Raw diet, week 1 update.

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LizBot
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Raw diet, week 1 update.

Post by LizBot »

I thought I would post an update here for anyone thinking about switching to raw food for their pet, and to get any corrections I might need so I don't mess up Jazz's new diet. ;)

The first week has gone fairly well. For the first 4 days, Jazz ate kibble twice a day (the Science Diet Puppy food that he came to us eating) and got 6 ounces of raw boneless, skinless chicken mixed with 1-1.5 ounces of chopped chicken livers that I had pre-portioned and vacuum sealed with a Food Saver. While I was making those bags, I also created a "transition" meal that was 2 small chicken wings with 3 ounces of boneless chicken and 1.5 ounces of chicken liver, then proceeded to make the following portioned bags with 6 ounces (give or take) of chicken wings and 1-1.5 ounces of chicken livers.

However, we noticed within 2 days of starting the raw dinner routine, Jazz was not eating the kibble very well. I tried to mix in the canned food that was leftover (grain-free Canidae brand) but he still picked at it. Because of this, before he got to his transition meal, we fed him two raw meals on day 5. I made the extra raw meal by using two chicken drumsticks (we just happened to be eating fried chicken that night, thankfully!), slicing off the meat, and I saved the bones in a vacuum sealed bag for later.

Since I was already multitasking, I decided to try using my Kitchen Aid mixer's meat grinder attachment to grind up the chicken meat, green beans, and carrots. This worked out with moderate success, though I missed some connective tissue so the grinder got clogged up twice. If it hadn't gotten clogged thanks to my inattention/split attention, this would have been a quick and easy thing to do. :) I added in some chopped asparagus because he loves it, and about a quarter of an apple, all to help make up for the fact that he wasn't eating his kibble for half the week. I had counted on him still eating it for the vitamins; hopefully the little game of catch-up I'm playing now will be alright.

After finally eating our dinner, I went back to the grind -- har har -- and made up some patties to freeze using the extra green bean/carrot mixture I had, plus some cubed apple. Those were made with ground chuck for when we add beef into the diet. I saved the leftover veggie mix in an airtight container to be added to the meals I made that didn't have vegetables in them.

Overall, I have spent about $15 on food stuffs to feed Jazz raw meals and about 1.5 hours creating meals. Given that I'm new to this whole raw diet thing, I believe the time to make his meals will reduce drastically. So far, I would highly recommend switching to raw -- though cold turkey might be better if your dog/puppy is picky about kibble to begin with. I plan on using my meat grinder and the Food Saver to churn out some frozen rolls like you can buy at the store since it worked out fairly well. It will be much cheaper, those store-bought things cost around $5 for 1.5 lbs.


Oh, and Jazz ate his first chicken wings today with no problems according to my husband. My husband broke apart the wing as per Barb's suggestion and Jazz ate it straight away, skin, bones, and all. :) Thank you again for all the tips about raw feeding, everyone. I can already see a change in Jazz's coat, it's much more glossy now, and he really enjoys his food. It's easier to put him on a regular feeding schedule when he doesn't leave his food in the bowl for 6 hours. Now he eats in about 5-10 minutes and we can take the bowl up. He also accepts veggies or fruit chunks as treats now that he's been introduced to them. :)
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Barb Wright
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Re: Raw diet, week 1 update.

Post by Barb Wright »

Sounds like you are on a roll, and having fun to boot 8)

Just one thought here...if you want to keep including some kibble in the diet you should change immediately to a higher quality kibble, something like Taste of the Wild. Science diet is not a quality food by any stretch of the imagination and I think that Jazz has given you ample proof that he does not think it is food :wink: Also, the vitamins added to commercial kibble are synthetic for the most part, not the best source at all. The vitamin/mineral spectrum naturally occurring in a variety of raw meats adequately covers the requirements. Meat, fat, bone, some offal/organ (liver, kidney, heart, etc.), a small percentage of mushed veggies (5% is plenty) will provide the optimum diet for a dog and supplies the vitamin/mineral complex and amino acid complex very well. Let's put it this way.....the perfect meal would be some small furry creature like a squirrel or rabbit.

Once you start feeding bones be sure and check his stool each day to make sure they are not light colored or dry/crumbly, which would indicate too much bone per day.

Don't forget to check out Lew Olson's website http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/ for good guidance on home prepared and raw feeding. Better yet, pick up her book "Raw And Natural Nutrition For Dogs"....it will give you lots of tips and take the guess-work out of meal prep.

Onward and upward :D :D
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

LizBot
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Re: Raw diet, week 1 update.

Post by LizBot »

I just wasn't sure switching his kibble and adding raw food would be the best route. I figured getting him off kibble entirely was the best way to do it, but didn't want to shock his system. He's off the kibble now, and I'll add in Taste of the Wild later on after he learns to chew, chew, chew. I made a bunch of frozen patties again last night for travel purposes and stuck them in the deep freezer (all of his meals are frozen first to help kill off germs) but it would be nice to have a fall back in case the husband unit decides this is too much work -- even though all he's had to do is open baggies. ;)

We've mostly been giving Jazz veggies as a treat today, he didn't get any with his dinner. He really, really, really loves asparagus. I've never seen anyone -- human or otherwise -- go so insane over a spear of it before. He's jumping, his rear end is waggling with his tail... Oye. I wish he'd picked a less expensive vegetable to go nuts over. :P Jazz did suck down a chicken wing whole apparently when my husband fed him this morning, and he swallowed a bone whole at dinner. I'm hoping this doesn't end up being a problem. He didn't do that last night so I'm not sure what his deal is.

I'll see if I can order the book online. I just happen to have a $50 gift card from Christmas to Barnes and Noble. :)
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Cindy
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Re: Raw diet, week 1 update.

Post by Cindy »

He really, really, really loves asparagus. I've never seen anyone -- human or otherwise -- go so insane over a spear of it before.
Apparently you've never seen me eat asparagus :lol: :lol: :lol: It's my very favorite veggie. Annie, our first rescue, was a really veggie and fruit dog. She would strip off all the blackberries she could reach and come back to the house with a purple/black muzzle. But her favorite veggie was eggplant. One time a neighbor dropped off some eggplant and squash that was in a paper bag with the top rolled. Annie ripped open the bag, left the squash and was nibbling on the eggplant in the space of about a minute.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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brittienewbie
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Re: Raw diet, week 1 update.

Post by brittienewbie »

all of his meals are frozen first to help kill off germs
LizBot - awesome work on the raw diet, kudos to you because I don't think I could pull it off! I just wanted to clear up a common, but potentially dangerous, misconception. Freezing food will not kill bacteria. In fact, in my job as a microbiologist I freeze bacteria to keep them in suspended animation. Actually, bacteria can be preserved for decades if frozen and handled properly. The best way to protect little Jazz from bacteria laden food is to use good food handling/storage practices and making sure that the source of meat also uses good practices.

I usually come here to ask questions, but as a science nerd I wanted to put that out there.

Happy feeding!
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LizBot
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Re: Raw diet, week 1 update.

Post by LizBot »

Brittie,

I have a deep freezer (-15 degrees F), so if I store meat in there for 20+ days, I can likely assume I have killed off the most common worms in pork, beef, fish, etc. I generally just refer to everything from viruses to parasites as "germs" out of habit; I try not to terrify my 10- and 3-year-old with thoughts of tapeworms or hookworms burrowing through their innards. :P

But you're right, I should have clarified in case anyone came across this from a Google search or something. Once thawed, the inactive bacteria that aren't destroyed by the thawing process will begin reproducing as normal. I generally thaw all my meat in the refrigerator and then give it to Jazz semi-cold -- mostly because once he can smell it, he won't wait for it to reach room temp anyway. :P

All of his meat is immediately vacuum sealed into portions after being weighed and combined with veggies or fruits, so each meal can be taken out and thawed the night before, cut open, and dished out without ever touching it again. We use tongs to pick up the meat after I carve it, cube it, skin it, or whatever other brutal thing I have to do to his dinner. ;) I'm really neurotic, I worked in food service while going to college and I don't think I've ever been so grossed out before. I always make sure to spray everything down with a bleach water solution and then hit it with disinfectant for good measure after we're done, and all utensils get run through the dishwasher on a sanitize cycle.

Honestly, it's actually quite easy. You could always try it for a week or so, since the initial process involves cutting up boneless chicken and then evolves to chicken wings. I've been picking up meat since I posted the update and processing it after we eat; it takes about 20 minutes to seal up 6 meals if you invest in some bags of frozen veggies (I got a bunch on sale). If you own a Food Saver, this is way more easier than having to devote an entire refrigerator shelf to your dog's lunch and dinner.
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The Amazing Jazz : Master of Manipulation and Cute-ifying Stunts!

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