How much does RAW need to mimic a "natural" diet?

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Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 11:59pm PST 
I was talking to some people today and they said I should not be measuring out 80% meat 10% bone and 10%organ. I don't need to be exact and that I am hurting my dog by not making it varied enough. I should just eye ball it, because in nature they don't get a balanced diet. I like being as exact as possible. And should I feed liver with every meal? They said I shouldn't... I'm confused.

Also, Stella will not tear meat off a big slab of meat. I cut it up for her. I tried giving her a drumstick several times, she will not actually eat it. So I take the meat off the bone. She crunches it up just fine. They said it could cause intestinal perforation or she could choke. Oh and she only gets chicken bone (but not just chicken meat). Should I start leaving more meat on the bone? Is the way I'm feeding her unsafe??

Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 12:13am PST 
Sounds like some fawfoodie zealots. Ignore them.

I do not feed according to anyone else's laws. My version of raw feeding is based off required nutrients, scientific fact, and what works for my individual dogs, not what wolves eat or some fancy holistic doctor says blah blah blah. I balance every day out as best as I can since I have found major flaws in the "balance overtime" theory due to what is and isn't available to me. It might work for some people, but I have analyzed it several times over with what I can get and it doesn't "balance" out in many areas. I do generally follow the 80/10/10 suggestion but I do not consider it law, it varies with every dog. Feeding liver every day is fine, I do it that way and it does not cause any problems.
But that's just me and how I do things. My way is "horribly wrong" to the zealots. Especially since I feed... oatmeal.

Anywho, I personally would not feed bare bones. You can still cut some of the meat off but leave enough on that the bone has a covering to soften any sharp edges.

Edited by author Thu Jan 31, '13 12:14am PST

Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 7:27am PST 
That does sound like mindless zealot talk. Variation is a way to try to insure getting a little of everything, but it's flawed as well. You can feed variation of items that are all short in zinc, and you're still not feeding a balanced diet. If you're feeding a diet have you calculated and know is balanced, you don't need to throw in variation just because.

However, if you are feeding the exact same thing every day, you need to calculate the balance keeping in mind that different nutrients affect the absorption of other nutrients. For instance, copper binds to zinc, so if you always give your zinc allotment with a lot of copper, you may come up with a zinc deficiency even though the diet looks balanced on paper. I think variety helps more in this department than insuring you're getting enough of everything.

The idea that we should not feed a balanced diet because they don't necessarily get a balanced diet in nature is so asinine I don't think it really needs to be addressed. In nature, they also risk death just getting a meal. So we should attempt to kill them before dinner? Gotta keep it authentic! Seriously. Raw is about giving what's IDEAL to the evolution of the species. Not doing things exactly as they happen in nature - which more often than not DOES lead to the death of an animal.

I am concerned about feeding naked chicken bones to a 100 lb dog, though. Even whole chicken quarters could be a choking hazard for a dog that large. The fact that the bones also have no meat whatsoever means they're unpadded as they are swallowed.

I would put serious effort into getting her to eat whole items. If she'll crunch up a whole bone, she can crunch up a whole bone with meat attached to it. At first scoring the meat so there are chunks hanging off may help.

If she really, truly will not eat whole items, either buy ground bone items (Bravo, for example, has a chicken and a turkey frame grind) or make your own grind. You won't get the teeth-cleaning benefits from it, but it's way safer than naked chicken bones.

Edited by author Thu Jan 31, '13 7:28am PST



Where can I run- today?
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 7:34am PST 
I agree with Conker and Ember .... and yes, stop feeding bare or almost bare chicken bones, that can be a bad thing.

Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 9:07am PST 
Thanks for the responses! Stella will eat chicken necks, thankfully. But I am going to start leaving the meat on the bone, I know she is capable of eating it that way (she has before).

I want to play!
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 11:35am PST 
Stella is a beautiful dog. big grin

I follow prey model guideline, but I do mix it up sometimes..

Like Conker I think people should feed what they feel is best and what works for their dog.

Bella my mom's 52 nor 54lb boxer she eats chicken quarters, breasts and so on fine.

Saya when new to raw used to strip the skin and meat off the chicken drumstick or thigh then eat the bone.. I didn't cut the meat off she did it herself.

Eventually she stopped being odd and started to eat some of the meat, but once she was able to bite it she then crunched it with meat on it.

There is nothing wrong with giving a bit of liver or kidney etc with each meal some dogs can't take it for the whole amount and some do better that way it's up to you.

Saya gets liver once week same for her other secreting organs.

I do feed whole prey items when possible, but that is hard to acquire at times..

Saya gets honest kitchen once in while as a snack or part of her meal makes good thing to mix her supplements in.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Thu Jan 31, '13 1:42pm PST 
Stella, for a while Max got a bit of liver, a bit of kidney, bony stuff and boneless stuff to fill out the ounces every day and I measured those ounces carefully! I think that makes sense at the start as most dogs are coming from eating the same amount of kibble at the same time - a very uniform diet. I got daring and cut the liver and kidney into ounce bits and he got either liver or kidney each day after maybe 6 months. After a YEAR I experimented with feeding larger and smaller meals and after that I finally worked towards feeding bony stuff on alternating days. No veggies or grains and bits were as large as possible but no throwing down a joint or hunk of liver daily type feeding. Probably Max would have been just fine with a more mixed diet but *I* wasn't.

I do try to feed bigger more complicated meals at least once a week. Those meals are more fun for most dogs and are the tooth cleaners. Yesterday he got a baby goat head and tomorrow he is getting a beef rib+organ/tripe for instance. Pork neck is a good one for him as well. Pig feet aren't edible according to him and of course I could get a great deal on them! I just add in a bit of organ as he is going to be eating a lot of bone and he is a happy camper. I cannot throw down a pork shoulder as that is enough food for over a week but at some point your girl is going to be happy to have such meals every once in a while. Perhaps you will be able to feed a liver meal or a kidney meal once a week, perhaps not. Perhaps she will be fine with 200% of her usual and no food the next day and perhaps not. Up to your comfort level and her gut.

She may not care for the texture of the chicken. You could put the meat covered bone in a hot frying pan for just a moment so it smells better if you like or possibly skin it or rub it with stinky cheese or garlic. I wouldn't want to give such a big dog a drum though, stick to quarters at least. If you want to wean her slowly go ahead and reduce the meat cut off every day.

Member Since
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 9:56pm PST 
I follow the same principles as how I feed myself and my human children. We follow holistic principles complete with a holistic pediatrician. ;-)

Basically, I don't measure out my or my kids' food. We eyeball everything. We don't worry that we get every single vitamin or mineral at every meal or every week or whatever. We don't even use vitamin supplements. We all learned proper human nutrition (my kids learned it in scouts) and we just keep in my mind what we're supposed to eat. We learn to recognize symptoms of nutrition deficiencies and we adjust our diets accordingly. If the kids are too skinny we tell them to eat more, too fat, run more or eat less. My kid has seasonal allergies so he gets flaxseed oil and vitamin D supplements on allergy season.

This is what I do with the dogs too except they have different nutritional needs than the humans.