As far as feeding whole bones goes, I can relate to being scared about it. I remember when my 9 week old puppy chomped her first chicken wing bone ONCE before swallowing. I about had a heart attack. But have learned since that that is how most dogs eat when raw fed. They basically have to just make it fit down the hatch because digestion starts in the stomach, not in the mouth like us. They do not have amalayse in their saliva so there's really no need for them to really "chew" their food. Chomp, Chomp, Swallow is really all that is necessary for them. I know its scary and a foreign concept to us but it is natural to them. Just make sure you feed something that HAS to be chomped once or twice before swallowing. The dental benefit alone is worth it. Dental procedures are expensive as well as risky as with any other anesthetic procedure. But if you can prevent them needing a dental cleaning with anesthesia? Totally worth it especially for a Chi (I am a vet tech and do dentals every day on small breed dogs so I see how poor dental hygiene plagues these dogs). I'm trying not to preach, but just to help you see that what scares us most....is normal for them.
Maybe one day I will get over it...I just can't right now after that time he was barely breathing due to choking. Since I know a lot are somewhat opposed to ground...that said, is a high quality kibble better then feeding ground raw??? I would guess not, but I don't know.
WhiteLeo-- Thank you. I guess i'm sort of second guessing the whole ground meat thing since it seems a lot of people don't prefer to feed that way. Also, because the greater nutrient deficiency, I'm thinking I should definately supplement with a multivitamin..not sure about that though, I don't really know. I would be worried about the fat soluable vitamins building up.
vacuum packed-it can stay a very long time.
Bett-- I was acutally thinking about vacuum packing it :)
A thought came to me....I was thinking about mixing his raw food with Sojos GrainFree Dog Mix (the mix where you add the meat in). Thoughts/opinions on this? I guess again it would be personal preference, but the ingrediants seem really good: sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, celery, apples, whole egg, tricalcium phosphate, flax meal, parsley leaf, carob powder, dried kelp, dried alfalfa, ginger root, garlic, vitamin D3
This would make the raw last a lot longer, and bring down cost. (Not that cost is all i'm thinking about, but it would be nice). He just seemed to thrive off a high quality kibble..but then again it was probably all the starch and carbs in his kibble that was fueling that. I was thinking Sojos would be perfect for him. He still has lots of energy when I play with him, its just the in between times where he'll lay down and rest vs running around like he did while on kibble. Could still be going thru detox since he is only almost 4 months into raw.
I would not mix the ground with that premade stuff. That's just asking for trouble. Its essentially like mixing raw with kibble since a lot of the ingredients are plant based and harder for dogs to digest. That isn't to say he could do fine on it, but it would be him as well as you having to deal with the digestive upset and potential set back. If you think he might do alright with it, add it in slowly and go from there. If you're worried about ground meats causing problems, I'd highly suggest adding in whole chunks of meat for him to have that are boneless. BUT make absolutely sure that they're either small enough for him to swallow whole without issue or big enough he has to chew them up first because boneless meats are just as able to cause choking.
I don't think that feeding ground will absolutely cause some kind of issue other than dental disease....but I've seen it cause problems before in SOME dogs. Usually skin and coat issues like thin, brittle fur/hair and dogs having a hard time keeping weight on. But some of these cases were from feeding premade grounds like Darwin's and Nature's Variety. It sounds like you're having whole animals ground? If so...it would be awesome for you to see it actually happening so you're guaranteed knowing what you're feeding your pup. Sometimes grounds (espeically mixes) are very vague about what they actually have in them, so I suggest using caution when purchasing them.
That said, I am speculating that he lays down and rests between play sessions because he can now. Before he could have been unnaturally amped up on starches and sugar so that he's in hyperactive mode most of the time. I've seen this many times with wild and crazy dogs. Raw just brings their energy level down because they're not hyped up on sugars.
Don’t feel bad about feeding ground, it is much much better than kibble. And I would definitely trust the coarse ground raw that My Pet Carnivore sells, I order from them monthly and have ordered coarse ground items from them before. I have no doubt that it is exactly what they say it is.
I would encourage trying to feed chewable bones a couple times a week for the dental benefits, but if ground is what you are comfortable with for now, your dog is still much better off to eat ground raw then to eat kibble.
Tux - black lab mix DOB 8/16/08
Cabo - yellow lab DOB 1/9/09
Thank you DaneMama & Shellbell :) @ DaneMama - Yes, I am feeding the whole animal ground. Possibly at somepoint in time, I hope to obtain whole chunks of meat (not ground), organ, and minced bone for him to do it myself, rather then order the grounded mixes. Problem with that is....where do I get whole chunks of VARIETIES of meats?! I know there is the butcher shop, but i'm not even sure if the one near me would have a huge variety. Where do you guys obtain your meats from?? I'm weary of using MOST grocery store meat. And they grocery stores over here only have so much variety I would probably order the organs from mypetcarnivore, and then the minced bone as well. I really do not want to get WHOLE animals, as they are extremely tough to cut up and dissect..and it really kinda grosses me out.
I have noticed, he has been loosing some weight since I started raw. But from what I've read, its trial and error in the beginning. I have been feeding 2.5% of his weight per day. I think I'm going to increase to 3% and see how that works. His ribs do not show when he is standing, but when he is laying down on his side, they do. Then again, he does not have any hair on his chest/abdomen area so that probably contributes. He is just starting to get a bit too thin...you can see his little butt bones a bit too.
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