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Discussion Starter #1
I feed exclusively kibble (Pure Balance small dog) right now for my 6.5lbs & 9.6lbs chihuahuas. I'd like to start feeding half and half but I am unsure of the amounts and what animals are good for feeding them. I'd especially like to know appropriate bones as being chihuahuas they need a lot of dental upkeep.
Right now I feed a 1/2 cup of kibble a day each and I weighed it on my kitchen scaled and it said 1/2 cup is two ounces. I think it said somewhere to feed 2% of their body weight in raw a day (3 ounces for my fatty and 2 ounces for my other one), but I'm not sure if that includes bones or not? Does that mean I should feed an ounce of kibble (1/4 cup) and an ounce of raw? I do plan on including dehydrated vegetables that they like, like sweet potatoes, since I have a dehydrator.
Thanks so much if you're able to help! :thumbsup:

Just so you anti-kibblers out there know I have heard tales of not feeding raw and kibble and I have found absolutely no evidence to suggest it is bad for dogs other than people just saying so. I will not be changing my mind on this.
 

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You should have no problem feeding one meal raw, and one meal kibble a day. I fed my dog this way for a year with no problems whatsoever, including the switch-over. I would not feed the raw and kibble in the same meal, just to be on the safe side and to keep track of any issues. Yogi got kibble for breakfast, then pre-ground raw or prey-model raw meaty bone for dinner (RMB about 2 times a week). I also give him raw eggs from my hens.

A great way to start a small dog is to pick up cornish game hens, usually 2 to a package. Read the label and figure out ounces, then portion them out close to the amount you need. (For instance with my dog, it's 3 ounces, so a 15 ounce hen makes 5 equal servings). Start with just the one type of protein for a couple of weeks and see how it goes. I put the portions in baggies and flatten and freeze. Dinner goes into the fridge to thaw in the morning.

Other cuts that are great for small dogs are chicken or turkey necks. These are easy to chop into portions, and you will hear the teeth-cleaning when you feed them! I also like gizzards, and just pure pork or beef chunks, check the manager's special area at your grocery.

Or you could start with a commercial pre-ground that comes in small portions. This makes it very easy. You won't get all the teeth-cleaning benefits of raw, though, without any raw meaty bones. If you feed all dinners with RMBs, you will need to add some organ meat now and then. I"ll post some helpful stickies.

You'll probably find this thread interesting:
Are you considering a raw diet? - Chihuahua Forum : Chihuahua Breed Dog Forums

other good websites for information:
How to get started feeding a Prey Model Raw Diet - Raw Chat - PMR Articles - articles - Prey Model Raw
The Many Myths of Raw Feeding

Good luck! If it goes well you probably will end up going completely raw like I did!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay awesome information!
One question though, when you feed him the hens, do you leave the bones in there or do you leave those out?
We just tried some turkey neck portions for teeth cleaning and my one chi ate them a little too fast. Is there a way to make them eat slower? Can I just give it to her frozen or does that make it harder to chew the bones down?
Also I'd like to give them fruits and veggies as that's one of their favorite foods (they love apples, sweet potatoes, peas, etc) but what is the way to break them down so they can digest them and get all the nutrients from them? I saw people say dehydrating does it, others say they can't at all unless it's completely pureed...I own both a food processor and a dehydrator, so I could do either, I just don't know which one! I'm also okay with feeding cooked veggies if that does it?
Sorry for all the questions ^^;;
 

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Okay awesome information!
One question though, when you feed him the hens, do you leave the bones in there or do you leave those out?
We just tried some turkey neck portions for teeth cleaning and my one chi ate them a little too fast. Is there a way to make them eat slower? Can I just give it to her frozen or does that make it harder to chew the bones down?
Also I'd like to give them fruits and veggies as that's one of their favorite foods (they love apples, sweet potatoes, peas, etc) but what is the way to break them down so they can digest them and get all the nutrients from them? I saw people say dehydrating does it, others say they can't at all unless it's completely pureed...I own both a food processor and a dehydrator, so I could do either, I just don't know which one! I'm also okay with feeding cooked veggies if that does it?
Sorry for all the questions ^^;;
From your first post, as long as you feed the two in completely different meals, like one in the am, then one in the pm you should be ok. I don't advise mixing the two. It's true some dogs do fine mixed, others not so much at all. Each dog is different so just know your dog.

You can feed cuts of meat frozen to slow them down, that's fine.
And fruits/veggies need to be pureed before a dog can get anything out of them. Dehydrating won't help to imitate digestion. We (for example) are able to digest them because our digestion starts in the mouth, where dogs don't. We also have a much longer digestive system which takes the food longer to get through, therfore it has time to digest. Dogs digestive systems are so much shorter, and they can't digest in the mouth to help it out.

Cooking them is just going to deplete the nutrients, and then you will get even less to none at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh okay thanks! I just want to make sure I feed my dogs properly. I would like to feed raw in the morning (when my dogs are slow to eat and haven't had all day to be hungry) and kibble before bed.

You make a good point about the digestion in human mouths. I'll puree any fruits and vegetables before feeding.

Thanks for your help ^^
 

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My two small dogs (yorkie and a papillion) are on an all raw prey model diet. They do awesome with it. I do have to give them smaller RMBs like duck, grouse, pheasant, squirrel and turkey. I am an avid hunter so I have those readily available to me. Before I hunted they got a lot of game hens and chicken. You might be able to find rabbit fairly easily, and small dogs can also eat rats too (a lot of people might balk at this but they're a very healthy small prey and great for small dogs). The difference in their teeth, especially the Papillions, is amazing. Also really improved their breath. When I got my Pap he was a year old and on kibble. His breath was nasty and his teeth were already showing signs of buildup. 6 months later his teeth were pearly white.

Occasionally when we go on a trip or when I send them to the sitter I will swap them over to kibble, sometimes in one day, and they always do just fine. I agree with not doing kibble and raw in the same meal. They digest differently and it might give you issues. But small dogs seem to digest and metabolize faster (or at least my two do), so one in the morning and another in the evening should be fine.

Freezing the bones should slow your pup down quite a bit. You can also give a larger portion of neck (like the whole thing instead of small pieces), that should slow her down also. Backs and wings are also a great RMB, especially for small dogs.
 

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I have done separate meals before, kibble in the morning before I go to class and raw at night about 12hrs later.

Now I sometimes mix raw and kibble, but that's just me and my dog does just fine on it. She gets raw meaty bones at night sometimes too.
 

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I wonder if someone could provide me with objective proof that the digestion time of raw meats/bone and kibble is significantly different? I cannot find much about it, without going to 'raw-food' forums, and 'pet-food' websites - neither of which hold much credibility for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, Dia, one lady told me that in the year 2000 she was there on the forum when people were beginning to speculate, without evidence, if kibble and raw digested the same. I can tell you in the human body it does. What in there is in there. Crayons pass in the dogs system at the same time as kibble (if you've had a puppy you know what I mean haha!) So I really think that there's nothing poisonous about feeding raw and kibble in the same meal. I just don't want to because of my dogs' eating behaviours.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I really appreciate everyone's help and opinions by the way! I know there are many different views on what's right and wrong with raw so it's hard to gauge what I should be doing for MY dogs. Thanks also Dia for the cooked veggies link. I know my dogs pass sweet potatoes fine when they are cooked, so I was a bit skeptical about the no-nutrients unless pureed thing...
It's all just everywhere and it's upsetting that you can't ask a vet or depending on the vet you ask (holistic, regular, etc) they'll all say different things anyways.
 

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Sadmanager, what to feed our pets can be confusing. I happen to think "real food", raw or cooked, is best for dogs, but I don't believe kibble/commercial is, by definition 'bad'. Dogs seem to be able to survive or even thrive on a variety of diets; they are at least 10,000 years removed from wolves and basing their diet on what wild wolves eat now just doesn't make sense to me. The particular wolf that dogs descended from doesn't even exist any more; who knows for certain what that wolf ate?

I'd rather look at dog's history and actual lifestyle to determine what they can or should eat, and since variety has been their staple for thousands of years, and has enabled them to become one of the most successful species on earth, even in countries where they aren't pets, all the hype about 'raw meat and bone' only just doesn't make sense to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I agree. That's the reason why I didn't want to run headlong into "prey model." It seemed to me like dogs couldn't get everything they needed. I also read about vets saying dogs didn't get enough calccalcium and were getting hairline fractures sometimes from it. I also read about breeds of dogs south of the border many many years ago that were raised to be eaten and survived solely on corn tortillas!
Unfortunately my girls are allergic to a lot of stuff so I know they aren't having any corn tortillas lol
I wanted to keep kibble in their diet just because of the fact that I can't provide all their nutrients... Or at least I'm not confident I can
I froze the turkey necks this time and it's too much for the one who takes her time (she became disinterested after about a half hour; I think she has sensitive teeth) but my gulper is doing great, taking her time :)
 

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I have read that canned dog food is better quality than dry kibble, so that's something you may want to look into more. My sister, who lives in Egypt, can't afford the commercial dog food, so she feeds her dogs a combination of cooked/raw meat, rice, potatoes and various veggies and some fruits. She once upped their protein, believing it would be healthier for them, and they became lethargic. Anyway, her dogs are healthy, have clean, white teeth, no bad breath, and poops that disappear after a few days.

Edited to add that she doesn't trust the raw meats in Egypt, so she generally cooks it, especially chicken, but they do sometimes get raw beef.
 

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I think one of the important things to understand, and why I am so interested in raw, is that raw meat is not the same as cooked meat. Cooking meat actually changes the proteins--so much so that many dogs that are allergic to cooked meat (as in kibble), are most often not allergic to the raw form. Raw meat (not to mention the bones) also contains a lot of other compounds that are broken down with cooking. Many of them have just recently been discovered, and for sure there are others we have not discovered yet.

For instance it was not until the 1980's that it was realized that the taurine in raw meat broke down with cooking (it has to be added back for cats because they cannot synthesize it). Raw meat and connective tissues also contain natural chondroitin and glucosamine, which are proving to be very important for maintaining joint health (not just for older dogs!). There is evidence of enzymes that aid digestion (broken down with cooking). Raw meat that is raised on pasture also contains more of the Omega-3 fatty acids that have become such popular supplements.

Lastly raw meat also contains a lot of moisture. So much so that my dog does not drink much water. For many dogs this is much easier for them to digest.

The situation with vegetables (raw or cooked?) is a bit more unclear. There are a lot of phytonutrients (such as antioxidants) that are broken down by cooking, but there are also many vegetables that are more nutritious when cooked. Many of these interesting compounds were only discovered in the last 20 years and many more will be discovered. If anyone is interested in this topic I cannot recommend the book Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson highly enough! I think at this point a mixture of cooked and uncooked vegetables is probably a good way to go for our dogs. But pureed makes them much more digestible, rather than just roughage.
 

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Sometimes, cooking releases nutrients that wouldn't otherwise be available and even where reduction of nutrients does occur, it's rather minimal.
Fact or Fiction: Raw veggies are healthier than cooked ones - Scientific American
Comparison of Vitamin Levels in Raw Foods vs. Cooked kFoods

Some general mythbusting here:
The Dog Food Project - Myths about Dog Nutrition
What little would be released through cooking, isnt anything that isnt already in raw meat/bones/organs, and in a much easier to digest form. The nutrients are already there, full force.
 

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What little would be released through cooking, isnt anything that isnt already in raw meat/bones/organs, and in a much easier to digest form. The nutrients are already there, full force.
Maybe, but for those of us for whom raw meat/bones/organs isn't a practical option, its nice to know that there are safe and healthy alternatives.
 

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As far as digestion rates go, somebody in a raw Facebook group actually took their dog in for x rays for something else, but noticed the gut was practically empty. The dog had a bowel movement an hour before, and was fed 8 hours before. Just for fun her vet pulled up another x ray of a kibble fed dog, also fed about 8 hours before. There was food all throughout the gut. So basically on raw, the food gets digested entirely very quickly. On kibble, the dog has something in it's system almost all the time and it's working overtime to digest it. I know it's not really scientific, but it really makes sense all things considered that raw digests faster.
 

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Yea dogs are indeed 10 thousand years removed from wolves.... But it's also important to remember that commercial kibble has not been around for 10, 000 years, more like 100 at most. Dogs can and have survived on a multitude of diets. It's less about what will and won't kill them, and more about their quality of loving and longevity.

My understanding is that raw digests much slower than kibble because it is more nutritionally whole and available. Eg there is more to digest than kibble which sometimes contains a lot of filler and useless fodder. But that's merely my interpretation. Who is to say what the actual breakdown between the two is. Would be interesting to see some studies on this.
 
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