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The Dog's Dinner book may be purchased HERE along with all manner of natural products, such as wormers, flea treatments, supplements, remedies and the most amazing variety of natural treats. If you just want the book on it's own then click HERE
Dog's Diner Customers...........
Hi again, if you have just visited the shop and we have swapped your dog to raw then please familiarise yourself with this guide and the page and work your way through the 9 pages off the main Quickstart page; breaking it all down, feeding quantity chart, good and bad food partners etc.
We are more than happy to teach you all this on your visits to the shop, but it is important that you yourself have a good understanding about what is going on with your dog's transition - so eyes down and start reading!!
Hello If you have been directed here from Raw Feeding UK on Facebook, this page has been written for you - we want you to have a safe start on your dog's transition. You will get a lot of helpful advice from members of the raw feeding group too, so many of our members are already very confident with feeding their own dogs raw, many have been newly swapped and many are very experienced raw feeders.
Initially it will be hard for you to decide who is who and if the advice you are being given is the correct and safe advice to take with a newly swapped dog.
This is why we thought this page would be a great idea to set you and your dog on your journey. The information contained on this website is not intended to replace veterinary advice, it is to be used in addition to.
The responsibility of what you choose to feed your dog will always be yours, but we want your transition to raw to be smooth and incident free.
I am providing instructions for a quick start, but strongly recommend that you fully research the raw diet. You don't have to buy my book, but if you are new to raw feeding and have many questions and concerns most newbies do - then this book will have you raw feeding with confidence in no time, read more about it HERE
OK let's get started........
The first thing you must do is make an assessment of your dog.........is he fat, thin, or just right? If he is of ideal weight and build for his age..........is he an adult or a puppy?
If he is a puppy then you need to read through the guidelines for puppies HERE
How to tell if your dog is an ideal weight.......
If your adult dog is an ideal weight, then a great starting point with the raw diet is to feed 2.5% of the dog's bodyweight daily. (Puppies are different, as they are on a growing plane).
Once you know how much your dog weighs you can calculate how much food he should consume in one day. For example :-
An adult Labrador, of ideal weight who weighs 32 kilos or 70.4 lbs would need 0.8 kilos or 1.76 lbs of food per day, based on the 2.5% starting point.
This is just a starting point though and will need adjusting to suit the individual dog if he starts to loose or gain weight.
Now you are ready to begin, it is best if you just go............
In my opinion the best way to start a dog off on raw is to ditch the commercial food and dive straight in to a raw method. This allows the dog to start de-toxing immediately and it will take your dog approximately 4-8 weeks to get to the stage where his diet is varied and balanced.
Mixing raw and commercial food together
This is a very undesirable practice and could be very detrimental to your dog's health - you will hear people telling you that they cannot be served together in the same bowl as they are digested at different rates........
.......But what about serving raw and kibble in two clearly separate meals and what does this actually mean for your dog?
Well, if you do choose to take this route and decide to gradually swap your dog over - you put him at risk of disease caused by the pathogens contained in raw meat.
eg Salmonella, E-coli etc.
Dogs are natually designed to cope with these when fed a raw diet - as his system has an acidic stomach and short digestive tract that process the raw food very efficiently, the pathogens do not get chance to lie in the stomach or gut with the opportunity of multiplying.
However.....When you add carbohydrate based food (commercial kibble) to this you can slow down the normal digestion of the raw food, as it competes with the commercial food to be digested - this means that the raw food is remaining longer in your dog's system thus giving more time for the pathogens in the raw meat to increase and potentially cause harm to your dog - This is one reason why the newly swapped dog can go on to develop Salmonella etcIF HIS owners still insist on feeding commercial food alongside the addition of raw.
Here is a great link to give you the scientific reasoning behind this, and includes a tour of the dog's digestive system and a study done on testing how well a dog's system can cope with kibble and raw, it really is fascinating
Ditch the commercial and embrace the raw !!!
Finish feeding your commercial food one day and begin with a raw diet the next, leaving at least 12 hours between.
Don't worry that his nutritional requirements won't be met in these weeks, they will and you will notice an improvement long before the complete transition time is over.
Proteins are introduced one at a time and a white meat such as chicken or turkey should be used to start the commercially fed dog off onto a raw diet. The easiest way to do this is to used a minced meat.
A few words of wisdom when choosing a minced meat
Not all minces are the same - human grade minces contain no bone and pet minces can contain as little as 4% to as much as 40% !! You really need to find out how your dog copes with the chicken mince, before you start adding more to the diet in the form of RMBs (raw meaty bones)
Meaty chicken pieces can also be used through the first week, alongside or in place of the mince, but please ensure they are meaty - as your dog needs to adjust to bone gradually, by choosing lots of less meaty pieces, such as carcase or wings, you will end up feeding too much bone, which could easily lead to constipation in the newly swapped dog.
I strongly recommend that your diet does not contain more than 10% -20% bone overall. For beginners some dogs may need the lower 10% as dogs need to transition to bone as well as the raw diet.
As your dog progresses with the diet you will be able to introduce more bone at a later date. But it should be noted that some dogs will never be able to tolerate the higher percentages of bone -
It is your responsibility to monitor your dog's diet, to ensure that you are not feeding too much bone, this can easily be established by looking at the dog's stools, are they shattering or very crumbly? If so you are feeding too much bone.
Please read the low down on bone HERE - how vitally important it is to your dog's diet and how by feeding too much - or not enough you can upset the balance you are trying so hard to achieve. You will learn the safe parameters to remain within when your dog is completely transitioned to raw.
Your choice of food at this stage is vitally important - your dog's digestive system is about to be reawakened as a carnivore - it will be working hard to assist him in the digestion of his new food and this needs to be made as easy as possible for him.
The worst thing you could do at this stage is to feed a large percentage of bones that don't have much meat attached to them - for example, wings, carcases, necks, backs, feet etc.
By choosing these and feeding them without a much higher percentage of meat, you could very easily cause your dog to become impacted - which could easily lead to surgery
Please read this essential guide to bone choice and the impact which ones you chose could have on your dog's diet - any old bone? HERE
A foregoer to impaction is constipation - another indication that you are feeding too much bone.........it is also important not to confuse constipation with the elimination of true waste....let me explain........
How raw feeding will change your dog's poops
Up to this point, if your dog has been fed on commercial kibble, then one thing is for sure - he will have been passing vast quantities of soft poop The reason that there is so much of it is because most of it is undigested matter, completely unsuitable for his digestive system - softened by the water your dog drinks - it passes out of the dog without much effort on his part - this is one reason why so many commercially fed dogs suffer with anal gland problems.
A raw fed dog produces true waste, all the goodness and most of the natural moisture has been utilised by the dog during the process of the digestion of his food - these are most suitable for his digestive system. When he eliminates - there is very little left - this requires more effort on his part to pass and gives his anal glands a thorough work out - thus reducing the cance of them filling. Sometimes owners new to raw can confuse real constipation with normal elimination of 'raw poop'
As we have mentioned - a raw fed dog passes true waste - this can freak some newbies out as true waste is so much less than the copious amounts of undigested matter your dog has produced up to this point. It is perfectly normal for a raw fed dog to eliminate less - and what he does eliminate will be tiny in comparison to what you are used to seeing - and cleaning up !! For the discerning pooper scooper - raw is so much easier
To be safe in the early days, choose mince or really meaty pieces as your dog needs to build tolerance to bone.
Whether you chose mince, meaty pieces, or a mixture of both this should be fed on its' own, with no mixer meal, no commercial food and no other proteins. Ditch the commercial treats too, as your dog doesn't need them and they may hinder his progress with the raw diet.
A four week beginner's plan
.WEEK 1 The dog needs to stay on the chicken for about a week as it is to form his 'cushion' which will then help with the introduction of other proteins.
If you are sure that your dog is coping with the chicken and all is normal in the poop department you may introduce another protein.
WEEK 2 I recommend green tripe as the next item on the menu as it is bursting with enzymes which will be utilised by your dog and will assist him with the swap over. You can read more about it HERE and what a fantastic inclusion it is.
Introduce the tripe gradually, over the period of a week, so that some of the chicken meals are now tripe. You can either mix up the chicken mince with the green tripe and serve as one meal, or give a meal of tripe in the morning and meaty chicken pieces, such as thighs or quarters for the evening meal.
If you feed your dog once a day, serve tripe, then chicken pieces.
If at any point you get a a bad reaction in the poop department go back to your cushion of chicken and feed only chicken until things have returned to normal. You may then proceed with your diet plan.
Your dog may be displaying symptoms of detox by now, please check out this page for more information HERE
WEEK 3 You should be ready to introduce another protein, you might want to try a little organ meat such as heart or liver, again using your chicken as a cushion for any reactions. It is a good idea when serving organ meat for it to accompany other items, such as meaty pieces as in a natural situation a dog would never source organ meat alone, it would come wrapped in meat and bones. A raw diet should contain 10% organ meat, with liver and kidney being the most nutritious.
WEEK 4 You will be feeling comfortable with introducing new items into the diet and you should have noticed an improvement in your dog.
Continue to add new minces/meats/bones/fish/eggs to his diet until you have exhausted what is available to you.
Once your dog is fully swapped to raw, try to incorporate as many different items over the course of a 2-3 week period to achieve a balance, remembering your raw diet breakdown of
70/80% meat ~ 10/20% bone ~ 10% organ meat.
Please check out the Appropriate Food page HERE to see all the different types of food you can feed
Please take the time to follow the links as there is the most enormous amount of information on them which will help you to make and informed choice as to the way you wish to feed your dog.
If you are a raw feeder yourself, and would like your link adding to my page of raw feeder/breeders then please do not hesitate to contact me - I will be happy to swap links, my email is :- firstname.lastname@example.org