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Okay. I've stated before how I was really squeamish and whatnot about raw. There are a couple of factors preventing me from jumping in with both feet. I'm slowly starting to gravitate towards it now.

Tried a bit with my dog the other day and the result was WOW. My mother fed him a small piece of raw beef shank that she was putting in soup and she swore his eyes got bigger and he asked for more. He even remembered the next day when she was having the soup. He never begs when we have soup yet he had a whiff and was sitting right there looking at her expectantly for a handout. This is a significant step for him because it's very hard to make him eat commercial dog food. My mother will literally sit there with him and coax him to eat. She'll complain her back hurts from sitting or she's sleepy. HAHA. Well, my mother seems more open now. Therefore, I'm thinking it's a good time to convince her to go all the way with both the cat and dog.

A few concerns of hers and mine:

1) The whole messiness of it. She's a germaphobe/obssessive compulsive. She's totally against the idea of them dragging around bloody bits of raw meat in the house. To her, kibble is 'cleaner'. And also the 'they'll get bacteria/salmonella poisoning from eating raw meat' thing. Mom's real weird. She was even against the wet food idea. 'Oh so much work...oh no, we'll have to refrigerate it..oh no, it'll go bad..blah blah.....' :?

2) The choking on bones thing. I know it defeats the purpose of a raw food diet to exclude bone, but I'm TERRIFIED of the both of them choking on it. This is probably the number one reason why I hesitate.

3) I have zero experience with cooking. So I have absolutely no idea what cuts to give or what is available, how to prepare them, how much to give. So far, I've read about giving chicken wings (oh no the bones!!), and innards like chicken heart (EW...as I said, I'm squeamish). Do you literally just cut up the meat and serve? Just like that?

4) The fact that my dog is already 5 yrs old. I've heard that if you start late on raw, your dog's teeth won't be strong enough to withstand the hardness of the bones and may chip their teeth on them.

5) Hard to convince my mother since Rocky is our 4th dog. The 2nd and 3rd were fed almost entirely on dry kibble and lived to be about 13-15 yrs old. She's like, oh they lived so long on kibble, it can't be that bad. Blah blah. She's very resistant to change. The old 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' person.

6) Well, it'll be very hard for us because my mother and I are semi-vegetarian. We're gearing towards full vegetarian soon. She's starting to get ill just cutting up meat for our dinner because unfortunately for us, my dad is a 'gimme meat! gimme meat!' person. And...he doesn't do the cooking either... :(

I don't expect to be spoonfed, I'm spending more time reading up on the stickies and threads in the forum. But would like some more help geared specifically to my situation (yah, I live at home with a germaphobe mom...sucks) and my dog/cat family.

After reading up more and more info, I'm feeling more and more that I'm going subjecting my children to a bad diet and potentially poor long term health. I look at them and I feel real bad about it.

I'm thinking for my cat Miu Miu, at the very least, I'm definitely keen on switching to all wet now. It'll take longer to finish the existing dry (I just bought a big bag of EVO and have the remaining Nutrience too.), but I'll start slowly with a teaspoon or something. Then, 1 out of 3 meals wet, then slowly going to all 3 meals wet. After that, we'll see about the raw stuff.

Ah, sorry for the novel I wrote....thanks for reading and also, thanks for the help. Much appreciated.
 

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Alpaca said:
Okay. I've stated before how I was really squeamish and whatnot about raw. There are a couple of factors preventing me from jumping in with both feet. I'm slowly starting to gravitate towards it now.

Tried a bit with my dog the other day and the result was WOW. My mother fed him a small piece of raw beef shank that she was putting in soup and she swore his eyes got bigger and he asked for more. He even remembered the next day when she was having the soup. He never begs when we have soup yet he had a whiff and was sitting right there looking at her expectantly for a handout. This is a significant step for him because it's very hard to make him eat commercial dog food. My mother will literally sit there with him and coax him to eat. She'll complain her back hurts from sitting or she's sleepy. HAHA. Well, my mother seems more open now. Therefore, I'm thinking it's a good time to convince her to go all the way with both the cat and dog.

A few concerns of hers and mine:

1) The whole messiness of it. She's a germaphobe/obssessive compulsive. She's totally against the idea of them dragging around bloody bits of raw meat in the house. To her, kibble is 'cleaner'. And also the 'they'll get bacteria/salmonella poisoning from eating raw meat' thing. Mom's real weird. She was even against the wet food idea. 'Oh so much work...oh no, we'll have to refrigerate it..oh no, it'll go bad..blah blah.....' :?

I use lysol wipes to clean up the counters afterwords as well as hot soupy water. Any dishes I use are rinsed and put in the dishwasher. As far as cleaning up after they eat I don't know. I don't have that problem as mine are barn cats and it doesn't matter.

2) The choking on bones thing. I know it defeats the purpose of a raw food diet to exclude bone, but I'm TERRIFIED of the both of them choking on it. This is probably the number one reason why I hesitate.

I have never had any of mine choke on raw bones. They will sometimes eat boneless meat to fast or get it stuck in the back of their throat. They just hack it up and eat the meat all over again.

3) I have zero experience with cooking. So I have absolutely no idea what cuts to give or what is available, how to prepare them, how much to give. So far, I've read about giving chicken wings (oh no the bones!!), and innards like chicken heart (EW...as I said, I'm squeamish). Do you literally just cut up the meat and serve? Just like that?

I have no clue about cuts of meat either. I just get what is on sale and will only by meat that is $2 or less. I did score last week at Safewaay - got some really nice looking beef for $1.69 a lb!!! At least my dad thought it was really nice, I am starting to be able to tell.

Starting raw was really hard for me too. I was gagging with just cutting up boneless/skinless chicken thighs :oops: Or almost fainted while cutting up a whole chicken...You will get past that. Now I think that kidney looks really cool and I love the feeling of liver.

Chicken heart is easy, you don't have to cut it up. Just have to get passed the fact that its chicken heart.


4) The fact that my dog is already 5 yrs old. I've heard that if you start late on raw, your dog's teeth won't be strong enough to withstand the hardness of the bones and may chip their teeth on them.

Start with small bones and work your way up. Once they get the jaw strength it should be fine. Mikey is still working on jaw strength and has been for several months. I want to get him onto all raw but it may take the rest of his life to get him to that point lol!

5) Hard to convince my mother since Rocky is our 4th dog. The 2nd and 3rd were fed almost entirely on dry kibble and lived to be about 13-15 yrs old. She's like, oh they lived so long on kibble, it can't be that bad. Blah blah. She's very resistant to change. The old 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' person.

But were the dogs surviving or thriving? That may sound mean but it is true.

6) Well, it'll be very hard for us because my mother and I are semi-vegetarian. We're gearing towards full vegetarian soon. She's starting to get ill just cutting up meat for our dinner because unfortunately for us, my dad is a 'gimme meat! gimme meat!' person. And...he doesn't do the cooking either... :(

I don't expect to be spoonfed, I'm spending more time reading up on the stickies and threads in the forum. But would like some more help geared specifically to my situation (yah, I live at home with a germaphobe mom...sucks) and my dog/cat family.

After reading up more and more info, I'm feeling more and more that I'm going subjecting my children to a bad diet and potentially poor long term health. I look at them and I feel real bad about it.

I'm thinking for my cat Miu Miu, at the very least, I'm definitely keen on switching to all wet now. It'll take longer to finish the existing dry (I just bought a big bag of EVO and have the remaining Nutrience too.), but I'll start slowly with a teaspoon or something. Then, 1 out of 3 meals wet, then slowly going to all 3 meals wet. After that, we'll see about the raw stuff.

Ah, sorry for the novel I wrote....thanks for reading and also, thanks for the help. Much appreciated.
Your very welcome! Feel free to ask any questions you want, everyone here is happy to answer them :D
 

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1) so far, I'm finding it generally (like daily) to be a lot LESS messy than canned food, at least with Jango who eats pate-type like a tasmanian devil. we cut up all the meat and bones and organs at one time, cleared off an entire counter and laid down lots of plastic wrap, portioned everything and put it into ziplock bags in the freezer (one per day). the initial cutting up of everything was pretty messy, especially with liver, you get a fair amount of blood slopping around, but after we were done, roll up all the plastic, bleach the counters, wash all the utensils, and everything is done for an entire month. now, it's just throw a ziplock into the fridge around dinnertime, and open it up and put half of a plate in the morning, zip up the rest for evening. we feed jango on a small plate on a big towel, so when something gets stuck in his teeth and he backs up and drags it off the plate, it just lands on the towel. and if he starts playing with his food, I assume he's not hungry and take it away for awhile, since there's no need for him to toss raw beef around the kitchen, regardless of how cute he is doing it. I'm hearing a lot of mixed information on the salmonella thing, so I have no advice on that. I'd say it's a calculated risk. it's also a risk in lots of cat foods, even kibble, apparently.

2) Jango has choked on a bone... but he got it out okay, and then ate it. I also watched a few videos on how to administer a heimlich to cats. and I watch him eat raw food still, until I'm totally confident, I like to keep an eye on him. he doesn't really dig bones though, so I'm looking into maybe supplementing calcium and keeping the bones small, flexible ones. I'll let you know what I learn.

3) I think a lot of this, your cat will teach you.. but from everything I read, cats seem to be able to eat.. almost all meats. chicken heart is surprisingly not gross, as you don't need to cut it at all, it's already in small chunks. my hardest thing so far has been beef kidney (ew.) but like I said before, it's only once a month if you're freezing you have to deal with it, so that's probably worth chewing strong gum and just doing it! I think it'll get easier. when I was 16 I worked at a korean restaurant and almost threw up everytime I had to cut up raw fish, and a year later it was probably my favourite food, so, you get desensitized fast. also, about the what an how much to serve, there's a lot of information on this board as you get closer to doing it, and some people will even do your math for you before you start the cutting. I will, even. but there's quite a few topics on the subject, so check them out before you get too psyched out!


you could try to convince your dad to help you cut up some of the grosser meats, which would be nice. I generally find raw meat to have no smell at all, and not be too disgusting really.. you get used to it, I used to not be able to cook chicken because I thought it was too gross raw, but that never happens anymore. sometimes if you leave it partially frozen that helps too, takes away the sloppy texture. just make sure you clean up after yourself, and the germs shouldn't be a problem, use a spray with bleach, or spritz things with water and vinegar, or there's some kind of spritzer you can make with hydrogen peroxide too, I'm sure the recipe would be on the internet somewhere. also, keep the litter box and where the dogs go clean, because a lot of things I'm reading are talking about salmonella superbugs being created going through the animal's digestive system, which isn't dangerous to the pet, but definitely is to you.

hope something helps!
 

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1) The whole messiness of it. She's a germaphobe/obssessive compulsive. She's totally against the idea of them dragging around bloody bits of raw meat in the house. To her, kibble is 'cleaner'. And also the 'they'll get bacteria/salmonella poisoning from eating raw meat' thing. Mom's real weird. She was even against the wet food idea. 'Oh so much work...oh no, we'll have to refrigerate it..oh no, it'll go bad..blah blah.....'
I wouldn't want them dragging meat all over the house either lol. If you take responsibility for preparing the food then she won't really have to worry about germs. You'll want to get something to feed the animals on. You can use a towel or for the cats you could use one of those plastic place mats (like for kids). Then just throw it in the wash or wash the place mat in the sink and you're all set. For a while you'll want to stay with them while they eat to make sure they keep the food on the towel/mat, the dogs should learn relatively quickly that they have to stay on the mat, cat might, Willie hasn't lol. He doesn't move it far though, he just has a thing against the towel for some reason, he won't put his feet on it. It's very unlikely they'll get any illnesses from the meat unless it's very poorly handled. Cats are designed to eat raw meat, cats that go outside do it all the time with no ill effects.


2) The choking on bones thing. I know it defeats the purpose of a raw food diet to exclude bone, but I'm TERRIFIED of the both of them choking on it. This is probably the number one reason why I hesitate.
If it'll make you feel better just watch every bone meal to make sure she chews. You can also try and stick to tiny bones like ribs but it will limit you quite a bit. I also have never had problems with bones, Willie choked on just meat once but hacked it up and kept eating. As long as the bones have meat on them I think the cat should be fine. Just don't cut the bones into small pieces or he might try to swallow them whole, you can smash the bones within the meat because he'll still have to chew to eat it.

3) I have zero experience with cooking. So I have absolutely no idea what cuts to give or what is available, how to prepare them, how much to give. So far, I've read about giving chicken wings (oh no the bones!!), and innards like chicken heart (EW...as I said, I'm squeamish). Do you literally just cut up the meat and serve? Just like that?
You need to feed 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other organ. Hearts count as meat, not organ. So you'll need to be able to measure the weight of the food. If you'd like me to calculate how much to give the cat (and dog if you want) just post their weights. You should feed 2-4% of their body weight. The type of meat doesn't matter too much except that you should feed a variety, thigh meat has a lot of taurine. Bones need to be small, nothing bigger than a chicken wing or neck, cornish hens are great for their bones, Willie likes rabbit bones. You could feed dead mice as well that you buy t the store, they are expensive though. Any kind of liver will do, as for other organs kidneys are easiest to find but pancreas, brain, spleen, etc. will work.

4) The fact that my dog is already 5 yrs old. I've heard that if you start late on raw, your dog's teeth won't be strong enough to withstand the hardness of the bones and may chip their teeth on them.
Never heard of that. At first he may have trouble eating bones, so just like cats you'll need to start small and get bigger so jaw strength builds. So long as you use appropriate, edible bones (not recreational bones) then there should be no tooth breaking.

5) Hard to convince my mother since Rocky is our 4th dog. The 2nd and 3rd were fed almost entirely on dry kibble and lived to be about 13-15 yrs old. She's like, oh they lived so long on kibble, it can't be that bad. Blah blah. She's very resistant to change. The old 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' person.
as was already said, quality is even more important than quantity. My neighbors cat lived to be really old but had no teeth, was skinny as a rail with no muscle mass, and was quite senile. She was a sweetheart and was happy enough but imagine if she were in better condition, she would be so much happier, she's be thriving. Not to mention, who knows how long they could have lived on a better diet, nobody really knows.


6) Well, it'll be very hard for us because my mother and I are semi-vegetarian. We're gearing towards full vegetarian soon. She's starting to get ill just cutting up meat for our dinner because unfortunately for us, my dad is a 'gimme meat! gimme meat!' person. And...he doesn't do the cooking either... :(
Would you be willing to prepare the food? It's not hard and it might change your mom's mind, that way she doesn't have to touch anything. We have a vegetarian member who feeds all whole prey to her cats, you have to remember that despite your own feelings you are living with a carnivore. Buy some plastic throw away gloves at the grocery store so you don't get your hands nasty.


We love to answer questions so don't feel bad for asking lots of questions, the more you know the better off for your pets. I hope you can convince your mom to make some changes to their diets, even if it's just adding wet food for the cats. You could also add wet food to the dog's kibble and see if that entices him to eat.
Good luck!
 

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1) I think it depends on how you do it. I bought 4 whole chickens and butchered them completely (deboned some pieces, ripped off drumsticks, cut out the spine etc), bought cow liver which is huge and needs to be cut up into a lot of pieces which leaks blood everywhere, etc etc etc. There was a lot of blood, I won't lie, my hands and countertop were covered in it. My boyfriend was pretty grossed out and he's fine with raw meat... However, I did it the cheapest, hardest, messiest way and I'm sure if you have the money to buy prebutchered meat and wear gloves (also take your time and not slam the cleaver down so there's... spatter), it'll be much less "gross". I did it this way because I love to cook and I consider butchering meat a very good skill to have, and I'm not squeamish at all.

I'm not trying to freak you out, but you do have to handle raw meat. However I believe that handling it will desensitize you to it all, and butchering is just a good life-skill! :D Plus this process only takes like an hour and you only have to do it once a month or so.

My cat will also not eat on the mat that I put out for him (of course) and insists on dragging his meat 2 feet away onto the hardwood. This is fine except for when he eats liver in which case blood leaks everywhere. I don't really care because a) I'm not eating off the floor, b) I clean it and c) he licks his paws like nuts after he eats so I know they're pretty clean even though they do get raw chicken on them. Again, not trying to freak you out, but it is messier than kibble imo. However, the benefits outweigh the mess and I'd clean a hundred floors if that made my kitty as satisfied as he is after devouring a quail :)

2) Mak has choked on bone once because he took too big a bite. He regurgitated it, chewed it some more and reswallowed like it ain't no thang. I'm not really worried about it at all, to be honest. He made one mistake and has learned from it, and now happily crunches the bones until they're small enough for him to chew. Also when I feed him chicken drumsticks he knows that the bone is too big for him to eat, so he strips the meat away from it instead of eating it whole like he would a chicken wing, etc. However, so as not to tempt fate, I feed him only boneless meat in the morning because I leave for class so I can't watch him, and bone-in at night so I'm around if something happens.

3) You can basically feed whatever you want. Chicken breast, thigh, drumstick, wing, organs, bone-in and boneless, red meat, white meat, whole mice, a quail cut in half. All you need to know is lots of meat, a little bit of organ and liver and some bone. If you don't do 80/10/10 it's not a big deal, imo, because when you sit down and look at the various nutrients (fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals) there's not much difference between organ and muscle meat anyway.

4 and 5) I have no experience with dogs so I don't want to answer something I have no knowledge on, but I would assume that it's jaw strength, not teeth strength, that deteriorates with age and that can be built up. My cat has 2 missing molars and is 5-10 yrs old (a stray so I don't know exact age) and couldn't chew through bone or kidney meat at first... Now he can eat half a quail in 10 minutes.

6) hoofmaiden is a vegan and butchers all her own meat to feed to her cats, so it's clearly not an issue for some non-meat eaters. I don't think I'm the best person to address this situation though because I will eat and cook literally anything, animal or vegetable, so it's not an issue for me. At the end of the day you're the one that has to handle raw meat, so you have to judge your comfort level. Maybe you should be the one to cut up meat next tiem for dinner so you can get a feel of it? You're always going to be squeamish if you don't expose yourself to it, I believe.
 

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Alpaca said:
Tried a bit with my dog the other day and the result was WOW. My mother fed him a small piece of raw beef shank that she was putting in soup and she swore his eyes got bigger and he asked for more. He even remembered the next day when she was having the soup. He never begs when we have soup yet he had a whiff and was sitting right there looking at her expectantly for a handout. This is a significant step for him because it's very hard to make him eat commercial dog food. My mother will literally sit there with him and coax him to eat.
My German Shepherd female was VERY picky about eating kibble. She LOVES raw! They are big beggers at first... but settle in once they figure out they're going to get "the good stuff" right away. (BTW, there was no bone in the beef shank, right? Beef bone is generally too dense to feed).

1) The whole messiness of it. She's a germaphobe/obssessive compulsive. She's totally against the idea of them dragging around bloody bits of raw meat in the house. To her, kibble is 'cleaner'. And also the 'they'll get bacteria/salmonella poisoning from eating raw meat' thing.
My dogs are "towel trained," meaning they know that if they don't keep the meat on their towels (or placemats), they get it taken away. In the summer, they eat outside. My cats eat in the bathroom: easy cleanup. It's so cute how they sprint to the bathroom when its mealtime.

Regarding salmonella: dogs and cats are MADE to eat meat. No worries about bacteria. They are more likely to get poisoning from kibble, since it stays in the digestive tract longer than meat.

2) The choking on bones thing. I know it defeats the purpose of a raw food diet to exclude bone, but I'm TERRIFIED of the both of them choking on it. This is probably the number one reason why I hesitate.
Again, cats and dogs were made to eat raw meat/bones. Nobody de-bones meat in the wild. ;)

3) I have zero experience with cooking. So I have absolutely no idea what cuts to give or what is available, how to prepare them, how much to give. So far, I've read about giving chicken wings (oh no the bones!!), and innards like chicken heart (EW...as I said, I'm squeamish). Do you literally just cut up the meat and serve? Just like that?
Yup, just like that! No cooking, no pureeing, just hand it on over and watch them engjoy!

4) The fact that my dog is already 5 yrs old. I've heard that if you start late on raw, your dog's teeth won't be strong enough to withstand the hardness of the bones and may chip their teeth on them.
Dogs a lot older than this have started on raw and been just fine. He may need to build up jaw strength, but that just means he'll eat slower in the beginning. Chicken bones are the easiest. Beef bones shouldn't be fed.

6) Well, it'll be very hard for us because my mother and I are semi-vegetarian. We're gearing towards full vegetarian soon. She's starting to get ill just cutting up meat for our dinner because unfortunately for us, my dad is a 'gimme meat! gimme meat!' person. And...he doesn't do the cooking either... :(
I know plenty of full vegetarians that feed raw. I respect them all the more for it. They are willing to realize that dogs and cats are carnivores and should be fed a species appropriate diet.
 

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Thank you so much for giving me support! It's very hard to go to raw. The whole family is basically against me on this. They're saying oh, it's so much trouble...if it ain't broke don't fix it, what's wrong with dry kibble - it's clean and easy, stop stirring up trouble, raw is gross, if the pets don't throw up I will....type of back talk. In addition to overcoming my own inhibitions, I have to defend the raw diet with all three of them! It's really difficult!

Just breathe.....okay, so. One item at a time...

1) This question is more relating to how the pets themselves will make a mess of the house. My germaphobe mom has nightmares of them strewing the whole house with raw food, blood and entrails.

I could use a towel, but what's to prevent either of them from taking a piece and running off with it? I could command the dog, but not the cat.

My sister put forth the question 'What's wrong with just giving them the COOKED food we eat and tweaking it a bit so there's no extra seasoning?' I said loss of nutrients. She counters with 'well, we eat it!'.....All I had to say was...we aren't cats or dogs. She's ever worse than my mother. She's gagging even just from reading about raw. Right now, she feeds the 2nd cat meal for me, I'll either have to be content with her feeding wet or shifting the meal time an hour later when I get home.

2) What's the diff between edible bone and recreational bone? I'm thinking edible one is the cartilidge stuff and recreational is the big ones like the drumstick? I'm a bit puzzled..would both of them literally be able to chomp down on a drumstick type bone (that thickness and size)? For their small mouths and body size, I'm finding it hard to believe. (a 4.4 pound kitten and a 8.9 pound papillon).

3) The blood...the blood will totally kill the whole deal. As I said, both my sister and mother are OH MY GOD, BLOOOOD and GOOORE, NOOOOOO! I've never cooked organ meats or any kind of meat from raw. No idea if I can handle to blood.

4) Okay. I understand about developing jaw strength, but I'm talking about the individual teeth...won't he chip them on hard bone if he's not been exposed to it.

Would giving them ground up bones be okay? Not good for dental I suppose, but nutrient wise, they'll still get that?

5) Exactly. Even my sister thinks the dogs lived long, healthy lives. I'm inclined to disagree. More like, if they were healthier to begin with instead of being on Science Diet for most of their lives, the end wouldn't be so bad. The pomeranian had seizures, was blind, I think was going deaf too. The chihuahua had a nervous personality, swallowed a peach pit and never did fully recover from the operation. Something about liver levels being bad. He died a year later. Asides from that operation, he looked quite 'normal' and 'healthy'. He shouldn't have gone that fast.

6) I'm willing to do the job, but i'm afraid on days that i'm not home in time, the others won't help me feed if it's a raw diet. Perhaps at those times, the pets will have to make do with the kibble/wet foods.

Rocky the dog is about 8.9 pounds and Miu Miu the cat was 4.4 pounds at the beginning of January. (she's probably heavier now.) So 2-4% of their weight ..daily or per meal? That's roughly 0.25 pounds/4oz for Rocky and 0.13 pounds/2oz for Miu Miu at 3%?

I'm also wanting to only go with chicken, beef, pork, duck, maybe quail. I can't handle whole mice, rabbit, venison. Would limiting the diet to just those meats be alright? My mother and I are those extremist type animal people. She can't even watch animal planet. She gets all upset when she sees lions eating antelope. I'm a bit better. Kinda of bad that we own 2 little carnivores, right? Oh yes, I totally respect vegans who can do this. Hats off to you, Hoofmaiden!

Right now, Rocky will tolerate the dry food, but very grudgingly. It's better if you mix in some cooked meat or rice. However, he'll just eat the meat or rice and leave the kibble til VERY LATE in the night. Miu is going to be switched to wet soon.

Oh many thanks for the education. Gonna read up some more later with the other threads.
 

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Alpaca said:
I'm also wanting to only go with chicken, beef, pork, duck, maybe quail. I can't handle whole mice, rabbit, venison. Would limiting the diet to just those meats be alright? My mother and I are those extremist type animal people. She can't even watch animal planet. She gets all upset when she sees lions eating antelope. I'm a bit better. Kinda of bad that we own 2 little carnivores, right? Oh yes, I totally respect vegans who can do this. Hats off to you, Hoofmaiden!



Oh many thanks for the education. Gonna read up some more later with the other threads.
I feed mainly beef, chicken, pork, and turkey. Lamb is a more once a month thing, so is duck. I do feed differant cuts of those meats such as hearts, turkey and chicken giblets, etc as meat. Really for me I have to stick to meats that are under $2 a lb or I couldn't afford to feed mine raw (or any food for that matter)... There are 18 barn cats that are there almost constantly and 8 that wander and come and go as they please.
 

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1) This question is more relating to how the pets themselves will make a mess of the house. My germaphobe mom has nightmares of them strewing the whole house with raw food, blood and entrails.

I could use a towel, but what's to prevent either of them from taking a piece and running off with it? I could command the dog, but not the cat.
LOL, it's not all that messy to begin with... but all I did with my animals (dogs and cats) was simply take it away, and put it back on the feeding area. They learned that if they didn't eat it where I wanted them to, they didn't eat it!

'What's wrong with just giving them the COOKED food we eat and tweaking it a bit so there's no extra seasoning?' I said loss of nutrients. She counters with 'well, we eat it!'.....All I had to say was...we aren't cats or dogs. She's ever worse than my mother. She's gagging even just from reading about raw. Right now, she feeds the 2nd cat meal for me, I'll either have to be content with her feeding wet or shifting the meal time an hour later when I get home.
You are absolutely correct. Cats and dogs have vastly different needs than humans. Our bodies were made to eat cooked food. Theirs were made to eat raw.

When someone else is feeding my animals, I put it in plastic baggies, clearly labled with the animal's name. They simply have to dump it in the dish (or on the towel/placemat). They don't even have to touch it.

2) What's the diff between edible bone and recreational bone? I'm thinking edible one is the cartilidge stuff and recreational is the big ones like the drumstick? I'm a bit puzzled..would both of them literally be able to chomp down on a drumstick type bone (that thickness and size)? For their small mouths and body size, I'm finding it hard to believe. (a 4.4 pound kitten and a 8.9 pound papillon).
Recreational bones are the weight bearing bones of large animals. Beef bones are all considered rec (some call them “WrecK”) bones, because they are dense. I personally do not give rec bones.

I was very skeptical about a cat being able to crunch down most bones, but they can do it. I only very recently started rawfeeding my cats… but they can absolutely crunch up a chicken thigh bone with no problems.

The first few times you feed, smash up the chicken with a meat mallet (leave it in the baggie to avoid a mess… your mom wouldn’t be happy with that!). Your cats will need to build up jaw strength.

I only have large dogs, so I can’t speak from personal experience on your Papillon’s ability to crunch up pork bones, etc. but on the rawfeeding list there are LOTS of members feeding small dogs raw. One of them even has a toothless Chinese Crested that eats raw… bones and all!

3) The blood...the blood will totally kill the whole deal. As I said, both my sister and mother are OH MY GOD, BLOOOOD and GOOORE, NOOOOOO! I've never cooked organ meats or any kind of meat from raw. No idea if I can handle to blood.
You’ll be an old pro before you know it! It really isn’t that terribly messy. The meat will not be fresh enough (as in, freshly killed) so there will not be a lot of blood/gore.

4) Okay. I understand about developing jaw strength, but I'm talking about the individual teeth...won't he chip them on hard bone if he's not been exposed to it.
Nope. You’ll be surprised at how natural it comes to them. I know I was positively amazed. Regardless, you’ll be feeding chicken the first two weeks, and those bones are easy peasy.

Would giving them ground up bones be okay? Not good for dental I suppose, but nutrient wise, they'll still get that?
Provided you stick to the general 80/10/10 guideline, it’s technically okay… but you are taking away a lot of the benefit (dental, mental stimulation, etc.). Plus, tons more work for you!

5)The chihuahua had a nervous personality
I have noticed a dramatic improvement with my highly anxious/nervous GSD male after just over a month of rawfeeding.

6) I'm willing to do the job, but i'm afraid on days that i'm not home in time, the others won't help me feed if it's a raw diet. Perhaps at those times, the pets will have to make do with the kibble/wet foods.
See my comment above about preparing and bagging up the meals ahead of time. My mom was SUPER dead set against me rawfeeding. I can truly sympathize with you… although it is likely much more challenging for you because my mom doesn’t live with me.

There wouldn’t be a huge issue with going to kibble (for the dog) or canned (for the cat) on days when it would be necessary. Some rawfeeders I know feed a commercial or prepackaged raw diet when traveling, for convenience sake. Some animals may experience loose stool, however.

Rocky the dog is about 8.9 pounds and Miu Miu the cat was 4.4 pounds at the beginning of January. (she's probably heavier now.) So 2-4% of their weight ..daily or per meal? That's roughly 0.25 pounds/4oz for Rocky and 0.13 pounds/2oz for Miu Miu at 3%?
Start with 2% and then go from there. It is per day, so if you’re feeding two meals, divide it by two.

Rocky would get approximately 3 oz of food per day. Split up into two meals, that would be approximately 1.5 oz per meal.

Miu Miu would get 1.4 oz daily. Split up into two meals, that would be approximately .7 oz per meal.

IMPORTANT NOTE!!! If either of your animals are young, your estimate would be based on their ideal ADULT weight. So, if Miu Miu is a kitten, you’d guess what she will be when she’s an adult, and use that to calculate the 2%.

I'm also wanting to only go with chicken, beef, pork, duck, maybe quail.
Sounds like a good menu to me. I actually have a bit of trouble with mice… with the feet and the legs and the tail… so I don’t blame you. :wink:
 

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I could use a towel, but what's to prevent either of them from taking a piece and running off with it? I could command the dog, but not the cat.
If you are really persistent I m sure it can be accomplished. While I would personally never take the food from the dog (could cause/exacerbate food guarding) repeatedly putting the food back on the towel (I've grabbed Willie's food as he's trying to take off and pull it out of his mouth to plop it down on the towel) and blocking the dog/cat from leaving so he has to stay on the towel should teach them they can't leave with the food, they either eat on the towel or they leave without the food. I'm not persistent with Willie because I don't care that much, I feed him in my room so his food is nobody elses problem.


My sister put forth the question 'What's wrong with just giving them the COOKED food we eat and tweaking it a bit so there's no extra seasoning?' I said loss of nutrients. She counters with 'well, we eat it!'.....All I had to say was...we aren't cats or dogs. She's ever worse than my mother. She's gagging even just from reading about raw. Right now, she feeds the 2nd cat meal for me, I'll either have to be content with her feeding wet or shifting the meal time an hour later when I get home.
ah the joy of being an omnivore. We can get nutrients from SO much food. If our meat lost nutrients while being cooked we can find it in fruit, vegetables, grains, etc. which we are all supposed to eat every day. Although honestly most of us are lacking, that's why we are all supposed to eat a multi vitamin everyday.

2) What's the diff between edible bone and recreational bone? I'm thinking edible one is the cartilidge stuff and recreational is the big ones like the drumstick? I'm a bit puzzled..would both of them literally be able to chomp down on a drumstick type bone (that thickness and size)? For their small mouths and body size, I'm finding it hard to believe. (a 4.4 pound kitten and a 8.9 pound papillon).
Recreational bones are bones which are too large/heavy for the animal to actually eat. They are SUPPOSED to try and take the meat off of the bone and not eat the bone. However many pets will attempt to eat the bone anyways and will break teeth. So stick to bones appropriate for the size of the animal, that means only edible bones.


3) The blood...the blood will totally kill the whole deal. As I said, both my sister and mother are OH MY GOD, BLOOOOD and GOOORE, NOOOOOO! I've never cooked organ meats or any kind of meat from raw. No idea if I can handle to blood.
I really don't find it bloody, the venison hunted by my uncle was but other than that nothing bad. I don't really find anything bloody actually. I only fed a small portion of organ at a time so perhaps defrosting a larger piece produces more liquid. I also found that when I defrost properly (in the fridge over several hours) much less juice comes out of the meat than if I forgot and defrost the meat (in a baggie) in a bowl of warm water. The only time it's a problem is when you first open and cut up the meat, once it's cut up and separated out into portions and frozen it's pretty much mess free, just defrost in a baggie and dump on towel, no touching necessary.


Okay. I understand about developing jaw strength, but I'm talking about the individual teeth...won't he chip them on hard bone if he's not been exposed to it.

Would giving them ground up bones be okay? Not good for dental I suppose, but nutrient wise, they'll still get that?
No, the teeth should not be weaker. You could grind bones but you'd need a grinder and it is more work.


6) I'm willing to do the job, but i'm afraid on days that i'm not home in time, the others won't help me feed if it's a raw diet. Perhaps at those times, the pets will have to make do with the kibble/wet foods.
It's fine to feed raw as well as commercial food. So that would work fine.


The variety you are able to provide sounds fine to me, remember to bu different parts of the animals too, thighs are different from breasts for instance.

I'll do calculations later, I'm supposed to be studying for my Zoology mid-term.
 

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~Siameseifuplz~ said:
I'll do calculations later, I'm supposed to be studying for my Zoology mid-term.
Glad I'm not the only one that is *supposed* to be studying for mid-terms! Ugh, english and spanish exams tomorrow but then I'm free (well, until around June then I have 7 more exams) :wink:

Anyhow, sorry for getting off topic. That happens a lot to me during exam week :oops:
 

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Alpaca said:
In addition to overcoming my own inhibitions, I have to defend the raw diet with all three of them! It's really difficult!.
I switched over to raw after losing my 11 month old kitten to FIP. Don't know if its going to make a difference on that front (apparently plenty of raw fed cats get FIP as well, and there is no data regarding specifics since FIP itself is so often misdiagnosed anyway), but I do know that my two cats now are robust and healthy in a way that I have never experienced before, and the only thing I changed about my rearing is the food. A friend also switched her geriatric cats over to raw based on the "concoction" I decided on for my guys, and her 15 and 18 year old cats suddenly developed plush coats and clearer eyes. Don't get me wrong, her cats didn't react as though they'd been dunked in the Fountain of Youth; her arthritic cat is still *very* much disabled by his pain and her thyroid issue cat is still battling with that. But there were some interesting changes in them that caused her to rethink her approach to their nutrition permanently. The hardest part, IMO is the period *before* making the change (the Anxiety Phase) and the first two weeks (the Fighting the Learning Curve Phase). After that, its amazing how empowering it is to take over a part of their health that most of us have handed over to businessmen.

I was SO scared before I started, and now I can't imagine what the big deal was all about :)

But, besides health and well being, the biggest benefit I get from feeding raw is that I no longer am forced to hand over my money to support the factory farming of animals (given that it was what my whole first post was about, you can easily guess that this is my biggest issue regarding food and health, for me AND for my animal companions). I've been a vegetarian for over 25 years because I didn't want to support that industry (sadly, it took me many more decades to stop supporting factory farmed dairy, but I got there in the end), and I've always felt uncomfortable without having a less cruel food option to offer my pets. It was only once I took over their nutrition that I could finally decide where to source their meats and I could make sure I didn't feed them CAFO raised animals. To me, this matters a great deal.

Alpaca said:
Just breathe.....okay, so. One item at a time...
You got it! :)


Alpaca said:
1) This question is more relating to how the pets themselves will make a mess of the house. My germaphobe mom has nightmares of them strewing the whole house with raw food, blood and entrails.
I live in the world's smallest studio apartment in NYC with no buffer zone between me (or my bed!) and my pets' eating areas. So this was a huge concern for me too. For several reasons, I opted to feed ground, which (surprisingly to me) is a controversial issue among raw feeders. It totally solved that problem for me (except on "processing day" when I get my shipment of raw ground whole animal and have to thaw it and separate it into containers for daily feeding....but then I just use a bucket reserved for mixing) along with a few others. The times I tried to introduce meat chunks, only one of my cats would eat it, while my other cat and my dog were completely grossed out by the whole idea. I wasted a LOT of meat that way...which because of my bliefs bothered me a lot. The cat that would at least eat the chunks wouldn't at all touch *any* organs or eat any bones, so I was concerned about balancing her diet. I'm not a proponent of the "over time" technique, since cats are whole prey eaters, and evolved to get balanced meals at each feeding (whereas dogs are more able to use the scavenger approach, so the "over time" makes world's more sense for their nutrition. This is, of course, all just IMO, but I've worked professionally with animals for over 25 years, and these are just my own thoughts and observations developed over that time).

In terms of "ease pf use", I do find that (aside from processing day) scooping out ground prey is pretty akin to canned food once you get used to the new system. Its the least important aspect for me, but a perk nonetheless :)

Alpaca said:
I could use a towel, but what's to prevent either of them from taking a piece and running off with it? I could command the dog, but not the cat.
FWIW, I have fed meaty chunks to not only my own cat (the one that would eat them), but also to several fosters that I've had here from the rescue I work with, and none of the cats were prone to doing that, as long as I provided a comfortable enough space for them to enjoy their meal. By that I mean, a good flat surface, a towel or something they can settle onto, and a place where they didn't feel threatened by too many others nudging for the same food.

Again, it was not the feeding system I opted to use ultimately, but I didn't see much of that one particular issue.

Alpaca said:
My sister put forth the question 'What's wrong with just giving them the COOKED food we eat and tweaking it a bit so there's no extra seasoning?' I said loss of nutrients. She counters with 'well, we eat it!'.....All I had to say was...we aren't cats or dogs.
While I feed raw, there are plenty of people that are fine with cooked food. Heck, as far as I'm concerned, if it gets people off of using commercially prepared diets, and (hopefully) off of factory farmed animals, then its still an enormous improvement. Some vets I know recommend home prepared cooked diets for cats over any other method (commercial or raw) because its way healthier than commercial stuff (eww), and has less risk of them getting exposed to more salmonella than their systems can handle. I'm not promoting it, but if your sis will only do it that way, then why not come up with a home cooked option for her feedings. At least it won't conflict with the raw that you'd be feeding at your meals. It'll still be much better than the canned they're eating now.


Alpaca said:
2) What's the diff between edible bone and recreational bone? I'm thinking edible one is the cartilidge stuff and recreational is the big ones like the drumstick? I'm a bit puzzled..would both of them literally be able to chomp down on a drumstick type bone (that thickness and size)? For their small mouths and body size, I'm finding it hard to believe. (a 4.4 pound kitten and a 8.9 pound papillon).
I agree with what someone has said here already: don't use the weight bearing bones. They are much tougher, and until they really learn how to chew and grind the bones themselves, I'd stick with the lighter bones.

Alpaca said:
3) The blood...the blood will totally kill the whole deal. As I said, both my sister and mother are OH MY GOD, BLOOOOD and GOOORE, NOOOOOO! I've never cooked organ meats or any kind of meat from raw. No idea if I can handle to blood.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm a vegan who hadn't touched raw meat in decades. I have to admit that there was definitely an adjustment phase for me. When I'd start getting grossed out, I'd tell myself over and over again "This animal that I am preparing had a pretty decent life and not a horrible death. If I have to gag a few times in order for my pets' food to not suffer unduly, then its a small price to pay".

I also have to admit that I had to fight the gagging much more often when feeding the chunked whole rabbit, though at first I had no idea. It was only when they'd picked the bones clean (Maggie and the fosters that would eat the meat) that I'd get super queasy as I recognized the ribcage, and....even worse....the face and head.

While there is blood involved in the ground, its not as much....or at least not as obvious. Plus as I said, I don't waste as much of the ground, which IMO is better for my conscience.

Alpaca said:
4) Okay. I understand about developing jaw strength, but I'm talking about the individual teeth...won't he chip them on hard bone if he's not been exposed to it.
I don't think teeth are like muscles in that way. A dog who is suddenly given a hard weight bearing bone, who is over enthusiastic about it and who is not taught how to safely chew on that bone could have some problems. That won't be from teeth that aren't used to being used that way but rather from a dog who is too excited to temper their chomping :)

Keep in mind that individuals will have differences in tooth strength. Some cats have very weak teeth in general, as do some dogs. In fact, some breeds of dogs are known for having "soft" teeth (different from "soft mouths" which is behavioral).

Alpaca said:
Would giving them ground up bones be okay? Not good for dental I suppose, but nutrient wise, they'll still get that?
I've been feeding supplemented whole ground animal and everyone here is pretty healthy :)

Alpaca said:
5) Exactly. Even my sister thinks the dogs lived long, healthy lives. I'm inclined to disagree.
I have to say that for the breeds you mentioned, that's not particularly old :-(
For larger breeds 13 is pretty good. But the smaller breeds can easily make it to their late teens if carefully bred and healthfully cared for.

Alpaca said:
6) I'm willing to do the job, but i'm afraid on days that i'm not home in time, the others won't help me feed if it's a raw diet. Perhaps at those times, the pets will have to make do with the kibble/wet foods.
Or maybe have some homecooked meals prepared for them and frozen for the meals you can't be there to feed. It has to be better than kibble/canned.

Alpaca said:
Rocky the dog is about 8.9 pounds and Miu Miu the cat was 4.4 pounds at the beginning of January. (she's probably heavier now.) So 2-4% of their weight ..daily or per meal? That's roughly 0.25 pounds/4oz for Rocky and 0.13 pounds/2oz for Miu Miu at 3%?
I used the 2% as a guideline, but I've found that each animal is different. My dog has a tendancy toward pudge, so she eats less, and the cats tend to be able to eat a lot more than that. The type of meat also really matters here. Rabbit (which is the only thing my bratty cats will eat :) is pretty lean, while if I'm feeding my dog lamb or duck, her amounts are reduced by 1/3-1/2.

Alpaca said:
My mother and I are those extremist type animal people. She can't even watch animal planet. She gets all upset when she sees lions eating antelope. I'm a bit better. Kinda of bad that we own 2 little carnivores, right? Oh yes, I totally respect vegans who can do this. Hats off to you, Hoofmaiden!
I'd maybe use the concern for animal suffering as a reason TO do this. Sure, you have to become more intimate with the fact that a life is being taken to feed the little guys. But only by becoming intimate with it can you actually do anything about the *quality* of that life. If its from canned or kibbled food, I can guarantee you that the quality of that life was bad.....very very bad :-(

Being a vegan only increases my commitment to feeding my guys this way. I waste less, I use more of it, I respect the individual life that I am feeding to my guys, and I get to choose the source (and therefore what husbandry practices I support with my money). This all fits in with my ethics much better than feeding commercial diets ever did.


Best of luck to you!!!
 

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So much support! I'm almost in tears. You guys are great! Sigh, only you guys would understand all my cat stories, anxieties and concerns..sniff, sniff...ok, back on topic.

Well, surprise, surprise! As soon as I got home, my mother said she decided to compromise a bit. After we finish all the commercial food (expensive since it's all grain free plus we just bought a new supply.), we're gonna all (that's both cat and dog!) go on a homecooked diet! She'll go as far as parboiled, semi-cooked food. (NO, I won't be feeding cooked bones!) Enough heat added to just stop the 'bloodiness/grossness'. She understands about nutrient-loss, but can't handle feeding total raw. She's also willing to feed organs such as liver, kidney, gizzard. AND my dad's willing to help out a bit! He bought it up himself despite being a pretty passive person!

Mom was convinced to ditch kibble because she remembered she never fed any commercial dog food to our very first dog who lived around 20! He was fed a homecooked diet of meat and rice. Sometimes, he got the cartildge bones and organ meats. He was also fed 'heat-dried' fish. Like they would remove the bigger bones, but the smaller bones left intact, then the fish was slowly heated until the bones were crunchy. We only started to feed kibble with our 2nd & 3rd dogs.

I keep on harping about it, but I'm still in disbelief about how a cat can chomp through a chicken thigh bone! Those dinky little teeth?! Guess if we have chicken wings, I'll see if I can sneak in a wing for each of them after the switch. Wings I can believe, but any bigger than that...I'm in shock. LOL!

Hey, good luck on your exams, Siameseifuplz and Furryfriends251!

Did your mom eventually accept the raw diet, nikelodeon79?

Jelliet, sorry to hear about your kitten.
 

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Alpaca said:
Did your mom eventually accept the raw diet, nikelodeon79?
Not only did she accept it, she will actually feed the animals if she's visiting and we aren't able to make it home by mealtime. She recognized the benefits to it: clean teeth, healthy coats, and none of that strong doggie smell (with the dogs, of course). The cats have only been on full raw for a few weeks... but already I've noticed a dramatic reduction in shedding.
 

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nikelodeon79 said:
Alpaca said:
Did your mom eventually accept the raw diet, nikelodeon79?
Not only did she accept it, she will actually feed the animals if she's visiting and we aren't able to make it home by mealtime. She recognized the benefits to it: clean teeth, healthy coats, and none of that strong doggie smell (with the dogs, of course). The cats have only been on full raw for a few weeks... but already I've noticed a dramatic reduction in shedding.
Not to mention the major bonus of ZERO litter box smell!

Aside from the rescues I bring here for fostering, I haven't smelled one of my pet's poops in a VERY long time now. I'd heard about that, but I didn't really believe it. Trust me, you might never have to smell cat poop again :) The few times I have smelled something, it was a clear indicator of digestive upset or parasites that I was able to deal with much sooner than had their poops smelled the way they normally used to (in other words, I wouldn't have had that extra clue to even know something was wrong)

Alpaca, thanks for the condolences. She died quite some time ago now....but losing her challenged me to "step up my game" so to speak. She taught me a lot and her brief life had a major impact on all of the cats that will follow her.
 

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I'm glad your mother is beginning to bend, hopefully you can start sneaking in some raw as well and eventually you can get them to switch. I am worried about nutrient loss with the cooking but since you are not cooking all the way it might not be too much. I'm more worried about bone, you cannot feed cooked bone or you could hurt the cat/dog a lot. So what if you agree to somewhat cooked meat/organs but raw meaty bones? No blood on those, not squishy either. If you cannot give raw bones, you can't give any bones, if you don't feed bones the cat will have a calcium deficiency, not good. Or you'd have to buy calcium supplements.


I did the calculations for you though. For Rocky I wrote down 2% and 3% feeding amounts, you decide what is best for your pet based on activity level and current weight.

2% daily
Meat: 2.3 oz
Bones: .29 oz
liver: .14 oz
other organ: .14 oz

so that's daily, I assume you are not feeding all those things every day, instead you can take the weekly amount and divide that into how ever many meals you want for the week (you can take a weeks worth of liver and cut it into four meals instead of 7). So here are weekly amounts:
Meat: 16.1 oz
Bone: 2.03 oz
Liver: .98 oz
other organ: .98 oz

3% (if you think Rocky needs more food than 2% provides)
Daily:
Meat: 3.5
Bone: .43
liver: .22
other organ: .22

Weekly:
Meat: 24.5
Bone: 3
Liver: 1.54
Other Organ: 1.54


Now for Miu Miu, I've pretended that he'll be a 10 pound cat full grown, if you think the cat will be much larger/smaller tell me and I'll adjust. I used 2% of 10 pounds.
Daily:
Meat: 2.56
Bone: .32
Liver: .16
other organ: .16

Weekly:
Meat: 17.9
Bone: 2.24
Liver: 1.12
other organ: 1.12

I hope this helps some!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you so much for doing the calculations, Siameseifuplz. I've written them down.

Well, I'm going to do more research on the feeding of bones. As I said, I'm still quite uncomfortable about them. According to your formulas, I can understand about portioning/weighing the meat, liver and, other organs, but measuring out the bones is a bit harder, isn't it? Would it be okay if I just stuck with feeding strictly chicken wings and the bones in a quail or maybe cornish hen? I grimace and wince when I think of them crunching away on bones. Of course, I know it's necessary to get calcium and dental benefits...but still...ugh.....<makes a face>. I have to convince my mother and myself first... :?

Miu is 4 months old, do I feed her based on the feeding amount of what size I think she'll be when full grown? The vet said about 9-10 pounds, not more than 11.

I'm pretty excited. This weekend, I'm going to start Miss Miu Miu on wet food as a transition. Is that necessary? Or do I go straight to raw?

Either way, would it be okay if I give them each a raw chicken wing to start and see what they do with it? Or would it be better to chop a small piece of raw meat to start?

A friend of mine fed bones to his dogs but encountered food guarding problems and also they started to smell like a butcher shop so he abandoned the idea.
 

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you do not need to feed a variety of bones, chicken and quail if fine. The variety will be for just meat, not the meaty bones.

Yes weighing bones isn't as straightforward because there is more than bone, there is meat and skin as well. I pretty much guess personally. If you really feel like it then I am sure you can find out the percentage of bone in a chicken wing and weigh the wing, then from there calculate how much of that was actually bone. It wouldn't be hard so long as you can find that percentage info.

Yes you feed based on adult weight, I chose ten pounds in my calculations.

You do not need to start on wet first, it is used as a middle step for cats who are reluctant to try raw. First see how she feels about raw, if she is really reluctant then try wet first and start mixing in the raw later.
I would not start with a chicken wing first, I would start with meat. Their jaws are probably not all that strong yet so jumping straight into bone could discourage them if they have too much trouble. Also remember that they might not know that they need to chew food, they barely ever have, so it's a learning curve, starting small and slowly getting bigger so they learn to like raw before it gets difficult. The piece that they really have to chew might confuse them, they might lick it a lot. I helped Willie but cutting into the meat so a strip dangled off by a small connection. That way he barely had to bite in order to get rewarded with food. It basically let him understand what he had to do to get meat off, from there he got better and better. Once they learn to chew big meat pieces start bone.


Some animals will guard real food but not commercial food. Willie stole hamsteak from the table once and growled at Neko for the first time when he came close, he had never growled before.

Obviously it's a bigger issue with dogs. Just make sure the dog knows you are not going to steal his food and it should be fine. You can be proactive by giving him a small portion of his meal and sitting with him as he eats, then hand him the rest of his dinner piece by piece so your hand approaching while he eats means MORE food, not his food getting taken from him.

Whether or not your house smells is up to you. I cut my meat on a cutting board or plate and then place is on a separate plate when it's cut into the right size so it is easily washed when I'm done. Don't leave used baggies or tupperware containers lying around or they'll smell. Wash whatever you feed them on regularly and it'll be fine.
 

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Alpaca said:
Well, I'm going to do more research on the feeding of bones. As I said, I'm still quite uncomfortable about them. According to your formulas, I can understand about portioning/weighing the meat, liver and, other organs, but measuring out the bones is a bit harder, isn't it? Would it be okay if I just stuck with feeding strictly chicken wings and the bones in a quail or maybe cornish hen? I grimace and wince when I think of them crunching away on bones. Of course, I know it's necessary to get calcium and dental benefits...but still...ugh.....<makes a face>. I have to convince my mother and myself first... :?
Just a note: if you cannot bring yourself to feed bones (either in their whole form or ground), you should not feed raw. They NEED bones, for the nutrients contained in them. I have heard mention of "bone meal" supplement, but I would have no idea how to advise anyone the proper dosages. You may have to consult a nutritionist if you want to go that route. PM me if you'd like a recommendation.

Quail, chicken/CGH bones will be just fine.

Miu is 4 months old, do I feed her based on the feeding amount of what size I think she'll be when full grown? The vet said about 9-10 pounds, not more than 11.
Yes, exactly.

I'm pretty excited. This weekend, I'm going to start Miss Miu Miu on wet food as a transition. Is that necessary? Or do I go straight to raw?
Some kitties will accept raw straight off the bat, but others require a transition period.

Either way, would it be okay if I give them each a raw chicken wing to start and see what they do with it? Or would it be better to chop a small piece of raw meat to start?
With my dogs, I simply handed them their chicken piece. With my cats, I bashed it a bit with a meat mallet to make it easier for them, at first.

A friend of mine fed bones to his dogs but encountered food guarding problems and also they started to smell like a butcher shop so he abandoned the idea.
Sounds like he wasn't feeding edible bones. Bones should be eaten at meal time and NOT left out. "Rec" bones like knuckle bones, femur bones of large animals, etc. are sometimes given as chewing treats. I do not personally give them because they are potential tooth breakers.

I would expect a dog to have some food guarding issues upon first starting a raw diet. After all, if you ate dry cereal your whole life and then were given your FAVORITE meal of all time, you'd be pretty protective of it.

Once the dog realizes that he will be getting the good stuff every day, he will relax. The key is to not mess with it during that time. Don't take it away and give it back, etc. Just leave him be.
 
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