Wanting to go raw for my dogs food, but needing some help?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bossynbella, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2007
    Hello, We have a two year old beagle, we hunt with her, she is registered and we plan to breed her soon with my father in laws beagle (we already have a waiting list for pups, as they are both awesome hunters as well as spoiled pets) however one issue I have always had with my Annie is her appetite, unlike Brutus (my father in laws) as well as unlike any beagle we ever use to have ( my parents raised them when I was a little kid) she is very picky. We have tried every dry and canned food from Iams, to science diet to taste of the wild (wow that's expensive stuff) and she will just leave it. She will maybe eat a few bites a day nothing close to enough to keep her weight up when we go out hunting, much less after we breed her. Right now we keep a bowl full of Iams out all the time, she gets a half a can of Canned Iams or Chicken Soup for the dog which she ignores and the cats eat. She has been to the vet multiple times both for her lack of appetite as well as for her shots, check ups and health tests. He said there is nothing "wrong" with her just that she is a picky dog and that we should try making our own dog food for her. He recommended chicken, rabbit, beef meats with rice, as well as oil (vegetable oil? or what?) veggies etc. I have tried looking online for some example of how much of what to feed her. I don't want to end up throwing alot away because I make to much, I also don't want to underfeed her. We have been feeding her meats and vegetable oils mixed in her foods for about 6 months now, but its still a fight to get her to eat anything so I am wanting to go completely away from the dog food. Though I will still probably keep it down free choice in case she decides to eat it.
    So here are my main questions
    1. Do I cook the meats and vegetables? Or feed them raw? I know I have to cook the rice if I include that
    2. What ratio of meat to rice to vegetables
    3. Is there any other kind of grain? Like should I add noodles or anything?
    4. About how much should I give her a day? And Should I do one big meal or two or three smaller meals.
    5. How about eggs? she loves eggs and again cooked or raw?
    6. I have heard yogurt, but I am not sure she would eat plain yougurt, she does like cottage cheese though.
    7. Are there any other ingredients you would add? I would like to give her a variety, plus it would make it funner to make for her if I don't have to make the exact same thing every day.

    Thanks in advance, you guys are the best
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Raw is just that raw. You do not cook any meat. Personally I do not believe in the diets that include veggies. I follow the prey model diet which is just meat. No grains, no veggies, no fruit, no supplements. Just whole prey or bits of prey that add up to a whole. It's one of the simplest diets to feed. You just have to follow the ratios of organs, meat, and bone and make sure to get a variety of meats.




    We were giving about 5 eggs a day raw but we actually no longer have chickens so we are no longer feeding eggs.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  3. greytmommy

    greytmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    I did the Raw Foods diet for years w/ my (now passed) Italian Greyhound and Whippet.

    It is pretty easy once you get into it.

    I never cooked ANYTHING. (hence the raw). You base how much food you give them on 3-4% of thier body weight (more for pups or high energy breeds like sighthounds...my pups had more like 5-6%).

    You need a good food processor...that is a must. and a good meat cleaver.

    I gave my pups raw chicken. Mostly chicken backs or wings (since I had smaller dogs), and sometimes would give the whippet turkey necks. you can give them cow ribs, or pork necks as more of a recreational bone, but that isnt a "meal" per say.

    So for the veggies, I would get a mix of dark greens, oranges, canned mackerl, fruits, raw egg (with shell), Apple Cidar vingaer (for vitamins/mineral), ect. I tried to make it a colorful vareity of fruits and vegs. I would blend it all together. Then mix it w/ a bit of oatmeal (uncooked). They dont HAVE to have the oatmeal, but mine liked it, and it helped hold the veggies together into "patties".

    I would make veggies patties of the correct size/weight, and freez them on freezer paper. Then throw them in a bag. The night before I would pull out a patty for bfast the next day. I would make about 1-2mths worth of patties at one time. For dinner they would get a hunk of raw chicken. They would eat either outside, or one a huge sheet I would keep in the freezer between feedings and wash once a week (to keep the samleonlla off my floor).

    some of my favorite BARF links:



    http://www.njboxers.com/faqs.htm (this is my Fav site)

    here is how to figure out how much to feed:

    Billinghurst recommends 60% RMBs and 40% veggies, etc... however; 60% to 75% CAN BE RMBs and the rest should be a combination of veggies, organs (also known as offal, to include liver, heart, kidney, green tripe, etc...), ground meat (e.g. lean beef, chicken or turkey), eggs and supplements. If you are just starting BARF, remember to start slow by adding new food items every few days or even weeks, until your dog gets used to the new food (especially the richer foods like liver). This is only a guide to help get you started. If your dog is on the skinnier side, up the food (RMBs) and reduce the veggies....if your dog is on the heavier side, reduce the RMBs and up the veggies. To know if your dog is 'just right,' rub the back of your hand.....his/her ribs should feel the same. If you can't feel his/her ribs, then reduce the daily food intake.

    Multiply your dogs weight by 16 to get the number of ounces he weighs.
    Multiply that by .02, which gives you 2 % of his body weight.
    Multiply that by .6 to give you the weight of RMB you should feed. That is chicken necks, wings, backs etc.
    Go back to the 2% of his body weight again and multiply that number by .4 to get the weight in ounces of vegetable patty mix you should feed.

    For example: One of my Boxers weighs 70 Lbs. Here's the formula I used to calculate the daily food intake when I started:

    70Lbs x 16 = 1120 ounces
    1120 x .02 = 22.4 ounces of food per day
    22.4 x .6 = 13.44 ounces of RMB -----60% RMB
    22.4 x .4 = 8.96 ounces of Veg. Patty mix.-----40% Veg. Patty mix.

    Remember this is only a place to start - adjust everything up or down, depending on your dogs condition.
  4. greytmommy

    greytmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    Quote:I did the veggies, it is a personal prefernce thing. But I didnt do a LOT of veggies...and my veggie patties had meat in them (canned mackel, ground meat). I did that b/c my italian greyhound was VERY small (8lbs) and would have a hard time w/ the raw chicken sometimes...so it helped keep weight on her. My whippet would sometimes snub the veggie patties. No problem...he just got more chicken then.
  5. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Quote:I don't know if you just started leaving her food down all day or this has been going on all along. This is called "free feeding". Free feeding actually causes a dogs appetite to go down, or, alternatively (this won't be your issue obviously) the dog will eat bowl after bowl of food. Leaving the food down for a dog with hardly any appetite does a couple things. First, the dog has food all the time, so she doesn't feel the need to eat much. It is not normal psychologically for a dog to be a "grazer" (eating little at a time on and off all day). Dogs digestive systems are built to eat a larger filling meal and then go without for several hours or a day. Her food out all the time makes her less likely for her to eat her fill, and food then becomes something she doesn't have to work for.

    Thats another thing too -- her working for her food. She's a working dog right? She hunts. I have found that a picky-eating-working dog often times will eat better if they "work" for their meal. And actually, that is more normal and healthy for any dog -- working for their food is what all Canids are built to do. So maybe have her do some obedience, some search-sniff exercises, things like that and her reward at the end will be her food. I would try to build her drive and desire for food by this method. Funny how excited some dogs get when you hold their bowl of dinner and ask for some quick obedience, a few tricks or a game of self control. Even my working GSD eats better if I make him do some heel work, some sits and downs, and a down stay before releasing him to eat.

    If you try any of these suggestions make sure when her food is available that you only have it down for her for about 10 minutes, then pick it up and try again in, say 4-6 hours. Confining a dog in a crate for dinner time also works wonders sometimes. So with all my picky eaters I have done the timed food period in conjunction with crating so they cannot really get away from the food. Its right there, eat the food or be bored in your crate for ten minutes. Usually eating wins out over just sitting by themselves in a crate. If she's not crate trained then you can try a confined area like the kitchen, or even tie her to a door knob for ten minutes.
  6. Squishy

    Squishy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    Jamie has some great points if you are still wanting to feed kibble!
    If you do decide to feed raw it can be quite a hassle, but is well worth it. We fed Raw to our Jack Russells when we were breeding, and I cant say enough about it for the adults & for the pups when they were starting on solids. We had fabulous results with the way our puppies developed, no food allergies, ect ect ect. A couple of things I'd like to add to the discussion though...
    In the wild... when a wolf brings down an animal, the first thing they go for is the stomach.. they eat all the partially digested greend as well as the organs... so there is a place for veggies in a dogs diet.
    In the case of your picky eater, I wouldnt use the rice, as it is meant as a filler for hungry dogs. I would concentrate instead on her using her appetite on the meat and veggies, for nutrients and calories. The same thing with the oatmeal, only I would never have used it in the first place because oats, obviously, are a grain, and not a healthy, natural thing for a dog.. they can develop allergies ect from grains (such as corn - the #1 food allergy for dogs).
    For meats - Green tripe is great... chicken & turkey wings, backs, necks, and thighs.. big marrow bones.. ect
    The way we arranged our feeding was -
    Mixed up a huge bowl of shredded greens, veggies, ect... added in a tiny bit of garlic (mild mild wormer) parsley (breath freshener) plain yogurt, eggs... and blend it well.. then dole it out into small ziplock tub containers in 1 cup portions or what each dog would eat up... then put them all in the fridge.. and make this up every week. So one meal in the day, usually breakfast when they were more hungry, would be just dropping the tub of veggie mix in their bowls.... and then for dinner time we would break out the meat.. and for dogs our size (Jacks) give them 1 chicken wing each, or 2 necks, or 1 big marrow bone... and if they werent close to finishing it in 2 hours we would pick it up with a ziplock baggie and stick it in the fridge or freezer.

    When Rosie was preggers we had SO much trouble keeping the weight on her... she had always been a slim puppy (with the free choice) but had gained some weight when we started raw... anyway.. she got soooo skinny when preggers we felt terrible! So we would fry her up some eggs twice a day, in between meals, sunnyside up and cooked a little less than you would for a human... then plopped it in her bowl and broke the yolk so it would run all over the whites.. and finally that was enough temptation for her to fill her crammed with puppies belly a little more.
    Turns out... and we were so shocked! Her first litter ... keep in mind she is a 15 pound dog and Jacks normally have 3 - 5 puppies... the 5th puppy came out... "Ok" we were thinking, "Shell probably only have 1 more!"... 6th puppy came out "Are you done yet Rosie?"... 7th puppy came out... "Thats gotta be the last one!" ... 8th puppy came out " Oh My goodness Rosie!" we were in shock... and out pops the 9th puppy! All of them were healthy, perfect puppies.. each one with amazingly different markings and colors... and we had to help her raise them a bit with formula... Poor girl! She wanted to feed them all herself, but after they were all out she was just skin and bones!

    Edited to add- Ps! Just re-read and saw your mention of cottage cheese! That is great too.. we used to feed Rosie some too as a snack. Maybe mix it with the egg yolks to make a "gravy" to tempt her more?
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  7. vanilla.exe

    vanilla.exe Chillin' With My Peeps

    You have an amazing vet if he suggested making your own food. Raw or even cooked home made meals are 10x better for cats, dogs and ferrets than kibbles. What's been provided to your already are some awesome tips and the only thing I would add is that dogs are omnivores that lean towards meat, so they should still have some veggies. Even obligate carnivores get veggies in their food because in the wild they would be eating the half digested stomach contents of their prey, which are usually herbivores.
  8. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    I have recently had to change one of my dogs diet to the Raw Diet, for months he would eat and then minutes later vomit or even hours later vomit. After all kinds of tests and xrays and switching to all natural and grain free kibble I decided to give this a shot even though my vet didn't approve.

    I switched him and he took to it like a champ, well ok the first time he looked at a chicken quarter like it was an alien but then he realized it was good and now he doesn't fool around with his food now. And guess what, no more vomiting. He has more stamina, and he has started to gain weight back on. He got so skinny the last few months that my dh and I had to have that talk of what if he doesn't take to this diet talk, which meant we would have to put him down because he couldn't eat without vomiting and it was killing us to watch him waste away.

    We went to the store armed with a list of raw foods that have the right vitamins for them. Organ meats are a must at least once or twice a week and same with fish. So we bought chicken hearts, they are so cheap here like 2 bucks or under and I get three feedings out of that package. I bought chicken quarters, turkeys necks, chicken backs, turkey breasts, chuck beef roasts beef kidney (not a real favorite and this I have to cook for him or he will not eat it) and I bought fish and this week chicken breast was on sale and I bought a few packages, there were 4 large chicken breasts in each package for like 5 bucks so I thought that was adequate. I also purchased ground beef.

    I buy what ever is on sale and then I split the meats into meal times and freeze them. the day prior I take out a whole days meal for the next day and let it thaw. My dog loves fish heads and trout. the ground beef doesn't stand a chance and he just loves his chicken and the chicken livers are a nice treat for him.

    I have him on vitamins because he will not eat any fruit or vegies as recommended by the vet, oh and speaking of the vet, she changed her mind about the raw diet when he went back in this week for a weigh in and I told her he is no longer vomiting after meals. For the fish I do take the bones out of it except for the head. as for chicken bones etc, they are all fine as long as none of the bones are cooked.

    I have six dogs I can't possibly afford to do this with all of them, but the rest do get a few treats here and there. with this dog I had no choice and I am glad this diet is working and he is part of our family and worth every penny. by the way I spend about 30-40 bucks a week for food just for him. I just add it on to our usual weekly grocery shop, if I buy steak or chops or chicken for dinner for ourselves I make sure there is extra for him.
    I found he loves turkey wings they are big and cheap and have the right meat to bone ratio. now if I could get him to eat some vegies that would be great...lol...
  9. greytmommy

    greytmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    you can make it more affordable.

    for my fruits & veggies, I would hit the local farmers market & ask for their bruised produce they can't sell. They would sell it to me dirt cheap vs throwing it out. I kept a tub in my freezer....i would put leftovers in there....the stuff my kids would waste & throw out noramly. & that would go in w/ the veggies. And see if you an find a butcher locally you can buy the extra parts from...the stuff they don't sell. We could get chicken backs REALLY cheap....& backs have some residual organ meat on them. We could get it for 25 cents a lb!!
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    There are lots of yahoo groups to help find raw providers in your area. Craigslist is also sometimes helpful. We get raw pork for $1.50/lb from a guy I found on there and we get beef bones at $10/package (dunno what a package weighs but it lasts 3 weeks for 2 dogs) from a guy I found on their selling hay and then turns out he uses his organic hay to raise organic grass fed beef.

    Warning- Pork should be frozen to 5F or below for 3 weeks or -5F and below for 3 days to feed whole or else cooked with the bones removed before feeding to avoid potential parasite and disease problems.

    Whether dogs are strict carnivores or need vegetables is really a matter of opinion at this point. Both sides have good arguments and plenty of people have had healthy dogs for years without feeding stomach contents, supplements, or vegetables while others feed one or more of those and also have healthy dogs. No one seems to know for certain yet.

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