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Raw Feeding Questions & Concerns

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your dog's diet, please contact your vet!

  
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Member Since
07/25/2012
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 7:31am PST 
Hi There, new to this site and new to feeding raw and just have some questions and concerns I thought some of you more experienced people might be able to help me with.
I just started my dog Seamus on raw 5 days ago. I found a place that caters to raw feeding and sells all kinds of meat and bones, necks, wind pipes, cubed tripe and organ meat etc. I got started off with a week 1 "starter kit" which consists of a couple packages of ground chicken and turkey with bone, tripe cubes, organ meat cubes, a couple of duck necks and some whole fish (mackerel).
Seamus loves the ground meat and tripe and organ cubes. Gobbles them all up no problem. He wasn't too chuffed about the fish but eventually figured out how to rip into it and ate it but still just didn't seem really into it. His beard also totally stank afterwards as did the spot on my lawn where he ate it and than tried to roll in it and than attracted a thousand flies for hours afterwards. Yesterday I attempted duck neck which he licked twice and stared at me like "seriously, where's my dinner"? I moved inside with it because flies were starting to swarm. I had only fed ground meat from his dish inside so didn't really know what to do... I put an old towel down. Tried coaxing him into eating it, didn't want it. He kind of gnawed on it for a bit but made no real effort to use his paws or really bite down. I tried smashing it with a hammer (something I'd heard someone else did when they started feeding necks). He still just kind of sniffed around it. I tried cutting a piece of of it and he still had no interest. I put it in the fridge and thought I'd try later. Later on I took it back out and thought maybe if I hold it he'll get the hang of ripping it. He did start to kind of pull at it, ate a few small pieces but didn't want to eat the bone and really wasn't even into the meat, he kind of nibbled around it. He than got bored and quit altogether.
In the mean time, there's little pieces of meat flying onto the floor and walls, than the whole neck got dropped on the floor missing the towel completely. I guess my questions are; Is it possible he doesn't like it? Or will it just take time for him to figure out how to eat something whole like that? He doesn't seem to be interested in ripping something apart. My other question is, is it always this messy? Will I always have chunks of meat flying and hitting the floor and walls? I'm afraid I sound like too much of a clean freak but, I can't help it, I like my house clean. I'm concerned about contamination. He had ground chicken stuck in his beard the other day. Where does everyone feed? Someone told me to feed outdoors but the flies really start to swarm all over the place and what about winter? My yard isn't fenced so I'd have to sit outside with him while he eats in the cold.
I guess I'm just feeling a bit discouraged. I knew it would be more time consuming which I'm fine with, to an extent. I mean... do you sit and watch them eat a bone for an hour to make sure it stays on a towel? Also, doesn't the juice soak through the towel? Do you mop your floors every time your dog eats?
We're planning to start a family very soon... what about kids crawling on the same floor the dog just ate raw meat on.
I guess I'm just wondering what everyone does, where do you feed your dog, how do you clean up after etc.
I've been trying to read about raw feeding but no book really covers this.
Sorry if I sound all freaked out LOL. I'm just starting to be afraid that I started something I shouldn't have. I do want to do what's best for my dog but this first week has been pretty darn time consuming and messy. shrug
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 8:13am PST 
Most dogs can eat their food pretty cleanly and efficiently. Maybe he's playing with it a bit because it's novel and that's why there's such a mess? If he'll eat in a crate, that would contain the mess and shouldn't be too difficult to clean. You can also work on teaching him to keep his food on a towel.

Chance's Beginner's Guide To Prey Model Raw PDF is a great resource for info on raw feeding, and it's free!
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Kolbe

Where can I run- today?
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 8:25am PST 
Hi!

I guess my questions are; Is it possible he doesn't like it? Or will it just take time for him to figure out how to eat something whole like that?

It's possible he doesn't like it, OR might just take time.... some dogs do not care for duck, some dogs don't care for gamier meats, etc.

He doesn't seem to be interested in ripping something apart.

This might just take time and practice. You might try something that could be more palatable to him like a chicken leg quarter (thigh & leg) or something like that...that's a good "starter" piece.

My other question is, is it always this messy? Will I always have chunks of meat flying and hitting the floor and walls?

Ew, I hope not! I can safely say meat does not make contact with my walls, heh.

Where does everyone feed? Someone told me to feed outdoors but the flies really start to swarm all over the place and what about winter?

Mine eat on towels or mats, or outdoors when the weather is nice. I live in Buffalo NY so perhaps that has something to do with it, but can't say that I ever see flies swarming them during eating... are you in a very humid climate?


I mean... do you sit and watch them eat a bone for an hour to make sure it stays on a towel? Also, doesn't the juice soak through the towel? Do you mop your floors every time your dog eats?


No, I don't...they are trained to keep their food on the towel. If the food comes off the towel, they are to pick it up and place it back on there. I place a meal on the towel and check on them every couple of minutes, depending on if it's something that takes a long time to eat. Mine both consume something easy like a chicken quarter in under 2 minutes so there's not much time or watching involved there. If they have something more recreational that takes a while to eat like a big pork neck or something, I just check on them now and again. I don't really have issues with stuff soaking through towels -- if it's something very juicy like organ meat or something, I just feed that out of a bowl. Average hunks of meat, barring things like bloody fresh venison, aren't super duper soggy enough to get through the towel.

We're planning to start a family very soon... what about kids crawling on the same floor the dog just ate raw meat on.

I have a 2 yr old and a 9 month old. I don't feed my dogs in locations where my kids crawl (like the kitchen), even though I gently wipe the area with some vinegar after they are done just to be extra clean. Many people feed their dogs in their crate, I feed mine outdoors or in the garage, or in the basement workshop/storage area.

I do want to do what's best for my dog but this first week has been pretty darn time consuming and messy.

Hey I understand. It can definitely be time consuming at first when your dog doesn't seem crazy about crushing their food and isn't a well-versed raw eater yet. Aside from tooth-cleaning meals, my dogs generally take less than 5 minutes to eat. When we very first started, Kolbe used to take what I felt was half my lifetime to crunch up a silly little leg quarter, but she quickly got better and faster at it, as well as neater.
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Member Since
07/25/2012
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 8:49am PST 
Thanks so much for your responses Onyx and Kolbe! I will definitely check out that link! I'm always looking for more stuff to read.
He must just be playing with it a bit because it's new. I just didn't know if this was normal or not and I wasn't loving the idea of meat chunks flying everywhere lol.

Kolbe thank you so much for your detailed answers. I guess maybe at first it's just a little daunting! I live in Ontario and it's been extremely hot and humid this summer. The flies just seem to swarm to the meat, it wasn't as bad yesterday morning and he ate the mackerel pretty quickly. It was the duck neck I had to bring in since it was taking him so long. When I go into the store this weekend I'll ask her for something like the chicken leg quarter.
Good to know it's not always this messy and stuff doesn't soak through. I really want to continue with this so I'll keep trying and hopefully he'll get the hang of it and so will I!
Seamus doesn't have a crate, we adopted him as a 2 year old and he would have nothing to do with crating and he's always been really well behaved when we're not home etc. so we didn't bother. I CAN however feed him in the basement. I did not even think of that. Half the basement is laundry and storage and has cement floors. Can't believe I didn't think of that! I also like the vinegar idea, I have been using a disinfectant spray but vinegar is probably more cost friendly.

Ha! Yesterday did seem like an eternity trying to get him to eat that neck. I was tired the house was hot and I'd just had a shower and stepped in raw meat on the floor laugh out loud I'm guessing in time we'll both get the hang of it.
Thank you both very much for taking the time to give me some info. I feel much better. This seems like a great place to learn things so I'll keep reading and I'm sure be back with more questions!
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 25, '12 11:03am PST 
One of the best things about feeding prey model raw is the time it takes to eat it. I am always disappointed when Max has a boring meal that takes 2-4 minutes to eat and would love to feed him the large more complicated meals that take up to an hour to eat more than once a week.

I hope you find a crate he can eat in so he can take his time and make a contained mess. I have a short tiled front hall I can gate off and wipe down if Max needs to eat inside.

Perhaps you could change meal times to earlier and later to avoid some of the bugs. Flies I don't mind so much but when wasps get interested we go inside! You could always water down the area where the food was.

How is the digestion on the mixed food you are giving the dog? Usually we suggest feeding plain chicken until the dog's guts figure out how to digest the high protein and fat low residue raw food.
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Seamus

1260447
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 31, '12 5:49am PST 
Hi Maxwell, yes we've been finding meal time is more fun for us! haha. I enjoy seeing him eat something that takes more time and gives him more enjoyment. He certainly seems to be a happier dog lately. I mean he always seemed happy but he seems to have a bit more spring in his step.

When we feed indoors we've been finding the basement cement floor is working really well on top of an old towel. It's perfect smile The weather has been a bit cooler so the bugs aren't bothering him as much though so outdoors is where he's been eating a lot of his food.

I actually didn't know about just feeding the plain chicken and introducing other meats slowly (until I read the PDF that was linked above). I went to a store that specializes in feeding raw and just followed their instructions. For the first week I got mostly ground chicken and turkey w/bone and was told to feed that first, I also got some mackerel and duck necks (he doesn't like the duck necks). I'm still feeding the ground chicken and turkey but have also been feeding brisket, pork tongue (both of which he loves) and have some ground beef which I haven't fed yet. I also have offal cubes and tripe cubes, he gets one of each per day except when I feed brisket. I was told I won't have to feed the tripe and offal as much later on, that he needs more in the beginning. I have had no issues with his digestion at all. He's been energetic, more so than he ever has been, he seems to feel great, he's pooping fine etc.

I've noticed something interesting, I'm sure none of you will be surprised as I've heard stuff like this can happen but Seamus has had a hot spot in his ear for a couple of months. At first I thought he was getting an ear infection but than it turned into a round scabby looking thing. His ear was red around it and he constantly scratched at it. One week of feeding raw and it's pretty much gone. His ear is no longer red and he doesn't scratch it anymore.

I am finding it really expensive though so I'll have to try and find ways to get the cost down. For about 27 days worth of food it's cost me $109 and feeding him grain free Acana was costing me $80 for almost 2 months of food. So it was costing me $1.33 / day and now it's $4.04 / day.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 31, '12 8:20am PST 
Wow, so glad that hot spot is gone! When you are able to completely eliminate something irritating from the diet improvement can be rapid. Max had super gunky ears but the condition built up slowly. When I stopped giving him raw sardines of all things the gunk stopped developing that very day. Sure wish my allergic reactions stopped so quickly!

I wouldn't be feeding raw if all I could do was premade stuff. I buy from the grocery store so my chicken is >$1, pork >$1.50 and beef >$2 a pound. Last time I found organs they ranged in price from $1.50-2 a pound. I look at the clearance bin first, once there was $2 a pound leg of lamb! I googled for markets I didn't know about and found a whole street of ethnic markets and some even have online flyers so I don't have to trek 15 miles for nothing. Then I can buy tripe and such without breaking the bank. I also found a meat processor who travels up and down the state selling all sorts of odd bits at quite a good price. He makes up meat/organ/bone/veggy blends for more but I don't get that sort of thing. Before I got the dog freezer I bought food monthly whenever the stores had a good enough deal on red meat so if pork was cheap, Max got pork. If beef was cheap enough, he got beef.

Glad his gut is handling the new food. Pre made raw may be higher in bone than suggested, you might try very slowly putting in more of the meaty stuff than the bony stuff. It took me a whole summer to work that out but now Max eats a larger bony/organy meal one day and the following gets a smaller meaty meal.
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Seamus

1260447
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 6:35am PST 
Wow, that's amazing the his ears started to get better so quickly! I was really surprised at the hot spot. I'm guessing that's what it was, in the two years I've had him that was the first time I'd seen something like that.

I'm not feeding him pre-made stuff like you would get in a pet store. All this stuff comes from provincial or federally inspected slaughter houses and is human grade. She buys it in bulk and than puts it in smaller packages. The ground meat is just ground turkey, chicken or beef with bone in. The other stuff is just in it's natural form; brisket, turkey and duck necks, whole fish, turkey hearts, turkey wings, whole or cut up rabbit, goat, pork etc.. You can also get plain sliced lamb tripe, lamb spleen, lamb kidney. There are various meaty bones, tongues, cheeks.
I'm definitely going to take advantage of grocery store sales and whatever I can find once I get a feel for what I'm doing. I'm still kind of confused about some things... like, I just don't really get how much of what I'm supposed to be feeding him. I read the Beginners Guide that was posted saying the percentages but I have zero clue what percentage of bone is in a brisket or a mackerel for example. Also, I saw that it should be 5% liver and 5% other organ meat... so, what is tripe considered, where does that fit in and how much of it should he be getting?

Thanks for all the tips Maxwell, I think I'll eventually get the hang of it and gain more confidence. Right now I'm feeling a bit like it's a lot of calculations and planning for a week and I'm not quite sure about what I'm doing yet.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 8:45am PST 
I bumped one of Charlies' excellent threads about meat cuts and bone content to the top of the board.
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Seamus

1260447
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 1, '12 8:53am PST 
Thanks!!
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