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Old 04-14-2006, 01:54 PM
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usurp usurp is offline
Belgian Shepherd Tervuere
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Kuwait
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Default From raw to dry food, need advice

Hi, I have a nearly 5 month old Belgian Shepherd who has been on a mostly raw food diet. His current diet is one day raw meat and one day cooked chicken. Twice a week I give him raw eggs and yogurt.

The problem is that he is eating around half a kilogram of meat per meal and 3 meals a day at. Each KG costs me around $6.5 and he is just 5 months old now. He is gonna eat a lot more when he grows up so its going to cost me a lot more.

Second problem is the chicken, cooking it every other night takes over 2 hours which is very time consuming.

My question is can I introduce dry food into his diet? Some times I might want to feed him raw meat and definitely once a week raw meat on bone, but i want to shift the majority of his diet to dry foods. What are the disadvantages of dry food? What are the best brands?

thanks

note: because his current diet doesnt include vegetables the vet gave us a multi vitamin powder which we are using.. if that makes a difference.
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Old 04-14-2006, 03:26 PM
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DanL DanL is offline
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You don't need to cook the chicken, so that will save you lots of time! Give it to him raw, with the bones in it- the bones are a good nutrient for them.

Try to purchase your dog's food when it is on sale, and stock up. Get reduced and clearance meats- they are fine for the dog to eat.

How much does your dog weigh now? Are you feeding 2-3% of his bodyweight per day, totalling all the meals together? My GSD is 85-90 lbs and he gets a little less than what you are feeding yours. It sounds like you are feeding your pup as much as I feed my 14 month old. That's probably OK as long as he's not getting fat, since he's growing fast at his current age. Can you feel his ribs under his skin? Does he have a good tummy tuck? Can you just about see the last rib? Does he have a trim waistline? If not, you are probably giving him too much.

He shouldn't need more than what you are feeding him now when he's full grown unless he goes over 100lbs, which isn't likely for a Belgian. As another example, our mix breed is about 65lbs- she gets about 1lb of chicken leg and about 8oz of muscle meat per day as a general rule. We supplement with eggs every other day and they get a vit E and 1gram of fish oil per day.

I think you would be doing your pup a disservice if you stopped feeding the raw food and went to kibble. Remember a high quality kibble is going to cost nearly as much as a raw diet. Try and reevaluate how much you are feeding, don't waste your time cooking the chicken, and look for bargains when you shop. Our goal here is to keep the total cost to under $1 per lb, and it's pretty easy if you shop smart.
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Old 04-14-2006, 03:48 PM
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usurp usurp is offline
Belgian Shepherd Tervuere
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Kuwait
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ok i did some googling, my biggest problem with feeding him raw chicken is he might get salmonella but i just read that dogs dont get that. my question now is what kind of raw chicken can i feed him? can i feed him frozen chicken or does it have to be fresh?

its hard to tell if my dog is fat or not. he weights 33 pounds and eats around a pound of meat or chicken per meal. 3 meals a day. he is sleeping now so i will try and see if i could feel his ribs but i think i can.

anyway if u can just answer my chicken question it would be great.
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Old 04-14-2006, 03:52 PM
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Belgian Shepherd Tervuere
 
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another question, bird flu, does it effect dogs?
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Old 04-14-2006, 05:54 PM
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wolfsoul wolfsoul is offline
I Love My Belgian
 
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Hi there, I also have a Belgian! Glad to meet another Belgian owner.

I feed mine a raw prey model diet. This means I feed mostly meat and organs. I do not feed alot of bone or veggie matter. In other words, I am doing what is most natural. Elephants have more bone than any other animal, and they are still only 25% bone. Deer have even less than that, so a dog should not be eating a large amount of bones like most RAW people feed. A whole rabbit is 10% bone, and a chicken thigh is 15% bone. Dogs in the wild also do not consume their prey's stomach contents (occasionally they will eat the stomach contents of their smaller prey). It is much too bitter, and so it is shaken out before the stomach is eaten. So I feed very litte fruit/veggie matter, and only every couple of days.

Any type of meat is good (just make sure that you freeze pacific salmon or any other pacific whitefish for atleast 24 hours before feeding in order to kill the parasite that can kill dogs). Also be careful to buy deer from a reputable source. You can buy eithr fresh or frozen, just make sure it is unthawed before feeding -- most dogs don't like the feeling off cold against their teeth, and sometimes frozen food can upset their stomachs.

Go to a variety of places before deciding where to buy your dog's food. I go to several different places because they all have certain things that are cheaper. I go to three different butchers, one pet food supply store, the grocery store, and my vet.

Belgians need to have substantially more food than most other breeds. They have very high metabolisms and a very low fat to body ratio. Belgians should have a couple of extra pounds on them, because when they lose weight, they really lose weight. You should be able to feel their ribs underneath a nice layer of fat. Your dog is still young and should have more fat than an adult. Don't feel pressure to measure the amount of food you are giving your dog -- when you are comfortable feeding RAW, you will start to focus less on the amount you are feeding and only start to give more or less depending on where your dog's weight is at. My dog is starting to look a bit thin, so I'm feeding her more now and supplementing her food with Nutri-Cal, a high calorie vitamin supplement.

These are some kibbles that are out there that are okay to feed along with a raw diet -- just don't feed them mixed together.
Innova EVO
Nature's Variety Raw Instinct

It is best to feed these kibbles with raw because they are high protien-low carb, whereas most other kibbles are high carb. You do not want to feed high carb with high protien. Some TimberWolf Organics formulas are high protien (still with grains though), but I've never known a Belgian to do well on TimberWolf Organics. Any that I've fed it to has had bloody diahrrea.

Hope that some of my information helped, good luck with the raw diet and your Belgian, such a great breed.
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  #6  
Old 04-15-2006, 11:42 AM
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usurp usurp is offline
Belgian Shepherd Tervuere
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Kuwait
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Ok I have decided to do some "restructuring" in my dogs diet. I have taken your advice and will start feeind him raw chicken, cow meat and lamb meat. No deer, pork or rabbits here in Kuwait.

I will feed him raw meat on bone once a week, would probably be lamb ribs. I will give him raw eggs twice a week and yogurt twice a week. Once or twice a week will let him drink some freshly made carrot or apple juice.

I will not feed him any dry food. I will also try sardine since i never fed him that.

Yeah I really love the Belgians. I had a choice to choose from any breed and after a lot of research I decided to go for the Belgian and I am glad I made this choice
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