Whilst most dogs nowadays feed on commercial kibble, there is a growing interest in raw food for puppies. I have raw fed puppies into adulthood for a number of years, and today I’ll share my tips and advice for getting it right. Because although it’s a great way to feed a puppy if are well prepared, it’s more of a lifestyle choice and isn’t for everyone.
What Are the Available Raw Foods for Puppies?
A diet of raw meaty bones (RMB) or biologically appropriate raw food (BARF) is an increasingly popular way to feed dogs. While RMB is pretty self-explanatory, you may wonder what exactly BARF means.
The BARF diet encompasses feeding 60% raw meaty bones and filling the remaining 40% with other raw foods. These may include grains, vegetables, legumes, and other animal proteins as we will see.
Just as there are risks and benefits to feeding on kibble, there are undoubtedly the same for raw feeding.
The Aim of Raw Feeding Your Puppy
A dog’s digestive system is designed for processing meat and bones. However, dogs have associated with humans for ages. As a result, they can now digest many additional types of food. That’s why it is possible to feed a puppy on processed commercial food too.
Despite the fact that the dog has adapted to eating a wider range of food, his digestive system is still ideally suited for processing carcasses. The aim of raw feeding, therefore, is to give your dog a diet made for them as a carnivorous animal.
Dogs have the powerful crushing jaws, strong stomach acids, and short meat-eaters digestive tract to process a completely natural raw diet.
Raw Food for Puppies: Rules and Principles
If you choose to feed raw, you need to understand the principles involved and follow some basic rules to keep your puppy safe and healthy.
Even for animals perfectly designed for crushing and swallowing bones, there are certain risks involved. And it is important that we minimize those risks in any way possible.
Before we go any further, let’s talk a moment about safety. Because whichever way you decide to feed your dog, it makes sense to reduce any risks to an absolute minimum. One way to do this is to buy an off-the-shelf raw food.
But many raw feeders want to make their own food at home. So let’s look at what you can do to feed raw in the best way. It is a good idea to follow these feeding practices if you are going to raw feed your dogs. This is doubly important with puppies.
1 – Feed Fresh Meat to Your Puppy
Once an animal is dead, its flesh begins the process of decay. As part of this process, the pathogens in meat will increase naturally over time, unless it is frozen. So be sure to freeze meat soon after purchasing or refrigerate it below 4 C and use it within a couple of days.
Older dogs can often cope with pathogens that would make humans ill. Puppies, however, are more vulnerable. Only feed them the freshest meat that you would feed your own family.
2 – Handle and Store Raw Meat Safely
One of the main risks of feeding raw is not to your dog, but to you. Handling raw meat, especially chicken, is always risky. Raw chicken especially is typically contaminated with bacteria such as salmonella. That’s why eating chicken that is raw or not cooked through can make you sick.
You can reduce this risk in a number of ways.
Store raw meat in covered containers, separate from your other food and well away from foods eaten raw (like salads).
We like these fridge containers from Amazon with clip-on lids. Of course, you can use any container with a lid that is dishwasher proof or can be washed in hot water.
Dedicated Cutting Boards:
Cut up raw meats on dishwasher safe dedicated chopping boards. Remember that you should use these boards for nothing else, but cutting raw meat. Use dedicated knives too, and wash both in a dishwasher or very hot soapy water.
Protect Your Hands
Wear disposable latex gloves to handle meat and throw them away when you have finished. Then wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control recommends 20 seconds at least, of handwashing after.
3 – Protect Your Puppy’s Teeth From Hard Bones
Raw feeding offers both benefits and risks to your dog’s teeth. The major benefit is clean teeth—a result of the abrasive cleaning actions of processing bone.
The main risk is tooth damage. This can include serious fractures of the teeth requiring expensive dental treatment and involving pain for your dog. Fortunately, this risk can be largely avoided, by the following:
Avoid Weight-bearing Bones of Large Animals
Avoid feeding your puppy weight-bearing bones of any large animal, such as cows, sheep, etc.
Weight-bearing bones are the bones the animal stands on. They include the long bones in the legs that carry all of its body weight. It is, however, OK to feed leg bones of small animals to most dogs. So, make sure to feed bones that are proportional to your dog’s size.
Think about the size of animal a small to medium-sized dog might be able to catch and consume on his own. If your dog is medium to large-sized, this may be a rabbit, for example. That should be the largest size of animal to feed whole to your dog.
Very tiny dogs may need even smaller bones. Chicken wing tips for example, rather than the whole “arm” of the bird.
That does not mean you can’t feed beef bones to most dogs—you can. But choose bones that do not support the animal’s body weight, like ribs for example.
4 – Feed Your Puppy a Wide Variety of Meats
Puppies need sufficient nutrients to keep them healthy and provide for their rapid growth. The best way to provide those nutrients is to offer a wide variety of nutritious food.
It is very tempting to just feed what is easily available at the time. Many raw feeders are overly reliant on chicken because it is easy to obtain, but this is not sufficient, especially for puppies.
What Is the Best Raw Food for Puppies?
If you make sure that your puppy has access to the following raw ingredients, at least once or twice each week, he should be able to access the nutrients he needs:
- Green tripe (stomach of herbivore)
- Oily fish
- Beef or lamb ribs with plenty of meat on them
- White fish
- Chicken backs, necks, wings and feet
- Pigs trotters
- Kidney, heart, lungs (of cow, pig, sheep)
- Liver (tiny quantities)
Eggs make a great raw food for puppies. Some dogs will eat the shell too, which is fine. You may have to whisk the egg slightly the first few times you feed, to get the puppy started. There is no truth to the myth that pork is poisonous to dogs. It is fine to feed puppies pig feet, meat, and organs.
Remember to avoid those large weight bearing bones as these are very hard and may damage your puppy’s teeth.
Can Puppies Eat Vegetables?
Dogs in the wild eat the stomach of their prey and some of its contents, which may include digested vegetation. They may also consume fallen fruit, berries, and so on at certain times of the year.
Tripe is the stomach of a herbivore – usually a cow or a sheep. Green simply means “unwashed.” If you feed your dog “green” tripe, he will benefit from the minerals in the remains of the semi-digested material. On the other hand, humans typically eat white tripe. This kind has had all these important nutrients washed out of it, so it isn’t beneficial for your dog.
Feeding green tripe and whole prey animals (whole rabbits, fish, etc.) intermittently is healthy. It will give your puppy access to the range of nutrients he needs. If your puppy’s diet is more restricted, and you don’t feed green tripe regularly, you’ll need to supplement your dog’s food with some vegetables.
Ensure that these are pureed or liquidised. (It is no use giving green vegetables whole, as your dog cannot digest them effectively).
Some people like to feed fruit and vegetables (carrots, for example) to their raw fed dogs as snacks. This is not a problem provided you are aware of which common human foods are toxic to dogs. (Onions are, for example).
How to Prepare and Serve Your Puppy’s Raw Food
If you cut up meat on the bone, your puppy may swallow large lumps of bone without first breaking them properly.
Don’t Cut Food Up Too Small
How small an item you can feed will depend on the size of your puppy. For example, take a Labrador puppy of three or four months old. He may be able to swallow a chicken wing whole if you feed just the last two joints. So it is best to feed the whole wing of a big chicken, or to feed a larger portion such as the back of the carcass.
That way he has to work on the wing to break it down before he swallows it.
Don’t Crowd Your Puppy While He Is Eating Raw Meat
It is best not to stand over your puppy while he is eating raw meaty bones.
The idea is to avoid the dog “gulping” down large lumps of bone at once. They are more likely to do this if they think you are going to take their food away. So let your puppy eat in peace.
This can lead to the puppy gulping down larger quantities of bone than he can digest, instead of breaking it up with his teeth.
Raw meat is very valuable to dogs. You can understand why they may worry you’ll take it away if you hang around while they eat.
Feed Your Puppy Enough Bone!
Many people rely on ground (minced) meat and steak. No wonder; they’re easily found in local shops and supermarkets.
But feeding puppies ground up beef or steak is not a suitable diet. They need bone and connective tissue in their diet. So, ground meat alone will leave them deprived of minerals, and won’t protect their teeth.
Don’t be scared of bone. If you can’t bring yourself to feed bone, raw feeding is not going to work for your puppy.
How Much Bone Does My Puppy Need?
Puppies need a substantial proportion (at least 10%) of their diet to be bone. You can buy pet foods that contain minced bone, and it’s ok to use these as part of your puppy’s diet. But he needs to chew on actual bone to benefit from the dental hygiene aspects of a raw diet.
A dog that eating enough bone will produce firm stools that crumble when dry. If your dog’s stools are loose he is probably not getting enough bone. Too much offal will also produce loose stools.
If your puppy’s stools are hard and difficult to pass, you are probably feeding too much bone. It might be best to cut back a little.
Let Your Puppy Chew Up His Raw Food
Don’t rely on ground meat to feed your youngster, even if it has been minced with bone in it. Grinding or mincing meat isn’t wrong per se. But don’t teach your puppy to rely on you instead of his own teeth and jaws.
Mincing your eight-week-old puppy’s green tripe, for example, is fine. But as soon as he is big enough to manage to tear chunks off by himself, let him do so.
How Much Water Do Raw-fed Puppies Need?
Raw-fed dogs drink a lot less than kibble-fed dogs do. However, water is still essential.
Always ensure your dog has plenty of fresh water to drink. This is especially important when your dog has consumed a lot of bone. He will drink as much as he needs.
It’s true that water fountains like this one are increasingly popular. But don’t stress about the trends. Your dog will be fine with a regular water bowl, provided you keep it clean and well filled.
How Much Raw Food for Puppies?
As always, when feeding puppies, be guided by your dog, rather than a set of scales. You should be able to feel ribs, but not see them. And your puppy should have a waist. As a rough guide, many puppies will need to eat the equivalent of 2-3% of their expected adult weight, every day.
So if you have a labrador puppy, feed him according to what he might be expected to weigh as an adult (around 60lbs). This would amount to just over 1 lb of food each day. But don’t forget, the “average” puppy doesn’t really exist. Each puppy is different and will grow and eat at his own pace.
Puppies fed raw are far less likely to be fat, and much more likely to stop when they’re full. It is difficult to overfeed using raw food for puppies. So if you want to give your puppy a little more because he seems hungry, then by all means.
Just keep an eye on that waistline, and cut back for a few days if he starts to get plump.
If you think your puppy is looking a little thin, despite being fed as much as he wants, think intestinal worms.
You should deworm him regularly with a puppy deworming medication from your vet. You can also find them on online veterinary pharmacies. There is NO truth in the myth that raw fed puppies don’t get worms.
At the time of writing, fenbendazole is considered very safe. You should always check with your vet before deworming your puppy or dog for the first time.
Deworming Your Puppy
The thought of deworming your dog may sound gross to you, but it is a necessary evil. Dogs can become infested with different kinds of worms. The most common is the roundworm, but they can also have tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms.
Besides weight loss, a worm-infested pup may also vomit or experience diarrhea. Be sure to see your vet to check their feces and choose an appropriate dewormer. Panacur is the dewormer I use for my puppies. The active ingredient is fenbendazole, and there are a range of products based on it including the popular Safe-Guard.
After deworming, your dog may pass the dead worms in his feces. Some dogs may also experience vomiting.
Other dogs with heartworm may be at risk of pulmonary thromboembolism after deworming. This happens when the killed worms block the dog’s arteries. That’s also why your vet should make sure< which worms your pup has before deworming.
But try not to worry; your pup should be good as new soon after.
How Often to Feed Your Puppy
Don’t try to give your puppy his whole day’s ration at once. Divide the daily ration into four portions for puppies under three months old. Do three portions for puppies between three and six months of age. And for pups six month to 1 year old, do two portions.
Spread these meals out over the day at three to four hourly intervals. You don’t have to stick to these guidelines rigidly, and raw fed puppies may not want to eat as frequently as kibble fed pups.
If your three-month-old puppy only wants to eat twice a day and is thriving, then that is OK.
Adult Dogs and Fasting
Adults can eat once or twice a day. It is up to you and your dog. Don’t forget that dogs in the wild may go long periods without eating, then eat a LOT of meat and bone in one go.
Your adult raw fed dog won’t come to any harm if you miss a day’s food and give him extra the next day. In fact many experts believe that occasional fasting is beneficial for you dog.
However, do NOT fast a dog on kibble, then allow him to gorge on extra rations the next day. Kibble is not designed to be consumed in large quantities, and your dog is not designed to process it that way.
How to Start Using Raw Food for Puppies
If your puppy is currently being fed on kibble and you want to make the switch, you’ll be excited to make a start.
But it’s important to take this one step at a time. Don’t just plunge in with a medley of foods. Lots of new foods all at once may trigger a tummy upset.
Start with one food. Chicken is usually well tolerated. Feed a meager amount at the first meal, and if all is well, slightly more at the next. After a couple of days, add another food—eggs for example, or tripe.
The rule is: small quantities at first, increasing gradually at each mealtime.
Of course meal variety is important. But a healthy puppy won’t starve or suffer from deficiencies over just a few days.
And this gradual introduction will allow his stomach and digestive system to get used to his new way of eating.
Raw Food for Puppies on a Budget
We all want the best for our dogs. So it is likely that after reading this, you really want to start using raw food with your pup. Except, you have one issue: your budget is pretty low.
Trust me, we’ve all been there. Thankfully, it’s not impossible to give your dog some healthy raw food on a budget. We’ve found these three tips to be super helpful:
- Skip the prepackaged raw foods: Make your own raw food plates for your dog instead.
- Shop for cheaper animal parts: This was an eye-opener for me! Parts like chicken feet, chicken necks are less expensive and may fit in your budget.
- Use dog-safe vegetable peelings: Be sure to only pick fruits and veggies safe for dogs.
Michelle Sonego says
Absolutely fantastic guide to puppy raw feeding, thanks for sharing this article , was extremely informative and interesting.
Hi, should I feed puppy frozen food or it can be fresh. E.g. chicken necks, liver or wings. I heard frozen food can hurt teeth? Or we should freeze, thaw and then feed?
Thaw of course. For our Adult(once a day feeding. We make up a big batch and freeze portions. Separate chicken rib and back carcasses sometimes with neck. Separate potions of ground meats with puréed extras.
Interestingly Priti (Weimaraner/Ridgeback)would take the carcass out of the big ceramic bowl to be eaten last.
david giddings says
Sadly, I had to put my beloved Westie to sleep at the age of 19, when her eyes and hind legs were not longer able to give her a life.
I had fed her for 19 years on a one 1 pm meal of oats cooked for 2 or 3 minues and left too cool with raw meat pieces, and a spoon of fish oil, and small amounts of carrot or greens.
And a small dry breakfast and 6pm meal.
At 15, when the vet had to clean her teeth, the blood test had to be repeated – they thought it was the wrong sample, for a dog of 6 or 7 years!
I didn’t wnat to replace my Westie because I feared I would die before her and I didn’t want to make her suffer… Now 20 years later at 80, I am still alive and working hard 10 hours a day – having been defrauded of all my savings a few years ago – writing and translating and teaching with a perfect memory despite a heart attack and stroke 5 years ago.
I’m so sorry to hear what happened to you but I’m also so happy that you were able to have your day for so many years due to feeding the right things thank you so much for your help in keeping my dog healthy for years to come I pray for you only good things will happen to you from now on 💕
David….if u see this what was your dry bkft and 6 pm meal?
Hi, I am getting an 8 week old German Shepherd puppy in June of 2019, and I’ve been interested in raw feeding. The breeder is going to be feed kibble once weaned from milk up until 8 weeks, and I was wanting some help in transitioning puppies from kibble to raw. Also, I’d like a list of meats/organs etc. to give her (the puppy) and any advice pertaining to raw feeding puppies to adulthood.
Sandy Deane says
hi Pippa – I have found your two books invaluable, in particular your advice for giving unctuous treats when training for recall!
I have read with interest your article on raw feeding. (here are a lot of ads on your page for prepared and packaged dog food, do you endorse them?)- anyway my question is this –
if dogs are fed a proprietary raw mixed mince/mush , with well balanced ingredients – meat /offal /etc- and including 10% crushed bone – if the fact that that the bone is already crushed an issue?
and do you consider that giving a raw meaty bone such as a beef soup bone , would sufficiently compensate ?
thanks again for being instrumental in getting myself and my new young dog off to a great start, and I hope you have time in what must be a huge schedule to respond!
Karine Fortin says
I have just adopted two 7 week old Shitzu females. Cute little sisters. I wish to start them up on raw diet. They are currently transitioning from puppy canned pâté to dehydrated raw food from Easy raw which is grain free. I would like to know which kinds of bones these little ladies can have. Also, should they be eating kibbles too ? Thank you
we have a golden retriever (7 weeks old). The previous owner told me that he eats everything-that we only need to take care to chop it in small peaces or mix it to him because he cant chew good jet. I would like to feed him with raw meat. On the first day we gave him some raw chicken meat and he ate it and the poop was okay. The other day I was at work and he did not want to eat what i left for him, so my husband gave him the raw beef and the dog ate it all, and in the evening I gave him the chicken’s neck and he ate it almost all. This is where the problems start – he got diarrhea. I know we’ve overdriven with the amount – we should have given him only one raw meal for a while and slowly increase. Please advise me what to do now and what to give him to eat-should i completly stop with raw meat or could i give it to him for one meal..he’s our first dog and I’m totally lost.
Its all normal to be honest your dog is detoxing an Building his immunity backup but you want to go get a dewormer
Keep on the raw meat but stick with chicken on the bone an me i feed mine tell he is full but you can feed like a pound of beef an then chicken in the after noon or mix it up if you want too buy always needs the bone
I have a 11 week old English staffy, is it okay if I feed him a frozen wild rabbit?
Hello, I am looking to get a Shepherd/Husky mix. He will be 8 weeks. Is it possible to feed him a natural kibble and raw diet? Can I do both? I’m wanting to be coat efficient as well.
Hey there, you can either go with the natural kibble or the raw meat.
I have a husky who is almost 2 months old now, she ate kibble for a few days, and once I started giving her raw meat, she wouldn’t eat the kibble anymore.
Hi. I have a pomeranian/poodle mixed dog named Baker. He is 8yrs old and weighs 4.5kg.
I have switched from kibbles to raw meat diet a week ago.
From what i have researched is that he needs 100grams of raw meat diet per day. I feed him 50grams in the morning and 50grams at night.
My problem is that everytime he finishes his meal, he seems sad because 50grams is not enough for him.
I’d like to keep him healthy physically but i don’t want to sacrifice his paychological health as well.
What should i do?
Hi, I was wondering if somewhere there was a recipe for a puppy diet? I have a three month old Belgian Tervuren and want to start him on a raw diet and want to make sure I am meeting all his nutritional needs with the right proportion of all the different foods. Thanks! This article was very informative.
Hi Alana, there are lots of different possible ‘recipes’ the key is variety. Why not join my forum where you can talk to other experienced raw feeders . 🙂 (it’s free)
I wondered if you could help me please. My dog is a 6 month old Boston Terrier cross staffy and I’ve just started feeding him raw. It’s going well so far, but myself and my partner are a little concerned over the way he’s finishing off his chicken wings!! He seems to be working on his wing for maybe 5 minutes or so but then the last bit of the wing, which still seems relatively large and maybe half the size of the actual wing, he seems to gulp it down! I’m concerned about him choking or causing damage to his insides in the passing of this. I’ve seen not to cut it up as puppies will learn not to chew and I guess I’m unsure if this is normal or ok?! Please help, thank you! Sophie
Hi Sophie, gulping is sometimes caused by standing over the puppy so he panics because he thinks you are going to take his food away. Sometimes it can help to switch to larger items for a while, such as chicken backs. So that he has to chew on them properly. Do join my forum so that we can help and support you 🙂 (its free)
Hi Pippa – need help please! 2 yr old shih-tzu poodle mix on raw food diet since a puppy (he loves it). He drinks very little water & pees very little (I think this is normal for raw food dogs?). But he’s still not fully house broken and it’s now a HUGE problem. I would take my prior non-raw food dogs outside about 4-5 hours after eating/drinking but because this little guy pees unpredictably, my walks don’t work – I take him for walks and he just marks vs. pees. Then when I’m not watching, he does it in the house, on my BED! I sure hope you have some suggestions for me because I’m desperate – love him and don’t want to give him up.
Hi Edie, the comments box is great for commenting on the articles, or sharing your experiences, but it isn’t so great for dealing with problems, as these usually require a conversation. 🙂
You are very welcome to join the forum where you can chat with other experienced Lab owners and get the help and support that you need.
Thanks for the response Pippa. Is there a forum for raw feeders on your website?
I have a boerboel named Simba (3 months 2 weeks old)… I do shuffle between raw and dry kibble (royal canin)… although the ratio of raw to dry kibble is 6:4 respectively… I hope it’s okay..
Simba is very agile and fit…
I’ve had 3 great danes i’ve fed on BARF based on Billinghurst books. In their senior years, I stopped forcing them to eat veggie meals though.
I just rescued a dane puppy (6 months) and am switching her to raw asap. That prompted me to look for more up to date recommendations. It seems as though there is more evidence that dogs are carnivores (not omnivores) and veggie meals and tons of supplements are not needed. I’m concerned that my puppy gets all her needs meet though (and my vet isn’t 100% supportive). Do you recommend any supplements for puppies? Thank you.
This is a great article- you’ve done an excellent job explaining how to feed raw for a pup. I’m a raw feeder myself for my two rescue greyhounds, but I obviously haven’t had them since pups. I work at a shelter and we’re looking to give the best start to our pups that come through, hence the research on puppies. I’m excited to share this knowledge with the rest of the staff. Thanks!
Glad you liked the article Amanda 🙂
PETER CAINE HAS A GOOD RAW FEEDING SERIES ON YOUTUBE FOR DIETS PER ANIMAL WEIGHT. NICE AND SIMPLE. CAREFUL THOUGH, HE DOES HAVE A POTTY MOUTH BUT YOU CAN TELL HE LOVES ANIMALS.
kayla soumountha says
yesss we love peter caine!!!<333
We have a 13 week MLtese mix. I think we want a raw diet for him but the freeze dried variety is quite costly. With our last dog we also included salmon ,sardines,eggs& cottage cheese. The last year of her long life she thrived& loved her food. Can a pup thrive on these additions also. We travel a lot on our motor home& sometimes raw diet is hard to locate in new locals. Thank you .
Dogs can eat a wide variety of food, provided the proportions are balanced. This is particularly important with puppies It can be harder to get that balanceright if you are mixing cooked, raw, and perhaps kibble. I feed puppies raw fish, but would save canned sardiness as a treat for older dog. They are quite rich. If you are not sure how to balance your puppy’s diet, and can’t get a good variety of raw food at the moment, it might be better to feed a commercial puppy food, then switch him over to raw when he is older, and have found a good supplier
Hi! Great site. I grew up with a Dane and we used to feed him (40 yrs ago) the fine scrap that came off of the butchers meat saw. It had the cosistency of ground meat. We did cook it however mixed with kibble… He lived to be 16.
Question is, what is the difference between cooking this and feeding it raw?
New puppy tommorow !
Hi Brian, glad you like the site. Cooking changes meat in a number of ways, alters nutrients, and it is claimed, makes bones more brittle and potentially more dangerous. That doesn’t make cooked ground meat wrong or bad, as a part of a home cooked diet. Some people choose to home cook all their dog’s food. It requires some thought and knowledge though to create a balance of nutrients. Good luck with your new puppy!
Hi pippa, iv recently got a american bull dog puppy who is 9 weeks old and really want to start raw feeding but not to sure where to start or the quantity I should feed, for her first raw meal should I go boneless chicken or start off with a chicken wing? If so a chicken wing how many should I feed in one meal and how many times a day at the age she is now? Thank you
Every day he needs 2-3% of his expected adult body weight each day. You can divide this into four meals. It isn’t an exact science and its hard to overfeed a puppy on raw. Join my forum to get help and advice as you go http://thelabradorforum.com Don’t worry about the Labrador bit – there are lots of other breeds there. 🙂
my labrador puppy is 2months old….can i feed barf to him? ?
Maggie McDonald says
I have two Hungarian Vizlas. Both on a BARF diet. They started out as puppies around 8 weeks old on four meals a day. A mixture of Chicken mince with green tripe, Salmon and lamb patties bought frozen from a specialist food shop, Chicken necks. All fed raw. They then progressed to 3 meals a day using the same selection, and also introducing a 1/4 of a chicken carcass, then a half. At six months of age they went down to two meals a day, a selection of raw meats and a whole chicken carcass. The only thing I remove is the wishbone as this can get wedged in the throat if they don’t chew it up. Fully grown they get lamb bones or chicken necks in the morning and a whole chicken carcass at night. This is supplemented with raw, kidneys, lambs liver, lamb bones and green tripe. I am very lucky in that I can get 10 kilos of chicken carcasses for $10.00. I find it cheaper to feed raw foods. My dogs graze on grasses and other herbage when out for a run. My vet was skeptical at first, but now says he has not seen such healthy dogs and teeth. I have never had any trouble with choking on bones, and never cut up meat such as beef, lamb or offal.
Mollie Folmar says
Our new French Bulldog is 7 weeks old and on raw feed – owner fed all her frenchies raw. She gave me a baggie of hamburger/ground chicken mixture with shards of bone and small chunks..however, he smashes his face down into the food and as he gulps it down. He was recently wormed but has no signs of worms. However, he is chubby – think he was eating and nursing until yesterday. His stools are firm and he appears to be very thirsty. We would like to transition him over to Blue Mountain but don’t want to upset him too much….Can I mix ground venison with his kibble for a week or so. I tried a softened kibble for b/w meal today and he threw it back up. HELP.
Hi Mollie, you may need to gradually mix a little more kibble into his raw food each day as a transition, sudden changes in diet can cause severe tummy upsets in young puppies so gentle changes are in order.
We currently make our raw food for our older husky/shepard. They are one pound paddies made from ground up deer/elk meat (both organ and non organ meat), eggs, oil, and small portion of carrots/yam/broccoli/kale. I am getting a 2month old husky/shepard in a week and was going to start on the same diet (except less of course). Is this mix appropriate? I guess my question is if my adult dog is doing well with this mix would my pup be fine as well? The patties are already made up and frozen (about 6 mths worth) so of course this would be ideal if I can just give them a portion of these same. Thanks
oh and I believe we have some cooked rice in the paddies as well.
Hi Ericka, Huskies have some different dietary needs to other breed. You can find out more about this in this article: https://thehappypuppysite.com/the-siberian-husky/
Hello I want to know if you have any actual recipes for what and howuch to feed. My mom has been feeding raw to her dogs and she doesn’t follow any recipes like she used to. I want to switch my lab German Shepherd mix puppy to raw but don’t know how to really start him. I know to start with chicken. He’s four months and Im frustrated. Thank ks.
Hi Alyssa, we tend to think about recipes because we are used to mixing different ingredients together. Raw feeding isn’t like that. Balance is achieved over the course of several days. Come and join my forum so you can chat to others and get support and advice as you go. http://thelabradorforum.com
Hello Pippa I have an all American pitbull terrier that I recently introduced to a raw meat diet at almost 4 months old. I’m currently feeding him 6 chicken drum sticks 3 times daily along with nice sized portions of chopped up chicken hearts, gizzards, beef hearts, beef liver & kidneys which he absolutely loves. I’m glad he opened up to it because I loss my 6 yr old pitbull terrier from health issues due to kibble. I did not want the same tragedy to repeat so I research info on raw meat diet but still not sure if I’m over doing it with two different animal meat types and can cause harm to my puppy Spaz?
Hi Gloria, not sure what you mean by overdoing it? Are you worried you are feeding too much quantity overall or feeding too much variety too soon. Why not pop along to our raw feeding board over at my forum, where there is room for a conversation and you’ll get help and support as you go http://thelabradorforum.com/forums/raw-feeding.39/ (it isn’t just for labradors 🙂 )
Jay Thomas says
My puppy always take in his food meat not vegetables. Is it better for puppy?
Laura Wander says
I have a 15 month Otterhound and because he is a large breed I have worked on the basis that he is still growing but he is almost an adult so I have moved to feeding a combination of Natural Instincts adult and Natures Menu puppy food.
He is very happy with either but I just need to know when to stop the puppy food. What age in a large breed dog? Or should I have already done this?
I have 9 week old staffy puppy what raw foods can i give her and ive been feeding her steak mince and chicken breast but she gets really baad diarrhea
Hi Steve, many new puppies get diarrhoea, and it can be difficult to pin point the cause. Talk to your vet and follow his recommendations. It may be nothing to do with the food, or it may be because you have changed the puppy’s diet too quickly, or it may be because you are not feeding the right balance of meat and bone. Either way, you need to get the pup’s tummy settled before trying to introduce new foods in a gradual and careful way.
Fair Oaks Jeff says
We just got a beautiful Border Collie from the shelter. About 4 months old. He was a stray and the original owners apparently could not find him or did not care. But we love him and he is now named Sagan.
We had two other shelter dogs that died of old age, but when we got htem we could not afford good food for them. But now, we are better off and i want to make food for my dog since I am on the Paleo lifestyle for myself. My question is, what do you think about home made dog food but using cooked meat? I was thinking of, for example, steaming pork with some approved veggies and making a paste. I can freeze that paste and give it to Sagan along with rib bones I get. What is the thoughts on that?
Hello, I’ve got a 5 month old Beagle/King Charles Spaniel cross, The Beagle in her makes it hard to satisfy at the end of a kibble meal, especially at dinner time. What do you think about about doing morning and afternoon with kibble, then dinner go raw? I expect her to reach 20 lbs, from your calculation she would receive about a 1/2lb of raw for the day. ….maybe I should ditch the dry kibble all together!? Would appreciate your advice. Thank you.
Lesley Marie says
Apart from transition period (7 to 10 days) you should never feed both as they digest at different time periods and require different enzymes.
Fortunately that now appears to be a myth Lesley. No good evidence supports that belief and many raw feeders, including some vets, mix the two types of feeding. The main reason not to feed both is really that you get the benefits of neither and the downsides of both. It is also easier to learn a new skill if you are not still clinging on to old ones 🙂
Is it ok to feed a mixed diet, Ie raw food in the morning, and tinned in the evening? I have been doing this for a couple of weeks now, as I wanted to introduce raw food, but wasn’t confident it had all the nutrients, my puppy needs. I have an 8 month old cockerpoo puppy, and would be really grateful for your advice.
Hi, I have a 5 month old boxer puppy who is going through the teething stage. He’s been on a raw (barf) diet since he was 3 months old, however I do provide him with added bone treats ie. Chicken carcass and lamb flaps. Apart from the stimulation he receives from the chewing, are there any supplements I should give him ie. Calcium? His ears are positioned higher back than usual; which I’ve been advised is normal.
We just got our boxer Zeus 2 days ago. We started him out on Rachel Ray food, but I want to be able to give him raw fruits & veggies from time to time. Is there a certain age I can start introducing these to him?
Why feed kibble when there are so many excellent raw or organic steam cooked alternatives! For the same price or less than the cost of kibble. Do your pup a favor and feed him the best you can.
Hi started feeding my puppy on raw for a week now only problem I have is my husband likes to give her his cooked leftovers like bacon chicken n stuff is this ok
It isn’t possible to say that all cooked leftovers are fine or not fine. Each type of cooked food has to be judged on its own qualities (or lack of them) For example, cooked chicken meat is not a bad source of food for a puppy but bacon is full of salt and preservatives, so not a good thing to feed your pup. Cooked bones are dangerous and should never be given to any dog. I personally don’t recommend mixing and matching your own home cooked diet for a young puppy unless you are very confident in your nutritional knowledge.
I apologize for posting this question on your training forum!
I have an 11 week old border collie pup. We got her 10 days ago. She was malnourished as she had coccidia. She is now clear and I am feeding her your raw diet. As she only has her baby teeth I have not been giving her bones to chew but there is bone meal in her diet. Is she old enough to eat chicken necks?
I was also wondering about carbohydrates? Is there any point in adding a little rice or potato? she is constantly hungry.
Hi Diana, your puppy is old enough to eat chicken necks and she doesn’t need carbs once she is getting enough of a balanced raw diet. It is fine to post on the forum, in fact I check that more often than this so please do. But just pop an explanation of what or which article your question relates to. Good luck with your pupppy 🙂
Thanks so much Pippa
Do you need to add any kind of supplements to a raw diet for a puppy or adult dog?
Hi Martha, not if you are feeding a wide variety of foods so that your dog is getting access to all the nutrients he needs.
I have a 7 week old pitbull and i started her own raw for about a week now. She has recently threw the raw chicken back up .??? What dose this means i need help or i think its because she was around alot of people and gulped her chicken dwn without chewing it up completely
thanks for the great article – our 3-month old lab gulps her raw food, including the bone, and i’m worried that she may not digest this properly and she has no opportunity to clean her teeth. any suggestions for getting her to slow down and chew her food rather than gulping/swallowing the bone whole? she did this today with a chicken thigh. there is no competition when she eats. thank you.
Hi Lauren, give her bigger items than cannot be gulped. “For example, a Labrador puppy of three or four months old, may be able to swallow a chicken wing whole if you feed just the last two joints.
So it is best to feed the whole wing of a big chicken, or to feed a larger portion such as the back of the carcass. That way he has to work on the wing to break it down before he swallows it.”
Can I give my 6 month old puppy cooked scrambled eggs/ boiled chicken, brown rice and boiled carrots along with his kibble, to add variety, instead of the raw diet?
Forgot to mention that he is a lab..
I have 13 lbs of beef neck bones in my freezer. My puppy is 10 weeks old, when can I feed him these.? He is managing chicken backs and large wings very nicely on his own.
Hi Joy, In reading the above article thoroughly, I found the infomation you asked about. See the section on what to feed, I have a 7week old Newfie puupy, and found it quite helpful, as I was looking for information on trotters. I froze them, and I know that frozen will also help soothe her teething gums. I hope that you too will find the info you seek, it is there (above article). Enjoy your puppy!
How do I feed my schnauzer puppy raw vegetables and meat?
Hi Marieta, is there any part of the article above you found confusing or which needs more explanation?