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 Post subject: Question about raw diet
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:23 pm 
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I've always used raw bones and meat as a treat, mixing occasionally with the dogs' grain-free kibble. I've noticed that we can switch from kibble to raw and raw to kibble without digestive upset. Lately I've been feeding much more raw than usual. They've been on raw exclusively for about a week. The only downfall seems to be major bad breath. Their breath smells rank. Both dogs have healthy teeth and gums - this is totally new (in addition to their regular chewing, I brush their teeth several times a week.)

I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this. Do they need more bone?

Also, those of you that follow the 80-10-10 model, how much meat - by weight - should I be feeding my dogs every day? Is 1 lb per dog per day enough? They weigh 40 and 47 lbs respectively.

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Last edited by Courtney on Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:33 pm 
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Courtney,

More bone would have a cleaning effect on the teeth, if bacteria is causing the smell. I would certainly try that first and see what happens. Other than that, I just dont know. Never encountered the problem, other than Julie having a question about it a while back. Jim Browning said that Cannon will have bad breath if he eats something that he has buried and dug up. But, the bone may just do the trick to get rid of the smell.

I feed Lucy and Larry a pound a day. Lucy stays a just bit heavy on that, Larry stays right where I want him on that. Abe gets between a pound and a quarter and a pound and a half. He is the smaller of all of them, but he just needs more. So, to answer your question, start with a pound for each of them, then adjust it as you see fit. I have also found with Abe, that he needs more fat. When they were eating only deer meat, he got just too skinny, so I got some chicken and pork for him to have some fat. He is really, really active and looks more like the greyhound side of these dogs. (If thats really in them.) But he runs for the love of running and is nothing but muscle and hide, so he gets more food to keep him looking right.

I feed everyday. Some people let their dogs gorge, then rest for a couple of days, but if you do that, you have the situation of either putting away what they dont eat, or putting up with flies and I just choose not to do either. Have enough flies without leaving the dogs food out.

Let us know how the smelly breath thing goes.

Betty

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:13 am 
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We've never had a problem with the bad breath. Our dogs are like Betty's. Piper is the smallest (36 pounds), and she gets the most (1.25-1.5 pounds a day). Sunny is a little bigger, but gets less than a pound.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:15 am 
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I never exactly pinpointed what caused the bad breath. Sadie's teeth are perfectly white, no plaque or redness in her gums, so I don't think it was dental. But I've noticed that when it does get rank, almost fishy, she often has bathroom issues as well. Nothing messy, just not as efficient as usual. So my best guess is it was some sort of digestive gas issue.

For Ace and Luna, that could be caused by the transition from processed to raw. With Sadie, I actually think I was feeding too much bone with all those chicken thighs and quarters. Or maybe it was too much fat. Because it seemed to clear up when I added more boneless beef and liver. Right now her breath and digestion are fine and I'm alternating between chicken thighs, cut up whole chickens, hamburger patties, cheap beef cuts, a little bit of pork and calves liver. I wish I had access to deer, I think that is the best for lean red meat, but hopefully I can get in on scraps this fall.

Another possibility might be that the bones plus the brushing is irritating their gums and causing a minor infection. Gnawing on big bones and breaking up smaller bones with their back teeth truly is nature's toothbrush. Sadie has never had her teeth brushed and she has cleanest teeth I've ever seen on a dog. So maybe you can try cutting back on the brushing to see if the bones take care of it.

As for the amount you feed, I agree with the trial and error system. For Lacys, a pound is a good place to start. Sadie is about 30 pounds. When she was younger and hunting more, she stayed trim on 1 to 1.25 pounds. These days I try to average .75 to 1 pound. If I feed her a big piece one day, I'll give her something smaller the next.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:32 pm 
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Ok, more bone definitely did the trick. Thanks for the tips!

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:44 am 
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Hmmm, managed to miss the last post somehow. Glad that that worked and that things are going good now.

Betty

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