What age can I start raw feeding?

Image by kim_hester from Pixabay

We often hear from people who have been told by vets, sometimes breeders, or friends that they should not raw feed their puppy/dog until it reaches a certain age, commonly 12 months.

Such advice can safely be disregarded, as puppies can be fed raw as soon as they are old enough to be weaned from Mum.

If you have been super lucky and your breeder is an experienced raw feeder, then they should send you home with a sample of food to get you through the first few days and all the info you need to continue to feed your puppy on a natural, species appropriate diet which is designed to keep him in good health for life.

If your puppy has come to you on a diet of processed food, then you will need to be able to safely transition him/her onto a raw diet yourself. You can do this pretty much straight away, although we do suggest you begin on an empty stomach so start the next morning, after his first night in his new home.

 

We are going to assume this is a healthy, well reared puppy who has a good bodily condition.

So at 8 weeks of age, you will be feeding your puppy 10% of his bodyweight per day, so your first task is to get puppy weighed!

(which you can do here if  you're local).

Once you have established how much you will need to feed per day, you then need to get the right products for the transition phase into raw feeding.

Initially, you will be feeding 3-4 times per day, so you will split your daily amount over those meals.  Start off with a simple plain chicken and tripe mince with around 10% bone (do not use complete or minces above 10% bone), this is easily digested and the tripe, particularly, helps to prepare the dogs digestive system for a raw diet.

You would want enough to last around 3 days, after which you can introduce a new meat, such as beef, again for about 3 days, then again, introduce a new meat, always keeping to around 10% bone content.

It is important to only add one new thing to the diet at any time, so that any reactions can be pinpointed!

Once puppy is happily eating 4 or 5 different meats, it is time to introduce offal, most people do this by beginning to feed Complete minces which are pre-balanced for you, so that you know your pup is getting the right amount of meat/bone/offal.

Do bear in mind that puppies around 10 weeks to 6 months are prone to digestive upsets for numerous reasons, they eat literally anything that they find lying around, they have recently moved from their breeder to their new home, they have probably had vaccinations and numerous flea treatments and wormers!

All of these things combined, mean it is not unusual for pups to have loose stools! We suggest keeping Tree Bark Powder on hand as this is a super product to help in this situation, and also, please do research on the side effects of overdoing flea/worm treatments.

Your puppies loose motions may well be nothing to do with his diet and everything to do with all the other things going on in his life/body at that time.

Feeding Bone Broth can really help at this time, as it has many wonderful nutrients that can really boost your pups general well being!

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