Considering making the switch to Raw - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-22-2008, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Considering making the switch to Raw

At 6 months, Castro is 8.1 lbs

He is currently on Innova Puppy food; after reading through various threads in the past months, I am considering moving Castro over to a raw diet.

Was thinking moving him to the NV Raw Medallions, which seems to be a favorite on this forum. I would cook the stuff myself, but don't have the time.. And since Daniel doesn't deliver from Canada, well… I guess I have to go with the next best thing…

So my questions are… how should I slowly incorporate this into Castro's diet? What flavor would you recommend initially? How much should I feed him?

I've read the benefits of switching him over - are there any cons?

Any feedback/suggestions would be much appreciated! As always, many thanks to the tremendous support and advise....
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-22-2008, 05:01 PM
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Welcome to my world!!!!

I've just transitioned Saydee from Innova to Evo, and now she's about 90% raw. We use the NV medallions and I really like them - they're quick and easy and best of all, Saydee loves them. I started with a sample pack that was lamb, which is not my favorite. Mostly because the smell reminded me of dissecting sheep parts in college. She's also had beef and organic chicken. So far I think she likes the chicken the best, but the beef is good too.

She's been on raw for over 3 weeks now and she's never had the runs, never been sick or thrown up, and we've seen nothing negative about it. She has lots of energy and her eyes are bright. She loves meal time and the added bonus is that her tear stains have almost been eliminated!

I started doing the medallions "just to try it" for one meal a day, giving her the traditional wet food/kibble mix for the other meal (grain-free). When I saw she was doing well, I just started feeling like it was the best thing for her. So, now it's easy just to give her the raw. They do say not to feed kibble and raw in the same meal, so I've avoided that just to be sure.

I've seen mention on this forum of someone having problems with her dog's coat on raw, but she was using a different brand, so it's possible it wasn't meeting her dogs nutritional needs, I don't know. Saydee's coat is better than ever.

The other benefit is healthy teeth. And fresher breath, less odor problems. Some people see smaller poops. Saydee doesn't have smaller poops but she goes less often. Also, I've read that the water in raw food is really an added benefit. Most dogs don't get enough water, especially when eating dry diets like kibble, and this can cause kidney/liver issues over time. I notice Saydee doesn't drink as much water from her bowl because she's already getting it in her food.

I've met nothing but resistance from my vet regarding raw diet, and even grain-free for that matter. I have yet to find a vet in my area that thinks anything but Science Diet is healthy. DUH. So you might prepare yourself for the cold shoulder from your vet. Plus, relatives and friends might think your weird or obsessive because they don't understand the concept. So be it. Overall, I believe strongly that I'm doing the right thing, at least for now, so I go with my gut.

I do have my fears regarding bacteria, but I've also overthought the issue. There's alot of interesting information on the internet about raw diet, but I've learned to read it all and take it with a grain of salt. I think the best resources are the friends on this forum that have been doing raw for a while and have life experience to share.

It can be expensive, but I figure by the time I buy my top pick for kibble and canned, it's nearly a wash. Plus one less vet bill for teeth cleaning/etc. pays for the rest... and I figure it's the least I can do for my little furry friend.

I do have to say the raw diet is not for everybody, and there are some folks that tried it that felt it didn't work well for their dog. There's never any guarantee that it will be a good fit for you, or that it will continue to be a good fit. That's true with any dog food, right? I think you just need to do what works well for you and your dog. Hopefully, you'll have great results too!

Last edited by SaydeeMomma; 10-22-2008 at 05:17 PM.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-22-2008, 05:50 PM
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I would suggest just switching over to raw and not bother mixing with kibble to transition. I did it this way for both my guys and they never had a problem. I would start with chicken (they have two kinds organic and non organic) and then just go through all the various meats.

One thing I would like to mention is I believe you should incorporate some type of bones into their meal. Either chicken necks for the rmb and or beef necks for the chewing action. If your store sells NV medallions then they probably sell some chicken necks or beef necks. Chicken necks and or chicken backs can also be bought easily from a butcher. Once you feel comfortable with the NV then I would add in the bones.

Good Luck! I hope Castro enjoys it.

Chances are if your parents never had kids...you won't either...
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Maya and Daniel. Will get the individual packages from the store to see if Castro likes it. Daniel - how would you recommend I serve the necks??

Many thanks...
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 12:04 PM
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Well I usually break the necks in half and just put them in their bowl. I take them out about 30min before hand and rinse them under cool water. I usually sprinkle some supplements on top, such as Feed-Sentials or a mix of Alfalfa leaves and Kelp, but not always. It gives a bit of extra flavour.

If feeding them for the first time you may want to hold onto one end so they learn to chew them and not just gulp them down.

Chances are if your parents never had kids...you won't either...
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Ok - hopefully, this'll be my last question...

How much should I feed him? NV's feeding chart on their website said 9.1 oz per day for an 8lb dog. Also according to the website, each medallion is approximately 1 oz each - do I feed him 9 medallions a day??

I read through this thread - http://havaneseforum.com/showthread....ight=medallion, and it looks like everyone is feeding their dogs anywhere from 2-4 medallions a day.

If I am NOT supplementing the medallions with anything else, should I go with what is recommended feeding guide - I don't really want to have an overweight dog!

I just bought a 3 lb bag of Organic Chicken and 3 lbs of lamb, so hoping to start Castro on the RAW diet this weekend, so I can watch him carefully.

As always - thank you!
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 02:25 PM
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Well, it looks like you have chosen less than half grown to come up with 9.1oz a day. (Do you really think he will end up 16-20lbs at full grown?)

I think at 6 months he would probably fall under more than half grown where the feeding goes down to 6oz a day.

You can always give a little more or less depending on how he is doing... take it day by day..week by week.

Ryan

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Uhm... doh! - now I feel a bit stoopeed>
Thanks, Ryan...
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 07:38 PM
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Maya has said it so perfectly. Your experience, Maya, should be enough to make anyone convert to raw.

jabellar, 9 medallions are way too much for your pup. My boys are 16 lbs. and 9.5 lbs. and would get 4-5 (sometimes 6) per day and they are 2 yrs. old. I still dont' feed them uniquely raw, because I worry about Ricky's sensitive liver and am waiting for him to finally have normal ALT results. Because it's best not to mix dry kibble with raw in one meal, you can start right ahead and feed raw once/day, with maybe dry the other meal.

Maya, it is such a shame that vets aren't at all open to this. Well, some vets anyway. I printed out the ingdt. list and objective reviews of many "prescription" kibbles, and other types and actually gagged when I read some of them. It is soooooo sad and sooo unnecessary to be giving that crap to our pets. It's not even cheaper than the good stuff in many cases!! Unreal.




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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 09:49 AM
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I think the recommended amount to feed a puppy when on raw is something like 5% of their body wieght. For adults its' approx 3% of their weight. These are just guidelines. Bogart and Brando are very active and get about 7% of food each. My guys weigh between 12-14lbs. max. As long as I can feel their ribs I don't worry.

Chances are if your parents never had kids...you won't either...
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