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Another BARF thread ...sorry!

(36 Posts)
fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 18-Apr-13 11:38:46

I know there are lots but I am so confused as to what to do.

My pup is now coming up to 9 months and has always had food 'issues'! He is the worlds most reluctant eater and also has a sensitive tummy. I finally got him reasonably settled on Arden Grange and he was eating fairly well but still misses a fee meals or only eats half. It maybe happens 2 or 3 times a week.

I was fairly happy with this as it was better than he had been. I thought he was lean (hence my indignation when a vet nurse declared him a chunky specimen when I was whittling about his food intake) so I tried to stop being pfb about whether he eats or not.

However, at a recent vet visit the vet said he is slightly underweight. He is 7.2 kg which is slightly above average for a Border Terrier but he is leggy compared to some. Vet said he would like to see him around 8kg and to up his intake abit. Easier said than done as he is going through one of his ignoring kibble phases sad

I'm starting to consider BARF. On the same note I have just bought a sack of Arden Grange (as yet unopened) from p@h but I can't afford to waste it. I'm also scared of BARF in terms of how to go about it. Where to even start!

I have also read that you cannot mix raw and kibble. How do you make the switch slowly for a sensitive tummy then? I had wanted to just try givimg him q chicken wing to see how he got on whilst using food up but I presume then I can't or is it ok?

Just don't know what to do. The little bugger has lounged around asleep all morning and still hasn't eaten today yet. It is as bad as having a baby!

LadyTurmoil Thu 18-Apr-13 12:00:25

You could look through the Doghouse for other threads about BARF. I found this on a previous thread (someone else wrote it not me but sounds very sensible! My brother feeds his dog raw and has found it very easy and good. Teeth much better and has sorted out bald patches on one of his dogs...

^You're looking at feeding 1.5 to 2% of the dog's body weight over the day. I only feed once a day but you can split it into 2 or more meals.

The basic staple of my dog's diet is the Basics frozen chicken portions from Tesco. My 25kg dogs have 2 drumsticks and a thigh as their 'bone meat'.

They also have a piece of Basic white fish fillet, an egg and a spoonful of Basics plain Bio yogurt. I give them a little bit of liver or kidney a couple of times a week.

Every so often I buy heart, pigs trotters (Morrison's are great for this kind of thing), any other kind of meat, the odd tin of sardines or tuna and tripe chunks from Pets at Home and substitute them for the white fish.

I don't give veg routinely - they get the veg leftovers if there are any but that's it.

We have 1 shelf in the freezer that holds the 2 bags of fish fillets and 2 bags of chicken portions that we need for the week.

I reckon it costs about £8 − 9 a week to feed the 2 of them. We've tried the bulk delivery places and they are cheaper but we just don't have the storage capacity.

One of ours has her dinner in the kitchen, one has it in the utility room. We actually feed them straight from the freezer as it makes the meal last longer but it also makes it cleaner. Prep is as simple as open freezer, put stuff into bowl, put bowl on floor. Takes seconds!

I really recommend raw feeding. My 2 thrive on it - everyone comments on how healthy they look, what good shape they're in, how shiny their coats are and the vet commented on how little tartar there is on the 4yos teeth at her last check up. It also makes them calmer, imo as they're not chock full of additives. They also poo a LOT less, it's lighter, doesn't smell and crumbles away if you leave it.^

needastrongone Thu 18-Apr-13 12:04:27

Fan - we are just switching over. I got a small book called Raw Dog Food by Carina Beth MacDonald cheaply from Amazon. Very easy to read and gives a good overview. Gives you the proportions of bone/muscle etc that you need for the weight of your dog or puppy. Not sure if you would class yours as dog or puppy though without checking. Puppy feeding needs are greater and you give a higher percentage of body weight.

Only thing in the book she does which I don't think you need to is feed raw vegetables too, she makes 'gloop'. I just chop up the odd carrot or broccoli stem, whatever, if we have it. I don't think dogs actually 'need' it per se.

We are still feeding kibble in the morning (his kibble was expensive and I don't want to waste either) and started giving our puppy chicken wings, thighs or small drumsticks for his evening meal. I think you can mix in this way but not at the same meal. He's never had a sensitive tummy but immediately, his poos were firmer and smaller even on half and half. God, they love it too, crunch crunch!

Slowly, we have introduced other raw foods in the form of bones (beef usually, from the local farm shop) bits of oxtail, lamb ribs from Natural Instinct (spare for when butcher doesn't have anything, it's expensive I think), just to ensure that he doesn't have a tummy reaction.

Personally, I don't feed raw mince as I like how the puppy loves a good crunch but others do for good reason. Think Tabulahrasa is one?

He gets a raw egg or two each week. Tried sardines too but they were a bit rich for him.

I also take the view that each day doesn't have to be perfect nutritionally, rather his overall diet - bit like our family meals.

needastrongone Thu 18-Apr-13 12:06:39

Yes - bag of Sainsburys basics avarious chicken pieces, already frozen is about £4.

Also - you will need a chest freezer. We bought one but needed one anyway and this made us do it. It would be hard to buy raw daily.

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 18-Apr-13 12:10:03

Thanks LadyTurmoil. I have had a look through some old threads, that is where I read that you shouldn't mix feed which is why I'm a little scared of how I would even start as his tummy is so easily upset. I have had problem in the past and when tried to change foods in the past looking for something which agreed with him I did it over 2 or 3 weeks.

I just gave him his breakfast and he walked off in the opposite direction. He usually eats it around 5pm which then makes it impossible to get enough kibble into a little dog before bedtime. I have never known a dog who refused food before.

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 18-Apr-13 12:14:03

Thanks needastrongone. So I could start giving chicken wings in the mornimg say when he is a kibble refuser?

I think I could manage without a chest freezer tbh and haven't the room. I could free up a full freezer draw but also there is an aldi next to school so pass every morning and chicken is pretty cheap in there.

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 18-Apr-13 12:14:56

Oh and he eats raw carrots anyway every now and again.

needastrongone Thu 18-Apr-13 12:19:04

Yes, I would think so. Sometimes, if I have defrosted one or two more than I needed the previosu day, I will give him those instead of kibble. The kibble is more because I want to use it up at £50 a bag smile

Fair enough re freezer -we are rural (ish) so less easy to go daily. Freezer is in the garage but it was the push that we needed to get one tbh!

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 18-Apr-13 12:28:21

Our garage leaks so not an option but we have a Morrisons and p@h half an hours walk away and Aldi is 10 mins at the most. I feel a little more like I dare try!

My Arden Grange was cheaper than yours but still can't afford to bin £35 that hasn't even been opened yet.

I shall have a look at that book too. At 9 months and a neutered small breed I think he is now considered as an adult for food purposes.

I shall call at Aldi at pick up and we shall try a wing (and maybe a prayer grin ) in the morning!

LadyTurmoil Thu 18-Apr-13 12:31:47

This website seems quite informative I know my brother (and his girlfriend) add a seaweed supplement powder (don't know if everyday though) and some fish oil, or fish, every now and again as well.

Can't help with switchover but what you said about giving him a chicken wing if he refuses the kibble sounds a good way to start... good luck!

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 18-Apr-13 12:36:49

Thank you both very much for your help. smile

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 18-Apr-13 17:28:19

2 chicken quarters for 84p in Aldi shock impressed!

Anyway, I gave him a piece tonight. He spent the first 20 minutes crying and licking it then walking around with it but soon got stuck in! He is now walking round like the king of his castle looking all pleased with himself.

And Lady T thankyou so much for the link, I have made notes! I may well have a trip to our fish and meat market on saturday aft whilst ds and dh are at the football.

Just cross your fingers for me that his tummy deals with it. Do you think P@h will exchange the unopened Arden Grange? I have the receipt and only bought it saturday.

LadyTurmoil Thu 18-Apr-13 19:55:19

I can't see why they shouldn't exchange/refund the food if you still have the receipt... and is still unopened and undamaged. Can't be the first time customers have done it. Give it a go smile

needastrongone Fri 19-Apr-13 09:41:44

Any reaction to the chicken yesterday fan?

fanoftheinvisibleman Fri 19-Apr-13 10:20:23

Right then, TMI time grin

Just been out to check the garden and then poo was soft but fully formed. And to be fair it has rained heavily here overnight so hard to guess how soft it was to start with. It may have been normal though the colour was a little alarming as some bits are white! I presume this is the bone? He did have a little left over rice though too.

Given his tendancies to the runs I am happy to continue straight in to be honest on those results. I have called at Aldi again this morning and bought chicken thighs and lamb mince. Thought this would be a good start as he has chicken for training treats and lamb kibble. I think I am just going to launch straight into it providing he doesn't have a truely terrible reaction as I am half expecting some reaction to be normal. To be honest what I picked up this morning looked ok for rained on poop!

I just hope P@h will take the unopened bag back. I am happy to exchangr rather than refund so fingers crossed in this and that he gets on with it. It was lovely to see him enjoy eating last night though rather than being coaxed and bribed.
I also think once a day feeding seems to be his preference and he can consume the quantity of raw needed in raw in one sitting but couldn't in dry.

I have found LadyTurmoils links very interesting. Therse does seem to be mixed opinions to supplements though. What are you intending to do when you make a full switch?

fanoftheinvisibleman Fri 19-Apr-13 10:22:25

As usual my touch screen phone typing is appalling so apologies grin

LadyTurmoil Fri 19-Apr-13 11:01:58

Just remembered, my bro said that lamb bits made one of the dogs vomit - perhaps too fatty?

He also gets chicken carcasses for nothing from the butcher, he is a good customer there admittedly, but carcasses would only be chucked away...

Also, i remember others saying that mince was OK but didn't provide the crunch they love. Great to hear it's going well!

fanoftheinvisibleman Fri 19-Apr-13 11:18:49

I'll see how he gets on with the lamb mince, I just picked it up as a starting point given that he is on lamb kibble. From what I have read about variety being the key I thought it best to start with meats he has encountered in kibble/snacks but I don't know. I guess it will be trial and error at first plus I want to introduce things one at a time.

From what I have read (and think I umderstand!) I was planning on giving him a chicken thigh plus 100g of lamb mince tonight with a spoonful of yoghurt (he usually has yoghurt anyway). That way I think I have roughly covered bone and muscle meat and still has something to crunch.

Still trying to read lots. Thankyou so much smile

needastrongone Fri 19-Apr-13 11:27:13

Hi Fan.

Yes, we get white poo too! It breaks down very quickly though. Very small and firm lol smile

Think you need to be careful with lamb in general and introduce one meat at a time (not worrying too much about a fully balanced diet initially, more that their tummies are ok) but my book says to expect some accidents i.e runny tummy issues too.

Hadn't considered supplements fully, I will read the links further, I had thought to provide oily fish in some form and a raw egg or two a week but admit I need to look at this.

Isn't it ace how much they enjoy it though? smile My puppy would eat anything and everything but the raw stuff....mmmmmm

fanoftheinvisibleman Fri 19-Apr-13 11:54:24

It is so nice to see them enjoy it!

So do you think it would be ok to just give boned pieces of chicken again today and maybe try a little of something else tomorrow?

The mince could go in the freezer for now.

fanoftheinvisibleman Fri 19-Apr-13 12:58:03

We have just been for a walk and he has done a very firm dry poo. Perfect in fact grin

LadyTurmoil Mon 22-Apr-13 17:43:57

smile at your perfect poos!!

Asked my brother's girlfriend about the supplement she gives their dogs - it's called Keeper's mix and does contain seaweed but also other herbal stuff. It was recommended by the breeder of her Shiba Inu.

She also gives them an egg every now and again and salmon oil. They just have a water bowl now, she picks up the chicken/meat bits on a fork and just gives to dogs out in the garden. They love it!

Her vet was dead against raw feeding apparently but even he had to agree that dogs looked very healthy!

fanoftheinvisibleman Mon 22-Apr-13 18:35:34

I'll have a look at that thanks.

So far he has had chicken, Lamb, Tripe and raw egg and has had no tummy troubles at all which is unbelievable based on his reactions to dry foods. smile

LadyTurmoil Mon 22-Apr-13 20:34:01

That's really good news -sounds like you've cracked it! grin

needastrongone Mon 22-Apr-13 21:17:16

Oh I sense a covert here!! So glad it's going well, given your poor dogs tummy issues. I would say if he's ok with tripe then raw will suit him perfectly as I think that's pretty rich.

Really chuffed!

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