Begin the Transition from Kibble to Raw with a Puppy Raw Diet

If you decide to put your puppy on raw diet there are a few guidelines to follow to have a positive experience transitioning your puppy from kibble to raw.
Friday, 15 November 2013

To get your puppy started on a raw diet, you will introduce a simple source of protein such as chicken (or turkey if your puppy is allergic to chicken) that won’t be too heavy on your puppy’s digestive track. You will do this for the first week or two, and you will monitor its stool and weight. Once your puppy has grown accustomed to its new diet, you will introduce a second source of protein such as beef and other protein sources. A diet that includes variety will provide an even more wholesome and enriched diet for your pup.

How much to feed your puppy is based on his age, weight, metabolism and activity levels. I have provided a chart below that states how much to feed, in how many meals a day depending on your puppy’s age, weight…

AGE % OF BODY WEIGHT MEALS PER DAY
8 weeks – 4 months 10% 4
4 – 6 months 8% 3-4
6 – 8 months a day 6% 3
8 – 12 months 4% 2-3

*These are general guidelines, percentage will vary if you need your puppy to gain, lose or maintain weight.This chart is to be used as reference only, before feeding your dog we highly suggest/recommend doing your additional research.

Puppies have small stomachs, some will need smaller meals through the day, but it’s important that they do get their daily food intake. This will also aid in proper digestion and not to overload their stomach. When your puppy has transitioned successfully to raw, you can start feeding it larger portions and fewer meals per day.

A concern that may arise when you switch your puppy to raw is an upset stomach. When puppies are on kibble they have lower acidity levels that are not sufficient to digest raw meat. If this occurs, remove the meal and introduce in smaller portions and more frequent meals. As your puppy adapts to its raw diet, the acidity levels will be regulated for the proper consumption of raw meat.

Another element that is important in your puppy’s raw diet is raw meaty bones, they provide your puppy an adequate intake of calcium and phosphorus that it needs for the healthy development of its bones and joints. The calcium will also allow for the entirety of its bone mass to grow properly, skulls, teeth, heart and its metabolism will also benefit from it and will result in higher energy levels.

Once your puppy is settled in with its raw meat/meaty bone diet (after 1 or 2 weeks) you will introduce liver and other organs for added nutritional value as long as you are following the 80-10-10 guideline (80% meat 10% bone 10% organ). Too much organ and your puppy will have loose stool, too much bone can constipate your puppy or making the stool too hard for it to expel. This will take a bit of trial and error to get it figured out, please be patient. After all, feeding raw is all about figuring out your dog and its needs!

Overall, feeding you puppy a raw diet will give it a healthy head start in life and will allow you to grow closer as you will be monitoring it much closer than if you had fed it kibble from the start. A puppy on raw is a puppy that will certainly have fewer visits to the vet I the long run making its life spent with you much more enjoyable than its kibble fed counterpart!

Posted by: Kevin Uhindu

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Disclaimer: Advice given by Big Paws are only suggestions based on our experience. We are not liable for anything that may happen as a result.