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Old January 22nd, 2010, 01:15 AM
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cassiek cassiek is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: High River, AB, Canada
Posts: 622
Hi darc-brittany

Welcome to pets.ca and the raw diet! Kudos to you for switching your Siberian Husky over to raw... I am sure you will be more than impressed and happy with the results! (P.S. When do we get to see pics of your baby? )

First tip I would give (from personal experience) is go slow! You have it right... you don't want to overload them with too many things at once. I made the mistake of splitting a tin of sardines between the three of my dogs all at once, instead of gradually introducing it, and they all had explosive diarrhea everywhere! Ugh!

Raw really should not cost you a fortune... especially if you have a hunter or butcher in the family, or a local farm source nearby. I pick up a lot of my meat at the grocery store but I pick it up when it has been discounted anywhere from 30-50% as it's going to expire within the next few days. I bring it home, individually saran wrap each piece, and throw it in the freezer. I try to keep my price less than $2.00/lb... preferably less than $1.50. Chicken is cheapest where I live, so my kids eat mainly chicken with some turkey. I try to switch it up and add in some beef, elk, duck or whatever else I can to give them variety. Keep an eye out for specials... sometimes stores put pork, beef, etc. on sale for cheap and that's when you want to stock up.

You can also go with ready made raw, buying frozen patties from your local raw pet store. I used these alot when I first started until I became more comfortable with figuring out my own percentages. This may or may not be something you want to look in to. While it generally is more expensive than buying your own meat, do your research... I can purchase ground chicken w/ bone in from Mountain Dog Food in Edmonton (no organs or anything - still need to add those) for $0.99/lb. I tend to use these when I am leaving the dogs with friends or family to make things easier! Personally, I prefer actual hunks of meats attached to the bones as I feel it benefits the dogs teeth and jaw muscles better as they actually have to work at it!

Oh, and the chicken bone is TOTALLY normal so don't fret! Dog's actually should consume some bone! In fact all my dogs will usually devour their entire meal (bones and all!). I freaked out when I first started and my girl Brynn devoured a chicken leg whole! But no worries! Your pup, given his size, would probably be better with larger hunks of meat though... you could try chicken quarters or even an entire chicken. Quite often I can pick up a whole chicken pretty cheap. It is about 3 lbs, so it will feed my girl for about 3 days (she eats approx. 1.1 lbs/day) so I simply give it to her in the morning, let her eat about 1/3 of it then take it away (she is not impressed, haha!). I like the whole chickens as I feel it gives them a good variety (legs, necks, backs, thighs, wings, etc. plus they usually have the organs still attached!). The other option you have to slow down a fast gulper is to give them the meat still frozen or partially frozen. I do this sometimes as it also entertains them for awhile!

As for ratios... you really need to play with things a bit and alot of it will be trial and error as you find out what your dog can handle, how the poops look etc. Read through this BARF forum as well, I did when I first started and it has a ton of valuable info! Each diet will be different for each dog (I have 3 dogs = 3 different diets), but here's what I generally follow for my girl Brynn to give you an idea:

She is 45 lbs so at 2.5% of her bodyweight that = 18 ounces/per DAY total (or 1.1 lbs). I give her 60% raw meat (10.8 ounces), and 2X a week I give her a raw egg. I give her 10-15% raw bone (usually this comes w/ her meal). Don't forget organ meat. I give 10% organs (1.8 ounces), I give it 3X a week 2X chicken liver and 1X another organ. The rest I give are "others" for ex. I give them a meal of tripe once a week, some yogurt sometimes, etc. Remember, you don't need to have the diet perfectly porportioned everyday, I generally try to balance it out over the week. And remember, everyone does thing differently. Some add veggies, some don't. Play around with things. As for supplements... I am still debating on this. Part of me thinks that if formulated properly, the diet should provide adequate vitamins etc. but I tend to be a bit over-paranoid. Kelp & alfalfa used together provide every vitamin required, but I'm still trying to figure out what the exact amounts required are so as not to over or under supplement.

The poops will tell you alot everything! White and chalky = too much bone, so you need to reduce the amount of bone.

Hope this helps!! I found what helped me was to write out a sheet of some general %'s I try to aim for over time... (With 3 dogs its impossible to remember all the details for all of them - haha!). Best of luck!!! I guarantee your dog will love it... mine almost bowl me over every morning trying to scramble to the kitchen to get breakfast haha!!
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My babies: Sassy - Maltese X (9), Furby - Shihtzu X (7), Brynn - Boxer (3), Diesel - Boxer (1)

"Many of the Earth's habitats, animals, plants, insects, and even micro-organisms that we know as rare may not be known at all by future generations. We have the capability, and the responsibility. We must act before it is too late." - Dalai Lama
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