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Doing tons of Research. For those of you that know, Yoshi is puppy food intolerant. I'm guessing it's the massive amounts of fillers. He has been tested for EPI and allergies and NO PROBLEMS!!! Took a stool in and sure enough, he had some worms and one celled organisms living in his tummy. So, 5 days worth of wormer 2x a day is now happening. After that.... On to RAW. I am going to try to mimic the Orijen dog food by feeding some fruits and veggies with the raw diet. Right now, well, I am cooking for him. Wayyyyy too much carbs in my opinion in the homecooked, but it was necessary to firm up his stools and help his tummy while all of this has gone on. He is doing great, and his energy level is through the roof. I mean, a completely different dog now that he is feeling better.
I have experimented with raw chicken breast, and he LOVES it, and I know that he will do great on a raw diet. I have some questions though, and I am a bit paranoid and keep going over the diet in my head. I do not have access to a large library, but have books coming from the states to me in Germany next week. So...... I will read more when I get the books, for now I have only you all and the internet.
Here are my questions:
1) I understand that large breeds have unique calcium requirements because you want enough calcium, but not so much that it causes overgrowth of the bones...... HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT THE PUPPY IS GETTING THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF CALCIUM IN A RAW DIET and not TOO MUCH?

2) Feeding Fish. WHAT KIND OF FISH is best to feed (available in southern Germany)

3) Supplementing. Do you all supplement as well? If so, what / how do you supplement.The puppy has DRY SKIN bad...... Vet said Safflower oil, but again, this is a plant oil which truly has no business in a dog's diet and is upsetting his stomach. I mean, when is the last time we saw a dog cook himself rice and oatmeal and put safflower oil in it? Will he get what he needs on the diet, or supplement?

4) Common consensus on amount to feed Puppy. I have heard up to 10% of current weight, and also 2-3% of adult weight. At this time, the vet seems to be up in the air about his adult weight. Originally we thought about 80 lbs, but right now at 14 weeks we are at 35 lbs. I think he's going to be a giant. Literally, people all the time ask me if he is about 8 or 9 even up to a year old, and I say no..... he's 14 almost 15 weeks. He's a longhair, and his dad is GIGANTOR....... I have to think he will probably be well over 100 lbs. So.... what to do? Big difference in food amount for an 80 lb dog and a 110 lb dog. So.... Gauge his puppy weight?

5) Skin on or off the poultry or carcasses? I am going to try to get as creative as possible after seeing the picture of the dogs tearing up the deer. My bro's shepherd rescue loves tearing into dead animals or animals he has killed. I guess I should start hunting too!

Thanks for your patience..... The pup seemed to do better with not so frozen chicken. He choked a bit on the frozen when he couldn't get it so chewed. He swallowed anyways.

6) START WITH CHICKEN QUARTERS? I hear bigger is better with Raw.... So, just throw out a RAW chicken quarter for him for the first RMB?

Okay, TCHUSS from Germany and Danke Shone for the answers!
 

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1. Just make sure your ratios are right. If that's not good enough for you then you can do the numbers to find out exactly how much your pup needs.

2. I don't find fish to be a large (or important) part of the diet. Lots of fish are safe to feed such as sardines, salmon, tilapia, etc.

3. Supplementing is unnecessary in a balanced raw diet. That said, many people do supplement; salmon oil, probiotics, and vitamin E being the most common from what I've seen.

4. The body weight % is just a guideline. Pick whichever one seems good to you and adjust to your dog's needs. If he's losing weight up the %, if he's gaining weight lower the %.

5. Skin doesn't really matter, on or off. It's a personal preference. A pup new to raw should be introduced to skin slower though because it is higher in fat and can cause runny stools in some dogs.

6. You can start with chicken quarters if you want, but for a young dog that seems a bit large. I would probably go with a large drumstick or the like.

And just to address your concerns over fruits/veggies... ;)
Raw Feeding at its finest-CAUTION-GRAPHIC PHOTOS - Dog Food Forum
 

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Everything I was going to say verivus already said!

but just because, here is my version of the post:

1) Following the recommended ratios of RMB (30%) to MM and OM will ensure enough calcium. The bones do not only provide calcium, but an optimum ratio of calcium to other minerals like magnesium and phosphorus and many other elements and nutrients. The best balanced nutrition that no prepared food can replicate!

2) I've no idea what is available in Germany. I feed any type I can get. Freeze for a couple of weeks to kill parasites if you are concerned. My dogs love frozen, whole fish (heads and guts and all). Gryff took a while to see a frozen raw fish as dinner, but will crunch them up eagerly now. Keeta will eat anything, LOL. both prefer the fish frozen - neither really care for the slimyness of frozen-thawed fish. If you can't find anything that you feel is okay, you can add canned sardines to your pup's diet. The only thing I would watch for in whole fish, is that some fish have sharp barbs around their gills and part of their fins - I would cut those out before feeding.

3) In general, I don't supplement. But with our winters here, the air is dry and the dogs have started to be itchy. I add Coconut oil, Salmon Oil, Vitamin E (make sure it is from natural sources - synthetic vitamin E is not well absorbed), and extra beef fat to their meals.

4) Puppy should eat about two pounds of food per day - so divided into two or three meals. But each dog is unique - best way to determine what he needs is to watch him. If he looks skinny, feed more. If you can't easily feel his ribs, feed less. Pups will go through growth spurts where they usually end up looking ribby and gangly - increase his food during those times.

5) Don't matter. I always leave the skin on.

6) A chicken quarter has about perfect bone to MM ratio, and makes for a nice meal, though I find that size can really vary, so with some, maybe a thigh will be enough to feed at one meal, with others the whole leg quarter will cover it.

7) I don't think that fruit and veggies are necessary, but they certainly don't hurt. I share my stuff with the dogs, I believe it is good for their digestive health to have that kind of variety. When I use my juicer, they get some of the pulp with a bit of the juice mixed in - they absolutely go nuts for it! I also give them whole carrots for something to munch on - they can't really break down and digest raw vegetables, but they enjoy it.
 

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1) I understand that large breeds have unique calcium requirements because you want enough calcium, but not so much that it causes overgrowth of the bones...... HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT THE PUPPY IS GETTING THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF CALCIUM IN A RAW DIET and not TOO MUCH?
Large breeds really don't have unique calcium needs. The thing is that you want them to grow at a slow and steady pace - and that's more a protein thing than calcium. If you feed a balanced raw diet you shouldn't have to worry.

Mauser grew out just fine on raw and I never did anything different for him than I did for my Cresteds.


2) Feeding Fish. WHAT KIND OF FISH is best to feed (available in southern Germany)
Anything you would eat yourself. Fish doesn't have to be a huge part of their diet.

3) Supplementing. Do you all supplement as well? If so, what / how do you supplement.The puppy has DRY SKIN bad...... Vet said Safflower oil, but again, this is a plant oil which truly has no business in a dog's diet and is upsetting his stomach. I mean, when is the last time we saw a dog cook himself rice and oatmeal and put safflower oil in it? Will he get what he needs on the diet, or supplement?
The only thing ALL my dogs get (as far as supplements go) is fish oil. I don't get alot of fish for the dogs and Mauser doesn't like to eat it anyways so I have to supplement to give them a good amount of Omega 3s. You are right about the Safflower oil - it's more Omega 6 than 3.

Unless you can get your hands on lots oif fish or grass fed beef (high is naturally high in O3s) then you'll want to add some fish oil to their diet. Fish BODY oil - not liver oil. Again - anything you would take for yourself is good.

During the winter, when it's really dry in our house, I increase their fish oil amounts.

Other than that I only supplement for what each individual dog NEEDS. Older dogs with arthritic issues will benefit from more Fish oil. Dogs with stomach issues will benefit from probiotics.

4) Common consensus on amount to feed Puppy. I have heard up to 10% of current weight, and also 2-3% of adult weight.
The STARTING point is 7-10% of their 8 week old weight ... but that's just a starting point.

Puppies go through periods of rapid growth when they will need more food, and then they can plateau and do fine on the same amount for a month.

I started Mauser on 7% of his weight when we brought him home (about 8 weeks) and then watched him.

If he FELT too thin then I would increase his amounts. IF he felt too fat then I would decrease. If he felt and looked fine - just like a small version of an adult GSD - then I knew that was the right amount (for that week).

There is no exact formula for puppies since they all grow at different rates. Just keep them trim and in good shape and you'll be fine.

5) Skin on or off the poultry or carcasses?
ON as it contains many valuable nutrients. If your pup is getting too fat, cut back the overall amount of food - not just the skin/fat.

I guess I should start hunting too!
One thing to be careful of is wild game. Find out from your local game warden (or whatever they have over there that is in charge of hunting restrictions) what animals they recommend be COOKED before eating. I know here in the US wild boar can still have Trichnosis and wild bear meat can have another issue (can't remember). Small game, like rabbits, are usually safe.

The pup seemed to do better with not so frozen chicken. He choked a bit on the frozen when he couldn't get it so chewed. He swallowed anyways.
All I worry about is that they chew just enough to get it to go down without getting stuck. Mauser is a very dainty eater. :) He chews all his food about 57 times before swallowing. Sasha, on the other hand, will go 'Crunch Crunch Swallow'. Just break it up enough to fit down the tubes.

6) START WITH CHICKEN QUARTERS? I hear bigger is better with Raw.... So, just throw out a RAW chicken quarter for him for the first RMB?
Alot depends on his size right now. I'd try the leg quarter and see how he does with it. You may need to cut it into sections (leg and thigh) if he can't handle it whole.

Just remember to do your calculations to figure out how much (WEIGHT not count) of each thing to feed so you have a starting point.
 

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You are so lucky to have gotten advice from Lauri and the others! I would not be where I am today without Lauri's help and advice. My boy went from constant diarrhea to good stools by following her advice and we have never looked back since.
 

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Great advice thank you very much but I have one question regarding the posters statement below.

QUOTE... Right now, well, I am cooking for him. Wayyyyy too much carbs in my opinion in the homecooked, but it was necessary to firm up his stools

Wouldn't the stools firm up if the puppy was given the right amount of bones instead of the carbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Zayda.... the richness of the puppy food combined with the parasites was causing gray, mushy cow looking stools. In order to deal with one thing at a time, the vet suggested a bland cooked diet, which his stools firmed and turned brown in 24 hours. Then, in order not to jack with his body too much before we knew if there were serious problems, I decided to leave him on the homecooked until we got test results. Since we got the good news, no allergies, epi, major diseases, and his stomach is under control, and stools are good, it is a much better time to start raw transition. Too many variables at one time would have affected my ability to monitor his tolerance of a diet change at that time.

Basically, there was too much going on with him to even consider overhauling his diet. He was puking a bit, muddy stools that were gray etc. and in fear of EPI, diseases, etc. It was decided by me and the vet to put him on a very basic, bland, easy diet. Im sure there are different schools of thought. Im sure some people would have just switched him anyways, but that wasn't something we thought in his best interest until things were ruled out and we were sure I had a healthy puppy.
 
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