Started a raw diet a month ago, realized just now it's deficient...

Discussion in 'Dog Food and Recipes' started by Pintage, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Pintage

    Pintage Mountain Dawg

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    Guys, I need help!

    I started Circus and Lugia on a raw food diet about a month ago. So far, it's been good, many people reassured me that I could achieve a balanced diet as long as I feed the proper ratio of bones, organs, and meat. Just tonight I decided to calculate the girls' nutritional needs using the 2006 NRC dog requirements. I found that they're only getting about half of their magnesium and zinc requirement (I can meet their zinc needs if I start buying raw green tripe, which I intend on doing so this week). But no matter what, I don't think I can meet their magnesium needs without going over their caloric needs by a significant amount.

    They get a fairly varied diet, including beef heart/liver/kidney, ground beef, pork loin/rib tip, chicken parts (I don't give necks though, am I supposed to in order to meet iodine requirements? Is the thyroid still present in a chicken or turkey neck?), sardines, whole raw eggs, and 1-2 oz of Stella & Chewy's raw patties daily (either their fish or lamb formulation). I currently supplement with salmon oil, vitamin E, and glycoflex.

    HALP - how am I going to meet their magnesium needs? They're super active, too, which is why I'm so concerned that they're deficient in Mg. Which supplements do you guys prefer?
     
  2. naturalfeddogs

    naturalfeddogs love the fluff

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    It sounds like you have good variety. I don't think you are deficiant in anything. In fact, for just a month in you are feeding almost more than most. Organs don't usually come until later than that even. In variety, raw meat/bones/organs supplies everything your dog needs. As long as they are normally active and otherwise fine, I wouldn't worry.

    Here is a site you can look at with lots of info and forums as well for raw feeding that will ease your mind. http://preymodelraw.com
     
  3. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Could you give a multivitamin/mineral supplement?

    I don't know anything about raw feeding, so I have no idea what foods would be high in magnesium.
     
  4. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Just curious as to if you have ever figured out your "required" amounts of vitamins minerals etc for a month vs what you actually eat?

    I have never figured out exact amounts of everything or measured it all out etc. I have been feeding raw for over 12 years. Its really about long term variety and balance.
     
  5. Pintage

    Pintage Mountain Dawg

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    I'm not sure... I can't feel 100% percent confident in that website cuz I want to see actual numbers and data... meat/bones/organs are generally low in magnesium. Found this on an agility website "the amount of bone magnesium is only 1/40 to 1/50 that of calcium" (@ http://agilitydogsfitness.blogspot.com/2008/09/magnesium.html - references listed at the bottom)

    I used this website to look up the nutrient profiles of the different items I feed my dogs ( http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list ) None of the items I listed above have adequate levels of magnesium. Magnesium is essential for nerve and muscle function, calcium absorption and it has a ton of other jobs; since I have two very athletic dogs, a diet that's low in magnesium is very concerning to me. I used the 2006 NRC formula to calculate the dietary needs of a 27lb dog - using that formula I determined that my dogs need 150mg of magnesium daily (that's the recommended allowance - the minimal requirement for them would be about 50mg daily which my diet DOES meet, but I don't feel comfortable meeting the bare minimum...) I apologize for the misleading title, they're not truly deficient (I only knew about the recommended allowance when I wrote my original post, and found out about minimal requirements when I was looking up sources for writing this post)

    Here's the chart I made:
    [​IMG]
    You can see that my diet's magnesium level falls halfway between the minimal requirement and the recommended allowance. I'm not sure if this is something I should be concerned with... when my pups were on commercially made food I never had to worry about their Mg intake because a kibble diet is more than adequate in Mg (since grains are high in Mg and most kibbles are made with grains).

    Yes, I'm looking for magnesium supplement suggestions... I don't know how I feel about multivitamins (kinda wary of them), I'd be paranoid about accidentally supplementing too much of a nutrient. I've been googling "magnesium dog supplements" and not having much luck, I did find a product called "Fidocal" but it's a dual calcium/magnesium supplement and none of the websites tell me how much Ca or Mg is in each tab so I'm hesitant to buy it. I'm really, really concerned about having a properly balanced diet.

    Another option for me would be to add some brown rice (high in Mg) to their diet... I don't know if I want to go with that or supplements.

    Ooh, not for a month, I feed about the same thing every day (the dogs get like, 3-5 different items per meal, two meals a day... they're starting to get picky and reject things which has never happened before, so I think I have to start doing things a bit differently now). So I made a spreadsheet of the nutrient profile of their typical daily meals and compared that to their daily requirements. Pretty much everything met the recommended allowance except for zinc and magnesium.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  6. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I used to be all for a prey model raw diet (only meat, bones, and organs) but am starting to think a BARF style might be better (includes veggies). I feel like unless you are feeding the whole carcass you might need veggies to help supply some of the nutrients that would be found there. Could the addition of certain magnesium rich veggies balance things out better? Not sure what BARFers generally recommend for veggies. A supplement would also be good, but I am not familiar with any brands.
     
  7. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    There is a Mg only supplement we recommend and use at work, I will try to remember to get the name of it tonight. It might be made by Standard Process...?
     
  8. Katem

    Katem New Member

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    I try not to get too crazy over making sure every aspect of their diets is 100% balanced. Just make sure they get a variety of different proteins over time. As far as magnesium, I feed yogurt and pumpkin fairly often. I usually share bananas with them too, so they get magnesium from that. And I believe some of the fish they get is pretty high in magnesium as well. Badger gets oatmeal on a semi-regular basis.

    Basically, I don't think there is any one way to feed raw. Different things work for different dogs. Badger has to have a lot more bone than the other two or else he's prone to loose stools. He also does better getting the teeny tiniest slivers more often whereas the smaller guys can handle larger amounts at a time.
     
  9. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Bones have magnesium, egg yolks, green tripe.....

    I meant by averaging out for a month...do you do your own personal diet exactly measured to make sure everything is met? IMO its not about meeting numbers, but about a variety and balance over time. I dont necessarily believe the numbers are really necessarily correct anyways (lots of arguments about them even in humans) and they are definitely going to vary based on individual needs.
     
  10. Pintage

    Pintage Mountain Dawg

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    I think it would work... Lugia is just *super* picky so I'd have to find something that she'd be willing to eat!

    That'd be great, thank you! I looked up the Standard Process product and it looks like it's magnesium lactate, I'm having a hard time finding info on its use in dogs.

    Thanks for the info, I'll look into adding a bit of pumpkin to their diet.

    At the moment I can't feed a huge amount of green tripe (the frozen K9 Naturals product I buy is $6/lb :eek: ) but I'm in the process of trying to acquire some raw green tripe that's reasonably priced... I think I'd feel SO MUCH better if I could feed them lots of green tripe, I looked up the nutrient profile, it's crazy nutritious...
    And no, I don't monitor my own personal diet... I'm sure I'm severely deficient in a lot of things (since I don't eat fruits or vegetables) and feel kinda awful all the time - I'd hate for my dogs to have to feel the way that I do D:
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  11. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Right, but humans process and digest fruits and vegetables...dogs dont:) I just mean we dont measure and put numeric value to everything we eat to make sure its "perfect". I know people puree fruits and veggies but I am not convinced that makes a difference to what the dogs can really use. I did used to feed barf style back when I first started. For me, I noticed no difference when I stopped the veggies except for their poop got a bit smaller. However, I see nothing WRONG with feeding veggies and fruits and if it make you feel better, go for it. Mainly though, I think you are likely overthinking and worrying about the numbers....which again, if thats what makes you happy go for it :)
     
  12. Dagwall

    Dagwall New Member

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    $6/lb for green tripe? That's crazy, thankfully I get mine for just under $2/lb.
     
  13. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    But...that sounds ideal to me? If 50 is the minimum you want to have, and 150 is the maximum you want to have, 97 is pretty spot on.
     
  14. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    Oh geez, yeah I totally missed that part! Good point for sure!
     
  15. Pintage

    Pintage Mountain Dawg

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    Oh no it's not the maximum, 150mg is the recommended allowance for a 27lb dog (does recommended allowance mean that *ideally* you'd get that amount? :eek: )

    And Dagwall - believe me I cry everytim I look at that $6/lb price tag. I did find a vendor in CO that sells green tripe for $2.25/lb so I'm going to order some stuff from him.
     
  16. Claybuster

    Claybuster New Member

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    White rice would be a better option for dogs if you are looking to add Magnesium. True, brown rice may have a higher MG content, however white rice by some is considered superior compared to brown rice for dogs. The concept here is to avoid any gluten source protein for dogs, and gluten would be in the hull of the brown rice.
     
  17. Pintage

    Pintage Mountain Dawg

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    Thanks for the tip, Claybuster!

    I'm not sure if anyone else would find this interesting, but chicken is a staple for my girls (they're both under 30lbs) and they eat about 4-5oz of it every single day. I noticed that they both started developing dandruff a few weeks ago and none of them ever had that problem on kibble. Started reading more about nutrition and only just recently found out that when switching your dogs to raw the eventual "goal" is to have a diet that's primarily red meat (especially beef and lamb) otherwise dogs will start to develop a zinc deficiency (which initially manifests itself as a mild skin condition). They were getting lots of pork (5-6oz/day) and I foolishly assumed that that was good enough (since beef is so expensive they only got about 1-2oz ground beef and 1oz of beef heart daily). They already get copious amounts of fish oil, sardines, eggs, and vit E supplements so I knew that the omega-3/omega-6 balance wasn't the source of the problem. I started adding a daily zinc gluconate supplement (under 10mg) and their skin problem cleared up within a week.

    Starting now I'm also going to cut back their chicken intake to every other day and increase the amount of beef they get on a daily basis. I'm really hoping that with hunting season coming up in a few months I can maybe score some venison from people clearing out their freezers...
     
  18. iriskai

    iriskai New Member

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    I'm not sure what area you're in, but would a local grocer or butcher work with you? I've been talking with a locally owned meat place (haven't ordered yet, I won't have the space to store anything until next week), but he's willing to order cases for me at a .10 markup per pound. I can get beef heart for 1.29 a lb which is fantastic compared to any other prices I've found for beef.
     
  19. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    I used to get beef hearts for 37 cents /lb about 5-6 years ago. Now I did find a place that gets them for me for 99cents/lb. My old place could get kidneys for 40cents, but this new place is 99cents too for those. Oh well, everything goes up :)
     
  20. Pintage

    Pintage Mountain Dawg

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    Lugia and Circus both aren't huge fans of beef heart (they'll eat it if it's wrapped in ground beef)... so I don't want to feed them that any more than is necessary. I'm crossing my fingers that one day they'll learn to like it.

    Thanks for the suggestion, iriskai, I'll call some of the nearby butchers and see if they can order me anything reasonable!

    I really hope I can get better at shopping "smartly"... they've only been on this raw diet for 3 months and the money I've spent on food during these three months (~6 month supply) equals out to about a year's worth of kibble already :yikes:
     

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