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Thread: Puppy starting questions

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    DefaultPuppy starting questions

    Hey, everyone, I am going to hopefully be getting a puppy in a few months if everything goes well and I was curious on starting one into prey model raw. My family currently raw feeds cats, but we do ground and supplements for them (which we can hopefully wean them out of soon; one is very picky and we worried about her skipping parts while starting) for the time being, so I have not done the slow introduction of various meats then organs. Dogs are different, too, so I am nervous about doing something wrong.

    I have been looking at various sites and forums on suggestions of how to start, but being the person I am I worry about what nutrients might be missed by bringing organs in as late as some suggest (weeks, if not over a month), as the puppy will still be growing and I would hate to harm his growth. What is the usual timeline of introducing meats then organs? Will he miss any key vitamins etc from having organs so much later on? I have not seen any mentions or concerns over this, so it could easily be me overthinking it, but I would rather ask than regret it later on.

    Another quick question is the diarrhea one, which I hear conflicting things over. When starting a puppy, some say it is normal for them to have liquid poop for awhile as a "detox" while others say that is not at all normal and means the owner has fed the wrong thing such as too much skin/fat or not enough bone. Because of this, I have heard it said not to start a puppy on raw until after housetraining, but than can take a long time and I would rather not have the poor little guy on anything other than raw longer than required if this is merely a rumor.

    Thank you for your time, it will help me greatly in giving this eventual pup the best start I can! :)

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    Welcome to DFC! Congrats on the future puppy! First of all, how big will the puppy be when you bring him/her home? I think everyone does just a little different, and it also depends on your puppy as well sometimes. Every puppy I have always started I have used drumsticks, and pretty quickly moved on to whole quarters. After a week or so of all being good, I move on to turkey and do the same. Then pork, beef and other red meats. Normally you go from mildest protein to richest. That way if you run into an issue, you know what has caused it and can back up a step.

    As as far as the runny poops go, just take things slow, and don't feed too much at once.

    And as far as organs go- if your dog is doing ok you can introduce a very small amount at the beginning if you feel better about it, or you can wait until closer to the end. I have done both ways myself, and it went just fine either way. Everyone was always healthy and feeling good, and no one was ever picky about eating organs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Badger View Post
    Hey, everyone, I am going to hopefully be getting a puppy in a few months if everything goes well and I was curious on starting one into prey model raw. My family currently raw feeds cats, but we do ground and supplements for them (which we can hopefully wean them out of soon; one is very picky and we worried about her skipping parts while starting) for the time being, so I have not done the slow introduction of various meats then organs. Dogs are different, too, so I am nervous about doing something wrong.

    I have been looking at various sites and forums on suggestions of how to start, but being the person I am I worry about what nutrients might be missed by bringing organs in as late as some suggest (weeks, if not over a month), as the puppy will still be growing and I would hate to harm his growth. What is the usual timeline of introducing meats then organs? Will he miss any key vitamins etc from having organs so much later on? I have not seen any mentions or concerns over this, so it could easily be me overthinking it, but I would rather ask than regret it later on.

    Another quick question is the diarrhea one, which I hear conflicting things over. When starting a puppy, some say it is normal for them to have liquid poop for awhile as a "detox" while others say that is not at all normal and means the owner has fed the wrong thing such as too much skin/fat or not enough bone. Because of this, I have heard it said not to start a puppy on raw until after housetraining, but than can take a long time and I would rather not have the poor little guy on anything other than raw longer than required if this is merely a rumor.

    Thank you for your time, it will help me greatly in giving this eventual pup the best start I can! :)
    You will run into conflicting information on the best way to start. I'm one who is against the idea of delaying organs. The nutrients in organs (as you say) are too vitial to delay, especially with a puppy, and delay seems strongly associated with food aversions to organs.

    I started my pup eating organs from the get-go and since then his daily meal always includes an organ portion which he almost invariably eats first. That's what I like to see.

    Eating too many organs can cause loose stools. So it is smart to start with small pieces and to work up, and to feed in small amounts regularily as opposed to serving a weeks work of organs in one meal.

    The majority of problems IMO come from 3 areas.

    One is too much bone. Contrary to the advise many strating guides, overdoing bone is not a way to keep stools firm, but a way to invite problems by causing massive irritation in the GI tract. This upset can lead to both diaharrea and vomiting. Better to aim somewhere in the 10-15% bone ratio for meals.

    Another problem (especially as many people start on chicken) is they end up with chicken that has been injected with saline solution (aka "enhanced"). Look on packages and aim for chicke that is 75 mgs or less.

    Third is fat. Fat is the optimal source of energy for dogs. Fat is good. But for dogs that are conditioned to burning carbohydrates (an unnatural state of affairs) they do need to transition to fat burning. So restricting initial fat and working up is advised.

    The good news is a puppy will have much fewer issues with "transitions." Fat really should not be a major issue, but too much salt and bone are factors.

    Another factor with pups is feeding too much food. Don't "kill them with kindness." Overeating is hard on puppies.

    There is no such thing as "de-tox." Liquid poops are not an inevitable part of the process if one doesn't overfeed, watches the bone levels, watches the salt levels, and watches initial fats (especially in kibble transitioning dogs).

    I'm skeptical about the commonly proposed progression of proteins. Seems to me turkey is usually more problematic than chicken in having too much sodium injected (and has troublesome bones, and is otherwise too much like chicken). Pork is a meat that many dogs seem to need time getting used to, and I'd make it a last protein to add in a progression. I'd add beef or lamb early (working up amounts) or other red meats.

    As I say, you will get contradictory advice. And will need to use your inner-intelligence. The good news is that there is a range of what works.

    Bill

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    To naturalfeddogs, thank you very much! My family is very excited, and needless to say a lot of review and new research is going on. I need to ask how big the pup will be when we get him, but the adult sizes are 20-24in, 51-70lb for males and 19-22in, 40-57lb for females (we're leaning to male but it depends on what the breeder thinks is best, he said he will take our preference into consideration though and see what he can do). The little guy will be 8 weeks when we get him, though, if that helps for until I have a proper answer. Are there any chicken bones that should be avoided for a young puppy? I am unsure what their little teeth can handle at that stage, I haven't had a puppy for many years so this will pretty much be new territory for me.

    Also, did you remove some/all of the skin on the chicken or leave it as it was? What sort of meals did your pups have when transitioning? Did you feed by the pup's weight or the adult goal weight? When starting, did you feed a little less than that to go easy on the pup's system? How many days of firm poops did you wait until giving the next type of meat?

    Would you suggest liver first so far as organ introductions go or a different organ, and if so is there a particular animal's liver that would be best? I hear beef liver tossed about sometimes, but I'm unsure if some livers are richer than others. So far as very first introduction size goes, should it be about pea sized or smaller? Bigger than that? Thank you for your help, I hope to get this all sorted and planned well before the little pup is able to be brought home.


    To OtherGuy, I've seen lots of different things so far, that's for sure! What would be an example meal (or an entire day's meals) of how you started your little pup? What sizes were the portions of meat/bone/organ and how often did you feed each day? I would like to add organ very early, how small should the first introduction of organ be and what type do you recommend?

    I'll be sure to look out for the salt content, I never even thought of that! I can imagine some meats must be more difficult to shop for than others thanks to this. Also, do you go by the % of the pup's weight or the adult's weight? I have heard both, but I am unsure if they are essentially the same thing or very different. Did you go to beef after chicken (assuming chicken was your starter meat), or was there any meat in between those? How long was it between each one?

    On the note of overfeeding, how much did you start with feeding? Did you do the full weight percent you would with a pup of that weight, or dial it back a bit to try and ensure the pup didn't react poorly? Thank you as well for helping, it's very nice to see active raw feeders in a forum, especially ones so willing to help. :)


    Also, to anyone who can answer, where would duck and cornish game hen land in the richness scale? We have both pretty easily available, and I'd like to try offering it sometimes but am unsure at what point that might be okay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Badger View Post
    To naturalfeddogs, thank you very much! My family is very excited, and needless to say a lot of review and new research is going on. I need to ask how big the pup will be when we get him, but the adult sizes are 20-24in, 51-70lb for males and 19-22in, 40-57lb for females (we're leaning to male but it depends on what the breeder thinks is best, he said he will take our preference into consideration though and see what he can do). The little guy will be 8 weeks when we get him, though, if that helps for until I have a proper answer. Are there any chicken bones that should be avoided for a young puppy? I am unsure what their little teeth can handle at that stage, I haven't had a puppy for many years so this will pretty much be new territory for me.

    Also, did you remove some/all of the skin on the chicken or leave it as it was? What sort of meals did your pups have when transitioning? Did you feed by the pup's weight or the adult goal weight? When starting, did you feed a little less than that to go easy on the pup's system? How many days of firm poops did you wait until giving the next type of meat?

    Would you suggest liver first so far as organ introductions go or a different organ, and if so is there a particular animal's liver that would be best? I hear beef liver tossed about sometimes, but I'm unsure if some livers are richer than others. So far as very first introduction size goes, should it be about pea sized or smaller? Bigger than that? Thank you for your help, I hope to get this all sorted and planned well before the little pup is able to be brought home.


    To OtherGuy, I've seen lots of different things so far, that's for sure! What would be an example meal (or an entire day's meals) of how you started your little pup? What sizes were the portions of meat/bone/organ and how often did you feed each day? I would like to add organ very early, how small should the first introduction of organ be and what type do you recommend?

    I'll be sure to look out for the salt content, I never even thought of that! I can imagine some meats must be more difficult to shop for than others thanks to this. Also, do you go by the % of the pup's weight or the adult's weight? I have heard both, but I am unsure if they are essentially the same thing or very different. Did you go to beef after chicken (assuming chicken was your starter meat), or was there any meat in between those? How long was it between each one?

    On the note of overfeeding, how much did you start with feeding? Did you do the full weight percent you would with a pup of that weight, or dial it back a bit to try and ensure the pup didn't react poorly? Thank you as well for helping, it's very nice to see active raw feeders in a forum, especially ones so willing to help. :)


    Also, to anyone who can answer, where would duck and cornish game hen land in the richness scale? We have both pretty easily available, and I'd like to try offering it sometimes but am unsure at what point that might be okay.
    All of the chicken is edible, but backs are super boney so a lot of people don't feed them. I take the skin off just in the beginning, and as poops continue to look good I slowly add it back on.

    I also feed feed by the puppies body condition. Getting too fat, I back off. A little too lean I increase. Your puppy will eat at least three times a day, so keep that in mind.

    I have always started with beef liver (calf if you can find it), when I start it.
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    Excellent, thanks so much! I was worried some bones might be too difficult for a pup's teeth, I didn't want to break any of them or something.

    I heard green tripe is very good for dogs, how early can that be added in?

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    You could add a small amount anytime. If poops start looking loose, then just hold off.
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    Shadow-Black Tri Australian Shepherd
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    @A Badger,

    I'm with Jenny that the best way to feed (not over-feed) is to go by the pup's condition (as opposed to any formula) and by using your inner-intelligence to guide you.

    While an athletic adult dog would ideally comsume one meal a day (at day's end), young puppies will need to eat multiple times daily. I suggest feeding at the end of a natural waking period after which they should naturally sleep (ideally in a crate). When the pup awakes immediately take it outside and praise when it does its business, and housebreaking becomes a breeze. Better to have many meals (snacks) than to gorge as young pups. Like human babies, pups will let you know when they are hungry. You will just need to use judgement as to when to say when.

    Do be mindful that raw fed dogs (pups included) will run leaner than kibble fed dogs. A pup should certainly not look emaciated, but the rolly-polly corpulence that many find "cute" is unhealthful for young pups and hard on developing joints. Anticipate a time in late puppyhood where people make comments about your dog looking "skinny." Then realize morbid obesity has become the cultural norm for dogs in our society, and take the comments as proof you're on the right path.

    For an organ to start, if (like most) you start feeding chicken, then I'd suggest chicken livers. If you cut them in small pieces and place on a lightly oiled tray or parchment paper, they can be placed in a freezer until just frozen, then can be bagged in a ziplock and these individually pieces won't form a clump. Makes it very convienient. Do feed the small amount of liver along with some bone-in piece. Many dogs prefer it frozen BTW.

    Chicken hearts count as "meat" but they and gizzards can be individually frozen in the same fashion as above.

    Chicken necks and feet can be nice bone sources for very young pups. Do monitor feedings (and consider hand feeding, holding bone-in pieces that are on the smaller side) to make sure you get a chewer/chomper and not a gulper. These smaller pieces are easier for young pups, but are also more of a chocking hazard. You will grow amazed how quickly their jaw and neck muscles become powerful, and how eating a drumstick will go from an ordeal to being demolished easily. I moved to serving frozen as thawed chicken disappeared in seconds.

    As to "richness," it is a term I find very vague. If only speaking of how much fat content is in the food, then duck is very fatty, while Cornish Hens are similar to chicken.

    Most cheap pork cuts come with a lot of fat (which is great for fat-conditioned dogs), but is less ideal (if not trimmed) for dogs transitioning from kibble.

    I don't subscribe to the least rich to most rich progression as it has never been clear to me what that means. Trimmed beefheart, for example, is extremely lean (but is described as "rich").

    The prime reason to do a progression of proteins is to isolate the rare possibility that a dog has an allergy or intolerance to a particular protein. An alternative is to do eliminations if evidense of problems crops up. I've known many pups and dogs (including my own) to have rapid exposure to many protein sources and have zero problems, and seen many get stuck on stage one of what is an an over-long progression in my estimation. The problem with only feeding chicken is that unless a good deal of bone is removed, it puts meals way over PMR ratios, which can/will cause GI distress (which is often met by people feeding even more bone). I strong dissent from the advise published elsewhere to feed chicken backs and other exceptionally bone heavy meals as it almost assures a disasterous start that is wholly unnecessary.

    As to Green Tripe, dogs love it. It stinks (rather like cow pies). It has a great calcium to phorphorus ratio (and therfore should almost not count towards factoring PMR ratios between meat and bone). That said, I think it has become a bit of an over-hyped item that has gone from being an inexpensive saved-from-being-a-waste-item to one starting to bring boutique prices. The price hit is more worth it in young puppyhood as the Green tripe could serve as a balanced snack w/o bone.

    I'm sure I missed some things, but that's a strart.

    Bill
    Last edited by OtherGuy; 03-21-2017 at 10:49 AM.

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    I feed PMR in ground form. It has organs in it so all my dogs had organ from the get-go. Our youngest is 18mos old & has been on it since his first meal here.
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