Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World
I was just wondering if we have many raw feeders on the site? I'm considering changing my Irish Finn and my Lab Milo onto the raw diet as Finn has some allergies (we're not sure what they are yet) and I've heard that even if the allergy isn't to food, a raw diet can help relieve symptoms.
I tried Milo on raw a while back, but only lasted a week as the worry over him choking and me not giving him all the right bits drove me half mad!
I'd do a lot more research this time and plan ahead a bit more, but the amounts that need to be fed are the bit which most confuse me - especially with Finn being a puppy.
I've added some discussions and will add more over the coming days. Feel free to add your own discussions
I've fed my R/W boy a raw diet since he was weaned off of puppy food and he is now 9 years old and have had no problems food wise or tummy wise all that time.
Hi Charlotte and Finn
I know just how you feel I was terrifed of Riley and Cassie choking on the bones.
But am so glad I kept going, like you I did a lot of research and am over the moon with the results.
Riley has been on Raw since 8wks old and also weighs 28k with plenty of muscle, his coat gleams and is full of engery.
Cassie is also doing great and was 12wks old when I got her and went straight on to raw.
I must admit I dont weigh their food I go for how they are doing.
As they are still very young I weigh them at least once a month and as long as I can fill their ribs feel they are ok.
I feed all of which I have seen everyone else feeds but not much lamb and liver/kidney and never any dry biscuit (my choice) I also feed twice aday.
Mine also have whole eggs couple times a week.
I pulp all their veg into a mush which they have about 3 times a week.
Never seen dogs eat bananas like mine do.
I wish you luck with the change over it is the best thing I have ever done.
Cant recommend it enough I like that I know every thing they eat..
Also it do's not cost more quite the opposite I have all their meat delivered and buy in bulk.
I did look at Natural Instinct but it looked quite pricey. How much do you usually pay per month, if you don't mind me asking?
When I started in Irish Setters over 40 years ago, I tried every whichway of feeding with picky skinny dogs and stressing over what they should eat and why they were not interested UNTIL I hit upon RAW!
In those days you could buy a 40kg tripe from the local abattoir for 20 pence! - You just had to wash it a bit, slice it up into bite-size pieces and freeze it.
My dogs never looked back!! They were the correct weight, had shiny coats, bags of energy, had no allergies and only went to the vets for vaccination.
Puppies were weaned on raw minced beef and progressed to raw minced tripe.
Nowadays you can get pre-packed frozen raw food - so much more convenient (tho' more expensive!)
I mixed plain wholemeal biscuit with the tripe as the basic diet but introduced other stuff like vegetable leftovers, gravy and anything wholesome to add a little 'spice'!! And of course large beef bones (I didn't seem to source chicken wings etc but would do now) After all dogs are primarily scavengers/omnivours.
PS Offal is good - but not too much liver - and lights (lungs) although often used and popular with dogs, do not have much food value
Exactly what happened to me in 1982 when I got my first Irish....and all your comments apply to all my dogs since then... I do exactly the same as you do!
Thanks for all the comments everyone. Would it be possible for some of you to maybe write out your exact meal plans so I can get a bit more of a realistic idea of what you feed and when? :)
You got a lot of responses there! It is quite a raw food community out there.
Anton and Gina are on raw food and I wouldn't change it. Their coats are shiny, and their doggy kisses are fresh :))
Generally, when they were pups, I gave them 5% of their body weight per day. This comprises of 10 to 20 per cent veges and the rest it meat. To the meat portion you can add 5% offal a day (not if you feed lots of yellow vegetables). You can also feed chicken necks, start with one or two a day up to five (that is included in the meat portion)
Vegetables:PUmpkin is good. The same for sweet potato. Carrots. But they also need greens, such as green beans. There are some veges you don't feed, such as Avocado. Also I would be careful with tomato, cabbage only very little. Silver better not, Although I feed spinach. NO Onions please!!. I give garlic in small doses (good source of selelnium, for their immune system), however, the official line is 'no'.
Get flax oil, fish oil, omega three oils are essential. You can also add ground or broken up flax seed (a teaspoon a day)
How old is Finn? When he is about 12 weeks old, you can actually start him on chicken necks. Before that age, I'd grind them for him. (got a food processor?)
For your lab, I would feed 2% of his body weight a day. (Labs tend to pile on the kilos...) so no grain.
With nutrients, go with kelp powder. Then Green herbs are good (even dried herbs). A raw egg a week, and a can of sardines.
There is a lot more, and you may notice, I am thrilled about raw feeding. If you want to know more, there is lots of it online, and there are excellent books. But you can always drop me a line, and I'll help.
PS with not giving the right nutrients: With raw food you make sure that won't happen. Food allergies tend to disappear.
Anyway, you see for yourself. Are their coats shiny? Are they happy and aktive? Are their eyes clear? Then everything is fine. If in doubt, check out with a good vet who is not sponsored by the dog food industry.
All the best!
I have thought about how much I feed my two but found it differcult to do in weights.
I feed with how they are looking ie; can I feel their ribs and I also weigh them to see how they are gaining and of course what they look like.
Must say they look great and have many people comment.
In a day they would have:
4 chicken necks or 1 wing with tripe or beef (any meat I might have) or fish mine have fresh which would be 2spratts each (Riley wont always eat) or tescos blue stripe fillets one each with a raw egg including shell.
followed by 2 tablespoons of Bio yog.
1 Whole chicken back (sometimes they are huge with loads of meat on) then I will cut in half and they share.
Any meat I may have Beef or heart. small amount of liver or kidney (not to often) mine love tripe ( the more it smells the better) yuk
Veggies about three times a week all mashed up together I do in food processer ( its easier just to google what they should not have) and yes mine have fresh garlic I have always feed my dogs and horses garlic great in summer against ticks etc also good for us.
Herbs fresh or dried just a sprinke also mine love bananas.
I believe its common sense I am lazy and would not be bothered weighing everthing so far so good.
They also have meaty bones couple times week which Riley like to bury in the garden lol.
Every time I go to finish I think of more pork ribs they adore.
As they get older they will prob have less I feed by what I see for me thats easier.
They are also very very active charging around all their waking hours.
I have never ground the bones (my choice) a lot of people do and thats fine.
They have been eating whole chicken necks wings from 8wks chicken backs whole from about12 wks at first Riley used to play with them and throw all around the place. But not now gone in seconds.
Its the best thing I have done for my dogs.