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RAW feeding suggestions

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!

  


Member Since
11/25/2013
 
 
Barked: Mon Nov 25, '13 10:07pm PST 
Hi Guys!

I am new to Dogster. I have been reading a lot of threads here in the past and learned a lot about RAW diet but I still have a few questions about protein sources and would appreciate any input and suggestions.

I finally switched my 3 Bullmastiffs about 3 weeks ago to RAW!! I have been feeding Acana Pacifica and supplemented with real meat before, but wanted to switch for a long time. So far I am very happy with the results and love seeing my dogs actually enjoying their food.

I have good deals for whole chicken and organs (liver, kidney, heart) but am still struggling to find good deals for boneless pork or beef. I have been feeding pork cheeks but its still a little pricey. So I have been wondering what are some cheap boneless pork or beef parts? I would greatly appreciate any information from the more experienced RAW feeders! My dilemma is I live in the Philippines so I don't have the opportunity to buy directly from slaughter houses or anything like that. I get most good deals from the supermarket or wet market. Cheers!
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Bunny

Black dogs rock!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 26, '13 3:17am PST 
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 26, '13 7:02am PST 
Have you seen Chance's site yet? Might be some ideas in there for you.
http://www.chanceslittlewebsite.com/prey-model-raw.html

I have some extremely good news for you. Heart counts as red meat, not organ. Lots of raw feeders do fine with a base diet of bony chicken, beef heart and a variety of liver and kidney to their dogs. I would rather not depend heavily on heart as it is very high in iron so if you can feed pork heart as well as beef heart that would be better as while it has just as much iron it also has lots of zinc.

Around here heart is dear but pork shoulder and leg [fresh ham] are cheap. It doesn't matter what the cut is as long as it is meatier than fatty and bony and the price is right it works. You can imagine a rack of pork ribs costing the same per pound as a fresh ham per pound is actually more expensive per gram of meat protein and mg of vitamins and minerals.

If you are near enough a farming area sometimes old or surplus animals can be purchased and slaughtered for you. You can use all the animal except for the intestines. Stomach is tripe on cud chewing animals like sheep and cows so you would want those stomachs if possible. I have 8 chickens with feathers and all in the freezer right now. One of my small chickens would make a nice meal for one of your big dogs. I was concerned about new to raw Ginger doing okay on whole prey but she was the one that was able to open up the chicken and I think she figured out feathers aren't good to eat - they make for poky poop.
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Member Since
11/25/2013
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 26, '13 10:18am PST 
Hi Maxwell, thanks a lot for the info! I will check out that link. Oh yeah that's great news as Heart is easily available. I haven't found any beef heart yet, just pork heart so far but I will look for it. What about lungs? I mostly get it all together with the heart and liver. Are lungs considered nutritional or are they essential in any way for my dogs diet?
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Member Since
11/25/2013
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 26, '13 10:49am PST 
ah yeah i forgot to ask, is fish considered muscle meat? If I can mainly feed them chicken, heart and fish I'm good to go. I will still check for good deals on pork shoulder and leg. That's a very good idea I will have to check with some farmers from nearby provinces, I actually thought about that before but haven't considered old or surplus animals wink
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 26, '13 11:08am PST 
Fish might be whole prey, complete in themselves if you can give the whole fish or they might be organs if you give the guts from fish you have prepared for the family or they might be meaty bone if you give big enough heads.

There are some cautions with feeding fish. Check the internet for the species you are interested in feeding the dogs for mercury contamination. If the fish isn't suitable for human consumption it isn't suitable for dogs either. Some kinds of fish cause an allergic reaction when starting to spoil that can be quite upsetting. Some kinds of fish contain an enzyme that destroys thiamine so not a good idea to feed certain kinds all the time. You need to freeze fish before eating and may want to cut off spines and do need to check for hooks and such. That is all I can think of, perhaps Chance's site has more information.

I don't much like feeding a lot of fish as my dogs don't get fed much per pound of dog, only 1.5% or so and fish isn't very high in minerals and vitamins. If you can feed wild fatty fish that is high in omega 3 fatty acids then that is why I feed fish. Some dogs like fish and some don't, introduce a little at a time so they get used to the different taste and texture if eating fish is important to you and you think they might not care for it. Max lay down next to a whole salmon head with his paws crossed staring at me three days in a row, he did not care to eat salmon head!

Lung is fine to feed, it is a lot like heart. Very lean and high in iron. It also has a weird texture that some dogs are okay with and some dogs dislike. Try it definitely worth getting if it is cheap. If the dogs don't like it raw you could always cook it for training treats.

Eggs, don't forget eggs! I give about 2 a week to Max and 1 a week to Ginger but have used cooked egg for training treats daily in quite large amounts without any problems. You might be able to give daily egg to your big guys depending on how it works into your budget.
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Member Since
11/25/2013
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 26, '13 9:11pm PST 
Ok, so if they are fine with fish can I use it as a main protein in their diet? Lets say I switch breakfast daily, fish and bone in chicken and for dinner they get heart or any other muscle meat? Then give them the appropriate amount of liver, lungs and kidneys and a few eggs a week each. I also give them them chicken feet which I consider more as a snack and chicken heads (I feed them in a frozen cube) so no choking hazard. Can they benefit from chicken heads or is this too bony?
I just want to make sure I get the right ratio for muscle meat, bones and organs. Fish is pretty interesting to me as I can get it really cheap, benefit from living on an island smile. With one of my girls I have the problem that she does not like liver at all, she just wont eat it. I know that it is important to her and she needs it but I don't know how to get it inside her. I tried cutting it in tiny pieces, slightly cooking it, hiding it in different meats, tricking her on different ways but it didn't work. So today was liver on the menu (the other 2 love it!) so I just put some down her throat, sort of force feeding, but I really don't like doing that! How is that with your dogs, any tips in getting her interested in liver?
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 1, '13 9:19am PST 
You cannot feed mostly fish. Some kinds contain thiaminase that destroys thiamin and your dogs will get a serious life threatening deficiency plus none of them have enough of certain essential minerals unless the whole fish is fed and maybe not even then - I haven't seen any analysis of whole fish.
http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Articles/Thiaminase.htm

You can make up a good cooked diet with fish. And feeding a mixed diet with cooked fish and raw chicken and red meat is just fine, really. You would need to determine what is low in a fish heavy diet and supplement though. I know Max's mostly red meat diet is low in a couple of minerals as he doesn't get a lot of food and he is better if I get those minerals into him.

Chicken feet have to be included as an important part of my dogs' diets. 1.5 chicken feet meets Max's calcium requirement for instance. Heads are great, I figure they are about 30% bone so Max would eat about 3 ounces of heads for his bone content a day.

With a diet of bony chicken and fish, heads and feet, heart, lung, muscle meat, liver and kidney 10 ounce a day I would prefer to feed Max this -

3 meals of 2 chicken feet or 2 chicken heads or 1 foot and one head plus 1/2 ounce of liver and 1/2 ounce of kidney filled out with heart/lung/muscle meat.

1 meal of whole 10 ounce fatty fish

2 meals of half bony chicken, 1 ounce liver, heart/lung/muscle to fill the ounces up

1 meal of 3-5 ounce Fish head, egg, heart/lung/muscle

Fish and chicken head counts as part of the other organ, whole fish is a complete meal in itself but possibly light on bone.

He wouldn't need to have fish oil if the fish was mackerel, salmon, sardine, anchovy or other omega 3 rich fish. He would need vitamin E and additional zinc, manganese and magnesium and perhaps some other minerals, I would have to work up the diet. Heart and lung are so rich in iron it could be a problem if too much fed. I don't know what the problem would be exactly though!

Hope your dogs will eat fish. They may have preferences, fatty sardine is tastier than lean tilapia for instance. Oh, lean fish is so very low in calories you would need to feed a lot more of it or get some beef, goat or lamb fat to add to the diet.

Edited by author Sun Dec 1, '13 9:21am PST

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Member Since
11/25/2013
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 3, '13 8:11pm PST 
Dear Maxwell

Thank you very much for your help! I really appreciate it.

I have found another protein source which is reasonable priced: Pork face.

So I will be creating their diet based on bone in chicken (necks and whole chicken), chicken feet and heads, fish, pig heart and lungs, liver and pork face.

So far (after 4 weeks) they all seem fine on it. Also the youngest one my 5 months female Bullmastiff puppy, what I like is that she grows way slower on RAW then on kibble!

I will also ask some farmers if they can ever sell me whole pigs or goats.

Thats a great community and im happy to get some good information here.

All the best!

Cheers
John
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 4, '13 4:40pm PST 
Pork face? That sounds like mostly skin and skin is very fatty stuff. If so I wouldn't count on it for a major part of the diet. Fed alongside the very lean heart and lung it would be a good addition though.

Can you not source any muscle meat except for the whole chicken? This diet is going to be very low in zinc and copper and you need another organ, something like kidney, spleen, eye, brain, gonad, thymus, thyroid. More types of liver would be good as well. Those chicken heads do count, be sure to feed them!

If you could get whole goat that would be just about the perfect meat. It is lean and mineral rich. You would want it skinned and no intestines for less mess but all the other organs would be valuable feed. Be sure the animal wasn't medicated before slaughter, worming/antibiotics and so forth.

If you could get chicken with feathers, blood and guts that would be great as well. Somewhere in any whole prey lurks those nutrients lacking in the other parts.
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