. You will find other things, but I'm just saying.

Based on Grimmy's weight, just assume that you are going to feed him 2 pounds of food a day--2 meals of 1 pound each--500 grams each meal.

Turkey necks can be the basic RMB for the diet. Start with that.

Use the turkey hearts for MM to start with as well--one protein souce to start with is good---all turkey.

Of the 1000 grams per day that you will feed him, make 300-400 of it turkey necks. That leaves 600-700 grams per day of turkey hearts. Toss in a chicken liver or two, and call it a meal plan. Split this daily ration into two meals. You can give him the RMB in one meal and the MM in another, or mix them together. It doesn't make any difference. (Just don't give too many turkey necks all by themselves too many meals in a row. They have a tendency to be constipating.)

So--per week, 2500 grams of turkey neck and 4500 grams of turkey heart. Plus a dozen chicken livers.

Once you're comfortable with that, and Grimm is doing okay on it, then we'll move on. During this intro phase, watch his poop. If it is very dry and he seems to struggle to pass poop, then increase the amount of turkey hearts and reduce the necks. (Bone makes poop dry.) If his poop seems too soft, add more bone. This is something you'll just have to learn by doing and watching poop.

Also watch his weight (by feeling his ribs.) You won't be able to tell day-to-day, but over time, you'll be able to see if he's loosing or gaining weight. Adjust the meal size accordingly.

After you've got two weeks of good turkey poop, then start swapping out beef heart for turkey heart. You can keep doing the turkey necks as your RMB.

If you have access to chicken parts that aren't ridiculously expensive, then you can move on to substituting them for the turkey necks. Just keep the bone-to-meat ratio in the range that you're adjusting based on his personal poopitude.

The whole rabbits would be another RMB. So would the fish. Rotate those in as substitutes for your turkey necks as desired and as affordable.

Variety is a goal to work toward, but it is not critical that you start out offering a lot of variety. It isn't even a very good idea. Just stick to the turkey necks and hearts until you gain some confidence doing this. (Bonus about those items is that they require no chopping from you--they are already the perfect size!)

IMO, The lung probably isn't worth buying. And you don't need much liver or kidney for one dog. Don't go overboard with organ meat.

Oh, and don't obsess about canned pumpkin. There's nothing magic about it--it's just fiber in a form that dogs find palatable. If you cannot buy canned pumpkin and need a dose of fiber, use powdered psyllium from a drugstore and mix it in something he likes. Or bake a squash. Even green beans are a decent source of fiber that most dogs like.

You absolutely can do this.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you sooooo much for the encouragement, Risa and Jamie!! Wishing you Merry Poops.. and soon.
The encouragement really, truly helps!!

Tracy-- THANK YOU-- that is exactly what I needed! That makes sense to me now.. I think I can do this! i hope?
'personal poopitude?' ROFL That is perfect.


This sounds do-able!
 

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I guess the easiest way to break down the food introduction would be like what Tracey posted and I will make it blunt. You can change the weeks but I will do it on one protein source added per week. (Assuming no issues with any food).

Week 1 - Turkey for 7 days/14 meals
Week 2 - Turkey for 6.5 days/13 meals Chicken for .5 days 1 meal
Week 3 - Turkey for 4 days/8 meals Chicken for 3 days/6 meals
week 4 - Turkey for 3 days/6 meals Chicken for 3.5 days/7 meals Beef heart for .5 days/one meal
Week 5 - Turkey necks for 3 meals/beef heart for the other 3 meals- total of 6 meals Chicken for 4 days/8 meals
Week 6 - Turkey for 6 meals, beef 5 meals, chicken 5 meals, rabbit 1 meal
week 7 Add fish for one meal

Just keep rotating stuff around once all sources have been added. There doesnt need to be any rhyme or reason for what you feed on what day.

For example: last week my guys had duck necks and pork MM for three days in a row. Then they had turkey for 2 days. Next up will be chicken 1/4s and Mackerel for a day then.... who knows what will crawl out of the freezer next.


During the fall/winter my guys might end up with venison 4-5 times a week when I have a ton of sources for RMB.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Amaruq! I like the idea of using turkey alot. I can see adding gradually stuff like that is the best way to go.

Turkey RMB question: Can a turkey drumstick be used in place of a turkey neck? Or has it too much MM on it? Grimm loves a raw turkey drum as a snack.. but he never had a turkey neck before. Will he know to crunch the bones in it, since the bones are smaller and not like a stick, as in the drumstick?
 

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Sure, a turkey leg can be substituted for a turkey neck--both are RMBs.

So here's where you learn by doing, and by intuition: A turkey leg does indeed have more meat on it than a turkey neck. So on days when you're feeding legs, you'd reduce the turkey hearts. Make sense?

The goal is to keep the amount of *bone* consistent. But unless you're going to filet everything and weigh the bones separately from the meat (which I do not advise), you'll have to do a bit of eyeballing. Don't worry. This is not a science that requires exactitude. Nutrition isn't something that you can screw up in a single meal--or even over the course of a week. Nutrition is a cumulative, ongoing thing. One day Grimm gets a little more bone...next day a little less...

As to the shape of the turkey bones-- I assure you, he won't care. To him, turkey's turkey. He'll know how to handle any part of a turkey that winds up in his bowl.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you Tracy, you have a way of 'splainin' just right! I am so jazzed to start this!
 

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Not to complicate things further, but I would personally not start a dog on raw with turkey drumsticks. The bone is a lot thicker then that of a chickens and the dog might have some trouble digesting it in the beginning.
Chicken is probably the best food to start with in the beginning. You could buy a whole chicken, use the breast meat for yourself (and maybe the drumsticks and wings too) and give the rest to the dog (since you mentioned the small size, he would get half of that chicken per meal as a RMB).

You definitely want to add well cooked potatoes to the meals (2-3 per meal) at least for the first week to avoid diarrhea.
 

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But since Patti, living in Germany, has much easier access to turkey parts than chicken, turkey necks will be a good alternative as an RMB source. Necks are quite easy to crunch through. Maedchen is right that turkey legs can take some crunching. So wait until Grimm is confident about this too before offering those. But Grimm will have no trouble whatsoever with turkey necks.
 

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Originally Posted By: Murphy-ElperroguapoI'm not a huge fan of math but I know of two different ratios people follow when raw-feeding their dogs. I know some people follow the 80:10:10 (80% MM, 10% RMBs, 10% OM--with 5% being liver). Others follow 60:30:10 (60% MM, 30% RMBs, 10% OM--with 5% being liver).
I feed the third ratio - 60% RMBs, 35% MM, 5% organ meat (liver). I'm a wee bit surprised at the amount of MM that is recommended here, but I think we all go on a dog-by-dog basis. I just feel that I would have Patti's fear of "clean-up on Floor 12" if I were to flip-flop the RMB/MM ratio.
 

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In actuality, the ratio I serve probably ends up being about 50/50. I don't weigh the RMB separate from the MM. I do this by eye. I put a bowl on the scale, toss in some RMB that amounts to about half the meal, more or less, and add bits of MM until the meal size gets to the goal weight. That's my scientific method.
 
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