I have just started switching my dogs over to a raw natural dog food diet. They have been use to meats ,veggies and fruits from day one but I cooked the meat in a small amount of water and included the water too, they loved the stuff, but now I am trying to switch them over to the raw stuff as it is suppose to be evern better for them and they won't eat it or if they do they are getting sick! I am doing this diet because they don't care for commercial dog foods and this raw diet is suppose to be better for them . Anyone out there that has switched over and may have some ideas, it would be greatly appreciated!! thanks
I feed mine Steve's Real Food for Dogs, comes in little frozen squares. They love it. Thats for breakfast and then for dinner the get Artimas dry food. Didn't want to take them completely off the dry. Every thing is all natural, no preservatives, wheat, flour or corn no junk. makes their coats nice and shiny
I normally don't like to mix raw meat with cooked stuff but in your case you may need to start mixing some raw mince with their usual food & gradually put more raw meat & less cooked into their dish & wean them off cooked meat.
That's what I am trying to do but on our meaty lamb bone day they just won't eat it . They like to eat food out of their dishes that is all done up and prepared but give them a a whole chicken neck they won't touch it but if I grind it up they are fine! And on raw fish days you might as well forget it but they will eat the canned fish no problem .I guess they are very picky eaters as far as the presentation goes hahaha. How important is it that they have a real bone to chew on I know it is good for their teeth but if I give them a doggie biscuit once a day would that help instead of the real bone?
Real bone is definitely better than a dog bisquit - nutrition wise & of course for cleaning teeth. Again as far as nutrition goes ground bones are better than a bisquit. I know that some people always grind the bones (for fear of choking). You may end up doing that. But how about offering the chicken necks & if they don't eat them, remove them & give them nothing until the next meal. For starters you may want hand feed them the chicken necks. That way it could be considered a special treat :) - it also gives you chance to supervise & make sure they know how to deal with bones.
This whole raw diet thing is so intimidating to me . I want to give them the best food I can but being raised and educated to feed dogs commercial dog food was what I know and was taught and then to switch it is really scary but I know it will be worth it in the long run of things once things start going better. I am going to give it another week and see what happens but my female just won't eat a raw meaty bone ( I think I spoiled her to much!!) but my male is the oposite he actually chews his food and not gulp it down !! He would actually take his kibble one piece at a time and chew it !He is a very dainty and clean eater and is willing to try new things but not her if it isn't cut up in nice bite size pieces you might as well forget it ( she is a gulper ), but I will try and see what happens.
I understand that it can be intimidating. There are some books on switching dogs to raw diet - if you do a "google search" you will find them. Also there are websites & message boards devoted to feeding dods raw (BARF) - have a look at some of them & you may find more help. I started feeding my dog "raw" from the age of eight weeks - when she came to live with me. She actually didn't like kibble very much & loved her bones so I was lucky. I guess when the dogs are older they have had time to develop certain preferences. Good luck!
I know that you don't like commercial diets because you consider them to be low-quality, but have you ever tried any of the higher quality ones such as Wellness? Its a food with real chicken, veggies, fruits, etc. but it also ensures that the dogs are being given the right balance of vitamins and minerals. In case you haven't seen it, the website is oldmotherhubbard.com (I mention Wellness specifically because that is what my dog eats, but there are plenty of others like it.) Still, if you are against the commercial diets altogether, you definitely need to switch them off of cooked foods in general (unless you are supplementing vitamins) since in the cooking process many, if not all, vitamins are lost. As a vet student who just finished a pet nutrition class, my only advice is to make sure that you aren't giving your dogs too much protein (>35-40%) since that causes unnecessary stress on the liver and kidneys and make sure that the calcium to phosphorus ratio is 1.2-1.4 : 1 because too high of levels of calcium inhibits the absorption of other minerals (its all a tight balancing act that can cause under and oversupplementation). These are the two most frequent problems with homemade diets. I know this doesn't answer your original question, but I thought that the Wellness link above might provide you with another option.