First of all let me start out by saying that if you are a kibble feeder we have been where
you are right now.  The decision to switch our dogs to a raw diet was one that was
thought out and researched.  I hope that you will do the same.  A PenDachs puppy
comes to your home weaned onto the raw diet.  Raw feeding can be as simple as
purchasing a premade raw diet such as Nature's Variety from your local pet store or
preparing meats that you buy from a grocery store.  PLEASE whether you get a puppy
from us or someone else consider this for the health of your own dog!
Thank you,
The Pences
Our own Tadpole showing off a
chunk of Lamb neck that she
enjoyed one evening in a hotel on a
dog show weekend.  Raw feeding is
simple enough that even while
traveling it can be done!
Rawfeeding your dog...why and how.....

How much do you love your dog?  It makes you catch your breath to think of answering that question right?
 How would you feel if you found out that someone was secretly poisoning your dog AND getting paid to do
it?  Would you be livid?  Would you do anything legally within your power to stop it from continuing? Here's
the bad news...your dog IS being poisoned if you are feeding kibble and YOU are paying for it and so is
your dog!  The good news is YOU and only YOU can stop it RIGHT NOW!  This page is dedicated to all
the dogs out there whose owner's do the best they can but simply don't know any better.  Education is a
powerful tool.  Please, keep an open mind and think outside the box as you read the page below.  Check
out the links I am providing and ask questions if you have them.

Kibble...whether it's pretty bone shaped pieces, the kind that makes a smelly gravy when you add warm
water, or off of your vets own office shelves it IS STILL POISON whether it comes in a bag...can...roll...or
whatever other form you can get it in!  Let's learn one thing first.  Dogs ARE Carnivores!!!  That's not up for
debate it's a fact.  What do Carnivores in the wild eat?  They eat meat.  They eat other animals and no one
is out there cooking that chicken, pig, turkey, moose, etc. and shaping it into pretty bone shaped pieces.  
They aren't adding a bunch of additives and preservatives to it either.  The wolves eat it raw and they eat
all of it including the bones.  YIKES...yep, I said it..they DO eat the bones.

Ever wondered what is in that bag of kibble that you buy?  It doesn't matter if you just paid $5 for that bag
or $50 they all are cooked.  So, assuming there was anything worthwhile in the ingredient list to begin with
(that's a MASSIVE assumption) once cooked it became basically worthless to your dog.  Kibbles are full of
carbohydrates and sugars that CARNIVORES do not need.  But, here's the real kicker, that bag of kibble is
full of MANY other things you don't know about.  Things your worst nightmares are made of!  Please,
check out the links below to read about what's really in that bag of kibble.  It WILL make you think twice
before you fill your dogs bowl the next time.

The Dark Side Of Recycling
Does Your Dog Food Bark

If you have read this information and have decided that you are open to the idea of feeding a raw, natural
diet to your dog CONGRATULATIONS!  You have just made a wonderful decision!   Your dog will be so
much healthier in the long run.  No more dog breath, no more tartar covered teeth, no more oily feeling
coat (or dry), no more scooping waste from your yard, and a very reduced amount of money lining your
vets pocket!  Now that you have made the decision to switch let me give you the basics on how I choose to
do this.  At one point my pet dogs were fed kibble and I made the switch so I know how easy it is and how
anyone can do it if they choose to.  *Before I get started let me remind you though this is only *MY*
personal opinion and I assume no liability for what you do with your own dogs.*
               
HOW TO SWITCH YOUR PET TO RAW

Of course this is only my opinion but I am sharing what has worked for me and my pets. I have seven dogs
and they range in weights from 19 pounds to 140 pounds. I am not a nutritionist or a vet this is just my own
personal experience and advice I have gotten from others.

BONES and MYTHS

Lets just get the issue of bones out of the way right at the beginning. Part of the raw diet is that your dog is
to consume bones. No they will not choke and die from eating a bone nor is it likely to pierce their stomach
wall and kill them. The only dangerous bone to a dog is a cooked bone. Cooked bones are likely to splinter
and cause some serious or even fatal problems. Your dog needs the raw bones for the nutrients that they
get out of them. Another major benefit to feeding a raw diet is that crunching up all those bones makes for
some pearly white teeth therefore little to none of your money goes to dental cleanings at the vets office.
Still hesitant about feeding raw bones? Just ask yourself this question, when a wolf manages to get a
chicken is there someone who is waiting to debone it for him? As for myths, no your dog is not going to
become aggressive and start attacking people because you are feeding him raw meat. It does not make
him blood thirsty and looking for prey. The only way your dog will want to eat your cat is if the dog felt that
way already! Your children are safe and so are your neighbors children and pets. While we are discussing
myths we certainly do not want to overlook salmonella and other bacterial diseases. Provide you use
common sense when preparing your dogs food and wash your hands afterwards you nor anyone in your
family is going to contract salmonella or any other disease. Furthermore your dog is not going to contract
salmonella from eating raw meat. A dogs digestive tract is different than ours. Most bacteria is killed
almost immediately when a dog eats it.

FASTING

Dogs that are currently eating a kibble based diet need to be fasted from all food for a full 24 hours before
being fed a raw meal. There is a difference in the enzymes of the two diets so their stomachs need time to
empty out. Provide plenty of fresh, clean water during the fasting period. So that your pet is not feeling
hungry all day I suggest letting them have their kibble breakfast and then no dinner. This way the 24 hour
period will be over the following morning and they will have only missed one meal and hopefully managed
to sleep through being hungry. After your dog has been on the raw diet for a full month it is a good idea to
begin to fast them for one meal per week. This allows the bodies organs time to rest and it cleans out any
food that may be left behind. Some people choose to give a digestive enzyme to help keep food digested
as well. An enzyme with oxbile has been suggested to me. When you fast your dog it is not necessary to
do a full 24 hour fast (after the introductory switch to raw), a fast of one meal per week is sufficient. I
usually fast the evening meal so that my dogs are not waiting all day to be fed.  NOTE...if you are
switching a puppy a 12 hours fast is sufficient.

WEIGHING IN

My first suggestion is to weigh your dog. You really need to know what your dog weighs in order to figure
about how much food to give him. My second suggestion is to buy a kitchen scale. You do not need
anything fancy. A scale from Wal-mart will do just fine. If your dog is currently at a healthy weight (has a
natural waistline) then you will want to start your pet with 2% of his body weight divided into two meals per
day. If your pet could stand to gain some weight (you can see ribs) then go with 3% of his body weight
divided into two meals per day. If your pet is over weight (you can NOT see a waistline) then go with 1.5%
of his body weight divided into two meals per day. If you have a growing puppy the formula I suggest is 4%
of the pups current body weight divided into 3 or even 4 meals per day. Here are two examples.

A 20 pound dog that is at a healthy weight. 20lb. X 2% = .40/2 meals per day=.20lbs per meal. If you do
not have a digital scale and you get an odd amount like that just feed .25 per meal (one fourth pound).

A 80 pound dog that is underweight. 80lb. X 3%= 2.4/2 meals per day= 1.2lbs per meal. Again it is an odd
amount so I would feed 1 and one quarter pounds per meal.

GETTING STARTED

Now that you are through the fasting period and you know how much to feed it is time to eat! For the first
two weeks I highly suggest that you feed ONLY chicken to your dogs. It is easy to digest and nearly all
dogs do well with chicken. If you have access to them chicken thighs are a wonderful start and can be the
staple of your dogs diet. It is my suggestion that you remove most of the fat at least at first to prevent gas.  
If your dog looks at its meal and chooses to not eat do not panic. Some pets will test you to see if you are
really going to stick with it. Remember this is totally foreign food to your dog and they may be picky about
eating it. It may take a few days before they give in and eat their meals. If you want you can sprinkle
parmessan cheese on their meat although some dogs will just lick this off. You can also try sprinkling a
little garlic powder on the dogs meat. Many dogs like the taste of garlic. If all else fails you can very briefly
(just seconds) sear the meat. Sometimes it will add to the smell of the meat just enough to give the dog the
desire to eat it. Be careful to sear it quickly so as not to cook it.

ADDING MORE MEATS

Okay, so you and your pet survived the first two weeks and now you are ready to move on to a variety. I
strongly suggest that you add only one meat per week to your dogs diet. In following this rule if there is a
meat that your dog does not tolerate well you will be able to identify what it is without eliminating
everything. There is NO meat that is off limits.  I would start with chicken and move on to turkey or beef,
and then lamb, goat, venison, fish, etc.  Basically any meat you have access to can be fed to your dog. If
you have a hunter around this is their time to shine!  See about getting deer, rabbit, squirrel, or any other
meat they can offer.  My only other meat warning is at my house meat from the grocery store is not
tolerated very well. That tells me that the meat glue and preservatives added to the meat is not good!  Diets
high in chicken should be supplemented with fish body oil or salmon oil if fish is not included in the diet at
least twice a week.

VEGETABLES & FRUIT

Some people do choose to feed their dogs vegetables and fruits I however do not. I do not believe that
fruits and vegetables are a natural part of a carnivores diet and dogs ARE carnivores. The point of the raw
diet is to take your dog back to nature. The only greens a wild dog or wolf would eat would be what is
inside the stomachs of their prey and they'd be eating very little of that. If you are interested in feeding that
you can purchase green tripe.

ORGANS

Now that your dog has been eating a raw diet for a few weeks it is time to start adding organ meats. Organ
meat needs to be approximately 10% of your dogs diet. Chicken livers, beef and pork livers, beef and pork
kidney, and deer liver are all excellent choices. Heart is a good choice too and can double as a muscle
meat. Pork and beef heart are great and chicken and turkey hearts are usually easy to find. Feed them
sparingly or your dog will have diarrhea. Remember only 10% !

BALANCE
Remember this is all about balance. If one week all you have handy to feed your dog is chicken that is
fine. Then next week add beef and lamb or fish to his diet. It is not about balance daily it is over the dogs
lifetime that is important. You do not need to measure how much organ meat you are feeding just toss a
couple small pieces in the bowl when you feed. If one morning your dog gets a heavily boned meal make
the next one boneless. It is not only important to balance the meat to bone ratio but equally important to
balance the selection of meats you are feeding your dog. Vitamin and mineral contents are different in
each type of meat. Therefore you would not want to feed just chicken or just any other one meat. Variety IS
the spice of life!

THE SCOOP ON POOP

Okay, we have discussed what goes in now lets discuss what comes out. A kibble fed dog poops
sometimes 3 and 4 times per day. It is a large amount and smells horrible. A raw fed dog will only poop 1
or 2 times per day, sometimes not every day and there is little to no odor and it's a small amount. No, I am
not kidding it really does not stink. The amount is about a fourth of what a kibble fed dog will poop. Do you
wonder why there is so much less poop on a raw diet? It is simple, the dog is eating pure protein and their
bodies use nearly all of it so there is little to come out. Kibbles are full of fillers and grains that your dog
cannot digest so you see it in your yard. There is another huge advantage to feeding a raw diet. No more
pooper scooping your yard. That is right, throw out the shovels! A raw fed dogs waste will turn a chalky
white within a few days and totally disintegrate into the earth within a week or so. At the beginning of
making this change from kibble to raw your dog may go through detox and have some diarrhea. Do not
panic it is just the body adjusting and ridding itself of the toxins in the kibble it will go away within a week or
so. It does not happen to all dogs.

FLUID INTAKE

Kibbles are dry and because of that your dog has to guzzle water to re-hydrate his body. If you have any
concerns of bloat take this into consideration. When your dog eats kibble then guzzles water the kibble
swells. This does not happen with a raw fed dog. Their meats are naturally full of water. You will discover
once you make the switch to raw that your dog does not consume even a fourth of the water it did while
eating kibble. I am not saying a raw fed dog cannot bloat just that it makes sense that it would be less likely.

CHANGES

You will see changes in your pet since you have switched to a raw based diet. Their hair will become
softer and shinier. Their dog odor and bad breath will gradually diminish. Skin problems and allergies will
clear up. Your dog will have more energy. You will in turn need to make less trips to the vets.

A FEW GOOD PLACES

These are websites that I suggest every new raw feeder check out.

http://www.ducfarm.com/danes/misc/hog.html Warning, this is a graphic website that shows dogs eating
the entire carcass of a pig. It is good to see what importance they put on eating the stomach contents of an
animal.

http://pages.cthome.net/heather/myths.htm This dispels a few of the myths surrounding a raw diet.

http://www.rawmeatybones.com/ This is the website of Dr. Tom Lonsdale. You may find the FAQ
interesting.

I sincerely hope that this will be of some help to you in getting your pet started on a healthy raw diet.
However keep in mind that these are only MY opinions and suggestions and we each have to make our
own decisions about what is best for our pets. Sorry but have to add this to cover my rear for anyone
feeling like suing these days :)
Two of our 6 week old puppies
enjoying a meal of fresh mutton.
 
A sample of a raw meal.  This
one contains chicken backs,
raw eggs with the shells,
chicken livers, and beef heart.  
Nearly any meat can be fed to
your dogs as long as it's not
cooked or processed.  
Remember most pet stores
also sell premade raw diets for
folks who are pressed for time
or only have one dog and want
to keep it simple.
These two photos are our boy
Dash.  He has been fed a raw
diet since he was weaned and
his mother and father were
fed a raw diet as well.
 
RAW FEEDING
In the late fall of the year when deer season comes to WV and OH we are blessed with lots of free deer
meat.  I'm never one to turn away free meat especially when it's nearly whole prey and my dogs get to eat
it just like they would in the wild!  So below are some pretty graphic photos of our dogs eating fresh deer
meat.  We toss the part of the carcass that is given to us out onto our deck during the month of
December.  Here in WV the cold temperatures keep the meat fresh or frozen so we don't have to worry
about bringing it back into the house.  The carcass lays on our deck until our dogs consume it.  
Sometimes it takes them a week to 10 days to go through one deer carcass.  That's feeding 4
Dachshunds and a Great Dane.  Don't misunderstand and think that you have to have entire carcasses
laying on your porches to feed raw....you don't!
To the left Tadpole
and Fanny.
Left Fanny giving her approval of her dinner.  Tadpole on the right ripping off her share!