Tons of Questions about Raw!

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
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 9:45am PST 
"A very talented dogster made up a spreadsheet that included the nutrients dogs need. You can enter your dog's details to find out how much of what your dog needs Here is the thread where the link is posted. Chicken is very low in a number of key nutrients. I know when Max gets what he needs according to that spreadsheet he is better off. It is based on NRC requirements.
http://www.dogster.com/forums/Raw_Food_Diet/thread/49 1589 "

Thanks for this. I understand the first part of the spreadsheet, but I'm not sure I understand the 2nd. It wants me to input a value for the dog's activity level and I'm not sure what value that should be. Nibbles is about 6-7 yrs old, fairly laid-back (not sure about the breed but in dimension she's around the size of a black lab and has some lab characteristics), but I exercise her daily and there is a yard for her to run around and bark at squirrels, chase the cat etc. Around 50 lbs (slightly chunky atm from the kibble).

I'm thinking 1.25-1.5 lbs a day of meat? Her previous diet (before kibble) was about .8-.9 lb a day of meat plus about 1 lb in oatmeal. With kibble, it's about 20 oz of kibble (in a beaker not weighed) plus scraps from my food and carrots. So it seems like she'll eat less food overall with an all-meat diet. Hopefully 1.5 lb will be sufficient or too much.

I also have an adolescent cat/kitten, closer to 5 lb than 10 lb....if I go all meat with the cat as well, what's the max % to give out (for a growing cat)? I'm guessing the cat can consume 6 oz of meat a day no problem....in fact he just ate about 3.5 oz of tuna and will likely be hungry again tonight. Yet according to those ratios if he's 5 lbs his food intake shouldn't exceed 4 oz a day? I guess I need to get a more accurate weight on this cat.

Thanks again for the spreadsheet--it's saved on my hard drive!

Sassy Britches!
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 9:57am PST 
-Feeding raw pork is ok? One of my friends says this is a no-no so I'd like some more confirmation if she's wrong. Is pork ok for the cat too?

Pork is a regular at my house

-If I understand it correctly.... I can get by with pork/beef/turkey/chicken and a little fish? All those aren't hard to get ahold of, though it sounds expensive to feed my dog raw beef.

Use beef hearts, it is pretty cheap and still counts as meat. Ask your butcher

-After livers, are kidneys considered the most important organ(2.5%)?

5% liver and 5% other secreting organ, kidneys are just easier to find and usually better nutrient wise is why it is popular. I try to switch it up, today we are having sweetbread (other good ones include balls, spleen and brain)

-Flaxseed and/or fish oil? Which is better for dogs and cats? If I don't feed fish reguarly, is it necessary?

Fish oil is best because it is from a meat source. It is important if you don't feed fish regularly.

Member Since
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 9:58am PST 
Bullie--thanks for another great helpful response!

"I follow the Prey-Model Raw plan. I made my feeding regimen very simple by going with whole prey. For example, when I feed chicken, I feed the WHOLE chicken - including the gizzards/heart/liver that comes in a little baggie stuffed inside the whole chicken in most grocery stores and I even get the chicken feet with it. This way, the nutrition is balanced. I also feed whole rabbit except I take out the fur because I can make use of the fur to make Christmas presents. I feed the rabbit with the innards. I get my rabbit from the same place I get my rats to feed my kids' pet snakes."

I see. Well, I'll need a big freezer. I guess I'll need a really sharp knive too! So I cut the chicken up into meals, then freeze the portions into baggies?

"Of course, I can't feed the whole pig or the whole cow. So for pork, I get the pork shoulder because I can get those for cheap at the local butcher. And for beef, I get the beef hearts which I can also get for cheap at the butcher. I get beef liver and beef kidney from either the grocery or the butcher - getting it from the butcher requires a bulk buy. Sometimes the butcher has beef spleen so I get those when they're available. Then I get green tripe from the raw feeders co-op. Then usually, I get the canned salmon from the grocery next to the tuna if I don't see any fish on sale. Then, occasionally, I'll add an egg in there - the whole egg complete with egg shells."

Here's another question for you...can you feed eggs as a whole meal? It would seem logical, but I don't see feeding plans reccomending this.

Is the tripe necessary? Not sure Nibbles would like that.

Salmon is a little expensive for pet food on my budget. There is fairly cheap talapia, catfish and sardines at my local grocery though....do you think these are ok for dogs and/or cats?

This is what I got last week:
Chicken Gizzards - 99cents a pound
Chicken leg quarters - $6.95/10lb bag
Wild Caught Salmon (in the freezer section) - $3.95/lb

Beef hearts - 99cents a pound for a 60lb case (this will last me a looooong time)
Pork shoulder - 99cents a pound
(an 8lb shoulder gives 7-lb meat and 1-lb bone. I don't give the bone as a meal - I give it to the dogs as a chew toy).
Whole chicken (with innards) - 99cents a pound
Beef liver/kidney - $1.49/lb

Green tripe - $1.69/lb (including the shipping/handling fee to get the tripe from New York to the lady who runs the co-op)"

Thanks so much....sample menus are very helpful! That's 3 different kinds of meat in one week. No doubt that Nibbles would really enjoy that diet!


Sassy Britches!
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 10:08am PST 
(pokes her head back in) Where do you get your tripe from? I have been looking for a good source..

Oh btw tripe is not necessary but dogs LOVE IT! It is stinkiest thing (best to feed outside) but it is the best thing on earth to them.

Sassy Britches!
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 10:26am PST 
Yeah you will need a big freezer some good knifes some ziplock baggies and a chopping board. I usually chop all I need for the month and stick it in little baggies for the freezer. It really usually only take an hour (of eyes staring up at you) to chop it up. You might want to get a scale if you don't have one to measure out how much they get since you are new at this. Remember to stick what your feeding in the fridge for the next day so it can defrost.

Those fish are fine, make sure to get the kind without added salt or wash them off before giving them to your pets.

Here are some really helpful sites for you to keep researching and learning

http://www.dogster.com/forums/Raw_Food_Diet/thread/43187 5

This one helps with the proteins and cuts you can feed


I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 11:42am PST 
Usually start an adult dog at 2% ideal body weight, that would be about one pound a day. Then feed more or less depending on how she does. Feeding a bit less helps with the gut's transition although she has been through this already so you are probably ready to deal with any weird poop.

Maybe some iron clad tummied dogs can eat an all egg or all sardine or all organ meal but I just give Max 2-3 eggs a week, usually when a meal seems a bit short. Perhaps the meal is extra lean like if he is getting only ostrich meat or lung or perhaps it is a couple ounces short of a normal amount for him. Alas sardines give him majorly goopy ears so they are off the menu, I used to give him a couple sardines a couple times a week for his omega 3 need.

Kidney is just the easiest 'other organ', I can find it for $1.50 a pound where spleen is impossible to find and pancreas and brain cost twice as much. If you find whole animal heads then brain and eye is included. Max thinks heads are the bomb and they are usually pretty cheap. Advanced and optional raw feeding though, don't get any just yet.

I love that spreadsheet but now cannot get it to work on my computer! My DH used the google spreadsheet to make up a program for me though.

Barked: Wed Mar 20, '13 3:27pm PST 
This is my 6-day food:
http://i314.photobucket.com/albums/ll412/anatess07/bullie/136 3321033_zpsd6782362.jpg

Edited by author Wed Mar 20, '13 3:36pm PST

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