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Switching to BARF Diet

10352 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Infamous_GSD
Hello everyone! :)

After several weeks of struggling with which brand of premium dog food to buy, canned or dry, getting my dog to eat i have decided to switch to RAW. Not only would it be cheaper than a 30lb bag of Orijen, its healthy, easy to maintain for me (i have a Freezer/Zip lock bags of all sizes) but i know my puppy would love to eat her meals. I'm a complete noob to RAW diets so i was wondering if anybody could help me out here and let me know if i'm on the right path. :p

I used this calculator
Totally Raw Natural Dog Food Meal Calculator

Results were "approximately 0.75 lb per meal 3 time(s) per day." (2.25Lbs total)
Thats about 60lbs a month, which comes out to about $40-50 a month from a local butcher.

Regarding a starting point:

After some reading the average was 50% RMB 45% MM and 5% OM. I will use this as my starting point and work from there.

I found a awesome website called and they list the different options for RMB, MM, OM and other ingredients.

Raw Meaty Bones (RMBs) - are any item that has both meat and EDIBLE bone. Some examples of RMBs are chicken leg quarters, backs, necks, wings, turkey necks, fish, rabbit, ostrich neck, beef neck bones, pork neck bones, duck, pheasant, ox tails ... and so on.

Muscle Meat
- basically this is any meat without bones. Boneless Chicken breasts, ground beef, turkey breast, beef or bison steaks, beef heart (it really is a muscle and not an organ), pork butt, lamb, deer meat, etc. Any boneless meat.

Organ Meats - the basic organs meats are the liver, kidneys and brains of the animal. These should be fed in small amounts - especially the liver - as they are very rich and can cause stomach upset in some dogs.

Here are my choices for each category:

RMB - Chicken Back, Leg Quarters, and Neck
MM - Beef Heart
OM - Beef Liver

Other ingredients - Raw Eggs/Tripe/Plain Yogurt

Supplements - Salmon Oil, Vitamins.
*anyone care to link the ones you use*

Now for the Transition Period for my Puppy

I will start with Chicken Leg Quarter(RMB) and slowly add in the beef heart(MM) and Liver(OM)

How long should i have her on just the RMB and how much MM & OM should i add in slowly?

Any other Vitamins or supplements i'm missing?..

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Sounds like you're off to a great start!

IMO, I'd stick with just the bone-in chicken for at least a week. Make sure her poops stay firm and consistent throughout this time. I personally don't recommend starting with backs, as they tend to be a bit TOO boney, and requite the addition of a little extra boneless meat... thighs are great though. If the poops get chalky and yellow/white, cut back on the bone and feed more meaty cuts.

Beef heart is super rich, so take it very slow with that. Again, personally I wouldn't include that til after the dog has successfully handled several other meat sources first, including the organ meats. I added liver/kidney after one week with no problems, but beef heart was much too rich and gave him the runs.

For supplements, the only thing I use is is Salmon Oil for the Omega 3s.

I also add yogurt occasionally, as well as some cottage cheese. Occasionally I will also steam some veggies that are high in Vit C (bok choy, kale, etc) and add that as a little supplement, but this does not make up any measurable portion of his diet and is not calculated into what I feed.
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I started mine out a yesterday or the day prior.. I'm using chicken quarters with a teaspoon of apple cidar vinegar. Today I gave her a portion of quarters with a chicken foot and a spoon of pumpkin because her poo is a little runny. She gobbled it up.

Good luck!
Okay she just ate her first raw meal, a Chicken drum stick.

i have a question though. Is it okay for her to eat everything? even the bones?

They seemed to crack, i'm worried this is dangerous for her.
Chicken bones are fine as long as they are raw. This keeps them softer then when cooked they become brittle and dangerous. I am not sure if drumsticks are a good idea, I am sure one of the experts will respond. I only wonder because seems like more bone than meat. I like to use thighs myself.
Yeah Drumsticks maybe too small and too boney. I'm switching to Thighs/Leg Quarters.
Yeah Drumsticks maybe too small and too boney. I'm switching to Thighs/Leg Quarters.
No weight bearing bones of any animal.
Weight bearing bones of chickens and turkeys would be fine for GSD's. They are slaughtered at a young age so the bones are still soft. I feed leg quarters frequently, but they are still a bit high in bone so I add some MM when feeding them. I don't usually feed wings or drumsticks, because they are more expensive than quarters and are mostly bone...but if I do feed them I will include a larger portion of MM. It's all about balance over time.

My rule of thumb is that I don't feed weight bearing bones of animals that weigh more than my dogs. So no deer/goat/beef/pork/sheep leg bones.
Thanks for the advice guys!

Your right, the Drumstick doesn't have enough meat. thank god i only bought a small tray of it. For this first week i'll feed just the Leg Quarter then introduce the Liver/heart/boneless meat.
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