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If you feed raw, do you also give supplements?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So my fat dog is still, well, fat.  *sigh*

 

We're switching to raw.  I've done a lot of research (much of it thanks to y'all pointing me in the right direction!) and the issue of supplements just doesn't seem to have a straight answer.  Some say yes, some say no.


Would love opinions from you experienced raw feeders.


Thanks so much!  Again!

post #2 of 12

Why don't you check some books out of the library and go from there?

 

I've looked at a couple, its nice when someone else has done all the work :)

 

One book I looked at had diets for diffent types of dogs, which was also nice, as not all dogs are built teh same, or the same age, ya know?

post #3 of 12

I'm in the "minimal supplements" camp.  The key to a good raw diet is to feed about 70-80% meat, 10-20% edible bone, and 5-10% organs (yeah, I know, fuzzy math there, but it's just to give you an idea).  About half of the organs should be liver and the other half can be whatever "squidgy" organs you have access to (kidney is a commonly found one, spleen is also good, but keep in mind that heart is considered a muscle meat for doggie feeding purposes).

 

I also think a good raw diet should have at least 3 different proteins given on a regular basis, unless of course your dog has serious allergy issues that require you to really limit protein choices.  If you can do all of those then I would only supplement with fish oil for the Omega-3s.  Plus of course any supplements required for the individual dog's health issues (one of mine gets glucosamine pills to support his joints in addition to the fish oil, the other gets just fish oil except during her allergy season).

 

I've found that a simple raw diet plan, as long as you meet the above criteria, is quite sufficient.  The pet food companies have drilled it into our heads that a good pet diet is so complicated that we couldn't possible do it ourselves.  We've been feeding our dogs this way for about 6 years now and have seen very positive changes.

post #4 of 12

I don't give my raw fed dog supplements. Many who feed the raw prey model do give fish oil, but my dog gets a large proportion of his meat from pastured buffalo, which is high in omega 3s. Some feed fish, sardines and/or mackerel for the omega 3s. The big push for supplements comes from the BARF camp who hold that dogs are omnivores, which they are not. A varied raw prey model diet, with the right percentages of meat to bone to organ meat will provide all the nutrients need for an optimal diet. 

post #5 of 12

I dont in general give supplements.  For my old boy I do give MSM and DGP to treat his arthritis.  My dane I will sometimes give MSM during a big growth spurt.  Fish Oil and Coconut Oil I give occasionally, but I try to give actual fish instead.  But as I know their meat is low in omega 3, I do like to add some here and there.  

 

Otherwise, I dont supp on a day to say basis.  I will treat certain issues with herbs or supplements but dont think they need them for general day to day living.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

My library has 2 books on raw with a huge waiting list.  My dog is fat now and almost out of kibble so...

 

And my bookstore has no books on raw.  But they do have 3 doggie treat cookbooks.  Seriously?

 

So my research has been online.  It has been good but the supplement issue just seems to not have any clear cut answers.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ola_ View Post

I'm in the "minimal supplements" camp.  The key to a good raw diet is to feed about 70-80% meat, 10-20% edible bone, and 5-10% organs (yeah, I know, fuzzy math there, but it's just to give you an idea).  About half of the organs should be liver and the other half can be whatever "squidgy" organs you have access to (kidney is a commonly found one, spleen is also good, but keep in mind that heart is considered a muscle meat for doggie feeding purposes).

 

I also think a good raw diet should have at least 3 different proteins given on a regular basis, unless of course your dog has serious allergy issues that require you to really limit protein choices.  If you can do all of those then I would only supplement with fish oil for the Omega-3s.  Plus of course any supplements required for the individual dog's health issues (one of mine gets glucosamine pills to support his joints in addition to the fish oil, the other gets just fish oil except during her allergy season).

 

I've found that a simple raw diet plan, as long as you meet the above criteria, is quite sufficient.  The pet food companies have drilled it into our heads that a good pet diet is so complicated that we couldn't possible do it ourselves.  We've been feeding our dogs this way for about 6 years now and have seen very positive changes.


Thank you, those percentages are about what I'm finding.  I was thinking of adding glucosamine because he's a lab and I know they can be prone to joint issues.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirzam View Post

I don't give my raw fed dog supplements. Many who feed the raw prey model do give fish oil, but my dog gets a large proportion of his meat from pastured buffalo, which is high in omega 3s. Some feed fish, sardines and/or mackerel for the omega 3s. The big push for supplements comes from the BARF camp who hold that dogs are omnivores, which they are not. A varied raw prey model diet, with the right percentages of meat to bone to organ meat will provide all the nutrients need for an optimal diet. 



I'm also planning to introduce fish eventually but I wonder if on weeks he doesn't get a lot perhaps I should add some Omega 3.  It is hard to find amount though.  And my vet is not informed about a raw diet.



Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmagick View Post

I dont in general give supplements.  For my old boy I do give MSM and DGP to treat his arthritis.  My dane I will sometimes give MSM during a big growth spurt.  Fish Oil and Coconut Oil I give occasionally, but I try to give actual fish instead.  But as I know their meat is low in omega 3, I do like to add some here and there.  

 

Otherwise, I dont supp on a day to say basis.  I will treat certain issues with herbs or supplements but dont think they need them for general day to day living.


Can I ask what MSM is?  Thanks so much!

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post

 

I'm also planning to introduce fish eventually but I wonder if on weeks he doesn't get a lot perhaps I should add some Omega 3.  It is hard to find amount though.  And my vet is not informed about a raw diet.



 

Christy, the pros on the rawfeeding yahoo list recommend is 100mg per 10lb of dog per day for a maintenance dose, a pretty standard single gel cap contains 300 mg.  They also recommend to ere on the generous side. A 75 lb lab should get 750 mg a day, so I would do three gel caps one day, and two the next. A therapeutic dose is double to triple the daily amount.

 

I feed my Mastiff chicken's feet and trachea for the chondroitin to help his joints take the strain of rapid growth.

 

HTHs

 

PS: if you aren't already a member, I recommend joining the raw9s yahoo list. The list isn't as busy as the rawfeeding list and they are geared to helping the beginner. They also have a mentor system where they match a newbie up with an old hand, to help them get started.

 

post #8 of 12

I'm not really a big fan of dog cookbooks, I have to say.  They get outdated quickly it seems - I was on a book discussion list and one of the authors even said that they don't feed the way described in their book, because as they kept learning, they made a lot of changes.  Plus a basic prey model diet would not sell many books, it would fit more in a 10 page (at most!) pamphlet instead.  So the books that I do see tend to be the over-complicated, lets-recreate-kibble-ingrediets diets.

 

For fish oil my 80 lb greyhound gets 4 gelcaps per day and my 35 lb mixed breed gets 2 per day.  I skip these on days that I feed fish but my big guy refuses to eat most fish so he doesn't get it very much.  You want to look at the label of the fish pills and make sure that, as Mirzam listed, each capsule has 300 mg combined EPA and DHA (the capsule itself is usually 1000 mg but the contents can vary).

 

As far as joint supplements, it's really up to you.  They do get what they need from joints and cartilage that they eat.  I supplement my greyhound just because he did 5 years of hard racing before we got him and he's just about to turn 12 years old so I figure the extra won't hurt him.

post #9 of 12

MSM is a form of natural sulfur.  It is like a building block for many others.  A friend of mine who runs a rescue has had seriously miraculous results using MSM.  I dont think it is needed with a raw diet, but like I said not a bad thing to add as they get older, if they are prone to joint issues, etc.

 

Got to get going now, but if you google MSM and dogs you should get a bunch of hits:)  I will try to find the one article I am thinking of later today.

post #10 of 12

lamb is good for the joints. I think it contains chondroitin, or glucosamine, sorry I don't remember which.

 

Horse meat, if you can get it, is good for dogs. I never would, being a horse person, but to each his own.

post #11 of 12

no we don't give supplements, we have been feeding raw for about 4-5 years now and both our dogs are in great shape.

post #12 of 12

My dog is almost 16 years old - and we feed her raw.  She also gets chinese herbs from our holistic vet for seizures and glucosamine for arthritis and fish oil.  She's doing really well.  We

are lucky that a local pet center makes raw dog food daily.

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