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I'm thinking about switching my dogs to raw.
I think feeding raw will be good.
Where do you find chicken backs?
I can't find them in the grocery like they use to be sold 10 or 20 yrs ago.
:signduh: I guess I'll probably have to ask around.   :)
 

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Make really good friends with your butcher! :p

I refuse to pay any more than $.39/lb for backs, and believe me, if you give butchers an inch, they'll take a mile. Having said that prices really do vary by area.

Case in point:
My nieghbor two houses down shows Portuguese Water Dogs and also feeds raw. She will pay anything for her dogs, and doesn't usually question prices. I made the mistake of sharing the info on where I purchase my chicken from and she started going there too. I had had them talked down to $.39/lb (because, well, I'm just feeding them to my dogs, of course! :p ) and she went in and paid $.52/lb! :?

Sure enough, the next time I ordered backs by the case, they tried to charge me $.69/lb. I told them that I wasn't paying it, and that they could take the 40lbs of chicken back out of my car if that was what it costed, and they "lowered" it to $.49/lb.

Next time I'm ordering bulk through a co-op that is about 2 hours from me. I've switched my method of feeding anyway, and have gone pretty much to the "frankenprey" model. (A whole animal, organs and all if possible, cut into pieces and split across multiple meals.) If I order enough for 6 months (boneless skinless chicken breasts [$2.89/lb] for us and 3 cases of whole chickens [$.89/lb]; 2 for the dogs and 1 for us) it will be worth it.

If there is a co-op near you, try googling for it. Ours is in the form of a Yahoo Group. . . Your area may have something similar as well. If you haven't joined the Barfing Boxers list, I highly recommend doing so.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BARFingBoxers/

I do enjoy feeding this way, however, it is best to do much research before hand. I've switched two dogs now - my now 4 year old (she was switched at or around 1, I believe) and my puppy (she was switched at 4 months). IMO, cold turkey switches are best, but I do believe in a 24 hour fast and canned pumpkin for a day or so prior to introducing a meal of ground. Neither of these dogs had the runs, or any other form of "detox" during the switch. I don't believe that diarrhea is good nor normal during any food switch, and should be avoided if possible.

I do feed veggies, as both of my dogs do much better on them, although some believe vehemently that veggies are not needed. I do use fasts every once in a while, just because I believe that it's natures way of cleansing the body.

Their poops chalk right up and biodegrade right down into our grass within a few days, and the grass is appreciating the great fertilizer. They're not stinky at all, much smaller and compact. And they're hard, so their anal glands are expressed *outside* instead of inside and all over my walls, the way they were when I was feeding kibble. Gone are eye boogers. Gone is the stinky dog smell.

It keeps things interesting for me, it keeps things interesting for the dogs, and I can adjust it if I see fit. If one dog does poorly on any one ingredient, I can pinpoint exactly what it was  and make alterations if need be. They're a lot happier chomping on their bones as well, and it's great to be able to watch them eat what is natural to them. ;)

Just be careful when feeding whole bone. Make sure that all meals are supervised, especially in the beginning, as a dog that was raised on kibble will have to learn to chew his food prior to swallowing it. (Don't be alarmed if they crush it up with their teeth and then swallow it whole - this is how dogs eat. Just keep an eye out for signs of choking and intervein if need be.)

Good luck! If you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to share what I've learned along the way!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
:)
Thanks for the info and I'll join the barfing boxers list too :!:
every time I tell some one I'm switching to raw,
I always get from them.... have I got a story for you.
and then they procede to tell me about some dog they know that died of ecoli etc.
but I'm so tired of feeding kibble and having to worry about if there's going
to be another Diamond dog food episode.
 

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BoxerForums\";p=\"638 said:
What is the Diamond dog food episode?
When the Diamond dog food company, had some bad corn in their dog food. (aflatoxin)
A lot of dogs died while eating this food.
I was feeding their brand that they sell to Costco, even though the brand I bought wasn't
affected it still scared me so I switched to another kibble.
This also happened to another dog food company, many yrs ago only with wheat.
I think it might have been Purina, but I'm not sure. (and Nutro also)
 

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Well, if it makes you feel any better, I don't buy the whole, "My dog got sick from E.Coli, or Salmonella." story. ;)

Dog's digestive systems are much different than ours, and we have to keep in mind that these are the same animals that think that a week old rotten dead bird is a delicacy. They lick their bums (heck, they lick *each other's bums* LOL) and drink stagnant water all the time.

If anything were to make them sick, I would think it would be the things mentioned above. . . Not the fresh foods that you feed them.

Aside from that, I've fed my girls some pretty funky meat (we're talking two week old chicken that was pretty stinky) before and they've been none the worse for the wear for it; no runs, no urks, nada!

I don't think I'd try starting a newbie raw dog on bad meat, and I certainly don't *strive* to feed them bad meat, but I wouldn't hesitate to use good, clean fresh chicken that you and I would cook and eat.

According to this link (I LOVE this site - it's chock full of great info!):

http://b-naturals.com/Spr1999.php

Carnivores have a much higher concentration of hydrochloric acid in the stomach for break down of proteins and to kill any dangerous bacteria. Their stomach acidity is less than or equal to pH 1 with food in the stomach, while humans are pH 4 to 5.
So, in essence, I have a very hard time believing that either E.Coli or Salmonella were truly the root cause of the stomach upset in those animals. If any of these pathogens were present in the meat prior to them eating it, it would certainly be killed by the high acid environment in their stomachs prior to ever even entering into the intestines.

Did their fecals come up postive for these bacterias? Probably, as these bacterias can be found in virtually everything we come into contact with (to a certain extent). Was the bacteria likely the problem of the digestive upset? I doubt it, but that's just my opinion, and I'm not a vet. ;)

I do need to qualify all of this by saying that each dog is an individual, and what works for some might not work for others. It may be that your dogs will not be able to tolerate raw - I have a pet girl who can't tolerate raw either. . . Having said that, she can't tolerate most kibbles either, as she's very sick, and her sickness is the root of her problem (she has NO adrenal gland function and compromised thyroid function), not the raw diet. She thrives on Hill's Z/D Ultra Allergen Free prescription kibble, and that's okay by me. I do believe that the best diet for the individual dog is the best diet for the individual dog.

Having said that, I have no reason to believe that an otherwise healthy dog can't handle a switch to raw with absolutey no issues at all.

Hope this helps! Good luck with the switch, just go slow, start with a 24 hour fast, bring them off of the fast with one teaspoon of canned pumpkin and then begin adding ground chicken (one tsp to start, working up to 2 tsps). After they've done well with 2 tsps of ground chicken + pumpkin for a couple of days, throw them a chicken back with the fat flaps cut off + pumpkin, supervise them to make sure they're getting it down okay, and start weaning them off pumpkin and onto veggie mush. (I use the rule of two's: 2 fruits, 2 veggies, 2 raw eggs whole with shell, and 2 cloves of garlic - all put into the blender.)

Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions. Keep me posted on how things go!
 

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Jordane,

I noticed you are in CO, so you have similar costs and stores as I do (NM)

Keep your eye out at Albertsons, they sell chicken leg quarters (10lbs bags) for less than I can buy them from my supplier. Also here in NM there is no sales tax on food (human food) so even though most times the cost is the same as my supplier, I still pay less due to tax  :wink:  Also, they sometimes go on sale for 39cent/lbs  :D   Which is dirt cheap. I can also get some specialty meats at local grocery stores in the ground form (buffalo, goat, rabbit, venison, and others)   I generally add these 2-3 times a week at our morning meals. But I feed ground in the AM and RMB's in the evening.

Good luck, do your research, and you will be amazed at the results!
 

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I switched my 3 dogs to raw about 6 months ago. One day they ate kibble, and the next day they didn't...a cold turkey switch. I was very hesitate to feed chicken bones, because I was scared, so I had started with rib bones. A couple of week later..I finally got brave enough to do chicken. At first feeding was quite the event. The kids and I would hold the chicken 1/4's and let the dogs chew outta our hands. Once I was convinced that they knew how to chew..I loosened up. Now, they are handed their chicken..and take off outside with it. I feed whole prey model...no veggies on a regular basis. 2 months ago I got a WGSD pup..and he went raw from day one. I guess I should also say that my Boxer was 10 years old when she switched and had no problems at all switching.
I get alot of goodies from the prey for pets store..its mailed to me. My local butcher shop is invaluable....they have cheap tongue and heart..also a nice bag of RMB"s for 5.00.  Tonight we are going catfishing to stock up on cat food!
Good luck on your switch. Im not an expert as Im still kinda new to it....but I'd be glad to try to answer any questions you have.
Stacy
 

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stacy\";p=\"682 said:
I switched my 3 dogs to raw about 6 months ago. One day they ate kibble, and the next day they didn't...a cold turkey switch. I was very hesitate to feed chicken bones, because I was scared, so I had started with rib bones. A couple of week later..I finally got brave enough to do chicken. At first feeding was quite the event. The kids and I would hold the chicken 1/4's and let the dogs chew outta our hands. Once I was convinced that they knew how to chew..I loosened up. Now, they are handed their chicken..and take off outside with it. I feed whole prey model...no veggies on a regular basis. 2 months ago I got a WGSD pup..and he went raw from day one. I guess I should also say that my Boxer was 10 years old when she switched and had no problems at all switching.
I get alot of goodies from the prey for pets store..its mailed to me. My local butcher shop is invaluable....they have cheap tongue and heart..also a nice bag of RMB"s for 5.00.  Tonight we are going catfishing to stock up on cat food!
Good luck on your switch. Im not an expert as Im still kinda new to it....but I'd be glad to try to answer any questions you have.
Stacy

:bsty:
so far they're doing great :!:

:D
 
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