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Starting a raw diet for a dog with allergies

Discussion in 'Raw Food Diets' started by Jolly Ranger, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Jolly Ranger

    Jolly Ranger Puppy

    Our pup is 18 months old. When we first got her she had been fed Merrick Grain-Free formula but always had irritated skin, ear infections and bald patches. After a bout of intestinal issues we swapped out kibbles and realized that kibble with poultry made her skin issues worse. So we switched her to Orijen Six fish. She was doing good on Orijen but then a month or so ago she stopped eating it and her skin flared up. So we switched to Acana pork flavor, her skin is better than it was but she still has some irritation.

    After doing some reading we've decided to try her on a raw diet but living in an apartment in the city with a small freezer homemade isn't an option for for us, so we're going the pre-made route (Darwin). After all that back story I guess my question is - should we avoid chicken completely? I read that lots of people introduce dogs to raw with chicken. I also saw that dogs who have a reaction to kibble containing chicken won't necessarily have a reaction to raw chicken - does anyone have experience with this?
  2. _unoriginal

    _unoriginal Cow Dog

    My brother's dog had an allergy to chicken in kibble but didn't have any issue switching the dog to raw chicken.

    Because your dog had such a severe reaction to chicken in kibble, I would just stay clear of chicken for the time being. You can start with turkey instead.

    I'm not familiar with Darwin's raw food. In looking at the website, I see that they mix up their grinds with vegetables. This would be considered a BARF diet, different than what many will see fed here.

    You may find that feeding a BARF diet doesn't resolve your issues, especially since this premade has starches (yams) built into them. These may feed yeast and cause issues.

    Personally, the only commercial premade I am comfortable feeding is Vital Essentials as they only have animal parts in them. No plants at all.

    Are you sure you don't have space for a freezer? A small chest freezer doesn't take up much space at all.

    Keep in mind that premades are very expensive. You'll be paying upwards of $120 (this is what I was looking at for premade on my 60lb dog) per month for your dog, depending on her size and how much she requires to maintain a good weight.
  3. Didds

    Didds Banned

    Try a product called nu stock it works good on inflammation of the skin. I had a dog with allergies tried alot of remedies but nu stock is the only thing that cleared it up without a change to her diet. As far as the raw diet thing you can go to your Walmart or neighborhood meat market and get miscut meat for little to nothing
  4. Jolly Ranger

    Jolly Ranger Puppy

    Okay. Thanks for the replies.

    We really don't have room - we can barely fit our food in our freezer. We did price doing homemade but just buying enough for each week but it worked out about the same $50/week for our 55lb dog. Those are good points about a BARF diet and thank you for the suggestion of Vital Essentials - we'll look into it
  5. _unoriginal

    _unoriginal Cow Dog

    Oh, I meant a separate freezer. A small standalone freezer that you could stick in the corner or something. I have a 7.2 cu ft freezer that takes up very little space. I can't imagine raw feeding without it. I can't imagine trying to raw feed without being able to buy in bulk. I spend roughly $30-50 monthly.
  6. Jolly Ranger

    Jolly Ranger Puppy

    Oh wow. We're going to have to sacrifice some things (no starbucks for me) to feed her raw (at $150-200/month) but getting that cost down would be ideal. We looked in costco, local supermarket and "butcher" - and they didn't come out any cheaper than pre-made. We priced at feeding her 2% of her body weight a day, so approx. 2.5lbs/day. Honestly, my wife and I are both vegetarians so have little experience at purchasing and handling meat - chopping up meat/organs sort of grosses me out but I would do it for Isabeau if it proved to be more beneficial for her health/my wallet. Our local co-op just does fruits/vegetables but I could ask around and see if anyone knows of one where I could buy meat. If any other NYC members feed raw I'd be interested to hear where they buy their food. Of course this is only viable if I can get a separate freezer but I think they might be prohibited in my lease.

    As for Nu Stock - isn't that for killing mites? She had a skin scrape after we insisted at the vets because of this ongoing issue and it was negative. Also, while it would be nice to relieve her of some of the symptoms, the symptoms are helping us find out what is or isn't causing the problem, so long term we'd rather eliminate than cover up. We asked our vet about doing an allergy panel but he thinks it would be a waste of time/money as they rarely point to one source.
  7. _unoriginal

    _unoriginal Cow Dog

    Most find it easiest to use suppliers rather than just buying what's on the shelf at the grocery store. Getting suppliers really just comes down to asking to buy in bulk and networking with other local raw feeders. Check FB and yahoo for local pages. But most of the work will have to be done yourself talking to butchers and grocery store butchers.

    Ask your butcher if you can get a discount for buying in bulk. Many will allow it. You'd end up buying 40 lbs of chicken quarters or turkey necks but it's discounted. And use your grocery store prices as a base line to know if you're getting a deal.
  8. Didds

    Didds Banned

    Yes nu stock works for mites and alot of skin conditions. I feel you on not covering it up. I just feel the allergies can make a dog irritable and the nu stock helps relieve this. As for the raw meat I get mine from a local butcher. They throw the miscuts away and parts they can't sell the public so I get all of that for really cheap like a 50# box for $10.
  9. Jolly Ranger

    Jolly Ranger Puppy

    A quick update - Isabeau LOVES her new raw food diet. Two weeks in and it couldn't of gone more smoothly, she ate it no problem and is way more interested in raw than she ever was in her kibble. We supplement with some beef bones and she goes crazy for the marrow. So far we haven't had an issues with her allergies - we've been feeding, beef, duck, turkey and chicken. Her skin is clearing up and shes is scratching less. I wish we had of made switch earlier.
  10. Nat Ursula

    Nat Ursula Good Dog

    Should t she only need about 1lb daily? I think that is what I calculated for Tonka, 1 1/4 lbs. daily. She weighs 55 lbs.
  11. Jolly Ranger

    Jolly Ranger Puppy

    Isabeau gets 2lbs/day of the prepackaged meals and then somedays gets an extra bone to chew on. We looked at a couple of different resources that said to maintain her weight for a moderately active dog we needed to feed 2-2.5% body weight - which you're right is about 1 1/4lbs daily. We started off giving her that but she appeared hungry, standing by her feeding area all the time, crying by the fridge - so we increased it to 2lbs and that behavior stopped.
  12. _unoriginal

    _unoriginal Cow Dog

    Don't worry about "appearing" hungry. It's the same as with kibble dogs. All dogs are scavengers so they will always eat more food if offered.

    2 lbs is fine if she's not gaining weight with it. If she starts, you may need to back her down.
  13. Jolly Ranger

    Jolly Ranger Puppy

    This is me admitting defeat with the pre-made food.

    We starting making our own raw meals this weekend. I am super nervous making sure she gets everything she needs 80% muscle meat/ 10% bone / 10% organ- is what we're trying to follow. We can still only buy enough for a week but we spent $35 (way cheaper than pre-made) and portioned out and packed up Isabeaus meals for a week. We were only able to get beef liver at our local supermarket but I have a lead on a butcher shop that might be able to help us out with some variety.

    So far so good though. She is happily chomping on a pork rib as I type this.
  14. _unoriginal

    _unoriginal Cow Dog

    I'm glad you're finding out what works and adjusting appropriately!
  15. Nat Ursula

    Nat Ursula Good Dog

    I know, it seemed overwhelming for me too.

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