I've been hibernating. The house is in the process of being prepared for sale (packing, painting, storing, staging...), dogs are demanding attention, work is work, and I've been fighting a pretty serious case of the blahs.
I've also been trying out a predominantly raw diet for the dogs. I've heard people extol the virtues of raw feeding: healthy teeth & gums, healthy coat, small poops, no dog-stink, improved energy levels, etc. I want in on the action. I'm intensely curious on how Cohen's condition might improve - she's always been fed high quality kibble (Orijen 6-Fish) and is in pretty dang good shape already. Mega might see more drastic results - she's not exactly in shape, and still smells a little yeasty.
To make matters more complicated, Cohen doesn't do well with chicken. Chicken for dinner normally results in diarrhea the next morning. She seems to have a rather sensitive GI tract. Megatron seems able to eat just about anything without any repercussions. Tinydog's insides are a well oiled machine.
So far I've been switching over pretty lazily. I've been buying premade patties, and supplying the dogs with the occasional bit of whole meat on bone. If I were in a position to jump in headfirst I'd want to source my own meats and provide more whole meals, but for now the patties are going to have to do.
Everything was going well until I gave Cohen a particularly large section of beef neck bones. In the past she's been fine chowing down on a vertebrae and it keeps her occupied for a good hour. I bought some larger sections and tossed one at the dog a few days ago (which she cleaned happily) and the following day Cohen was a mess. She threw up chunks of bone a couple times, had some vicious diarrhea, and was practically comatose until well into the afternoon. She refused a small chunk of raw food, but perked up after I got her to eat some kibble and drink a bit of water. She was feeling pretty sorry for herself. And now of course I'm worried about giving her another neck bone snack.
She's been fine since then, and eats frozen patties happily. We've been doing mostly raw for 2-3 weeks now, and I've yet to see any of those benefits I've been told about. I'll obviously keep up with it for a good few months before I really step back and assess her condition, but I'm a bit worried that I'm going to be experiencing the added effort and cost of the diet without seeing its supposed benefits. Only time will tell!
Does anyone have any stories of the changes they may or may not have seen upon starting their pups on raw? Tips? I would love to hear them.