Thursday, March 11, 2010

Further Adventures in Feeding Raw

Le sigh. It was probably a little naive to think that this road to feeding a completely raw diet wouldn't have some bumps along the way.

When I picked the kids up from daycare (AKA Grammie's house) yesterday, I was informed by an unimpressed mom that Elli had just vomited on the living room rug. She was acting just fine -- doing the mom's home dance, grabbing a toy and tossing it, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, etc. -- and upon further probing I learned that she had only vomited the foamy yellow bile stuff. No big, she was just over-hungry. Which I suppose makes sense when she's been accustomed to having slow-to-digest kibble in the morning rather than the quick-to-digest chicken thigh that she got. Easy solution: give her two cookies, or a larger cookie, at lunch time to tide her over until dinner.

Said dinner last night consisted of chicken hearts, gizzards, and some beef liver. I will 'fess up here that I do brown the beef liver a little -- not cooked through, just the outside browned before I cut it up for them, because... um, eww. (Comment from hubby: "That's not OUR dinner, right?")The dogs have been getting the occasional liver anyway, so that's not a change for them. So, a couple chicken hearts a piece, some gizzards that I cut into manageable size pieces, and maybe 4 oz. of liver apiece. This was a big hit, especially with Ian. So much so that I don't think he even stopped to chew any of it.

Wait: actually, I can attest to the fact that he didn't chew it. Because about 20 minutes later, he PROJECTILE VOMITED it across my living room carpet.


I mean really, have you seen The Exorcist? Yeah, like that. But without the head-spinning. Well, maybe MY head spun around a little, but anywho... We're talking a good 2.5 to 3-foot arc, because maximum coverage is important when vomiting on wall-to-wall carpet. (It's in the Rules for Dogs to Live By book.) And yeah, it looked pretty much the same as it had 20 minutes before, with the addition of a little added moisture. No, Joanna, I did not let him clean it up himself. Seriously, there are limits.

I know there wasn't a problem with WHAT I fed them; Elli was fine, and none of the components were anything they've never eaten before. I therefore conclude that either: a) Ian just bolted it too fast; b) I fed him a little too much; or c) the post-dinner rough-housing was a little much immediately following the meal.

On the upside, I saved the $20 on obedience class last night. :-/

I am deeply concerned that, suddenly, a raw fricking chicken thigh seems the lesser of the evils to me.

Dog people are not normal.


  1. It might have just been too rich for him? I'm soooo not experienced in raw feeding, but I know that for example when I switched over to a high-protein kibble, I had to do it very slowly. I learned that the hard way the LAST time I switched to a high protein kibble and everyone had the pukes. Especially wonderful since we had just put our house on the market and had the carpets cleaned, mmmhmm.

    I digress. Yes, he might have just eaten it too fast and then made a livershake in his tummy by playing. (eww.) Or it might have just been too much organ meat at once, which are richer.

  2. I'm betting too much too fast. Ask Karen about Conner's adventures in eating things too fast.....

  3. I dont cut any of my guys raw up because it allows them to eat it faster if its smaller. When they get a big piece they seem to chew more. I am guessing it was a combination of too rich and too big of a piece for his tummy to handle. For a dog who hasnt been eating raw long, maybe just do a smaller bit of liver initially. I have had a dog vomit if they play too hard right after eating too, so my guys always get a half hour nap time after a meal.

  4. Dawn, mine will inhale their food without chewing (except for bone-in chicken). So, when I feed organ meat, I cut it up. Dinnertime is still a blur!

  5. Take Ian back down to just chicken thighs for about a week. Let his gut adjust to that before you add the other. If Elli is doing OK she can probably handle more variety. And remind me not to giggle at you too hard ;).

    Babies are eating chicken backs now, though they also get Bravo and tripe and this week they get some Orijen too so I know they're ready to handle whatever new owners feed. They have the iron tums of all time, which I love.

  6. Ian has had liver before without incident, and he's had the giblets mix before, but not so much at one time. I've usually combined the liver with muscle meat rather than other organ meat. Now I'll know better!