Things are going pretty well over here in raw-land. I am coming up with an organization system: freezing pre-measured meal portions into freezer containers so that I only have to prepare food a couple times a month. I found whole chickens on sale at Safeway for $0.99 a lb, so I got four and pieced them out into two leg quarters, two breast quarters, and a back/wings piece. I added in beef liver and Merlow doesn't care for it at all. She likes chicken liver, so I'll stick with that for now.
I have a few questions, both about bones.
1. When Merlow was at the kennel one of the meals I sent for her had a chicken back in it: quite a bony cut of chicken. The woman at the kennel said Merlow ate it and promptly threw it all back up. She mentioned that she noticed that sometimes dogs will vomit up food that has too many bone shards. Does anyone know about this? Should I not be feeding chicken backs to my dog? I thought they were okay, but they didn't seem to agree with her tummy at all.
2. How much is the bone she eats supposed to digest? When I was scooping poop today I found a poop that had a few distinct pieces of bone. One was very obviously the knobby end bone from a chicken leg quarter (from the drumstick) and another was part of the leg bone, I think. Both bones were larger than I thought they should be, and the ends were narrow and really sharp! The drumstick end in particular was over an inch long and pointy at the far end. It made me wince to think of those sharp bones working their way through her digestive system. Is it normal to have bone pieces like this in the stool?Day 7
- One week in!
We're finishing up that ground chicken, but I've been giving Merlow a beef rib or some boneless chicken to go along with it, and sometimes some liver. It seems to have taken care of the constipation. I've been giving her the ground chicken in the morning and a chicken quarter in the evening. she seems to really enjoy the chicken quarters, and can eat them quite fast. Thank goodness she chews first.
I am also increasing the amount of food she gets. Right now she is getting about 2.5% of her estimated adult weight in food but it is not enough. Not enough time has passed for her to show a weight change, but Merlow tends to get really intense
about food when she is not quite getting enough. She doesn't steal food or beg, per say, but she becomes hyper-focused on eating. (We went through this several months ago when trying to figure out the right amount of kibble. She started getting really intense about food and then got a little too "ribby" and thinned out.) We're going to increase to 3% of expected adult weight and see what happens.
I asked the kennel about her raw food for when she has her boarding this week and they are happy to serve raw to the dogs! They have a special fridge and freezer, and many of their clients feed raw. They also sell raw lamb from their herding flock once a year, so that rocks, too!Day 5
Things have been going pretty well this week, but no we are having some constipation issues.
I am fairly certain that there is too much bone in the ground chicken we are using. I know she went yesterday morning, but i'm not certain if she was able to last night, and the poor girl tried to go for about 10 minutes at 5am to no avail.
I gave her a few slices of apple this morning hoping to move things along. In the fall she loves to munch on the fallen apples from our tree and it always makes her poop a lot! I'm also going to increase the amount of meat she is getting, and start adding some liver. I think I'll give her a beef rib bone before breakfast. She doesn't eat the bone, just the meat.
Any additional advice about how to soften up her stool a bit?
Another question: what do you do about food when you dog needs to visit the boarding kennel for a few days? We are heading out of town this weekend to a place where no dogs are allowed. Merlow will be staying at a gerat kennel that she has been to before, and while they say they can follow special diets I am not sure if they will feed her raw even if I provide it. I will be asking today. If they don't allow raw food what should I do?Day 2
So far so good! Merlow adores the ground chicken. I'll be glad to see the last of it as it is MESSY. I much prefer the through of plopping a chicken quarter down in front of her! Oh well, I have 20+lbs of the stuff to go through. I was concerned about her bowels and that we'd be up all night but it was no problem at all. She had smaller, hard poops this morning. Hooray! So we know chicken is good. I'll stick to the ground chicken this week so I can use it up quicker, and then I'll start her on whole quarters next week.
I decided to put her on 12 oz twice a day, which is 1.5 lbs; about 3% of her body weight right now. Much of what I'm reading says to feed adults 1.5-3% of their body weight and 10% for puppies, but no one classifies what a "puppy" is. 10% of my pup's weight is 5 lbs a day, and that's CAN'T be right!
I've also ready that a puppy can be fed the 1.5-3% of their expected adult weight. Merlow is a mutt and we don't know much about her parentage, but I do know her mama was 65 lbs when she was adopted out of the shelter, and since Merlow is 50 lbs at 7 months I expect she'll be around 65 lbs as an adult. If I follow that rule I should be feeding her anywhere from a pound to three pounds. Hmmm.Day 1:
This morning Merlow had 10.5 oz of ground bone-in chicken. I wanted to start with ground hoping the transition would be a little easier on her gut. We'll see if that theory holds. I'm sticking to the ground chicken for a solid week or until her bowels look good.
She cleaned her bowl and looked excited for more. We'll see what her gut thinks of all of this later tonight.Edited by tinuviel_k - 2/8/11 at 4:00pm