can puppies eat raw food
Published On: July 27, 2023

Raw dog food has gained popularity among pet owners who believe in providing their pups with a more species appropriate and balanced approach to nutrition. If you’re considering feeding your new furry friend a raw food diet or have questions about transitioning your puppy to raw, you’ve come to the right place. The nutrition experts at Everything Raw Toronto are answering your questions about feeding raw. 

Is it safe to feed raw dog food to puppies? 

Feeding a raw diet that is complete and balanced to both puppies and dogs is very safe. It is however recommended that the raw diet you choose be of high-quality and from trusted sources. All the ingredients should be fit for human consumption, reducing the risk of bacterial contamination. Consult our raw dog food specialists or your raw friendly veterinarian to ensure the diet meets your puppy’s specific needs and monitor their health and growth closely. 

What are the nutritional requirements for puppies, and how can a raw dog food diet meet those needs? 

Puppies require a complete and balanced diet, with a minimum of 70% meat, 12-15% bone, 10% organ meats and 10% roughage. This includes lean meats, moderate fat, organs, bones and a variety of fruits and vegetables. How much to give a puppy is determined by their ideal adult body weight, and their age, usually calculated at 3-4%. Since not all raw diets are created equal, it is important to ensure proper ratios and proportions of nutrients and consider incorporating supplements to address any potential deficiencies. 

How do I transition my puppy from kibble to a raw dog food diet? 

Puppies are very easy to transition to raw, either from the start (newly weaned from their mother) or when they were started with kibble. Since puppies require 3-4% of their ideal adult body weight, it is recommended that they be fed 3-4 times per day. As they grow, you adjust the amount you feed, tapering down gradually to around 2% of their ideal adult body weight, and depending on their activity level.  

Can I feed my puppy a combination of raw dog food and puppy kibble? 

It is not recommended that you combine raw dog food with kibble, unless there is a health issue that warrants it. This is because a different enzyme is required for the dog’s stomach to digest kibble then to digest a raw diet. If you must feed both, provide the kibble in one meal and the raw diet in the other, but it is not recommended that you mix them together.     

Can I feed my puppy raw bones? 

Raw meaty bones can be beneficial for puppies’ dental health, bone growth, and mental stimulation. But not all bones are recommended. Puppies, depending on their size, can be provided with chicken feet and/or necks (small to medium sized dogs) or turkey or duck necks (for medium to large sized dogs). Choose bones suitable for their size and supervise when provided. When a puppy is teething, it is recommended that the feet and/or necks be provided frozen, to help the gums pass their adult teeth.   

Never provide cooked bones to dogs or puppies as they can splinter and do serious damage to their digestive track. Additionally, cut bones, such as T-bone, pork chop bones or rib bones, and weight bearing bones, such as femurs, can be very dangerous.   

Always supervise your puppy when consuming bones to prevent choking or injury. 

Are there any potential health risks or concerns I should be aware of when feeding raw dog food to my puppy? 

can I feed my puppy raw food

As with all raw meats, it is recommended to minimize any risk by sourcing high-quality and fresh ingredients and to follow proper hygiene practices, including washing your hands before and after handling raw food and storing the raw food appropriately in the fridge or freezer. Additionally, wash all food surfaces and utensils when handling raw.

Can I supplement my puppy’s raw diet with other foods or treats? 

While our products are complete and balanced, you can add probiotics, prebiotics and omega3 to your dog or pup’s diet. It is also recommended to provide your dog with variety, including different types of meats, organs, eggs, cheese, veggies and fruit, to name a few.   

Treats can include pure, dehydrated or freeze-dried treats, such as liver, or meats.  Avoid any dehydrated treats that contain bone, and any harmful foods like chocolate, grapes or raisins.  Always introduce new foods gradually and watch for any adverse reactions. 

Are there any specific considerations for different breeds or sizes of puppies when feeding raw dog food? 

When considering feeding raw to a puppy, the amount to feed is determined by the estimated ideal adult body weight, multiplied by a percentage. For example, a cocker spaniel pup with an ideal adult body weight estimated at 25 lbs would get between 0.75lbs to 1lb of food per day, divided into 3 or 4 meals. This is calculated as 25lbs x 3% and 25lbs x 4%. As the cocker spaniel pup grows, the amount of food is tapered or slowly reduced to around 2% of their ideal adult body weight. Remember that each dog is different, and that this calculation is only an estimate based on averages.   

Different breeds and sizes of puppies may have varying dietary needs. For example, all puppies must receive a minimum of 12-15% bone content in their diet for their bone development during their growing stage, no matter their breed. Once fully grown, small dogs should only receive 10% bone content, whereas medium to large dogs should be provided with approximately 12-15% bone content.     

Consult our raw dog food specialists or your veterinarian to tailor the raw dog food diet to your specific breed or size.  

What are some of the common misconceptions or myths about feeding puppies raw dog food?  

One common misconception about feeding puppies raw dog food is that it automatically leads to aggression. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Aggression in dogs can arise from various factors unrelated to diet. Feeding a properly balanced raw diet does not inherently cause aggression in puppies. It’s crucial to focus on proper socialization, training, and a holistic approach to address behavioral concerns. 

Feeding your puppy a raw dog food diet can be a rewarding and healthy choice, but it’s important to approach it with careful consideration and the right information. The knowledgeable raw dog food experts at Everything Raw Toronto are always happy to answer your questions and help ensure your puppy’s diet meets their specific needs. By providing a well-balanced raw diet, you’re giving your puppy the opportunity to thrive with a species-appropriate and nutrient-rich approach to nutrition. Enjoy the journey of nourishing your furry friend and watching them grow into a happy and healthy adult dog. Wagging tails and radiant health await!