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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2006
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    346

    Default Has anyone switched to a Raw dog food diet?

    My older bichon has started chewing on her paw, to the point where her paw is almost bleeding.

    From the google investigations that I am doing, it would appear most likely that she is suffering from a food allergy. She has always been susceptible to dry skin, itches, etc., so I bathe her in oatmeal bathes to try to help her.

    I'm curious though about a Raw Food Diet. (I have two dogs, so they would both switch). I don't know anyone personally who feeds their dogs RFD.

    Anyone have any experience?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2009
    Posts
    488

    Default

    I would agree that allergies are high on the list of culprits. A tiny percentage of dogs I see with allergies have food related allergies. The vast majority have environmental allergies. (Pollen, dust mites, mold, mildew etc)

    If your dog has a food sensitivity, it is likely due to a specific protein source, not the fact that the protein was cooked.

    To do a diet trial, I choose a food that is comprised of a single protein source, and a single carb source. I choose a protein the dog has never had before, so they're usually strange ingredients like duck, venison, rabbit etc. Try to mentally go through what you've given for treats in the past, and avoid anything he's had before. Once you wean onto the new diet, he should eat that, and ONLY that for a minimum of 8-12 weeks. No other treats, bones, scraps, cat food, cat litter, pig ears, rawhides, table food, stuff in the yard, etc. If your dogs symptoms improve, food allergy is likely. If they don't improve, it's not likely your dog has a significant food allergy. (In which case you might try frequent bathing, antihistamines, steroids if flareups are few and far between, Atopica or allergy testing and injections).

    Your veterinarian may refer you to a dermatologist if you are not making headway with his problems. Best of luck!
    m



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    1,471

    Default

    My poodle never chewed his feet, but would have smelly ears and toes on certain foods. This disappeared when I changed him to TOTW Salmon and Potato.

    You might want to consider trying a novel protein, grain free food as a trial. I know a few people who do raw, and it is a LOT of work to do it well.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    43,045

    Default

    Get a diagnosis first, then, when you know it is an allergy and which kind, proceed.

    If it is a food allergy, easy to remedy, eliminate that food from the diet.

    If it is other, dust, pollens and such, then medication and baths would be a better approach.

    You can't treat when you don't know what you are treating.

    Not any of our vets are too fond of raw diets, as they get to treat the dogs when something didn't go well because of them.
    While any food can be contaminated, the risk increases exponentially with raw food.
    An older dog would be more at risk with that kind of diet than a commercial or at least a cooked one.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    97

    Default

    I have fed a raw diet to my Belgians, Doberman, and Shepherds since 1997 I believe when we realized that the Doberman couldn't eat grains and there were no decent grain free foods to switch him to.

    It is more work than kibble and if I wasn't currently feeding 6 large dogs I might consider using EVO by Innova as it is an exceptional grain free food. It is very high calorie though so not great with dogs who need less input. My very active dogs eat max of 2.5 cups a day when they are on 6+ of an average dog food.

    Our vet is happy with how my dogs look, act and their health. He said raw done badly is a bad thing where as you can't really go wrong with kibble as long as you remember to feed it. But raw done right he supports me in feeding. Dogs have a very short and acidic digestive tract so while there is a chance of them getting sick from bad food it is rare. And to compare it to kibble just look at the illnesses and deaths that resulted from the recalls last year (i think it was last year... time flies). I am happy with what I feed, I know where it comes from and how it has been handled and processed as long as I am careful with my suppliers

    I would be willing to talk more if you like. Just send me an PM and I will try to figure out how to answer



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,794

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Personal Champ View Post
    I know a few people who do raw, and it is a LOT of work to do it well.
    Sure, if you do it yourself. Or, you can just buy the pre-made frozen patties/chubs and thaw them out if you're lazy - like me.



  7. #7

    Default

    I feed raw to 2 large dogs, and I don't think it's that much work. I fed kibble to all of the dogs I owned previously to these 2. Feeding the dogs doesn't take any more effort than feeding horses.

    For a good article written by a veterinarian that recommends feeding raw, visit this link:

    http://www.beaveranimalclinic.com/Dr...Nutrition.html

    I attended a seminar given by Dr. Doug Kneuven a few months ago, and I learned a lot. I was already feeding my dogs a raw natural diet, but after listening to Dr. Doug's horror stories about commercial dog food I was really sold on the concept. Even if you can't do raw, replacing any amount of commercial dog food with natural food is a good idea.

    Good luck!

    Sharon
    http://www.CoolFitWear.com



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    17,678

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GotGait View Post
    Sure, if you do it yourself. Or, you can just buy the pre-made frozen patties/chubs and thaw them out if you're lazy - like me.
    Okay, I looked into this, and it was HORRIBLY expensive for my two 75 lb dogs. $150 + a WEEK for both. Was the calculator on the site just waaaaay off, or is it really that much? I'm no stranger to ultra premium food (I've feed Innova and Evo for over 10 years, and have now moved on to Pinnacle) but holy shit...I cannot spend $600 a month on dog food.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2008
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,794

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    Okay, I looked into this, and it was HORRIBLY expensive for my two 75 lb dogs. $150 + a WEEK for both. Was the calculator on the site just waaaaay off, or is it really that much? I'm no stranger to ultra premium food (I've feed Innova and Evo for over 10 years, and have now moved on to Pinnacle) but holy shit...I cannot spend $600 a month on dog food.
    Heh, yeah I have a 25 lb dog, and I probably spend around $75/month on pet food. If I had big dogs, I'd have to start making my own. Buying meat in bulk lowers the price considerably, but then you have to grind it.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2007
    Location
    Tampa Fl.
    Posts
    4,036



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 1, 2010
    Posts
    62

    Default

    Gah! Don't you hate it when you write out a beautiful long post and then accidentally delete it?

    Love feeding raw to my dog, and its not that hard at all. I pre make up meals for. My plan is pretty simple... 3 "white meat" meals with liver per week, 3 "red meat" meals with other organs per week, and once a week he gets tripe. All of my meats are include the bone, and most of them are not ground unless I'm lazy and bought some ground bone-in meat from my pet food store because I didn't have time to search for a good deal elsewhere. He also gets 2-3 tablespoons of slurried veggies and greens with fish oil. And he gets his Pupsups Glanzen with glucosamine.

    I can feed him (25 lbs), without buying in bulk (not enough freezer space), for less than $1 per day. Most people I know who have large dogs find that feeding raw is cheaper than feeding a premium kibble when you look at how much kibble you go through and how much a bag costs!

    If you want more details on my plan or help making a plan let me know. I'm more than happy to help!

    You need to decide which type of raw you want to do... there are several.... or you can make up your own like me. But check out the BARF diet, prey-model raw, and this forum:

    http://dogfoodchat.com/forum/raw-feeding/

    Very helpful people. Most of them are biased toward prey-model raw but still awesome resource.

    Also try to find a raw feeding co-op in your State. Most of them run through YahooGroups (the forum above has a link I believe with a list of co-ops). These are groups of people who feed raw to their dogs and obsessively search out deals of bulk amounts of meat from wholesale suppliers, kijiji, etc. Also a great resource for information.

    Things you will need are stainless steel bowls, a blender, and preferably a large freezer (buying a chest freezer will actually pay for itself about a million times over in the savings you can get by buying meat in larger quantities. Seriously.) Vinegar in a spray bottle is good for kitchen cleanups.

    I think that's the synopsis of my previous deleted message... lol

    Cricket's Mom



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2006
    Posts
    5,046

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GotGait View Post
    Sure, if you do it yourself. Or, you can just buy the pre-made frozen patties/chubs and thaw them out if you're lazy - like me.
    That's what we do. I buy mine from my farrier's wife (one of the few vets who do understand the benefits of a raw diet and uses one herself.)

    I buy the 2pound chubs by Blue Ridge Beef (they make beef, chicken, turkey, tripe and a few more mixes)...they are under 3.00 for the 2 pound chub.

    I either mix that chub with Sojos dehydrated Euro Mix (soaked in water for about 30 minutes) or put it on top of their kibble...either Nature's Variety or Taste of the Wild.

    I do agree that if it is a food allergy, you may want to find out the source.

    Op...what is the current food?

    Simikie..I spend 50.00 per month for 3 70 pound plus dogs for the raw food



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mjmvet View Post
    I would agree that allergies are high on the list of culprits. A tiny percentage of dogs I see with allergies have food related allergies. The vast majority have environmental allergies. (Pollen, dust mites, mold, mildew etc)

    If your dog has a food sensitivity, it is likely due to a specific protein source, not the fact that the protein was cooked.

    To do a diet trial, I choose a food that is comprised of a single protein source, and a single carb source. I choose a protein the dog has never had before, so they're usually strange ingredients like duck, venison, rabbit etc. Try to mentally go through what you've given for treats in the past, and avoid anything he's had before. Once you wean onto the new diet, he should eat that, and ONLY that for a minimum of 8-12 weeks. No other treats, bones, scraps, cat food, cat litter, pig ears, rawhides, table food, stuff in the yard, etc. If your dogs symptoms improve, food allergy is likely. If they don't improve, it's not likely your dog has a significant food allergy. (In which case you might try frequent bathing, antihistamines, steroids if flareups are few and far between, Atopica or allergy testing and injections).

    Your veterinarian may refer you to a dermatologist if you are not making headway with his problems. Best of luck!
    m
    I would go this route too. My Peke has seasonal allergies and when the pollen arrives, he is licking/biting his paws and scratching his booty on the furniture. I worked for a Veterinary Dermatologist when this all started and he was able to do a full work-up. The allergy test alerted us to many airborne allergens in the indoor and outdoor environment that were aggravating him. The samples we took from between his toes were covered in bacteria. Long story short, he was on oral antibiotics, antibacterial shampoo, antihistamines, and a steroid spray for future flare-ups. He even went on allergy shots while we lived in Va Beach. Once we moved back to the mountains, I was able to stop the shots and now he just gets the occasional antihistamine in the Spring/Fall. I have a few books on feeding a raw diet, but we just do a grain free kibble instead.
    If I were you, I would take your dog to her vet and have them look at her. Even if she IS suffering from a food allergy, she could still have an infection that would need to be treated as they will often accompany allergies.
    Spring Paddocks, LLC
    Breeding Welsh and Half-Welsh Ponies.
    www.springpaddocksponies.com



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2006
    Posts
    346

    Default

    Thanks all, we are heading to the vet this afternoon. She won't stop chewing on her poor abused paw, and Sunday a stye came up on her eye, which she is now pawing at as well... she looks like a truck hit her after a long night of drinking.

    I'll ask for an allergy test to be done, or at least a referral to an allergist/dermatologist.

    But the more reading I do on RAWF, the more I am convinced that it might be the way to go, regardless of what allergies may or may not show up.

    They are now on *Now* kibbles, which is supposedly grain free.
    http://www.petcurean.com/index.php?page_id=179

    And their sole indulgence is a can of wet Ceasar every morning when they wake up. It is all they live and breathe for, every morning.

    I will report back once we have our vet visit, and will most definitely have more questions about making the change!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2006
    Posts
    5,046

    Default

    Good luck...let us know what you find out.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
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    7,342

    Default

    Sure, if you do it yourself. Or, you can just buy the pre-made frozen patties/chubs and thaw them out if you're lazy - like me.
    ditto. just as easy as feeding cheap kibble, and the side effects- such as tiny hard infrequent poops, gorgeous coat, spotless teeth, and very few vet bills more than make up for the cost of the food. Savings on not needing dental cleanings alone is worth it. And if you have an allergy-prone dog you can save thousands over the dog's lifetime. Look around for a small petstore (not one of the big chains), most of them sell premade raw out of a freezer.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2000
    Location
    Chesterland, OH USA
    Posts
    2,775

    Default

    I switched my cats to raw and attempted to switch my dog.
    He would not eat raw meat.
    He seemed puzzled by my offering - "WTF is THAT???!!!"
    So I switched him to a grain-free kibble, Wellness Core.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2008
    Location
    North Georgia
    Posts
    2,086

    Default

    While we feed our dogs a combo of raw and high-quality kibble, have you considered just changing your dog's diet to begin with? Move onto a grain-free diet? A limited ingredient diet?

    Before making the plunge into feeding raw, why not try other options (and get a diagnosis.) You are, however, right. The majority of dogs that chew their feet (or have stinky ears, rub their face on the carpet to scratch it after eating, etc.) are suffering from food allergies.
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Quote Originally Posted by talkofthetown View Post
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2009
    Posts
    511

    Default

    I feed my two cats raw with the occasional can of Weruva. Yes, there are more benefits to it than just allergies. When I’ve gone back and forth between canned and raw (very gradually), I notice a big difference in their weight, coat quality and general well-being. The young female gets fat on canned while the old guy loses weight and muscle tone and both start the typical cat puking and hairball crap that never happens on raw.

    If you are organized and model the diet after what animals would eat without human involvement, raw is not that hard to do the right way. It has to be easier with dogs than fussy cats anyway. Basically, do your research and be mindful of the bone/organ/meat ratio of what they’d be eating if you weren’t around to feed them.

    I’ve tried many, many things with my cats but what agrees with them most is what they’d catch on their own. Mice, quail, rabbit and chicken are the staples of their diet with rabbit being the favorite. I had a hard time getting them to eat organs so I eventually went to a ground diet that included the bones and organs (sometimes fur and feathers) and give them chicken necks for dental health. They also get turkey hearts and grocery store chicken thighs to make up for the lack of Taurine in rabbit, or I occasionally supplement it.

    My cats turned up their noses at all the pre-made raw I could find locally. That was fine with me because it was pricey and included fruits and veggies they don’t need AND I didn’t find the meat any less questionable than what came out of a can. Now I order 90% of my food from Hare Today. The customer service and selection is great, although it can be hit or miss for whole prey if you go that route. Food shows up at my door within 48 hours of placing the order and it’s all fresh and well packaged. With the exception of portioning daily meals, it’s just as easy as feeding canned in my house. Shipping jacks the price up but it averages out to be the same as the canned I would feed anyway.

    I’d be happy to share my trials and tribulations of switching to raw if you are interested! It wasn’t easy in the beginning but I came up with a system that works for me and I’ve definitely noticed the difference in my cats.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddys Mom View Post
    I switched my cats to raw and attempted to switch my dog.
    He would not eat raw meat.
    He seemed puzzled by my offering - "WTF is THAT???!!!"
    So I switched him to a grain-free kibble, Wellness Core.
    I had the same experience with my older male cat...I can't even get him to eat canned food. And of course he's the one who's prone to UTI's.



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