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Hi all! I'm new to the whole RAW/Barf feeding thing. I've read how well your dogs do on it and recently had an acquaintence start her dogs on it (with great results so far!). I'm still going through the links and am getting ready to order some of the recommended books. I would like to do 1/2 kibble and 1/2 raw. I am hoping to start this in 2-3 months time (is that a reasonable time frame for allowing myself enough time to research?).

My main question is - how do you know what percentage of RMB, MM, and OM should make up the dog's diet? ETA: So that the diet is nutritionally balanced.

TIA!
 

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Hi.

in 2-3 months, you can be on the lecture circuit teaching all the rest of us!
It's plenty of time to research and plan how you want to start. You'll end up learning most of it by doing, and adjusting all the advice you get to your dog.

I feed about half RMB/half MM---I weigh the total meal size, but just eyeball the proportion of those items, since every piece of meat is a little different. Chicken thighs and backs are both considered "RMB"--but clearly, one is bonier than the other. So you just have to kinda learn by feel. But half RMB and half MM will get you in the ballpark. Then you just watch poop. Too dry = too much bone.

OM--teeny amount. Like one ounce. That's a piece about the size of your thumb, or one chicken liver. Too much organ meat will cause runny poop 4-sure.


ETA: bone-to-meat is only one part of the nutritional balance. In your research, you'll find lists of required nutrients in a canine diet--I know that several members here have worked up spreadsheets that they use to base meals on---and these can be very helpful.

Variety, I believe, is also important to nutritional balance (especially for people who, like me, do not keep track of the nutrient content in each meal). Providing as much variety in the kinds of meat (and other food) sources as you can will help to cover all the possible nutrients.
 

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Tracy is so right! I am new to the raw thing too.. just 14 days so far. Changes I see: Grimm's coat is denser and plusher now than even his winter coat was-- and the high gloss sheen is mirror-like.. super-glossy. The coat is also very soft, silky now. He has slight feathering on the backs of his forelegs now and on his tummy.

As Tracy said, you can start with half RMB and half MM... and then tweak it depending on how the dog's poops look. I toss 2 chicken legs into my kitchen scale's bowl, then add muscle meat like ground turkey until it equals about as much weight. I toss in a tiny almond-sized chunk of liver, as I am just starting raw with my dog.. and that's dinner. (try freezing the liver.. you can chop off a frozen chunk each meal, as liver is sensitive in the fridge and doesn't stay fresh long) Since we start slowly and gradually, in a few weeks time, you will have added more variety with protien sources and any supplements by that time.

Good luck. Enjoy your reading! And if you learn any secrets us newbies need to know.. please do share, as I am still learning, too.
 

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Since you are going to do half raw and half kibble you have to first figure out how much you would feed the dog if you fed ALL raw and ALL kibble. Then you halve those two amounts.

As far as percentages - I use 50% RMBs (the meatier to better), 45% muscle meat and 5% organ meat as my baseline.

Every dog is different so that's just the starting point. I tweak each dogs amounts to suit their needs. For example, my two Chinese Crested foster puppies have been all raw since they got here. I find that one puppy does better with a lower amount of bone in his diet than the other.
 
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