I'm nervous

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!


Barked: Sun Nov 18, '12 4:38pm PST 
We are on day 4 of the raw diet. I've given her chicken wings and chicken thighs. I don't know if I'm giving her enough or too much. Is she getting all the nutrients that she needs? Should I supplement her with something else? I found myself constantly watching her and worried that she is developing E. coli infection. How likely is that to happen? How can I trust that this is the best thing for my dog? Ahhhhh I'm nervousfrown

Do you even- lift?
Barked: Sun Nov 18, '12 4:57pm PST 
A diet of nothing but chicken won't give her everything she needs, but the all chicken phase should only last 1-2 weeks. A sudden change in diet can upset a dog's stomach so one protein is introduced at a time to give the dog time to adjust. Chicken is good starting place because it's cheap, fairly bland, and contains easily eaten bone. Once stools are looking normal on chicken, you can begin slowly introducing new proteins like beef, pork, lamb, ect.

Eventually, the diet should be 80% meat, 10% edible bone, 5% liver, and 5% other secreting organ such as kidney, spleen, thymus, ect. But every new meat, especially organs, needs to be incorporated into the diet slowly. Balance over time is the goal, so it's not a big deal if you don't get this ratio right away, and even once the dog is adjusted to all the components of the diet, the 80/10/5/5 ratio doesn't need to be fed every day. Most people aim to get those amounts of the course of a week.

As far as amount, you want to feed around 2-3% of your dog's ideal body weight per day. So a dog that should weigh 50 lbs would be fed 1-1.5 lbs of food per day. That amount can be adjusted based on the individual dog's needs, activity level, ect., but it's a good starting place.

The only supplement most balanced raw diets need is fish oil because commercially fed meat doesn't have the correct balance of omegas. If you're feeding grass fed meat or oily fish like sardines, you won't need to worry about it. But again, that's something that can be added into the diet later, after the dog is adjusted.

Dog's are designed to eat raw meat. Their saliva contains enzymes to break down harmful bacteria, their digestive tract is short so food moves through quickly, and their gut is extremely acidic. All told, it's very unlikely fresh meat will make a healthy dog sick. It's also worth considering how often kibble fed dogs have bacteria like salmonella in their feces. All foods have bacteria in them, and all foods have the potential to make a dog sick, but the majority of the time, those bacteria cause no harm to the dog.

Have you looked at Chance's Beginner's Guide To Prey Model Raw PDF? It should answer all your questions and then some.

Edited by author Sun Nov 18, '12 5:19pm PST


I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Sun Nov 18, '12 6:08pm PST 
I REALLY needed an accurate scale. On cooked food using an old postal scale to weigh out his food Max got fat, went from 33 to 44 pounds. I still weigh his meals [on a digital scale] because it took over a year for him to get back into shape and I still don't think the measly 8-12 ounces looks like enough food for my best buddy. Scales aren't expensive and they are fun. He only gets 1.6% his actual body weight as a senior couch potato.

Max has had a real tummy ache once in 12 years with us. He got it from a fast food hamburger in 2006 and it took a couple weeks of fasting and bland food to get him back on track. He has been eating raw since January 2008. Some of his meals have been quite ripe and even slimy. Some took a long time to finish so there was interesting stuff in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. No tummy ache.

Not to say he has had acceptable poop all those years. If I feed too much food poop can be big and soft. Too much organ, gooey and black. Too much bone, powder poop [the worst really]. Too much fat, might see some mucous. Since *I* took note of what went in and what came out I know I don't need to feed organ for a couple days after seeing black gooey poop or bone if I see powder poop. It is super easy to feed too much bone or organ as he adores organ and we love to feed stool firming bone.

I compare starting a dog on raw to starting a human baby on solid food. The cereal I started my babies on in no way was a balanced diet but baby soon moved on to veggies and fruits then meat while gradually reducing the percentage of milk fed. After several months baby was eating a mush of the same foods she needed after weaning. Same here. The diet isn't balanced but it soon will be. The slow introduction was to allow the gut to switch from a liquid very uniform food to one that was varied in composition. We are switching the dog from a very uniform diet that is high in residue, low in protein and fat to one that has very little residue and is high in protein and fat.


I want to play!
Barked: Sun Nov 18, '12 10:20pm PST 
"worried that she is developing E. coli infection. How likely is that to happen?"

Not likely unless your dog is very immune compromise my guess.. Even kibble has had salmonella issues and maybe E. coli I don't keep track..

"I don't know if I'm giving her enough or too much"
Read so your interested in raw there is a spreadsheet on it which is helpful on starting out. A kitchen scale is wonderful on getting right measurements of meat and organs..

Only thing I supplement with is joint supplements and coconut oil.

I give decent amount of raw and caned fish plus all her organs are grass fed and some meat is too so she does fine without fish oil..

Fish oil and vitamin E is good for if diet is low on fish like when the dog is starting out or if you can't find much safe fish.

take it slow because rushing into organs new protein and so on can cause issues.

If poop has been good add tiny bit of different protein..

If you get loose poop go back to feeding just chicken and go slower on transition.