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Laurae

putting weight on a raw-fed dog

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A friend of mine began feeding her working border collie a raw diet about four months ago. His diet mainly consists of chicken quarters, mutton, ground elk/venison mix, pork necks, and a beef offal mix. She suppliments with fish oil because her dog has refused to eat any kind of fish that she's tried. He is currently about 50 pounds, but he should be about 55 and she is worried about keeping weight on him during the trial season. He eats about 25 ounces of food once a day, though she is going to split that into two meals to see if it helps. Does he just need to eat a few more ounces of food, or is there some type of food that might help put some weight on him?

 

Do any of you have any advice for her?

 

Thanks!

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I have friends who make something called 'satin balls' with ground raw meat, eggs, oatmeal?? and a bunch of other stuff. It put weight on a neurotic 'spinner' who never even covered her ribs on either raw or hi qual. kibble. I think they make large meat balls out of it, and it can be frozen well too.

googled it and got this

 

 

 

5 pounds ground meat

5 cups Total whole grain cereal

5 cups oats (slow cooking type)

2½ cups raw wheat germ

¾ cup oil

¾ cup molasses

6 egg yolks

5 packets gelatin

2 ½ tablespoons Solid Gold Seameal supplement

 

Mix up, form balls, freeze, feed as treats or food supplement.

 

 

The recipe states to be careful, it will make a dog fat.

 

Good luck

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When you say "mix" do you mean just the meat products you listed, or a prepackaged mixtype including veggies?

 

How old is the dog? How active? Temperament hyper or calm? How does he spend his non working time.

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When you say "mix" do you mean just the meat products you listed, or a prepackaged mixtype including veggies?

 

How old is the dog? How active? Temperament hyper or calm? How does he spend his non working time.

 

The elk/deer mix comes from a processor that the local hunters use. No veggies. Dog is six, he's probably less active than some working border collies; he probably works 3-4 times a week, goes for hikes, etc. I would say he is a little hyper in an always-moving kind of way.

 

Marilyn, thanks for the satin balls recipe.

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You know, looking at that recipe, i wonder if you could just add some oil, molasses and eggs to the raw diet and make a difference. I have a couple of skinnier-than-i'd-like boy dogs that i might try it on. I'm already feeding them about 1.5 pounds of raw diet a day and i'm not sure i want to stuff more meat in them (or my budget!)

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I've found some Border Collies will not keep weight on without grain. I don't know why. It doesn't take much, the equivilent of a few tablespoons a day of cooked oats or millet.

 

There are some old UK books by de Barclai Levy on natural feeding that mention the base working sheepdog diet was mutton, oats, fish, and milk. Milk, if you can get it raw and whole, and the dog does ok on it might be a good addition here. You can also do oats soaked in milk. Levy also gave her own working Afghan dogs the occassional can of corn.

 

Is the dog on a digestive enzyme?

 

A good holistic vet might also have some suggestions for the hyperactivity. If you could get him to relax it'd make a lot of difference.

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Thanks! We'll try adding some of these. I don't think she's using any digestive enzymes with him.

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I'd second the idea of grains. I don't know what's in Total cereal...but I think I'd just stick to plain oats! I get organic rolled oats; for my 40 pound pup who's pretty active, I use about 1/4 dry oats, and pour just enough boiling water over them to cover, soak for a few minutes. If she can get it, organic (and only) coconut oil is another good calorie-filled oil which is (contrary to popular belief) VERY good for dogs.

 

Re milk - yes, but cottage cheese (whole fat, not low or no fat) is a good way to get dogs to have some dairy - most like it just fine! Fish body oil is good too, but one wouldn't normally be adding enough to get many calories in. I do add other oils - organic safflower or sometimes olive, along with Grizzly Salmon Oil.

 

Hadn't thought of molasses...wonder how they like the taste? Sounds messy though! :-)

 

If the chicken quarters are the only raw meaty bones the dog is getting, she may need to add some calcium to other meals, to get a good calcium/phosphorus ratio. There are lots of web sites and groups out there that explain this better than I can! I use Kal brand bone meal as my supplement (no bones here).

 

Methinks she might need to be doing some more research on raw diets...but I dunno what she knows at this point!

 

diane

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A few dogs will gain weight with hamburger meat. Close friend with a lean (and used for herding :rolleyes: ) GSD swears by burger if her bitch starts losing weight...

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If the chicken quarters are the only raw meaty bones the dog is getting, she may need to add some calcium to other meals, to get a good calcium/phosphorus ratio.

 

She's feeding pork necks and whole sheep also, and those are just the staples; she feeds a variety of other foods as well. She has researched her dog's basic diet, and it's sound. Thanks for the ideas!

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On occassion, my male dogs will require 2-3 pounds of meat a day for a 50 lb. dog. When the dogs get skinny, as some are getting now as work demands increase, the food portions must increase. I feed 12- 15 lbs. of meaty food a day for 10 dogs.

 

Oatmeal is a good filler. Soak rolled oats overnight in milk - no cooking required.

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I don't think she's using any digestive enzymes with him.

 

It might be a good idea. Digestive enzymes have helped Dean balance out nicely weigh-wise.

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Another post here somewhere (sorry - no time to search just now) mentioned that ground lamb is particularly high fat. Seems like that would depend on the animals, wouldn't it? In any case, there just might be someone here with lambs they might be willing to "part with" on occasion. I have a freezer full from some herding friends!

 

diane

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Robin.... I think I'd be careful just adding the oil, and molasses. I know my intestines would purge on it. I think the ceral and oatmeal is part of the package. I seem to remember on the website that it is a total complete nutritional package (the satin balls). I also know a little goes quite a long way. My friends fed it in addition to the regular raw diet. It is quite rich, and the dog gained really well in a fair amount of time. There are several variations on the recipe I posted.

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I would hesitate to call "satin" balls a "complete" product. It is intended for for weight gain only. I have used a derivative with only ground meat, eggs, oil, molasses, and rolled oats. Frankly, I have found "satin" balls to be expensive, messy, and much too labor intensive for my operation.

 

Some butchers put together a "musher's mix" product, consisting of ground fat with some meat trimmings and organs meats. This mix can be purchased for about $.15/ pound. I have used it as a supplement to a regular raw fed diet when needing to put weight on a dog.

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Looking at what she is feeding "chicken quarters, mutton, ground elk/venison mix, pork necks, and a beef offal mix" the diet appears to be pretty low fat depending on the cuts of mutton. Fat is more calorie dense than muscle meat and trim from wild animals and organs is generally low in fat. She may be able to get more of the fat in the elk/venison mix if she asks for it. Raw green tripe is also fairly fatty, easy to digest and has digestive enzymes and is a great way to add extra calories.

 

Metabolism varies between dogs so while what she is feeding might be ok for some 50lb dogs, it may not be enough for her dog. My 110 pound dane mix eats two pounds (32 oz) of food a day, and my 48 pound BC eats only slightly less.

 

I've been raw feeding for five years to my own dogs and fosters and I've never had an issue with getting a dog to gain weight without adding in grains, but I also know people who swear that their dogs do better with oats or rice or other grains.

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Thanks very much for your post! She hasn't fed any green tripe yet (we have a local co-op and she hasn't yet gotten in on a delivery) but this will definitely be a staple for her dog once she gets her order in. She just bought a bunch of beef hearts that seem fairly fatty. The offal mix is kind of fatty, too. The last sheep we both got are really pretty fatty but since I gave Craig too much fat and he got sick a few months ago, I advised her to trim it--maybe it's overkill/not necessary to trim all of the fat. Do you have any thoughts on that--is it necessary to trim all fat off the sheep, or would keeping some on be helpful for her dog (and mine)?

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The last sheep we both got are really pretty fatty but since I gave Craig too much fat and he got sick a few months ago, I advised her to trim it--maybe it's overkill/not necessary to trim all of the fat. Do you have any thoughts on that--is it necessary to trim all fat off the sheep, or would keeping some on be helpful for her dog (and mine)?

I feed a buffalo mix that is 50% muscle meat, 25% heart/liver and 25% fat. I haven't had an issue with any of my dogs, ranging in age from 18 months to 12 years. If your dog is especially sensitive to fat you can trim some off but I think that fat is an important part of the diet, especially for a dog you are trying to put weight on.

 

I would increase the fat gradually though - too much at once can be a problem, especially if the dog is new to raw and not used to fat. The digestive enzymes suggested by a previous poster will also help if they contain lipase.

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I have a supplement that I have used for years on my dogs, when they were on kibble and now that they are on raw that is a good all around supplement and good for helping put on weight. A friend of mine got it from Wendy Volhard years ago. I like it because it provides my dogs with all their minerals, vitamins etc that they need all in one shot. I have also used it for foster dogs that come in in poor condition. It contains grains, mloasses, honey, kelp, Vit E & C, wheat germ, wheat bran, oils, etc. etc. You don't need much of it - a 55 lb dog would use 1/3 to 1/2 cup per day. It is inexpensive to make and freezes down well. I haven't found any dog that doesn't really like it. In addition, it is good for a lot of skin problems.

 

If you are interested, pm me and I wll send it to you.

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sorry, a little late on this. The quality of fat is a big issue. Old animals, especially those that have been exposed to a lot of chemicals, typically have hard fat around the muscles and the toxins they are exposed to are stored in it (as well as the liver). Dogs don't do as well on this as they do fat from younger, healthier, less chemicallly exposed animals.

 

You do need to start slow on fat content, but also be aware of what kind of fat.

 

Northof49 I would love if you would post the recipe here please - or pm me if you can't.

 

 

 

Thanks very much for your post! She hasn't fed any green tripe yet (we have a local co-op and she hasn't yet gotten in on a delivery) but this will definitely be a staple for her dog once she gets her order in. She just bought a bunch of beef hearts that seem fairly fatty. The offal mix is kind of fatty, too. The last sheep we both got are really pretty fatty but since I gave Craig too much fat and he got sick a few months ago, I advised her to trim it--maybe it's overkill/not necessary to trim all of the fat. Do you have any thoughts on that--is it necessary to trim all fat off the sheep, or would keeping some on be helpful for her dog (and mine)?

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A friend of mine began feeding her working border collie a raw diet about four months ago. His diet mainly consists of chicken quarters, mutton, ground elk/venison mix, pork necks, and a beef offal mix. She suppliments with fish oil because her dog has refused to eat any kind of fish that she's tried. He is currently about 50 pounds, but he should be about 55 and she is worried about keeping weight on him during the trial season. He eats about 25 ounces of food once a day, though she is going to split that into two meals to see if it helps. Does he just need to eat a few more ounces of food, or is there some type of food that might help put some weight on him?

 

Do any of you have any advice for her?

 

 

Assuming an otherwise healthy dog, the most successful and healthiest way to add weight is to increase the amount of food, increase the frequency of meals, and add fat. It is usually less explosive to add fat and increase daily intake by spreading the wealth over more meals--more food, less stress.

 

Probably the elk and venison are very lean but certainly mutton isn't and although pork necks are generally bone with some attached non-bone stuff, there's usually plenty of fat there. The fish oil does not significantly increase calorie count. Your friend can try adding more fat, but she should do it over time: weight gain to be healthy should not be abrupt. Feeding pork meat will add healthy weight (as opposed to the weight gain that comes from cereal grains); feeding beef heart complete with its suet is another way to get healthy calories into her dog.

 

Based on my experience with putting weight on dogs, at least a month is needed to add weight without digestive upset.

 

My apologies for replying so late. Hope this helps.

Chris

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