Puppy Raw Feeding Guide

raw puppy food
Starting your puppy on a fresh raw food diet is the best thing you can do to ensure a long and healthy life from the beginning! A complete & balanced life stage specific raw diet will provide your puppy with the nutrients they need for their high energy demands and growing body, while avoiding the negative effects of kibble which can lead to illness, infection, disease, allergies and more. With this being 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!

Table Of Contents:

How Early Should I Start My Puppy On A Raw Diet?
How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?
How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?
What Formula Is Best For My Puppy?
Transition Process From Kibble
What About Raw Bones?

 

How Early Should I Start My Puppy On A Raw Diet?

The question is simple: as early as possible! Puppies can eat raw food once they have weaned off their mother and are ready to eat solid food. Our Puppy Formula is especially 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. The earlier you start your puppy on a fresh raw diet, the more they will benefit in the long run!


How Much Should I Feed My Puppy?

It is very important to make sure you are feeding your puppy the appropriate amount. Remember, you should be feeding based on their predicted adult weight, not current puppy weight. We suggest feeding your puppy approximately 3% of their predicted/ideal adult body weight, adjusting the exact amount according to how your puppy develops. At the right weight, you should be able to feel his ribs but not see them. To find out how much to feed your puppy, check out our feeding calculator here.


How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?

Puppies are different than adult dogs! Puppies need more frequent meals throughout the day to meet their high energy demands as well as giving them the essential nutrients needed for their growth process. This amount will vary according to their life stage, feeding more frequently when they are very young. 

From the time you give him solid foods to three months, you can feed your dog as many as four times a day. Reduce to three times a day until he is six months old, after which you can start giving him just two meals a day. Puppies on a raw food diet are less likely to be obese than puppies eating kibble. However, it is still important to monitor your puppy’s weight. Equally, you need to avoid your puppy eating too little and becoming malnourished.


What Formula Is Best For My Puppy?

At Cali Raw Nutrition we believe in feeding meal formulas optimized to meet your dog’s specific nutritional needs, for their current life-stage. With this being said, we recommend feeding your puppy our complete & balanced Puppy Formula specifically formulated for the needs of your developing young puppy under 12 months of age. Our Puppy Formula has increased Fatty Acids EPA & DHA from Salmon Oil to assist in brain development and improve cognitive learning skills. It also has ideal Calcium Levels with a Calcium:Phosphorous ratio of 1.4:1. In addition, our Puppy Formula has enhanced antioxidants and vitamins to help with improved immune response to vaccinations and immune stimulation. Lastly, 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 puppies immune system, building a healthy gut, and meet their growing needs. 

Our Puppy Formula is specifically formulated for the nutritional demands of your growing puppy, including the growth of large breed dogs (dogs greater than 70 lbs. as adults).  Our growth formulas have been formulated to meet the increased nutritional requirements of puppies as there is no more critical time to ensure proper nutrition, optimizing growth, minimizing obesity and avoiding developmental orthopedic diseases (large breed dogs), ensuring a healthy, long lived, adult dog. This is accomplished by preventing nutritional deficiencies or excess, as imbalances during this period are more detrimental than at any other period of your dog’s life.

 

Puppy Raw Feeding

Transition Process From Kibble

Since puppies don’t have the long term negative effects of a processed diet, they are likely to adjust to their new diet much quicker than adult dogs. Puppies have a healthier digestive system, making the transition process much smoother. If transitioning your puppy to a raw diet for the first time, we still recommend doing so slowly and gradually just like adult dogs, but know it may take a few days instead of a few weeks. 

Phase 1: Begin the transition by first feeding 20% of raw dog food & 80% of the old food for 3-5 days.
Phase 2: Next, move onto 50% raw dog food & 50% old dog food for another 3-5 days.
Phase 3: Then you can advance to 80% raw dog food & 20% old dog food for another 3-5 days. 
Phase 4: Finally, feeding 100% raw dog food! 


What About Raw Bones?

You can start giving your puppy raw bones when they are 6 months old — just make sure you monitor at all times. For puppies under 6 months old, raw bones are too hard and can break your puppies teeth. In the beginning, stick with soft bones, like chicken and duck wings, at the beginning. After a few weeks, transition to turkey and duck necks. Once your puppy has their adult teeth, you can give him 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 lose their baby teeth, raw bones can act as a natural toothbrush for their adult teeth!

 

Now that you know everything necessary to start your puppy on a raw diet, follow these guidelines to ensure that your puppy gains the maximum nutritional benefits! Remember, starting your new puppy on a raw diet is the very 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!

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