First time raw, converting the whole clan(Cats, ferrets, dogs)

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!


Bark if you- think it- threatens mom!
Barked: Wed May 16, '12 5:29am PST 
Hi guys, Im currently at day five of converting to raw. So far so good with the dogs, cats and ferrets are 50% I have one of each eating it the other turning up their noses XD Of course it wouldnt be so easy! My dogs are pigpens they converted no fuss no muss. Here is my feeding diary for them. I plan on feeding them using the Barf diet(Adding processed vegetable pattie along with offal and tripe), Just my personal choice.

A little about me. I had gone on here a while back but went dormant. My name is camille Ive taken my first semester vet tech but left(Didnt like the way it was being taught where I was, Most of them were a bunch of peta supporters and had really skewed views. I did have one person who graduated not long after I was there who DID feed her dogs raw that was the first time I heard about it. Later on I started to meet other people with raw dogs here and there and I was always interested in it but had a few qualms. I wanted a few things explained to me in scientific terms that most raw feeders couldnt explain(no offense but alot of raw feeders do tend to go on tangents about the kibble industry XD, but I wanted to hear a few things explained in a specific way about the actual diet and no raw feeder that I knew could explain it that way). So finally a few days ago I found a video of a vet explaining why she chose raw and why she backs the raw diet. And she explained the only two reservations I had on switching my dogs to raw in the way I wanted to hear it! I had just started offering my dogs chicken wings to help clean their teeth as My dogs have horrible tartar buildup on their teeth and I cant give them smoke bones as it gives my females the runs(almost everything does!). two days into giving them raw chicken wings as chew toys their teeth looked 100% better and then I found that video and was sold.

About my puppies and why I decided to switch to raw(The MAIN reason). I have two miniature poodles. Esme(My female Parti poodle. She is spotted like a dalmatian) who is three years old and Henry my black male miniature poodle(Hes what we like to call a maxi mini at 17" tall, We were going to show him with his breeders permission but sadly he is too tall). The reason I decided to switch them is because of their teeth. Poodles are so prone to periodontal disease and I always worry about their teeth. No amount of brushing removes the plaque buildup on their teeth and smoked bones like I said give my girl the runs.

Here is my little food diary for the pets so far on feeding raw

12/04/2012 - day two of raw Esme had two pieces of chicken wing(Equals to one chicken wing) henry had the same, it was given as a treat then I gave them kibble later in the day. After that I decided to go ahead and make the full switch to raw

13/04/2012 - day two of raw Esme had two pieces of chicken wing(Equals to one chicken wing) henry had the same

14/04/2012- day three of raw Esme ate four chicken wing pieces(Two equal one chicken wing) henry ate sixpieces(He ate the two esme had in the morning and some of the leftovers from trying the cats and ferrets. Moka nibbled at a chicken wing for about twenty minutes but only got a few bites off of it, Buddy didnt come over or show interest. Faye would not touch chicken wing, Nika licked and nibbled a little bit at the chicken wing.
. Henry and Esme Only had two bowell movements today one in the morning and one in the evening. Much smaller compact stool. Also teeth are dramatically cleaner and they dont get as much eye crusts as they normally do

15/04/2012 - Day four of raw fasted untill evening then fed Esme ate 3/4 of a urban carnivore pattie henry ate one and a quarter, Moka ate a quarter, buddy refused, Nika nibbled a good amount from my fingers and Fay nibbled a tiny bit at the pattie from my finger. Esme had a tiny bit of loose stoole in the evening stoole was normal(Smaller than usual and firmer) in the morning though

16/05/2012 Cats: Moka ate a bit of the pattie, Buddy turned her nose. Ferrets: Nika barely nibbled at some on my finger but Nika actually ate some from the plate. Will try them again later and whoever didnt eat will have a kibble or wet food meal(You cant fast a ferret or a cat like you can a dog). Doggies will be getting half their raw meal this morning as soon as its fully thawed(Half a pattie for henry and a bit more than a quarter for esme). Still waiting on bowell movements

Note: Im amazed that my female hasn't had the runs yet only a tiny bit of loose stool last night.

My goal is to rotate carnivora commercial patties with raw meaty bones and fresh muscle meat, organ tripe etc but for now I'm sticking to one meat source until they switch properly

Any suggestions or tips or words of advice, anecdotes etc would be welcome!
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Wed May 16, '12 6:44am PST 
chicken wings are horrendously bony ... for a little dog like a toy poodle I would start with chicken thigh, mostly meat with a little bone. With the vegetables should be okay but no tripe or organ for the first few weeks until they adjust. A diet of mainly chicken wings will end in constipation. There is just not enough meat on them.

For barf diet you should be aiming (eventually) for about 70 % of the diet being raw meaty bone, and these bones should be half meat. Then another 10 % plain muscle meat, 10 % pulverised veg matter, 10 % secreting organ and half that should be liver. For the first couple of weeks just feed very meaty chicken bones then slowly add other meats and finally organ. If you add organ too soon let's just say you will know it. laugh out loud Rocket butt, anyone? Good luck!

Bark if you- think it- threatens mom!
Barked: Wed May 16, '12 8:40am PST 
The reason why I started with the chicken wings was because I was told to get some as treats to work on their teeth. When I decided to just go and do the switch I just gave them the wings untill I could get myself to the pet store and get the raw patties(Carnivora is the brand). Though I kept a really close eye on their stools as I didnt want to back them up. Im going to rotate patties and raw meaty bones. There is actually veggies and tripe and offal in the patties with the whole animal carcass. Im sticking with the chicken patties and going to buy some better chicken bone and meat option too this week. Im already seeing a big difference in the guys teeth with those bones. I cant wait to get to the point where I can just give them a pile of variety.


I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Wed May 16, '12 8:45am PST 
Have you seen Monica Segal's work? She works from NRC numbers and will make up recipes precisely balanced for raw or cooked food feeders - dogs once, sorry. Her books, "Optimal Nutrition" and "K9 Kitchen" have a chart of the numbers so you can work up a diet that meets those numbers as precisely as you like.

Here are the old numbers. I know there are similar books for cats and fish, do not know about ferret requirements.

I prefer prey model raw and no veggies. When I work up Max's diet I see no improvement in imagined deficiencies adding veggies. He gets a couple mineral supplements to complete his diet. As he is only fed 1.5% his actual body weight a couple minerals are a bit low.

If I get another book on dog nutrition I do like Steve Brown's book, "Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet" which sounds like it works with the way you are going perfectly. Some of it can be read on Amazon. Dr. Becker has a book out as well, suspect you would like it too - "Dr. Becker's Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats: Simple Homemade Food".

I use - http://nutritiondata.self.com/ - which is based on USDA - http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ - numbers to keep track of what Max is eating.
Tessa- Sue~*In- loving- memory*~

Gone. But the- ledgend lives on
Barked: Wed May 16, '12 8:45am PST 
Did you know that there is a holistic ferret forum where you can be mentored on switching your ferrets? http://holisticferret60.proboards.com/index.cgi?

I have had ferrets since 2007 and had been feeding raw since the start.. Once upon a time I was a mentor on the website and helped others switch their ferrets but I no longer have the time to do so.

I currently have 4 ferrets who are fed a raw diet

Bark if you- think it- threatens mom!
Barked: Wed May 16, '12 9:01am PST 
Thanys.I will look those books up. And I knew about that forum I just couldnt find the link again so thank you! I will deffinetly go on there.

For fun here are two videos. First one is the dogs eating their raw patties. I will get one of them eating their raw meaty bones next time they get some

oh and a video of my bad dog trying to get at the patties before its feeding time XD I staged this one as I wanted to show my friends how he jumps and jumps trying to get at food from the counter. Its a behavior we are working stopping XD.

And not the doggies but figured Id add it. One of my cats eating raw for the first time other than a tiny nibble on a chicken wing the day before
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUimlJU6mEU&feature=BFa&list= ULrdxhEqw5_P8
Tessa- Sue~*In- loving- memory*~

Gone. But the- ledgend lives on
Barked: Wed May 16, '12 10:06am PST 
Maxwell, ferrets nutritional requirements are nearly identical to cats.. Both would naturally have a diet consisting of small prey such as mice, birds, frogs, snakes, etc.