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Loosing weight...

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!

  
Stewie

On the Look Out
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 5, '11 1:57am PST 
Stewie has been loosing weight... Not in a good way. I have been feeding him raw for a while now, I am not positive when I actually started... If you remember me asking a lot about organs. Apparently stewie's system doesn't like organs very much. I have been giving digestive enzymes with his organs and it has been going fine but I am still not up to the optimal amount yet. I am probably getting 1 days amount in him every 3 days or so, maybe.. Everything else has been going fine. He hasn't had diarrhea in a long while now.

He used to be 11lbs and he was still at a fairly good weight when he dropped to 10lbs, but he is now at 9lbs and I am getting worried about his weight.

I am currently feeding him 3% of his ideal weight (11lbs) but am thinking he needs to be fed more. The only problem is all his meals are already weighed and frozen and it seems like a big chore to make sure everything is in the right proportions along with feeding him more... especially with his problem with getting all the organs.

hoping some of you will have some thoughts or suggestions on how I can help him gain weight. Is there anything else I can do? Have any of you gone through this?

Is free feeding an option? How can I make sure he gets all the proportions right with bone and organs if I do it this way? Whole prey I suppose would be a possibility but access is very limited where I live.
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Trigger

*Blackdog*
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 5, '11 5:45am PST 
I'm not a fan of free feeding at all.

I'd simply up the amount you're giving him.

You can continue to feed him your portioned out stuff, just a add a bit more in with it.

You can also supplement with things like treats. My boys love cream cheese filled kongs cloud 9
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Charlie &- Zelda

Love at first- sniff <3
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 5, '11 6:41am PST 
Free-feeding aka gorging would also have to include fasting.. so either way, if you're doing it properly then you're feeding the same amount over several days. Do not free feed on a daily basis, I can only imagine that your dog's body would be stressed out like crazy having to digest all that food every day.

What is your idea of "thin"? If the dog a bit "ribby" or is she looking emaciated? I was very scared that my Zelda was too thin because I can feel her ribs, but our vet says she's perfect. I tried to feed her as 4-6% of her body weight and it didn't make any difference in weight, it just made her poop a lot more.

And just making sure, you're feeding her around .3 lbs or 5.5 ounces per day, right?
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 5, '11 8:56am PST 
Feed a bit more and work in the organs as you have been doing. Have you been just working on one organ? Do that, just chicken or pork or beef liver or kidney and move to the next once that one is okay with his gut. And are you feeding daily bone and bone with that organ? Bone with organ works well for Max. Max needed daily bone for over a year and I won't feed organ without some bone in the meal.

I guess it might be optimal to feed 10% of the total diet in organ but if you are feeding more than 3% of his body weight I don't know that he actually needs more vitamin A and all that good stuff that comes from the organs.

Does he have blow outs when he gets too much organ or is it just less than optimal poop? As long as Max doesn't need to take excessive poop trips outside I don't much care that poop isn't perfectly firm. It is nice having a back yard!

Max was really heavy when we started raw and it was a long haul to good body condition. It is a fine line between just right and skinny. I like to feel his hip bones but if a dip starts between them I get nervous and that can happen in a couple days. I don't go by weight or he would still be on short rations. He was 33 pounds until he was 7 years old, ballooned to 44 pounds on my home cooking because I couldn't weigh properly with that lousy old scale and is now 38 pounds with all the bony bits easily felt and huge thighs holding a lot of the new healthy muscle.

Eating big is how Max got to his ideal body condition. I suppose it can work in reverse, don't know. You don't have to use whole prey, it just needs to be hard to eat meals. Chicken doesn't work, whole pork neck, big chunks of bony pork or lamb shoulder and beef rib racks do. You might see if those long racks of BBQ beef ribs are a good enough price in your neck of the woods, they have quite a bit of fat on them. Remember he won't and shouldn't eat most of the bone on some of these items so they end up costing more than the sticker price. And it is really important to work up to big meals otherwise he won't be utilizing the food well. A single beef rib would be a good sized daily portion, you might give that a few times, then 2 left in a rack a few times and when that plus a little organ is good try 3. If he doesn't clean the bone you can rinse it off and offer again the next day too. Max gets enough bone off even though it doesn't seem like he has eaten much, the joint end is apparently soft enough to eat easily. I don't fast Max, I just feed short rations for as many meals as it takes to make the ounces even out to his usual 70 ounces a week.

Next time you pack up meals maybe pack 2-3 days worth at a time so you can be more flexible per meal. I packed daily bags at first too but now my containers hold 2-3 days of food and I might have the end of one and the beginning of another in the refrigerator at one time. Keep the organ separate if you possibly can as well. Just have two bags out daily right now, the meat is fine for several days refrigerated. Feed organ with bone and it should be okay.
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Stewie

On the Look Out
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 5, '11 12:54pm PST 
Trigger: Thanks, I've never done free feeding. I wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not, just trying to weigh out the options. Thanks for the advice, I should try do kongs more often. smile

Charlie & Zelda: Good point, I wasn't thinking of that... He looks on the thin side this hips, ribs and spine are easy to feel. Because he is kind of fluffy you can't see ribs, and its hard to say if you would see them or not if his hair was shorter thinking. I am feeding about 4.4oz of meat a day and the 2/3 days worth of bone every 2-3 days and whatever organ I can get in.

Maxwell: Yes I am feeding bone with the organ but it is not daily. It is usually every 2-3 days. It's been a challange to get him on the organ that he is on, I may increase the amount next time I feed organ. He is on chicken liver and pork kidney. If he gets too much organ he will get explosive diarrhea... With the digestive enzymes (prozyme) he has been a lot better then he used to be, where the littlest bit of organ would be a big problem. I think I could increase the amount now but I don't want to rush it-worrying that I will go to fast and he'll have the same problem. I feed his meals frozen because he tends to gulp his meats, if it isn't frozen I need to hold his meat because he WILL swallow it whole if he can. It is a good idea to have extra in the fridge, maybe I will have one meal in the fridge and feed the frozen one and just add some more to it from the fridge... He seems pretty bony on feeling him, I can feel his hips easily and there seems to be a tad of a dip in between the hips... Although since he is small it isn't a big dip and it isn't very noticeable (his hips are fairly close together).
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Sun Aug 7, '11 10:42pm PST 
I meant to reply but forgot.

Feed bone and organ daily for now until he is used to raw. If he gets a toothpick sized bit daily and is fine that is better than eating a Popsicle stick sized bit every other day that causes trouble, right? Cut a chunk into bits that small and feed one daily. I rolled the slivers up in a sheet of plastic wrap and stuck to it until that first bit was gone. A pain but it was so worth it, Max adores organ and tolerates it well as long as it is every other day. He would love it in a big gob once a week but if it upset his tummy he might go off it and I don't want that to happen! If that one is tolerated then feed two a day and so on. Repeat with every organ, no shortcuts!
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Stewie

On the Look Out
 
 
Barked: Mon Aug 8, '11 12:51am PST 
Thanks Maxwell!! That is a great point! I'll make sure he gets some organ every day then. That helps me with organ, I'm not sure if it will help him gain weight... but maybe?!

Also went out and bought some more bully sticks. I remembered I used to give them more often when I started him on raw and haven't given them for a while. Something for him to enjoy again and maybe it will help a bit with his weight too.

dog walk
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Mon Aug 8, '11 9:36am PST 
It might. There is a law of the minimum that applies to plants growing, something about if one nutrient is too low the plant cannot take up more of the others and won't grow well. Maybe not quite enough B12 or vitamin A or whatever else is in organs sometimes affects animals the same way. Usually the complex system compensates for things a bit low or high.
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Tobi

Trouble,- Trouble,- Trouble...
 
 
Barked: Sun Aug 14, '11 9:07am PST 
I'm not sure i saw how much red meat you were giving? Tobi was losing weight very quickly after a few months on raw. (8lbs) The solution was we upped his food intake by 2oz per week weighing him at the end. we've finally stopped adding and he's at about 4% of his weight. The red meats, Beef heart, pork heart, steaks, lamb, kidney fats have all helped to increase his weight and maintain it. way to go
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