Boxer Crazy

Food, Nutrition and Recipes => Raw and Homecooking => Topic started by: Rubidawg on July 25, 2013, 11:07:04 PM

Title: We've Converted
Post by: Rubidawg on July 25, 2013, 11:07:04 PM
After years of wanting to do it, I can say now that we finally did it! We switched to raw! lol

We've been struggling with Rubi's weight and despite feeding less, she just kept gaining. Bauer was having issues with yeast and despite the fact that I REALLY loved Acana, it didn't seem to love him back. I didn't want to put them back on Natural Balance, s we tried one last alternative and switched to Earthborn. I said, "if this one doesn't work, we're going raw." Well the dogs hated it. They weren't eating it, unless they had skipped enough meals that it was worth forcing themselves to eat it. Took a while to finish the bag, and during that time, I began really doing my research.

I came across a local frozen raw mix supplier. The quality is great and better yet...they price is unbeatable. I found a pet store that sells it, even cheaper than the local supplier. So, I went and picked up 20lbs and last Saturday, we switched.

So far, the changes are small, but I notice them. Both dogs are less gassy. Rubi has had HORRIBLE, clear the room and pull the paint off the walls gas. And she was constantly passing gas. Think: walking farts. :wreck: I don't think she's tooted but a couple of times in the past few days! Bauer doesn't have gas issues, but on Earthborn, they were coming. Well, he's not letting them go either.

Poops are small and quickly disintegrate, which is kinda neat. LOL The first poo, I sat outside, in my pj's, standing over it in total amazement. "That's IT?!!!" :o Pretty sure my neighbors confirmed my deranged mental status right at that moment.

Their coats are improving. Rubi's has been coarse for years and getting worse as she aged. Today, I felt it and it's starting to soften. Bauer has always been pretty soft, but his coat is shedding and a nice fresh, softer coat is coming through.

Individually, Rubi is finally losing weight. (Bauer is too, so we are upping his food. He seems to be leaning out more than really losing body mass). She's been WAY more playful with Bauer lately too. She's initiating play more often, running around the house like a nut, stealing his toys, tugging, and I've not seen that big ol smile on her in a really long time! She's like a puppy all over again. I think her arthritis and her hips are bothering her less as well - most likely due to the weight loss, but even when she was this slim a year ago, she wasn't this playful. She just looks more bright eyed and happier.

Bauer has had tummy issues with all of the food we've had him on. It just never seemed to agree with him some days. He'd wake up early am, and his belly would hurt so bad, he was velcroed to me so I would comfort him. I'd have to wait it out a lil bit, which sucks when you know they don't feel well, give him some cottage cheese, then a few hours later, he was back to normal. Well, those issues seem to be going away. He still has a bit of a "velcro dog" syndrome when he's getting hunger pains. So, I think upping his meals will help with that. But for the most part, no real tummy issues.

The big change I've noticed with him is just how much more focussed he is....and getting into ALOT less trouble! LOL Seems to have curbed some of that "I'm going to be bad to get attention" and he's really learning it's ok to calm down. We are also working with a behaviorist (more in another post) on this and the issue with chasing the cat. She said if/when we switched to raw, we'd see him calm down. She was right. lol Even in our agility class tonite, he was far more eager to work (not usually a problem for him, but he's usually soooooo interested in the other dogs and wanting to try to get away to play) and altho he still had his "Bauer moments" he was quick to settle back down and redirect. My lil goofball...what am I supposed to do with a Bauer boy that listens and isn't being bad?!?!! lol ;)

He puked the first meal. I think he just ate it too fast. Other than that, the transition has been fairly easy for him. Rubi's had no issues with the switch - no vomiting, diarrhea or anything. She REALLY loves the food. Bauer doesn't like his cold, so he requires a bit of heating it up....or letting it sit out for a few minutes to warm up to room temp, before he eats it. Otherwise, he tries to bury his bowl. LOL

They are going through some itchiness, but not much. From what I read, this is common as the toxins from kibble leave the body. Bauer has probably been itching more, which I expected considering his yeasty paws, but they aren't really itching that much. Oh and the yeast between his toes....going bye-byes. :thumbsup:

I have to say, overall, I'm really glad with the switch and seeing the slight results in less than a week and so look forward to seeing what happens over the next several months. Just seeing the puppy come back to life in Rubi has made it all worth it. I have to say, she's been worrying me lately and to see her acting like she's 4 instead of 8, has just made us all smile.
Title: Re: We've Converted
Post by: whitepupzoe on July 26, 2013, 07:36:41 AM
That's great Dawn!  :thumbsup:  I wish I could switch, maybe when Olivia is older I can look into it.

She said if/when we switched to raw, we'd see him calm down

I have never heard of switching to raw effecting behavior! That's amazing.
Title: Re: We've Converted
Post by: Rubidawg on July 26, 2013, 09:24:10 AM
Well, if you put it in the context of what we (humans) put into our body, it makes sense. I eat very healthy (90%) of the time. I try to eat clean. No junk food. And workout 5-6 days a week. When I'm on this routine, I feel great, I'm in a good mood, happy, upbeat, positive.

When I'm not and I've been eating crap (cupcakes! lol) and fall off my workout schedule, I'm in a bad  mood. I'm sluggish, nearly depressed and I REALLY cannot concentrate.

Think of it in the context of a child who is fed sugar and junk food versus a child who is fed healthy food choices that their body needs to help them grow. When we eat the right things, it certainly effects who we are and I'd imagine it's the same for dogs. Even with high quality kibble, the food is still processed and breaks down alot of the nutrients their bodies need. When I am eating processed foods, I can't think straight, can't concentrate and that's just how it is for Bauer.

Bauer is a worker. He's gotta stay focussed on something. When he is on kibble, he's getting into trouble, because (like me) he just has no concentration. With the raw, I can see him thinking more, being more focussed, and just overall more relaxed.

So, perhaps not so much as that it will change a behavior - in the real sense of the word, behavior is probably not the right choice of words - but will help their mental stability and help them to think and stay focussed, rather than creating boredom for a dog not being challenged. Don't get me wrong, he's still a total nutjob - got into trouble this morning, lol, but for the most part - he's becoming more "at ease,' so to stpeak.

I'd say it's probably a combo of a few different things that really  helping me see the change - his age, the extra training and the new diet. But all 3 together help the process.
Title: Re: We've Converted
Post by: whitepupzoe on July 26, 2013, 09:56:18 AM
Yes, that does make sense! I guess it's not something I really ever thought of for dogs. Very interesting!  :thumbsup:

I'm tellin' ya are one hell of a good dog momma!  :)
Title: Re: We've Converted
Post by: Rubidawg on July 26, 2013, 09:56:54 AM
We all are! ;)
Title: Re: We've Converted
Post by: Eilene on July 26, 2013, 10:15:59 AM
Thats good you are noticing the difference..I wont eat meat and dont think i could even look at the raw food..I have a hard time with cooked meat..So the dogs will never eat raw
Title: Re: We've Converted
Post by: Rubidawg on July 26, 2013, 10:54:18 AM
Thats good you are noticing the difference..I wont eat meat and dont think i could even look at the raw food..I have a hard time with cooked meat..So the dogs will never eat raw
Oh I completely understand, it's not for everyone. I am really grossed out by raw meat. I had the hardest time learning to boil chicken for training treats because the thought of the raw meat just grossed me out. I do eat meat, but I hate touching it, hate smelling it, and looking at it when it's raw. Then when we started home cooking for Grady, I had no choice but to suck it up and get used to raw meat - it was what was best for him and I think that helped. Still can't stand the look/smell of raw liver, though. LOL

And the meat mixture, even though someone else took the time to grind it up, is still very disgusting to me. But, I'm getting used to it. Hubby and I help each other portioning the meals out, weighing them, bagging them, etc. So, we play and keep it fun, which keeps my mind off of the gross factor. lol It's still nasty, but I'm learning to adjust to it.
Title: Re: We've Converted
Post by: jinxx on July 26, 2013, 11:34:53 AM
I am thrilled its working out for you. I know I couldn't be any happier with the results we've had here.
I was home cooking for Ca$h but went back to kibble after he passed because it was "easy" and Z was going to go on the road and didn't want her handler to have to deal with it either.
After struggling with constant belly upsets and poops with Xeno for months- we tried raw and finally found something that worked for him.
No upsets, super soft shiney coats, better breath, less eye goobies and yep, more focus and energy.
3 years later and I'll never go back. Can't even think of the last time I gave them a store bought treat. (He'll peteewie them when friends offer them, lol)

LOL, if you think you're having a time dealing with the premade mixes, wait till you start buying whole meats by the case and have to cut up, bag and freeze.
Won't be long till you get a big freezer and are buying by the case.
I think the grossest is the 30 lb cases of whole liver- those suckas are huge, bloody, stinky and slippery. Total gag material
Title: Re: We've Converted
Post by: Rubidawg on July 26, 2013, 12:07:19 PM
LOL We've already been looking at fridges and may go this weekend to go buy one. My next order is for 60lbs of the frozen mix, so we need somewhere to store it! YIKES!!!

And Shawn is actually looking forward to cutting up meat for the dogs. He said to me the other day, "So can they get chicken legs and thighs, cuz I like that kinda chicken better than breasts." I think he was thinking that he could buy a whole bunch and split it between him and the dogs. LOL

I've been making their treats for a while now anyway, so it's naturally the next step. I still buy a few petstore treats here and there, but very picky over the ingredients. And when they've been offered anything else, they do the same...."what is this crap? oh, must be a toy, I'll play with it to please you for now."

I'm so happy we've made the switch and can't imagine looking back. We still have a pretty full bag of Natural Balance in the container (we ran out of the Earthborn and hadn't been able to get up to the store that sells the beef, so I bought a bag of NB just to get us through). Bauer has recently learned to open that container and tries to get in there every now and then. Not sure if he wants the kibble, or if he thinks that the antlers he found in there are still in there. LOL But, Shawn said yesterday that I could use the kibble as treats for some of his training at home. I told him that would completely defeat the purpose of being on raw. I'm going to see if a local rescue is interested in taking the rest of the bag. Some are picky about opened bags, so it's been hard to find someone who wants it.
Title: Re: We've Converted
Post by: Boxermom,K on July 26, 2013, 01:17:14 PM
That is wonderful news that the dogs are doing so well on raw. I completely understand about what they eat and how it affects behavior. I have done raw, kibble, prepackaged raw and home cooked. I have to say that overall price wise raw and homecooked don't cost much more than kibble in the long run.

Get an upright or box freezer, you can't go wrong with that. I make large batches of food at a time and package them in gallon freezer bags. Then I can just thaw out what I need for the week or even a few days. I do homecooked, but I would think you could do the same with raw. Sure makes things more convenient.