|Barked: Mon Apr 8, '13 1:58pm PST |
|Hi Lefty and Josie, hope we can help you out here. How old are you two? I might suggest having blood tests done in case there is systemic disease brewing as raw feeding might be quite different if there is a problem. There is usually a period of adjustment and you sure wouldn't want to think it was adjusting when it was really a serious problem.
Should I get them cleaned and any teeth pulled that may be loose before I go
Absolutely, they may not even try to eat raw if their mouths hurt. Chewing will strengthen the teeth and keep the teeth and gums cleaner but first they have to be comfortable eating! Caroline is an elderly raw fed dog with dental issues, hope she sees this thread to give you some pointers.
Are elderly dogs able to make the transition to raw with missing or bad teeth?
I have read that completely toothless dogs can actually smash and swallow bony meat on their own. Not seen it myself however. There is always grinding!
Are there certain raw items I should feed them under these circumstances?
They are small dogs with dental issues, easy bone for sure. Grinding might be easier at first then offering long strips to tear at and nom on. Chunks are hazardous for Max but then he has all his chompers. Max doesn't take bites, chew and swallow. He puts a lot of tooth marks in the meat and swallows it pretty much whole. Any breaking apart of the strip is purely accidental.
What size portions with bones are safe for Lefty (12 lbs) or Josie (5 lbs)?
Chicken legs, chicken wings, chicken neck, etc?
Smashed chicken necks and ribs at first. I really like ribs as they are the size of my hand and impossible to get completely into the mouth like necks. I wouldn't expect them to be able to eat legs and wings at first if ever but after they get the idea working those larger bones would be great exercise and good for the mouth even if they don't actually break and eat the bones.
Are there certain meats with bone that I should feed them due to age and teeth?
Example... should I stick with raw chicken for there bone intake?
38 pound Max gets most of his bone from chicken it is just fine. If you happen upon a good deal of pork or beef ribs or turkey then offer it up but don't expect most of the bone to be eaten. I throw away nearly half the weight of a beef rib dinner. Expensive but he enjoys them so much.
Last one, is there another way to supplement the bone in there diet? Cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt?
Dairy balances itself but doesn't have enough calcium to use with meat. If I had to use a calcium supplement for Max I would choose bone meal as other wise he wouldn't be getting enough phosphorus but if a dog is getting 2.5-5% his/her ideal body weight per day then the usually suggested powdered egg shell works really well. A tiny 1/2 tsp per pound of meat is all that is needed.
Oh, lots of information here! Please read through Chance's excellent primer on raw feeding if you haven't already.
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