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Discussion Starter #1
I have been seeing things here and there (especially on this forum) about people feeding their dogs raw diets. It's a new concept to me. I also just started working at a kennel and one dog gets kibble mixed with oats and a large frozen ball of ground beef. Struck me as weird, but intrigued me...

I don't think I'd transition my dogs to ALL raw - but do you think adding raw a few times a week along with their dry food would be a good thing? Any preset items that are good to start your dog out on? I know chicken is most digestible... but can someone explain the bones to me - like I would literally buy a package of raw chicken thighs or something - I thought the small bones and such are hazardous to dogs?

As far as frozen - what is the diff between giving them thawed ground beef and, as above, the woman that gives frozen raw beef balls?

Also, my beagle is borderline overweight and another concern of mine is if I add raw to his diet and him possibly gaining weight. I'd have no idea how much to give, especially if I'm still gonna use the dry dog food.

Thanks as always, and I do plan to go back and read through some of the already made threads... it's just confusing to me when I read it.
 

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Raw is pretty simple, once you get the hang of it. You feed meat, bones and organs, about 80% meat 10% bone 10% organs(with half that liver). But it doesn't have to be exact and it can vary dog to dog. Think of as mostly meat with a little bone and organ thrown in.

I've heard of some feeding both kibble and raw. I have no experience with it though.

Raw bones are fine to feed, they are soft. Cooked bones are brittle and can splinter.

Chicken is normally best to start with. The bones are easy for most dogs to eat and fully edible and it seems to go over well with most dogs. You could buy chicken thighs or leg quarters. Backs are often started with because of the high bone content. Bone will help to keep your dogs poop firm while their GI system adjust to the new diet. But you can go with any chicken. I started Freyja with chicken breast, bone in and she did fine with that. But I normally feed leg quarters when I feed chicken.

I feed ground meats frozen because it slows the dogs down. If it was thawed they would just gulp it down. But frozen or thawed is your choice.

Raw is kind of odd in that dogs tend end up at their ideal weight, as long as you are not over or under feeding. But they are less likely to get overweight on it, there are no grains or unneeded carbs to turn into fat. For amounts you want about 2-3% of your dogs ideal body weight. But I've always found my guys needed less. It is a good starting point though. I rarely weigh their food. I feed based on body condition, and if we are more active I feed a little more. Some days they get a bigger meal, the next day they will get a bit less. It is very flexible.
 
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I'm a total newbie on the whole raw diet thing, but I've decided to make the switch to raw for my pup and completely drop the kibble.

I don't know if you have the time or patience, but this thread that was recently created was a huge help to me. I actually went through all 11 pages lol

http://www.dogforum.com/dog-food/how-start-raw-food-diet-275721/

From what I've researched/read from this forum, the general consensus is to not do both kibble and raw. I believe a kibble diet creates a more alkaline stomach environment where as a raw meat/food diet creates a more acidic environment. It also takes about a week for your dog to adjust to the raw diet.

Kibble and raw also take different amounts of time to digest, so if you were to do both, you would feed kibble in the morning and then raw in the evening (or was it the other way around?...lol)

There are more experienced members on here that have fed their dogs raw that will probably offer better advice/information than me, but just coming from a newbie perspective, what helped me better understand the raw fed diet was that link I posted above and also these links:

Prey Model Raw - PMR dog food --> this is a forum that has a ton of info. Might be a little overwhelming but again, if you have the time to look through it, you can learn a bunch of stuff here.

Raw Fed Dogs - Natural Prey Model Rawfeeding Diet --> I really liked this site. This is probably a good one to start with. It's very straightforward and easy to read.

Chicken has been the recommended protein to start off with like a chicken thigh or drumstick with the bone in. Bones will help firm up the stool.

It's always best to watch them eat. Cooked bones are no good, as well as weight bearing bones. It's recommended to have a large enough piece of meat that will require them to chew on it a few times before they swallow.

I'm assuming that freezing the ball just makes the dog take longer to eat it, it will probably tire him out a bit too having to gnaw and chew on it longer. I know if I fed my pup fresh/thawed ground beef she would probably just swallow it and not even chew. She's a chomp-chomp-gulp type.

As for portions, I would assume if you were to feed some raw and some kibble you would want to lower the amt of kibble. Personally, I would just skip the kibble but is there a reason you wanted to do both?

Anyway, there's a ton more stuff I'm probably missing but this is what I've learned so far.

:)
 

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I feed both raw and kibble and also canned, dehydrated, and home made.
I feed Molly her raw food (chicken, beef, pork, goat, fish, lamb, and green tripe) as her morning meal 3-4 times a week, and vary her other A.M. meals with other food types (canned, dehydrated, homemade) every other day. and then leave a very small amount of kibble in her dish to graze on throughout the day. I like giving her variety and I never have to worry about not having the correct food when traveling....You also avoid developing allergies or sensitivities to foods by rotating proteins.
(per Dr Karen Becker advice on food allergies)


P.S. Molly weighs 13lbs and gets 3% of her body weight in raw, which is approx 3.5 oz for 1 meal and the other half of her intake is also measured, to complete her food intake. I do monitor her weight with a body check quite often to make sure she is neither too thin or too fat! We use treats sparingly! LOL!
 
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It's always best to watch them eat. Cooked bones are no good, as well as weight bearing bones.

:)
Good info, just one thing. It's weight bearing bones of large animals, like cows. Pork bones are edible and fine to feed though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I see that I have a lot of reading up to do... Thank you for the links and info so far everyone.

If I do this I was thinking just starting by feeding raw only 2 - 3 times a week. My main concern is figuring out how to ration the food to not make my beagle, Brody, gain weight. He hovers around 45 lbs (although honestly it looks like muscle to me, I've seen beagles much worse off) - if he could lose a bit of weight that'd be nice though.

I am clueless when it comes to percentages and such. Like, would one chicken leg/drumstick be considered a meal?? Should I get a food scale? My other dog, Riley, he is very lean and I'm not worried at all about his weight (he could maybe even gain a few! He is around 40 lbs but taller than Brody)

I feed them twice a day. It would be nice to only feed once a day after work (around 530-6pm)
 

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I'd get a scale, it will help in the beginning. I also only feed once a day. The exception to this is Freyja but that is because Danes have a high risk of bloat otherwise I'd feed her once too. Shorty is 45lbs, he eats about 8oz/day give or take an ounce or two. Remember though you want to base the amount off their ideal body weight. Also raw feed dogs tend to have more muscle which will weigh a bit more, so once you get started go by body condition. If they look good keep feeding that amount.

At 45lbs 2% would be about 14oz. If Shorty got that much per day he would be a chub ball. But it is a starting point.
For 40lbs about 13oz/day.

One or two chicken thighs would probably be a meal, depending on the size of the thighs. Or a small chicken leg quarter. I don't normally feed just the leg, but at a guess I'd say two legs would do. And if he starts to gain weight drop the amount by an ounce or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'd get a scale, it will help in the beginning. I also only feed once a day. The exception to this is Freyja but that is because Danes have a high risk of bloat otherwise I'd feed her once too. Shorty is 45lbs, he eats about 8oz/day give or take an ounce or two. Remember though you want to base the amount off their ideal body weight. Also raw feed dogs tend to have more muscle which will weigh a bit more, so once you get started go by body condition. If they look good keep feeding that amount.

At 45lbs 2% would be about 14oz. If Shorty got that much per day he would be a chub ball. But it is a starting point.
For 40lbs about 13oz/day.

One or two chicken thighs would probably be a meal, depending on the size of the thighs. Or a small chicken leg quarter. I don't normally feed just the leg, but at a guess I'd say two legs would do. And if he starts to gain weight drop the amount by an ounce or two.
So if I wanted him to lose weight I would be ok feeding say, 10oz? less?
I was thinking on days I'd try this out I would feed 1/2 cup regular dry food in the AM and then the chicken thigh/leg for dinner

I really think with how much Brody LOVES food, cutting feeding down to once a day will send him into a depression lol..

BTW - Shorty is friggin adorable :)
 

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Start at 10oz and see how he does. I feed once and they are fine with it, though they won't turn down food if offered. One big reason I don't like feeding multiple meals is that I can feed one big meal. It's more filling and they can chew it.
 

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So if I wanted him to lose weight I would be ok feeding say, 10oz? less?
I was thinking on days I'd try this out I would feed 1/2 cup regular dry food in the AM and then the chicken thigh/leg for dinner

I really think with how much Brody LOVES food, cutting feeding down to once a day will send him into a depression lol..

BTW - Shorty is friggin adorable :)
Yes--feed for his ideal weight, not the weight he is now. A beagle should def. not be near 45lbs, even my beagle (who is taller than average) is only 29 lbs. However, I would recommend getting an accurate weigh in before starting, because 45 doesn't sound right. At 45 lbs you'd be looking at more than a little pudgy for a beagle.

It might help him to give him a little low calorie filler snack here and there, or added to meals. When my beagle had to get her food cut down a bit, she got 1/4 cup of frozen green beans with each meal. He can still get treats, but things like freeze dried meat, little training treats, raw meat, a bully stick here and there and leave the milkbones, pupperoni, etc for a once in awhile treat.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes--feed for his ideal weight, not the weight he is now. A beagle should def. not be near 45lbs, even my beagle (who is taller than average) is only 29 lbs. However, I would recommend getting an accurate weigh in before starting, because 45 doesn't sound right. At 45 lbs you'd be looking at more than a little pudgy for a beagle.

It might help him to give him a little low calorie filler snack here and there, or added to meals. When my beagle had to get her food cut down a bit, she got 1/4 cup of frozen green beans with each meal. He can still get treats, but things like freeze dried meat, little training treats, raw meat, a bully stick here and there and leave the milkbones, pupperoni, etc for a once in awhile treat.
I guess I'm delusional, I know he's chubby but I feel like he isn't THAT bad, I don't give a ton of unhealthy treats but he does get 3/4 cup dry twice a day... I'd like to upload some pics here in a bit if I could get an opinion on his weight. I do feed a weight control dog food. Maybe I should take care of the weight thing before switching to raw or do you think he's more apt to lose weight after the switch

I'm getting ahead of myself because my intent was never to actually switch fully but only do raw 3x a week
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here you are...
 

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For a typical beagle it looks like a male should be 22-24lbs. But of course there is going to be variations. I'd get him weighed but it's safe to say he is a bit of a chunk. Raw feeding will help him drop some pounds. Look at his body condition, I like to be able to feel the ribs easily and see the last rib or even two. And have a bit of a tuck. Though it varies on body type. Shorty has a much less noticeable waist than Vegas or Freyja.

He is cute.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
For a typical beagle it looks like a male should be 22-24lbs. But of course there is going to be variations. I'd get him weighed but it's safe to say he is a bit of a chunk. Raw feeding will help him drop some pounds. Look at his body condition, I like to be able to feel the ribs easily and see the last rib or even two. And have a bit of a tuck. Though it varies on body type. Shorty has a much less noticeable waist than Vegas or Freyja.

He is cute.
I am able to bring him to work with me tomorrow and will weigh him but the 43-45 lbs is probably accurate and it's always been that way. I guess in my experience I'm just so used to seeing OBESE beagles and that has clouded my judgement. Plus, the vet never tells me he needs to lose weight (but I didn't really ask lately either). We are going to work on this!!

Most of his treats are the occasional bully stick, and random fruit/veggies while cooking dinner so this pains me. But thinking deeper about it, we lived with a roommate for a couple of years who was never good at keeping snacks up high enough despite our constant reminders/pleading
 

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Yeah, he's looking pudge. Our minpin should be about 9 to 9.5 pounds, but he was running 14.5 for the longest time due to thyroid issues. He was carrying an extra 5 pounds on his frame, some dogs carry it well.
 

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If you want his meals to last longer but not feed more you can use a kong. I do that for Freyja when she has a boneless meal. I cube the meat up and put it in the big kong. She normally will be working at it for about ten minutes. You can also freeze it or partly freeze it to make it last even longer. Freyja is cute, she will bring me the kong when she is done and drop it in my hand.
 
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Yeah, he's looking pudge. Our minpin should be about 9 to 9.5 pounds, but he was running 14.5 for the longest time due to thyroid issues. He was carrying an extra 5 pounds on his frame, some dogs carry it well.
I am hoping he doesn't have any thyroid issue. He gets a lot of exercise so it's puzzling. Did it take you long to get him down to the right weight?

I need to figure out how much less to feed him, the amt I am at now is just keeping his weight steady I suppose.
 

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If you want his meals to last longer but not feed more you can use a kong. I do that for Freyja when she has a boneless meal. I cube the meat up and put it in the big kong. She normally will be working at it for about ten minutes. You can also freeze it or partly freeze it to make it last even longer. Freyja is cute, she will bring me the kong when she is done and drop it in my hand.
Good idea.. Plus maybe he'll feel like he's getting more since it will take him longer to eat.
 

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I am hoping he doesn't have any thyroid issue. He gets a lot of exercise so it's puzzling. Did it take you long to get him down to the right weight?

I need to figure out how much less to feed him, the amt I am at now is just keeping his weight steady I suppose.
Hypothyroidism is generally the number one common issue in beagles from what I've read. but hypo usually shows as laziness, unexplained weight gain, can cause fearfulness etc.

He's been on synthroid since december and is nearly back to normal weight. We've been feeding him too much again so it's been slower. Been running the parks alot more, he's not a cold weather dog so outside isn't easy over winter. But it's spring now :D
 
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