Its certainly been no secret that I've wanted better food for my dogs. I've been researching it off and on for years, and especially since deciding that we want to start showing dogs in the future.
Well we finally took the plunge 12 days ago into what is called "Prey Model" raw feeding.
The idea here is that Dogs are naturally carnivores, and therefore we should feed them as such.
I won't get into the details, but I will provide links for more information, should you be interested.
Calculator to determine how much/what to feed.
Anyway - here's the results of almost two weeks of raw feeding:
We started them out on dark-meat chicken quarters, with skin removed. The skin/fat is pretty hard to digest if they're not used to it, and its already a big change, so I removed it. They were admittedly confused by the new meal, and it took a while for them to get the hang of it, but once they did - they loved it.
Day 3 we had a bit of a mishap overnight. I think I left too much skin on the chicken, and someone had some tummy trouble upstairs. I made sure afterwards to be more careful - and things have gone well.
Day 8, I added a heart & gizzards to the regular meal. While this was received eagerly, it did seem to cause some digestive upset because I didn't provide any bone to counteract the amount of protein/phosphorous. (in other words, it wasn't a balanced meal)
Day 11 - We've noticed that they look thin, but this is likely because i've been removing the skin from the chicken, which in turn removes a lot of calories. I've begun (slowly) adding the skin back in, and they seem to be handling it fairly well, and will hopefully regain some of the lost weight.
I've also noticed Boston being more playful in the daytime.
Everyone seems to smell less like a dog, and the backyard is surprizingly clean.
I'm not thrilled with their coat texture at the moment, but from what I understand this is a normal "detox" situation, and they often shed some rough unpleasant fur while they're getting bad stuff out of their bodies, and that it will go away as the diet gets more established. They may also need the oils from the chicken skin they haven't been getting until now.
Their meals do not currently include organ meat, which will increase their nutrient and caloric intake considerably.
This week - I'm hoping to add ground beef to the menu - but need to stock up on bones to balance it out. Ground beef is fattier and higher calories, as well as being better for Boston's heart condition, so i'm excited to see those improvements.
We were also brought some "offal" from a local hunter, and are very appreciative. Shane is going hunting this weekend, so hoping that goes well too!