Raw food for puppies – How to feed your puppy on natural raw food
Have you recently acquired a cute little puppy and are wondering if feeding a raw diet
is a good idea? We’ll tell you that it’s good, but it’s great that you’re thinking of that. Feeding raw will set your puppy down the path of good health for life.
However if you have questions, which we’re sure you do, then you’ve come to the right place to get all your queries sorted.
What are the available raw foods for puppies?
You can start your puppy on a diet of raw meaty bones (RMB) or BARF – Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.
The BARF diet includes 85% raw meaty bones and the remaining 15% is covered with other raw foods such as vegetables, legumes, grains and other animal proteins.
Let’s first begin by understanding why we should feed raw and then follow it up with some rules.
Why we should consider feeding a raw diet to our puppies
A dog’s digestive system is naturally designed for processing meat and bones. With domestication, many dogs have been fed human grade food, and this has led people to believe that after thousands of years of being associated with humans, it is alright to feed a dog any type of food. This is why we see a rise in the number of companies selling processed commercial food.
However, despite all the promises, this food is not the best to feed a dog, least of all a growing pup. Even after thousands of years of domestication, the dog’s digestive system is still that of a wild dog, similar to its ancestors from centuries ago.Dogs have powerful crushing jaws for breaking bones, strong stomach acids to digest them too, and short meat-eaters digestive tract to process a completely natural raw diet.
When you feed your dog raw, you are in effect giving your dog a diet made for them as a carnivorous animal, their natural diet.
Raw food for puppies: Rules and Principles
Feeding raw doesn’t mean just offering up a piece of raw meat to the dog. There are some basic rules to be kept in mind for your and your puppy’s safety.
Rule #1– Feed fresh meat
Buy fresh and freeze meat soon after purchasing it or refrigerate it below -18 o
C. Make sure that you use it within a few days. Or buy pre-made raw and feed.
Rule #2 – how to handle and store raw meat safely
The biggest fear that people have in feeding raw is the risk of contamination – not to your puppy, but to you.
Raw meat, especially chicken, can be infected with salmonella which if ingested can make you very sick. Here’s how you can reduce your chances of contamination.
:Store raw meat in sealed containers, away from any food that you would consume, especially those that you would eat raw. Wash the container thoroughly once empty with hot water and a strong detergent.
Dedicated cutting boards:
Have dedicated cutting boards and knives for your puppy. Never use them for cutting up anything else. Also make sure that these utensils are washed thoroughly and carefully with hot water and a strong soap.
Protect your hands:
Do not handle the meat directly. Use disposable latex gloves and throw them away once you are done with them. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water after you clean up.
Rule #3 – be gentle on your puppy’s teeth
Raw feeding is a great way to keep you puppy’s teeth clean and free from buildup and other issues. On the flipside, there is the risk of tooth damage. Incorrect feeding can result in painful fractures for your dog and expensive dental treatment for you.
Do not feed your puppy weight-bearing bones of any large animal, like cows, sheep, etc. These are the bones that the animal stands on, such as the thigh bone. It is alright to feed the bones of smaller animals though. Make sure you feed bones that are proportional to your dog’s size.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot feed any bones to puppies. Choose those that do not support the animal’s body weight, like chicken necks or wings of chicken.
Rule 4 – feed your puppy a rich and varied diet:
Puppies need many nutrients to keep them healthy while they in their growing stage. The best and only way to manage to get those nutrients inside is by feeding your pup a wide variety of nutritious foods.
Understandably it is tempting to feed the most easily available food, which is usually chicken. However, that isn’t enough and your pup might miss out on many needed nutrients. Here are a few ideas on what you can give your puppy. Make sure you feed your pup these foods at least once or twice each week:
- Eggs, whisked slightly to get the pup started. It’s ok if they eat a bit of the shell also.
- Green tripe (stomach of herbivore)
- Oily fish
- Beef or lamb meat
- Chicken backs, necks, wings and feet
- Kidney, heart, lungs (of cow, pig, sheep)
- Liver (tiny quantities)
Follow these rules and guidelines for feeding raw to your pup and you will be able to get your pup started on healthy, natural food as he is meant to.
Watch out for part 2 of this article.