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Well, a raw + kibble mix to start…

I’ve been researching and writing about the raw food diet for dogs for a few months now and today I finally made the switch after Amanda’s great article about making the switch.  I found a book for the Amazon Kindle (A Quick-start guide to Raw Feeding by Louise Chapman) that helped me create a menu for our dogs.

This was our first day on a raw diet….

Raw + Kibble Diet

Louise Chapman provides a raw/kibble menu plan (covering several weeks) in her book.  Because kibble can take up to 12 hours to digest, we feed kibble in the evening (4:30-5:30 pm) and raw in the morning (5-5:15 am).  It takes 4-6 hours for raw to digest.

Today’s Raw Food Menu

We decided to feed the dogs chicken.  I’ve mentioned previously that Rodrigo is allergic to chicken, but now I’m wondering if it was his kibble and not the chicken. I decided to give raw chicken a shot, because in my research, I learned that many food allergies are connected to the ingredients in the kibble, not necessarily the meat.  Rodrigo always had an immediate reaction to chicken kibble, but never a reaction to actual chicken.

  • ground turkey
  • boneless chicken thighs
  • boneless chicken breast
  • chicken hearts
  • it all amounted to 1-1/2 cups of food for each dog

I got the meat from the grocery store, which now carries an expensive brand that promises no hormones, no sodium, no funny business in the poultry.  I didn’t mix in any vegetables or supplements.  I didn’t give them raw bone.  We’re tiptoeing into this new diet.  The dogs loved it and ate every bite.

What Did We Learn?

  • It’s important to cut things into small bites – everyone had trouble with the chicken and I had to cut the pieces up smaller to make it easier to chew and swallow
  • Don’t feed near carpet – Rodrigo and Blue kept taking bites to a carpeted area to investigate; at one point, Blue took a heart to the sofa to save for later.

What Did the Dogs Think?

  • They loved it; I decided to feed them later than they were used to so that they wouldn’t be too picky.  They didn’t wolf the food down, but they investigated, started eating, then they wanted mor.
  • We didn’t experience any food guarding or aggression.  We fed the dogs 5 feet apart from each other, on a surface that could be easily cleaned (they removed some of the food from the bowl when they couldn’t eat it – remember, small bites).

What Did the Humans Think?

  • My boyfriend couldn’t stop talking about the dangers. He knew I was researching this option and even found a butcher we could buy from, but when it came time to make the switch, he was kind of a pain until I finally said that he needed to trust me and that I didn’t want to ruin our Sunday with arguing.
  • Clean up was important to my boyfriend so I cleaned the counters and where they ate with a water-bleach mixture and I cleaned their dishes thorough.  I think I washed my hands 10 times during the entire process of mixing their meal and preparing food for tomorrow.
  • I’m tempted to try prepare raw from a local company – it might be easier (and cheaper).

Tonight’s Dinner

  • Halo Purely for Pets kibble, 1 cup each
  • FreshPet Deli Fresh food rolls, which received 5 stars on DogFoodAdvisor.com, 1/2″ each

I’ll be updating you each Sunday on our progress.

Please share your experience and knowledge with me in the comments below – I’m stunned by how much information is out there so I’m a little overwhelmed.

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