Starting Your Dog On Raw Diet
Starting with chicken as a first protein is best, because chicken bones are very soft and easy to digest. Purchase either chicken thighs or chicken leg quarters. Remember to check the bag to make sure there are no enhancements added. i.e. Sodium is not over 100mg per 4 oz (120g) serving. As a general rule start your pet on 2-3% of ideal adult body weight per day. Feel your dog down the back, ribs and hips to make sure you can feel thin covering of flesh and muscle. If they feel a bit bony, add more meat. If they are getting plump, decrease the meat intake. Do not over feed your dog. This will not only cause loose stools, but the possibility of them throwing up their meal within 30 minutes. If this happens, they will want to eat it again. Walk away and let them. That is natural dog behavior.
When starting puppies, their raw intake should be split into several meals. A puppy can be weaned on raw starting at 4 weeks of age. Feed 4-5 meals a day until approximately 16 weeks. At this point, you can cut the meals down to 3 times a day. At 6 months of age you can cut them down to 2 meals a day. If you find between the 2 feedings your dog is getting the bile pukes, give them a few ginger snaps to settle their stomach until meal time. After they’re a year old, you can feed one meal per day. Again, if he starts with the bile pukes you can always go back to feeding 2 times a day. If feeding 2 times a day fits into your schedule, by all means feed him as such. There is no such rule your dog must be fed only once per day. Feeding once a day can take some time to accomplish. Meat and bone digest very rapidly, within 4-6 hours. So a dog being fed once a day has an empty stomach for long periods of time. Thus the bile pukes will happen.
By 6-8 weeks of age, a pup can handle chicken bone very easy. If you find your new puppy or older dog cannot get the gist of eating raw, you can use a fork and score the meat so bits are easily grabbed with the teeth and pulled off. We suggest when starting a dog to raw diet; you keep them on each protein for a period of 2 weeks. This gives you the chance to see how they are adjusting and also if there will be an allergy break out. If your dog starts scratching, licking himself constantly, sucking or chewing on their feet and legs, this is a sure sign they are not tolerating that protein. And you try another. If this is the case, I would then try turkey as a second meat. If not, then get them on a red meat. Venison or pork as the bone is softer than beef bones. Take a few days to add the red meat to their first meat a bit at a time. And adding a tad more each day until his full feeding portion is the new or 2nd protein. Feed for 2 weeks and move onto the next protein. Those could be duck, rabbit, lamb, goat, beef, kanga, emu, fish, elk, and moose. Just watch if you are purchasing from the grocery store for the added enhancements.
There are many different raw diets posted all over the internet. Prey model and BARF to name a few. But if you do your research on a wolf’s diet it consists of meat, muscle meat, organ and bone. They do not eat the stomach contents or plant matter found in the stomach. They will shake out the contents and eat the intestines/tripe. Plant matter is not digesting in carnivores unless it is pureed or cooked. And there are limits to how much absorption does occur. Fruits are natural sugar that carnivores do not require. So it is our opinion that vegetables, fruits and grains are only fillers. So try to stick strictly to a diet of 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% organ meat. With 5% of the organ meat is liver. This is a must. Liver provides necessary vitamins that your dog needs. If you have trouble getting them to eat liver, you can try to feed it sliced and frozen, ground up in your blender and added with another ground meat or sear it in a hot fry pan quickly on each side then sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Let cool and serve. It’s usually the texture that dogs don’t care for more so than the taste. Heart, Tongue and Gizzards are fed as muscle meat. Brains, eye’s, spleen, liver, kidney, and pancreas are fed as organs.
Feeding organs will loosen the stool. We always feed organs with a bony meal of chicken backs, duck or chicken necks or ribs. In the beginning, you might find you have to feed bone with every meal to keep the stools firm. You’ll learn to adjust it as time passes. And try to get the bone content down over a period of time. Never feed weight bearing bones. Those are the legs of cattle, deer, elk, emu, soup bones, knuckle bones, and femur bones. Chicken, duck, calf, lamb, feeder pigs and turkey legs are fine. As the animals are processed for the table at a very young age and the bones are still soft. You can break a tooth or end up with a fracture or slab fracture. So it is just not worth the risk
For supplements, especially if you are purchasing store bought meats. As most are corn fed and finished. Or being fed GMO grains. The quality of most supermarket meats are USDA commercial or standards cuts. If you’re lucky they, “might” possibly be select. I will suggest kelp powder and alfalfa powder. They are good immune builders and are a power house of vitamins.
Also to make sure you have the Omega 3 and Omega 6 ratios balanced, we use Grizzly Salmon Oil. It’s all natural and does not contain Soy like most brands do. Soy is a major cause of allergies. If you put it on your wish list at Amazon.com, when it goes on sale, they’ll alert you via email. Make sure if you purchase a large bottle to save money, you store it in the fridge. Anything larger then what you use in 2 months’ time, freeze in small containers or it will go rancid. Here is a link to what we use from Amazon