My method of feeding raw is ever evolving. I feed basically 100% ground foods these days. It is easy for me. I have a good supply source. The dogs like it. It works.
This morning’s meal was ground beef, some organ meat, and mackerel. I add about 1 teaspoon of bone meal per 1 lb of meat (watch stools and adjust per your own dog’s needs). I feed 1000 mg of Vit C each meal. I have been adding kelp into breakfast lately as well.
On my last trip to pick up meat for my dogs, I was chatting with the lady at Big Dan’s Trucking and Dog Food. She mentioned that she had recently gotten a complaint on, what that customer felt, was the excessive bloodiness of their beef.
It threw me for a bit of a loop as it never dawned on me someone would be unhappy about that. Their beef is “excessively” bloody for a couple main reasons:
It is very fresh. Often the beef I’m taking home on a Friday was a live cow that previous Monday.
Perspective. The beef to which most of us are accustomed, typically has some sort of packaging to absorb blood.
As someone who has been feeding raw for many years, I admit, I am a bit desensitized to the blood. But, I know that many who are first starting raw have to overcome a certain “ew” factor.
I like the bloodier meat as it makes it easier to mix in anything I want to add to the food. In the case of the beef, I have to add bone meal powder, so I typically pour a little blood into each dog’s bowl.
The blood is also good for the dog to consume as blood itself is a quality source of animal protein.
The only time I discard the extra blood is if the meat is starting to get a little….well, ripe. 🙂 The blood is what gets the worst odor, so if you drain the blood off (and rinse the meat if you’re working with RBM’s), you get rid of most of the gross odor.
When feeding raw, bone is a critical component. Finding the right balance of bone is easy – just watch the dog’s stool. Too little bone, the stools will be loose. Too much bone and the stools will become hard and dry. Any raw feeder knows the importance of watching the dog’s stools!
Because I prefer to feed ground foods lately, I have started using ground bone. I’ve tried various options, but have found simply buying bone meal powder online works well. I add about a teaspoon full per pound of raw meat. From there, again, just watch to see what the dog needs. (Organ meat will also affect stools as it is richer than muscle meat.)
So excited and pleased with my first order from a new (to me) raw food supplier, Big Dan’s in MN! I picked up 385 lbs of meat for the dogs, for just $220. The supplier is a 4-hour drive from me, but completely worth the time and gas. I split the gas cost with a friend, who also picked up food for her dogs.
I’m currently feeding two Danes and estimate that today’s haul will last me about two months, although I’ll supplement with a few other items, picked up from local grocery stores, too. My 5 1/2 month old puppy will need about 4 lbs/day and her 6 1/2 year old mama will need about 3 lbs/day. The pup will slow down on eating after about a year old and won’t require quite as much food after that. But that first year, puppies eat a lot!
As a raw feeder, I’ve always rested easy about my dogs’ teeth health. The raw meaty bones clean their teeth naturally. Unfortunately, Skyy only chews her bones with her back teeth (she refuses to use her feet or do any ripping of raw meaty bones), which has created some issue with the teeth in the front of her mouth. Her canine teeth have some tartar build up, although they still look good for an almost seven year old dog. However, she has one premolar that has become problematic.
She is going in tomorrow to have the problem tooth extracted. The vet will also clean the canine teeth while she is under.
Going forward, I will be using more recreational (chew) bones, as well as brushing the teeth, in hopes of keeping those front teeth cleaner.
Haven’t had any diet posts lately, so figured I would do a “what we fed today” post.
Canned Jack Mackerel, Tripett, egg (shell included), ground beef, yogurt and Vitamin C.
Each dog got one can of fish, 1/2 can of tripe, couple of heaping tablespoons of yogurt, about 1/2 lb beef, 1 egg and 2000 mg Vit C.
The dogs approve of my stellar culinary skills….
Tomorrow morning’s meal:
I wait to pull out the next meal until I’m cleaning up the current meal, which doesn’t usually allow the meat enough thaw time. I often end up letting the meat sit in some warm water to speed up the thawing process.
Yesterday the dogs had two meals of chicken RMB parts. For breakfast tomorrow I have beef liver and 2 lbs of ground chuck thawing. I’ll add a can of Tripett for each dog to that, along with supplements.
I got a great score of food yesterday. A friend cleaned out their deepfreeze and passed along some old meat. Freezer burned meat is fine to use. I personally wouldn’t feed a diet of only that, but it’s not going to hurt the dogs and they don’t seem to mind.
The dogs enjoyed some of that for breakfast – pork patties and beef liver. I also included 1/2 can of Tripett each and a few heaping spoonfuls of yogurt. Supplements added.
Dinner tonight will be chicken RMB (Raw Meaty Bones).