Believe it or not, puppies need more nutrition compared to adult dogs. The diet for puppies require more protein and minerals according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials or AAFCO. Following their guidelines, dog owners with puppies should follow this balanced diet:
- 22.5% of protein
- 8.5% of fat
- minerals to include phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, copper, iron, manganese, selenium, and iodine
- vitamins which should include vitamin D, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin B12, choline, essential fatty acids, and more.
Aside from fresh dog food, most people believe that these nutritional requirements can be achieved through raw food diet for puppies.
Raw Dog Food Diet for Puppies
Raw dog food diets are typically targeted towards adult dogs, but what about puppies? Small and large breed puppies alike can be served raw dog food diets as soon as they’re weaned from their moms. However, since the nutritional requirement of puppies are widely different from adult dogs, you need to follow a puppy-specific recipe.
Currently, most pet owners go for the BARF diet or the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. This essentially means giving your dog meals that are as close as possible to the fresh food they used to get as wild dogs. The BARF diet is said to help with digestive issues, promotes healthier skin, and helps maintain a healthy weight, among others. The raw meaty bone can also contribute to dental health especially for puppies that are just growing in their teeth. Raw should not be confused with fresh dog food. I you are unsure of the difference, read our raw vs fresh dog food comparison.
Note though that feeding raw meaty bones and organ meats to puppies isn’t 100% foolproof. While there are benefits associated with fresh meat, there are some downsides too. A common concern is that feeding raw food doesn’t eliminate pathogens that come with food. Harmful bacteria or parasites may be in the food and since there’s no cooking involved, they are ingested whole by puppies. This is why it’s a good idea to consistently deworm dogs following the raw feeding movement even after they’re done with their vaccinations. To ensure safety purchase from the best dog food delivery platforms such as We Feed Raw as these are guided by veterinary nutritionists as well as most pet food authorities.
Another common concern when putting a puppy on a raw diet is the transition from the old food to the new one. If you have the puppy from the very start, then introducing raw meats shouldn’t be a problem. But what if you got the puppy from a breeder? Chances are the puppy is on commercial dog food that you need to slowly wean out of him. When making the switch, try to get your dog’s digestive system gradually used to the homemade diet. You can do this by mixing puppy raw food with kibble and then gradually increasing the ratio over the course of months .
Some Raw Dog Food Recipes You Can Try Out
Grass Fed Beef Recipe
- 5 pounds lean ground beef
- 3 pounds of beef organs
- 8 eggs
- 8 ounces of broccoli
- 12 ounces berries
- 5 tablespoons of bone meal or ground bone
- ¼ tablespoon of kelp
Preparation: just chop and mince all the protein and set aside. Now get a food processor and combine all the fruits and vegetables except for the berries. Once processed, you can combine the tow bowls and then top up with the berries and the bone meal. Serve and watch your puppy dog enjoy his raw food!
Chicken Puppy Raw Food
- 3 pounds of ground chicken
- 3 pounds of chicken necks with skin removed
- 2 pounds of turkey livers
- 1 pound chicken heart
- 10 eggs
- 1.5 pounds of kale
Preparation: combine all the protein sources including the egg into one bowl. Make sure to chop up the meat first into bite sized pieces. Create a puree with the kale and then mix them altogether.
Of course, those are just some of the puppy raw recipes you can try out. There are tons more—just be careful when picking one for your dog. Nowadays, you’ll find that you’re not limited to a homemade diet. There are actually raw pet food subscription services that let you simply order pre-made raw meals for your dog. The beauty of these services is that there’s no processed foods—the meals are made naturally and frozen to keep its freshness before being shipped. Hence, there’s really no preservatives added that could be harmful to your dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a raw food diet good for puppies?
Yes, provided that the raw food diets comply with the minimum standards set by AAFCO. It helps if you can get a reliable recipe from a member of the American Veterinary medical association to help create an age-appropriate recipe. This can also be useful if you have a dog who has sensitivities or have pre-existing health problems that are best addressed through a customized BARF diet.
When can a puppy start a raw diet?
Your puppy can start eating raw dog food diets within 8 to 12 weeks of age. Ideally, feeding raw meaty bones should be done gradually to make sure your dog gets used to the raw dog food. A main concern with homemade raw diets is the presence of pathogens in the food. You want to observe the puppy within the next few days after eating raw foods to guarantee there are no adverse reactions.
How much raw should I feed my puppy?
As a rule, dogs should be fed around 2 to 3 percent of its body weight. However, that is not the case when it comes to puppies. How much raw food you serve is usually higher, as much as 5% of the puppy’s actual weight. This is because puppies need more calories to grow into their adult bodies. As the pups enter their teenage stage, you can gradually reduce the amount of food. Note though that some breeds that are prone to being overweight may thrive best with lower portions in their pet food.
How many times a day should a puppy eat raw?
Puppies need more feeding times throughout the day. Once you determine how much raw food to serve per day, you need to need to divide that amount into four meals. Ideally, once in the morning, another one around 10AM, another around 4PM, and then another one for dinner. The timing is really up to you, depending on which raw food diet schedule you find most convenient.