Moving to Raw Feeding

Discussion in 'Raw Feeding' started by Jim Stevenson, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. Jim Stevenson

    Jim Stevenson Registered Users

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    Forum Newbie here! We have a 12 month old Fox Red Lab called Jasper who is fed dried food. Recently went to the vet cos we we were worried his anal glands weren't emptying while doing a poo as they were emptying and causing that fishy smell in the house. However, the vet checked the glands and they are totally fine. When we told her that Jasper poos about 4 times per day and his poo is generally quite soft (not diarrhoea) she said that he possibly lacks enough fibre in his food. She advised we switch to a dried food with more fibre. Our current food is 3.5% fibre and we can't find another dried food with higher % fibre content.
    Our dog walker (and owner of her own 6 dogs) advised us to switch to raw food as she has been doing it for years and has said that Jasper will start to produce more solid stools and also poo less.
    We are still undecided about it as we have a few questions...
    1. What does everyone think about raw meat diets?
    2. Can I fee Jasper a mix of kibble and raw meat? If so, should I do that on different days or can his morning food be dry and evening food be raw meat (or vice versa)
    Have looked at the myriad of websites and the messages are mixed...
     
  2. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Hi there and welcome!

    Personally, I feed a mixture of raw and kibble, and have done so for years. I feed raw in the morning, and kibble for the evening meal. Raw food (with raw, meaty bones) will certainly help make his poos more solid, but introduce it very carefully, only one protein source at a time, to avoid stomach upsets.
     
  3. Jim Stevenson

    Jim Stevenson Registered Users

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    When you say "one protein source at a time", do you mean "one meat-type at a time"?
     
  4. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Hello and welcome.

    Like Karen, I also feed a mixture of raw and kibble every day. I feed three times a day, small kibble meals morning and evening and raw at lunch. The majority of their food is actually fed as training rewards, not from bowls.

    They love the raw, it's a definite favourite. I would feed a higher percentage raw, if not 100%, if it were viable to do so, but it's not where I live.

    As Karen says, introducing raw should be done gradually, and don't be surprised if the introduction of a new protein source causes a stomach upset the first few times he has it. Choose something simple like chicken to start off with, maybe introduce a chicken wing once a day for a week and, when his stomach is OK, introduce a new protein. Continue like that until he's OK with all the types of food you're going to feed him. Some dogs are more sensitive to new foods than others, but if you work through it for a couple of days, he should be OK.
     
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  5. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Yes, exactly - but also fish and eggs. I give my dogs raw sardines (from frozen, not from a can) two or three times a week, and a raw egg now and then as well.
     
  6. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Yes, when starting with raw feeding, you want to introduce the different types of meat one at a time, to give the dog time to get used to one before introducing another. New foods can cause stomach upsets at first, just like with us. It's just a case of working through it. Once he's used to the different meats, you can feed a mixture in one meal no problem :)
     
  7. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Yes, raw mackerel is a favourite here, too, and cheap. We can buy raw sardines frozen, which are very convenient, and they love to crunch them up still frozen :)
     
  8. Jim Stevenson

    Jim Stevenson Registered Users

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    Hi Karen and Snowbunny
    Thanks for the advice so far. We have spent the last week reading up on raw feeding and also looking at the cost of it versus kibble. In these days of the internet, there are thousands of sites giving different kinds of advice and warnings. Also good to get some advice from fellow lab owners. I gave him a bowl of minced raw chicken (with minced bone) and some small cooked carrot chunks as a tester last night and he scoffed the lot. There didn't seem to be any ill effects and he produced a fairly hard stool this morning. I assume this is coincidence rather than an immediate effect! In general, Jasper's stools are quite soft (about 4 a day) and he is also quite gassy/smelly so I am hopeful that introducing raw meat will rectify all this. Our vet seems to think that a dog should not be pooing 4 times per day but only twice a day and that they should be hard enough that you kick them without it sticking to your shoe!

    Ah, the joys of being a dog owner....
     
  9. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Hehe, I count that as twice in one day we've had talk of kicking poos. Yup, welcome to the world of dog ownership :D

    Yes, there are many different opinions out there, and there are definitely lots of sites and people who become quite militant about the whole thing. I've not found any evidence that shows, as many people state, that there are detrimental effects from feeding both raw and kibble. Of course, I've also not found any evidence to show the opposite, so all I can do is go on my own experience, which tells me it's something my dogs are fine with.

    I think there's a huge amount of scary stuff surrounding what we feed our dogs, from both processed and raw feeders (and everyone in between) and we really just have to filter it to get to the common sense.

    I like to feed meats with bones in them, because my dogs enjoy the crunch. Others are nervous about their dogs swallowing bones. It's up to you as an owner to make what you think is the best decision for your dog.

    Good luck and do hang around and tell us more about Jasper :)
     
  10. Jim Stevenson

    Jim Stevenson Registered Users

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    Thanks Snowbunny. Yes, the joys of being a modern day dog owner! I always had dogs growing up as a child in the 70's and 80's and I can't remember my parents ever having things like dietary advice, pet insurance, vet healthplans etc etc. They fed them cans of Pedigree Chum and threw the odd bone or two that they picked up from the local butchers in the main street of my small hometown AND
     
  11. Jim Stevenson

    Jim Stevenson Registered Users

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    sorry, pressed the wrong key! AND can't remember them having any health problems.
     
  12. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Oh yes, ha ha, same here :)

    But it's more difficult these days, almost, too much information
    This is very true I do believe.

    I've recently changed the kibble that I feed my Cassie, now 19 months, for several reasons, one of which was the need for firmer poo's. After lots of consideration and filtering out what I didn't want, I'm happy with the choice I made.

    Yes, welcome to the forum, please tell us more about Jasper.
     
  13. Jim Stevenson

    Jim Stevenson Registered Users

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    Thanks to all for posting some advice about raw feeding. Certainly has given me plenty to think about. You guys were asking for more info on Jasper...
    He is a happy 12 month old Fox Red. Very athletic and lean build and he will love walking in the beautiful hills of Scotland. His mum and dad were both working gun dog labs (rather than family pet labs).
     
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  14. AlphaDog

    AlphaDog Registered Users

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    Jim, some good advice here. re: fish -- never raw salmon. If you freeze it solid for a week whatever parasites exist will be gone. The live ones in salmon will put your lab down.

    I've posted some posts on our raw feeding regimen but just make sure he gets enough calcium. If not thru bone then you'll need to use a supplement. Our boy gets a fat pork neck bone every day --meaty with some fat too. Very cheap here. To save buy in bulk, portion out, and freeze till needed. Typically about 2% of body weight per day, depending on activity level. Interesting to note that dogs burn more calories when it's cold. I'm guessing Scotland is cold. Good luck.
     
  15. mirlew47

    mirlew47 Registered Users

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    Look into local farmers/hunters - you can get a lot of free/very cheap things if you can contact the right people.
     
  16. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    Back to the subject of poo :D My German Shorthaired Pointers always went four times a day and my two Labs only go twice a day. So not sure your vet is right :)
     
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  17. AlphaDog

    AlphaDog Registered Users

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    >>Our vet seems to think that a dog should not be pooing 4 times per day but only twice a day and that they should be hard enough that you kick them without it sticking to your shoe!<<

    Not sure about the 4 times a day -- they go when they go, but that the poo should be hard enough to use in a soccer game I will say my raw fed lab's poo would probably qualify.
     

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