Looking for the healthiest puppy food to feed your new family member?
Look no further! Raw puppy food is the best kind of dog food you can feed your young puppy to ensure that their immune system develops healthily, and also their eyes, brain, and more.
A complete and balanced raw diet will provide your puppy with the greatest bioavailability of essential nutrients. A fresh, raw diet will prevent the negative effects that processed pet foods like kibble has: which contributes to chronic illness, infection, disease, allergies and more.
We discuss in more detail about the negative effects of kibble in the following blogs:
- Why Is Kibble Bad For Dogs?
- 10 Reasons to Switch from Kibble to Natural Dog Food
- Kick Kibble to the Curb
With this said, there are a few things to keep in mind to be sure your puppy is on the right track to enhanced health and optimal nutrition!
What Is The Best Puppy Food?
Puppies grow much faster than adult dogs and require more nutrients to fuel this growth. Therefore, you can't feed them any plain old dog food since adult dog food lacks the extra nutrients your growing pup needs. Young puppies need more nutrition for their developing bones, organs, brain, eyes, and more.
What About Life-Stage Dog Food?
Unfortunately, labels can be misleading. Dog food labeled as all life-stage appropriate are often used as a marketing buzz-word to catch puppy owner's attention. Usually, many of these dog foods still lack the additional nutrients puppies need. Since puppies and adult dogs have vastly different nutritional requirements, feeding them the same food fed to adult dogs will lead to one or both of them receiving the incorrect amount of nutrients.
Where Can I Get The Best Puppy Food?
As we can't stress enough, the best puppy food is one with all that extra nutrition. This means a diet that is biologically appropriate like raw food and Cali Raw is one of the few raw dog food companies that offers a raw puppy formula!
You can buy raw puppy food with just a few clicks at Cali Raw Nutrition!
We're confident that our Cali Raw Puppy Food is the best because we've worked with an expert pet nutritionist and formulator, James Pendergast, to create a complete and balanced meal. Our dog food is formulated according to your puppy's optimal health and targets their specific nutritional needs.
By feeding your pup a raw diet, they will experience many benefits- which we will discuss further in this guide!
Best Puppy Food That Isn´t Raw?
If you can't go raw or aren't ready to start your puppy on raw, be sure to dig into what your puppy is eating. Just because the packaging may say puppy or life-stage specific, it doesn't mean that the food is formulated accordingly to what puppies need. We talk about the details on our Lifestage Nutrition Guide.
Adding toppers, like our formulas, eggs, goat milk, and more can also add that extra boost in their meal which is better than only kibble!
Is Raw Dog Food Good For Puppies?
Puppies will benefit from a raw diet the same way adult dogs do. A fresh and healthy diet for puppies is not only biologically appropriate, but also free from harmful fillers and preservatives.
Feeding your puppy a healthy diet early on will aid them in developing a strong and reliable immune system. A raw diet will also provide your puppy with a handful of benefits growing up, including...
- Major changes in poop size & smell
- A shiny, smooth, healthy coat
- Naturally treats or cures chronic allergies and infections
- Decreased visits to the vet and vet costs
- Odorless breath and body
- Weight management
...and much more!
Read more: Benefits of a Natural Raw Diet for Dogs
How Can I Feed My Puppy Raw Dog Food?
Feeding your puppy a raw diet is a great step towards reaching optimal health and a longer life!
One of the most important choices you will make when adding a new member to your family, like a puppy, is deciding what to feed them. The right food will make a big difference to their overall growth and health. This is why feeding biologically correct nutrition is so important.
To ensure that your puppy will grow up healthy and strong, you can choose a BARF diet that has everything your pup needs! A BARF diet consists of a healthy balance of raw meat, bones, and added nutrients to provide your puppy with optimal health.
We understand that you may have a lot of questions about feeding your puppy raw food! That's why we've compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions to walk you through feeding a raw diet.
For more tips: 10 Tips For Feeding Puppies Raw Meat
How Early Can Puppies Eat Raw Dog Food?
As early as possible!
Puppies can eat raw food once they have weaned off their mother's milk and are ready to eat solid food. Our Puppy Formula is formulated for puppies 8 weeks to 12 months of age, and up to 14 months for large breeds.
For puppies under the age of 16 weeks, we recommend lightly cooking the formula to prevent complications as their immune system develops. The earlier you start your puppy on a fresh raw diet, the more they will benefit in the long run!
How Much Raw Puppy Food Should I Feed?
It is very important to make sure you are feeding your puppy the appropriate amount of food. Remember, you should be feeding based on your pup's predicted adult weight, not current puppy weight.
We suggest feeding your puppy approximately 2.5% of their ideal adult weight, adjusting the exact amount according to your dog's activity level and weight goal. You will know that your pup's at a healthy weight when you're able to feel your pup's ribs but not see them.
Calculate How Much to Feed: Raw Feeding Calculator
How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?
Puppies are very different than adult dogs! Puppies need to eat frequently throughout the day to meet their high energy demands and provide them the essential nutrients needed for their growth process. This amount will vary according to their life stage, needing more frequent feeding the younger they are.
Depending on their age, a puppy's feeding frequency differs:
- Up to three months old (up to 12 weeks): You can feed your dog four times a day.
- Three to six months old (12-16 weeks): Reduce feeding to three times a day.
- After 6 months(24+ weeks): You can start giving your puppy just two meals a day.
Puppies on a raw diet are less likely to be obese than puppies that eat kibble. However, it is still important to monitor your puppy’s weight as they grow. It's equally important to prevent your puppy from eating too little and becoming malnourished.
Transition Process From Old to New Food
Since puppies haven't experienced the long term negative effects of kibble, they are likely to adjust to their new diet much quicker than an adult dog would. Puppies have a clean and healthy digestive system, making the transition process much smoother.
If you are transitioning your puppy to a raw diet for the first time, we still recommend transitioning slowly and gradually like you would for an adult dog- but know that the transition may only take a few days instead of a few weeks.
Phase 3: After your pup's stool is health, you can advance to 80% raw dog food & 20% of their old food for another 3-5 days.
Can I Feed My Puppy Raw Bones?
Raw bones are safe for puppies once they turn 6 months old — make sure to monitor their chewing all times. For puppies under 6 months, raw bones are too hard and can damage their baby teeth.
When first introducing bones, stick with soft bones, like chicken and duck wings. After a few weeks, transition to turkey and duck necks. Once your puppy has their adult teeth, you can give them knuckle and marrow bones.
Feeding your puppy raw bones will offer them mental stimulation, gentle exercise, and dental health benefits. As your puppy gets older and loses their baby teeth, raw bones can act as a natural toothbrush for their adult teeth!
Read more on our blog: Safe Bones for Your Dog
Why Is Cali Raw's Puppy Food The Best?
As mentioned previously, we believe in feeding food that is formulated to meet your dog’s specific nutritional needs for their current life-stage.
Our Puppy Formula is AAFCO approved! Not only that, but it contains...
- Increased Fatty Acids EPA & DHA from Salmon Oil to assist in brain development and improve cognitive learning skills.
- Ideal Calcium Levels with a Calcium:Phosphorous ratio of 1.4:1.
- Enhanced antioxidants and vitamins to help with improved immune response to vaccinations and immune stimulation.
- Added L-Carnitine helps burn fat more efficiently and increases bone mass and bone density.
All of these formulations are specific to the Puppy Formula and will assist with strengthening your pup's immune system, building a healthy gut, and meeting their growing nutritional needs.
Hear More About It: Why Cali Raw | Podcast
Our Puppy Formula is specifically formulated for the nutritional demands of your growing puppy, including the growth of large breed dogs.
Our growth formulas meet the increased nutritional requirements of puppies- there is not a more critical time to ensure proper nutrition, optimized growth, minimizing obesity, avoiding developmental orthopedic diseases, and ensuring a healthy, long-lived, life.
This is accomplished by preventing nutritional deficiencies or excess, as imbalances during the growth period are more detrimental than at any other stage in your dog’s life. To tie it all up, every ingredient in our Puppy Formulas are human grade! If it isn't good enough for us, it isn't good enough for your puppy!
Check out our ingredients: Cali Raw Ingredients
Now that you know everything necessary on starting your puppy on a raw diet, follow these guidelines to ensure that your puppy gains maximal nutritional benefits! Remember, starting your new puppy on a raw diet is the best thing you can do for their health. They won't have the long term negative effects of a processed diet and will benefit immensely. Your new puppy will thank you!