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Thread: Feeding Raw

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default Feeding Raw

    So, with a new pup possibly on the way and one cat who is recovering from a food related UTI and another that if I don't watch him will get fat, I am looking into feeding them raw foods.

    I have done some google searches and come up with some useful info, but so much of it is from companies trying to sell me stuff that it's hard to know what to believe, so I have some questions.

    Is raw food better than or any different, nutritionally, than homemade cooked food?

    What, exactly should I be feeding - what is a usual weekly menu for your dogs?

    Can I feed my cats the same as the dog? Assuming I throw in some organ meat?

    Following the UTI, I stopped feeding my cats kibble. They harass me constantly for it - I have played with the balance and have found that she can tolerate small amounts without it causing problems, so they now get a few pieces before bed, so they will settle down for the night. Will feeding raw foods satisfy them more than the kitten mince they get at the moment?

    Feeding raw is something I have avoided until now, purely because it seems really compicated and I am unsure I will be able to do it correctly, so I am trying to simplify it.

  2. #2
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    I had the same hesitations as you but I have found it relatively easy and wouldn't go back. Though I do NOT follow a strict RAW diet. I use Phuds as a supplement for my dog (similar to Vets All Natural) and I still give both dog and cats some dry food, though they only eat very little of it.

    I also can't be bothered with the chicken carcasses and stuff as I cannot always feed the dog outside (well, mainly when it rains) and it's obviously too messy for inside. I do give chicken necks regularly (that's ok to eat in the laundry ) and she also gets bones while I'm at work. But I feed mainly pet mince for her main meal.

    I don't always give the cats the same as the dog because some pet mince contains too much fat, organs and bones for them. The cats actually seem happiest with kangaroo mince and the occasional tin of salmon (though not all of them like salmon and they seem to prefer tuna). I will also give them a chicken neck occasionally, though our current kittens haven't figured out how to eat them yet, but one is at least trying - it's very cute to watch (but very messy!).

    For the dog it is mince (either ground up chicken carcasses or beef mince with some organs and occasionally roo mince) with Phuds, chicken necks, a tin of tuna or sardines once a week and an egg once a week too.

    I find the Phuds gives me more peace of mind that she is getting the balanced diet she needs. Though I've been told VAN is even better for that.

    I don't know if there is a big difference between raw and cooked, but I wonder why you would bother cooking if you can feed raw? I also doubt cats would like home cooked food? Unless maybe it's chicken. Or fish.

    I try buy mince in bulk and freeze it in take away containers in portions enough for about 3 days. Then I get out the night before I need it to defrost.

  3. #3
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    Here's a lovely little book that outlines a great deal of information on food, feeding and dog/cat digestive systems;

    http://www.claremiddle.com/docs/BookOrderForm.pdf

    To answer your questions;

    1. Nutritional differences between raw and cooked? Cooked food often has enzyme and nutritional depletion due to the cooking (heating) process. Raw and fresh has higher nutritional value. However, vegetables, grains, fruit ect wont be digested by dogs and requires either steaming or blending with water to simulate "pre-processing" (as would be found in the gut and stomach contents of a prey animal). Dr Claire's book looks at this in depth.

    2. What do I feed?

    Dogs;

    Raw meaty bones:
    Chicken carcass, wing, neck, thigh, drumstick, turkey (same as chicken), kangaroo tail, lamb shank, pork hock, goat leag, ox tail, lamb neck, brisket, whole fish, whole rabbit). Basically any meaty bone. I do avoid weight bearing bones from bigger animals as they can be more dense and harder on teeth. I want my dogs and cats to be able to rip meat from the bone AND crunch up the bone as well. I love chicken carcasses for this as the bone is reasonably soft and maleable.

    Meat Mix:
    Minced meat (I use chicken, vension, beef, rabbit, lamb, pork, kangaroo, and fish minces). I only use one type of meat each day, but this is not a requirement. I buy from a local butcher who minces the meat and I buy in 10kg lots which I then freeze in 1kg portions
    Eggs (whole)
    Offal (I use a minced up mix of whatever organ meats I can get- tripe, heart, kidney etc) I use about 10% offal in my meat mix
    Oil- Omega 3 & 6- the good stuff with cold pressed oils
    Greenpet essentials mix - this is like the "hair, nails, skin component with essential trace minerals
    Vets All Natural Complete Mix - the roughage component, grains etc. Quite like Phuds as mentioned by Beloz.
    PetPepUp- a probiotic supplement
    Yoghurt (when I run out of PetPepUp)

    All these ingredients are mixed together into the meal

    I also use pre-packaged BARF from Big Dog BARF (my mom and I distribute this as a local business) one- two nights per week as "takeout night"- that is where I dont have to premix all the ingredients. This would be too expensive to feed all the time as my dogs grow, but as they become adults and eat less, I will probably increase my use of this as it has all of the above (in the mix) categories covered in a pre-packaged product.

    A typical week for my dogs:
    Sun: breakfast- chicken carcass
    dinner- meat mix
    Mon: breakfast- ox tail
    dinner- kangaroo tail
    Tue: breakfast- chicken drummies
    dinner- meat mix
    Wed: breakfast- turkey wing
    dinner- BARF
    Thu: breakfast- lamb neck
    dinner- meat mix
    Fri: breakfast- whole fish
    dinner- BARF
    Sat: breakfast- brisket
    dinner- lamb shank/ turkey drumstick/ goat leg

    The bones are whatever I have on hand, usually.

    I used to give fish oild supplements, but there are already the Omega 3 & 6 oils in the meat mix and the BARF, so I've dropped that off.

    I should also fast my dogs one day per week.... and it does happen occasionally when I forget to defrost, but not as often as I should.

    3. Cats;

    I have two older cats, and moving them from kibble has been quite hard. I suppose I could feed them minced meat and Vets All Natural Complete mix with bones, but I've only gotten as far as having them accept the Big Dog BARF for cats as an alternative to tinned and kibble. The older cat still insists on kibble, and at age 12 I'm prepared to stick to the shite diet as it is what he knows (both cats came to me at older ages), though if I were starting with a kitten, I'd be going Raw the whole way. My mother does this and her kitten thrives on the BARF and chicken necks etc.

  4. #4

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    this is my dog's daily diet and weekend treats

    1. Science Diet - in the morning
    2. Assorted meat "depends what we get from my mate who owns a butchery" mix with Veg and Rice - during night
    3. Treats - Fresh Dog bone or Pork Hocks or the tip of a chicken wing - during weekends only
    m<(o.o)>m

  5. #5
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    Apr 2012
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    Adelaide
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    Thanks guys - really good information.

    I assume that it takes a long time to eat a bone - so would that substitute the likes of a kong toy if the dog was left alone, or is it not advisable to leave them alone with bones?

    I gave the cats some chicken legs once, they just dragged them around the house, yuck! I must try something smaller for them, I really want to get them eating bones, because I'm finding I have to brush the males teeth because the get quite dirty - I reckon bones would be a much nicer alternative for both of us!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asrais View Post
    ...I assume that it takes a long time to eat a bone - so would that substitute the likes of a kong toy if the dog was left alone, or is it not advisable to leave them alone with bones?
    That will depend on the size of the bone and the size of the dog, lol. My Dobes take 1-2 minutes to finish off a large chicken carcass (they have been taught to chew bones, not inhale), whilst you might get 5-10 minutes of chewing on a lamb shank or pork hock. My guys certainly take more time with their peanut butter plastered kongs. I prefer not to leave my dogs totally alone with a bone. Both have been taught since puppyhood to chew but I do prefer just to take the time to supervise. Just cautious, I guess.

    I also forgot to mention in my first post- one of my cats (the older one who is a feral) had a very severe UTI a few years back. A week in hospital, an enormous bill, and was told he had to be on Prescription Diet forever.... well... on BARF, the occasional mouse (!!), a chicken nexk here and there and those small amounts of kibble (I use Royal Canin Oral), he has had no symptoms or stones and his teeth are pretty good (for a 12 year old cat). So, UTI can be managed with diet other than the vet kibbles.

  7. #7
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    I reckon my dog will be about the size of a dobes head! Current possibility is a chihuahua cross jrt. If I gave her a lambshank she might be gnawing for weeks!

  8. #8
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    If I ever give the dog chicken necks in her bowl in the kitchen she inevitably goes and eats them over the carpet. Why do they do that?!

    The cat used to stay on the kitchen bench with her chicken neck fortunately. I just used an anti-bacterial wipe to clean up after her. Unless she stole it from under Banjo's nose and then she would wipe the kitchen floor with it too.

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