Jump to content
BC Boards
Sign in to follow this  
Miztiki

Whole prey model Q&A

Recommended Posts

There are many types of raw diets out there. I'm going to focus on the whole prey model here, though I would encourage you to learn about the different ways of feeding raw and choose the one you feel is best. Raw feeders disagree about whose method is better, but we all agree that any method is better than kibble.

 

There is a raw list on Yahoo groups that can be found here. It's a very high volume list and they can answer all of your questions.

 

I've only been feeding raw for around 3 months now and still have alot to learn. What I write here may not be totally accurate so it's up to you to do your own research!

 

Ok.

 

The whole prey model is where you feed your dogs (and cats!) raw meat, organs and bones. There are no veggies or anything involved. The meat is not ground.

 

So you're thinking about switching to raw? Then feed raw and raw only. Don't mix raw with kibble. Kibble digests at a much slower rate than raw meat and mixing them can cause your dog digestive problems. Raw takes something like 4-6 hours to digest, while kibble takes 8-12 hours to digest. Besides, there's no point in it. Kibble is crap.

 

Dog's digestive systems are different than humans. It's much more acidic than ours and shorter too. That's why dogs can eat nasty, rotten things and not get sick. The bacteria don't stand a chance in such an environment.

 

The recommended way to switch your dog or cat on raw is to start with one protein source for a week or two while the dog adjusts to the new diet. Chicken is cheap and readily available, but you can start with beef or pork or lamb or rabbit or whatever is most convenient for you.

 

You want to feed 2%-3% of the dog's ideal body weight. The goal is to balance everything out over time.

 

You want the dog to eat a ratio of 10%-15% consumable bone, around 15% organs, and the rest meat.

 

Say your dog should eat 1 lb a day. Go buy a chicken and cut it up into quarters. Give your dog one of the quarters. The next day give another quarter, etc., until the chicken (and innards) are gone. Continue for a week or so.

 

If your dog isn't having any problems at the end of a week or so, try beef or pork or fish and do the same.

 

Here's where the questions come in. What about bones?

 

Never give your dog cooked bones of any kind. It weakens them and causes them to splinter. Raw bones crunch apart.

 

Yes, there are some risks involved with eating bones. A sharp piece of bone can puncture the stomach or intestines. Too much bone can cause constipation or blockage. Hard bones can crack or break teeth.

 

Now weigh the risks and the benefits. Bones clean their teeth, so you won't have to worry about the problems associated with bad teeth, or the risks of anesthesia to clean them. Kibble is highly processed crap that was made months before you fed it to your dog. Their bodies have to work extra hard to break that crap down. Some of it is absorbed but alot of it is undigestable and comes out the other end in the form of logs. (Raw poop vs kibble poop will be covered later on.)

 

There are things you can do to minimize the risks though, and things you should understand.

 

The process of tearing and chewing at meat takes time and allows the stomach to produce acids that break down the incoming food & bone. Kibble doesn't do that. Freezing or partially thawing the meat will force the dog to take even more time to eat. Snarfing down meat and bones can be dangerous (choking hazard). If your dog is an inhaler, give it a big hunk of meat, like a whole chicken, partially or fully frozen, and take it up when it's eaten enough and put it back in the fridge/freezer for next time.

 

Those scary sharp bones will dissolve in the dog's stomach (all that acid is ready for it). It IS scary to feed your dog bones the first time. That's probably people's biggest fear about raw. Keep in mind that carnivores in the wild catch and eat their prey - bones and all! Thousands and thousands of raw fed dogs do the same every day, including mine.

 

The hard, heavy bones, like a cow's leg bone, can break teeth. If your dog carefully picks the meat off a bone like that then you may want to risk it. Otherwise, don't give them those hard bones. There are other softer bones that can be easily consumed (chicken, rabbit, duck, goat, lamb, etc.).

 

All parts of all food animals contain varying levels of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients, so you want to feed your dog as wide a variety of meat as you can and balance it out over time. Chicken leg quarter one day, pork shoulder the next, fish the next, beef the next, turkey the next, lamb the next, so on and so forth. Throw in duck, goat, rabbit, venison (deer), buffalo, ostrich, squid, alligator, llama, or anything else you can think of and your dog will have a healthy, balanced diet.

 

Organically raised animals are healthiest but gosh, they are expensive!

 

Be sure your dog gets the right amount of organs and bone. Cut the organs into smaller servings, package and freeze, then feed as needed. Some dogs can eat an organ meal only. For some dogs that's too rich and will give them the runs. Eggs are excellent, shell and all, but some dogs don't tolerate eggs as well as others. You learn as you go and feed your dog accordingly.

 

Gross parts of an animal should be fed occasionally too! Heads and feet, lungs and tongues... They all contain nutrients in trace amounts that are not found in other parts of the body and help to balance everything out.

 

Balancing things out over time means that every single day doesn't have to be the exact size or ratio of meat/organ/bone. You can feed alot one day and none the next. You can feed meat only one day and organs only the next. Over a period of time you want it to all average out to the proper amounts and ratios.

 

The benefits of raw are why people are switching. Clean, healthy teeth, soft, shiny coats, stronger immune systems, healthy skin and nails, smaller poops...

 

Raw poops look alot different than kibble poops. Raw poops are small! My Boy weighs 65 pounds and his poops are the same size as a cats' poops. That's because the dog is actually digesting and using most of what is being eaten.

 

Also, raw poops turn white and crumble apart, so you don't have to pick up poop if you don't want. Just let it crumble into the ground and fertilize your lawn. If you step on a fresh raw poop it won't stick to the bottom of your shoe.

 

Ok, ask your questions and I'll do my best to answer them. I'm sure I've forgotten something important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it is really bad to feed kibble (canidae) and RMBs? I would like to give Dublin the benefits of raw, but I still need him to be able to do kibble for the times he is boarded, etc. And I have an apt sized refrig - very tiny freezer.

 

I have a few books on raw on order so hopefully I will be a bit more informed soon. Thanks for any help in the meantime!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can provide the kennel with a very high quality of dog food, preferably canned so that it's mostly meat. Then switch him back to raw when he gets back home. No, I wouldn't feed raw and kibble at the same time.

 

I have a small fridge/freezer too, and two dogs to feed. How much does Dublin weigh? He would probably need less than a pound per day. That's less than 7 pounds per week. One pork shoulder weighs 7 pounds. Do you have room for a pork shoulder? You could go shopping every week like you normally do. One week get him a chicken. That week he can eat chicken, eggs, and a can of mackeral or salmon. Next week get a beef brisket. Or, get a small chest freezer. You can get a good used one for $50 I bet. If the store is close to you, go shopping every few days or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miz, thanks for the email and it is a great idea that you posted the info here. So I have a ton of questions.

 

1. Big concern: Does it cost more/less to feed raw? I feed Chicken Soup now and the biggest bag costs 31 bucks - can't remember how long it last for two dogs.

 

2. Where do you get rabbits and lambs? Grocery stores in my area don't carry them.

 

3. Fish have really sharp bones. Do you still give them as whole?

 

4. When you put the rest of whole chicken in the freezer and give it next day, do you defrost or just give frozen?

 

5. Do you monitor while they are eating?

 

6. Does your cat ever try to steal their food while they are eating out in the yard?

 

7. Have you noticed any changes in their behaviors? Possessiveness? became more wild?

 

I like the fact that the dogs can spend more time eating than just 3 minutes of vacuming the kibble. Her teeth and coat too. If I decided to do it, I should wait until I come back from vacation. I am also concerned if she has to be kenneled or watched by someone else in the future. Once you go RAW, I don't think the dogs would want to go back to Kibbles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. It costs more initially. Over time it will save alot of money on vet bills. Also, no more treats from the pet store, so that saves money too. If you can get a freezer and buy in bulk, then it should average out to the same price as kibble overall. I'd be willing to split orders with you!!!

 

2. I don't know where to get rabbit and lambs (cheaply). Hope to get some sheep meat while in NC!!! Hope to raise rabbits myself once I know enough. Learned that they don't do well (die) in our heat. Right now Boy eats chicken, duck, turkey, beef, pork and fish. Had his first goat meat the other day too.

 

3. Yes to whole fish, if they'll eat them. Mine isn't too fond of fish so far, so eat mostly canned salmon/mackeral/sardines. Don't forget, their stomachs have so much acid in them that the bones are quickly dissolved. I've never seen a bone fragment in either of my dog's poops.

 

4. I feed frozen because it's easy and they like it, but it doesn't matter. You can stick it in the fridge if you want.

 

5. Yes, I monitor them. I sit here at the computer and watch them out the window. Sometimes I put a towel down in the house and watch them. At the beginning I watched them like a hawk. At first Fynne couldn't believe her great luck of having a whole hunk of meat and she devoured it. Now that she's used to it and knows she'll get it every day, she takes her time and enjoys it.

 

6. My cats so far are not interested, so no. Even if they were interested, I doubt they would try to steal food out of a dog's mouth!

 

7. No, not in a negative way. Raw meat is a high value item, so if your dogs have a tendency towards resource guarding then they will definately want to guard their raw food. Fynne was a guarder when I got her, even with kibble those first couple days. I can't take food out of her mouth yet, but I can sit by her and pet her while she's eating. It's not because of raw, it's because she wasn't taught properly.

 

On the other hand, both dogs are brighter, happier, etc.

 

Your vacation is in September, right? I wouldn't wait. Your BF could easily feed the dogs raw. It's really easy, especially if you gorge and fast (feed alot one day, nothing the next, lite meal the next...). If that doesn't work, 3 months of raw, then 3 months of kibble is better than 6 months of kibble. Jazzy's teeth would at least get clean, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again.

 

So switching back and forth wouldn't hurt? 3 months then 3 months etc. I enjoy cooking or preparing meals for them - and it's not really intimate/fun to just scoop kibble and feed in a bowl so I am very interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

INU, I noticed less resource guarding since I started feeding raw. My two used to eat at opposite ends of the house. Now they lie right next to each other in the grass. The cats have been curious but know better than to approach the dogs. Tried raw with the cats but they are the devils spawn and refused.

 

Miztiki, Well I didn't feed the dogs kibble yesterday and they were quite happy to eat the raw. This morning for breakfast I gave them each a pork neck to hold them until I went to the store at lunch. I giddily bought whole chickens, some lovely meat laden pork ribs, found beef kidney & liver, a good price on chicken thighs, and also picked up two small fish to try.Starting up the freezer in the basement. I can't wait to see the reaction to a whole chicken. I am going to wait and give the chix on Saturday, when I can be home all day to supervise. I will try to get a picture. Cocoa is going to be beside herself and Honey will have to get permission 50 times before she touches it.

 

Toni

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take pictures! :rolleyes:

 

Be careful with the ribs. Are they beef ribs? They are hard and can crack teeth. I fed Boy beef ribs for the first couple months but got nervous and stopped. I might give him one now and then but there is risk, especially for the ones who go hog wild.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, they are country style pork ribs, more meat than bone which is why I bought them.

 

Toni

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miz, thanks for starting this thread. I have considered trying either raw or some other home prepared diet for Missy.

 

It is nice to hear first a first hand account of how someone does it and how it works for them.

 

My big problem is that I am gone from home 3 days a week for work (nanny job), and I want to keep thigs simple and straight forward for those taking care of my critters.

 

I have thought about using kibble while I'm gone and doing raw the 4 days I'm home. Any thoughts on this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't recommend that, not on a regular basis like you would need. That's too much of an adjustment for their stomachs, going back and forth like that.

 

What you could do is have the caretaker feed them a gorge meal on the first day, then nothing on the second day, then nothing or a light meal on the third day. Or some variation thereof.

 

Are you gone the entire 3 days? Or do you come home at night to sleep? If you come home then you could feed your critters a gorge meal in the middle of those 3 days.

 

But no, I would not switch back and forth between raw and kibble every week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats kinda what I thought, but it never hurts to ask .

 

I am usually gone the entire 3 days. I like to keep instructions as basic as I can while I'm away. Maybe I'll try to go more toward home cooked meals during the days I'm home. Its probably not as ideal, but has got to have more nutritional value than kibble alone. Have you found any good resourses for home cooked food in all of your rescerch?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far I have given Dublin sliced beef marrow bones (that is what started this change). He absolutely loved them, but I had to take the bones away as soon as he scraped them clean because I was worried about his teeth.

 

I then gave him beef neck, planning on taking the bones away, but within minutes they were gone (kinda worried about that, but so far, so good).

 

I went to the local Walmart last night an got some tripe, turkey necks and pigs feet. I gave him a turkey neck and he loved it - but it was really scary for me to give him poultry bones...too many years of having that rule drilled into my head. Interestingly enough, my cats, who turn their noses up at *anything* but Cat Chow, kept taking the turkey neck from Dublin...maybe raw is in the future for them as well?

 

I am worried about finding enough variety for him. I haven't found heart or any other organs besided liver and tripe yet. I don't have a local butcher that I know of....I would like to have that lined up before I commit fully to raw.

 

 

Dublin is 44lbs, but I would like to see him at 40 - so I guess that would equal about 1lb/day. I would definitely have to change my shopping habits, though...right now I go grocery shopping about once every 6 weeks (then again, maybe the chest freezer would be a more reasonable approach)

 

Miz - When you get your chicken, do you let him eat a few pounds of it, then take it away and re freeze it or do you cut it up ahead of time (and if so, isn't that really hard to do?)

 

Thanks for starting this thread - very informative and good to have a lot of the info in one place!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Afraid not. I've never known of a wild carnivore to cook it's food, so see no reason to bother cooking. Cooking any food, even our own, kills the vitamins and minerals.

 

Could you have the caretaker feed your dog(s) whole chicken on that first of three days, then nothing the other two? That would be pretty simple. Just give the dog a chicken until it's gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tripe sold at grocery stores has been bleached and has no nutritional value. Don't bother buying it. I bought some early on and threw it away. The kind of tripe you want is green tripe. I haven't gotten any yet but it's really stinky with partially digested grass in it from what I understand.

 

Turkey necks are excellent for cleaning teeth. Chicken backs are excellent for cleaning cat's teeth, if you can get them to eat it. Cats are finicky.

 

Wal-Mart will sell the weird food. Ask the meat guy what part of the week it comes in. Hearts and tongues are cheap sources of pure meat. Any major grocery store (Kroger, HEB, Meijers) sells the oddball parts, just ask when they come in. You can also check the Asian and Mexican meat markets. That's where I got the goat last week. If you get a freezer you can buy in bulk from the store manager or online. There's a list for locating raw food suppliers. Do a search in Yahoo's groups section. I only have a link for suppliers in and around Houston.

 

If you fed chicken only for a few weeks or so it wouldn't hurt anything. That would give you time to buy a freezer, find organs, etc.

 

When I buy a chicken I put the whole thing in the freezer, then give it to one of the dogs for a gorge meal, or let one eat half then give the other dog the other half, or give one dog some of it then pick it up after they've eaten the amount I want, then either put it in the fridge for later or in the freezer. I don't bother cutting it up anymore.

 

Get a pair of poultry shears though and it's very easy to cut up a chicken, not hard at all. Oh, and you'll want good quality sharp knives too or it will take forever to cut things up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey thanks for doing this. I just have a quick question about feeding fish. My Jack is much like your Boy in his allergy issues, I have been doing the raw thing for four or so months. Jack now eats, duck, chicken, beef, turkey, rabbit, some pork, but I am having a hard time with fish. I have only been able to get canned salmon and mackral, but the problem is he has really really loose stools when he eats it. I only feed at night so he has the whole night to rest and digest, but if fish was on the menu he will need to wake me up to go out and it isn't pretty. All his other stools are the normal whitish crumble kind. Someone advised putting rice with it, but that is a no go as he has allergies to rice. He eats the fish very gusto, but I haven't been able to get his system use to it. Do you suggest feeding him fish for a straight week? So far I have only done three days before I stopped and went back to a safe meat source. I do add cod liver oil to his meals daily and he handles that fine. Any advice anyone has would be very well received! Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This might be a silly question with a simple Yes No... Can you feed cooked meat while doing raw diet?

Example:

 

Monday - raw chicken

Tuesday - canned salmon

Wednesday - boiled chicken without bone

etc..

 

It's OK to give veggies, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I have a solution! Buy a package of chicken backs, put three per baggie and freeze them. On the fish days, give Jack the 3 chicken backs along with the fish. The bones from the backs should firm up his stools. A turkey neck would do the same. I keep turkey necks and chicken backs on hand at all times for canned fish meals, for organ only meals, etc. to firm up the stools.

 

Also, consider stuffing the fish in kongs and freezing it. This takes the dog longer to eat it, giving his stomach time to prepare.

 

I wouldn't feed fish for a week straight until you get his stools firmed up, and even then I wouldn't feed it that long unless I came across a great deal on fish that needed to be used up quick.

 

Don't use cod liver oil. You want fish body oil. Don't ask me why because I've forgotten, but there was a big explanation on the raw list about it. You could ask them or do a search. If you can locate a good source of naturally oily fish and give that to Jack once a week, then you could skip the oil altogether from what I understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inu - based on my very limited knowledge to date, I believe it is okay to do veggies (someone on the board does this - Shayna, maybe?) but I think that is called the BARF model, whereas the prey model Miztiki feeds does not include veggies.

 

No clue about the cooked vs raw, though.

 

Miz - if I am wrong, please correct me! Thanks!

 

Edit to add: it is ridiculous how excited I am about switching Dublin to raw...been online, checking out freezer prices...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BARFers feed veggies but prey model people don't understand why and disagree with it since dogs don't have the enzymes needed to break them down into useful energy. BARFers say to pulp the veggies to break down the cell walls of the plants. If dogs were meant to eat veggies, then God would have provided blenders to wild carnivores. IMO anyway.

 

edited to add: haha, that's funny! :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another (possibly stupid ) question - what are chicken backs? Are they a normal cut of chicken? I haven't seen it (and I just went on Price Chopper's website and they don't list it as a cut of poultry they have).

 

As for veggies - we used to have a dog that loved squash, esp acorn squash. Would go into the garden and grab them the minute they turned ripe - drove my father nuts trying to get to the squash before the dog did (my father never did win)

 

Bummed about the tripe - I just spent $12 on the stuff (Walmart doesn't do small packages apparently...sigh...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miztiki, I'll have to think about it and figure out if it will work or not.

 

Kitch, You might try asking at local farms to locate a butcher shop.

 

P.S. I thought that God did provide "blenders" in the form of the unlucky animal who gets to be dinner :rolleyes: :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry INU, didn't even see your post.

 

You could feed cooked, but why? What does cooking do besides raise your electricity bill? But if you happened to have some leftover chicken that you couldn't finish off, then you could give it to Jazzy or Cooper, minus the bones. It just wouldn't be as nutritious as raw chicken.

 

As for veggies, see above. It won't hurt anything if you give them a little bite of something now and then, but dogs can't digest veggies, so I wouldn't consider it anything but a snack. I give Boy a bit of my banana, or bite off a piece of melon and spit it out and he catches it. My cat Punkin loves fresh spinach leaves. They are just occasional treats though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...