4

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How do I transition my Puppy to a Raw diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 19, 2011 at 9:29 PM

We just purchased a Lab and I haven't owned a dog since I switched to a Paleo lifestyle. After reading many of the posts on here regarding raw food diets for dogs, I am a believer. First of all, thanks to everyone for such good info. We pick up our puppy on Saturday and they are currently feeding him regular dog food. What is the best process to transition my puppy to raw food from the conventional dog food?

Also, I am a member of a CSA and have access to over 100 sustainable farms in Virginia that I can order from. What is the cheapest and easiest way to feed my lab? Should I just order a bunch of whole chickens and organ meats, cut them up and place it in his bowl? My CSA also has a vendor that specifically makes raw dog food ($9 for 60oz), but it contains barley and mung beans in the mix. Is this ok for the dog? From what I have read puppies this size should eat about 16-24oz of raw food a day, so I am trying not to break the bank.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 21, 2011
at 02:56 AM

I feed cooked, but I see plenty of friends who give it raw and say they have no problems. Personally I think it's kinda silly to give veggies either raw or cooked, so I prioritize other things. The meat should be frozen the whole time, yes. If you're paranoid. I'm not particularly paranoid of parasites, so I don't freeze them for the whole weeks.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on December 20, 2011
at 05:44 PM

Marie.....can you post with a sample grocery list of what you buy and maybe a days worth of meals. We got a lab so it will probably be similar is size when it's at it's full size.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:58 PM

Sorry if I came off sounding bitchy, Marie. I've just found what works best for my Zoe and have had to deal with cleaning her diarrhea out of the carpet after feeding her 100% protein/bones the previous day ;)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:56 PM

Yup, yams and squash are awesome for doggies! They seem to like it too :)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:53 PM

Poultry bones are lighter and softer than the bones from ruminants, and for puppies I recommend small bones such as those found in bird necks. Also depends on the size of the dog. A Yorkie is not going to have the jaw strength to break the bones nor be able to fit its mouth around a whole turkey leg.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:51 PM

Marie: what else but bones, meat and fat are in turkey necks and chicken backs? I almost never feed her muscle meat by itself. Did you not see the links to my pictures? She still gets the squirts when I feed her RMB's, so I include a bit of veg and she has no problems.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on December 20, 2011
at 05:58 AM

Pre-made is for the rich...not "us" Normals... I spend less than $.80/lb to feed my 65lb low drive boy. IMHO, if you're really committed to feeding Raw, you just have to ...go raw.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on December 20, 2011
at 05:57 AM

Am I misreading something? Nemesis lists: turkey neck, turkey back, and beef neckbone....is chicken neck or thigh more preferable than those other boney parts?

Medium avatar

(4878)

on December 20, 2011
at 04:57 AM

No, Veggies need to be cooked. They don't spend enough time in the GI to be digested. Microwaved Sweet Potatoes are a great snack for the Raw Fed dog.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on December 20, 2011
at 04:56 AM

Nemesis...your gal needs bones :) try a meal of chicken necks or a whole chicken thigh.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:33 AM

"Nothing needs to be frozen to kill parasite"- I would be worried about roundworm if anyone has small kids, it is easily transmissible to humans (especially kids that spend time in the backyard that the dog uses as a washroom)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:23 AM

Although I've noticed with my girl, if I feed her 100% meat, she gets the squirts the next day. She does best with a bit of fiber along with her meat :)

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:22 AM

It would depend on the dog's metabolism and activity level. I feed my very active 55lb GSD two huge meaty, fatty turkey necks, a blob of yogurt, 2-3 raw eggs a chicken liver and a bit of cooked spinach. The more active the dog, the more raw fat I would feed them. Gives them tons of energy and a shiny coat to boot :) One dinner consisted of a whole turkey back, two livers and a beef neckbone: http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u280/lilkim629/b8926198.jpg and here is Thanksgiving leftovers, with 2 turkey necks and chopped beef heart http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u280/lilkim629/CIMG2002.jpg?

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:33 PM

Just keep adding potatoes if it seems listless.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:25 PM

Is it wrong that I read this as "How do I transition from a puppy to a raw diet?"

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:25 PM

Do you mean the meat *needs* to be frozen for a few weeks, or that it can be kept once frozen for a few weeks?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:23 PM

What kind of quantities would you feed a large (90lb) dog?

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:15 PM

Either raw or cooked.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:02 PM

Should the veges be raw as well?

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:02 PM

Dogs can't digest cellulose either, so any veggies or greens you feed them need to be cooked to mimic partial digestion by prey.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 19, 2011
at 09:59 PM

I don't think the beans are a good idea. You know what it does to your intestines (eww) do you want your dog to fart too? Hehe. But I believe you can give carrots and other starchy veggies, I know some people do (I don't).

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 19, 2011
at 09:58 PM

The cheapest way to go would be to prioritize chicken backs, chicken necks, offal, and eggs. Then if you got extra money, you can give the muscle meat.

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8 Answers

4
6e37f170409bc1b100c880c57508c5fd

on December 19, 2011
at 11:33 PM

You should go cold turkey. Don't mix kibble with the boney meal as there is a digestion time difference. Nothing needs to be frozen to kill parasites. You can't just feed boney meals (necks, backs etc), offal and eggs. They don't need much offal. Muscle meat needs to be one of the meals. Boney the other. The dog needs phosphorous (muscle meat) for crying out loud. Veggies do need to be steamed or pulverized in a blender to break down the cellulose. Raw veggies are a waste of money. In one end and out the other. Beans? Uhh, no.

Best to start with chicken wings (not legs) as the proportion is better. Use pliers to hold onto the chicken wing so the dog gets the idea to chew enough to get it down. Hamburg as the meat meal is a good starter. The organ meat can wait a week or two until the dog has learned to like raw foods. And I could go on and on.

Get a good book or join one of the Yahoo lists - K9 Nututrion or the Raw Feeder's list.

Raw feeder 8 yrs, no veggies, no longer give dairy, reduced offal, eliminated supplements after age of 5yo

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:33 AM

"Nothing needs to be frozen to kill parasite"- I would be worried about roundworm if anyone has small kids, it is easily transmissible to humans (especially kids that spend time in the backyard that the dog uses as a washroom)

4
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:01 PM

Cold turkey. Mixing dry kibble with raw food can lead to gas and digestive upset, as raw meats are digested much faster in the small intestines than kibble, which can hang around for as long as 12 hours or more.

Start out with soft bones, and avoid weight bearing bones such as marrow and knuckles and femurs. Chicken and turkey necks, organ meats of all kinds, etc.

I would not buy a pre-made raw food as the dog's digestion is triggered by chewing, and when you grind food up for a dog his stomach doesn't have a chance to get enough HCI to start breaking down the food. Thus you can have a dog wolf down his dinner in 2 minutes and not all of it is properly digested. Waste of money!

Medium avatar

(39831)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:23 PM

What kind of quantities would you feed a large (90lb) dog?

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:22 AM

It would depend on the dog's metabolism and activity level. I feed my very active 55lb GSD two huge meaty, fatty turkey necks, a blob of yogurt, 2-3 raw eggs a chicken liver and a bit of cooked spinach. The more active the dog, the more raw fat I would feed them. Gives them tons of energy and a shiny coat to boot :) One dinner consisted of a whole turkey back, two livers and a beef neckbone: http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u280/lilkim629/b8926198.jpg and here is Thanksgiving leftovers, with 2 turkey necks and chopped beef heart http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u280/lilkim629/CIMG2002.jpg?

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:23 AM

Although I've noticed with my girl, if I feed her 100% meat, she gets the squirts the next day. She does best with a bit of fiber along with her meat :)

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:33 PM

Just keep adding potatoes if it seems listless.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:51 PM

Marie: what else but bones, meat and fat are in turkey necks and chicken backs? I almost never feed her muscle meat by itself. Did you not see the links to my pictures? She still gets the squirts when I feed her RMB's, so I include a bit of veg and she has no problems.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:58 PM

Sorry if I came off sounding bitchy, Marie. I've just found what works best for my Zoe and have had to deal with cleaning her diarrhea out of the carpet after feeding her 100% protein/bones the previous day ;)

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on December 20, 2011
at 05:57 AM

Am I misreading something? Nemesis lists: turkey neck, turkey back, and beef neckbone....is chicken neck or thigh more preferable than those other boney parts?

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:53 PM

Poultry bones are lighter and softer than the bones from ruminants, and for puppies I recommend small bones such as those found in bird necks. Also depends on the size of the dog. A Yorkie is not going to have the jaw strength to break the bones nor be able to fit its mouth around a whole turkey leg.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on December 20, 2011
at 04:56 AM

Nemesis...your gal needs bones :) try a meal of chicken necks or a whole chicken thigh.

2
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Very useful for my dog: pureed pumpkin. Just by a can, and freeze it in spoonfuls on a baking tray. If your dog is having bowel problems, just take out a couple spoonfuls of the pumpkin and add it to his meal, really helped our guy out! Also, soup bones, I buy a whole bunch when they are on sale, they are very cheap, just freeze them and he spends 30 minutes chewing away on it, has loved it since he was a puppy. I give them to him frozen in the summer, he loves chipping away at them on the driveway when normally he wont go out in the heat. Not a lot of meat on them, but he works through them and it keeps him chewing!

Also, I agree with freezing the meat for parasite (doesn't eliminate the risk, but reduces it), especially if you have small children- parasites are quite easily passed to people, especially those that run around barefoot in the backyard. In fact, the likelihood that your dog gets sick from a parasite/bacteria is very low- it's more likely that the people who spend time with the dog will get sick. Some possibilities: roundworms, hookworms, trichonella, protozoa, trematodes. Of course, the likelihood is very, very low, but it would be very unpleasant....

2
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 19, 2011
at 09:56 PM

If he's a puppy, I think it will be easy. They just eat everything in sight!

Hold on to a chicken leg quarter (thigh and leg together) and have the dog gnaw on it until he understands he's supposed to break the bones. Once he does that, let him have the chicken piece.

For meats and offal, you should freeze it first for a few weeks to kill any parasites. To warm, put in a baggie and then in a bowl of hot water.
You can give raw eggs too. Dogs can also eat vegetables. It looks like you already know what you're doing, so I'll leave the rest to you. Enjoy your new pup! <3 /jealous

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 19, 2011
at 09:59 PM

I don't think the beans are a good idea. You know what it does to your intestines (eww) do you want your dog to fart too? Hehe. But I believe you can give carrots and other starchy veggies, I know some people do (I don't).

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 19, 2011
at 09:58 PM

The cheapest way to go would be to prioritize chicken backs, chicken necks, offal, and eggs. Then if you got extra money, you can give the muscle meat.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:15 PM

Either raw or cooked.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:56 PM

Yup, yams and squash are awesome for doggies! They seem to like it too :)

Medium avatar

(4878)

on December 20, 2011
at 04:57 AM

No, Veggies need to be cooked. They don't spend enough time in the GI to be digested. Microwaved Sweet Potatoes are a great snack for the Raw Fed dog.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:25 PM

Do you mean the meat *needs* to be frozen for a few weeks, or that it can be kept once frozen for a few weeks?

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:02 PM

Dogs can't digest cellulose either, so any veggies or greens you feed them need to be cooked to mimic partial digestion by prey.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on December 19, 2011
at 10:02 PM

Should the veges be raw as well?

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 21, 2011
at 02:56 AM

I feed cooked, but I see plenty of friends who give it raw and say they have no problems. Personally I think it's kinda silly to give veggies either raw or cooked, so I prioritize other things. The meat should be frozen the whole time, yes. If you're paranoid. I'm not particularly paranoid of parasites, so I don't freeze them for the whole weeks.

0
Ada7566560b407664313a451adefa377

(206)

on January 05, 2012
at 11:24 PM

My mini aussie weighs 36lbs, he has been raw since a puppy. We went cold turkey and started feeding ground lamb since his teeth were not ready for bones. When his adult teeth came in we started giving him meaty bones, turkey necks, chicken legs etc.

While he is a little pup I would feed him ground meat until he is able to chew properly. Even an egg cracked and mixed over ground beef.

My dog gets no veggies for diet, just frozen brocc for treats, same with carrots.

The diet should be meat heavy with organ meat at least once a week. You dont beed organs every day.

I vary his meat weekly not daily. One week beef and eggs. One week turkey and chicken, and throw in the organ meats when ever. Most dogs dont like the taste of organs so hide it in ground meat.

I always reccommend bones when they are adults, one of the reasons is way better stools.

0
6e37f170409bc1b100c880c57508c5fd

on January 05, 2012
at 10:56 PM

Jenny, roundworms are not acquired through food. So it doesn't matter whether you feed raw or commercial if the mother has worms she passes them onto the litter. That's why pups are de-wormed a couple of times before they go to homes. And once in a new home, owners should be right behind the pup/dog bagging the poop. I also advise parents to put potty on cue in one area of the yard. Keeping them on leash allows you this luxury. Then you don't let your kids play there. So the worms and the food are unrelated. Now, had you said raw fish may have worms, I would agree. In that case, NEVER EVER feed your cat or dog raw fish. Always cook it first.

0
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on December 22, 2011
at 12:55 PM

I have a separate question and didn't know if it was appropriate to add another thread about this topic, so here goes:

Do any of you have small children in the home and feed raw to your pets? If so, where do you feed your dog and do you clean them afterwards? Is kissing and licking, by the dog of course, an issue after a meal?

0
37c83b0e565455eccdab474a7572552a

on December 20, 2011
at 05:04 AM

there's a raw dog food called Stella & Chewy's... http://www.stellaandchewys.com/

my sister's dog loves it...

Medium avatar

(4878)

on December 20, 2011
at 05:58 AM

Pre-made is for the rich...not "us" Normals... I spend less than $.80/lb to feed my 65lb low drive boy. IMHO, if you're really committed to feeding Raw, you just have to ...go raw.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on December 20, 2011
at 05:44 PM

Marie.....can you post with a sample grocery list of what you buy and maybe a days worth of meals. We got a lab so it will probably be similar is size when it's at it's full size.

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