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Discussion Starter #1
I have been tinkering around with Lily's (5 month old female) diet. I was initially feeding 2 lbs of food per day but she seemed to be getting skinnier. I could easily feel all of her ribs and see the last few. So I recently upped her amount to 2.25 lbs per day. Her activity level includes a 1/2 hour walk each morning, about 1/2 - 1 hour of swimming, and 1/2 - 1 hour of fetch/soccer/trail hiking/etc. each day. On average, she gets about 2 hours of activity each day and usually more on the weekends.

RMB: Chicken quarters, chicken necks, chicken wings, turkey necks
MM: ground beef, ground turkey, ground pork
OM: chicken liver, beef liver, beef kidney

Not sure where it fits in but also add canned Salmon (traditional style), canned sardines, and canned mackrel. She gets a nightly treat of yogurt and a raw egg (no shell) about 5x's per week. I also add in Salmon Oil, Vit E, and Gluco/Chond/MSM supplements.

She gets fed 3x's per day with about 10-12 oz per meal. I do not feed much OM because the chicken quarters have the back on and appears to include some OM.

I'm looking for some feedback on what and how I am feeding as well as some recomendations for more variety to add to her diet. I mostly shop at my local groccery store, so if you could list some more available items that would be wonderfully helpful.

One of my biggest concerns is that I feel like I am feeding her a lot of food (especially after reading the menu thread) but she looked skinny when I lowered the amount. Also, since she is a puppy, should I add a multi-vitamin to ensure she is getting all she needs to develop correctly. Initially I was feeding part kibble, but the changes between the meals seemed to upset her stomach and since switching to all raw, she is doing much better.
 

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Her being "skinny" actually sounded just about the perfect weight, IMO. You should be able to feel her ribs and see at least the last one or if not two.
It sounds like she is getting a good variety. You could maybe get her some ducks, rabbits, beef heart, beef tongue, pork necks, pork ribs, lamb, goat and fresh fish.
 

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Kristin,

I'll give my opinion. Your diet looks good, I would only suggest maybe rotating in tilapia, pork necks, other turkey parts, or any beef products when available and on sale into the RMB's. Pork and beef roasts when found on sale can be hacked up for muscle meat affordably as well. I like hispanic and asian markets for a lot of these inexpensive cuts of meat. I can find most of this stuff well under $1.00 per pound if I look hard enough.

As far as amount to feed it's all about your dog, not anyone elses. If she looks and feels a bit thin, up the amount as you have done. If she starts to gain a bit too much, cut it back. I think your additions are perfect as well and a multi vitamin is completely up to you.
 

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Yep, Kristin - what they said. It looks like you have everything under control. About the only other muscle meat I use in addition to yours is beef heart and pork roasts. Watch for sales - you can get pork roasts rather cheap if they are nearing their expiration dates, and WalMart sells beef hearts already sliced up.

I would love to add tilapia, but it's rather pricey in my area. I do use canned mackerel and salmon (when it's on sale).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all!

So what parts of the rabbit, lamb, and goat can I use? Any fresh fish that I should avoid? I read on the forum no North Pacific Salmon and not much tuna. Sometimes I see things at the store, but not always sure what she can eat. For example, I saw ox tail but steered clear since I just wasn't sure.

If I were to add a multi-vitmain, is there a suggested one? I looked at Missing Link, but not sure exactly what I am looking for.

I guess I'll just keep a close watch on her weight. She just looked skinny to me, but I am probably not used to how a GSD should look.

Looks like I'll be making another store trip soon. I really wanted to add to the RMB list since it is mostly chicken. Not that her big girl teeth are mostly all in, she loves the RMB's the most! And I will definately be keeping my eye out for the beef heart since that seems to be a favorite.

Thanks again!
 

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I use tuna but definitely not every day and not really more than a couple times a month. There is a concern regarding the mercury content and really, you get that with any predatory fish, even dolphins (the mammal ones). Canned mackerel is cheap and good, I also like canned sardines.

You're in Florida, Publix carries beef heart. Ask for the whole heart, it's about $8 for 6ish lbs, not cheap but not terrible, considering that beef is only slightly cheaper than gold these days. I also got a bag of Seafood Medley and tossed it in a blender with turkey livers and beef kidneys, canned mackerel, and water, mixed it up to the consistency (and smell) of puke, then froze it. Broke it up in chunks, and now I can give Renji an easy chunk of variety. Next time I'm going to add in a package of some cheap lamb meat, just a small amount, that way he also gets a shot of sheep at every meal. The seafood medley has a bunch of different miscellaneous seafood which have a bunch of miscellaneous vitamins, and it's reasonable so it covers lots of bases. Plus, it's in a frozen chunk with the flavor masked, so Renji eats it! Otherwise, it's a fight to get him to eat kidneys or livers. I also give him raw egg, it's a great protein source. I've also added a drizzle of olive oil and fish oil pills. He also gets pork neck, great stuff!

You mentioned rabbit... do you know a place in Florida to get it cheap? I'm in central FL.
 

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Full grown Shepherds can handle any rabbit and pretty much any parts of sheep or goats. In FL I would check out some favorite fishing holes for some fresh caught fish.
I have one dog that has been showing some fish senstivities but she can easily handle our basic three of canned mackerel, sardines and salmon (loves her salmon). Sha can also handle fresh salmon. I will tryher on some of the fresh caught fish (trout, blue gill and catfish) that is being lined up for us as well. If she is ok with it fine if not she will get something else that she likes when the others get fish.
 

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I agree with the fish! We caught a catfish and Renji got the organs, the spine, some flesh (we ate the filets), and the fish head. It took him a couple days to realize it was food, but when he did, it was cool! Lots of LOUD crunches as catfish have very, very hard skulls and skin. In fact, I think I'll go fishing this weekend to see if I can beef up Renji's store!
 

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Originally Posted By: DianaMI agree with the fish! We caught a catfish and Renji got the organs, the spine, some flesh (we ate the filets), and the fish head. It took him a couple days to realize it was food, but when he did, it was cool! Lots of LOUD crunches as catfish have very, very hard skulls and skin. In fact, I think I'll go fishing this weekend to see if I can beef up Renji's store!
*groan* Fish heads. Fish heads with hard skulls ...


The crunching of fish heads makes me queasy. Oh so gross.
 

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Quote:The crunching of fish heads makes me queasy. Oh so gross.
Oh I LOVED it. When I first heard the CRRRRUNCH, I nearly exploded with glee. Those crunches were heftier than chicken or pork bones! That fluffball has some jaws!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh definately something I will look into!

Would it be safe to catch my own fish to feed? I love 4 houses away from the intercoastal and we have lots of fish (snapper, sheapshead, catfish, trout, sailor's choice, etc.) available. Do I need to freeze the fish first? Should I remove the front tentacles (not sure what else to call them) on the catfish?

Lily loves salmon and sardines, so hopefully she'll like the fresh fish too. As soon as she smells the fish her ears perk up and she starts sitting everytime I look at her so I know she is being a good girl!

Thanks for all the ideas! I found a meat market nearby that I am hoping to browse by this weekend and pick Lily up a few new things.
 

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I know if I lived there, I'd be catching fish to feed the dogs!

My theory on fish (any meat, really) is if it's fit for me to eat, then it's okay for the dogs. If it's either diseased or contaminated to make it unfit for human consumption, then I wouldn't feed it to the dogs either. (The notable exception is green tripe.)

As for freezing--there is that issue with Pacific Salmon and "Salmon Poisoning" which is a genuine lethal concern. So I think it's prudent to freeze any fish. But truth is, it may not be necessary with the fish where you are. If you've got the freezer space, may as well.

I have in the past removed any sharp fins (tilapia have especially nasty ones) just to avoid the dog cutting a lip. Soft fins, I leave on, along with anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the recommendations on the fish. I think I'll freeze just to be on the safe side. Plus, then I can stock up and freeze in bulk.

I went to the store yesterday and stocked up on some new meat items. I got chicken wings, chicken backs, a whole chicken cut up, chicken quarters, chicken gizzards, pork necks, ground pork, lamb neck, turkey necks, ground turkey,ground beef, beef short ribs, sardines, canned salmon, and canned mackrel. I talked to the butcher and he told me to come back today or tomorrow for the beef heart. I was told about another store in town that may have some different items and I plan to search there too.

Quick question - do I need to go slow on adding any new items that are the same protein source as I have been using before. For example, if she has had ground pork, do I need to slowly introduce the pork necks? or would it be similar enough to just start feeding so long as I am still balancing the RMB's and MM?

Thanks!
 

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Pork is pork, so if she has tolerated ground pork, she'll be fine with neck bones. (Pork neck may take a while for a little one because they are pretty bony. If she worries it more than 10 minutes, I'd take what's left away and toss it, rather than risk choking on a bone hunk. Just watch her with new things to make sure behaves herself with it. I've got one gulper, and one that chews carefully.)

Sounds like you hit the jackpot at the stores!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am trying the pork necks tomorrow so I will defiantely watch closely.

She was mouthing the rib a bit today for a while so I ended up just taking the last little bit of bone away from her. I always stay in the room while she eats so it is easy for me to see if she is struggling with anything...but ever since her adult teeth came in she has been crunching through most everything with ease!
 
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