Post # 1
I’m seriously considering switching to raw and am a bit grossed out at the thought of raw bits strewn around the house. Feeding outside is not an option for us (for a similar reason). I’d love to know what you do and if you trained your dog to eat in a particular spot.
If there is something in her bowl that she can pick up to eat/gnaw – she will pick it up and move it to the rug in the living room 🙁 My gut is she’ll do the same thing with larger raw pieces.
Post # 3
The raw food is like ground/puréed meat so I highly doubt the dog can pick it up and gnaw on it (Unless its still frozen). I mix 1/2 raw and 1/2 dry kibble together. It has the same consistency of wet/canned food.
Post # 4
like PP said, raw diet is minced meat, not big chunks of meat. Therefore, it should produce no mess. We considered it but I decided I can’t commit to “making” my dog dinner twice a day (thawing out the meat, etc.)
Post # 5
Ok I have a cat so I don’t know if all the food is exactly the same, but the stuff I buy for him has both cats and dogs on the bag. It comes in frozen patties sort of like hamburgers. It’s ground up pork/beef/fish whatever. I thaw one patty out and feed him 1/4 at a time and mash it down so it basically looks like a pile of ground beef. He can’t pick it up and move it anywhere, it doesn’t stick together like that.
Post # 6
I’ve fed raw for over a decade and never once have I had blood and guts strewn about my house LOL although I guess it is a valid concern. I feed the dogs in the kitchen, they each have a bowl that goes on the floor and then I stand there and watch them while they eat. My female gets significantly less than my male and will try to sneak food from his bowl if I’m not supervising. I stand there and physically watch them – not back turned doing dishes or anything like that. This would also prevent one of them from running off around the house 😉 I don’t talk to them while they eat, simply stand next to them and observe and if need be correct in some way. It’s also good to watch them to note if perhaps something is wrong with a tooth and one side of their mouth is sensitive. When my male was a puppy he once tried to run off with an exceptionally large chicken leg quarter but I grabbed him and just held his collar so he couldn’t run off while he ate. That was the one and only problem and it was immediately fixed. They stand there and chew over their bowls and within 2 minutes they’re done. If you’re worried about your dog running off then I’d suggest leaving him/her on leash while feeding until a routine is established. I lysol the area (about 3 sq. ft) once they’re done eating and that’s it. Very easy.
I feed once a day, mainly chicken leg quarters that I get either on sale (59c/lb) or from a restaurant supply store, as well as ground beef. A few days a week I also feed eggs (shell and all), green beans, pasta, potatoes, baby food, or any sort of leftovers whatsoever. I have a separate chest freezer in my basement exclusively for dog food.
Other options include something like K9 Kraving or another premade raw food sold in bulk chubs. Those are going to be more expensive but the advantage is that they offer a complete diet and you don’t have to worry about ratios of meat to bone to organs, etc.
Hope that helps!
Post # 7
We raw feed our dogs both ground raw and raw meaty bones. We feed our ground raw in the morning, in their dishes in the kitchen. Trust me, not a drop hits the ground lol. We buy this raw from our friend’s GSD breeder (she breeds working GSDs, police dogs etc.) and she ships it to us frozen in 6lb bags. It’s a fully balanced diet and is less expensive than commerical raw diets. It’s really fabulous (organic local veggies, organic local organs etc.) and if she hadn’t needed to raise the price slightly because the cost of meat went up, we’d still be feeding it for both meals. We wash the bowls afterwards with hot soapy water.
We recently started feeding raw meaty bones for dinner and we feed those outside since they like to lay and hold them while the eat. For dinners we feed turkey necks, chicken legs, leg quarters, chicken backs or occasionally some beef or lamb bones. Every once in a while we let them eat inside in the kitchen and we wipe the tile floor down with clorox wipes or lysol after they’re done, just in case anything touched the floor.
Post # 8
Most homemade raw diets are large chunks. Raw needs to be either very small or very large (size of the dog’s head or bigger), the in-between size peices are choking hazards because the dog tries to swallow peices that are too large.
We feed prey-model raw: 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organs.
We feed our dogs on towels or outside. Some people also feed their dogs in their crates, as the plastic tray is easy clean-up. It was very easy to train them to stay on the towel, they move their food off the towel it gets taken away! It only took a day or two for them to keep the food on the towel.
Video of my raw-fed dogs: http://youtu.be/TaccYHXL6ek
Pics of them eating:
Post # 9
Thanks, everyone. As you can tell – I’m super new to researching this. Some of the videos I’ve seen involve large chunks of chicken and I envisioned my dog picking up the pieces and carrying it out of the room and raw chicken getting all over the house! But, I didn’t factor in she’d probably be so excited about it, it wouldn’t move very far! 🙂
I don’t plan to buy the pre-packaged raw food but will be making it myself… so I suppose the size of the food will be up to me.
@ShiftedLobster: what you describe is exactly what I’d like to try. We’ve had our rescue for about a year and she isn’t doing well on any sort of kibble we’ve tried. DH is a little leary of her eating bones and her eating so quickly she’ll choke – but, I’m going to start out with just the meat and work in bones gradually.
@abbyful: do you find your dogs do better with the bite sized chunks or the bigger (head sized) pieces. My dog is prone to gulp down food, so I’d imagine I’d probably start with smaller than larger pieces to see how she does.
Post # 10
I would recommend not starting with just meat, that will give your dog horribly runny poo (not fun to clean up!). Bone keeps the poop solid. Most people start with bone-in chicken. I don’t know how big your dog is, if it’s a medium or large dog give whole chicken quarters, if it’s a smaller dog split the quarters into legs & thighs.
For a gulper, I’d recommend bigger rather than smaller. Small peices are actually more easily choked on (I know of a mastiff that choked to death on kibble!). The only small food my dogs usually get is their organ mince, the meat and RMB (raw meaty bones) they get is big chunks.
You may have to train your dog at first exactly how to eat RMB. You’ll have to hold one end and let her gnaw on the other end until she gets the jist of it. You should only have to do this a few times.
Also be aware that some dogs don’t recognize raw meat as food right away. Dogs determine food by smell, kibble is usually sprayed with flavoring to make it more appealing, raw meat has very little smell so it won’t smell like a dog is used to their food smelling.
Here’s a great thread on Dogster about starting raw: http://www.dogster.com/forums/Raw_Food_Diet/thread/431875
Post # 11
@oracle: Ground beef alone is too rich and will give your dog “The Big D”. How big is your dog? Definitely start off with some sort of chicken – a wing or a drumstick if it’s a dog under 30lbs. Anything over than and the bigger the better as they have to chew a lot to actually break apart the bones and the meat. The first few times you give your dog a chicken quarter it will probably take (s)he several minutes to actually finish the meal and it may look crazy to you, like there is no way all that meat will fit in your dog’s stomach.
Bones will firm up your dog’s stools, believe it or not. If you feed too small pieces your dog is more likely to just swallow it whole and throw it up later (which routinely happens to my female when we travel and use smaller-than-normal chicken from some random grocery store)
ETA – abbyful gave the same advice.
Post # 12
@abbyful: thank you for the info and the thread! I read somewhere it wasn’t good to start dogs off on weight bearing bones (for choking reasons) – so, I was thinking chicken backs were better than leg bones – but, that may have been bad info. This may sound silly – but, how do yours end up ingesting the bones? Do they break it down into pieces and swallow? Or just gnaw on it like a rawhide?
@ShiftedLobster: My dog is 70 pounds – so, she’d definitely tear into a chicken quarter or two. 🙂
Post # 13
You never want to feed weight-bearing bones of large herbivores, they are too hard. Small animals it doesn’t matter what bones you feed.
Weight bearing bones of large herbivores, cow femur for example, are often called “rec (recreational) bones” by non-raw feeders, raw feeders spin off that name and call them “wreck (as in they will wreck/break teeth) bones”.
All poultry/bird bones (chicken, turkey, etc) are good. All small game animal bones (rabbit, squirrel) are good. For bones from animals like pigs, goats, sheep, cows; stick to things like ribs and neck bones. oxtail, etc.
They crunch it up and eat the whole bone.
Post # 14
@abbyful: that makes a LOT of sense! Thanks for clearing up my confusion on the whole weight bearing bone topic! 🙂
Post # 15
@abbyful: I finally became brave enough to try raw food this weekend! We are starting out with chicken thighs. Based on her weight, she should be getting 3 oz a meal, which is about 1/3 of the chicken thigh.
She took the whole thing in her mouth to chew it….would break off a bit and drop the rest. Repeat about twice. So we need to try to teach her how to chew it properly. But if you are giving pieces bigger than your dog’s head, it’s likely more than it is supposed to eat, so do you just estimate and take it away when it seems like they’ve eaten what they should?
Also you feed on a towel, do you use a new towel for each meal? She takes it out of her bowl on drops it on the floor and we’d prefer to keep it off the floor.
Post # 16
My pit has food allergies so he gets 1/2 raw food and 1/2 kibble. He always eats in the same place, but as other posters have said, the meat is usually ground up so there aren’t any huge chunks for your dog to carry around and leave. I also have mats that I put in front of the food bowl so that helps keep everything he does drop in one place and all I have to do is wipe off the mat.