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Puppies & Raw
February 14, 2012
Puppies & Raw
Switching Puppies to a Raw Food Diet
How to do it and some points to remember
Puppies will generally have healthier digestive systems than older dogs or those with health issues, and therefore will tolerate a more rapid switch (i.e., 1 or 2 days) with no trouble.
Start by substituting ¼ raw for your dog’s current food in each meal,
gradually increasing raw dog food while proportionately decreasing the kibble until the transition is complete.
Switching Young and Healthy Dogs to a Raw Dog Food
These dogs can transition more quickly than older dogs and those with digestive issues.
If your dog has no signs of illness or digestive difficulties such as loose stools,
constipation or occasional vomiting, then you may be able to switch within 5-7 days.
This gradual transition aids in helping your dog’s gastrointestinal system adapt to the new meals.
1.Begin by substituting 1/8th raw for your dog’s current food.
2.After three meals, double the raw portion (to ¼), while reducing the kibble by the same amount.
3.After three more meals, double the raw portion again (to ½) and reduce the kibble again.
4.After feeding ½ raw for 3 meals, give a meal of all raw.
If your dog tolerates this well with no digestive upset or other symptoms of discomfort,
you have successfully switched your dog!
Feeding Puppies RAW
- The bulk of a puppy's diet should consist of raw meaty bones if possible
- All or most of the rest of their food should also be raw
- Puppies should always be kept a little hungry
- They should never grow at their maximum growth rate
- They should be kept slim, lean and hard. Not roly poly, fat
- Puppies should learn to eat everything
Start with one protein source
Regardless of whether you are preparing your own raw or are using a prepared raw food, it is best to start with just one protein source, like chicken or turkey. Give that one protein for a good week and, if there are no signs of digestive upset, start your puppy on a second source of protein, and so on.
Balance the calcium and phosphorus
This is fairly easy to do. If you view a turkey neck as a nice meaty bone, then your puppy’s diet should be half to two-thirds meaty bones and half to one-third meats and offal (organ meats). There is no magic formula and every puppy is a bit different. Despite what the kibble manufacturers say, it’s pretty easy to balance calcium and phosphorus and there is a wider margin of error when feeding raw. Calcium that comes in a synthetic powder is nearly impossible for a puppy to excrete, so excesses of calcium are more of a concern with synthetic products than with the naturally occurring calcium found in bones.
Feed three times a day
Your puppy should eat three small meals a day until he is about six months of age – then he can eat twice a day and eventually once a day if you wish. This is especially important for small breed puppies as they can become hypoglycemic if meals are spread out too long.
Feed 2-3% of his adult body weight
This is easier to determine if you have a purebred dog, but the amount you feed should be 2-3% of your puppy’s anticipated adult weight. If you’re not sure what that will be, then feed about 10% of his current weight. Watch to see if he gets too fat or too thin and adjust accordingly.
Don’t overdo it with the offal
Liver and other organ meat can cause some pretty nasty loose stools in puppies who have never had them before. If your puppy is new to raw feeding, wait until you see a good two or more weeks of solid stools before you introduce organ meats. Then add them in gradually instead of feeding one giant meal of liver. Don’t skip the organ meats; they are important because they are full of nutrients not found in muscle meat.
Don’t forget the supplements
Even if you’re feeding free range, organic meats, the earth is not what it used to be so your puppy will benefit from some supplementation. Supplements to consider include:
Fish Oil, preferably cod, sardine or salon or a combination. These oils are higher in DHA & EPA for good brain development & eye health
Coconut oil is another to consider as it is antibacterial, anti-viral and antifungal and hi in linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid.
Nutritional herbs (oregano, alfalfa, dandelion leaf, nettle, mushrooms, Echinacea and more)
Probiotics : soil based products are best and natural fresh green tripe, kefir, and plain yogurt are excellent natural sources of probiotics and digestive enzymes
Bovine colostrum or raw goats milk (helps to build a strong immune system)
Other important stuff
Make sure your puppy has plenty of fresh, non-chlorinated water. He should also have plenty of fresh air and exercise. Exercise for young puppies should not be forced walks – his growing joints will suffer less stress if you take him outside for short play or training sessions instead. Keep the walks short – about five minutes per month of age until he is about six months of age.