Naked Lunch: A Beginner’s Guide to Raw Feeding.

“Hi, my name is Ren and I am a raw feeder. It has been two and a half years since I last bought commercial pet food.”

I first became aware of the raw feeding method through my friends in the Australian dog breeding and showing community. I moderate a pedigree bull breeds dog forum and I have friends there who have been breeding, showing and feeding their dogs raw food for decades.

After feeding Max, my first Staffordshire Bull Terrier, on expensive kibble for years (recommended by my vet, no less) and struggling to manage his weight, teeth, breath and gastrointestinal health until the day he died, I knew that I wanted to give raw feeding a shot with my second dog.

I have fed my three year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tayla (Supasound Chase That Feeling), a raw diet since she was six months old, because I believe it is the best way to keep her happy and healthy.

Look at this dog. It doesn’t get much happier than this!

Once I kicked the commercial food habit, I never looked back.

So what is raw feeding?

“Raw feeding is the practice of feeding domestic dogs, cats and other animals a diet primarily of uncooked meat, edible bones, and organs.”

The thinking behind raw feeding is that canines should be fed what they are biologically designed to eat. The Canis lupis familiaris (domestic dog) is a sub-species of the Canis lupis, or grey wolf. Despite approximately 15,000 years of domestication and selective breeding, it has been argued that the nutritional needs of the canine have changed very little.

Have a look at the typical diet of a wolf! It mostly consists of raw, whole prey (including the odd fish!), with occasional small amounts of plant matter (usually berries or fruit).

Wolf with a caribou hindquarter, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Raw feeders believe that this kind of diet is what our domesticated canine companions require for optimum health and wellbeing. Compare a raw diet for dogs to a Paleo diet for humans and you’ll get an idea of where raw feeders are coming from!

There are a few different raw feeding methods you can choose from, and they are mostly dependent on what you can buy locally and seasonally, what you are comfortable with feeding, and of course, your dog’s own food preferences and requirements. The three most common raw feeding methods are BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), Prey Model (which can vary widely from whole, intact carcasses to a ‘franken-prey’ of bits and pieces) and RMB (Raw Meaty Bones). I started as a BARF feeder, moved on to RMB feeding within the first year, then eventually settled on a loose version of the Prey Model diet, which is how I feed Tayla now.

When I first got started, I used to make Tayla’s BARF food myself.

There is a lot of ground to cover when one talks about raw feeding. This is just the first post in a series I am writing on the subject! I hope to answer some of the burning questions I had I was a raw feeding newbie, like:

  • Is it really safe to be giving whole bones?
  • Won’t raw meat make my dog sick? Won’t handling raw meat make me sick?
  • How much raw food do I feed per day?
  • What kind of meat can I use?
  • What kind of bones should I be feeding?
  • Which parts are safe to eat? Which parts should I avoid?
  • How should my dog be eating it? How do I know if something’s gone wrong?
  • What do I do if my dog isn’t interested in eating raw food?
  • Where do I buy it?
  • How do I prepare it? What equipment will I need?
  • Can I feed other types of food too? Should I be giving supplements as well?
  • Should I be fasting my dog one day a week, to simulate living in the wild?
  • My vet/groomer/trainer/whoever thinks all dogs should be eating dry/tinned food. How do I explain my choice to raw feed?

I want to kick this series off by talking about some basic principles for raw feeding and my initial experience with it. I’ll put it out there right now that I am NOT a veterinarian and I have no formal training in canine health or nutrition. I am, however, a qualified lawyer, which means that I am a skilled and thorough researcher.

Getting Raw

At the end of 2009, Max, my first dog, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from cancer. He was 13 and a half. I was grieving for him and looking at getting a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy to ease the pain and loneliness.

Max (Stafface Zephyr Ice). The first dog that was truly ‘mine’ and the reason I fell in love with the breed.

I’d never had a puppy of my own before. Max had come to me as a fairly mellow nine year old retiree. Naturally, I was researching breeders like a fiend and asking people lots of questions about how they raise their dogs. All the talk of puppies got my forum friends interested and we began discussing nutrition.

A few weeks later, a friend of mine offered me Tayla, a sweet, cuddly six month old pup who needed a pet home. It was love at first sight and I took her home with me a week later.

She was all legs and ears initially, what I affectionately referred to as the “is this really a Stafford?” phase.

I knew that I wanted to transition to a completely raw diet with Tayla. I spent a solid week researching, compiling information and pestering experienced raw feeders for their recipes. I read a lot of advice that told me I had to make the switch immediately, lest Tayla’s digestive system become ‘confused’ about the signals it was getting from mixed kibble and raw food.

But, I found that I couldn’t go cold turkey. I had to do it in stages for the sake of Tayla’s gastrointestinal health (and my delicate nerves!). I didn’t yet know if Tayla had allergies, or a sensitive stomach, or if she couldn’t tolerate a particular type of meat. I also didn’t know if she would want to eat raw food. Some dogs don’t! And that is okay.

The choice is yours. My two cents: if you’re switching over from a dry and/or wet food diet, be kind to your pooch and do it gradually, especially if you plan on feeding a lot of red meat. Red meat is rich and heavy, which can upset your dog’s stomach if they are unaccustomed to it. Imagine living on a diet of, say, pork sausages and mash your entire life, and then one day all you’re getting is hot lamb curry. Wouldn’t it be easier for you to get used to the curry if it was included with your sausages and mash in small amounts, over time?

I started by reducing Tayla’s regular meal by a quarter portion and replacing it with homemade BARF mix, prepared using a recipe shared with me by a BARF feeding Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder (I will share it with you in my next post!). After a week, I was feeding half and half, the next week, three quarters BARF to kibble and then by week four, I was feeding all BARF. Tayla’s initial reaction was to gulp down the moist, smelly mix of kangaroo mince and shredded fruit and veg like it was the finest gourmet food she’d ever tasted. I paced the backyard like a professional helicopter parent during potty-time and was relieved to discover that there were no upset stomach issues. Relief!

This meant it was time to implement Phase Two: The Introduction of Raw Meaty Bones. I wanted to make sure Tayla’s teeth were kept nice and clean. But what kind of bone to start with? I was worried about her teeth getting fractured or broken. I was worried about the bones splintering, or her choking. I was worried about intestinal punctures. All my reading pointed to poultry as the safest start. White meat is easier on a dog’s stomach and the bones are generally softer and more flexible than red meat bones. I liked the sound of turkey necks – bendy and segmented (less chance of getting stuck!), meaty enough to be worth the trouble and softer than other poultry bones (like legs or wings).

So I went to the supermarket, bought a nice fat turkey neck and made the victorious trip home.

A raw turkey neck, delicious! (Image courtesy of 21food.com.)

Now, to say I was nervous about giving that first raw bone to Tayla was the understatement of the year. I was TERRIFIED. How could this possibly be safe? She would surely swallow the damn thing whole and choke to death! (Despite all of my research and preparation, at the end of the day, I am still a fretful mother.)

I presented it to Tayla and waited to see how she would react. Her face lit up like it was Christmas. MEATY BONE! FOR ME! She was a little uncertain at first, having never eaten a turkey neck before, but she sure knew it was food and there was a lot of sniffing and licking going on. All it took was a little bit of encouragement from Mum (me holding the neck and offering it until she was confident enough to start biting and chewing it) and she was off and running. Er, eating.

And so we were indoctrinated into the Order of Raw.

Still To Come

Over the next few weeks, we will explore these topics in depth:

  • The different models of raw feeding,
  • How to budget for, buy and store raw food,
  • Health benefits and hazards of raw feeding,
  • Combining different feeding methods; and
  • How to discuss your raw feeding choices without feeling pressured or judged by others.

A Word on Safety!

There are a few important things you should know about raw feeding, just in case you get excited and jump in before I do a nice long post about safety!

  1. Do not, under any circumstances, feed cooked bones. Cooked bones can splinter or shatter and become lodged in your dog’s throat (causing a choking hazard) or perforate their intestines. If you feed cooked meat, remove the bones!
  2. Be very, VERY careful about what kind of bones you are feeding. Large, weight-bearing bones such as femurs, vertebrae and knuckles can cause fractures and broken teeth. Avoid them if you can, or feed for short periods under close supervision.
  3. Do not feed rotten or ‘off’ meat. Dogs get food poisoning, gastroenteritis and stomach upsets the same as humans do. Experienced raw feeders know when meat is good to feed and when it is borderline, but if you are new to raw feeding, err on the side of caution!
  4. Do not freeze, thaw and then refreeze your raw food. You wouldn’t do it for your own food would you? Treat your dog’s food the same way you would treat your own.
  5. Heart is best fed in small amounts, particularly when it is new to your dog’s diet. Ox heart in particular is extremely rich and can cause digestive upset.
  6. If you are going to be making your own BARF mix, be sure to avoid foods that are toxic for dogs, such as garlic, onion, leek, chives, dried fruit, avocado and macadamia. A good rule of thumb is to research every ingredient before you add it to make sure it is safe for dogs.
  7. When feeding fish, be choosy. Avoid salmon if you live in the US or Canada. Ocean fish are generally safe, but research what types of local fish are safe for canine consumption.
  8. Freeze raw pork for a minimum of two weeks before feeding, or cook it (and de-bone it!) first. This will kill any harmful t spiralis trichonosis larvae that may be present in the meat. Raw pork is best left for when you’re a little more experienced and confident.
  9. Be cautious when feeding liver. A major function of the liver is to detoxify the body. The raw feeding rule of thumb is that liver should make up no more then 5% of your dog’s diet.

One last thing!

If you only take one piece of advice from this post, it should be this: only you can decide whether raw feeding is right for your dog. As Rebecca mentioned in her post ‘The Beauty of No: Being Your Dog’s Advocate’, being an advocate for your dog means being informed. I encourage people to read, research, talk to other dog owners and to your vet before you make the jump to raw feeding.

Raw feeding is an educational journey that never truly ends. I am still learning and making changes to my own feeding methods two and a half years down the track, and I expect I will continue to do so for a long time yet! The way I see it, if you’re going to make such a big decision about your dog’s health, it needs to be the one that you have thought through and are prepared to keep working on!

Coming soon! Part 2 of Naked Lunch: Common Raw-Feeding Methods and Where to Find Them. There will be more photos! More links! Possibly even some amateur video!

45 thoughts on “Naked Lunch: A Beginner’s Guide to Raw Feeding.

  1. Love that this is going to be a series! i’m learning a lot alreaedy. RAW scares me a little and I wish I was better educated on it. Looking forward to more posts.

  2. I have only been feeding my dogs raw for about a year and I am still terrified that I am Doing It Wrong, so I am thrilled you’re doing this series! I am contemplating putting Futurepuppy on raw right away when he comes home, and I would love to be a little smarter about the whole thing by that point.

    • Doing It Wrong is something I think *all* raw feeders struggle with on a regular basis. The way I see it, if you stop worrying about whether your method is balanced/healthy/safe, you’re getting complacent.

    • You’re welcome! The next post in the series should be out in a week or two, in the meantime, enjoy the blog posts from the rest of them team!

  3. I am so glad to see that this will be a series! I was going to start raw with my own dog but it would seem that my family did not agree with decision. We’ve been sticking to the odd RMB in order to keep his teeth healthy and it’s already working wonders.

    • Hi Holly, thanks for your comment! Sorry to hear that you’ve had a bumpy start to raw. Even the occasional RMB is better than nothing! Hopefully your family will eventually come around. :)

      Next post in the series will be up in a week or two.

  4. Since this is going to be a series, you should do a review on the best meat grinders. I remember when I was looking it was somewhat difficult to decide on the best one to get. I made a decision and quite like what I picked, well, other than it’s still a bit difficult to sent whole rabbits through, but it will grind an entire rabbit (bones and all) though, word of the wise, even though I feed everything (organs, entrails, etc) it’s best to removed the innards before grinding because the smell is atrocious.

    • Hi Christalynn, thanks for the suggestion! I do not currently use a meat grinder myself, but I will ask around the team and see if anyone else does. If not, we’ll ask for reader’s input in comments!

  5. Pingback: Feeding Raw Made Easy: A Review of The Honest Kitchen | Team Unruly

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  8. Thanks for an informative blog. For a dog to return to its ancestral diet of more proteins, fat and Fewer carbohydrates, can not only improve their life quality and energy level, but can also increase a dog’s lifespan. Perhaps changing diet could even have saved Max’s life? Luckily there’s plenty of information, such as homemade dog food recipes.
    Jonni
    http://dietfordogs.net

    • I often wonder that Jonni, and have many regrets about feeding Max kibble his entire time with me. It is partly why I was so determined to learn about BETTER options for Tayla. :)

      Thanks for commenting!

  9. Hi ben,

    I’ve just converted my staffy from commercial food to this barf diet (thanks for the recipe)

    So far I’ve only been able to find 2 entries by you on this topic?

    I also wanted to know should I feed my dog his meal of a morning or night?

    Please help

    Thanks
    Hayley

  10. Just found your site, Thank you so much for taking the time to write this … we are contemplating going RAW, it is just so overwhelming, trying to decide what to do/ how to go about it. There is just so much information out there… I think we may start with a pre-made raw or freeze-dried like Dr. B’s BARF or Stella and Chewy’s to help ease the transition and for a little bit of piece of mind. Anyway, super happy to have found your posts!

    • Compared to supermarket kibble it is quite pricy. Where I am, feeding raw and barf is cheaper than feeding the very best kibbles (they are imported and so really expensive). It costs about the same as feeding Science Diet.
      The biggest monetary factor here is the savings in vet bills. Over time, a better diet gives you a healthier dog that needs less vet attention.

      I guess you also have to take into account freezer space and preparation time when working out how much raw feeding ‘costs’, but neither of those are that much work that it has put me off :)

  11. I am so happy to have found this.
    I have a question.
    I’ve been feeding my 10# babies a raw food diet for about 6 month.
    I’ve made Dr. Becker’s Vitamin/ Mineral mix which I add to every meal.
    I rotate from chicken to turkey to beef. Some with bone in( I bought a grinder) and the beef without bone(to which I will add bone meal).
    I add raw egg to one meal and sardines to another. also adding tiny amounts of omega 6 oils.
    My dogs are itching and scratching themselves so often, that I feel I must be doing something wrong.
    Can anybody help me??? What am I doing wrong.

    • Hi,
      I’m guessing it’s the Omega 6. Be VERY careful with Omega 6! Too much is no good and I’m sorry I can’t remember why because it’s been awhile since I researched it.
      (I dont know what’s in the vitamin mix so I can’t comment there)

  12. 4 tsp salt
    234 mg iron
    20 mg manganese
    250 mg zinc
    9.25 mg iodine ( from standardized kelp )
    1200 IU vitamin E
    25 mg taurine
    all mixed in a coffee grinder
    they get 1/8 th tsp per 4 oz of food ( which includes muscle meat, organ meat,
    canned sardines or salmon and egg in rotation)
    If I feed beef I add 1 1/4 ml of hempseed oil
    chicken and turkey meals I add 1 1/4 ml of flaxseed oil
    on non fish days I include Krill oil
    I also include a little veggy / fruit mix in each meal
    almost every day the get a TBSP of cottage cheese with enzymes
    and for treats I dehydrate chicken or beef
    so this is the WHOLE story
    but something is not quite right, or they would have this “shiny coat ”
    and would not be itching so much

    I know the hempseed oil is absolutely necessary when feeding beef meals
    to improve the linoleic acid they need
    the flaxseed oil with the chicken meals not so sure

    I appreciate you looking at this
    thank you Mini

  13. Hi Jazz.
    Wow! You are working full time for your babies! I did too so I can feel the love.
    I started out when my German Shepherd Dog (now 5) was about a year old.I wish I did it sooner, but I didn’t know any better. I started with cooked food (chicken, roast, pork chops etc) and I hate to cook so this was pure love. Lol. Then to raw.
    I joined the Yahoo Groups raw feeding a few years ago until I couldn’t stand it anymore. The people were so rude and obnoxious. I did learn some things and read the stories.
    The formula that they all use is: 80% meat 10% bone 5% liver 5% other organ meat.
    I find it easier to follow that daily. My math skills are poor at best. Lol. “Balance” doesn’t mean daily like humans. Say, organs for example. They can have a meal of all organs one night but then that’s their “limit” for the week or 2 or month depending on the formula you used. Almost forgot…heart is a muscle meat, not an organ. I was glad to learn that because it’s very healthy. We have local meat market and heart is inexpensive. As long as they “balance” for the month.
    Think Wolf. They don’t have or need supplements and they usually don’t eat veggies, they can’t digest them . Veggies would have to be purified and I’ve read it’s not really beneficial anyways. Also, I believe dogs are lactose intolerant so I don’t think cottage is good to give.
    I’m thinking the supplements are overkill, overdosing really. These meats have those vitamins and minerals already. Never buy anything “standardized”. I don’t care for flax at all. Goes rancid quickly once ground. I quickly read about bone meal. “Bone meal or bone manure is a mixture of finely and coarsely ground animal bones and slaughter house waste products” eek! Toss it and grind up egg shells finely (if not serving raw meaty bone)
    I’ve never read hemp to be necessary. I think vegetarians use it for Omega 3 but it’s not doing them as good as they think.
    This is what I think you should do: Discontinue all supplements (unless there are medical conditions etc). Use the 80-10-5-5% formula daily. Rotate the meat meals maybe weekly so that they get the vites and minerals from all sources of the meats.
    Maybe later try Blue Green Algae (aphanizomenon flos-aquae). I take it myself to oxygenate blood.
    You are a caring and perceptive mom! Your dogs are lucky.

  14. Hi Mini,
    thank you sooo much, I will get the blue green algae for sure.

    the bone meal I am using is human grade (ground cooked bone with the protein, fat and water removed.it provides the minerals of whole bones. which has a balanced calcium to phosphor ratio.
    eggshells is only calcium.
    Did you ever read Dr. Karen Becker’s “Real Food for healthy dogs and cats” book.
    Lots of info, which can be overwhelming. She is a holistic Vet.
    She thinks, that specially grocery store bought meats are lacking some, therefore the
    addition to minimal amounts of Vit./Min.
    I do not have access to a butcher that has all kinds of meats. Just an Amish butcher shop which I can get ground beef, liver and heart( I also found out it is a muscle meat, Can you use it solely if you include the liver with the meal??? I can also get it real cheep there.

    What did you mean by as long as they balance for the week, when you mentioned the heart??? Did you mean with other muscle meats?
    I bought some pork the other day (I do know I have to leave it in the freezer for 3 weeks, before I feed it to my rascals) and ground it up, but I cannot find pork liver or heart, So can I mix the beef liver and heart with it??? Is that ok or a no no?
    The neck bones were huge and my grinder would not even touch them, so bone meal here I come again.
    I try to buy turkey,but they all have this enhanced juices injected that I really question if I should use them. I have bought already ground turkey(very expensive) but seems to be pure meat. again though GROCERY store kind.
    I can’t give my dogs raw meaty bones, they are small with hairy feet, hairy mouths. All that raw meat over their faces and feet and god knows where else, it takes me forever to clean them up.
    I did try chicken wings and thighs,(put them on cardboard in a big plastic tub and let them have at it. ) Sugarpie wants to swallow them whole, and Jazz just holds them in her paws and licks and licks, gnawshes some on the meat, but won’t touch the bone.
    I guess I don’t know how to go about it.
    On the cottage cheese or Yoghurt, I think the fermentation takes the lactose out of the milk, I need to look into that.
    Now that I bent your ear(or rather your poor eyes and brain) I kindly thank you for
    helping me out here.

  15. You’re welcome! I hope I’ve been helpful. it can be overwhelming like you said and I had times where I didn’t think I was doing enough so I added beans and purified veggies and pumpkin and…and.. It was just too much because she didn’t need or want it.

    Oh, I see what you mean! That grocery store meat is lacking and that’s the reason for the supplements. Okay, I understand now. I guess I’m spoiled/used to buying from our local meat market(s).

    I really thought eggshells had phosphorus, I could be mistaken, I never tried it. I wanted Lava to have the bone eating experience. Being a big dog I tried not to worry.
    I remember reading rib bones are good to feed. She likes her chicken legs and lucky for me she prefers to eat them frozen. No mess!

    I was doing pretty good with writing about the balance part until I got off track slightly talking about the heart. I should have put that somewhere else. Lol. Balance is meant for balancing meat, organ and bone with that formula. I do that daily instead of trying to figure out how to do it otherwise.

    I think you did good with your bone offering. Dogs are funny and do what they want. If you can tolerate it, let them do their thing. They might need to get used to eating bone like that. It also stimulates their brain and strengthens jaws. Like a mini workout then have a nice after dinner nap.

    Yes, beef liver, heart and pork together is fine (if I understood you question). Just know that that is 2 meats if you are wanting to use 1 meat. Heart and pork are meats with liver being the organ.

    I read that too but I never made sure pork was frozen for weeks before feeding. She has eaten pork loin straight from the fridge with no problems. Lucky or a myth? Idk
    I have read to never feed a dog raw ground meat like pork sausage and “burger”meat. They said the equipment could be contaminated.

    Try cutting their pork in small bite sizes or a big hunk they can knaw on instead of grinding. They might like it and cleans their teeth too.

    Yes, heart can be a sole meat. Lava is on heart right now. Her dinner is heart and 1chicken leg so that’s her meat and bone. I haven’t been giving her liver daily . I’m trying to get the organ situation for her worked out.

    Maybe your grinder can grind chicken wings? I’ve never tried it.

    I haven’t read that book. I used the Yahoo groups and boards and any place online I could find. Then weeded out.

    Another good thing to have on hand is food grade diatomaceous earth. Good stuff! Is silica. Good for teeth, bones, fur and for parasites etc. Check that one out too.
    I also keep on hand colloidal silver and sodium bentonite clay.

    I don’t know if giving brands and websites are allowed so I’ll word it this way. I bought the algae, DE and clay off the huge online store that has “Prime” members. :)

  16. Thank you Mini,

    I am an idiot, I looked into the egg shell nutrients and you are right,
    It has calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium.
    The phosphorus is extremely low though, but the meat has lots of phosphorus so
    I guess it would be a good ratio.
    How do you use the diatomaceous earth??? Do you sprinkle it onto Lava’s meat?(you mentioned the clean teeth )
    I read that is for bug control ? Do you dust it around the house and yard???
    Looked it up, but forgot to look for the blue green algae. Will check it out in a minute.

    Also how do you know when it is the 80% meat to 10% bone ratio ?

    Yes I can grind the wings and legs and backs in my grinder.
    But to that I have to add muscle meat and again, having trouble to determine the 10% bone ratio.
    well heading for the shopping spree, have a great day !!

  17. No problem Jazz and you are not an idiot. Researching is overwhelming is all. For me it is.

    I found good info on Shirley’s wellness cafe. Am I allowed to post the link? I just found it a day or so ago telling about phosphorus in meat and eggs. Holistic vets posted on there. I also like earth clinic site. Even though I don’t believe every word on every site, it’s good research and I use what I can. I like the variety.

    I have sprinkled DE on my carpets but haven’t in the yard. I probably should. I have taken it in a little water for myself and for Lava I put a serving on a plate or bowl and she eats it. She loves it. When I try to sprinkle the carpet she follows behind eating it. Lol.
    Good to kill bugs inside and out and in the body as well from what I read.

    I used formula’s that I found online but my fave formula site no longer exists. I would just answer weight questions about Lava and it did the math for me. I miss it.
    Decide if your dogs are at the weight they need to be then use 2% (if I remember right) for the formula. So, 2% of your dogs weight will tell how many ounces/lbs of meat, bone and organ needed.
    Lava for example weighs about 90 lbs so her meat meal is 1.8lbs a day. (Divide in half if she eats 2 meals a day but she eats once a day at dinner time) That would be her 80%meat. I need to figure out the other 20%. I struggle since that site no longer exists. I just can’t catch on.
    I learned all that from Yahoo groups and people always asked how to weigh bone. I too wonder . The answers given were to estimate which I didn’t like. Some people would actually debone a piece of meat and weigh the bone for reference. They also said to watch the poop. If it comes out white, then too much bone. If it turns white later out in the yard then it’s good. Poop should be firm (not hard) and formed. It needs to express anal glands as it comes out.

    I’m learning here is that I need to go back and brush up. Thank you for that! You are helping me. :)

  18. yes I also read about the ” watch the poop ” thing, but my pooches haven’t had the turning white thing going on, don’t know why? too much vegetables??? Trying now for 6 month, should be enough time???
    I’ve been looking at ” dogsnaturallymagazine.com
    ottawa valley dog whisperer herbs and spices, petgrub.com and some others.
    sooo much info for my little brain!!!
    I’m thinking I go back to Blue buffalo Wilderness canned food and just add some raw meat. If I cannot stop the itching, that’s what I am going to do. Just to see if I am the culprit
    and not doing it right.
    got to run, my dryer beeped, got to get the stuff out before it wrinkles .
    later and thank you so much!!!

  19. Oh no!! Not Blue Buffalo!! Please don’t. You have come so far and learned so much to turn back now. I was overwhelmed in the beginning but thought of all the poison, ill euthanized animals and pets that are in those foods and I absolutely refuse to feed that to my dog.
    Please follow my original advice and stop all supplements and even veggies. Do the formula. Then you might see. “Literally”.

    • Some of us here at Team Unruly feed kibble (Taste of the Wild for me, used to feed Blue Buffalo). I’m not so fond of people coming here to spread false information. Please don’t do that.

  20. but I cannot feed them meaty bones,
    is the ground up stuff going to do the same good, I can get the organ/muscle stuff right , but 10% bone is in question when I feed beef .
    I’ve been doing 1/4 teasp. of human grade bone meal per 4 oz of food.
    The chicken I do boneless meat and 1.6 times the amount of bone in meat ( like
    chicken thighs or breasts with liver and 1.6 times the amount of chicken backs/ necks).
    Haven’t seen a hard stool yet.
    Maybe I should go to the refrigerated dog food, (“Freshpet” or something like that to make sure they get the balance.
    I tried to add “Honest Kitchen”, freeze dried veggies, with all the nutrients ( you just add the meat after soaking the veggie mix ). They don’t like all the veggies or the taste of it.
    I tried “Better in the raw “, they don’t like that much either.
    Do you know any of these?
    I’ll try your way for a while and see, but if I am at my whit’s end, would a refrigerated
    food be the better one and I just add some raw meat?
    What do you think ?
    Sorry I sound like a whiner big time !!!!

  21. You don’t sound like a whiner but you are insisting on doing things that aren’t working.
    Again, ditch the bone meal. It’s been cooked and who knows what else. You can feed raw meaty bone (I’ve read but never had a small dog so idk specifics) but if you don’t want to right now then grind up bone and feed that in place of bone meal. I don’t know what you mean when you say having a question with bone when feeding beef.

    You probably haven’t seen a hard stool because of the bone meal, supplements and possibly too much liver. How much liver do they get?

    They also need fat so be sure the chicken has skin on it.

    Veggies are for humans, so the humans think it’s good for the dog because it’s good for them. It’s marketing .
    Have you read up on ingredients in commercial food to see that it’s cheap filler and dogs cannot digest it? No where near enough meat either and the meat is so over cooked that’s why they add vitamins to it.
    Dogs have short and different digestion then we do. They absolutely can’t digest whole or even cut up veggies.

    I thought I was helping with raw feeding but you are determined to over supplement or switch to commercial food if you can’t over supplement and feed veggies. I’m not being harsh, I’m being realistic. Sometimes it just needs said for things to change.

    I’m no expert but I’m feeding raw and haven’t bought commercial food in probably over 4 years (Lava turned 5 in August). I try what I read if it sounds healthy and in her best interest like the wolf she is.

    Go to that site I added. Get the food amount, read the rest of that page and do the formula. Maybe leave out organ for a week or so (not sure because not sure if they are eating too much organ now)
    Have your meat be chicken with skin on. Grind up the chicken bones to add to the chicken (weigh bones before grinding). Stick with that meat for a month. No veg, no supplements. Their digestive tract needs somewhat of a break I’m guessing.

    I believe you are at wits end from insisting on doing something that isn’t working. I can appreciate the information is coming from a holistic vet but doesn’t mean it works 100%. There is almost always “something else”. Most vets aren’t trained in nutrition.
    So, if you decide not to do the above then I reluctantly suggest a canned food called Hound and Gatos. It’s a newer company, no recalls, open to phone calls and pretty good website. I never tried it but a family member of mine refuses to feed raw or even cooked food so instead of the poor dog eating $6 kibble from Tractor Supply she switched to this . Might be about a month now.

    Good luck and I wish the best health for your pups.

  22. sorry about getting you upset. You are helping me and I did say I would try it just meat and bone with organ for a while
    Your question about organ meat :

    to 4# of muscle meat I add:
    1/2# of heart and gizzards combined,
    and 1/2# of liver.

    I have all sorts of 4 oz patties in the freezer already made up
    but without any bone meal or Vit/min mix.
    So I will give them just those, and
    GEE, I just figured out that my liver ratiois too high, if I am going to give 5%
    it should only be 3.2 oz.
    I have been giving more that 10% all this time.
    So maybe that is the culprit.
    I will add more muscle/ bone in meat to dilute the high liver ratio.

    I haven’t been able to go to Earth Clinic or Reelraw.com, but I will.

    If you have some time, google Dr. Karen Becker, she’s got lots of
    Videos and books about how important it is to feed our pooches an ancestral diet.
    She is the Vet I am talking about but insists about the additions.
    She also says balanced bad food diet is better that an unbalanced good intended
    home made diet.
    Anyway, what I am doing ain’t working, so I will try like you said with a plain and simple
    diet and see how that goes.
    I am going to check out the problems of too much liver.
    You are really helping me, so do not frustrate , I was just thinking and no where near
    putting it into action (about reverting back to their canned food.)
    thank you.

  23. Thank you for the apology. That was very nice .

    Definitely go to reel raw a.s,a.p. To use the feeding calculator. Also read the rest of that page, it’s a must for using the formula. Otherwise, a meal can’t be made.
    I was wondering how you were coming up with the amounts for meals without the calculator method percentages.

    That is a lot of liver! Glad you caught that. How much do your dogs weigh? I maybe misread but thought they were small. If so, that’s still a lot of liver. Lava doesn’t get that much at her weight.

    Lava is about 90 lbs and I had my husband figure up her numbers real quick for me so I can add this info for example. (Estimates but as close as we can get)
    At 90 lbs her TOTAL dinner should be 1.8 lbs . That is 2% of her weight because she isn’t overweight or need to gain.
    So, 80% meat = 1.44lbs
    10% bone =2.88oz
    5% organ=1.44oz
    5% liver = 1.44oz
    Then play it by ear and adjust if needed…
    I too, am going to try to do more research on organs

    Kinda confusing about that dr. She is about the ancestral diet but insists to add supplements. That’s a red flag for me but I will check her out.

    Be sure to go to the site and read the page and do the calculations. It’s a must! Their may be other factors too like if your dogs are small, young, senior etc and that make a difference in calculations too.
    The other websites can wait until you have time or whenever…that’s fine.

    I did learn a lot from Yahoo Groups but the people are maddening! Ugh

    I’m glad you are willing to change it up to get the best results. :)

  24. got you, and went there, figured it out and realized I screwed up with some of the batches I made.
    My dogs ideal weight is 11#
    for that In should feed them a total of 5.3 oz per day(3% of the body weight)
    4.25 oz of meat
    1/2 oz of bone
    1/4 oz of liver
    1/4 oz of heart
    that ends up being 5.25 oz

    so for 5# of food, I need to weigh out
    80% 4# of meat
    10% 1/2# of bone
    5% 1/4# of liver
    5% 1/4# of heart
    100% 5# for all

    I think what I did I added 10%, 1/2 # if liver instead of the 1/4 #.

    That is a lot, no wonder their stool is soft.
    Thank you so much, I started with their supper last nite and added plain meat
    to the made up batch.
    ( I froze 3oz pucks in cupcake tins and once frozen, put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.
    So I have several chicken or beef or turkey or pork baggies to work through )
    What I think I did was using the 10% solely, forgetting about the heart and giblets
    to be included into that 10%,
    Thank you so much for sticking with that NUMMSCULL that I am.
    PS, ya, check out Dr. Becker, watch a video or two, I like to see what you think about her.

  25. Yay! I’m so proud of you! Good job!

    I promise you will love it this way and feel like such a burden is lifted.

    I was going to mention the patties you already had made up and forgot. I was going to suggest just letting them sit in the freezer…they will keep, and making up some new ones. Believe me, I’m not into wasting, just figured once you got the formula down you could work with those later.
    On the subject of making up meals. You mentioned making up a big batch then splitting it up and freezing them. Be sure the formula is used for every serving. I guess I just can’t picture it.
    I have Lava’s meat in one baggie and her chicken leg in another baggie. (Only because she eats her chicken leg frozen and her meat thawed) otherwise I would put it all in one baggie. I cut up pieces of liver and lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen I put them all in a Baggie then just pick out a piece and give it to her. She likes her liver frozen too. Lol. That way I see/know what her dinner consists of.

    Remember, heart is a meat, not organ. Lots of sites say it is organ but it’s not.

    For some reason I thought you had 2 dogs. Lol. How did she like her dinner?

    You are very welcome and you are not a numscull at all! You just got stuck is all.

    I have a medical condition that been flaring up the last few days so I haven’t done much online but I will check it out.

  26. so sorry you are not feeling well. If you want to share what’s wrong I am right here.
    I’d love to do what you do, but
    since I can’t give them( and you were right, I have two 10# pooches) bones per say,
    What I had been doing for example is:
    I buy chicken necks and backs, grind them separate from the boneless chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs. using a 1.6 times ratio for bone in versus boneless.
    Let’s say I have 3# of boneless, I’ll add 3×1.6=4.8# of backs and necks.
    A total then of 7.8# which is 124.8 oz. than I added 10% of liver (12.5 oz)and 10% of giblets and heart (12.5 oz) ,mixed it all up in a huge bowl and then weight out 3 oz pucks , froze them in muffin tins .Once frozen into a ziplock bag and that’s where they are.

    They liked their dinner better than any before with vegetable s and vit/minerals.
    Yes I think I will take your advice and
    just start anew, and take it day by day, until I am better at it.
    Maybe in Summertime I can try this whole leg business outside. This time of year it
    is very cold outside, we all would be freezing our buns off brrrrrrrr.

    Thank you and get well soon.

  27. That’s so kind of you to care, I really appreciate that. Idk that I can describe it for the hell that it is but will try. I had a chiropractor (2actually) screw up my muscles so bad that I cannot function properly. Every muscle from head to toe is affected. I am left with a multitude of problems but the worst being severely dizzy with dizzy spells. Debilitating is an understatement. It’s 3 years now with some improvements but not enough to be completely self sufficient like I used to be.
    The Chiropractor I have is excellent and is working hard to fix this. Trying to work on the muscles too…easier said then done. I work at it all day, everyday. No exaggeration.

    Funny I was gonna mention last time about the weather. Lol. I’d love to feed outside but Lava won’t eat outside in the summer. It is cold here too. I am in Ohio. If you are in Ohio then I’m playing the lottery! Lol . What are the odds!?

    I see, so you can make sure everything is mixed well and they get everything in the serving. Good.

    About once a week I give her a “feast” day. On top of her regular dinner she gets our leftovers (chicken, roast, chops etc) and eats as much as she wants. Last week I forgot and one evening she was telling me she was hungry. I thought I’d give her a hotdog or 2 and she ended up eating an entire pack of hotdogs and 2 cans of tuna! Lol!!

    Thank you for your kindness. You are doing a great job! I will be off and on due to dizziness and muscles so never think I just left. I’ll be back! :)

  28. oh you poor little old thing, what a mess to have to deal with.
    I get Vertigo every so often, so I know what you mean about being dizzy(I can only crawl sometimes).
    But I had a ear nose and throat specialist that MANIPULATED my head, had to sleep upright for two nites and then it was gone . It seemed like a miracle. The Doc is retired now and I am hanging out there to dry. Haven’t had it though for a while, thank God.

    I wonder if yours is an imbalance of the little bones in your ear too?
    This might have nothing to do with your muscles, maybe a total different issue.
    Gosh your muscles, they effect your whole body. I hope your chiropractors have success in healing your body.
    Does Temperature or Humidity effect you?
    Just wondering if a different environment could help you heal. A body pillow might help you sleep at nite?? Like fibromyalgia (spelling problem ) but it is a muscular problem, and
    the body pillows seem to help people with sleeping issues cause they hurt all over.
    just throwing it out there.

    Ha ha, the odds playing the Lottery are so high, you’re more inclined to get hit by a bus or lightening or what ever!!!!! ( but I do buy a ticket or two)
    Yea, Ohio is cold alright, we’re in Oklahoma it’s the so called SOUTH, but we have blizzards, ice storms , and last year we were below 0 degrees for over a month . I thought all my plants are going to die.(they didn’t)
    My Sugarpie just sticks her nose out of the door and fades into the background like a shadow. (I call her little chicken shit )
    My Jazz on the other hand wants to get out there no matter what, look for squirrels or rabbits , or what ever is moving out there, she is my little hunter ,got Terrier in her I think.
    let you go
    thinking of you and hope you feel better real soon.

    I

  29. Yes! Miserable doesn’t even begin to describe it. I have absolutely no breaks from it. Day in day out. Adjustments and herbs try to take the edge off and fix this for good (hopefully) eventually.

    I know what you are talking about. Crystals in the ears and the Epley Manuever. I don’t have that, it’s muscles, I’m positive. They are so short, knotted and a mess. Can’t use them properly and if I move wrong (which means normally) it pulls my alignment out and the bad spell comes. Weather affects it as far as if my muscles get cold and tense up more. The extreme heat we had this summer was hard on my head. My head still has quite a bit inflammation.

    There are videos of the Epley Manuever online I’m sure. You could teach someone to do this for you so you don’t have to suffer.

    Body pillow is a good idea but so far I have to lay flat on my back. If I try on my side, the muscle runs up my back and neck to my head and pulls out the occiput and C5 usually, which causes a bad spell. I’m a mess! I can’t do anything normal or what I used to do. I’m a stomach sleeper and this back sleeping just adds more stress and misery.

    I know what you mean! Lol! I would so love to win the lottery.

    Your dogs sound like real characters! How fun! I’d love to get another but can’t until I get better. Lava needs a friend for sure.

  30. Crysania4, you have obviously not done your research. It is not false. BTW, Taste of the Wild has been recalled in the past also. Do your research and leave me out of your kibble feeding.

    • I have done plenty of research. And you come to a blog *I* write for and insult me? As I said, please stop. I understand that you like to feed raw. That’s fine. But insulting me and my choices will not be tolerated.

  31. Obviously not. You are showing your ignorance, do not share that with me, I’m not interested. It’s people like you that contribute to deaths of innocent animals with that mentality and also keeps the pet food industry in business. If you didn’t do the research it would be ignorance on your part. If you did do the research then it’s just plain stupidity, neglect and laziness. That’s what I expect from people who don’t write/speak clearly. By the way this is a raw feeding blog and you obviously got that wrong also, not a kibble blog.
    I will be unsubscribing to keep people like you out of my life. You can find someone else to boo hoo to. Get a clue. Get a life. Get your animal(s) a home with someone with a brain.

    • Let me clear something up for you, since you don’t seem to understand what this blog is. This is not a “raw feeding blog.” This is one post on a blog that is run by multiple people. Some raw feed. Some do not. Your insults are entirely uncalled for and you are just plain rude. If you’re trying to win people over to “your side” you’re going about it in entirely the wrong way.

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