About Nature's Way Carolina Dogs

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Seymour, Tennessee, United States
Welcome to my site about my Naturally Reared Carolina Dogs! Carolina Dogs are a relatively new, rare breed recognized by the UKC, AKC-FSS & ARBA, and are quite possibly America's own indigenous wild dog. CDs make wonderful companions, athletes, hunters, and bedwarmers! Natural Rearing is the philosophy wherein we raise our dogs and puppies by following the 8 Laws of Health, employing Biologically Appropriate Raw Food and no toxic chemicals on, in or around our dogs. We have found this way of life fosters balance, health and longevity in our beloved companions. For our puppies, we welcome homes that have a very similar philosophy about dog rearing, or wish to learn. Check us out, follow us and share us in other places!!! YouTube@ Susan NaturesWayCarolina Dogs NaturesWayPets and FaceBook @ https://www.facebook.com/mycarolinadog on Twitter @https://twitter.com/NaturesWayCDs Thank you so much for visiting our site, feel free to leave us a comment or send us an email! susanlewelling@yahoo.com

Switching Your Kibble-Fed Dog Over to a Healthy Raw Diet

kibble fed dog with less than optimal coat and body condition

You have noticed your dog being itchy all the time. Your dog has a dull or oily coat, hot-spots,  low energy for its age, or God forbid, some worse health problem. You have researched the possible reasons and have come to realize that these symptoms could be caused by the dog food you have been feeding, even if it is one of the more expensive “premium” brands.

You want to make the switch, but it is so overwhelming… your vet does not support feeding raw or even knows next to nothing about canine nutrition except what the dog food companies have ‘taught’ him. …So what do you do to get started?

First, here are some common ‘mistakes’ I have seen and heard about people making when switching to a raw diet.
1. switching before they are fully committed.
result: you get overwhelmed or discouraged when you come up against an obstacle and give up.
2. switching before they are adequately educated about canine digestion and nutritional requirements.
result: you get overwhelmed or discouraged when you come up against an obstacle and give up, or make it hard on yourself (and your dog)
3. beginning without a clear game plan.
result: you get overwhelmed or discouraged when you come up against an obstacle and give up or make it hard on yourself (and your dog).
All other mistakes come back to these three. Even if you are a “jump right in and learn as you go” type, I would advise you to slow down and gather some basic information before you jump right in.
It is a good idea to have a ‘mentor’ to help you along as you are learning. Mentors are invaluable when you have a dog that is refusing to eat, having explosive diarrhea or gulping his food whole. They can help you with finding meat sources, detoxification issues, questions about what or how much to feed and much more. I would suggest finding someone who has a minimum of 2 years raw feeding experience and preferably experience feeding more than one dog. You can find mentors in many places, your local Holistic Veterinarian may be able to connect you to someone or mentor you themselves. Other places to search are Boutique Pet stores(that sell raw meat or pre-packaged raw food) Yahoo groups, Facebook Groups, advertise on Craigslist, etc.
If you have more than one dog or like to “stock up” on a good deal it would be ideal to have a separate freezer to keep your dog’s food in. This makes it possible for you to capitalize on sales or freebies. It also keeps your human family’s food separate from your furry family members’.
It is also a good idea to locate and contact as many meat sources as possible before taking the plunge. Don’t worry if you cannot find many to begin with, you can continue your search after you begin! It is good to have at least 2 sources where you can begin buying meat before you start feeding raw. Remember, Google is your friend and you can find many suppliers of just about anything online if you cannot locate it in your town. You will need more variety of meats after the first couple of months. More about providing variety in this article: http://easttennesseedingos.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/raw-feeding-basics/
You should decide if you are going to feed your dog once a day or twice a day(there are even some people who only feed every 36 hours, although you need a mentor that has successful experience doing that) Most people feed once or twice a day, depending on their schedules, preferences and their dog’s age and tolerances. Puppies may need to be fed 3-4 times per day depending on their age and breed. After 8-10 weeks old, my pups have transitioned to being fed 2 times a day by their own preferences, they started leaving parts of their meals as a sign they didn’t need fed as often. Some people say their adult dogs tend to get sick stomachs if they are only fed once a day, but I have not noticed this in mine. Either way is OK, just make your decision and go with it and see how it works out, if not you can change.
Now, you have your freezer, a mentor standing by, you have located several sources and are ready to buy some meat and get started…
The following directions are my recommendations for an average dog of approximately 40 pounds with no complicated health problem, such as allergies to specific proteins, diabetes, immune diseases, liver problems, etc. For dogs with those and other serious issues, I recommend finding a raw educated holistic veterinarian or naturopath to consult with you and assist in your transition.
Fast your dog the first day. This means no food, but do provide plenty of clean pure drinking water. This will help clear out some of the toxic sludge left behind by kibble, give your dog’s digestive tract a chance to start producing more digestive enzymes and prepare him to digest raw foods. Also tomorrow, your dog will be hungry and more willing to try something new. Fasting for one day will not harm your normal dog, many wild & domestic dogs and wolves fast themselves on their own.
Also you can use this day to take your remaining kibble to the trash or if you have a significant amount left, take it to the local animal shelter and donate it, they are always happy to get free food:) Do NOT feed kibble and raw together as this can cause infections in the intestine because the two digest at different rates.
When it is time for your dog’s first raw meal, take your dog to the area you want him/her to eat in. This can be a crate, a towel or tarp in the kitchen or garage, outdoors, wherever you prefer, so that your dog can feel safe and eat without disturbance. You should also choose a place that it easy to clean up and sanitize…. your Husband/Wife’s favorite chair may not be your best option!
You can literally start out on any meat, but most people prefer Chicken, because it is cheap and it is bland and easy to digest. After switching 2 dogs and weaning a litter of puppies to raw, I prefer to transition using raw green Tripe as the first raw food. Not the white, bleached tripe that they sell at the grocery store. If you are not familiar with raw green tripe here is an article with more information: http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-stink-on-tripe/ Tripe can be fed ground, chunked or whole. My other preferred protein to switch with is Venison.
For the first 5-14 days you will feed the same protein/meat every meal and watch your dog closely for reactions. (The time spent on each protein to be determined by what you feel comfortable with, you know your dog best. Watch him closely and if you feel he is doing great with no hint of problems, then go on to the next one, if you are seeing soft stool, or detox issues then stay with the first protein until that is all better, then move on.  If you have a 'sensitive' dog or a dog with medical issues I would take it slow and feed for 2 weeks with no problems before moving on to the next protein. KNOW THY DOG. 
After 5-14 days with no reactions, you will begin to alternate feeding Protein #1 and Protein #2. Start out slowly (every other meal)and then progress from there. Again watching for reactions. If your dog has a reaction, you first need to determine if it is a true reaction or a healing crisis. Here are 2 good articles on Healing Crises: the-canine-healing-crisis-its-a-good-thing/ and Detoxification and the Healing Crisis .
If you decide it is a reaction to the new protein being fed then quit feeding that protein and go back to the one that had no reaction. Then after the problem is cleared up, try another different Protein.
I would do this, adding new proteins every 10-14 days as tolerated until you have exposed your dog to all the main proteins you will be feeding. I call this your “base”. You can add other “exotics” later on.
The next thing you want to do is introduce organs. I would do this one at a time, one protein source at a time, such as pork, beef, chicken, etc much as you did your muscle meats. Here is a good article about Organ meat: Why Organ Meat Is Important
Also to consider if your dog has diarrhea or some other similar reaction; not enough bone, too much chicken skin, too much fat, additives, hormones, preservatives, etc in the meat could be a culprit, especially if you are feeding meat from a grocery store or unknown source. Read more about this on my previous blog post Raw Feeding Basics.

Raw Fed Carolina Dog with his portion of whole prey-raw chicken
I encourage you to next read my blog post Raw Feeding Basics for information about how much to feed, and more… it can be found here : Raw Feeding Basics Article  The last thing I would tell you is this: you need to read, read and read some more! Every article, website and book on raw feeding and Natural Canine Health that you can. The more you know the more you can avoid problems, help your dog to be healthy, and even help someone else! Good Luck and Happy Feeding:)-


  1. Recently, I noticed my dog doing all the symptoms you mentioned here. I got worried so, I tried to ask in a Free Online Vet and they help me a lot. Also, my friend helped me to find out what is wrong with my dog and she shared me your article. I'm so glad because all of the information here helped me a lot. Thank you very much and keep sharing.


  2. I really like dogs , look at them , so cute , thank you
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