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Raw Food Fun
  • KissuiKissui
    Posts: 173
    One thing i love about feeding raw is just how darn much fun it can be. I always find myself popping into little ethnic markets looking for anything new. I have found asian markets to be just awesome. The Mexican ones are great too but here in the Seattle area they are far less common than they where back home in California.

    I found a new Asian market. I stopped in there and sure enough, lots of fun goodies. Live talapia for $0.99 per lb! So i bought me a few of them suckers. A new fish called a milk fish that I hope Mihoshi will find tasty. I have been meaning to feed her more fish seeing how it is such a superfood.

    I also bought some pork neck and back bones, that is awesome because those havent been the easiest to find and when you do find them they are usually pretty cheap.

    But the best of all,, wait for it,,,,DUCK HEADS!!! I saw them sitting there in like a 12 pack. It was just so strange I had to do it. So, let's see how duck heads go over :)
  • ZinjaZinja
    Posts: 200
    My pets seem to be eating much better than I do. Is that hypocritical of me?

    I haven't done a lot of research on using RAW food, but what do you do to prepare them? I know you posted on another thread of mine that it's okay to feed the fish whole. Does that include the eyes, insides, scales, fins, and bones? There are a couple fish that has a ton of bones (ie. ladyfish) Is this okay to feed the dogs with? We sometimes keep even the little fish and use it as fertilizer for our plants, but I might start feeding them to the pets.

    I regularly go saltwater fishing whenever I am at my parent's house and we never end up empty handed.
    Post edited by Zinja at 2009-03-18 01:43:33
  • KissuiKissui
    Posts: 173
    My best advice is you just gotta experiment. Some dogs will not touch any fish, other love it. You can usually feed the whole fish. On a Talapia because they have a very thick and sharp dorsal fin I cut that off with scissors. But I feed the rest, heads, bones, guts all of it. Mihoshi loves the heads. She will always eat the head first. Sometimes I can get a whole bag of heads, in that case dinner is about three fish heads.

    I have nnoticed that she likes the white meat more mild freshwater fish. She does really enjoy sardines but she won't touch something like a mackeral. I love that fish so i buy that for myself.

    Stick to the cheap fish, no use spending big money on something like Sockeye Salmon when a $1.00 Talapia or perch will do :)

    I tried frogs once, that went over like a dead baloon.

    Actaully, when it comes to turkey backs, necks, chicken backs or pork back Mihoshi will eat these things frozen. This really makes life easy as it also cuts down on the risk of cross contamination and it makes everything less messy.

    Mihoshi hates organ meat (not counting whole fish here) so i don't mess with it. Plus, organ meat is really rich and can cause bad runs so eiether go light on it or skip it. You could end up with a bunch of chicken kidneys you don't need. trust me on this :)
    Have fun with it, eperiment and trust me both you and your pets will be hooked.
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    Kissui - if you never feed organ meat, how is Mihoshi's diet well balanced?
  • KissuiKissui
    Posts: 173
    I do use solid gold green tripe as well as a good solid live culture yogurt as supplemental foods. Free range egg yolks are also used on occasion.
    Post edited by Kissui at 2009-03-18 13:48:14
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    I just want to throw you a precaution, Joe. While raw feeding can be fun, it is first and foremost work. You can't just give your dog some raw meat and hope for the best. You need to first know why, how and what - because you are now dealing with bacteria and potential parasites. Better to take precaution than harm your pet.

    There are a couple types of raw feeding principles. They exist so your dog is never lacking in nutrients, creating deficiencies that are harmful to the dog (especially a growing dog). There is prey model, BARF and rotation. Prey Model requires specific ratios of raw meat, raw meaty bones and organs to create a balanced diet.
    BARF combines raw meat, raw meaty bones, vegetation and sometimes grains to create a balanced diet.
    Rotation (recreational) is feeding some kibble here, some raw there, etc.

    There is a reason I asked Kissui how he balances if he doesn't feed organ meat. If you are feeding prey model or BARF or relying some other way to feed solely raw with no other added nutrients (either found in commercial foods or vitamins), you never skip organ meat. Lack of nutrients and amino acids only found in organ meat is very harmful to a dog if you aren't supplementing somehow.

    You never want to harm your dog, and you know your dog better than anyone on this internet forum. The first rule in dedicated raw feeding in any form is "know thy dog". Research before you experiment and get to know the different methods of feeding, why you would feed some parts of a fish and not others, why a pork or beef bones are probably too large for a shiba (and can cause dental harm), learn how to properly handle and prepare.
    I know its daunting, and really seems time consuming, but its not, and its better safe than sorry. And then you can begin to have fun with it.

    Mercury levels in Fish:
    Post edited by tsukitsune at 2009-03-18 12:56:07
  • ZinjaZinja
    Posts: 200
    Thanks for the links! We should have an article on RAW food. I know Osy made one for dry food.

    I am pretty apprehensive on what I feel my dogs. The information you provided will help me out immensely. Thanks
  • KissuiKissui
    Posts: 173
    I have been feeding raw for some time now. I have never had a problem with parasites, ever.

    Some dogs won't eat organ meat, some will. Mine won't eat it.

    Green tripe is another story, it is good stuff along with a natural live cultured yogurt make great supplements.

    There are a lot of opinions on these topics. Many of them are designed to get soemone to buy expensive supplements or a commericaly avalible "raw diet." All one has to do usually is follow the money trail.

    In Japan Akita Inu are often fed a diet of raw whole fish and white steamed rice and that's it. They do well on this type of diet.

    I have also fed kibble, but I can tell you the differences by my own experience.

    On raw teeth condition is much better. Breath has no odor. Coat is much better, brighter, more shine. Less greasy coat. Stool are much smaller and no odor. Also only need to deficate once per day.

    Eyes are brighter on raw as well. I have been doing what I am doing with excellent results. Now if I have a dog drop dead from raw feeding I will let you all know.
  • KFontaine04KFontaine04
    Posts: 1872
    Thanks for the Links Jen. I have been looking into RAW and also cooking for the dogs since I already make them sweet potato treats. I will have to go through all those sites and read up.

    I know there have been other memebers on this forum that have posted photos (before and after) of the changes certain diets or supplements have had in their dogs. ROMI for example recently posted photos of Ninja's coat after adding Seameal powder and it was great to see the side by side photos to see what an improvement it made.

    Does anyone have any before and after photos of their dogs since switching to RAW? Just curious.
    Post edited by KFontaine04 at 2009-03-18 14:07:20
  • okironokiron
    Posts: 735
    My cats gets raw as an occasional treat, they're too messy for me to want to deal with on a day to day basis. They love it.
  • KissuiKissui
    Posts: 173
    What do you feed your cats? I have thought of switching my beloved Charlie to raw but his jaw seems so small that he couldn't possibly get through a chicken neck :)
  • okironokiron
    Posts: 735
    So far they've only had chicken, a couple of different types of fish and beef. I haven't really put any effort into it but I'd love to get them some rabbit, deer and other wild game sometime in the near future (hint hint Gen lol) Mine haven't been interested in the chicken bones at all, they eat around it haha.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    We don't generally feed our cats raw, but I know my mother has been giving then raw chicken liver as a supplement and treat. Her cats get plenty of raw meat during their hunts, so it kind of balances out.

    Raw is an interesting diet, but with my lack of meat parasite knowledge, and such, I would be too nervous to take the plunge. All I have to say is freeze the meat for a month to kill off the parasites and germs. We do this with any meat we eat, and it helps reduce the risk as cooking doesn't always kill everything, especially if you like it bleeding.
  • LeonbergerLeonberger
    Posts: 3580
    Thanks for the info Jen!
    You surely have done your homework and have a lot of experience to share.
    There's loads of info to digest there, I'll be taking a closer look at it soon.
    I'm sure Kuma would like to sink his teeth into something raw.
  • my breeder suggested the following as the "barf diet"

    3 cups of cooked rice
    2 eggs
    1 can tripe
    1 can pumpin
    2 can of tuna
    atlantic kelp
    omega 3 tablet

    I was wondering if anyone knew if we could put this in a container and in the fridge or currently I have it in a big doggy bowl in the fridge (no lid) .. not sure if this will effect the food.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Here's page I made not the greatest, but does have some good links.

    Most of the info links are help for

    I feed prey model raw, but never done barf so can't help much.

    Would this be sole diet? How old is the dog?

    I see this as more of a kibble topper kind of thing.

    Do you plan to offer bone in chicken to get the pup used to raw?

    I put Saya's bone in, boneless, and organ meats in ziplock bags I'll probably switch to durable plastic containers when I move out and get a upright freeze for more organization so I can label them. You know ground ewe in this container, beef thymus in this, chicken feet in this one and so on..

    I freeze each item individually so they don't stick once completely frozen I can put in the downstairs freeze and I can take the drumstick out without worrying about thawing whole bag to get just one or grab a handful of smelt etc.

    For Saya's home cooked treats I do same thing and for her cooked liver, heart, kidney, turkey meat, and veggie, fruit mix mush I rolled them into .50oz balls or 1oz balls I have them individually frozen too and been using them to put her joint supplements in them or for yummy treat.

    Here's my blog this post here shows how I individually freeze items.

    I just did this to 10lbs of chicken hearts.. lol took me like 4 days to do it maybe 5..

    This shows bunch of yummy stuff I got lamb ribs, beef tongue, pacific saury, mackerel and pork shoulder and pork chops.. Shows the chops portioned and frozen.

    With pork roast I froze as is makes a fun meal for her to eat and tear stuff off.

    The ribs I cut into individual ribs.

    3 cups of cooked rice

    I'm not against rice, but don't feel it's needed per se unless the dog needs a bland diet of rice and chicken..

    2 eggs

    eggs are good Saya loves them she gets two a week.

    1 can tripe
    Saya loves caned tripe, but due to it's canning process and getting cooked and stuff the tripe looses most of it's benefits I give caned tripe makes good stuff to hide joint supplement in.

    I prefer raw green tripe though.

    1 can pumpkin

    Pumpkin is good, but I don't feed it regularly. Saya will get it during Halloween and thanksgiving as yummy treat along with sweet potatoes and raw turkey the normal kind not the enhanced kind. pumpkin is good for keeping poop firm if that is an issue.

    2 can of tuna

    I'd rather give 2 cans of salmon, mackerel, or sardines. I do give Saya caned tuna sometimes, but not often due to mercury content.

    atlantic kelp
    Kelp is good for vitamins and stuff I don't give it anymore since I feel her diet is good enough, but if you want to I see no harm long as it's ok amount.

    Saya sometimes get kelp when I make soup. She just gets tiny amount.

    omega 3 tablet

    Omega 3 is good fish or salmon oil

    These here sell raw tripe some only sell to certain areas some deliver coarse shipping is high maybe a local pet boutique or raw food co op would be near you?

    I get a lot of stuff from grocery stores like meijer, Marsh etc, butchers, Asian market, and a meat processor. I also get some stuff from farmer's market and a local farmer..

    They don't sell things like tripe, but I can get roasts, ground, pork chops, liver, kidney, and even thymus at some of those places.

    Try not to get into too much variety till the dog is used to the diet.

    For puppy you want make sure the diet is balanced so they grow up well.

    It seems daunting at first, but with time it becomes second nature.

    All my dogs I own will be raw fed.. I just can't do kibble.. Saya had bad breath on kibble.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • I was on puppy orijen and was told to add this with her kibble. I bought puppy large orijen the other day and know she has runny stool. I didn't give her any orijen today and I want to see if she gets better. I've been reading that it can have to much protein leading to the runny stool. But we were told to put her on adult 6 fish orijen when she reaches 8-10 months. I'm not sure why she has the runny stool and if it's cause of orijen or something else :S
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Orijen has cause loose poop for some dogs maybe try acana it has lower protein %.

    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • klarawuklarawu
    Posts: 14
    Hi guys, I made home cooked food for my pup.

    I cooked brown rice and later add on raw carrots, broccoli and mint.

    I still feel insecure about feeding Shinji (my shiba, 2 months old) raw beef. So what I did was I poured hot water over the meat, making it blue rare to rare.

    Is that fine? or healthy?
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    Don't worry about feeding raw beef occasionally if that's what you want to do. Many of us feed our dogs completely raw diets. Trust me, they won't get sick (although of course in the beginning they could have some runny poop!)
  • klarawuklarawu
    Posts: 14
    @arctic Thanks for the tip! I'll slowly switch from rare to raw. Many were warning me about stomach worms and such. Is there a need to worry about that?
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @klarawu you might want to read the raw basics threads for beginners. It answers A LOT of the questions you are asking right now. But to answer your question - depending where you get your meat, I assume supermarket, as a precaution some people freeze them for a couple of days just in case kill off any bacteria. As long as you defrost via refrigerator, your food should be fine to feed.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Yes, a lot of information in the raw thread for you if you are interested.

    I feed a raw prey model diet based on human grade meat I buy at a meat market. I don't live in an area where deer and wild game is common. I have never had issues, I have fed it right from the store. Most though I do freeze for a week or more, but that is because I buy large quantities all at once then portion it to meal sizes. Due to the fact I buy a couple weeks worth of meat I freeze most of it for when I need it. This way I can take advantage of the best pricing/sales.

    Only certain fish (I think it is based on the pacific salmanoid but don't quote me there) are at risk and should be frozen for a couple weeks before feeding. Other than that, especially if human grade meat, there really should be little to no concern feeding raw.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    If you'd like to do home cooking this forum has some home cookers on is which can answer with balancing things.

    This thread is useful to read

    I feed raw diet, but also give stuff like dehydrated dog food like honest kitchen as snack or small meal every so often.

    I do sometimes give fruit with meals Saya loves watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, and mango..

    She likes zucchini, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, yellow squash, kale, and carrots. Saya loves sweet potatoes cooked or dehydrated.

    I only give tiny bit of veggies and I cook the veggies before giving them. She doesn't get them with every meal or week just as yummy treat.

    I do mix in cooked ground veggies into her home made dog treats help stretch the batch a bit more.

    I've made a cooked meal before for Saya and Bella it had zuchinni, chicken, rice, and even us humans ate it haha. I left it unseasoned and just put bit salt and pepper on the food on my plate the dogs got their portion bland.

    as a precaution some people freeze them for a couple of days just in case kill off any bacteria
    I think most people freeze to try kill parasites. Some bacteria will die from cold, but some just stop growing and continue growing once thawed out.

    I've frozen whole wild rabbits and fed no issue.. I usually have big backlog of food to feed so by time I get to the rabbits it's been at least a month or month and half.. bit extreme, but ah well..

    I think I froze groundhog for four months almost I forgot.. I coarse gutted it and took intestines and stomach out cleanly.. I kept the liver, kidneys, heart, and lung.

    Sorry for gross talk. D:

    @klarawu what do you do for calcium?

    With raw bone in items like chicken, duck, rabbit quail, and goose or whatever the dog can handle is source of it..

    With making home made raw grinds like the pre made raw food people sell some make their own with grinders. Some good grinders can grind chicken bones.. Or if not person needs add calcium supplement to the food.

    Cooked bones are not good for dogs as they splinter more easily and might cause issues.

    If you want to do home cooked diet that is fine. I don't know what all entails on it as I haven't done much research on it..

    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • I was doing a rotational (1 meal raw, 1 meal kibble) but still following prey model raw proportions.

    @saya is correct, freezing does not kill off bacteria, it just temporarily stops the growth. It's one of the reasons you're not supposed to refreeze already frozen meat (you end up with greater bacterial growth).

    Some dogs are sensitive when switching to new proteins. We have one dog where it never bothers her, and another where he gets an upset stomach, so try new proteins slowly and in small proportions at the beginning.

    Personally, I'm an advocate of buying the highest quality meat you can (not in terms of cut, but source) since you'll have fewer concerns about bacteria and freshness. Generally I source at greenmarkets, where I can find out from the farmer how the animal was raised and how and when it was killed etc. I also tend to buy whole poultry and butcher it for them to reduce costs. But this is a personal choice since we avoid factory farmed meat in our home (a choice that has always been available to me due to my location and income level). If you opt to go the farmer route, once you become a regular, a lot of farmers will give you a discount, or sometimes give you bags of things (like gizzards, or raw meaty bones, etc). I've had a lot of farmers be very generous when they know I'm doing raw feeding.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Feed what you feel you are comfortable with. There are people that are very strict with the rules of raw feeding, but I think as long as you are following the basic guidelines (feeding percentages) then you should give what you want. Whether it is veggies, fruit, raw, cooked, homemade, ground or kibble. Raw is by far more exciting for my dogs. As far as health, I've only been feeding raw for 5 months and recently changed (and am still struggling a bit) my two cats. None of the animals have had prior skin or allergy conditions so I can't comment. The dogs do look so much more forward to their meals though. And they look so happy to eat! The cats are another story...

    I posted a few weeks ago that I joined a raw food coop in the raw thread. I got my first order from the coop today. I got 50lbs of bone in rib eye, 40lbs of turkey hearts, and 40lbs of chicken quarters (all human grade). The rib eye came in 3 large shrink wrapped packages. We had ribeye for dinner tonight (the people). I had cut away the bones and gave them to Kaji... the bones were connected and there is no way he could eat them. We gave him the bones to clean off because there was a lot of meat still on them. And boy, I have turkey hearts coming out of my ears!!! It took about 4 hours to finish putting them all into smaller bags. I still have some on trays in the freezer that I still have to put into bags. :-O My son commented today that the dogs eat better than us!

    I wish I had another freezer now... saw one free on CL and boy, was it tempting. Its a good thing I don't have a truck (yet- we are looking for my son) because I would have gotten it.

    Going back to the original poster's comment about the foods. It is different and fun. I've got probably more food for the dogs in my freezer now than I do for the people.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    amti said:

    Feed what you feel you are comfortable with. There are people that are very strict with the rules of raw feeding, but I think as long as you are following the basic guidelines (feeding percentages) then you should give what you want. Whether it is veggies, fruit, raw, cooked, homemade, ground or kibble. Raw is by far more exciting for my dogs.

    Yes, be careful if you join groups for raw support and keep a tough skin, understand you can get good information you just need to filter. There are a lot of people who are very strict and think any deviation is terrible.

    When I was new to raw I joined a FB group and felt totally unwelcomed. I got yelled at for putting the raw portions into a bowl, I got yelled at for using chicken backs even though I was following advice from a book, I got yelled at for not wanting to feed whole prey and do the trade me when you are done eating with my resource guarder.

    Despite all that I have found my way and feel I am making good choices. I like the frankenprey model of feeding the prey model raw diet, but I probably will use some premade raw for different proteins that are not easily or cheaply available to me. I also still use dog treats and cheese for training. I throw my one boy who likes carrots a carrot now and then.

    All in all, as @amti said my dogs look forward to eating, they are much more stimulated, and I can give more variety.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495

    Thanks for the clarification. I only remembered freezing killed off something harmful!!!
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    @redcattoo, I hear you on the thick skin. I belong to one on fb that shuns ground meat and any type of veggies or non raw food items. I just play it safe and comment on things I know adhere to their guidelines. I do learn a lot of good stuff on there though, so I find it helpful to be a member in spite of their strict guidelines.
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    I'm still learning about the raw diet because I've been interested in changing over to it from kibble. I read that raw beef and chicken is good; pork not so good(?)

    My main question is a really simple one lol
    Is there a certain type of raw food that I have to get for my dog from a dog food marker or does raw just mean I can go grocery shopping at like Harris Teeter or Publix and get raw meat and give it to her?

    I keep seeing posts where people say they go to a market that sells dog food or like an actual butcher and I'm over here confused if there's a certain type of raw meat for dogs LOL :))

    I use Perdue chicken for my own food...does that mean my pup can eat that raw???
  • Sure but it'll cost you more LOL. Typically if you're feeding raw you'll go for the cheaper cuts that people don't often buy for themselves - chicken backs, chicken feet, wing tips - buying those in bulk from the butcher is a lot cheaper than feeding your dog the same cuts of meat that you eat.

    Pork is fine so long as it's frozen for a few days before serving, same as salmon (I've heard trout, too, but we don't feed it so haven't looked in to it).
  • Mochi920Mochi920
    Posts: 357
    @spacedogs yeah that is a good point haha we always have extra meat in the freezer so I guess keeping it stocked isn't an of right now lol
    I actually gave her a little bit of raw chicken tenderloins for dinner and it's safe to say....she loves it because she didn't want to leave the kitchen afterwards thinking I would give her more :))

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