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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I would still like to switch Cobber to raw, I think, because of the health factor. However, recently I got some frozen pre-mixed raw from Petco (a sample bag of lamb protein bites) and tried giving him really just a half a handful of the frozen bites as a topper to his kibble one evening. Sure enough, we were outside twice during the night with the squirts. So I put the rest of the sample back in the freezer till Spring when going outside during the night won't be quite as unpleasant.

So here's my question. Does anyone with a super-sensitive-intestine dog successfully feed raw without any problems? I ask because I know part of feeding raw is variety, not just of the parts but of the proteins as well. But honestly if Cobber reacts to every single varietal change the way he reacts to variety in kibble/can food, I will pretty much never sleep again :rolleyes: Even switching up his treats causes runny poop! Does switching over to raw calm the instestines down once the dog adjusts, or am I actually better off keeping Cobber on one kibble that sits well with him?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Switching to raw usually gives most dogs the runs for a few days at least. But I've found over time -- having fed my last few dogs raw -- that they will also poop less once they are adjusted. And also the poops will firm up.

As a raw feeder (though I do add rice and some veggies) I think raw is the best way to go. I would never do kibble again -- even the awesome stuff. But I like to cook and prepare food so it's also enjoyable for me to prepare my girls' food.

You might prevent/lessen the initial squirts by transitioning to rice and chicken and THEN going raw.
 
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I would still like to switch Cobber to raw, I think, because of the health factor. However, recently I got some frozen pre-mixed raw from Petco (a sample bag of lamb protein bites) and tried giving him really just a half a handful of the frozen bites as a topper to his kibble one evening. Sure enough, we were outside twice during the night with the squirts. So I put the rest of the sample back in the freezer till Spring when going outside during the night won't be quite as unpleasant.

So here's my question. Does anyone with a super-sensitive-intestine dog successfully feed raw without any problems? I ask because I know part of feeding raw is variety, not just of the parts but of the proteins as well. But honestly if Cobber reacts to every single varietal change the way he reacts to variety in kibble/can food, I will pretty much never sleep again :rolleyes: Even switching up his treats causes runny poop! Does switching over to raw calm the instestines down once the dog adjusts, or am I actually better off keeping Cobber on one kibble that sits well with him?

Thanks in advance!

Right here! Lila has the most sensitive GI system. Even now, she has occasional diarrhea, but it's much less often than kibble. The secret? Two words: green tripe. It's magic stuff. Whenever she's had loose stool for a couple days in a row, I thaw out some green tripe and she gets it in her food for the next few days. Fixes her right up. You might have to order it from hare today (online raw place) which is pricey, but it's SO WORTH IT. Also, start slowly, begin with chicken, add one protein at a time, etc. It's also important, from my experience, to source very carefully. Buy from local farmers/reputable raw food providers whenever possible. Buying from the grocery store ends poorly for Lila. I would suspect that the raw from petco is not ideal but I don't know what they carry. Do they sell primal? That brand looks pretty good to me.

You could also try fasting him for 24 hours (ie skip breakfast) before the switch then going 100% raw. For some reason that helps Lila.

Here's what I use for pre-made:

Home - The Sirius Raw Dog Food Company, Ruby, NY

I also FIRMLY believe that there is not one diet suitable for all dogs. Some dogs do best on high-quality kibble, some on home cooked, some on raw. Lila does best on raw but my next dog might stay on kibble if that's what he does best on.

Best of luck!
 

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With commercial raw, you really don't know how much of what is really in it. Like any commercial food, the formula may change from batch to batch. They usually have lots of unnecessary ingredients as well, which can easily cause digestive upset.

If you feed prey model raw, you are feeding one protein at a time in whole chunks. Whole edible bone is fed, which not only gives needed nutrients but also firms up the poop. If you feed a couple boneless meals and get loose poops, add a a bone in meal next couple of times and poops firm up.
 

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I'm really curious about what exactly you tried feeding him? Did you thaw it out before feeding? Most raw-food advocates advice against mixing raw food with kibble, the reason being they "digest differently". I have not heard of very many having problems with diarrhea when switching, but like NFD says, perhaps plain solid meat would be a safer route for you (pre-grounds have a lot of added ingredients and more chance of bacterial contamination).
 

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Yes, feeding kibble and raw in the same meal sometimes won't work for some dogs.

What's usually advised in situations like this is to make the commitment and switch cold turkey. Perhaps even fast the dog for a day. Feed ONLY chicken meat, as chicken is considered a fairly "bland" meat, and no organs yet or heart. It's easy to digest and not rich. You also may want to feed more bone content than normal. PMR usually suggests 10%, but starting out with a sensitive dog, you may want to increase that to perhaps 20% depending on how his poop looks. Bone will help firm the stool. You can also add some canned pumpkin if necessary. Keep the dog on only chicken anywhere from a week to 3 weeks, and adjust the bone content as needed. You can try to get down to 10 or 15% bone.

Once you get the dog stable with no squirts and no constipation, you can start to SLOWLY add in another protein or an organ, just a couple tiny chunks at a time. Some people find it helpful to increase bone content again each time they introduce a new protein.

It might take some patience, but it will pay off.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Feeding anything other than "the usual" causes all sorts of problems for Cobber, so it's my own fault for trying to add even a few bites of frozen pre-made raw product (I did thaw the bites and added them instead of the usual spoonful of canned as a topper to his kibble). He gets pumpkin in every meal -- I can only imagine how much worse the diarrhea would've been had I not included pumpkin with the kibble-n-raw-bites meal.

Anyway, I'm still not sure about switching. I see the benefits for many people and their dogs, but I also see how kibble is much easier. What would I put in his food puzzle ball? What treats are okay? And I still have a major hang-up to him taking a piece of raw chicken onto my couch. So if I do go raw, I will do it cold-turkey ;) and not till spring when I can feed outside on the back porch. I'll give it a good amount of time so he can adjust and then make a decision. He poops so dang much now (even when diarrhea's not an issue) that one of the major appeals of raw is reducing the poop factor. I don't feel I overfeed him in the least (he gets dinner as an only meal and then a small handful of kibble in a puzzle ball in the morning), but he goes once first thing, again later in the morning, and at least once more in the afternoon. Seems like a lot, and it gets seriously worse if I make any changes or additions to the diet at all.

Anyway, I appreciate all the answers. His intestines are so frickin' sensitive. We were out walking two days ago, he got something in his mouth and swallowed it before I could intervene, and that night he had me up twice while he pooped it all out, whatever it was. Even finding and swallowing one french fry on the ground one time last winter had him up all night.

So for those of you w/sensitive-stomach dogs who eat raw, what do you give as treats? What about if the dog needs to be somewhere else for awhile (boarding or traveling or staying with a friend who isn't into raw)? Is the freeze-dried raw stuff really an okay interim product?

Thanks! Sorry for my wishy-washyness :) I keep saying this, but I've never had a dog like Cobber. All my other dogs were fine with pretty much anything I fed them and were more than able to hold it all in and let me know when it was time to go out (and poop about once a day). Cobber's just "special" :D and that has me 2nd-guessing my decisions and overthinking things a LOT... in case you haven't already noticed.
 

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Feeding anything other than "the usual" causes all sorts of problems for Cobber, so it's my own fault for trying to add even a few bites of frozen pre-made raw product (I did thaw the bites and added them instead of the usual spoonful of canned as a topper to his kibble). He gets pumpkin in every meal -- I can only imagine how much worse the diarrhea would've been had I not included pumpkin with the kibble-n-raw-bites meal.

Anyway, I'm still not sure about switching. I see the benefits for many people and their dogs, but I also see how kibble is much easier. What would I put in his food puzzle ball? What treats are okay? And I still have a major hang-up to him taking a piece of raw chicken onto my couch. So if I do go raw, I will do it cold-turkey ;) and not till spring when I can feed outside on the back porch. I'll give it a good amount of time so he can adjust and then make a decision. He poops so dang much now (even when diarrhea's not an issue) that one of the major appeals of raw is reducing the poop factor. I don't feel I overfeed him in the least (he gets dinner as an only meal and then a small handful of kibble in a puzzle ball in the morning), but he goes once first thing, again later in the morning, and at least once more in the afternoon. Seems like a lot, and it gets seriously worse if I make any changes or additions to the diet at all.

Anyway, I appreciate all the answers. His intestines are so frickin' sensitive. We were out walking two days ago, he got something in his mouth and swallowed it before I could intervene, and that night he had me up twice while he pooped it all out, whatever it was. Even finding and swallowing one french fry on the ground one time last winter had him up all night.

So for those of you w/sensitive-stomach dogs who eat raw, what do you give as treats? What about if the dog needs to be somewhere else for awhile (boarding or traveling or staying with a friend who isn't into raw)? Is the freeze-dried raw stuff really an okay interim product?

Thanks! Sorry for my wishy-washyness :) I keep saying this, but I've never had a dog like Cobber. All my other dogs were fine with pretty much anything I fed them and were more than able to hold it all in and let me know when it was time to go out (and poop about once a day). Cobber's just "special" :D and that has me 2nd-guessing my decisions and overthinking things a LOT... in case you haven't already noticed.
As far as where to feed, have a specific place for meals, and teach him to eat there. It can be on a towel, in a crate, specific place on kitchen floor, etc... Mine all have their own places to eat. I let them pick them themselves, and they are all acceptable places. Not on furniture, etc... All I say "ready to eat"? And they all go to their spot. Two go to the back door to go out to their spots on the deck, one behind the kitchen sink, and one beside the pantry.

I haven't traveled with mine, but I know some who have. If they take the dogs, they pack a cooler with frozen meat, usually chicken quarters. It thaws just enough by feeding time, but not enough to smell yuck to people. They stop at a walmart along the way to refill when needed.

If someone is feeding for them at the house, they have the food ready in ziplock bags. All the person has to do is dump the food out and never touch it.

Treats I give are dehydrated boneless meats and organs. I make them myself, so it stays along with the diet and I know what they are getting.

Feeding raw (true raw, not commercial premade) is really easy to do, it just takes dedication.
 

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CM, if your dog really does have health issues that could be aided by a raw diet, I would hate to see you put off giving it a try. You should know if it is going to help by 3 to 4 weeks in (though not sure what the issues are).

It is totally reasonable to feed half of the diet raw (say breakfast), and the other half kibble (dinner), just not a good idea at the same time (if only to keep track of reactions). I fed my dog like that for a year with no issues at all. You will get most of the health benefits from raw that way, but always have kibble as a fall back.

If preparation and balancing is an issue, you could still keep it simple with something like Primal frozen grinds, that just have the meat, organ and bone in the right proportion. All you would have to do is thaw it out, portion it (say 2 oz. in a baggie) and refreeze it. Or try just giving a small piece of raw meat 2-3 times per week at one meal. It doesn't have to be a big deal with the fasting, preparation and all-or-nothing techniques, you can ease into it at your own pace.
 
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