View Full Version : Raw Diet

14th April 2009, 10:18 AM
Hi, just wondering if anyone has their cav on a raw diet?
I've been reading up on it and am seriously thinking of changing him even to every second day, one day raw one day kibble (my reason for this is for when he goes into kennel if we go away)
Any advice good or bad (or indifferent!) esp in relation to cavs on raw would be very welcome!

Cathy Moon
14th April 2009, 12:43 PM
I have fed my dogs commercial frozen raw diet that meets AAFCO nutrition standards for all life stages. I've found it's more expensive than kibble, and I also had to cut up the patties to check for bone shards, as I did find large sharp bones twice! :yikes

My dogs loved the raw, and I feed them raw whenever they have digestive problems (not since last summer). You have to be aware of cleanliness - put a snood on to protect the dog's ears from getting in the food, and wipe the dog's face after each meal. Plus the bowl has to be washed immediately, and the water bowl needs to be washed twice a day. I find it's easier and less expensive to feed a high quality kibble.

Kate H
14th April 2009, 12:48 PM
I see no reason why Cavaliers shouldn't thrive on a raw diet. I give my two a raw chicken wing for breakfast twice a week, which they love (and is good for their teeth], and plenty of raw vegetables. Can't at the moment go further than that, for several reasons:

(a) When on holiday (always with the dogs) I can't always guarantee a supply of raw food - and in a tent I have no frig! And when away staying with friends, they don't always welcome a supply of raw bones to go in their frig!

(b) With only 2 dogs and limited freezer space, I can't order a larger supply of (for example) free range/organic chicken wings, and when I buy them from a local shop I do worry a bit about how many nasties there may be in them in the way of growth supplements, antibiotics etc.

Having said that, my new younger dog, Aled, loves chewing bones and is making my older Oliver a bit more adventurous (he's a lazy eater - raw bones are too much trouble!), so I think I could introduce more raw food inthe shape of meaty bones - and keep all-day dry food as a holiday treat! Incidentally, I wouldn't think that feeding a raw diet would be a problem with kennels - they must have other dogs on it, or would let you take your own food supply along for your dogs.

Not sure any of that's terribly helpful!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

14th April 2009, 01:22 PM
Thanks for the replies,
Cathy Can I ask firstly what a snood is? I never thought of the hygenic aspect, wiping Ossies face and ears clean, I was thinking more on the babies angle and had decided if I was going ahead that I'd have to feed him in the crate. What cleaner would you use to clean the base of the crate? I don't want to use anything that would cause an allergic reaction but need something to clean germs. Would dettol be ok?
I'm glad to know it helps yours with digestive problems as Ossie easily gets ticky tummies and his anal glands need emptying regularly, this was the main reason I was looking about raw.
Kate I never thought of asking the kennel whether or not raw was ok I just presumed it wasn't but thinking about it its prob the main reason why they have a freezer there!
Thanks again for replies.

14th April 2009, 01:56 PM
Most kennels won't feed a raw diet in my experience. It is too much hassle and most seem to feel it introduces extra hygiene issues for the kennel.

I feed some raw with caution. I have had two scary incidents with raw chicken wings, and from dogs that do chew them extensively, so am still wary. Also I have spoken to vets who have had serious problems with dogs fed raw -- punctures from raw bones.

So I tend to view raw as a diet with some risks and some benefits and some clear benefits in certain situations (eg dogs with some digestive problems often find they resolve on a raw diet). People need to weigh the risks and benefits as with many things in a dog's life. :thmbsup:

I would be cautious about the info found on the net regarding the benefits of raw diets simply because raw enthusiasts are very enthusiastic and people tend to post only positive comments on raw discussion lists. I have been attacked on such sites for simply noting my *personal experience* as if I either made up the problems or the dogs are blamed for not eating raw bones 'properly'. But they are experienced raw feeders -- at one point I fed only raw -- and neither gulps food. I am not against raw feeding and do keep an element of raw feeding in my dogs' regular diet. But I do warn people to understand this is a diet that going on my personal experience does introduce some element of risk (at least with raw bones).

Dogs fed raw chicken in particular do tend to pass on salmonella in stools according to one study (and this would make sense as almonella is fairly common on commercially slaughtered chickens), so a raw diet choice also carries community and home hygiene responsibilities for thorough cleanup of stools too, not just food prep and clean-up responsibilities).

Raw diets also need to be nutritionally balanced so if people are interested in raw please be sure to read widely and make sure your dog's nutritional needs are covered by the ingredients you choose. Monica Segal (http://monicasegal.com) has a good book and pamphlets on the topic.

Cathy T
14th April 2009, 04:09 PM
dogs with some digestive problems often find they resolve on a raw diet

That would be us :o In fact, my husband just commented this morning that it's been ages since we've had to take dogs outside with diarrhea issues (knock on wood). I put Jake and Shelby on Primal about 2 years ago now and it's worked wonders for them. I feed them in their crates, with snoods on...and we've done great. I do not feed raw bones (except recreational bones like marrow bones). Shelby is a gulper and Jake is missing part of his jawbone so neither of mine can be trusted not to choke on raw bones.

The hygiene aspect, for me, is extremely simple. The food bowls are washed in warm soapy water after they've eaten. They inhale their food so fast it doesn't stand a chance of making a mess ;), so there is no extra clean up. The food stays in the bowl, no messes in the crate. They also don't get food all over themselves as would be an issue with bone chewing.

When they do get marrow bones I take out their crate pads and put a towel on the floor of their crates. I put their snoods on them and they happily gnaw away on their bones. Then I toss their bones and toss their snoods and towels into the washing machine. Easy enough.

We've not traveled without the dogs since we've begun feeding raw. I've never kenneled my dogs but expect that if I did I would just begin feeding them a high quality kibble a couple of weeks before vacation so they would be adjusted to it to be fed it while being kenneled. We do feed Core Wellness as a treat so they are already acclimated to it. If we have an in-home sitter I would be sure they would be comfortable feeding raw. It's really not as scary as it's sometimes made out to be.

14th April 2009, 05:12 PM
I tried a raw diet for Ilsa but she refused to eat it (go figure) - I still occasionally give her some raw and she just looks at me like I am lazy. So now I cook her food rare. She does eat sashimi though!

One thing I was told by the vet when feeding raw always go to a reputable organic butcher - no supermarket meat. It was recommended as well that I not feed the chicken bones, but a good strong beef bone was ok, but again only organic.

Jen and Ilsa

14th April 2009, 07:52 PM
If you are actually feeding the raw diet that is made yourself, not one that is purchased. It can become about equally priced with a premium kibble. I like to grow veggies in the garden during the summer and tend to add a little bit of the harvest into my pups food. I won't be doing it with Anna for a bit, but I will still feed her some veggies. Bulk Frozen Chicken that is Thawed in the fridge inside a baggie before being cut up is really easy. I would only recommend using a plastic bowl for this as they are easier to clean generally and the bowl must be cleaned after each feed. This was my shopping list for Teddy when he was on a Raw Diet.

1 bag of FLASH Frozen Boneless Chicken Breasts (15-20 come in the bag) for about 10 USD
3lbs Fresh Flank Steak
1 Tub Cottage Cheese
And assortated veggies (fresh if possible)
Some fresh fruit for a treat.
(all of this generally cost about 20 USD for about 2-3 weeks worth of food and Royal Canin costs about 20 USD every 2 weeks.)

Mixed all that up with some chicken broth and freshly cooked brown whole grain rice. Add veggies and top off with a dollop of Cottage Cheese.

14th April 2009, 08:29 PM
My boys eat raw and have done really well on it. Miles will be 2 tomorrow and Truman is almost 1.5 years old and they have eaten raw before I even got them, when they were with their breeder. I also incorporate The Honest Kitchen "Preference" (vegetarian) line, which is dehydrated raw, plus cottage cheese, some grains, pumkpin, tripe, some supplements, and olive and salmon oil into their breakfast. Raw meaty bones are fed for dinner. They are both at good weights, their teeth are clean, coats shiny, bright eyes, and have lots of energy. I don't think they've ever had diarheea and they don't have any stomach issues. I know I can't say it's all because of their diet, but I would like to think that at least some of it is! ;)

As for feeding raw while traveling...I have never boarded my dogs, but when I have someone else watch them they are either on The Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw (not "Preference", but one of their lines that's not vegetarian, "Force" maybe?) or a high-quality kibble. My family that watches them is more comfortable feeding them this way. I did find a doggie daycare in Chicago though that will feed raw, including RMBs, which is nice in case I ever need to board them. As far as hygiene, I feed my boys on separate towels (1/2 bath towels, actually), that are washed in hot water in the washing machine after each use. And of course they wear their snoods! They are trained to keep their food on the towel so it doesn't get on the floor.

It takes a while to get used to feeding raw, and I would suggest doing your research so you know that you're feeding them a balanced diet (you can also sign up for Monica Segal's feeding group list, which I'm on...or I think you can pay her to formulate a diet for your dog), but once you get the hang of it it's not hard at all. Good luck if you make the switch!

14th April 2009, 09:16 PM
I have a book. Its called

Dr. PitCairn's Complete Secrets to the Natural Health of Dogs & Cats 3rd Edition

ISBN 1579549871

I got it at Half-Price Books for under $10 and it tell me everything I have ever wanted to know about dogs. It gives quite a few recipes and give good ideas on how to supplement Kibble as well as gives great Homeopathic advice for ailments.

I really only use it to look things up however. I believe it is more of a textbook than a book.

Cathy Moon
15th April 2009, 02:24 AM
Just a note about dog bowls - stainless steel is the best, then ceramic. Plastic bowls are not recommended for pets because they get tiny scratches and harbor bacteria.

15th April 2009, 11:55 AM
Thanks everyone your advice has given me a lot to think about, I'm swaying all the time, the giving bones and the whole hygienic area (I've a baby crawling around!) has been putting me off raw. Then Ossie has had a ticky stomach since yesterday which is making me want to switch again. I've a lot more research to do before I go ahead.