Puppies and The Raw Diet

Growing Healthy Puppies

I’m getting a new puppy soon, YAY! So, naturally I have been thinking about all the things that I need to do to prepare for our new arrival.  Where am I going to put her crate, what kind of toys is she going to like, do I have enough beds for her AND all the corgis, etc. etc. etc.  But the most important thing is, what are we going to feed her?!  Well of course we are going to feed her raw, that goes without saying, but what specifically are we going to feed her?  I’m a little bit ahead of some of you probably, since I sought out a natural rearing breeder who feeds all her adults raw and will be weaning the puppies onto raw as well, so I won’t have to worry about transitioning from kibble. But, never fear, transitioning a puppy is not difficult.  

Puppy Shots What Every Parent Should Know Podcast

All the corgis had to be transitioned from kibble, so I have lots of experience with that!  

For the most part, the principles for raw feeding a puppy are the same as for an adult dog.  The biggest differences involve the number of meals and amount of food at each feeding, and the slightly higher calcium content. Most puppies do well if they are fed 3 times a day until they are 6 or so months old, then you can decrease to twice a day and by the time they are a year old they should be fine with once a day.  I must confess, the corgis never got fed 3 times a day and were only fed twice a day until they were 9 or 10 mos old, and then we went right to once a day.  I just couldn’t keep track of who had eaten, who hadn’t, and who had what!  I decided twice a day was better than forgetting all together!  But, that just goes to show you how resilient they are and there really are no hard and fast rules (other than don’t ever feed kibble!).

As for how much to feed, check the feeding chart for puppies as the amount changes based on their age range and their weight. Remember you don’t want a fat, roly poly puppy, you want a nice lean puppy that grows relatively slowly. So, you may need to tweek the amount your puppy gets as you monitor his growth rate. This is one of the dangers of feeding puppies kibble, they grow waaaaay tooooo fast and it increases the probability that they will have bone and joint problems.  Your puppy should have good energy, and should grow steadily but slowly.  Raw fed puppies also tend to skip the high in the front, high in the back, uneven growth spurts that you often see with conventionally reared puppies.  

If you are transitioning your puppy from kibble, the best thing to do is to switch him cold turkey.  Also add in our Healthy Gut supplement to get those digestive enzymes going so they can digest bone properly. You do not want to mix kibble and raw for a variety of reasons. It’s hard on adult dogs and even harder on young puppies to mix the two types of food.  The starch in kibble slows down digestion and raises the pH in the gut, both of which greatly increase the potential for pathogenic bacterial proliferation which can lead to digestive upset, diarrhea, and other not so pleasant things for you, your puppy or your carpet!

MAKE IT EASY! But If you worry about holes in the diet add the Whole Food Phytoplankton

You don’t have to put it together yourself! There’s a very simple way to feed your puppy with our 80/10/10 Blends, PMR model blends and the Veggie Blends you can still add in a little extra raw meaty bone.  It’s all about variety!

What bones or extras? Duck heads, skinless chicken necks or turkey necks would be an excellent addition, and some extra green tripe would also be a good addition. How much green tripe? You can do 2 plain green tripe meals a week and you can mix in up to 40% of green tripe with any blend. This is an excellent blend if poops get too hard on the PMR’s.  Since both of these are balanced in their calcium/phosphorous ratios, you would not be diluting or altering the balance that is already in the blend.  

Nutrition is not an exact science.  It can’t possibly be, because all the studies have been done using a reductionistic model with isolated proteins and nutrients etc.  We all know the body does not work that way. It is a very intricate dance of checks and balances with co-factors and influences that we haven’t even thought to look for yet.  

That’s why you really can’t go wrong with a natural, whole food, species appropriate diet – meat, organ bone based diet for your dog. And remember you can’t possibly go right with a processed, unnatural, grain based diet.  Regardless of the domestication argument, a dog’s digestive system is still that of a wild canid carnivore.  It will thrive on a raw species appropriate diet and at best, will just manage to survive on a processed, grain based, dead diet.

Why green tripe in your puppy’s meals? It’s a balanced product with great probiotic benefits and is very easily digested.  Whole raw eggs are also very good for young puppies, but get the good kind, pasture raised not the Walmart $0.88/dozen special.  How many eggs a week? One a day is great. Green tripe and all natural bone have an appropriate calcium/phosphorous ratio.  Whole fish is also a good addition to your puppy’s diet and will help balance the fats in the diet which in turn will fight and even prevent inflammation. How to feed whole fish? Put in a bowl of warm water and let thaw for 15 min. Take outside and feed cause they will chomp in half and heads will go one way and tails another!

Puppies should have some raw meaty bones, or extra’s like duck heads, turkey necks, chicken necks or wings, and other types of soft or ground bones. Basically, your puppy’s diet should be about 15% to 20% bone, (PMR blends have 12-13% bone) so you can still feed some extras.  Remember a duck head is NOT 100% bone. Duck feet are not 100% bone. Each bone has a percentage of bone associated with it.

Here is a list of bone percentages if you are doing a DIY menu. If you are feeding our PMR blends it’s much easier! Simply give a duck or chicken foot a couple times a week or a soft bone like a duck head once a week!

There are some extra benefits to duck feet which are high in natural glucosamine and will help puppies develop nice healthy joints. Bone broth is also easily digested and full of micro minerals and collagen for growing bones, teeth, cartilage and joints.  Just as a side note, if you have a breed with erect ears, there will be a lot of cartilage formation around 4 months when their ears start thinking about standing up.

Their teeth are starting to grow and come in around then too, so a little extra bone broth and tripe might come in handy! The size of your puppy will obviously determine what type of bone he will be able to eat.  The corgis all did great on turkey necks for their raw meaty bones.  But larger breeds (my new puppy is a labrador, so this applies to me too!) might appreciate duck heads, ox tail, and maybe some beef neck bones.    

Enjoy your new puppy!!!!

Happy feeding, and remember: Friends don’t let friends feed kibble! – Nealy Piazza, Certified Pet Nutritionist, Certified Raw Feeding Specialist