PUPPIES AND RAW FEEDING
Please use our Feeding Calculator to discover how much food your puppy needs throughout the day. Divide the daily ration into four meals for puppies under 3 months old. Do three meals for puppies between 3 and 6 months of age and for puppies 6 months to 1 year old, do two meals. Having said this, it is not set in stone, be guided by your puppy, some may drop a meal sooner of their own accord.
When puppies are four to six months old, they require a great deal of food and a little extra edible bone as they are building their adult teeth. Do not let puppies get too thin at this important age as their energy demands are huge when cutting new teeth. Puppies need sufficient nutrients to keep them healthy and provide for their rapid growth. The best way to provide these nutrients is to offer a wide variety of nutritious food.
Puppies can be weaned straight onto raw food. Around 3 weeks they will show an interest in Mum's food and by 6 weeks they can chew on chicken feet, rabbit and fish.
From 3-6 weeks it is advisable to feed minced chicken, (the meat and bone should be minced together), it can be mixed with a little water or puppy milk to soften it if need be. At this age, they should also have access to larger pieces to start to encourage them to rip and tear to build jaw strength.
From 6 weeks you can introduce chicken feet and chicken wings as the bones are soft for puppies to build up jaw strength, plus some muscle meat to make up the ratios. Raw fish is also a good starting food for puppies as the bones are also nice and easy.
Chicken wings should have the wing tip cut off at the third joint. This double joint of the wing can be a choking hazard if the puppy is tempted to swallow it whole.
Between 4 - 6 weeks puppies cut their permanent teeth and have a rapid growth spurt. At this time they should always have plenty of raw meaty bones of suitable size.
At least 10% of your puppies diet should be bone.
Minces that have bone included are great, it's fine 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. Remember, though, to avoid large weight bearing bones as these are very hard and may damage your puppy’s teeth.
A dog that is 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, whereas 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, so cut back for a while.
If your puppy has been weaned onto kibble and you are making the switchover to raw feeding. Switch all at once, don't feed raw and kibble together. However, it is important to go slowly, introducing one meat source at a time and feeding for 4 - 5 days before introducing another meat. This will allow you to see if your puppy has any allergies or intolerances to any particular meat source. Once established, then variety is key, to ensure puppy is getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients required.
Tripe is extremely beneficial to puppies and adult dogs. 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 intermittently, if you have the stomach for it (it is extremely stinky) is healthy. It will give your puppy access to the range of nutrients he needs. (Tip: wear gloves. The smell stays on your skin for ages). If your puppy’s diet is not very varied and you don’t feed green tripe regularly then you may need to add some vegetables to his diet. These should be pureed. (Feeding whole green vegetables is of no benefit, as your dog cannot digest them effectively).
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.
Always make sure your puppy has access to fresh drinking water. Raw fed dogs actually drink a lot less water than kibble fed dogs. Allow them to drink as much as they want.