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RAW DIETS (Part 2)
There is a slight possibilty a dog may choke while eating bones.  This may occur if the pet tries to eat them too quickly without chewing well.  Always supervise your pet's when feeding meat on the bone.  Choose the size of the meaty bone meal appropriate for the size of your pet.  Feed turkey necks to large dogs with great caution as they are an excellent raw food but due to their shape and size can lodge in a dog's throat if not chewed properly. To introduce turkey necks to your dog, hold the end of a whole turkey neck tightly in your hand and let your dog chew on the other end of the neck until he or she learns to thoroughly crush the bones before swallowing. 

We recommend feeding cats ground, raw diets only, not meat on the bone. Cats have no true grinding teeth and may have difficulty crushing bones larger than that of a mouse or small bird. 

CONVERTING DOGS TO RAW DIETS

Always transition your pet slowly to any new diet. Begin with a small portion of the new diet, mixed with a larger portion of the original diet.  Gradually reduce the original diet and increase the new diet over a period of 7-10 days. For example,  if feeding actual chicken with bones,  first trim the excess fat then grind a small portion containing both meat and bones (50/50) in addition to the original diet.

If using a commercial raw diet such as Instinct medallions or patties, simply offer a small portion of the defrosted diet along with the original food. Then, if your dog shows no reaction, (diarrhea, vomiting), continue to introduce a higher volume each day until you have reached the intended amount. Some dogs will never be able to change in diet, even from one brand of commercial dog food to another. Other dogs might show an initial aversion to raw foods.  If your dog is not accepting of the raw meal you can try offering a different type of protein that they may like better.  You can also try raw in the form of freeze dried which is very palatable for most dogs and it is also a complete diet.  


CONVERTING CATS TO RAW DIETS

By 6-12 months of age, cats become fixated on whatever foods they have eaten to date. This means that if a cat has been eating only dry food, it tends to continue to eat only dry food. If a cat has been eating only canned fish varieties of cat food, it will continue to eat only canned fish varieties of cat food. In other words, adult cats that have not been introduced to raw foods as kittens might present a challenge!
The easiest way to circumvent this problem is to introduce your cat to raw foods when it is a kitten. Most kittens will eat any food placed in front of them, as they still maintain their instinct for raw foods. Start by trying to feed one of the commercial foods such as BARF, OMAS, or Instinct as they are complete, balanced and safe for your cat.
For adult cats who have never been introduced to raw foods, hiding the raw meat in canned food often is the easiest option. Simply mix a tiny amount of ground turkey or chicken in with the canned or dry food.  Then, each day, gradually increase the amount of raw food in the diet. Some cats will constantly reject any attempts to add raw foods to their canned foods. In these cases, try feeding Innova, EVO or Instinct canned. It is very important to maintain moisture in your cats' diet, this is why we recommend feeding canned or raw over dry.  Another trick is to mush some raw chicken liver into the canned foods. It is safe to feed a small amount of raw liver every day to your cat.  Be careful, because raw liver is very rich,  eating too much of it and can make your cat nauseated or have diarrhea.

For more information about transitioning your cat to canned or moist foods and it's benefits visit www.catinfo.org  

RAW DIETS FOR DOGS

First of all, keep it simple. If you want to get complicated, surf the web!

There are many commercial diets out there now. We recommend Omas Pride, BARF or Instinct. These are the brands we trust and are consistent in quality.

For larger breeds of dogs, these diets can be fed as one meal a day, or even just a few times a week. They are also available in uncommon meat sources, such as rabbit, venison, buffalo, emu, kangaroo, and others. Most companies use beef, turkey, and chicken and many use organic and/or grass-fed meat sources. These diets tend to contain ground bones, organ meats, and other ingredients like yogurt, beets, vegetables, and many other food items, in addition to the principle meat source(s).

If you are going to prepare raw food on your own, simply make sure you feed from four principle Food groups:

Meat
Bones
Organ meats
Fruits and vegetables

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