Postings by Meridian's Family

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Raw Food Diet > "Spreadsheet Of Your Dreams" Has Relocated!!
Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 3, '14 9:47pm PST 
Happy to provide such a great resource a home!

I did not create the spreadsheet, but if anyone has any problems or feedback regarding the download, the page, or the spreadsheet itself, please feel free to let me know using the comments section on the page or via email and I'll do what I can to address it. I'll also be more than happy to relate even just a "thank you" to the amazing folks who spent all that time and energy creating it!

dog
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Meridian, Jun 3 9:47 pm

Raw Food Diet > Mice?
Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 30, '14 7:59pm PST 
Hey Jewel! You're in Saskatchewan, huh? I lived in Saskatoon for about 3 years before moving to Winnipeg where I am now.

ANYWAY... I'd definitely buy just a few to try before taking them up on the "quantity discount" thing. Some food is such a great idea "on paper", but in practice just ain't worth it if it's going to be a huge struggle to get the dogs to merely accept it. Whole rodent prey definitely falls into that category. That said, don't give up if it doesn't go over immediately. One of my girls, Natty, would NOT eat whole rabbit no matter WHAT. She wasn't just not interested, she made each time I merely offered seem like I was trying to force her to eat a puppy or something totally immoral in her world. (Meridian and Storm had a bit of a learning curve, but loved it once they figured it out.) Long story short, after about a year of Natty getting whole chickens when the other two got whole rabbits (not often -- maybe 3 or 4 times) I walked back out to the yard where they were eating their respective chicken and rabbits, and Natty and Storm had swapped chicken for rabbit, and Natty was just eating the rabbit like nothing had ever been a problem, and then didn't think twice about whole rabbit ever again. Tastes change!

Raine has a point about the quality of feeder mice (or other rodents) being subject to quality of how the mice themselves are fed/raised. Definitely check your source out and make sure they're raising food you want to feed, but there are plenty of really reputable feeder rodent breeders out there to utilize without having to start a home operation.

I'm interested to know how it goes! Keep us posted. big grin
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , May 13 9:05 pm


Raw Food Diet > Raw Feeding in Africa

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Apr 29, '14 8:33pm PST 
I know there used to be some raw forum members in places more "off the beaten path" so to speak, but the numbers have dwindled so much in general on Dogster I'm not sure you'll hear from them.

Like Ginger said, if you're concerned about Samson contracting a harmful pathogenic load from his food, I'd look into what might be an actual concern with the meat you're sourcing. These things might include trichinella and other worms/larvae depending on host/lifecycle, and the more common bacteria related to food borne illness like salmonella, e.coli, and campylobacter. This is merely a guess, though. The biggest thing to remember when concerning yourself with food-borne pathogens is that in order to infect, food must be carrying whatever pathogen you're addressing, so knowledge is power in that regard. For instance, no need to freak out about trichinella spiralis if you're feeding beef. (Except in really really really rare cases of cross-contamination), cows just don't fit into the trichinella "vector" (disease pathway).

A little light "Googling" reveals that there are what look to be food safety laws and regulations in Malawi, but enforcement is weak. That's a problem here in North America, too! Said search also reveals that insect-borne diseases are probably much more of a threat than food-borne illness, and the big concern is street vendors and hygiene-related infection. If you're using a grocery store that you can trust more or less to be sourcing/handling the food in a safe manner, I'd be willing to say that you're likely not at much more of a risk than people in other parts of the world, you're just being more careful.

Knowing little about Malawi, my trusty computer tells me it's a highly agricultural area. Would you be in a position to cut out as many "middle men" as you can by going straight to the source and getting food directly from farmers you trust to be practicing proper livestock husbandry techniques? A LOT of your concern could probably be cut out that way, and the food superior, never mind being able to get really awesome dog-friendly cuts of bone-in meat chunks and organs for a whole-body and mind satisfying diet.

Part of being educated about what you're feeding is knowing the signs and symptoms of illness and being able to treat it if it does come up. Once you've isolated your concerns and done a bit of risk-assessment, part of preventing severe illness and worse is being able to identify the early signs of an illness and having the means available to nip it in the bud.

Cool to have you here on the Dogster forums! I've known a few ridgebacks and they're just amazing dogs. big grin
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Meridian, Apr 29 8:33 pm


Raw Food Diet > How to afford a raw food diet

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '14 3:20pm PST 
Getting meat/bones/organs for feeding dogs I think comes with a learning curve. If you're starting out with the grocery store being your only resource you will indeed likely find it's more expensive than kibble. Raw can really be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it, though. The trade off is time and effort. It is also really subject to locale. Some places are simply going to be cheaper/easier than others. If you decide the types of items you want to get, and in what quantities you can handle, just start making phone calls and searching the web. Investing some time in searching out a couple reliable suppliers will pay off in the future. It might be frustrating and you might feel like you've hit dead ends, but if you keep at it you'll find what you need at the right price!

This is an old post in the annals of Dogster that might be of interest:
https://www.dogster.com/forums/Raw_Food_Diet/thread/689112

If you use the "search" tab here on Dogster you can probably find a lot of other threads where people talk about sourcing meat and the financial end of things, too. If you're willing to share some specifics like where you are and if, say, you have transportation to go pick things up within a certain distance of where you live, we might be able to help you with some specifics, or just help you search the web for good ideas.
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , May 1 4:41 am


Raw Food Diet > Balanced diet? Supplements? First post...

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 6, '14 3:03pm PST 
Sounds like you're doing a great job with your cats. Your dog should fit right in! Though his needs/wants will be marginally different than your cats', if anything I'd think a dog would be 'easier' if one had to choose. Dogs are carnivores, though not 'obligate' carnivores as you point out. The only real difference this makes isn't so much something that applies to a diet you provide, as the way your dog could subsist versus his feline counterparts if push came to shove, so to speak.

The biggest difference will probably be the sheer size of items you need to feed your dog versus the cats. You mention chicken thighs for the cats -- is this a ground up mix, or whole bone in thighs? While a ground mix is acceptable for dogs, it's not ideal. While you might reach a point in adult-hood where your dog can be tossed something the size of a chicken thigh, it will get gulped down quickly, and won't provide much chewing, chomping, pulling, shredding action, and most importantly, pieces that small for a shepherd pup/adolescent could present as a choking hazard.

You'll likely want to start him off on chicken quarters/halves or even whole chickens. Once he's comfortable with that you can start feeding a variety of appropriately sized chunks of other bone-in meats as meals, and, of course, you'll need to work in the organs meats. Chances are as a pup he won't need to be eased into a proper raw diet in the same way older dogs being transitioned to a raw diet sometimes do, but it's wise to be a little careful with the organs at first. They're really nutrient-rich and can cause loose stools in some dogs at first.

The supplement issue is one people have a lot of varying opinions on. If you're feeding a well-balanced diet of meat, edible bone, and organ you really shouldn't have to add in a bunch of supplements. He will be getting everything he needs from the food itself. Some people like to give a cold water fish body oil supplement if relying on non-grass-fed meats/game meats, as the nutrient profile for grain fed meats is really skewed when it comes to the polyunsaturated fat profile. The high Omega-3 content of the fish oil is the most species-appropriate way to make up for the very high Omega-6 content of grain-fed meat. While most added supplements aren't likely to be in amounts that are harmful it's probably an unnecessary expense at best.

Sounds like the biggest change when your pup comes home will be a lifestyle one more than a nutrient one. If you 'free feed' the cats you're going to have to keep their food away from the dog, and find a way to not create a competitive environment for the cats. If the free-feeding thing is working for the cats, great, but free-feeding is not a good plan for a dog, especially a puppy.

Congrats on the new addition to your family and welcome to Dogster! The forums are plagued with spammers currently, but if you can ignore all that it's a great resource for getting questions answered and sharing experiences.



wavewave
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Maxwell, Apr 7 1:28 pm

Raw Food Diet > Raw diet and hunger
Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 29, '14 9:50pm PST 
Oopsie, 4 tablespoons of food would be 2 oz, not 1, sorry. Still, though, 2 ounces for a 4 pound dog is only 3% of the body weight.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Ginger, Apr 1 1:28 pm


Raw Food Diet > Anal glands

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 29, '14 6:40pm PST 
A "full" anal gland doesn't necessarily indicate trouble, but an impacted, abscessed, or ruptured gland(s) is definitely a situation. When you went to the vet the first time did they think there was an actual issue and/or prescribe any meds or do a manual expression of the gland? Has she expressed a LOT of fluid at once out of the gland(s) on her own? Does she lick the area and/or scoot her butt around on the ground a lot? We can't really assess the situation from afar, as there are so many variables, but if you want to share more info we might be able to provide more helpful info.

A lot of people have their dog's anal glands expressed by groomers or vets as a regular thing, which -- contrary to what most people think and do -- isn't actually a very good idea unless it really needs doing. Encouraging the normal regular expression of the glands is what you want, and a good diet is first and foremost. Sounds like you probably have that much covered! Are her poops well-formed and solid? A good poop, so to speak, keeps the glands healthy and expressing regularly. The more you mess around with squeezing and expressing the gland the more irritated they can get. Same goes for a dog who's glands are causing discomfort and licks and licks and licks.

The anal glands are essentially a sebaceous gland -- glands that produce an oily/waxy substance. As with any gland (or any other system in the body), they don't exist in a vacuum. The overall health of the body will affect the anal gland secretions, which often gets overlooked, as most vets operate within a system where body functions and individual organs and processes are considered independently of the whole. Impactions (which lead to abscesses and ruptures) are basically caused by abnormal consistency of the secretions that can't pass thru the opening into the anus properly. The fluid builds up and problems can ensue if the gland isn't expressed -- normally or manually by a human. Making sure the whole body is running healthily and efficiently with a proper diet, exercise, mental stimulation, and healthy emotional state should help keep everything running smoothly -- including anal glands. Things like intolerances and allergies (especially ones expressed thru the skin) might be tied in to anal gland problems, so if there are any other issues it might serve you well to address the "big picture" and see the anal gland issues follow on their own.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by , Apr 2 2:54 am


Raw Food Diet > Raw diet and hunger

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 29, '14 4:55pm PST 
Is your food measurement 2 tablespoons 2 times a day? If the total amount you're feeding in a day is 4 tablespoons, that only works out to an ounce of food a day (Ounces being a more usual measurement of raw food in increments smaller than pounds.) This is a VERY small amount of food. Even if your guys are eensy teensy tiny -- let's say 4 pounds -- an ounce of food isn't even 2% of their body weight. Most small dogs need a lot more pound-for-pound than their bigger counterparts -- 4%-6% on the low side. I know small active chihuahuas who eat more like 8%-10% of their body weight per day and maintain healthy slim body weights.

While acting hungry all the time can be due to lots of things, in this case they really might be hungry, or just not satisfied with the meals they're getting now. If the info in your OP is indeed accurate, you might want to revisit your feeding plan and make sure the allotment of meat, edible bone, and organ meat from your ground food is more inline with the average for small dogs, and then tweak from there. A little bit of "people food" and treats are, of course, fine, but the bulk of the diet should be coming from the actual diet and not incidentals. I know it can be hard with small dogs! Another thing to help them get satisfaction out of their meals is to make sure that even though the big part of their diet is a blended ground mix, that they're still getting the opportunity to chew and interact with their food more by offering meaty bones in their whole form several times a week at least.

Oh, and serving raw food frozen won't necessarily help with the risk of bacterial contamination that might be present in the food. Freezing doesn't outright kill bacteria as much as it slows down the processes of proliferation. Assuming you trust the company you get your food from to source quality ingredients and prevent contamination at the processing stage, you shouldn't have to worry about it. Granted, things do happen, but serving frozen food unfortunately won't eliminate the risk.
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Ginger, Apr 1 1:28 pm


Raw Food Diet > Howdy strangers!

Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 29, '14 8:52am PST 
Nice to see some familiar faces amongst the spammers!
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Savannah Blue Belle, Apr 7 8:01 am

Raw Food Diet > Tips on freezing meat
Meridian

Proud to be a- kitchen wolf!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Mar 23, '14 9:18pm PST 
I've actually had the opposite experience from Maxwell with the butcher paper. I LOVE THAT STUFF! My experience is that anything wrapped snugly will withstand freezer burn far longer than plastic bags and wraps or rigid containers. I use it for people-food as well as dog food.

As you guys have been discussing, the problem with using rigid containers is the fact that you can't "burp" out the air, and it's air contact that promotes freezer burn. While freezer burn isn't the end of the world, there are nutrients that aren't air-stable, and if a plastic wrap gets a hole in it, you will discover chunks of meat that are literally almost completely dessicated, which is not good. Butcher paper is much sturdier than plastic wrap or bags. Another drawback is that with a lot of rigid containers the food can't be released from the container unless it's at least partially thawed, which is just an inconvenience, but an inconvenience nonetheless. They also create bulk unless you've got efficiently packed containers in sizes that stack well. Butcher paper packages stack pretty well. Another drawback with containers and plastic is labeling. Butcher paper is great, because you just write right on it with a marker and it stays clear and legible even thru a lot of digging around and rearranging. Butcher paper also doesn't get all stuck in folds of meat when you invariably toss it in the freezer, only to have it re-settle in a slightly different shape and freeze that way.

That's my ode to butcher paper. big grin
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by Taggert, Mar 24 1:14 pm

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