Raw food for doggies – what we do.

I sent this in an email to someone recently and thought that maybe it could help someone looking at this blog to get an introduction to raw feeding for dogs.

about the chicken on *******’s kibble, i think it’s a great idea and have some suggestions/tips. (1) increase the size of the piece of chicken as you increase the amount (for example, a whole chicken breast/thigh instead of chopped). this is to make sure that she learns how to chew the meat instead of bolting it – this will be important once she starts on bones. (2) in the beginning, hand her the food so that she sees you as the dominant pack member, but then back away while she’s eating. if you’re standing too close she may be nervous that you will take the meat back (as is your prerogative) and may try to bolt it.

 it’s generally recommended to feed as close to natural prey as possible (called feeding “prey model”). i use costco’s whole fryer chickens as the base of their food. it usually comes with the gizzard, heart and liver inside. sometimes it only has the neck. i don’t know why it changes – maybe it’s a supplier issue. i supplement with chicken carcasses and beef/lamb bones that i buy from an amish co-op that delivers in mount airy, as well as beef heart and tongue from a grassfed farm in buckeystown (www.hedgeapplefarm.com – a non-profit farm that raises grassfed beef for research for the state of maryland). i also give them the occassional fish head (they don’t really like them) that i get for free from our local health food co-op. they only have them after they fillet whole fish for customers that don’t want the bones.

i’m mentioning my sources just to point out that their might be local options for you that will help up the nutrition for them without costing an arm and a leg. i have even seen some people asking for freezer-burned meat and extra deer for their dogs on freecycle. local ethnic markets may be an option for cheaper meats as well. i have seen a sale advertised in one of my husband’s chinese newspapers (after it was over, of course) for whole fresh fish for $0.99/lb (i don’t remember what type).

while feeding meat is much better than feeding kibble, feeding conventionally raised meats will still result in an omega 6-omega 3 ratio will be off. feeding fish (NOT TILAPIA!!) will help with this. you may prefer to add salmon oil to their food, especially if they don’t like to eat fish. i bought a gallon off ebay about 1 year ago for $65. dogs the size of lilo and maddie get 1/2 tsp per day (it can last a long time!). more won’t hurt.

 too much bone will make their stool too dry. too much organ (especially liver) will make their stool too loose. i would recommend dividing the organs between the two of them and giving a little each day. heart can be a little too rich also, just watch the first time.

i’m guessing that 1 chicken will go about 5-7 days for the 2 of them. oh yeah, rule of thumb is to feed 2% of their weight in ounces per day to lose weight, 2.5% to maintain weight, and 3% to gain weight. i ignore that and just give them the whole chicken. i will cut and eyeball it when i give them beef tongue or heart.

hopefully that made everything a little clearer than mud.

Ack! I’m back!

I seriously lost track of time with respect to posts here! I kept thinking “I’ll do it tomorrow”, but just couldn’t get around to it. My fibromyalgia has been flaring and I have been soooo tired. I’ll get to it, I promise!