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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, after a weeks of going back and forth of whether or not I want to feed the dogs raw, i'm going for it. I have a 8 y/o australian shepherd bitch and a 2 year old american lined german shepherd bitch. The GSD has always been a -picky- eater, barely eating dry kibble and its been an ongoing battle to get her to eat for the past two years. She is currently on wellness and likes it the most out of any dog food we've ever had her on (when i say 'likes it', i mean occasionally eats it when mixed with large quantities of wet dog food :headbang:). The aussie, well lets just say that shes a garbage disposal when it comes to anything edible.
So i've got a spreadsheet all set out for the dogs. I would like to work the GSD up to 2.04 lbs muscle meat, .26 lbs bone, .26lbs organ, .13 lbs liver. As for the aussie, i would ideally like her to be at 1.08 muscle meat, .14 lbs bone, .16 lbs organ, and .07 lbs of liver.

So last night, we made the plunge and I gave them turkey wings/ turkey drumsticks for dinner. Well, the aussie took to hers right away. The GSD didnt eat it for, oh 45 mins? She didnt want to put it in her mouth, but did know she wanted it. I think it was the first time i've ever seen her resource guard from the aussie. Anyways, she still didnt understand the concept of tearing, so I cut her little meat slabs off of it and she ate those just fine. I just never thought i would have to show a dog how to eat a bone.:confused: ... Anyways, they've both got a little runny stool today, but they're in good spirits. I gave them some canned pumpkin (GSD refused to eat more than a few bites), so I was wondering if there was anything else I could offer the GSD to eat that might get her digestive system under control? Also, with the drumsticks: The GSD refused to gnaw on the bone, however the aussie went to town with it. Today i'm reading that weight bearing bones can actually cause them intestinal harm. Should I stay away from those from now on?

I'm also giving the GSD satin balls to try and bulk her up a little bit (shes just lanky and skinny). How many should I give her a day?

So how am I doing? Any tips, suggestions, input?

 

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I wouldn't have introduced turkey drums or wings for their first meals. They are dense bones and high in skin content. skin is hard to digest in the beginning and may cause runny stool.
I would do chicken leg 1/4's to start for the first week, add in variety slowly. My next addition would be fresh(frozen)green tripe. Then some ground beef or turkey to go with a chix leg or thigh. Add in the organ meat during this time and your good to go. If the dog is doing ok on the additions, start with different proteins.

Turkey necks are really cherished by my dogs, I chunk them in 1/3's for a RMB.

Weight gain should be slow and you'll notice it after a few weeks on raw. But what will be more noticeable will be the muscle tone of the dog. Lanky and skinny is ok with me(better than roly poly), but I'd rather put on muscle than just bulk up the dog.
 

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It sounds like you're on the right track, although I wouldn't get TOO hung up on getting them to an exact amount. Each dog is different and the important thing is to adjust amounts for each.

For example - I feed 3 GSD's raw.
One is about 62 lbs and eats 10 oz a day.
One is 55 lbs and eats 2 lbs a day.
The last is 68 lbs and also eats 2 lbs a day. She is very active and I started her off at 2.5 lbs/day, but she got heavy.

My 15 lb JRT eats 1 lb every day - that is 6% of his bodyweight! But he is very active and thin.

So be flexible and adjust your feeding for the dogs. If they get too heavy or thin on the amount you've set out, decrease or increase to keep them at the right weight.

Chicken quarters are great to start out - they also usually have some kidney attached so you get a little organ. They are a little heavy on bone (about 30%) but to start out with that's fine. After the dogs adjust you might want to add some boneless chicken breast to get the bone ratio correct.
Weight bearing bones of large animals such as pigs, cows, etc are too hard, and can break teeth. Bones of turkeys and chickens are fine for large dogs.
 

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I started the two I'm feeding raw very easily. I simply gave them each two chicken backs. After licking and smelling for a while, they took a bite and the rest is history. Now have added some venison and they did the same. They will eat if hungry no matter what meat you give them
 

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Feeding an unbalanced raw diet is just as unhealthy as feeding a crappy kibble.

They'll eat ol'roy if they're starving, but is that nutritious?
For those reading alaman's post, please do your research before transitioning to a raw diet.
Chicken backs are boney, not much meat and not a complete meal.
There should be a balance of meat, organ and bone for proper digestion and nutrition.
 

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Feeding an unbalanced raw diet is just as unhealthy as feeding a crappy kibble.

They'll eat ol'roy if they're starving, but is that nutritious?
For those reading alaman's post, please do your research before transitioning to a raw diet.
Chicken backs are boney, not much meat and not a complete meal.
There should be a balance of meat, organ and bone for proper digestion and nutrition.
Uh, believe I mentioned venison which has been ground up and is a mixture of meat and organ and added to the chicken backs provide all the needs from meat for "proper digestion and nutrition". Add in the usual fish oil, vitamin e and a few other addded items such as some fruits and a few vegetables and my dogs are being fed properly and I will put their energy, staminia, and ability to work all day up against anyone's.

The point was to start feeding a dog raw is no big hurdle, just simply put the food out and they will eat if they are hungry. How one starts is their decision, adapted for their individual dogs and how soon to switch from 100% kibble to 100% raw is the owner's decision and whatever it is, the GSD will go along because it's hungry.

My decision which I was relating was simple start by putting some raw meat out and get them started which is very easy. I saw no recommendation of feeding only chicken backs in my earlier post.
 

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Alaman, your post was poorly worded when talking about chicken backs; it SOUNDED like you were suggesting starting on them, along with only providing one other protein source and no mention of organs. At least that's how it came across to me and I believe to Jane also. Hence why she made note for others to do proper research. She was not attacking you or your dogs.

To the OP, Jane gave good advice. Just make sure you wait for your dogs stools to maintain firmness before introducing new proteins. If green tripe is expensive in your area (like in my area) any red meat is great too. Red meat is also more nutritious then white meat. :) And Phgsd is right, don't get too crazy with exact amounts. You do want to weigh food, but the best indicator of how much to feed will be the dog. Remember that the numbers a spreadsheet will give is only a starting point - adjust to the individual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info. We made the switch to chicken and only the GSD seems to have the slight runny stool. The aussie inhales her meals (she thanks everyone on this forum for all the great RAW information that persuaded me to make the switch) and the GSD refuses to really eat much of it (she uses her front teeth and carefully nibbles). The whole process takes her about an hour to eat one serving, and even then she isn't too convinced on the whole thing. I've kept her on the wellness a little longer to make sure shes getting some source of nutrition (that is, when she decides to eat it), but she just doesn't seem all the interested in raw food, or any food for that matter. I've never heard of a dog that doesn't enjoy eating meat? She takes her time with the satin balls, only showing minimal interest. I read that dogs go crazy for those. Vet thinks im crazy because i've had him work her up four or five times in the past year only to find out that she doesnt have worms, she doesnt have EPI, and her blood panel is within normal limits. Could it be a line thing? I think I read somewhere on here that AGSDs have a lower food drive in comparison to the WGSDs. Is that an exaggerated overgeneralization?
 
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