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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone doing raw feeding (dogs or cats)?

    I know it is a controversial topic - that most vets don't support raw feeding, particularly because of potential bowel perforation issues from bones.

    Our new-to-us older adult dog had prior owners who fed him a modified raw diet most of his life. We continued the modified raw diet with him. (Our other dog continues on Solid Gold kibble) I was full of trepidation when I first handed a chicken quarter to the new guy, but he did fine.

    I am curious - do any of you guys feed a raw diet? If so, BARF diet or "whole prey model" raw diet or some version thereof? Have you had any problems? Any dos/don'ts? I joined a rawfood list thing so I could learn more, but it almost seemed like a cult in its "our way is the only way" tone; it really put me off.

    The mostly raw-fed dog has the best teeth I've ever seen (no teeth-cleaning/dentals in his past), the nicest softest coat I've seen, great skin, and seems to be the picture of health.

    It seems like there are a lot of advantages to raw feeding: unadulterated human quality food; known source of meat; cheaper than high-quality kibble; (apparently) great health/skin/coat/teeth. I constantly wonder if there's a link between kibble (even high quality stuff) and kidney failure/other diseases...



  2. #2
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    yep-I do. Preymodel/RMB.

    No problems, really, other than a miniature aussie who now tops the scales at 55 pounds (he's papered and I've seen both parents, and full siblings-none are over 30 pounds).

    Raw IS a little like barefoot-but take the good and leave the bad. Some dogs can't handle it, some dogs do fabulous on it.

    Charlie has been on raw since he was 6 weeks old-and he's healthy, happy, shiny, sound as a dollar, and hasn't ever needed a dental. The vets are always impressed with how bright white his teeth are.

    Dog are obligate carnivores-they don't NEED carbs any more than people NEED sugar.

    *shrug* There's arguments for and against, but I've not heard a convincing argument against yet. Even my old dog with MG and megaesophagus gets it...and he's off meds.

    It cured my moms heeler of diabetes-took three days. I doubt I'll feed anything else, ever. I spend, hmmm, lets see, $30 a month on chicken, and then source other 'parts' from various places, probably $40 total, and the kibble I'd feed would be close to $80 a bag. Could be cheaper, on different food, but that's one thing I'm anal about.



  3. #3
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    I've done it (BARF diet) in the past with a dog that was allergic to all grain, all poultry, and had some other health issues. It was brilliant! But it was also a lot of work. I would do it again if needed, but fortunately I've not had a dog since that couldn't handle kibble and hand-outs. I only feed grain-free kibble, however.

    Totally agree with the cult-like mentality. Feeding really isn't rocket science, but some people like to pretend it is.
    Jer 29: 11-13



  4. #4
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    Yep. Been feeding that way for almost 8 years now. when I started I had a 10 yo Newfie with a kidney disorder to which the vets said deal with it (he is after all 10 years old!) or pay about $200/month for the meds. Within a couple months IIRC the kidney issue disappeared as I switched him to a raw diet. He lived for another 2 years before I had to put him down due to major arthritis issues.

    Currently feeding 3 dogs -- 1 newfie and 2 cattle dog crosses -- as well as 2 cats raw (the "indoor" cats... the barn cats get kibble). The only problem I've ever encountered was with the vet that did Reilly's neutering. I questioned them when he got sick a few days later and when I mentioned feeding raw, all other possible issues with him went out the window -- the culprit HAD to be the raw diet. Needless to say, I've never taken him to that vet again. He's the picture of health!

    People can get overly eager about the diet. I believe it is THE way to feed them because it is what they need. However, just like religion and politics... you don't tell me I'm wrong and I won't tell you you're wrong.
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  5. #5
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    tle...

    you're doing it wrong.


    Well said...just like religion and politics.



  6. #6
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    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tle View Post
    Yep. Been feeding that way for almost 8 years now. when I started I had a 10 yo Newfie with a kidney disorder to which the vets said deal with it (he is after all 10 years old!) or pay about $200/month for the meds. Within a couple months IIRC the kidney issue disappeared as I switched him to a raw diet. He lived for another 2 years before I had to put him down due to major arthritis issues.

    Currently feeding 3 dogs -- 1 newfie and 2 cattle dog crosses -- as well as 2 cats raw (the "indoor" cats... the barn cats get kibble). The only problem I've ever encountered was with the vet that did Reilly's neutering. I questioned them when he got sick a few days later and when I mentioned feeding raw, all other possible issues with him went out the window -- the culprit HAD to be the raw diet. Needless to say, I've never taken him to that vet again. He's the picture of health!

    People can get overly eager about the diet. I believe it is THE way to feed them because it is what they need. However, just like religion and politics... you don't tell me I'm wrong and I won't tell you you're wrong.
    Are you talking about feeding raw meat from the grocery story? I feed it to my cats occasionally as a treat--they LOVE it. I have thought about feeding them only raw meat. One of my favorite cat books, written in the 1940s, has a wonderful chapter on different meats, organs, etc., from your local butcher. Very little mention of kibble or prepared "cat" food.

    But I do wonder, how does feeding only raw meat to carnivorous pets compare with feeding horses only grass?
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wellspotted View Post
    Are you talking about feeding raw meat from the grocery story? I feed it to my cats occasionally as a treat--they LOVE it. I have thought about feeding them only raw meat. One of my favorite cat books, written in the 1940s, has a wonderful chapter on different meats, organs, etc., from your local butcher. Very little mention of kibble or prepared "cat" food.

    But I do wonder, how does feeding only raw meat to carnivorous pets compare with feeding horses only grass?
    You don't feed only raw meat-you feed organs, bones, a little skin, depending on how you do it.


    http://www.rawfedcats.org/
    www.rawfed.com

    What you DON'T feed is as important as what you DO feed.

    EG: No grains, no veggies, no fruits.

    Cat and dogs are obligate carnivores, not herbivores/omnivores-meaning they are designed to run best on animal products only. They may eat grass here and there, but it's not a necessary addition in the diet. That's the short answer...did that answer your question? (Brevity is NOT my strong point...)



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eklecktika View Post
    tle...

    you're doing it wrong.


    Well said...just like religion and politics.
    Hilarious.

    Interesting point about the vet's view (raw=source of All Things Wrong and Bad) - no wonder it's such an underground topic.

    Do you guys feed bone-in, then? Also - do you feed organs? How about eggs? What do you do for "treats"?

    New dog does great breaking up the bones in a chicken quarter, but he's a careful eater. I'd like to switch the other guy to the same modified raw diet, but he's always been a bolter. How do you slow a bolter down?

    Also - any hints re: transitioning cats from kibble to raw?

    Wellspotted - is that the book about the cat/cat nutrition study done by (Pennington?, can't recall) studying effects of cooked meat in diets vs raw meat in diets?



  10. #10
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    Do you guys feed bone-in, then? Also - do you feed organs? How about eggs? What do you do for "treats"?
    Bone-in-I feed Gold Leaf Brand chicken quarters from Walmart. I pull the skin off (considered an organ) and feed a 55 lb dog roughly 8-12 oz a day, once in a while I fast and gorge (skip a day, then feed 2-3x a normal day). He maintains-if he feels ribby, I feed more, a little 'fluffier' than usual, I cut back or fast a day. T'ain't rocket science.
    The GoldLeaf quarters have some organs attached, if I can get ahold of liver, or kidney or ___________, I feed it, but small quantities. (Causes diarrhea if you get too much).
    I do feed eggs-in the shell if you don't anticipate having chickens in the dogs lifetime, shelled if you do (egg breaking dogs get shot around here)

    Treats = freeze dried liver, eggs, ribs, feet, ears, whatever.

    New dog does great breaking up the bones in a chicken quarter, but he's a careful eater. I'd like to switch the other guy to the same modified raw diet, but he's always been a bolter. How do you slow a bolter down? Feed a piece bigger than his head. OR hold it in your hand. Or, throw it down and close your eyes. Odds are he'll be fine. What is the other guys breed? DO NOT feed weight bearing (cannon bones, femurs, shoulder blades, pelvis) of large animals (anything bigger than a feeder pig)

    Also - any hints re: transitioning cats from kibble to raw?
    see the links I posted-most cats love it, transition for cats OR dogs should be feed kibble day 1, feed raw day 2. Don't mix-raw is digested MUCH quicker than kibble, and can cause some, er, gastric distress.

    Wellspotted - is that the book about the cat/cat nutrition study done by (Pennington?, can't recall) studying effects of cooked meat in diets vs raw meat in diets?
    You aren't referring to Pottengers cats, are you?
    Did I miss anything?



  11. #11
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    Pretty close to what I'd have said. I buy whatever I can buy. Dogs are currently getting anything from chicken to beef to venison (leftovers from a deer hubby got). Bones are ok and great for their teeth. Be aware though that the large weight-bearing bones aren't really for eating... more for just chewing on. I do feed some veggies... not a lot though... and mostly only to the dogs. Some of the ground food I get locally has bone and some veggies ground into it.
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  12. #12
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    A friend who is also an equine vet does it and has some info on her website:
    http://www.catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood
    The Evil Chem Prof



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eklecktika View Post
    .

    is that the book about the cat/cat nutrition study done by (Pennington?, can't recall) studying effects of cooked meat in diets vs raw meat in diets?
    You aren't referring to Pottengers cats, are you?
    Did I miss anything?
    No! And yes, that's the one - Pottenger! Thanks! The more I read/see, the more it seems clear that raw/home-made is a good way to go.

    The raw stuff is daunting, even if isn't rocket science.

    I didn't know that about not mixing raw/kibble. That is the modified-raw diet I mentioned - they'd fed him raw (chicken quarters mostly) every other day, and grain-free kibble on the not-raw days (along with a cup o' veg. and tsp. of Missing Link). I continued that diet. I can only speak to the time we've had the new guy, but he hasn't had any digestive problems - no diarrhea, pretty firm poop... OTOH, our other kibble-fed boy (corgi) has serious room-clearing death farts.

    Part of the problem is that I'm a vegetarian (30 years!) so I haven't a clue about what cuts of meat are from where, except for poultry stuff. What about raw pork? Sometimes I see it hugely discounted at supermarket, but it's Greek to me.

    "Bigger than his head" sounds like a great way to start. Seriously, you guys, thanks. I need hand-holding, apparently.



  14. #14
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    Heh...you should have seen me when I started. I was clueless! (Still am, but that parts chronic...) It is daunting, I agree, but once you get into it, it's a no brainer. The biggest thing to remember is that it really IS easy, don't make it hard. Sort of like a canter depart, outside leg back, sit up. Once you HAVE it, it's a lightbulb moment, but til then, its like "inside leg where? outside what?" DON'T LOOK DOWN!

    OK.

    Skinnng raw chicken parts is NASS-TEE. I wear rubber gloves and do 10 pounds at a time. And I'm all for eating critters, but gak. Chickens are g.r.o.s.s.

    Personally...I'd skip the veggies and kibble. It's $$$ and unnecessary, IMO....but it won't kill him either, so that's a personal preference. Superfluous. That's a good word for it...superfluous. I suspect the kibble/missing link was added to 'balance' but if you feed RMB and organs, you'll get more and better forms of whatever vits, minerals, and EFA's that you get from kibble. JMHO, do with it what you want (it's worth every penny you paid...)

    Raw pig, cow, rabbit (except for cats...taurine), chicken, goose, kangaroo, squirrel, venision, whatever is good. If mixing is working ok, maybe stay with it, but the one time I tried it with my moms dog,

    Sawed bones can be sharp, so be careful-neck are okay, ribs, etc, good.

    Hmmm...what else? Gorge and fast is good if you are in a hot part of the country; I don't F&G Chuckles now that its cold outside.

    For the bolter...you can just buy a whole chicken and throw it at him-he'll be inept enough at disassembly that he won't be able to gorge. Plan on sitting back and giggling the first few times...Charlie was hilarious trying to figure out what to do. The look on his face was so painfully clear- WTF is this mom?

    Yahoo has some good raw groups, http://www.rawlearning.com/rawfaq.html is good, I'm sure there are more, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment.

    I'm no expert, by any stretch, but I'm happy to handhold...believe me, I needed it when I first started!



  15. #15
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    Sep. 18, 2008
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    Thanks for the whole chicken tip, that's what I'll do. I assume he will eat his fill, and then I should freeze or refrigerate the rest?

    Gorge and fast - is that part of the whole prey model of feeding?

    I gave bolter-boy a half an egg (raw) in shell, and it cracked me up to watch him figure it out, but boy was he happy once he did.

    The RMB thing eludes me - if I go to a supermarket, what cuts/bones do I look or ask for? Is a chicken breast (with bone) considered a RMB? What about pork shoulder? Clueless here - but could that be considered weight-bearing? Doy. Oh! What about turkey drumsticks? And are turkey and chicken wings too bony?

    I'll check out the yahoo link you provided. I am kind of getting the impression that almost everything is ok in moderation (with exception of weight-bearing bones)

    Peggy, that link was great - thank you!



  16. #16
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    kind of part-time I feed raw. It's incredibly expensive to feed large dogs that way, but I do believe it is the best diet. Approximately three raw meals a week is what I aim for. It's very hard to do right if that's all you feed- lots of people do it wrong which is why the vets don't like it. If you just randomly feed bits and pieces from the grocery store it's almost certain that you are not feeding a balanced diet and your dogs health will suffer. I highly recomend reading Monica Segals books before trying it. You can buy pre-made raw (Nature's variety is the best) but again costs a fortune.



  17. #17
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    Default ME ME ME! I DO!

    I feed my two 90 pound Labs 1 cup high quality kibble (Wellness) and add 1/4-1/2 pound raw turkey, ground beef, pork shoulder roast (cubed), deer, elk, or 1 Nature's Variety raw meat patties. They get fed twice a day. I don't know how much I spend on dog food but I suppose it would be considered pretty expensive by average standards. My dogs look great, are trim, and full of muscle. I have to keep them on some kibble because I can't always have raw meat with me when we travel or when I leave them with their sitter.

    If you want to find good, cheap meat (as close to natural as possible) wait until hunting season and then fill your freezer full of ground deer or elk meat. My husband's friend killed an elk last year and had pounds and pounds of meat and gave it to us for free because he couldn't unload it all. I fed the dogs for 4 months on that meat and I think they preferred it over the deer meat. If you're not a hunter, you can go to a processor/butcher and ask to buy part of a deer or hook up with a hunter who will shoot you one. It costs about $250 to process a whole deer in our area, but you'll get anywhere from 40-60 pounds of meat depending on the size. You can also find someone to process it yourself in the field and cut up all the muscle meat... kinda gross though... I like it when my butcher wraps it all up and nice in plastic.

    I used to feed raw bones too until my older Lab cracked both her top bone crushing molars within a year of each other and had to have them surgically removed. I no longer feed bones as a result, just the raw meat. I will buy chicken fryers on sale and just boil them whole or debone them if I have time.
    Most friendships in the horse world are just an opinion away from doom.



  18. #18
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    I've fed my cats raw in the past, but not completely...they still got a small amount of dry. I do think it's a great way to feed if you can do it well and get everything balanced. I've gone back to a combo of wet/dry of a high quality food (Wellness) for simplicity, but I may switch back in the future.

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  19. #19
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    Default Well, I don't feed raw, but I do cook for my cats

    One of my kitties has had problems for the last few years with vomiting and after many trips to the vet and using different meds and Prescription Diet to no avail, I started them on Wellness grain free wet and dry food. However, the wet food is very expensive for me to feed to five cats 2-3 times a day (elderly kitty usually is hungry again at night). One of my co-workers cooks for her beagle and she lent me a book explaining what is allowed in pet foods and balanced recipes for dogs and cats. Just this evening, I made up a batch of food with leftover turkey, sweet potatoes, and zucchini. I use my homemade food to supplement the canned Wellness food. I do cook the proteins, but I will say a couple of my cats go crazy for raw ground beef. If it was that easy, I would just feed them that, but I don't think it would provide a balanced diet. Also, Princess Runamuck only likes cooked beef.

    I would be open to the raw food diet, but again with five cats all with different likes and dislikes, I think it would be a second job.



  20. #20
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    My cats get raw, kibble and wet food. I change it up often. They have iron stomachs, lovely coats & 2 of the 3 have good teeth. I actually started feeding raw because I had been having dental issues with one of them. Since I have started feeding raw I have noticed a 110% difference in his teeth. My vet can't believe the improvment.



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