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Barf / Raw again. :)

(15 Posts)
ohtobemeagain Sun 23-Feb-14 13:05:10

One of our dogs has a dodgy tummy. Every so often she won't eat, gets a squeaky tum, vomits (bile/frothy white) and / or has a runny poo, and then she's fine. Vets can't pin point what it is, but we're thinking along the lines of IBS. It seems to run in bouts so I'm wondering if it's down to varying batches of her kibbble. The best way I can see of solving this is if I prepare her food so I know it is always the same.

She is, unfortunately, a bit of a hunter, and when she gets a rabbit she usually devours it with no problem. The Vet is quite happy with this, so it's a natural progression to look into raw food to see if this will solve her problem - but I can't afford to get it wrong.

So I read up on the internet and I have learnt:

- Bones are great / bones are dangerous and can perforate the stomach
- Dogs need veg and wolves eat the stomach to get this / dogs don't need veg
- You can feed any meat / don't feed pork
- Use garlic to reduce flea infestations / garlic is poisonous
- Any veg will do including tomatoes, onions, potatoes, avocados / don't feed potatoes, tomatoes, onions and avocados as they are poisonous.
- Don't feed raw as dogs can catch salmonella and can pass it to humans / a dog's digestion means it won't catch salmonella

So as I'm really confused confused I thought I'd ask people who do feed raw successfully but I would also like to hear from anyone who has actual proof that it can cause problems i.e. they know of a dog who got salmonella or had an issue with bones.

Can you help?

LadyTurmoil Sun 23-Feb-14 13:16:54

If you're interested, join FB group "raw feeding uk" There are files on there which tell you everything you need to know, lots of new people on there since the Dog's Dinner programme on TV. All very friendly and fairly non-judgemental, even though they're obviously fans of raw feeding. It's a good way to find out more. Good luck.

All I can say personally is that I changed my foster dog over to raw and she loved it! Wasn't difficult to source food from local butchers and Pets@home for frozen tripe/minces. I only used 1 drawer of a small under counter freezer. If you want to order online, then it's easier if you can order larger amounts and therefore you would need more room. It's fun trying them out on new things. If you treat their food as you would yours, wash your hands, utensils, chopping boards then hygiene is not a problem at all.

fanoftheinvisibleman Sun 23-Feb-14 15:23:29

Can second LadyTurmoils <hello smile> recommendation to join Raw feeding UK. There are lots of newbies asking questions but also lots of experiences raw feeders who have been at it 20 years plus.

I agree, there is lots of conflicting advice out there. But don't forget that most comes with an agenda (even mine...I have nothing to gain here but an obviously going to have a self confessed pro raw bias!). That means you as an owner have to do the research and see what you believe. But for me, the personal stories are conpelling and the anti raw stuff I have read often looks to be on shaky ground when you look at it. There are no big studies on this, no one has anything to gain financially by you going raw except maybe your butcher, but even he can't keep you loyal. The kibble industry however, has a multi million pound vested interest in saying they can do best for your dog. Vets aren't always even a hundred percent reliable, they aren't nutrition experts and they often sell expensive kibbles themselves. Usually the science based, overpriced cure all ills variety!

Bones can be dangerous. Feeding too much bone can cause impaction. Cooked bones are usually the culprits for splintering. Lots of anti raw reports about the danger of bones I have read are actually refering to cooked when you read, though this is often glossed over!

Read as much as you can and then make your own mind up. I had a dog who sounds very similar to yours though he rarely did anything like a solid poo! Raw has changed everything for him.

fanoftheinvisibleman Sun 23-Feb-14 15:26:14

And if it is just feeding bones that puts you off, how about one of the completes like Nutriment or natural instinct which are balanced and contain ground bone.

ohtobemeagain Sun 23-Feb-14 15:46:47

Thanks for the facebook group recommendation.

I think it is the bones that worry me most. If I can manage to balance my family's nutrition, I'm sure I can for my dogs. If I can manage not to kill my family with food poisoning then I think my hygiene is good enough to avoid poisoning my dogs smile so it must be the bones that are making me nervous.

The dog mentioned above will have absolutely no issue with crunching bones smile (husky X btw). I have an older GSD girl who thinks everything that is presented to her is poisonous, even cheese which she actually loves. I don't think she would eat carcasses, bones she may gnaw on eventually, and a different food would have to be introduced very very slowly (mixed with her kibble - I know this is classed as evil smile, but with her, it's the only way to start her off).

Its the third dog that I'm most worried about. He would be more than happy to eat chicken in any form, and would happily chew on a bone - but he will also gulp it down whole! The others love playing with cardboard rolls (like from kitchen rolls or wrapping paper) but we've had to stop it as thicky dog eats the cardboard, in lumps, then chokes shock. After the second heart stopping moment, we are now exceptionally careful what he can get to.

To be honest I can see all the benefits of raw feeding, but I want a balanced view, all the negatives I find are all "could" happen, or happened to a dog belonging to her great aunt's, third cousin's, sister's, best friend's boyfriend. hmm

Are there any vets around? How often have you had to remove bones from a BARF fed dog?

Are there any owners here who's dog has suffered this way?

This is harder than deciding to MMR or not MMR when DS was little confused

needastrongone Sun 23-Feb-14 15:59:40

Yes, me! And I am a raw food fan.

Cocker spaniel (ddog2) had to have a chicken bone (from a wing) removed from his rectum last week, costing £300. Thankfully, it had passed through this far without causing more 'serious' damage along the way, he was just screaming in agony when trying to poo, not surprising when you saw the size of the bone piece.

So, still feeding raw whole pieces of meat etc to ddog1, but using the minced alternatives like natural instinct for the puppy, until he's older.

The raw feeders on Facebook would probably suggest I don't need to feed the puppy minced food and indeed I still let both have the big beef knuckle bones to gnaw on, but I hate to think how bad it could have been.

ohtobemeagain Sun 23-Feb-14 16:22:42

Oh Needsastrongone, I do hope DDog2 is ok now. How old is he?

Do you still give DDog1 chicken bones?

Do you think I can get away with just giving them knuckle bones and not chicken bones?

needastrongone Sun 23-Feb-14 20:17:59

He's fine thanks smile He's 13 weeks.

I think there are rib bones and the like that are fine, lamb ribs, lamb necks and similar, chicken carcasses, chicken backs etc, bigger bits iyswim? Ddog1 likes oxtail, which I get from the local farm shop.

Yes, I still give ddog1 chicken bones, he had chicken for his tea, and
sneaked some of the puppies minced duck smile

Trouble with the knuckle bones is that really, they gnaw off the meat but don't consume bone as such, although get the marrow, so I don't know if you could count it as part of your bone proportion of raw food.

fanoftheinvisibleman Sun 23-Feb-14 20:26:58

Mine chews his chicken bones properly but I have.seen people advised to hold onto chicken wings to stop gulping. I have seen him swallow single ribs though shock. If a dog is 100% raw feed then stomach acid should be strong enough to deal with it (we have never had a problem) but there is always going to be the odd exception. Sorry to hear your pup had to be the one needastrongone!

I don't think there is anything wrong with just mince...it is better than someone being put off altogether smile

needastrongone Mon 24-Feb-14 16:34:44

I am not put off to be honest, just a little more cautious. Their reaction to a raw meal shows me how much they enjoy it. I have played safe and ordered some things from Natures Menu, but I do love watching them crunch a chicken wing or similar smile

nuttymutty1 Mon 24-Feb-14 16:47:10

I would not give a dog a weight bearing bone eg knuckle as they are very hard, can splinter and damage the dogs teeth as well as be sharp if swallowed.

If you start off with Nutriment who have the 80%meat 10% bone and 10% offal in their foods you can see how your dog copes.

You will need to poo watch but this will guide you as to how well your dog deals with the bone intake which is the area that can cause dogs some problems.

I have raw feed for over 20 years and never had a problem with regard to diet, bones, salmonella etc. I carry out sensible precautions eg study my dog, washing in hot soapy water etc.

I honestly believe that anything you do is better than the processed diet of all kibble even the good ones

mrslaughan Mon 24-Feb-14 18:20:54

I feed mine mostly the minced food from daf, but add chunks do raw meat for texture ( plus the pure minced with bone product he was getting abit constipated). About once a week he gets a chicken leg ( they come in a pack of 4, human members of family only need 3) , if I am de-boning a chicken, he will get the carcass, but I chop it into 3, I get beef bones from the butcher......he seems to prefer fresh beef bone to frozen for some reason.
Don't do chicken wings as he tends to want to swallow them whole, and the breeder advised against this, ....
I save left over veg, and add it to his dinner, but avoid onion, and garlic. Tbh he doesn't have that much veg.
I add a tree bark powder ( his breed are prone to gastric issues) , yumega oil, a multi-vit and glucosimine.
Twice a week he has half a pottle of cottage cheese, 3 egg yolks and a small pottle of full fat yoghurt with his breakfast. ( he is a giant)

NCISaddict Mon 24-Feb-14 18:32:44

I give mine Natural Instinct working dogs food, he's been on it since he was eight weeks old. I also buy small play bones, lamb spines and beef pipes from them which he has a few times a week. I give him the odd tin of sardines in tomato sauce and a raw egg, particularly if I've forgotten to defrost the meat. He's doing really well on it and I think it has helped to make him a fairly calm Border Collie. His coat is really shiny too and his poos small and none smelly!

GeeinItLaldy Mon 24-Feb-14 18:42:49

Sorry, in a rush so posting quickly. I've been raw feeding giant breeds for 10 years. Will come back later but just wanted to say that onions ARE poisonous to dogs. Other veg are ok unless the dog suffers from arthritis then you should avoid giving veg from the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, aubergine etc) as they can exacerbate symptoms.

That said, dogs don't need veg, strictly speaking. I had one that wouldn't touch food if there was veg in the bowl and going without did her no harm. However, if you do want to add veg to the diet it should be frozen or pulped (in a food processor) to break down the cellulose.

ohtobemeagain Wed 26-Feb-14 18:32:56

Thanks for all the info. I've joined the Facebook group and have been spending hours looking through it.

Can any of you recommend a good book?

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