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  1. #1
    imported_LuckyGirl's Avatar
    imported_LuckyGirl is offline Senior Member
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    Defaultcurious

    I keep finding myself levitating to check out some of the posts in this section. What are the benefits of the raw diet? I think Happy would absolutely love it as he's always trying to eat rabbits and birds that he can find. I'm not sure about Lucky she's very finicky about food and has a very sensitive stomach.

    It seems a lot of you have switched to raw for muscle gain and though both Lucky and Sam are at good weight Happy is actually trying to lose 15lbs. Can the raw also help with that?

    Both me and SU are vegetarians so the idea of getting raw meat for the dogs is kinda of icky to me, but I also know that though I am a veggie my dogs are not and they need meat in their diet, and my son also eats meat so I'm not opposed to the idea of switching their diet if it's for the better. Is raw an expensive dietary plan?

    Right now Sam is on Purina Puppy Chow and Happy and Lucky are both on Pedigree for um indoor dogs I think. I keep theirs in a huge tub so I toss the bag as soon as I dump their kibble into it.
    -Brandie<br /><br /><br />Nothing cures a bad mood like a Labrador or three in your lap.

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  3. #2
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    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: curious

    I switched to a raw diet because I feel it's the healthiest option for my dogs. The muscle gain was just a nice side benefit.

    I'm a vegetarian too, and in that way I feel more comfortable feeding a raw diet over kibble, as odd as that may seem. Part of why I am a vegetarian is to try to support more sustainable, earth friendly food sources, and by feeding a raw diet I'm able to (for the most part) source food for my dogs that comes from the same. With kibble, who knows what sort of farming practices I was supporting?

    From what I've read, a raw diet can help with weight loss, as it cuts out the carbs, for the most part, which can contribute to obesity in the first place. But like anything, dogs have different daily caloric requirements based on genetics, activity level, size, etc. and will be the size that you feed them to. Baloo eats much more (proportionally speaking) than Peanut, because he is more active and has a wicked fast metabolism, always has.

    Heres some good reading material for the raw-curious:
    http://www.rawlearning.com/
    http://www.rawfed.com/myths/
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


  4. #3
    imported_LuckyGirl's Avatar
    imported_LuckyGirl is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: curious

    I am definately going to be looking into this more! One of my main reasons was about the earth friendly food sources as well. I think meat is MASS produced and it shouldn't be that way. Long have the days gone of everyone owning their own food sources. I'm just not sure where I can get the meat for a raw diet here in the midwest! If I buy from the local grocery store I'm still supporting that mass consumption...there is a raw diet place somewhere in MO that I found but it looks like their prices are REAALLY expensive and I'd have to have it shipped here. I think it's expensive anyway...it's been a long time since I bought meat.
    -Brandie<br /><br /><br />Nothing cures a bad mood like a Labrador or three in your lap.

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  6. #4
    Jackie is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: curious

    When I adopted Piper from a shelter, she had an incredible amount of dandruff - really stood out against her black fur. And she itched a lot and her eyes would be constantly gunky. That was all reduced some just by putting her on a medium-end kibble and moist food. I then switched her to a higher-end kibble and she did yet better. When I switched her to adult food, I went grain-free and that made a LOT of difference for her - all the dandruff went away and no itching, though her eyes were still pretty gunky. When I switched to raw, even her eyes cleared up. Will that happen with every dog? Highly doubt it. But it worked with Piper, so I stand by it. In addition, Piper was an atypical Lab in that she is VERY picky about what she will eat and she often would refuse to eat her kibble or kibble/canned. She has NEVER refused a raw meal.

    Piper has lost a few pounds on raw. She's very small for a Lab anyway, so I was quite surprised when she lost weight. But the vet said she was very healthy, had a great coat, and was impressed by how good her teeth were. I was a tiny bit hesitant to admit to my vet that I was feeding raw (she's usually pretty open, but I've heard stories about vets who flipped out about a raw diet) but when I told her she said that it certainly explained the great teeth!

    While not vegetarian, I eat very little meat and cutting up animal parts was pretty new to me - I learned just how a chicken was put together and what some of the innards looked like for Piper's first few raw meals! Invest in a decent butcher knife if you are going to feed raw; it's pretty necessary. If you think you can stomach cutting up the animal yourself, look to local butchers and grocery stores and buy a whole chicken or duckling. It's lower commitment to ordering several weeks of food at once and you can learn if you're comfortable with the prep that goes into a raw diet. You can also get prepackaged raw, but the ground preparations don't have the chewing benefits (the clean teeth) and prepackaged can be pricey. Meat overall is pricey, so you will pay more than the kibble; you'll have to decide for yourself if you can do that.

    I am in the midwest as well - Indiana. I have recently ordered from Taylor Pond Farms and I can't say it was cheap, but I could get a good variety there. Do you have any food co-ops near you? I have a really good one that supports local farming and organic farming. Any good farmer's markets? You may be able to find connections to local animal farms there. You will have to take into consideration that buying organic meats or from small farms is typically much more expensive than buying the mass-produced stuff. If you can't find local options, I make the argument that grocery store meats are at least more natural for your dog's diet and no more mass consumption than the pet food!

    If you decide not to feed raw, I would still encourage you to look at higher-end kibbles and especially grain free. I'm no purist and at least a high-end, grain-free kibble is closer to your dog's natural diet than most pet foods!

  7. #5
    imported_LuckyGirl's Avatar
    imported_LuckyGirl is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: curious

    You know Lucky gets TERRIBLE dandruff especially in the winter, and it seems to have gotten better since we switched dog food. We switched because Happy was throwing up a lot and the vet suggested trying a different food for him. So how exactly do I have to prepare a raw diet? I will be naive here and figured I got like a whole say chicken and tossed them a leg. Course I was going to read up more before I get them raw! I'd like to avoid the prepackaged stuff if it has teeth benefits because Happy's are awful from chewing so much all the time. Literally he has his front teeth almost at the gum line, one is actually!! I know there's a farmer's market around here, not sure how good it is but I may have to check that out as well. I'm in mid missouri, about 40 minutes north of Jefferson City.
    -Brandie<br /><br /><br />Nothing cures a bad mood like a Labrador or three in your lap.

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    4yelloweyedogs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: curious

    I started feeding raw in March. That whole big pet food recall we had scared me to death. Then the more I read and heard what exactly was in kibble, made me sick..... so I switched more for the knowledge of knowing exactly what I was feeding my dogs. I read extensivley and then drew my own conclusions, that raw meat is what my dogs system is made for ! I read all about the benefits from feeding raw, and decided that's what I wanted for my dogs. I have 4, and I was feeding a premium kibble that was costing me $25 a week. So I called around and finally found chicken in 40 lb cases from a slaughter house. Actually any butcher can probably order cases of chicken , beef, and pork for you. I pay around .49 - .69 a lb. It is actually costing me LESS to feed raw, and it's so much better for my dogs.

    The links Kate gave you are good, and you can learn tons from reading them.


    He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.


    http://theyelloweyedog.weebly.com/

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    DefaultRe: curious

    The first time I switched Luna to raw food, was because of her constant tummy problems.. But I started having trouble with getting enough variation, so I switched her back on kibble.. Unfortunately she gained weight, and I couldnt get it off again.

    So about 2 months ago, we switched back, and I have started to control her weight. Normally its said, that you should give the dog 2% of its weight (in case of required weightloss, I would say 2% of the WANTED weight). Luna is very lazy, so she doesnt get 2%.. I just turned it a bit down, and at the same time I've increased her exercise.

    She still needs to loose a bit, but its only a matter of time
    Jeanette and Luna. Sleep tight Oliver, our little kitty, thank you for 15 great years


  10. #8
    Apollopuppy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: curious

    Well I don't know how much my input will matter (since I no longer own a lab), but I DO own 3 ferrets and a cat, and all are raw fed....

    The benefits from this diet are AMAZING. I run a website that helps people to put ferrets on to natural diets, and as a pre-vet student I plan to specialize in natural nutrition for dogs/cat/ferrets.

    Here are some of the benefits of a raw diet for your domestic carnivore:

    Muscles:
    More muscle development in head, jaw, chest
    Increased dexterity
    More overall muscle mass

    Oral Health:
    Less smelly breath
    Lower instances of plaque build up and periodontal disease
    Sparkling white teeth


    Behavior:
    A healthy outlet for natural behaviors such as chewing and biting.
    More energy

    Organs
    Easier digestion of food
    Prevention and/or management of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
    I have read it can help prevent bloat in dogs, but I am not sure

    Fur/Coat:
    Less smelly pelts
    Softer fur
    Less dandruff

    Waste Output:
    Less waste output
    Less smelly waste output
    Less frequent waste output
    Less smelly/acidic urine

    Overall Health:
    Stronger immune systems
    Your pet will be a less appealing host for parasites such as fleas, ticks, and worms.
    Higher hydration levels
    Better nutrition
    Helps to manage allergies

    Ears:
    Cleaner ears with less wax buildup
    Lower occurance of ear mites

    Mental Health:
    Increased problem-solving abilities
    Increased enrichment for your pet


    Ferrets are prone to a very serious diet related illness (insulinoma) that affects the pancreas. A good diet can (usually) help to prevent this. I have seen my ferrets and cat THRIVE on this diet. I have SO much more control over the ingredients I feed. No more scanning the back of a kibble bag and hoping that the food is mostly chicken, or wondering what the ingredients are. When I feed my ferrets and cat I know that they are eating JUST chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, mice, rats, or chicks. I love how much healthier my animals are, and they seem SO much more excited about dinner time. I think a raw diet is the ideal diet for a dog. When I get a labby (again) he will most definitly be fed raw, I cant imagine feeding anything else!
    Love,<br />Giuli<br /><br />

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: curious

    Giuli, may I ask you something?

    How would you feed, if a lab needed to lose a bit of weight.. Or atleast get the fat changed to muscles?

    I have left out veggies, and I think it helps.. I've made a thread in this forum.. "Curious about feeding" (I think that's what I called it), in there, you can see how much I feed Luna every day and how much she weighs

    I've got to translate it from grams and kilos to ounces and pounds, so I thought it would be easier to direct to the thread, where I already have done that

    I'll understand if, you don't have the time or wish to help
    Jeanette and Luna. Sleep tight Oliver, our little kitty, thank you for 15 great years


  12. #10
    Apollopuppy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: curious

    I responded in your thread
    Love,<br />Giuli<br /><br />

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