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Frozen Raw Diet...

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Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 9/11/2012, 10:01 pm

I'm looking for a little info.... Quick back story: My 3 yo Tallulah ended up with a double ear infection that required 4 vet visits, ear washes, drops, antibiotics and steroids. During this one month ordeal she gained 3 lbs (probably due to the steroids) and is now a whopping 24 lbs! The vet would like to see her wt back to normal (she feels 21lbs would be the upper end of normal for her). I went to our local pet supply store to buy more Taste of the Wild dry food and Wellness 95% protein canned and ended up talking to the owner and another staff person about the situation and they both recommended I consider going to a raw diet. They both feed all their own dogs (and cats) raw. One has a 2 yo pug who was started on raw from the moment she was found in the woods at 8 wks of age. They brought her out and demonstrated how to tell if a dog is under/over weight or just right. Little "Darla" was full of energy and looked very happy and healthy. They told me that all dry food has to have carbs (usually 45% I think) to act as a binder and that dogs are carnivores and their bodies don't require grains. The owner said switching to raw should help take the excess wt off quickly. and can help with allergies etc.

The store carries 4 different raw food lines and I ended up choosing Bravo. I have been feeding it to Tallulah for 3 days and while I've had to sprinkle little bits of cooked bacon or steak on top to coax her to start eating it - things seem to be going OK. I'll admit I didn't check with the vet before doing this but I tried to research it online and it seemed to be a healthy choice. Then I read the posts here about the AVMA discouraging raw diets. I just checked my vet's website and she is a member of AVMA so I'm not sure how she'll feel about what I've done.

Has anyone here used the commercially prepared raw products for their dog? Any thoughts on them? I am following good hygiene and food safety practices but I must admit I do feel a little anxious now that I'm reading negative reports. I do suspect there is significant pressure from the big commercial dog food manufacturers behind this... but I don't want to risk my pug's health either. Yikes! Any body have an opinion on this?
PS Why doesn't my avatar show up? I can see it on my profile...
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dianebarrybrazil
 
 

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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  thminis on 9/12/2012, 3:03 am

You'll find a lot of people on the board who feed raw. They can help you with that aspect. I actually just wanted to pipe in and say be very careful feeding bacon to your pup. Foods high in fat can and will cause pancreatitis.

Raw wouldn't help my allergy dog. A lot of canine allergies are protein based. My dog had chronic ear infections until I switched him to venison (and now rabbit) and not chicken or beef. My main concern with raw is that to my knowledge, there isn't any group out there regulating pre made raw food. How do you know that the raw diet has the appropriate calcium, phosphorous, vitamin, etc levels. With dry or canned, there is a group called AAFCO that makes sure the food has the appropriate levels of nutrients for the labeled life stage. Another thought that pops into my head is raw meats have different levels of nutrients, as in, this chicken breast may be different than the next you purchase. They nice thing about kibble and canned food is they add whatever is needed to make a balanced meal. Not saying you can't do raw, but you need to make sure the pet isn't being shorted or given excess of anything.

The nice thing is that you've asked about raw at the right place. The people who feed it here feed it correctly and well. I'm sure they'd be able to address any concerns you have. Good luck with the ear infections and weight gain with your pup!
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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  Not Afraid on 9/12/2012, 3:23 am

I've fed Thurston raw since he was 6 months old and Kimchi switched to raw the minute she got off the plane from South Korea. Thurston is now 6 and one of the healthiest pugs I've ever met. Never had an ear infection, never overweight, no skin infections - the only time he's ever had allergy problems is following a rabies vaccination.

Kimchi - or I wish everyone could experience the difference a raw diet has made for my girl. She was a breeding bitch in South Korea and came wi me quite a mess (ringworm, ear infection, wrinkle infection etc). Since I started her on raw, she hasn't had one incidence of infection.

Yeah, the vets don't like it. But, vets get an average of 1 nutrition class (usually taught by Morris - ie Science Diet) and really don't seem to know much about how to PREVENT issues. I choose to try and prevent issues with all of my pets rather than just react to issues that I possibly helped to cause by feeding them food that was not really the best nutritionally. It's literally paid off for me so far.

I do a few things with my raw diet regime. I rotate the brand as well as the protein source on a regular basis. I add pumpkin to their food to help with digestion, I make sure to handle the food safely (as I do any food - salmonella is pretty much everywhere), and I make sure the treats I give them are also grain free and I make sure there's lots of variety.

A couple of things you can do to help fill up your pug if you are dieting is to add canned green beans, pumpkin, apples (no seeds), blueberries, squash, yams or peas.

I'm a pet sitter and have switched quite a few of my clients to a raw diet. The difference in their dogs after just a few months is miraculous.
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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 9/12/2012, 10:56 am

Thanks so much for the info...it was very reassuring! From what I've read, the raw diet most closely recreates a dog's historically natural eating patterns. I will buy some canned pumpkin today and stir some of that in with the meat. Tallulah has had some mucus coated stools since the switch (which was cold turkey at the suggestion of the pet supply store) and has had several episodes of spitting up yellow-ish clear fluid - also a bit mucus-y at times and this morning had the same fluid as diarrhea. I read that dogs go through a detox process when switching from processed food to raw and that these symptoms are a normal part of that process as their bodies begin producing the enzymes needed to metabolize raw food and eliminate the processed food from their systems. I read it can take up to about 2 weeks to "detox" depending on the dog and the previous diet so I am going to watch Tallulah closely and hope this is all just transitional. Each meal she initially turns her nose up at the raw food (I do put the food in her metal bowl which I then place in the sink with hot water to gently bring the food closer to room temp without cooking it - this is how the pet store people do it) so after 15 min I cover it with plastic wrap and pop it back in the fridge and bring it out a little later and go through the process again and this time she will eat as long as I sprinkle the top with something she likes (so far bacon, steak or cottage cheese). I'm hoping to get her off the "sprinkles" eventually but for now I'm just trying to get through this transition. I just hope the vet doesn't give me a hard time about this diet...I guess if she does I'll switch vets....I know there is a homeopathic vet in a nearby town who maybe would be more accepting. Guess we'll just have to see how it all unfolds. Anyway, thanks again for the help - these forums are a Godsend for those of us who are new to pugdom!
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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 9/12/2012, 11:15 am

PS...Thanks thminis...I wasn't aware about the bacon issue. I haven't given more than a half strip cooked and crumbled but now I'll cut that out. Sure don't want to create further problems for my girl! Also, I did choose the Bravo! Complete raw food and from their website: "Bravo! Balance meets AAFCO
standards for 100% complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages of a
dog or cat." It contains: Human-grade antibiotic-free poultry or Hormone-free, grass-fed red meats, Grade A vegetables and Added vitamins and minerals. I chose this over the plain raw because it is supposed to be nutritionally complete. I checked it out on a website that rates all brands and types of dog food (www.dogfoodadvisor.com/) and it got a 5 star rating. But, of course, I'll have to see if it works for Tallulah. Pugs are definitely NOT like other dogs!
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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  Renee on 9/12/2012, 12:20 pm

thminis wrote: My main concern with raw is that to my knowledge, there isn't any group out there regulating pre made raw food. How do you know that the raw diet has the appropriate calcium, phosphorous, vitamin, etc levels. With dry or canned, there is a group called AAFCO that makes sure the food has the appropriate levels of nutrients for the labeled life stage. Another thought that pops into my head is raw meats have different levels of nutrients, as in, this chicken breast may be different than the next you purchase. They nice thing about kibble and canned food is they add whatever is needed to make a balanced meal. Not saying you can't do raw, but you need to make sure the pet isn't being shorted or given excess of anything.

This is not true. Commercial raw pet food is subject to AAFCO standards as well.

Not to pick on you or single you out Theresa - but some of your statements are the common myths that turn people away from feeding raw. They just aren't true.
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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  thminis on 9/12/2012, 11:13 pm

Renee wrote:
thminis wrote: My main concern with raw is that to my knowledge, there isn't any group out there regulating pre made raw food. How do you know that the raw diet has the appropriate calcium, phosphorous, vitamin, etc levels. With dry or canned, there is a group called AAFCO that makes sure the food has the appropriate levels of nutrients for the labeled life stage. Another thought that pops into my head is raw meats have different levels of nutrients, as in, this chicken breast may be different than the next you purchase. They nice thing about kibble and canned food is they add whatever is needed to make a balanced meal. Not saying you can't do raw, but you need to make sure the pet isn't being shorted or given excess of anything.

This is not true. Commercial raw pet food is subject to AAFCO standards as well.

Not to pick on you or single you out Theresa - but some of your statements are the common myths that turn people away from feeding raw. They just aren't true.

No worries, that's really good to know. In my area, we see a lot of locally owned pet stores producing their own pre packaged raw that isn't regulated by AAFCO. I was hoping my post came across as me acknowledging my own naivety on the subject, so I apologize if it didn't. When I was typing I actually was hoping someone with more knowledge on the subject would address what I said.
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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  Renee on 9/12/2012, 11:32 pm

I believe, and I may be wrong here, that while they are SUBJECT to the AAFCO disclosure guidelines, it does not mean they have to be nutritionally complete, just that they must disclose. For example, they can be approved for all life stages, approved for adult maintenance, approved for supplemental feeding only, etc.

It is not that the AAFCO requires the food to be nutritionally complete - they require proper disclosure. The raw food I use to supplement my pugs diet (Canyon River Raw), is not nutritionally complete and does not meet the AAFCO guidelines for either all life stages or adult maintenance. It is meant for supplemental feeding only. I have done my research and I know what I am doing, which is why I am using it in the diet I have for my pugs.

Point being, the AAFCO requires disclosure so that people know what they are getting. And, yes, the small mom and pop raw foods that are springing up are troublesome. Dr Becker (a raw food proponent) has stated multiple times that a bad raw diet is infinitely worse than a kibble diet.
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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  Puggered on 9/13/2012, 9:15 am

I feed mostly raw, it is a home made diet based on Billinghurst so it is balanced nutrionally but I actually wanted to comment on the AAFCO and wondering if what I read recently is correct. In Australia here the goverment labs, the CSIRO, set all the standards plus do most of the research.

It seems that in the US, canine nutrional standards used to be set by a government body (the NRC) which did studies on vitamin C as a dog food additive and found that it was an unnecessary vitamin as it was produced by the dogs glandular system and although added doses did trigger tightening of ligaments and lowering of stress, that in the long term it puts too much stress on the gland that normally produced the vitamin (in this case the kidneys.) These studies were done in the 1980's and there was not a problem at all until a decade later when some bright spark wanted to add vitamin C for its properties as an inexpensive preservative. When they tried to get NRC approval to continue labelling as "complete and balanced" with the new addition, NRC refused because of the existing studies.

This caused a revolt by manufacturers who wanted to use it and their body (AAFCO) voted to longer recognise or abide by NRC standards. And (probably because the manufacturers withdrew funding I suspect) the NRC then disbanded its dog food standards section and so the body that now determines nutritional standards for manufactured dog food is now the umbrella body for the pet food industry and not an independent body. Scary.

I read this in an article by William Cusick who was quite vehement so I was a little unsure if he had put extra spin on it or something. Does anyone know how much of this is actually true?

By the way I do add vit C to my feeds for growing puppies or stressed rescues but don't add it to the standard mix. I will probably keep doing just that unless I see a bit more research against it.
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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  thminis on 9/13/2012, 1:53 pm

Puggered wrote:I feed mostly raw, it is a home made diet based on Billinghurst so it is balanced nutrionally but I actually wanted to comment on the AAFCO and wondering if what I read recently is correct. In Australia here the goverment labs, the CSIRO, set all the standards plus do most of the research.

It seems that in the US, canine nutrional standards used to be set by a government body (the NRC) which did studies on vitamin C as a dog food additive and found that it was an unnecessary vitamin as it was produced by the dogs glandular system and although added doses did trigger tightening of ligaments and lowering of stress, that in the long term it puts too much stress on the gland that normally produced the vitamin (in this case the kidneys.) These studies were done in the 1980's and there was not a problem at all until a decade later when some bright spark wanted to add vitamin C for its properties as an inexpensive preservative. When they tried to get NRC approval to continue labelling as "complete and balanced" with the new addition, NRC refused because of the existing studies.

This caused a revolt by manufacturers who wanted to use it and their body (AAFCO) voted to longer recognise or abide by NRC standards. And (probably because the manufacturers withdrew funding I suspect) the NRC then disbanded its dog food standards section and so the body that now determines nutritional standards for manufactured dog food is now the umbrella body for the pet food industry and not an independent body. Scary.

I read this in an article by William Cusick who was quite vehement so I was a little unsure if he had put extra spin on it or something. Does anyone know how much of this is actually true?

By the way I do add vit C to my feeds for growing puppies or stressed rescues but don't add it to the standard mix. I will probably keep doing just that unless I see a bit more research against it.

I wish I knew more about this, it sounds very interesting. I guess my thought has always been that Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. In people, any extra we take in, we just excrete as waste. I think guinea pigs are one of the only animals who do not make any of their own vitamin C, though, so there may be something to the glandular thought. Really not sure though, and I'm just thinking "outloud".
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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  CSollers on 9/17/2012, 1:30 pm

We've been feeding our Pugs prepared raw for years a nd are very happy with the results. Our Vet, on the other hand, was not so enthusiastic. I agree with the earlier statement about nutritional education for a Vet's degree.
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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  GracieNEmma on 9/25/2012, 2:37 pm

I've been feeding my pugs the raw diet for 6+ years and I'm very happy with it. My vet office actually pushes the raw diet. All these articles coming out from the AVMA and the AAHA about raw food, I don't buy it. I don't think there has been enough research on their part and I almost feel like they are trying to help the "big" companies like Science Diet, Purina, etc. Anyhoo, that's another topic in itself. Kibble has only been around since the 1800's. I feed my dogs the raw diet because their digestive system is meant for raw food, it's what they eat in the wild. My pugs were healthy when I started feeding them but I did notice quite a difference in their fur and they went to the bathroom a lot less too. I'll never switch back to kibble. Not saying it's terrible because it has come along way but not only have I seen a difference but everyone that I know who has switched, especially those with health issues, have seen a world of difference.
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Re: Frozen Raw Diet...

Post  dianebarrybrazil on 9/25/2012, 4:08 pm

Update on Tallulah's switch to a raw diet: While I still "seed" the top of the raw food with a little shredded cooked chicken or equivalent to entice her to eat, she is now eating it more readily. I am mixing a heaping tablespoon of canned pumpkin into whatever flavor raw food I am using that day and I do set her metal bowl in the kitchen sink and surround it with hot water to bring her meal up to room temp before I serve it.

Best news is that I told the vet about switching her over to raw and wasn't sure how she'd respond but she thought it was terrific and feeds her own dogs raw! She said there is a real split among vets about it and while there are many who are against raw diets, there are many who endorse it as well. She asked what brand I was using and I told her Bravo and she said it was very good and she used to use it for her own dogs but had switched them to Vital Essentials. (This comes as raw frozen and raw freeze-dried which is shelf-stable). I did buy one package of each and tried them once each but so far, Tallulah didn't seem to like the dry, hard "nuggets" of the freeze-dried and threw up the frozen raw nuggets. I figure it is just too much change for her to adapt to when we are still transitioning to the Bravo "mush". So for now I'll leave the Vital Essentials on reserve.

Tallulah lost almost half a pound in 2 wks on the raw diet and her stools are much smaller and firmer (easier pick up!) and I think she seems a bit more energetic. So I'd have to say I think we're on the right track for Tallulah with the switch to raw. Thanks to all who weighed in on this topic - you guys are such a tremendous source of information and support!!
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I feed raw now!

Post  Clondon04 on 10/1/2012, 11:17 pm

Hi Diane,

I switched my girls to raw after one had an fCE the vet urged me to have her loose 3 pounds I tried everything and every kind of food finally I made the switch! Both pugs lost 3 lbs the other pug has had no infections at all!! I feed pre made raw called OCRAW as well as a freeze dried to change it up. I am slowly switching over to home based RAW as soon as I feel confident. I've been doing my best to educate myself a bunch!! Going raw is the best thing you can do for your dogs! Congrats!

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