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Raw meal planner?

(22 Posts)
Chrisalice Fri 27-Nov-15 17:06:04

Is there some consultant somewhere who can take dog's details and advise on the appropriate amount and combination of different foodstuffs?

Would be interested to cost this, and see whether I could manage it with existing freezer space but concerned about screwing up growing dogs diet.

BagelSuffragette Sat 28-Nov-15 01:41:31

Join Raw Feeding UK group - tons of info in files, lists of suppliers etc. You can ask advice from other posters. Contact suppliers and get free sample packs. Start simple with pre-prepared packs from Nutriment etc.

Don't be put off by the US/Canadian members who think nothing of dismembering a whole moose for their canine companions <I might be exaggerating a teensy bit!>

Look at this Take particular note of amounts for puppies as you say your dog is young. %s differ for younger dogs.

I managed about 10 days worth of food in 1 small freezer drawer for 15kg dog. Mix of pre-prepared, big bag of tripe and carcasses from butcher etc

Cheerfulmarybrown Sat 28-Nov-15 09:14:21

Its really easy

2 to 3 percent of your dogs weight of food per day - just keep an eye on your dogs weight and adjust accordingly. Best to start ta 3%.

80 10 10 ratio of meat bone and offal

Keep an eye on poos and adjust ratio if poo is white or very dry less bone - too runny less offal.

Many dog minces come with bone added so that is easy to work out to start with or as time goes on add chicken wings to increase bone content.

But there could be a business opportunity out there as a raw food menu planner smile

Alternatively buy Nutriment or Natural Instinct that is complete raw food ready packaged so no hassle at all just fed as you would kibble from the packets.

Chrisalice Sat 28-Nov-15 12:03:08

Thanks, I am hoping to be lazy and not have to calculate, but hoping to avoid the ready-made cost!

Been using high end 'whole-prey' kibble but the volume fed is very low and poop is loose.

villainousbroodmare Sat 28-Nov-15 12:20:42

If you decide to go with the raw diet, be extremely careful with the preparation of bone you include, and be exceptionally hygiene conscious. This is worth a look:

I recently treated a number of dogs with neosporosis which it seems originated with a commercial and supposedly good quality raw food diet sold through a veterinary clinic. Neosporosis is a serious and usually fatal disease of dogs caused by parasites carried in raw meat. Several of the dogs with whom I was involved died despite treatment. All suffered considerable misery and the treatment was prolonged.

Chrisalice Sat 28-Nov-15 12:25:20

Thanks for those links, much appreciated

Cheerfulmarybrown Sat 28-Nov-15 12:53:54

Freeze all meat before you give it to the dogs and the risks from links above will be pretty much eliminated. It is not the bones that are the problem but placenta from an affected animal. Source human grade food and the risk has gone. Dogs scavenging out and about are still at risk. However in my experience that is usually kibble fed dogs as their diet is so restricted.

Dogs have way more healthy bacteria in their stomachs and destroy most of the bugs that would cause us a problem

Article written by Mike Davies who advises Pfizer who are involved with commercial dog food - just saying

Chrisalice Sat 28-Nov-15 12:59:34

Thanks also.

villainousbroodmare Sat 28-Nov-15 14:05:21

I think we all want the same thing: healthy happy animals. Also much commercial pet food is of wretchedly low quality. However, a number of points:

I mention bones because there are real risks of choking, dental damage and intestinal obstruction associated with feeding bones to dogs, and also real risks of malnutrition and developmental orthopaedic disease associated with NOT feeding bone matter or using incorrect proportions.

While the risk of ingesting neospora parasites is greater when the animal is consuming placenta and foetal membranes, the bradyzoites can also be present in muscle tissue. The case with which I dealt involved a raw food manufacturer who claims to only use human grade food. The meat does look fine. I'd feed it to my dog, But I'd cook it.

Freezing does not kill:

Escherichia coli (Dominguez and Schaffner, 2009).
Listeria (Novak, 2003).
Salmonella is not killed by freezing and numbers increase on thawing (Sorrells et al, 1970). In one study, healthy dogs fed thawed frozen foods naturally contaminated with Salmonella were infected after a single meal and shed the same strain into their environment (Finley, 2004).
Campylobacter – a study for the Food Standards Agency on whether freezing chicken livers helped reduce levels of Campylobacter showed a decrease after freezing, but, importantly, did not eliminate the bacteria (UK FSA, 2015).
Clostridia – freezing does not affect spores or toxins that can result in gastrointestinal signs or botulism (paralysis) (FDA, 2015).

Dogs, like humans, have virtually no bacteria in their stomachs. I think you mean acid, which does kill virtually all of these "food poisoning" bacteria in ideal circumstances. The risk of food poisoning is less to the dog than to the human household, because humans handle this food.

Cheerfulmarybrown Sat 28-Nov-15 17:16:23

But your argument is very one -sided and panic inducing.

What about the problems with salmonella with kibble food? Much higher incident than with raw food. Food that has had to be recalled after deaths of dogs?

What about the deadly insect and their droppings that cause contamination of the kibble that are causing death regularly to dogs they include:-

Red flour beetles
Granary weevils
Rice weevils
Meal worms
Flat grain beetles
Indian meal moths
Saw-tooth grain beetles

Insects — and their droppings — can be found in cheap, low-quality grains.1

What about the deadly toxins in kibble?


All of the above have been found to cause illness in kibble fed dogs

Raw fed dogs can have minced bone which alleviates all of the problems you state above. However raw fed dogs learn to chew their bones. You are much more likely to see blockages from dogs that have scavenged bones and swallow them whole.

Each to their own with feeding their dogs but one sided scaremongering of issues that are not a high risk are just that, scaremongering. Let people make their own decision. Dogs nutritional needs are much easier to deliver than humans so the idea that we are incapable and have to feed a commercial (crap) diet is just ridiculous.

SoundFury Sat 28-Nov-15 17:21:45

Have you looked into nutriment, honeys dog food or natural instinct? They all do a pre prepared 'mince' that is raw and has a balance of everything needed, then you just feed whatever keeps them at a good weight.
I use one of them and love it, however my dog weighs 5kg so any food would be quite cheap. He works out at 50p a day to feed.

villainousbroodmare Sat 28-Nov-15 17:55:17

I certainly don't want to induce panic, cheerfulmary, please don't you panic! grin
I did not actually say anywhere that anyone should feed kibble. I think you should feed whatever you like.
I did say that many commercial feeds are of poor quality.
I certainly don't suggest that anyone is incapable or should feed their animals a poor quality food.
I am aware that any animal feed may be contaminated with Salmonella or indeed anything else. However, it is unlikely that even cheap commercial dog food has a 25-60% chance of Salmonella contamination, as is the case for your average supermarket chicken.
(There is a simple way to deal with this. Cooking.)
I agree that minced bone is an essential feed ingredient. Some raw feeds include, instead, things like chicken necks which are rather dangerous for animals unused to dealing with them. Are you familiar with calcium: phosphorus ratios yourself?
Above all, I am absolutely in favour of people making their own decisions.
Just gather some reliable information from scientific sources before you do so, and above all, don't panic! grin

Chrisalice Sat 28-Nov-15 18:00:22

Thanks SoundFury, for a bigger dog they are pretty expensive unfortunately. Interested to see what it would cost to diy on a small scale using existing space, and I can obtain some meats quite cheaply, so if I was confident I could provide a balanced diet I might be able to do it more cheaply if I bought a small freezer... I don't trust my ability to calculate though.

Chrisalice Sat 28-Nov-15 18:18:29

Thanks for input re those risks, something else to consider, but at the moment I'm particularly concerned about not being able to balance the diet.

I'm not even sure what rda's are based on, where to find them... There must be a publication like the National Research Council book for horse nutrient requirements?

Chrisalice Sat 28-Nov-15 18:40:30

But I don't even want to try balancing, thats why I want a consultant to do it for me!

Cheerfulmarybrown Sat 28-Nov-15 19:21:55

I absolutely don't panic but newcomers to raw feeding may.

I have been raw feeding for over 20 years to a large number of dogs which have all lead healthy happy lives with no illness caused by their feeding smile. I am completely happy with how I feed my dogs.

Adarajames Sun 29-Nov-15 00:16:20

Chrisalice - you don't need a consultant, it's easy honest! Meat, bones, organs - that's what they need, ideally in big chunk they have to work on to eat / can't just swallow whole; all the extras some people recommend / the 'pre-made raw diets' include just adds expense. I buy meat in bulk from catering supplier, ha k it into appropriate sized chucks, and she very happily gnaws her way through it. One very happy and healthy dog smile

BagelSuffragette Mon 30-Nov-15 00:12:20

It is really easy, honest!

Join the FB group I mentioned - someone will happily post up a trial weekly menu of you ask. And the website I mentioned has tons of useful info.

Basically, work out % dog needs dep on his/her age.

Chicken wings, chicken carcasses, some frozen "pellet" tripe from Pets@home forms the basis for meals most days. Bone can be more/less dep on dog's poops. Sardines, egg can be added a few times a week.

Beef, lamb can be trolled, lots of ppl say beef irritates dog's skin.

BagelSuffragette Mon 30-Nov-15 00:15:10

80 10 10 ratio of meat bone and offal

As cheerful said higher up. Offal in small quantities as too much can cause loose poops.

Think of the balancing being over a week/month. Each and every meal doesn't have to be perfectly balanced, just as we don't eat an optimum diet each day!!

Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 08:19:21

Thanks very much for the help, warnings and encouragement smile.

I've decided to give youngest dog a few weeks on natural instinct country hunter (unless someone says its awful, but it has good ratings on the review site), then perhaps give diy a try.

Am curious about the basis for feeding strategies though, some include vegetable / fuit / grass and some have absolutely none...

If anyone can direct me to somewhere with information I'd be grateful, there are 2 questions that puzzle me...

On the hill the dogs love to pounce on voles (which are extremely plentiful, and I think form a large proportion of the diet of red foxes), and have caught a very occasional rabbit that flushed at their feet, these get munched stomach and all. Years ago I remember reading 'Never Cry Wolf' where an ecologist is dropped somewhere in the arctic to study wolf diet and I'm sure he described being surprised how much small prey were consumed. Surely this would suggest that there would also be a % vegetable matter in the diet as a result of whatever had been eaten by those small critters, in varying states of digestion (hmm, is the amount of digested/semi-digested veg the important thing)...?

Also, I think there are heated debates about the similarity or otherwise of dogs to wolves in terms of unchanged digestive system? Are there any papers on this? Given that temperament and I think also appearance of arctic foxes could be changed in 40 (or was it 20?) generations, isn't it likely that the ability to digest different foodstuffs would also be selected for over 000's of years and many generations?

Of course there is probably no need to be concerned about any of this, since there are obviously dogs doing very well on the different approaches people take - even those that people generally agree are awful, I know many collies who work hard and live long on cheap and nasty cereal based diets!

If this falls in the same category as religion and politics, apologies!!

Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 08:52:05

Oh, and there is this too, so maybe starch is not so bad... 'dogs have three genes that wolves do not that play an important role in the digestion of starch'

Oh my, where is the kibble bag! grin

Chrisalice Mon 30-Nov-15 09:00:29

Interesting too, from a 2013 paper The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet

Maybe helps explain why some dogs do inexplicably well on what would seem crap diets...?

"More surprising were genes for digesting starch. Dogs had four to 30 copies of the gene for amylase, a protein that starts the breakdown of starch in the intestine. Wolves have only two copies, one on each chromosome. As a result, that gene was 28-fold more active in dogs, the researchers found. More copies means more protein, and test-tube studies indicate that dogs should be fivefold better than wolves at digesting starch, the chief nutrient in agricultural grains such as wheat and rice. The number of copies of this gene also varies in people: Those eating high carbohydrate diets—such as the Japanese and European Americans—have more copies than people with starch-poor diets, such as the Mbuti in Africa. "We have adapted in a very similar way to the dramatic changes that happened when agriculture was developed," Axelsson says.

Dogs and wolves have the same number of copies of another gene, MGAM, which codes for maltase, another enzyme important in starch digestion. But there are four key differences between the sequence in dogs and wolves. One difference causes dogs to produce longer versions of maltase. That longer protein is also seen in herbivores, such as cows and rabbits, and omnivores, such as mouse lemurs and rats, but not in other mammals, suggesting length is important to plant-eaters. These differences make the dog maltase more efficient, the researchers report".

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