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I've been reading this Natural/Raw diet section for a couple of weeks now and I am coming closer and closer to feeling brave enough to start this. I have 2 labs and one mix, all large breed, their ages are 7, 5,4 y.o. They are presently eating twice a day, Kirkland L & R, and share a can of wet with their evening meal. They are healthy and active dogs.

My questions:
1.Would they continue eating 2x a day?

2.Can someone provide me with a sample menu?

3.Is this something they need to be weaned onto?

Thanks.
 

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Hi! Take the plunge it's relatively easy! Yes still feed twice a day. Some folks once they get the hang of it switch to once perday and feed larger. You can switch cold turkey, start with a single source for awhile (few days or week and see how that goes) then try another source and so one until you've tried several different sources. If you've been reading you know to start organs slowly maybe just a few little bits per day.

it might look something like this:
Feed through a couple whole chickens chopped into meal size pieces or take away (the whole chicken) after they've had enough.
Feed through a pork roast or two (i buy shoulder roasts) not much bone in these so usually add a chicken back or something with bone (thigh or leg)
Feed through beef - (i buy what i can get for a good price) usually beef heart both my dogs luv it, or brisket or blade roast. i have also gotten some large beefy ribs which my gus chomps through (sometimes the bone is edible sometimes not)
add a few bits of organ here and there
If you can get it feed through some rabbit, buffalo, deer, moose, whole fish etc.
Good Luck - let us know how it goes! ;D
 

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einsteins legacy said:
1.Would they continue eating 2x a day?

I do. In the morning he gets his meaty bones and at night he gets vegies and tripe. I sure like when I did not feed vegies but his holistic vet keeps telling me he needs them that not all her patients are on vegies but Caleb does need it. Ok, it isn't that much of a deal. Then once a week in the evening he gets a can of sardines packed in water that are salt free. He loves that. Also once a week with his evening vegies he'll get his offal meal. I rotate between organic beef liver and chicken hearts and gizzards. I get the organic beef liver cause he would not eat liver before and his holistic vet suggested that I try organic. He loved it. The liver is the filtering system so he obviously did not like something he smelt or tasted!


einsteins legacy said:
2.Can someone provide me with a sample menu?
For Caleb I alternate meat sources. I get a lot of my stuff from Hare Today. I rotate between chicken backs (one day he'll get two and the other one depending on the size of the backs; if they are small he gets two if larger one or medium size the alternating) ground beef with bones and tripe, ground goat (Caleb really liked the coarse ground goat; just got some larger chunks--we'll see how he does), mutton, rabbit, lamb. I weigh out about 3/4 pound of the ground meat or the coarse ground meat. That is good for him or he gains too much. He's such a chunk anyway.

For the vegie mixture depends on the dog. I start with kale and grind it up real fine with my food processor. Also use a clove of garlic, apples, carrots, broccoli (he cannot tolerate cauliflower which I used by mistake recently--forgot. Oh the gas!!!!!!!!!), lettuce that is getting old. He loves aspargas so when I get some for us I use the tougher portions for him. Same with broccoli--I use the crowns for us and put the rest in the freezer. I make a lot and then use canned salmon to mix it up with and then divide it and put it in the freezer. That way I'm doing vegies about once a month, once every six weeks.


einsteins legacy said:
3.Is this something they need to be weaned onto?
Depends on the dog. Caleb took to it right away. Now, mind you I still have to give digestive enzymes each meal but he had no problem. Now my older guy liked it about once a week. He did not go crazy over it like Caleb did. I have heard some have actually slightly browned the meat a little and then gave it to them. But, I would think if you started with some type of ground meat and then worked to the larger with bones, would not be a problem.

einsteins legacy said:
I also need to understand the ratio of veggies and any supplements.

When I do vegies, I really do what I have left over. We like a lot of vegies so I always have stuff left that I'll freeze and then use. Some people put sweet potatoes in it or canned pumpkin. I give Caleb about a heaping tablespoon of vegie mixture and about 1/4 cup of tripe at night.

Suppliments. Ok, I give the digestive enzyme with each meal. I also give a vitamin C with bioflavonoids and sardine oil everyday. I also give Oxyfresh's Primoye which is an adaptagen because of the stress of training and competing. I noticed a huge difference in him when I took him off and when I put him back on. Totally different dog. His holistic vet did not think that Caleb needed it but it was such a dramatic difference that she agreed that he must need it. I also give him In Clover's Connectin because of all the jumping he does. Has lots of goods stuff in it. If I am doing a lot of competing I'll give it everyday but if I'm just doing the maintainance training about twice a week. So, some of that depends on your dog's needs. Some people give kelp as a suppliment, too.

Does this make sense? Does it help?
 

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No you'll want to feed 2-3 % of there "healthy" adult weight per day. My gus eats around 2 lbs per day,he's a pup which i am expecting to weigh around 70lbs full grown. i feed a 3/4lbs chunk in the morning 1/2lbs. for lunch and 3/4 lbs. for supper, he's a pup and a haven't switched to twice per day yet. - by the way ground is ok ocassionally (IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT) and my gus loves ox tail i get them whole from a butcher which lasts him 3 meals at least ( i just take it away and fridge it for next time), as well one of my local markets sells a raw ground mixture of beef meat and organ with a few veggies which i feed perhaps twice or three times per week with a chicken back. I feed whole fresh frozen mackeral sardines or salmon once or twice per week too!
 

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Plenty of raw feeder say you don't need ANY veggie's or supplements, its personal choice. i feed the odd veggie, lightly cooked and i feed fish oil at least a few times per week. ;D
 

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loriwolfelabluv said:
Plenty of raw feeder say you don't need ANY veggie's or supplements, its personal choice.
I prefer not to, but his holistic vet said he needed it.............so we do. ;D ::)

Once you are on it, you will find out what your dog needs. Caleb, even with his activity level, does not need the full 2-3% of his body weight. He weighs close to 80 pounds and gets 3/4 a pound a day. When I was doing the 2-3% he was getting really heavy. Just like us, each of them are different. Those are the guidelines.
 

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i think veggies are good for them and offer some nutrients different from meat bone organ as well as fiber which cant be a bad thing!!! i would go easy on them at first till you see how the raw goes though. For an overweight dog veggies (as a filler) may be a wise idea too!!
I also agree about the 2-3 % only being a guideline. For a fast growing pup they need it but its very true each dog is different and i find i really watch gus's body shape and feel his sides and make sure he's not too thin or getting to roley poley!!! i have recently upped him from 11/2-3/4 to 2 lbs per day cause he was looking too lean. ;D
 

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loriwolfelabluv said:
For an overweight dog veggies (as a filler) may be a wise idea too!!
Caleb's holistic vet always thinks he's over weight as does the OTCh trainer we go to (but he is not--he's just built like a tank!). ;D ;D When they find out how little he eats, they are amazed! Maybe that is part of the reason she said to get him back on vegies! :laugh:
 

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Here is my two cents 8)

I find that labs generally only need 1% of their body weight (not including my intact teenage males who will eat 2%) and mine are quite active.

In regard to veggies, I wish I could say I believe they are of no value because then I wouldn't have to make the bloody things anymore ::) :p

My belief is that our dogs do not get a complete diet, even on raw. For example, if you feed a grain fed animal instead of grass fed, it throws the EFA's off and is one of the reasons we need to supplement with fish oil. Whenever possible, try to find grass-fed animals as they will have a higher Omega 3 content.
I for one can not feed all organic, hormone free meat. It is a matter of economics and of supply sadly. Even if it is organic, there is still enough lead in the air and the earth to create a toxin load in our dogs. Green leafy veggies are so important for detoxifying the liver and the kidneys which take the brunt of the abuse from toxins that build up from household cleaners, preventives and poisons, environmental pollution, vaccine damage, etc., etc. I did get away from veggies but am now back to giving them as kidney disease is very common in our breed especially and I do worry about environmental toxins. These organs can handle a lot of toxins, but only so much.

Speaking of liver, please make sure that the liver you feed is from organic sources and if that is not possible, from young animals. The liver is designed to filter out all these toxins and if you feed liver from a cow who has been vaccinated to the hilt and pumped up on hormones and steroids, guess where all that stuff is stored :eek:

Organic is expensive, but if you feed liver, it is worth the money to feed organic. I would forego the liver personally if I couldn't find organic or calf liver.

Just follow these simple guidelines and use the following foods:

1 The majority of his diet (about 50-60%) should be raw, meaty bones (RMB). This can include chicken backs, wings and necks (or even whole carcasses), lamb necks, pork necks, turkey necks, ox tails, any meaty bone that can be completely consumed by your dog. Large, weight bearing bones such as marrow and knuckle bones are not considered RMB’s as the dog is not able to consume the bone. These can be given as a recreational bone and thrown away when the meat has been stripped. Just be aware that these bones can cause chipped or broken teeth. Beef neck bones are a safer recreational bone.

2 Raw fish (preferable whole) should be fed for 1 or 2 meals per week. Avoid raw salmon. Mackerel is a good, cheap source. Many fish can cause an enzyme imbalance (due to thiaminase which inhibits vitamin B absorption)…please be careful about the type of fish you feed and don't get carried away with it.

3 Raw offal (organ meat including liver and kidneys) from a variety of meat sources should be fed 1 or 2 meals per week or 10 % of the diet. Heart can be used as a muscle meat and fed more often.

4 Raw green tripe (Try to find green tripe, not the bleached human stuff. It is very stinky, but very nutritious) should be fed several meals per week.

5 Raw muscle meat from a variety of sources should be fed once or twice per week.

6 Raw eggs with shells (a perfect ratio of phosphorous to calcium) should be fed about 2 meals per week.

7 Yoghurt can be added several times per week but is not necessary. I don't feed it that often nowadays.

8 Fruits and vegetables. Vegetables must be run through a juicer or food processor or lightly steamed . Dogs do not have the digestive enzymes necessary to break down the cell walls of cellulose and will not get the nutritional value from the vegetables if they are not physically broken down. In the wild, most of the vegetable matter that dogs eat would be the stomach contents of their kill, which would already be broken down. Veggies and fruits are optional and can be served several times per week in meals.

9 Grains. Grains are not a natural part of the dog’s diet and should not be included in their diets. Grains are often responsible for many allergies, arthritis, and other auto-immune diseases and are best avoided. This is the biggest health benefit of raw feeding: most commercial diets have a very high grain content.

When your puppy is over six months old and you begin feeding twice a day, I suggest feeding the RMB meals in the mornings. The afternoon meal will vary. Two or three days a week it will include green tripe and once a week it will include offal. Twice a week it will contain eggs or fish. Two or three days a week it will include muscle meat. I may add yoghurt two or three days per week and add some veggies four or five times per week. If I don’t have RMB’s available in the morning, I may just give them some eggs and veggies, then give them double RMB’s the following day…the dogs won’t care. Remember, balance over time.

As you can see, raw feeding is quite simple. If it still seems complicated, try to visualize what a dog would eat in the wild. Picture a rabbit or chicken whole, before it gets cut up and put into plastic containers. Try to feed your dog the rough percentage of bone, meat, organ meat and stomach contents that would occur naturally in small prey: this is called the ‘prey model’. This is what we strive to recreate for our dogs with raw feeding.

Remember to feed a variety of meats, not just different parts of a chicken or turkey. Try deer, pork, rabbit, goat, duck, turkey, beef, moose, a variety of fish and any other meat that you can get your hands on.

It can be frightening watching your dog eat chicken bones the first time, but remember this is what dogs are designed to eat. Yes, dogs can choke on chicken bones or just about anything else including kibble. A good rule of thumb is to either feed very large pieces or very small, to avoid gulping or choking. Pieces that are too large are almost always regurgitated by dogs, so relax and enjoy watching him enjoy his dinner! And remember: NEVER feed cooked bones of any type. Raw bones are soft enough to bend and digest easily. For optimal safety meal times should always be supervised.
 

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Yellow Boys Mom said:
loriwolfelabluv said:
Plenty of raw feeder say you don't need ANY veggie's or supplements, its personal choice.
I prefer not to, but his holistic vet said he needed it.............so we do. ;D ::)

Once you are on it, you will find out what your dog needs. Caleb, even with his activity level, does not need the full 2-3% of his body weight. He weighs close to 80 pounds and gets 3/4 a pound a day. When I was doing the 2-3% he was getting really heavy. Just like us, each of them are different. Those are the guidelines.
I know what you mean. Bo is 80 pounds, and he gets 38 oz of food a day. And I still think he is on the skinny side sometimes.

I wish I could feed only 3/4 pound. My food bill would be cheap.
 

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Yellow Boys Mom said:
CenTexLabs said:
I wish I could feed only 3/4 pound. My food bill would be cheap.
It is amazing how little this dog eats and he is still such a chunk!
Mine you, I am feeding 4 dogs. An 80 pounder, a 70 pounder, and 2 65 pounders. One who needs to lose about 15 pounds. My meat bill is outrageous, even at wholesale prices. You are quite lucky!
 

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deific said:
This is a great thread, but where the heck do you guys get this stuff? Tripe? Organs? Do you pay for it?
I get mine in bulk from a meat wholesaler. I pay about 40 cents a pound for my chicken backs and necks, 69 cents a pound for livers and hearts, and about the same for gizzards. Anything "extra" I find at the grocery store. I usually don't want to buy my beef or other game in bulk. (don't have the freezer space). I haven't tried green tripe yet (don't think I could stomach the smell), but there is a website that will ship it to you.
 

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deific said:
This is a great thread, but where the heck do you guys get this stuff? Tripe? Organs? Do you pay for it?
I live in an area that has a huge chicken farm just south. They raise their chickens without hormones, etc. So, I can get my backs for around $.49 or $.59 per pound. I have an obedience training center and carry some dog food, so I also carry tripe. I do go to the health food store for his liver though. It's the only liver he'll eat. I also order from Hare Today some stuff. I know having Gerber's so close is a huge benefit. I know when I have fed Evo, that's really expensive so the raw does not seem that bad cause of what I would feed if I were feeding a dog food.
 

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Great post from FallRiver so nothing constructive to add.

This is a great thread, but where the heck do you guys get this stuff? Tripe? Organs? Do you pay for it?
Some of it. One of the local farms we use for supplies lets us have the "junk" they don't need for free -- that means lots of organs, necks, carcasses, etc. Butchers are pretty good for free stuff. I got some beef backbones from there the other day for free...man the dogs looked bloated after eating them. The bones were huge.
 
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