The best dog food for your Pup – raw feeding and all the questions you could have, and more
You’ve got a new puppy home. Congratulations. Here’s looking to many years of happiness and joy for yourself and your family.
Just as you know your new puppy will give you unconditional love, there are a few things that you must give back to your furry pet. Besides your love and attention, what else must you focus on to ensure your puppy also has an excellent life?
Your pup needs good health and that can only come from the right nutrition. When it comes to puppies and food, there are several schools of thought. There is just so much information out there that it becomes difficult, especially for a first-time pet parent, to know what is right for their furry family member.
"What is the best food for my puppy? How many times should I feed her? Can I give bones? How do I meet her calcium needs? Is it ok to give food scraps?" With so many questions and so many likely answers, it's no surprise that many pet owners are confused about feeding dogs, particularly puppies.
Who should you believe?
The answer is really easy – ask your pup. When you think about what pups eat in the wild you will get a sense of what you need to feed your little furry one at home. Despite domestication, the digestive system of a puppy continues to be programmed to eat what it has been eating through centuries of evolution. And that is fresh, unprocessed food, and that is the best dog food for puppies.
If you look at wolf cubs in the wild you will notice that at a very early age they are eating bones and being forced to scavenge on different types of meats. So why should your home puppy be any different?
Here are a few pointers on what your puppy’s diet should look like:
- The bulk of a puppy's diet should include raw meaty bones.
- Most of their other food should also be raw.
- Puppies should be kept a little hungry.
- They should be kept slim, lean and hard. Roly-poly, fat, young puppies are actually not healthy.
The best food for a puppy is while it is still growing inside the mum’s womb. There is no replacement for fresh, biologically-appropriate food for a pregnant dog. Pups born to mothers who have been fed fresh food are healthier, more robust and live longer. And once they’re born? Here’s how to go about doing it…
Start raw feeding
Puppies can be moved to real food once they are weaned, at 3 to 4 weeks of age. Begin with raw minces of plain, boneless, white meats like chicken, fish or turkey. You can also leave a large meaty bone for them to gnaw on. But you must make sure that it is not small enough for them to chew. This helps them get a taste of what is to come as well as grinds down their jagged little puppy teeth. Instead of teething on your furniture, they will direct their attention to this.
By the 5th week, you can introduce them to red minces such as duck, beef, pork, and organ meats. You can also include ground bone in these foods. By 6 weeks most pups can begin to eat meat off bones.
Here are a few common FAQs for raw feeding puppies:
What is the best puppy food?
Raw feeding puppies
is easy. Follow the same ratio as adult dogs (5:1:1) but add more fat. So this means you feed them 5 parts mince with some bone (10-12%) in it, with 1 part fresh organs (liver, heart, kidney, spleen) and 1 part vegetables.
Any meat works – chicken, fish, lamb, pork or beef. Do use fattier cuts for younger pups; they need it more since they are still to grow. Pups need calcium, so make sure you include bone in the food or toss them meaty bones to eat. Thrown in a raw egg every now and again and add some cod liver oil.
How much raw dog food should I feed?
At 8 weeks, a puppy will eat 10% of his body weight per day. This drops to 5% by 6 months and at 12 months, your pet will be eating 3%. This is not hard and fast, and each dog has a different appetite depending on the expected adult size. You will need to test it out and arrive at the right number.
Why do puppies need bone?
Like we’ve said earlier, puppies need bone
to stop them from gnawing on your furniture. They will cut their baby teeth on meaty bones that you must offer them regularly. They get their dose of fresh calcium, get some meat, find relief from teething and it keeps your furniture safe. Need more reasons to include bones?
Don’t think that your pup is small so you need to offer him small bones; in fact, the bigger the better. They can’t eat and swallow it. However, as your little one grows, he will start to chew and eat bones.
How often should I feed my pup the best dog food?
Some people follow a regimen of feeding puppies
four meals a day, others feed them thrice. See what works for their appetite. By the time your pup is 5-6 months old, you must start feeding two meals a day. Do not shift to one meal a day. Dogs are scavenging creatures who like to eat through the day.
Will raw food make my pup aggressive?
Absolutely not. Dogs that are raw fed are actually calmer than dogs that grow up eating kibble (packed with sugar, cheap carbs, chemicals, and artificial colors). Raw food is high in fresh vitamin B complex the fresh protein in their diet releases dopamine.
You wouldn’t raise your child on a diet of pre-packaged, cereal-based food. So why not feed your puppy a diet of fresh, biologically-appropriate food?