How to Raise Puppies on a Raw Diet

Written by lauren corona
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Domestic dogs have evolved from wolves, therefore feeding them raw food is seen as a more biologically appropriate way to feed your dog because it is closer to the way a wolf would eat. If you are raising a litter of puppies, you can start feeding raw meat at 4 weeks old. If you buy or rescue a puppy, it should be ready to start eating raw meat immediately.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ground meat without bone
  • Ground meat with bone
  • Goat's milk
  • Raw meaty bones
  • Muscle meat
  • Organ meat
  • Multivitamin
  • Omega-3 oil

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  1. 1

    Start feeding raw food gradually. If you are feeding a litter of 4-week-old puppies, you should serve a mixture of goat's milk and ground meat without bone during the first week of the raw diet. Start the mixture at 25 per cent meat and 75 per cent goat's milk. Increase the percentage of meat gradually until they are eating 100 per cent ground meat without bone. If you are starting an 8-week-old puppy on raw food, they will be able to start on 100 per cent ground meat without bone immediately. Feed them this for one week. The type of meat you use is up to you, but you should use a variety of meats. Popular choices include chicken, turkey, pork and beef.

  2. 2

    Include ground meat with bone into your puppy's diet, during the second week of feeding raw. If you have your own meat grinder, you can grind your own meat with bone, otherwise you can ask a butcher to do this. Start the week by feeding 25 per cent ground meat with bone and 75 per cent ground meat without bone and, as before, increase it until the puppy is eating 100 per cent ground meat with bone by the end of the week.

  3. 3

    Introduce raw meaty bones, muscle meat and organ meat into your puppy's diet in the third week of feeding raw. Raw meaty bones should be fed whole, but chosen with your puppy's size in mind, and organ and muscle meat should be chopped into appropriately sized chunks, depending on how big the dog is. A raw meaty bone is any meat that is still on the bone, such as chickens wings, chicken thighs, lamb shanks and pork chops. Muscle meat is any meat not on the bone, such as chicken breast, beef steak or even heart. Organ meat is primarily liver and kidney, from any type of animal. Feed around 50 per cent raw meaty bones, 45 per cent muscle meat and 5 per cent organ meat.

  4. 4

    Add omega-3 oil and a multivitamin supplement to your puppy's diet during the fourth week of feeding raw. The amount given will depend on the brand of the supplement and the size and breed of your dog, so you need to refer to the packaging of the product you have bought.

  5. 5

    Increase the percentage of raw meaty bones you feed in relation to muscle meat as your puppy grows larger and more able to manage them. As an adult, your dog's primary diet will consist of just raw meaty bones and organ meat.

Tips and warnings

  • The amount of food you feed your puppy varies greatly depending on its weight. You need to feed roughly 10 per cent of your puppy's total body weight each day, or 2 to 3 per cent of the ideal weight as an adult, whichever is smaller.
  • Never feed your dog cooked bones, as they become brittle and will splinter.
  • When storing raw meat, always keep it on the bottom shelf of your fridge, so that it doesn't contaminate other items.

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