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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning to switch my dogs to a raw diet, and I have read that the first days you should only feed RMB and then slowly start adding organs and meat, is that right?
How long would be the best? I have found from 3 days to two weeks :confused:

Also, what would be the best RMB to start? I was thinking about necks, which ones would you recommend, chicken or turkey?
I read in a website that some people complain that some chicken bones can break dogs teeth, is this true? Has anybody experienced this?

I still have lots of questions, I've been reading a lot about this, and I still feel very nervous about not doing it right. :(

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

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If you plan to go cold turkey, then feed just one protein source for the first 1-2 weeks. Normally people use chicken. Chicken quarters should work for you. Leave the bone in and don't worry about organs yet. If you don't like the mess thawed raw makes, or if you think your dogs are eating way too fast then you can feed the raw frozen. Yes the bone is fine frozen. You could consider adding probiotics to aid in digestion if your dog has never had raw before.

It's very likely that for the first few days, maybe even the first week, your dogs stool will be very runny. That is normal. Once the stools are nice and firm for about a week you can start either introducing a new protein (beef, pork, lamb, deer, rabbit, etc) OR organs. NOT both at once. Personally I introduced a new protein first (beef). Introduce the new protein SLOWLY by substituting a portion of the daily chicken quarter with whatever protein you choose. Remember to continue giving RMBs to maintain solid stool. I don't recommend chicken necks for bigger dogs because they're small. RMB's you can feed: chicken backs, turkey necks, some dogs can go through pork, lamb, and beef ribs - NO weight bearing bones i.e. leg bones.

Again, once stools are stable you can introduce organs. Organs should be introduced even more slowly unless you want very runny stool because they are VERY rich. By very slowly I mean no more then say, a fingernail's worth the first day and working incrementally from there. Start with ONE organ - I recommend liver (chicken or beef) as your starter organ. Random note - beef heart is NOT an organ in terms of raw feeding, it is considered a muscle meat. It IS a very rich meat nonetheless so feed beef heart slowly if you ever choose to.

You don't have to worry so much about proportions right away. There will be balance OVER TIME. If you want you can invest in a scale if you want accurate measurements, though later on as you get more used to it you'll more then likely end up eyeballing it. Keep an eye on their weight. Getting chubby then less food, getting thin then more food. ;) Each dog of course has a different metabolism so don't be surprised if you have a sliding scale in terms of how much each eats!

Hope that helps as an intro. There's a LOT to learn, but you'll be fine as long as you do your research. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I plan to switch cold turkey.
Should I remove the skin from the chicken quarters?

I've also read canned pumpkin helps if they have runny stools, I always keep those handy just in case.

So I just need to keep adding either new proteins or organs and muscle meat very slowly til their stomachs get used to everything.

Thank you SO much! It was a lot of very useful info! Yes, there's still a lot more to learn, and I really appreciate the help!
 

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Ruth, you may want to read a book or two also - I can recommend Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs - The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals by Lew Olson PhD - Lew has been my guru for years on raw feeding, she has over 30 years experience and this is an excellent book. Very well written and very easy to understand, especially for someone like yourself who is just getting started. (Some of what is in the book is also on her website www.b-naturals.com ) Both Amazon.com (if you visit the website you can "look inside" and examine some of the contents) and Barnes and Noble have it discounted for just over $11, a real bargain for the info it contains. Good luck on your new venture - it is far and away the best thing you can do for your dogs!
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Susan

Anja SchH3 GSD
Conor GSD
Blue BH WH T1 GSD - waiting at the Bridge :angel:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Anja! I read the "sample" contents and it was definitely interesting.

Right now (while I continue my research) I'm transitioning from Blue Buffalo to Orijen, and so far they're doing well. I think I'll just let them finish the 15 lbs bags I have and then switch them cold turkey to raw.
I hope by then I'm better prepared!

Or should I just switch them right away and leave the dry food as a back up? If Orijen is high in protein, would it be a good switch from it to raw?
 

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whether you leave chicken skin on or not is a personal preference. I don't like giving them that extra fat so I would say no, but a lot of people do give the skin. As for the kibble it's up to you. If you feel you could use the time it takes them to finish the bag to learn more then do it. I think most people who switch back to kibble do it because of how much it costs, so make sure you know how much you're realistic budget would be. And I don't think the higher protein content in orijen will help significantly since it's still a processed food. It would probably help more then, say, Iams, but kibble is still a completely different monster compared to raw. ;)
 

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I think it's up to you, if you are going to go cold turkey it doesn't really matter what kibble you are currently feeding - once I started feeding raw I never went back to kibble, so any I had in my possession at that time got tossed out or given to friends. I didn't start feeding raw though until I felt that I really had the hang of it. I spent quite a bit of time reading - another good book is "Switching to Raw" by Susan K Johnson. While not difficult once you get used to it, there are still subtleties with this diet -you will need to give some supplements for example - so as much knowledge as you can gather ahead of time will make that transition all the easier.

If you need additional info, please feel free to PM me!

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Susan

Anja SchH3 GSD
Conor GSD
Blue BH WH T1 GSD -waiting at the Bridge :angel:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, Verivus and Anja1Blue!

I have started feeding raw and loving it!

Buh-bye, kibble;)
 
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