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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I would really like to start feeding raw, but I have zero idea where to start! I have to provide for a dog weighing 35 pounds. The information on the web is so overwhelming, nobody seems to give s step by step guide.
What type of meat do you feed?
How much by weight? I read that people feed anywhere from 2%-4% body weight?
What vegetables and how much?
Is it safe to feed raw eggs?
How do I make sure that my dog gets all the nutrients? Will get deficiencies if I feed mostly meat and little plant foods?
Can the get kidney problems from the high protein levels?
What would be a sample meal plan?
How much do you pay for the food and how long does meal take prep take you?
I don't want to come over as ignorant, but I have no idea where to begin. Any tips would be much appreciated!
 

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if wanting to maintain that weight you need to feed a day 0.88 pounds (14 ounces) per day total see Calculate

Also see this guide Raw Fed Dogs - Natural Prey Model Rawfeeding Diet

as my dog was on pre made raw i could easily go without doing it from the beginning but i did feed tripe for a week, horse for a week and then tried 6gm kidney. but you dont feed organs till you have a few protiens in the diet some say.
@naturalfeddogs is a expert on this i just balancing it out myself in last few weeks and she has been a tremendous help as has @TiggerBounce
 

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I do not feed any veggies. They aren't needed. It's easiest to start with chicken, bony pieces. After your dog is doing well on just chicken add in a small amount of a different protein and slowly increase the amount. 2-3% of your dogs ideal body weight is a starting place, but some dogs need more and some need less. I don't follow any schedule, just grab some stuff out of the freezer for them to eat. Raw eggs are fine to feed, most dogs love them. But they can cause loose stools so start slow. I pay around $2/lb or less for meat and try to get most when it's reduced. I also get the odd bits from online suppliers like my pet carnivore. Raw feeding is very flexible and you can easily change things up to fit your dog.

A sample of what I've fed my guys,
*Monday
Freyja- chicken leg quarter and piece of bone in pork loin
Vegas- Chicken leg quarter
Shorty- Chicken thigh with back attached
*Tuesday
Freyja- Large sardine, chunk of beef and beef gullet
Vegas- Chunk of pork
Shorty-Chunk of pork
*Wednesday
Freyja- Green tripe, turkey wing and lamb leg bone w/meat attached
Vegas- lamb leg bone w/meat
Shorty- lamb leg bone w/meat
*Thursday
Freyja- Goat testicles, duck head chicken leg quarter and beef spleen
Vegas- Goat testicle, duck head, chunk of beef and beef spleen
Shorty- Goat testicle, duck head, small chunk of pork and beef spleen
*Friday
Freyja- Chicken thigh with back, lamb liver, pork picnic w/bone
Vegas- Turkey leg and lamb liver
Shorty- Two chicken drumsticks and lamb liver
*Saturday
Freyja- Half a mackerel, beef trachea stuffed with green tripe and rabbit foot
Vegas- Green tripe and small chicken thigh
Shorty- Green tripe and chicken drumstick
*Sunday
Freyja- Chunk of pork, half turkey breast w/bone
Vegas- Turkey wing
Shorty- Turkey 'drumette'

It's not exact, I try to feed everyone the same thing so I remember who got what and when. I don't weigh the meat anymore, though I will randomly weigh it to see if I'm still on and so far so good. When I first started out I did weight everything till I got a feel for it. But start out with just chicken, no organs til your dog is handling the chicken fine. Freyja switched over cold turkey the day I brought her home. She has had some loose stools here and there but she has always been able to hold it. For me chicken, pork, turkey and sardines/mackerel are staples. I also feed beef, lamb, goat, veal, duck and rabbit in smaller amounts when I can get it for a good price.
 

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Hello,
I would really like to start feeding raw, but I have zero idea where to start! I have to provide for a dog weighing 35 pounds. The information on the web is so overwhelming, nobody seems to give s step by step guide.
What type of meat do you feed?
How much by weight? I read that people feed anywhere from 2%-4% body weight?
What vegetables and how much?
Is it safe to feed raw eggs?
How do I make sure that my dog gets all the nutrients? Will get deficiencies if I feed mostly meat and little plant foods?
Can the get kidney problems from the high protein levels?
What would be a sample meal plan?
How much do you pay for the food and how long does meal take prep take you?
I don't want to come over as ignorant, but I have no idea where to begin. Any tips would be much appreciated!
I'm so glad you want to start raw feeding! Its easy to get overwhelmed by looking at all the different percentages and ratios etc... All those are are guidelines, and nothing more. All dogs are different and one is going to need more or less of something than another. No two are just alike, and all raw feeders tend to go about things a little differently.

The best way to tell you to be sure your dog is getting all it needs, is by feeding variety. As long as you feed a variety of mostly meat, some bone and some organ you will be fine. No veggies or fruits needed. Keep an eye on your dogs body condition and poops, those will tell you everything you need to know as far as how much to feed. Too thin, increase food. Too heavy back off some. Runny poops? Add more bone, or maybe back off how much you are feeding.

As far as how to start. For about the first week 1/2-2 weeks, feed only bone in chicken. Once poops are good, and the dog has the hang of chewing, move on to the next protein, turkey and do the same thing. Then pork, beef, deer, other red meats etc... Organs are the last to introduce because they are so rich. Too soon, before the dogs body is adjusted can cause digestive issues. You can move on through the proteins faster, if your dog is doing really well with it all. Again, it just goes back to that individual dog.

You are starting with chicken, because it is the mildest, easiest to digest protein. Each one thereafter is a little richer. But that's why you go one at a time, so if there is an issue you know what it is thats causing it.

Just FYI, here is a link to site with a really good getting started guide to read. Prey Model Raw - PMR dog food

Raw really isn't as high in protein as you would think, because of the high moisture content. It's maybe around 17% protein.

As far as cost, it depends on your area and what is available. Start looking for deer processors. You can get all the scraps you want for free. Also get to know local cattle farmers. If they end up losing a cow for whatever reason, or have a lame one that can't stand, they can shoot it and give you the whole cow free. I just got two of those in the last six months.

Tell family and friends, and ask them for older meats they are going to throw out. Even post ads on craigslist. The cost of buying meat will vary depending on where you live.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much for the information!
I heard that pork isn't good for dogs because of Trichinosis? Have any of you had any trouble with that?
So basically, as long as I feed my dog enough of different types of meat, he will get all necessary nutrients? I read about some people adding fish oil for omega 3. But if I fed my dog real fish, he should be fine, right?
Are there any meats that should not be fed?
 

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Hello,
I would really like to start feeding raw, but I have zero idea where to start! I have to provide for a dog weighing 35 pounds. The information on the web is so overwhelming, nobody seems to give s step by step guide.

What type of meat do you feed?

MIne get a mix of "whatever I can find". If I end up at a grocery store they usually get chicken leq quarters or chicken backs. I use the butcher to get my scraps, such as green tripe, liver, neck bones, etc.

How much by weight? I read that people feed anywhere from 2%-4% body weight?

I don't have the exact ratio for you, but my 45lb heeler gets one chicken back a day - Or one leg quarter if I feel generous. I might cut up the liver and feed half to him with some neck bones on another day. Your dog will tell you how hungry he is, and you will see if he is losing or gaining weight. That's how I gauge anyway.

What vegetables and how much?

I do not feed vegetables usually. If I have some that are about to go bad I will mash them up into patties and feed them with hamburger, but other than that I skip the veg all together.

Is it safe to feed raw eggs?

Yes. If I have hamburger or another soft meat I will mash them up shell and all for the dog. Mine won't just eat them - Though some will just take them from you and crunch on it, which is great.

How do I make sure that my dog gets all the nutrients? Will get deficiencies if I feed mostly meat and little plant foods?

Been feeding raw for ten years, my Mom long before that, and have never had any issues with deficiency. I used to be a nut about adding stuff to the meals, now I just throw them meat. I've noticed no difference - But it is of course up to you, and every dog is different.

Can the get kidney problems from the high protein levels?

Protein is not what causes kidney failure. If a dog does develop it, though, you should consult your vet about what kind of meat to feed. I have never had it happen, but it is my understanding you will want to feed fattier meets and lower any phosphorous in the diet.

What would be a sample meal plan?

I have to be honest with you, I don't have one. The dogs get what they get. Last night my dogs got hamburger patties with egg and broccoli. The night before they got salmon. Before that chicken backs, and before that they got some rabbits from our meat lady..

How much do you pay for the food and how long does meal take prep take you?

I just defrost. I always freeze my food in advance just because of habit, and also because if there is anything unsavory bacteria wise the freezing will kill it.. I usually freeze for a week. I have all the meat seperated into bags with five or six pieces, and I will thaw one, use it, and when I run out that night I'll put another bag in the sink to thaw. That's all the time it takes. As for cost, I pay about 40/Month with one medium sized dog and one small dog.

I don't want to come over as ignorant, but I have no idea where to begin. Any tips would be much appreciated!

Answers in bold, if you need anything else let me know. I always answer PMs.
 

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BIteWorkHeeler, thank you so much! That was really helpful. I think I am getting a pretty good idea of how to pull this off. Just one more thing: How much do you worry about the meat being organic? I am on a rather tight budget so I won't be able to get all natural meat all the time.
 

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You are starting with chicken, because it is the mildest, easiest to digest protein.
This hasn't been my experience. Tango, my 70 lb labrador doesn't like chicken but I was trying raw and coaxed her to eat some anyway. Was a big mistake as a short time later she spewed from both ends.

Bailey, my other dog, I switched him over completely from kibble to raw, cold turkey. He took to it like a champ. No digestive issues, likes most everything I've offered him. Kidney and chicken feet are the only things he's rejected.
 

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Thank you so much for the information!
I heard that pork isn't good for dogs because of Trichinosis? Have any of you had any trouble with that?
So basically, as long as I feed my dog enough of different types of meat, he will get all necessary nutrients? I read about some people adding fish oil for omega 3. But if I fed my dog real fish, he should be fine, right?
Are there any meats that should not be fed?
Trichinois is in wild boar. Its a parasite that burrows into the muscle of the boar and can be fatal if dogs eat it raw. Domestic raised pigs are fine. Pork is a staple in our house.

As far as fish goes, any wild caught salmon or salmon related fish from the pacific northwest is a no no. It can carry a parasite that causes salmon poisoning. Some say freezing it for six months kills the parasite but I dot trust that. I know someone personally who lost their dog after it had frozen for a year and fed. To stay safe, you can feed wild caught salmon from the Atlantic three or four times a week if you want. Otherwise, you can supplement with fish oil liquid or capsules.
 

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This hasn't been my experience. Tango, my 70 lb labrador doesn't like chicken but I was trying raw and coaxed her to eat some anyway. Was a big mistake as a short time later she spewed from both ends.

Bailey, my other dog, I switched him over completely from kibble to raw, cold turkey. He took to it like a champ. No digestive issues, likes most everything I've offered him. Kidney and chicken feet are the only things he's rejected.
That's why I said they are all different, and if you run into a problem you know better what caused it.
 

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Thank you so much for the information!
I heard that pork isn't good for dogs because of Trichinosis? Have any of you had any trouble with that?
Depends on where you live. In the US, trichinosis is pretty much non-existent these days. I've fed my dog pork chops, pork ribs, pork neck bones. Also pork tongue and spleen.

But if I fed my dog real fish, he should be fine, right?
Mine gets fed mackerel one meal a week. I buy a whole one and split it half for 2 meals. I've also fed salmon head no problem.
 

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BIteWorkHeeler, thank you so much! That was really helpful. I think I am getting a pretty good idea of how to pull this off. Just one more thing: How much do you worry about the meat being organic? I am on a rather tight budget so I won't be able to get all natural meat all the time.
I don't worry about it. I believe organic labels are horribly difficult to prove anyway. I have never had a sick dog from the meat I feed, and I definitely feed "Whatever I can get my hands on".
 

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I've fed some pretty rank smelling meat in the past, and the dogs seem to like it better for some reason. By no means do you have to feed the most expensive cuts. Feed what you can get a hold of.
 

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Depends on where you live. In the US, trichinosis is pretty much non-existent these days. I've fed my dog pork chops, pork ribs, pork neck bones. Also pork tongue and spleen.

Mine gets fed mackerel one meal a week. I buy a whole one and split it half for 2 meals. I've also fed salmon head no problem.
You can call your state vet and find out if there have been any trichinosis cases in your area. That's what I did, and found out there has been a few. You can also have the meat tested for it if you want through a state lab. I can't imagine doing that when there is human grade domestic pork available all day long. I was just given that option by the vet I talked to. I have no idea the price.
 

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As far as fish goes, any wild caught salmon or salmon related fish from the pacific northwest is a no no. It can carry a parasite that causes salmon poisoning. Some say freezing it for six months kills the parasite but I dot trust that.
My understanding it's not how long you freeze it so much as how cold. Needs to be at least -4F or colder for a minimum of a week.
 

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I've never heard anything about the temp, just the length of time, and I've heard it doesn't make a difference even then. I just use fish oil to be safe.
 

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I've heard it was the freezing at a certain temp for about a week or so. I don't remember the temp, it's been so long since I've looked at that info. I use to be on a yahoo raw feeding group and there were people from the PNW that fed salmon that they froze. I'm not sure if I would have done it, but there are people that do without issue. But you need to do whatever you feel safe with.
 

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If you do raw feeding, you NEED to feed your dog veggies!!!!!

Raw feeding is great, usually the dogs who are on it stay relatively healthy or appear to be, but you need to supplement with vegetables or fruits. Not a lot, but if there is something you have around the house, it does not hurt to toss it in the bowl with meat or boil it or stuff it in a Kong with peanut butter.

I'm not going to go into the details about this because I'm not looking for a debate- but to provide the full spectrum of nutrition you will need to add at least vegetables, and preferably small amounts of fruit to your dog's diet. Look into following a BARF style diet and do not get sucked in by people who say Prey Model is the way to go- so many fallicies there.
 

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I've never heard anything about the temp, just the length of time, and I've heard it doesn't make a difference even then. I just use fish oil to be safe.
All these articles say -4F.

Raw Salmon Linked to Death In Dogs | The Fisheries Blog
Salmon poisoning | Peninsula Clarion
http://www.sovsc.com/Forms/DYK/Salmon Poisoning DYK 11-08.pdf

The last one says freezing didn't kill the fluke but the disease didn't manifest after freezing.

I also am wrong about the toxins, wish I could recall where I read that (appears people think that because of the misleading name). The microorganisms attack the lymph system in dogs.
 

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If you do raw feeding, you NEED to feed your dog veggies!!!!!

Raw feeding is great, usually the dogs who are on it stay relatively healthy or appear to be, but you need to supplement with vegetables or fruits. Not a lot, but if there is something you have around the house, it does not hurt to toss it in the bowl with meat or boil it or stuff it in a Kong with peanut butter.

I'm not going to go into the details about this because I'm not looking for a debate- but to provide the full spectrum of nutrition you will need to add at least vegetables, and preferably small amounts of fruit to your dog's diet. Look into following a BARF style diet and do not get sucked in by people who say Prey Model is the way to go- so many fallicies there.
WE need veggies. Not dogs. What little nutrients are in them, have to be in pureed form to be extracted. There is nothing in veggies that isn't already in raw meat/bones/organs, and in a form that is easily available for the dogs body to be able to use. They don't raid gardens in wild for veggies. That is left for the deer and rabbits. Some people do give them as treats, but they are not needed for nutritional purposes. I haven't ever, and never will give veggies, fruits etc.. in almost ten years of raw feeding.

Barf is feeding ground and veggies etc...... Neither of which is eaten as a natural part of the diet in the wild, which is actually the whole point of raw feeding.
 
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