Feeding a puppy a raw food diet

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When it comes to feeding a puppy a raw food diet there are a few things to consider to ensure they are getting a complete and balanced diet that is appropriate to their specific puppy needs, as well as ensuring it is done correctly so they don’t get upset tummies or diarrhea.

As what your breeder fed your puppy

Before bringing your new puppy home it is important that you find out from the breeder what diet your puppy was previously on. Usually, you’ll find they were fed a high carbohydrate dry puppy dog food , sometimes mixed with some raw mince meat.   While adding any raw meat to a dog’s diet is a great addition, just adding mince does not make a diet complete and balanced. 

Mince can also be high in fat, which is acceptable for puppies who do need some extra fat in their diet, but if continued into adult hood it can be too high in fat and also does not contain the bone content and other nutrients a dog requires to meet their nutritional needs.  See what a complete and balanced raw food diet consists of HERE.

Transition to a new diet slowly

If you have decided you want the best for your puppy, when it comes to feeding a puppy a raw food diet then it is vital that you introduce any raw food very slowly, especially if they have been on a dry food diet.   If they have only ever been fed dry food and no raw meat whatsoever, you will need to transition them across over a 4-week period.

pH levels of a dog’s stomach

Dogs are naturally meant to have very low PH levels in their stomach, (which actually means they are highly acidic), which is designed to help them digest raw meat and bones.  This highly acidic environment favours the breakdown of raw meats, and raw bones, into soft digestible material. The low PH is also highly effective at killing bacteria, particularly potentially pathogenic bacteria like salmonella spp, clostridia, campylobacter and E Coli.

However, when fed just a dry dog food, the PH levels of a dog’s stomach rises, which means it becomes more alkaline, making it harder for them to digest and handle the raw meat and bones.  

This is why you find some dogs that are fed primarily a dry dog food get sick when they are given a bone.  The bone isn’t the problem, it’s the fact their stomach is no longer acidic enough to be able to break it down.   This is why slowly introducing raw meat and bones very slowly is important, to help get their PH levels to where they need to be.

How to transition your puppy or dog across to a raw food diet

The slow transition to feeding a puppy a raw food diet is important so that you are gradually lowering the PH balance of your puppy’s tummy, instead of instantly, which can be harmful.

Ideally, you would start with a fine mince (if not already on it), or ideally a complete and balanced human grade raw food diet at an 80/20 ratio then increase the ratio of the meat every few days until you hit an all-meat diet.

However, as mentioned, just feeding raw mince is not complete and balanced, so ideally you would instead look to introduce a good quality, human grade, complete and balanced raw food diet like the Big Dog Pet Foods. 

Puppy Transition Guide

Day 1-3: 10% New 90% Old
Day 4-7: 20% New 80% Old
Day 8-10: 30% New 70% Old
Day 11-13: 40% New 60% Old
Day 14-16: 50% New 50% Old
Day 17-19: 70% New 30% Old
Day 20-21: 90% New 10% Old
Day 22+: 100% New Diet

Considering feeding a puppy a raw food diet can be intimidating when a lot of the pet food options leave you with unlimited options, including dry food, cooked food, semi-cooked food, tinned food and raw.

Big Dog Pet Food has done all the hard work for you when it comes to feeding a puppy a raw food diet.

Your dog will not only survive, but it will thrive on a complete and balanced raw food diet, that has been properly formulated to compliment the essential nutrients our pets need.   If transitioned across properly it is also much better for a dog’s digestive system, as dogs have a much shorter digestive tract  than us humans, which means they can fight the bacteria and absorb the nutrients from raw feed easier.

And while making your own puppy or dog food, or just adding raw meat can seem a better alternative than the low quality pet foods available, if it isn’t done properly it can actually leave your puppy or adult dog lacking the essential ingredients and nutrients, and in the right balance, that they need to stay healthy.

Learn more about that HERE.

To find out even more about the benefits of changing your dog’s diet across to a Big Dog Pet Foods raw food diet, check out their website.

Looking for more dog tips and fun facts?

Get your paws on Lara Shannon’s best selling books ‘Eat, Play, Love (your dog) and World of Dogs.

Available in Australia, USA, UK and Canada.