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Hello - I'm an old-timer from days gone by who has recently rediscovered LF!

I know there are loads of knowledgable people on here already but I wanted to share my experience with moving to a RAW diet. Kind of from a plebs point of view! :cheesygrin:

Hudson was our first lab and he was consistently fed on Royal Canin Labrador Retriever. A bit pricey, but after a bit of research it seemed to be the best one for him.

At approx age 4.5 he started showing some front limb lameness and we were naturally worried that this could be a skeletal problem so we investigated with x-rays and tests but all were inconclusive and after a bit of box rest it settled down and he was fine. Hudson had always had a strange reaction from time to time which seemed to be related to digestion but even after investigation with the vet we couldn't find anything wrong. He would yelp, become very unsettled, pace, get agitated and behave like he needed the loo, but wouldn't go.

Then came along Henry, his nephew! Henry also started life on Royal Canin and was fine.

A couple of friends moved onto RAW food and it got me thinking about it. I'd always dismissed it as a right faff and pain in the neck and thought that my dogs were getting a perfectly balanced diet from their kibble. Why would I want to go to all that effort when they were happy and healthy?

Well, the change in one friend's dogs was quite dramatic. Hudson's Mum, normally a rather lazy dog only venturing out if the temp was above 25 degrees, suddenly had loads of energy, was leaping about the place like a puppy and her coat was amazing. Once dull and scurfy, it was now shiny, glossy and smooth.

So I did my research, bought an excellent book and spoke to a vet friend who also feeds RAW.

I started them on Natures Menu, just because it was the most accessible brand to me at the time but quickly learned that it probably wasn't one of the best in terms of quality of the meat and fat content. So after more searching I found Nurturing by Nature online. They have a couple of shops down south but also deliver next day.

We've been on this for 1.5 years now and we'll never go back to kibble. Hudson (I'm hugging wood right now) has never had his unusual digestion problems since we've been on raw, their coats are beautiful! Hudson has had some lameness, but it's been after 5 or 6 days of intense walks and I mean miles, after a night's rest he's fine.

We feed a whole mixture of stuff - fruit and veg every day, and things like minces where the bone and everything is included, a good balance of hearts and livers, duck and chicken necks, lamb ribs, chunks of beef. You name it, they get it! The only thing I did try which I won't again are chunks of tripe. They loved it but the stench was awful!

We invested in a chest freezer to go in the garage and I order about a month and half worth of raw frozen food and just whip something out to defrost the night before.

We have not looked back once. So anyone who is on the verge and unsure, seriously consider it. The BARF Diet by Dr. Ian Billinghurst (available from Amazon) is well worth a read.

Thanks for reading.
 

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Oh how i agree with everything you say.All the conditions you mention happened to Tara.We have only been feeding raw since July.Tara will be 9 at the end of the month.IT'S THE BEST THING WE HAVE DONE.She is thriving very well.
 

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Similar journey with Mac, he has done much better since we moved him to raw, the only difference is that he doesn't really get much veg as he either cannot tolerate it and is sick or just plain refuses to eat it. Full on carnivore is Mac ;-)
 

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Our last lab we adopted at 10 years old - an ex breeding dog. She had always been fed a raw diet so we switched our other dog to it too. He was 14 at the time and went on for another 2 1/2 years! They both had lovely shiny coats right to the end of their lives.

We much preferred this way of feeding and decided future dogs would be fed the same. We now have a 12 week old sweetie called Klara and the breeder fed all her dogs a raw diet. Klara will eat anything! She gets raw egg and even some very finely crushed egg shell. We have a good supply of kale from a neighbour and I've planted up our veggie patch with Klara's diet in mind as well as our own.

We are very lucky that our vet is a big advocate of raw feeding and we have a local pet supply that sells frozen pet meat. It's worth the little extra effort!
Elly
 

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Ive found your article very interesting I am going to place an order on the nurturing by nature website do you have any recommendations on how much to feed your dog each day at the moment my lab is on James wellbelovdd two small meals weighed out morning after a walk and evening after a walk I would Ikea to get the raw weights correct from the beginning as I am doing it mainly as the James wellbelovdd diet food isn't working and he doesn't seem to be loosing weight he isn't massively overweight but I would like Hinton be healthy and active as much as he wants hence the swap any information you could give on weights of raw food or just how much to give each day would be greatly appreciated if its on another page let me know I will look for it I may have missed it

Many thanks

Rachel
 

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Hi Rachel, a good guide on how much to feed is 2-3% of their "ideal" adult weight, hope that helps
So a 30kgs lab, feed approx 600g raw and see how it goes, if they get fat, reduce it, it they start looking too slim, increase slightly:)

I use this website to help calculate:

http://www.raw4dogs.com/calculate.htm
 

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How much you feed can vary quite a bit from dog to dog I think. My 18month old (30kg) is on 800g per day fed in 2 meals, plus 50g of veggies once per day. He's deffinitely on the slim side for a lab eating this, but that's how I like him to be!

You just need to try an initial amount based on 2-3% and keep an eye on your dog, adjusting accordingly if you think they're slim or a bit porky!

Oh, and as for tripe, I kind of like the smell now! You do get used to it!
 

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Thats brilliant he is slightly overweight so I will use the calculator to try and slowly bring his weight down safely over an amount of time, ive just placed a £100 order on the nurturing by nature website just need to find a chest freezer now lol!!

Thanks Tara and Phil much appreciated I will let you know how I get on !!

Rachel and Bounty xx
 

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Hello all, we have a 16week old pup, his breeder fed him on kibble and we have had him on kibble since we got him but his poos are just not consistent. We are thinking about switching him onto RAW. I have posted a thread this evening about it.

He is currently on Beta puppy food and I feel that this may not be agreeing with him? He is currently weighing 11kgs so how much RAW should I feed him per day, we would like to give him 3 meals per day until he is a bit older then reduce it down to 2 meals per day.

Should we go "cold turkey" and get him straight onto RAW or mix it in with his kibble initially? I have read that it is best and that there digestive tracts can handle the switch straight away.

Any advice would be much appreciated!!
 

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Hello all, we have a 16week old pup, his breeder fed him on kibble and we have had him on kibble since we got him but his poos are just not consistent. We are thinking about switching him onto RAW. I have posted a thread this evening about it.

He is currently on Beta puppy food and I feel that this may not be agreeing with him? He is currently weighing 11kgs so how much RAW should I feed him per day, we would like to give him 3 meals per day until he is a bit older then reduce it down to 2 meals per day.

Should we go "cold turkey" and get him straight onto RAW or mix it in with his kibble initially? I have read that it is best and that there digestive tracts can handle the switch straight away.

Any advice would be much appreciated!!


Beta puppy food is one of the worst available,

http://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/dog-food-reviews/0255/beta-puppy-large-breed

If you weren't keen on the raw I would be recommending changing to another kibble as that one really isn't good. I have read through your other post, has you pup had giardia? My girl had that when she was small which caused her to have a runny bum with blood and mucus. She only needed the pro kolin paste but it soon cleared. I changed her onto Millies Wolfheart when she was small and instantly things started to improve.

If your pup has been unwell I would probably take my time changing even if it was to raw, we were told it can take the gut a while to heal up.
 
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