Raw Feeding and Puppies
Having a baby in the house is a delightful and a scary phase; both! There are so many things that parents have to bear in mind especially when it comes to the diet of the baby. The stomach is delicate, she doesn’t have teeth or might have delicate gums, her skin is sensitive and she might be allergic to some foods; the list is endless.
It’s the same with puppies! They’re delicate little things too and utmost care must be taken to see that they have a healthy, nutritious diet especially if you are a Raw Feeder.
Don’t panic! We’ll look at some things to keep in mind when feeding your pup raw.
Starting Off- always Cold Turkey:
It would not be sensible to give your puppy kibble and then mix in raw food in the equation. So start your puppy off directly with the RAW diet. If you got your puppy from someone or bought her from somewhere and she's already being fed kibble, you can read my previous blog: How to transition your pet over to the raw diet
for more tips.
Water & Exercise:
Before we talk about any other forms of diet for your pup, I cannot stress enough how important it is to supply your puppy with fresh, clean drinking water at all times.
Also, she must have plenty of exercise and fresh air. Keep in mind that your puppy must have the space to run about and exercise naturally. Don't force her to walk while on a leash. Take her outside for play sessions or train her in the fresh air. Keep these walks and sessions short; not more than 7-10 minutes each until she is about 8 months old.
Start with Chicken for a week and if your pup is able to digest it easily, switch. Try Turkey then and keep changing the source of protein each time. Rotation of proteins is essential so that we can achieve balance over time. I normally introduce red meats from 6 weeks of age to my puppies.
Of all the essential requirements that our bodies have, calcium is the most important. It is essential and critical when it comes to our overall health, especially the bones. Ditto for dogs. Their bones not only support their bodies but they also are a storage space for calcium. There is no cell in our body that does not use calcium. Calcium is essential for many functions in a dog’s body too. It is essential for the nervous system, the heart and of course their bones.
Give your pup, turkey or chicken necks, wings and even chicken/turkey feet from 6-7 weeks of age. The bones are soft and hollow and as she grows you can transition to the larger bones. This will take care of the calcium requirements. Its a great time to introduce these RMBs to puppies so they can learn to rip the meat apart and also to chew on the bones.
Give your pup a mix of muscle meat, RMB (Raw Meaty Bones), organs, offal , fruits and veggies. The B.A.R.F diet will automatically take care of that. But watch the amounts. If you see your pup leaving some food, don't worry. Weigh the balance and give it to her in her next meal. Alternatively, you can check with us and we will create customized meals for your pup.
If you see her wasting food each time, reduce the quantity of food in her meals. Anyway you will feed your pup at multiple times during the day and not just two or one meal.
Introduce organs to your puppy is after 7 weeks when you see that the poop has firmed up. People do worry about loosies but we have been lucky to have escaped this phase while we keep an eye on how the poop shows up.
Your pup must eat 3-4 small meals in a day until she is about 6 months old or longer; we'll leave that up to you. It's important to not let their sugar levels drop especially in the case of small breed puppies due to long gaps in between meals. You decide the timings of the meals based on your convenience.
I would say about 2-3% of her expected adult weight. Start with about 8-10% of her current weight and then adjust it accordingly depending on her weight loss or weight gain. Once your pup is about a year old, move her to the adult feeding schedule. Ensure that your pup isn't getting fat, neither skinny. I personally feed my puppies @10% of their current body weight till they reach about 6 months of age after which i drop it down 5-7% and then 2-3% of their current body weigths by the time they reach 1 year of age.
Watch her stool:
If you see your pup experiencing diarrhoea, you're probably giving her too much offal. Maybe you want to wait until you see some solid stool and then reintroduce organ meats. Make sure you don't give her one complete liver meal. It won't help. Break up the Offal types and introduce them gradually.
We spoke about how the soil these days lacks nutrition and isn't as healthy as we would like it to be. So even if you're giving your pup as healthy and organic meat as possible, it would not do any harm to give her some supplements.
In my post How to transition your pet over to the raw diet
I mentioned Probiotics, the friendly bacteria. Give her some, and watch her digest better. Try Green Tripe. What is it?
is the lining of cow, venison or lamb stomach. It has a perfect balance of calcium and phosphorous. It contains the most natural source of digestive enzymes and probiotics.
: Fish Oil or Krill oil. For the uninitiated, Krill oil is an extract prepared from a species of the Antarctic krill
found in the waters of the Southern Ocean. I personally like to feed whole fish like sardines, anchovies, and mackerals. As the puppy crosses 6 months of age I introduce tuna another great source of Omega-3 for dogs.
Some foods that you can safely give your puppy:
Eggs: Whisk them the first couple of times to help her get used to it.
Chicken: You can give her the neck, back, wings or feet.
Beef / buffalo from 6 months of age.
Trotters of a pig / lamb
Very small quantities of liver
You can also feed her the organs of either a cow, or sheep.
Sardines, Anchovies, Tuna and Mackerel : These are known as oily fish.
If you're giving your pup veggies, make sure they are chopped into tiny bits or crushed in a juicer or blender for good digestion. Make sure that your pup isn't allergic to any of the above foods by keeping a careful eye when you switch proteins or when you add a new ingredient to the diet of the puppies.
Also remember that the size of the bone will depend on the size of the pup. Make sure that if you've chopped up the bones, that they aren't too small or your pup will swallow them instead of chewing them. In that way, she will have to actually chew the bone which again, is healthy for her jaw health and flexibility and
her energy levels.
Once you give the bone to your pup, stay at a distance and observe. Don't hang around her. Let her eat and figure out the bone in peace.
If you have a puppy that is skinny inspite of being given sufficient food to eat, she might have worms. You can deworm her; just ask around with other raw breeders for which meds they use. I use raw, untreated pumpkin seed powder or Diatom earth.
Your pup has to have a waistline and you should be able to feel
her ribs and not
If your pup is fat however, you can cut down on the quantity for a while; it will not harm her under any circumstances.
We hope these guidelines will help you smoothly feed your puppy raw; but remember we're always around if you need some guidance. Write to us and let us know how it goes for you.