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"Alpha" raw

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!

  
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Charlie

The world is my- food bowl!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 9, '12 11:37am PST 
Hey guys, I'm super excited today because I finally got a job after a year of searching and it's at a holistic pet supply store! I asked the owner for a list of all the foods they carry, and she gave me two huge manuals to study. She also gave me a special brochure on a new raw diet that they're carrying called Vital Essentials. I found the basis of this diet really interesting...

Vital Essentials bases their diet off the theory of the Alpha in the pack. The Alpha gets to eat first, and tends to take a lot of the essential organs. In turn, the Alpha obtains the most vital nutrients and is the most healthy member of the pack, and the most likely to procreate healthy pups.

Vital Essentials makes a raw diet that consists of 45% vital organs (heart, lung, liver, kidney, and tripe). This gets me wondering, would it be a good idea to add more vital organs (secreting and not secreting) to our dogs' diets? Even if I keep liver and kidney at a solid 10%, I'm thinking about making heart and tripe a regular 20-30% of the diet.

Just wondering what your thoughts are on this! Not trying to sell anything or change anyone's mind (though I need the practice smile !), I just find the concept pretty intriguing.
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Member Since
12/31/1969
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 9, '12 1:19pm PST 
I don't buy the "Alpha" theory but that is neither here nor there. I wouldn't feed dogs too much nutrition as it can't be good for them. Probably doesn't harm them but it probably does create expensive pee as excess nutrients will be elimnated from the body.

BTW: Heart is not an organ in a nutritional sense. It is very rich muscle meat and you can feed as much as you want to bowel tolerance. I know several people who feed green tripe almost exclusively but I don't advocate that practice either. Tripe is a nutritious food but not any better than any other part of the animal.
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Charlie &- Zelda

Love at first- sniff <3
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 9, '12 1:43pm PST 
I've been feeding prey model for 2 years, so I know what is a secreting organ and what is not smile. I don't feed heart and tripe regularly though (on a weekly basis), so I'm considering making an entire meal of each (1 day of heart, 1 day of tripe) during the weekly schedule. Not to mention, heart and tripe are both around 1.25/lb where I live, so it would be a nice alternative to meaty meat.

I definitely believe there is a pecking order among groups of dogs, and my own dogs show this. My other dog, Zelda, will always back away from food or water if Charlie is interested. When he's finished, she goes in for her turn.
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Member Since
12/31/1969
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 9, '12 2:01pm PST 
I feed a meal of heart about once a week and have no problems with it. Sometimes one dog or another might have a soft stool the next day but only for 1 BM and thats not a big deal to me. I never feed tripe just because I don't want to and I don't see any particular benefit. I know people who feed a lot of tripe and swear by it, but not me.

I have had multiple dogs for over 20 years and have never seen one who is dominant over another. Sometimes one will "seem" dominant and other times another one will depending on the situation. A pack of wild wolves is made up of a Daddy (alpha male), and a Mama (alpha female) and the rest of the pack is their offspring.

We could get into a long detailed discussion about this if you wish, but I don't think this thread is the place to have this discussion.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 9, '12 2:06pm PST 
Just to be clear, the "alpha" (which is technically just the primary breeding pair) wolves in a pack are not the only ones privy to organ meat.

In a pack structure, the majority of the pack shares in the richest parts of the animal. This is fluid- during one feeding a wolf may get a generous helping of liver/heart/etc, then the next they may get none.

The breeding pair, being what they are, are often the oldest and most experienced, and thus often lead on the hunts. Because of this, they typically eat first and the most. THAT SAID, they do not gobble up the bulk of the organ meat first and leave all the MM for the rest of the pack.

Keep in mind that "balance over time" isn't something raw feeders invented- its a pretty accurate description of life in general, and loading up on a ton of organ meat at EVERY feeding seems like, to me at least, overkill.
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Charlie &- Zelda

Love at first- sniff <3
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 9, '12 2:58pm PST 
I apologize if I said that only the alphas eat organ, that's certainly not what I meant. And gosh, on something as large as a deer or a steer the liver can weigh as much as 7 or 8 pounds, no one dog could handle that.--But I do find it reasonable that the first dogs to eat would go for the most nutritious parts. I see it in my own dogs as well. I have buried liver or tripe below hunks of meat and my dogs will still seek them out over bland muscle and bone.

I'm not breaking off of prey-model raw, nor am I trying to say that it's wrong. I just feel that this new concept is interesting and makes sense, and should be looked at with an open-mind. I'm going to personally try increasing heart and tripe for a while. I would not increase liver or kidney any more.
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Buster

1201864
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 9, '12 3:08pm PST 
In a wolf pack the cubs eat first not the alpha pair it was only in the one flawed pack that was studied to create the pack theory that the alpha pair eating first has been observed. At least as far as I remember I might be wrong.

Edited by author Mon Jan 9, '12 3:09pm PST

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Torie

If you can roll- in the dirt, do- it!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 9, '12 3:56pm PST 
Well the alpha theory is very flawed. But that said... More isn't better. Liver, for instance, is packed with Vitamin A-- you wouldn't want too much of that. OTOH, Primal is a great food. They make a supplement food that is all bone and heart. Wonderful stuff.

--des
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Member Since
12/31/1969
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 9, '12 4:48pm PST 
Yes, Buster, you are correct. However it wasn't a "flawed" pack rather a pack of thrown together unrelated captive wolves in a very unnatural situation. Well, I guess that would be a "flawed" pack, huh? laugh out loud
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Duke

I'm king of the- world!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 9, '12 5:40pm PST 
Charlie, congrats on the job. WOOT! cheer

I don't subscribe to alpha theory as behavior goes, but I think this approach has a degree of merit to the extent it encourages us to think about the degree of variety *within the same animal* that we are feeding. Feeding different cuts is supposed to be the way to go with whole prey model. I try to do it as much as possible.

So yea, I think adding in extra heart, tripe or lung would add a lot of value. I would LOVE to get my hands on some lung but have yet to find a source. Duke eats a lot of tripe; at least two full meals per week. And heart is at least one full meal (spread out, though, it's rich stuff!).

It doesn't seem to me that the product is endorsing over-doing it on organ. Here's the ingredient list from the beef product:

Beef, beef tripe, beef lung, ground beef bone, beef liver, beef heart, beef kidney, beef blood, beef fat, herring oil (natural source of vitamin D), d-alpha tocopherol (natural vitamin E), mixed tocopherols (natural antioxidant)

Debates over alpha theory aside, this food looks good to me! Their 45% "vital organ" isn't all secreting organ. I would definitely feed this diet to Duke when we travel (it's just easier...he eats too much to portion out individual meals of meat/bone/organ).
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