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Okay, I've been reading and reading, and then reading some more, and I'm starting to get a pretty good idea of what the BARF diet is all about, how to go about it, what to feed, what not to feed, etc. This really is a great site for info!

Anyway, I have a 9 week old German Shepherd puppy. I just got her and already love her! With my huskies, I just fed them pedigree dry food, gave them all kinds of garbage "human food," and sometimes gave them canned food. I had no idea all that stuff was so bad for them. Now I know and won't make that mistake again!

So my question is, once my pup (her name is Cedar, because when we got her she smelled like cedar wood chips) reaches 4 months, I plan to start weaning her on a RAW diet. I'm still not too sure how to go about doing this. I've read some people say to start her on chicken only for the first couple weeks. Well I can't really just give her nothing but chicken, can I? Should I cut up the chicken breast into small strips, or just give it to her whole and let her do her thing? Should I get skinless chicken breasts, or is skin okay for them to have?

I guess I'm just looking for advice how to get my puppy started on a raw diet. What to give her, what not to give her until a certain age, whether I should go with carbs and fruit/veggies, or skip those altogether? Should I go with supplements or not? If so, just a multi-vitamin and salmon oil, or is there more I should give her?

Is there certain raw foods a dog should never have? I read some people say not to give a dog beef because it's a known allergen in many dogs, but then I read how many people are giving their dogs beef hearts, beef marrow bones, steaks, etc. So I'm getting lots of conflicting info, and for a novice like me, it's confusing.

So any advice you have towards starting my puppy on this diet will be really appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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Shaner,
I think you’re making a great decision for Cider (cute name). And you’re really smart to start doing your research now to formulate a plan. Being educated and prepared is hugely important. I was still confused when I started Mac on raw and he paid the price with diarrhea and later constipation. This website has a lot of great information in the forums.

Another fantastic resource is http://www.rawdogranch.com. The puppy specific pages are still under construction but I’ve been told they will be done soon. Meanwhile, there’s still a lot of great information that’s well organized and tools that are easy to use. Plus instructions with pictures are provided by an experienced person with proven success in raw feeding. Most importantly, unlike my vet and some of the websites I've found, Raw Dog Ranch is objective. Hopefully, the puppy pages will be complete by the time your puppy is 4 months old. I highly recommend it. The research can be overwhelming so if you can find a few resources you trust, stick with them.

Good Luck, Carrie
 

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Thanks for the great questions shaner. I am expecting my pup, Dixie, to be here within the next couple of weeks (when she is 8 weeks old) and would like to start her, along with my 10-year-old black lab, Porsche, on the BARF diet, but there is just so much conflicting information out there. The only difference between my questions and yours would be the fact that I would really like to start my pup on the BARF diet as soon as she arrives.

Again, thanks for the great questions, now we are just waiting for the experts to chime in with equally great answers. :) Maybe this thread can even be pinned for future beginners like us, so that the information contained within will be easily accessible.

Thanks in advance to the experts for their replies! :) I look forward to reading them.
 

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Shaner;
I have just started the process of feeding raw and the two books I have found that have a lot of good info are "Work Wonders, Feed your Dog Raw Meaty Bones" by Tom Lonsdale and "Raw & Natural Nutrition for Dogs" by Lew Olson. I like Raw & Natural since the author has diets for puppy whether they are complete raw or raw and kibble mix.
 

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Chicken is fine to feed for a couple weeks. It's better than starting out with a bunch of different foods - her tummy will most likely get upset, and it could either be from the huge variety, or from an issue with a certain type of food. Adding new foods slowly allows you to keep her from getting the runs, and lets you know if there was a particular food that didn't agree with her. If you do find one that doesn't agree with her, you can try it later, once her system is adjusted to the diet.

You can go either way with the skin; skin is fatty so it could cause some digestive upset if she's not used to it. So skinless might be good to start, and then you can try meat with the skin on. I would feed her meals whole, but watch her carefully to be sure she doesn't try to gulp them. If you know she tends to gulp, you can hold the end of the meat to make sure she chews it. If she tends to eat her kibble or other foods slowly and carefully, it will probably translate over to raw food, but always watch her when she's eating.
To start out, you can feed chicken quarters and the boneless/skinless breast. Fairly bony meals are good because bones make poop more solid...but too much can make her constipated, so do your best to keep her balanced. If she's okay after several days, add in a tiny bit of liver. If she's still fine (no runny poop), you can slowly add more variety. If she starts to get the runs, back off with adding new stuff for a few days.

I don't add any fruits, veggies, or carbs. My dogs get meat, bones, and organ. They all get salmon oil, and the one with HD gets joint supplements and Ester C. I don't do multivitamins, they get their nutrients from their meat. I do feed bee pollen, and I haven't really heard of anyone else feeding it - but it puts an amazing gleam on my dogs' coats.

Beef is fine; if Cedar has issues with it, you can just stop feeding it. It's not going to do any longterm damage. Individual dogs are totally different, you will have to see what works best for yours.

I have one (my old lady) who is allergic to just about everything I've tried; except turkey. And then Djenga was having some awful allergy problems a few months ago; I couldn't figure out what was wrong, she had nasty ear infections and was losing the hair on her ears, chest, and feet. I figured it out, but it took a while, eliminating certain things from her diet. She was horribly allergic to venison, which I had been feeding a lot of. Within a few days of being off the venison, her ear infections had cleared up completely (after festering, even with medication from the vet, for quite a while), and before long she looked perfect again.

So - go slowly, and feed what works for Cedar and you'll be just fine!
 

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I just got a new pup, and decided to raise him 100% on BARF. I've been told the amount to feed either 2% to 3% of projection adult weight (a constant number) or up to 8% of puppy weight (variable number). According to GSD puppy growth-chart, and suppose that my puppy will weight 88 pounds when he become an adult, I am getting confused to see the different between that two methods:

* at 2 month puppy weights 19.9 lb, amount to feed: 8% = 1.59 lb vs 3% = 2.64 lb
* at 3 month puppy weights 31.3 lb, amount to feed: 8% = 2.50 lb vs 3% = 2.64 lb
* at 4 month puppy weights 41.8 lb, amount to feed: 8% = 3.34 lb vs 3% = 2.64 lb
* at 5 month puppy weights 50.6 lb, amount to feed: 8% = 4.05 lb vs 3% = 2.64 lb
* at 6 month puppy weights 57.4 lb, amount to feed: 8% = 4.59 lb vs 3% = 2.64 lb
* and so on...

Could someone please educate me. Thanks a bunch.
 

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http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/b-r-f-raw-feeding/171629-new-how-am-i-doing.html

I couldn't figure out how to link another thread other than doing it that way. It was a Thread I started for advice on raw feeding and amounts and all that.. all the information was SUPER helpful. I think you might get something out of it.

I too am starting a raw diet for my 2 Year old GSD, Titan and my new 3 mo Boerboel pup, Athena, in January. I wanted all the information I could get so when I researched, I got so much I overwhelmed myself with it, lol. probably like a few others I imagine. I love the questions you asked because it's more related to puppy raw feeding. But from what I gather it seems that it's just the same as an adult. The site that was posted earlier: Welcome to the Raw Dog Ranch was super helpful in the feeding amounts. She gave examples of what she feeds her dogs and that visual was great. It's not complete yet as was stated but I presume it will be soon.

I'm super interested in reading what everyone has to say about your thread! :)
 

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I also do alot of research on the subject, while everything is clear and applicable for adult dogs, still a bit confusing how much to feed a young pup. I quoted from Justamere Ranch (http://www.justamere.com/newsletter/rawfeeding.asp):-

"How do I determine how much to feed my dog?
As a starting point give your dog about 2 to 3 percent of his ideal adult weight. If your dog is very active, you may need to feed a little more. If your dog is more of a couch-potato, you may need to feed a little less. A good way to tell if you are feeding the right amount is to run your hands over your dog’s ribs. If you can feel the ribs, but not see them, your dog is at a good weight. It is healthier for him to be lean rather than fat or skinny. Puppies should also receive about 2 to 3 percent, but not of his current weight, rather 2 to 3 percent of his ideal ADULT weight. Also, you don’t have to give your dog the same amount every day. You don’t eat exactly the same amount every day, do you?"


Is it a proper way to feed a pup the same amount you would feed the older dog? Sounds to me that not so right, just like if I ask my kids eating the same amount that I would take... way too much.
 

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I found this piece of advice, and I think it is reasonable: "Begin feeding him 10% of his weight a day. Once 10% of his weight exceeds 2% to 3% of his IDEAL ADULT weight (not present weight), feed the 2% to 3%. All the time you are doing this you are conscious of his build and adjust the amount of food accordingly. The puppy will tell you how much to feed him by his build."
 

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so this may be a dumb question, but when feeding something like chicken thighs, should i cut the bone apart or just give it to him as it's packaged?
 

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Good info! We are getting our pup next weekend (8 weeks old) and I wanted to keep him on a raw diet. The breeder is feeding him raw now which is great. She suggested Small Batch (we are in northern Cal) for pre-made feedings. I found a local co-op here in the foothills east of Sacramento who can help buy and distribute the RAW food (including Small Batch). I joined the group and I think they'll be a great source of info too. My first question to the director was - What and how much should I feed my puppy?

She also suggested the same book discussed earlier -
http://www.amazon.com/Raw-Natural-Nutrition-Dogs-Definitive/dp/1556439032/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1323112455&sr=8-6

Mark
 

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My new boy, Maximus the Gladiator -- GSD show-line, 10 week old as of today.



He has been weaning on Royal Canin, and after brought home I decided to switch him to 100% RAW. At first, he was happy with chicken wings (morning meal) beside his Royal Canin (afternoon meal), his poop was very good. However, after 02 days he refused to eat chicken, just sniff then walkaway. Tried to skip yesterday's afternoon meal but still, he doesn't take chicken anymore this morning, so I am here getting confused.

Would much appreciate any comment and advice on how to handle this matter. Thanks
 
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