What's New and Exciting?

December 22, 2007 - Mommy and Daddy are MARRIED!♥♥♥
February 9, 2008 - Starr's 1st Woofday!
February 14, 2008 - ♥Woofentine's Day!♥

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tails, Feet, and Ears ... OH MY!!!

This is a small example of the things we have been eating in the past few weeks. YES!!! You heard right... Eating! We have been eating some really, well, what some would concider, strange things for breakfats, dinner and snacks! Why you ask? Well, let me explain.....

Mommy and Daddy have decided to switch us to a Prey Model diet nicknamed "Frankenprey". What that means is that we are given raw prey to eat, ecactally like a wild wolf. Since we can not hunt and kill our own prey and it isn't always easy to come across prey (whole animal including all body parts, organs, bones, etc.), Mommy and Daddy must feed us "frankenprey" which is human made prey. This means that Mommy must make "prey in a bowl" for us. A meal will include meaty meat, bones, organs and anything else "juicy" that Mommy can get her hands on. Sounds kinda yucky, but boy is it YUMMY to us!

Our switch was not made hastily. Mommy spent many hours pouring over information... reading books, doing research online, talking to experts and people who feed raw before deciding, after about 6 monmths, that raw was the way to go for us. Even as we go, we are all still learning about raw feeding and the Prey Model diet.

So, what have we been eating you ask?

Here is a list of things that we have had in the past few weeks:

  • CHICKEN: breasts (boneless and bone-in), quarters, wings, backs, necks, hearts, feet

  • BEEF: roasts (all different cuts), stewing beef bones, ribs (all different cuts), ground beef, tongue, bleached honeycomb tripe, liver

  • PORK: chops (all different cuts), roasts (all different cuts), ribs (all different cuts), kidneys, feet, tails

  • LAMB: shoulder chops

  • GOAT: random pieces

  • SMELTS: gutted and deheaded with bone in

Here is a list of some of the things in the freezer we are waiting to try:

  • CHICKEN: whole chicken, frames, gizzards

  • BEEF: lung, heart

  • PORK: hocks, snout, ears, liver, stomach

  • STEWING HEN: whole hen

  • TURKEY: breast (bone-in), wings, thighs, drums, feet, gibblets

  • QUAIL: whole quail

  • SALMON: heads

  • MACKERAL: whole mackeral

  • CORNISH HEN: whole hen

  • DUCK: whole duck

Here is a list of some of the things we are looking for to try:

  • CHICKEN: heads, ground chicken

  • BEEF: green tripe, brains

  • PORK: brains, testicles, ground pork

  • LAMB: roast, leg, organs, ground lamb

  • GOAT: roast, leg, organs, ground goat

  • RABBIT: whole, all parts, organs, etc.

  • OTHER WILD GAME: all parts, organs, etc.

  • OTHER FISH: all parts, organs etc.


Are you grossed out yet? Mommy and Daddy thought it was pretty gross, but now they love feeding us our meet. They have broadened their horizians and have been trying new things since starting us on our diet. YAY MOMMY & DADDY!

Here are some basic Prey Model guidelines:

Why feed raw?

- Prey model feeders feel that dogs are physiologically carnivores. Dogs have been shown by geneticists to be a variation of the grey wolf. They differ by 0.2% in the mitochondrial DNA (and I suspect much of this difference has to do with coloring and shape and size).

- David Mech, the forefront wolf biologist who has studied them intensely in their own natural habitat (not an artificial wolf colony), has observed that as natural carnivores, the wolf's diet consists mostly of large prey, and supplemented by smaller prey in leaner times, and very occasionally, he'll notice some vegetation grazing, but again only during extremely lean times. Wolves are carnivores. They CAN subsist on non-meat products, but by and large, they need raw prey to thrive and reproduce.

- So by trying to appropriate a whole prey through feeding of various body parts, we feed what the dog has been designed by nature to eat. Because the dog's physiology is designed to be carnivorous, this is what we feed them.

- Physiology:

  • no grinding molars (all sharp scissor like teeth)

  • strong wide jaws to really open up, take in a large piece, and crunch down and gnaw

  • no amylase in the saliva to begin digestion, and therefore, very acidic stomach juices (at about 1 - 2 on the litmus scale, 7 being neutral - humans' stomach acidity is only around 5)

  • very short digestive tract to keep food moving along out

  • not to mention they are natural hunters, every dog has an instinct to hunt - this instinct is part and parcel of being a carnivore. I don't see wolves stalking a berry branch...

- By that logic, because a dog/wolf is designed to feed the way they do in teh wild, evolution has shown us this is path of least resistance. To ask your dog to eat what they're not biologically designed to do is therefore providing obstacles along the path of least resistance. To many rawfeeders, this is basically asking for trouble.

How much to feed?

- Essentially, most dogs require about 2 - 3% of their body in raw food to maintain good health and weight. Working dogs may require more, some furry couch warmers may require 1%.

- This amount that you determine what your dog does well on is a trial and error kind of thing. Most people start with 2%, then either feed more or back up depending on how their dog's body feels.

- The amount does NOT have to be the exact same amount every day. Some days you can certainly feed more, then feed slightly less the next day to compensate for the larger amount of food prior. Some people feed the gorge/fast method, where they allow their dogs to eat two or three times the daily amount, then just fast their dogs the next day or however long, to compensate again for the larger amount.

- Know your dog. I have a self-regulator on my hands who generally will only eat about twice the daily amount even though there may be five days worth of food sitting in front of her in the form of a goat leg. She won't fast herself the next day, she'll just eat slightly less than normal. Again, use the dog's body and energy level as a guideline. Looking porky? back off on the amount, and feed slightly less fatty if necessary. (Although fat is an integral part of the diet...)

- You can feed once a day, or twice a day. It's up to you.

- Puppies? Most raw prey model feeders feed 2 - 3% of the projected adult body weight. So a little GSD puppy, who may grow to be 80 lbs, will still be fed about 2% of the 80 lbs as a puppy. Just spaced out over a few feedings since puppies do better wiht more frequent feedings. Once they hit about 6 mths, you can back off to twice a day, and once a year old, you can do once a day, or even the gorge/fast if that's what you prefer.

What to include in the diet?

-Prey model feeders don't generally feed anything other than raw meat, edible bone, and organs. We don't think veggies form a necessary part of the diet because a) we subscribe to dogs being carnivores following their physiology; b) veggies and fruit form only about 1% of the grey wolf's natural diet - it's more like grazing on a sweet berry if it's there. Kiind of like the way I like to nosh on candy.

- The ratio of meat/bone/organs is 80%/10%/10%. Half the organ allotment is liver, following the notion that the liver is the largest internal secreting organ. We use this ratio as kind of the general ratio that most prey animals are in their makeup. It may vary, of course, and again, this 80/10/10 ratio is a guideline, but really most animals are made in ratios not too far from this one.

- Meat: this is muscle meats. Muscle attached to bones, and also parts of the body that are organs, but are muscular in nature (non-secreting). This includes, tongue, heart, gizzards, trachea, skin (yes skin secretes, but it secretes waste through water and salt aka sweat OUT of the body, so we don't count that, hee.) I count stomach as a muscle meat, but in keeping to form with the whole prey, I don't stomach as the main part of the meat ratio - so despite how much Summer adores green tripe, she only gets it a couple times a week.

- Edible bone: we consider weight-bearing bones of large animals as teeth breakers and not very edible. Edible bones tend to be less dense, more porous. Depending on the size of the dog, edible bones range from chickens, to turkey, to duck, to fish, to rabbit, to pork, to goat, to lamb. Some powereaters do manage to chew off the ends of beef ribs. It's a Know Thy Dog situation.

- Secreting organs: liver should be half the organ allotment. The rest can be made up of kidney, spleen, thymus, pancreas, lung, testicles (mountain oysters), brains.

NOTE: remember, we call it prey model, because those of us who can't feed whole prey, we try to appropriate the whole prey through various body parts at various times. It's a prey built over time. Frankenprey, as many people call it.

So again, this ratio can be met over time. It helps me to know how much Summer eats in a week, roughly, then cut up hunks of organs that make up 10% of the weekly amount. Then these organ hunks can be fed throughout the week. This way, I know in each week, Summer is getting 10% of organs in her diet, and half of this is liver. (So the 10% organ amount is divided into 4 smaller hunks, and twice a week, she gets a liver hunk, and twice a week she gets other organ hunks. I space out the variety to give it more balance.)

Another note about edible bone - most store bought cuts of meat with bone in them tend to be high in bone. So even if you see a nice pork shoulder roast covered in gobs of meat, the bone in there probably makes up about 15 - 20% of the piece. Store bought whole chickens have been gutted and de-feathered, so the bone ratio tends to be a little higher than real whole prey. I like to feed more meat when I find what I'm feeding Summer may possibly have too much bone in there. (Which is most of the time.) How to tell? Look at the writing in the poop! If your dog is straining slightly, and the poops come out crumbly and powdery and once they hit the ground, they fall apart, that's generally too much bone. If the poops are squishy and have no form (NOT diarrhea), then feed a tad more bone. It doesn't take a huge bone tweak to make a difference in the poop.

Source: Dogster.com Food & Nutrition Fourm post by Summer: Raw Prey Model Guidelines

Here are some websites about Raw Feeding:

Vet Dr Tom Lonsdale's Website

Myths About Raw Feeding

My Pet Carnivore

United States Raw Meaty Bones


Simba said...

Pawesome info!



Anonymous said...

In my opinion, raw feeding is the best thing your mom and dad can do for you. My Abby's skin allergies have disappeared since switching her to raw. I'll bet you love it too.
Chris and the animals

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