Feeding Puppies Raw
Dogs of all ages can eat raw, in fact, it is the best diet for pregnant bitches, weaning puppies and growing pups, adolescents and then into adulthood.
So you have just brought your puppy home - what next? You can put your puppy straight onto a raw food diet, no hesitation!
How much to feed and how?
As a general guide line, you can feed puppies 2-3% of their expected adult weight, this is easier for those who have pedigree dogs or already have an older dog of that breed.
If you are unsure, you can feed a different way like this, as recommended by Natures Menu and Nick Thompson BSc (Hons) Path Sci, BVM&S, VetMFHom, MRCVS:
8-16 weeks old - feed approx 8% of current body weight spead across 3 or 4 meals.
24-32 weeks old - feed approx 6% of current body weight spread across 2-3 meals.
36-46 weeks old - feed approx 4% of current body weight spread accros 2-3 meals.
When your dog reaches adulthood, you can feed the recommended 2-3% of body weight as any other dog, across 1 or 2 meals a day.
Like any other guide, this is just that, a guide. Please adjust food and percentages to suit your individual dog based on appetite, weight, exercise, metabolism, breed and age.
After you have worked out how much you need to feed your puppy, what next?
Well you start raw like an adult dog, only puppies can generally transiton faster. Keep an eye on your puppy to make sure they do not get an upset stomach. A runny bum is expected for a few days as with any food change. Under no circumstances do we recommend feeding kibble or wet food alongside raw.
Feed the same as an adult: the 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, 5% other offal - with fish and eggs added in. If feeding fruits, vegetables and herbs, make sure they are additional to the weight and do not compensate for their raw meats, and that they are blitzed in a blender so the cellulose is broken down for them.
Start you puppy on chicken mince, or something else bland like turkey mince. Watch the bone content. If it is higher than 10%, add in more meat like chicken breast or supermarket mince to lower it - last thing you want is a constipated puppy.
Once puppy has been on chicken a few days and poop looks good, move onto tripe or lamb, or similar. Again watch poop, then move onto another protein.
Add in offal and fish after at least 3 weeks. Egg can be added relatively soon as long as it does not upset puppies tummy!
As always, keep a close eye on puppy poop! White/crumbly/pale poop means too much bone, and sloppy soft poop is too little bone or too much offal.
Yes puppies can and do eat whole Raw Meaty Bones (RMBs). Make sure they are size appropriate, but even if a puppy can't actually eat the bone, it is a good muscle work out and helps them to learn to chew. Puppies should be given regular opportunities to practice this. Best bones to start with are chicken bones. As you can see from the first video, puppy couldn’t pierce the skin, the skin can be cut to make things easier. Chicken wings can have the wing tip cut off for larger dogs if they are ‘gulpers’ and may try to swallow whole, this prevents choking.
Check the videos and pictures below of puppies eating bones!
Copyright © Rebecca Allan, A Raw Start Explained, 2012
8 week old Labrador Midge, with a recreational lamb bone. Great for teething, great boredome breaker, mental stimulation and healthy!
12 week old Midge with whole rabbit!
Lurcher puppy Miles with a big RMB!
9 week old Millie.
10 week old EBT Ronne.
Dolly the 13 week old Collie with half a lambs head!
5 week puppy Daisy the JRT trying a chicken wing tip.
Chihuahua puppy Pearl, with a chicken bone.
A week later, how she manages with it.
Then at just 10 weeks - eating a whole half a duck neck.