Everyone wants their puppy to have the best start in life, and the food you feed them will have a massive bearing on how they feel in this big wide world. One of the best ways to guarantee that they’ll settle and grow into a healthy and happy dog is to adopt a fresh, raw diet- but where do you start and how?
What does the diet consist of?
Finding a complete and balanced raw meal is where it all begins. Ensuring your pup gets all the essential nutrients it needs, and at the correct levels for their stage of life is super important. Just like baby humans this is a crucial developmental stage where foundations are formed whilst growing.
A good raw diet is built around a solid foundation of quality cuts of meat, bones and organs. Different organs vary in their vitamin and mineral type and density. That's why we've chosen such a variety in our meals! Alongside the meat, your puppy should also be supplemented with vegetables and essential oils for further nutritional support.
It’s hard work to source all these things independently, but that’s why Rawgeous is here- to provide everything they need, in one raw meal.
How it helps the puppy
Unlike dry, canned or poor raw food, a complete and balanced diet will benefit your puppy in a whole host of ways! Their coats will shine and their eyes will sparkle, but there’s far more comprehensive reasons to start feeding them raw, and that’s lowering the risk of disease; from protection against canine hip dysplasia to improved immune responses and a decreased risk of developing allergies and tumours.
A study at the University of Helsinki found that a raw diet from the late stages of suckling to around two months old may also reduce the likelihood of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) later in life. A continued raw diet up to six months old will also have positive effects, in stark contrast to feeding puppies dry food, which it’s reported can increase the incidence of IBD in adulthood.
How much do you feed?
When introducing Rawgeous to your puppy we recommend feeding them 5% of their own body weight. The easiest way to calculate this is to weigh your puppy at the beginning of each week and then multiply that by .05.
For example: If your pup weighs 5kg it’ll mean they’ll need 250g of food per day, split across two meals.
This process is recommended for when the puppy weighs under five kilos or is under three months old. As they grow up to 11-12 months, the amount you need to feed them may change. To find out how much you can always use the Rawgeous calculator at the bottom right of this screen, or read our handy article to calculate the exact servings for your pup or dog.
When your puppy eventually reaches adulthood you will need to readjust the calculation from 5% down to 2.5% body weight. However, every dog is different. A working dog may simply require more fuel than a smaller dog, so use this as gentle guidance rather than a strict ruling.
Similar to baby humans who wean from milk to solids, puppies will also need slow and gradual support to make that transition.
Luckily for us, instincts will kick in early and the easiest way to introduce a raw diet to your puppy is to offer small amounts of raw food when they start weaning (3-4 weeks). Needless to say, this is an extremely important growth stage and the correct food is needed. Our three bird recipe has you and your puppies covered.
Transitioning from other food
If your puppy has already established an eating routine with other food, then suddenly switching to a raw diet isn’t well advised, as their young digestive system will need a little more time to acclimatise compared to an adult. For these reason, we've written some tips on transitioning to Raw Dog Food in a separate article, but for now - here are some recommendations.
If you’re feeding your puppy three or four small meals a day, then we’d suggest switching one of these meals to a raw one for three days. Once this period is over, you can then try to replace two meals with raw. Then after another three days, you can replace three meals with raw, and so on, until you’ve successfully transitioned.
Puppies sometimes get a runny bum, especially when they're very young and their gut microbiome is forming. Unless it is constant, you shouldn't worry and keep feeding them as normal to allow their stomachs to level out.
A bone to pick
Raw bones should only be made accessible to puppies once they’re fully weaned onto raw food. These are not so much to feed on but to encourage natural skills such as pulling, stretching, gnawing and tearing, offering mental stimulation and exercise.
However, as a tip we wouldn’t recommend giving them bones that are too heavy and dense because this may damage their baby teeth! This is especially true when they begin to lose their baby teeth, so try to abstain from feeding bones during this short period to avoid accidents.
You hold the key to their future!
It’s been scientifically proven that feeding raw food promotes amazing health and happiness in dogs. It also allows you, the owner, to be in control of what your dog eats, eliminating any concerns over nasty additives or preservatives that can go on to do your dog harm.
If you’ve made the decision to feed your puppy Rawgeous, then just know you’re on the path to becoming their hero. All our raw meals are complete, balanced and safe using premium ingredients that can be traced back to our farm. Well done on securing a bright future for your pup!
For more tips on transitioning to Raw Food, click here.