You want your puppy to be happy, healthy, and full of energy – and it all starts with a great diet. To give your pup the best start in life, you may be considering switching them onto a raw diet. Processed foods for dogs and puppies tend to be filled with carbohydrates, which can lead to chronic inflammation and promote excessive growth. A healthy diet is critical to your puppy’s healthy growth, which is why many puppy owners are increasingly considering a raw diet, as it provides your puppy with all the essential nutrients that they need to thrive when done right. Here are some top tips for switching your puppy onto a raw diet.
Do Your Research:
Feeding a puppy a raw diet isn’t as easy as simply chucking raw meat in their bowl at feeding time. You need to make sure that your pup is getting the right amounts of protein, healthy fats, macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals, which are found in a range of foods including meat, bone, offal, and vegetables. Before you make the switch to a raw diet for your pup, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching raw feeding and putting together a feeding plan.
You might also want to order your food from a raw pet food company like Bella and Duke, which prepares raw meals perfect for puppies with the right balance of nutrients. You can have the food delivered straight to your door. If you want to make the switch to raw food, you will find the Bella & Duke handy puppy feeding guide helpful.
Making the Switch:
Don’t worry too much about switching your puppy over from a processed diet. If they are used to eating kibble or canned puppy food, you can easily switch them onto raw food and most puppies will get used to the change quite quickly. Keep it stress-free for both you and your puppy with a straight swap from processed to raw foods. Ideally, you should begin feeding your puppy raw food with their first meal of the day. Most puppies will happily gobble up everything that you put in front of them, but if you have a picky pup, you might need to encourage them to try something new. Bone broth is a great addition to their meal, as it smells tasty.
Getting the Right Amount:
How much and how often to feed a puppy on a raw food diet are some of the most common questions among owners making the switch. Each puppy is individual, so it will depend on a range of factors such as their breed, age, size, and activity levels. On average, a puppy needs double the amount of an adult dog since they have more energy requirements thanks to all the chewing, exploring, playing, and puppy zoomies that they do throughout the day.
As a general guide:
8-16 weeks: Feed four equally sized meals per day
16 weeks to 12 months: Feed three equally sized meals per day
12 to 18 months: Feed two meals a day
Puppy Health and Wellness:
Your puppy’s weight is a good indicator of whether or not they are getting too much or not enough food. Ideally, your puppy should be gently rounded and their ribs should not be visible. Puppies tend to have adequate protective body fat, but they should still be able to be active easily. It’s normal for puppies to have a little extra body fat compared to an adult dog, as it acts as an energy reserve if they have an upset stomach or vomiting, which is fairly common in puppies who like to explore everything with their mouths.
You should weigh your puppy weekly and increase the amount that you feed them according to their weight gain.
A developing puppy needs several essential nutrients in their diet in order to promote healthy growth. Phosphorus and calcium are two minerals that puppies need more compared with adult dogs, as these are essential for healthy bone development.
Protein and healthy fats are also necessary for healthy puppy development. On the other hand, carbohydrates, which tend to be in far greater quantities in processed food, are derived from grains or grain alternatives like potatoes, which are high in lectins. The carbohydrates and lectins work together to lead to excess growth and inflammation, which can lead to unstable joints as your puppy develops and cause hypertrophy in larger breeds.
Treats are great with puppies; they are essential for training and teaching your puppy how to grow up to be a good dog. Bones are an excellent treat not only fora reward at the end of a successful training session but for keeping your puppy mentally occupied and building neck and jaw strength. Uncooked chicken wings and lamb ribs can be introduced to your puppy’s diet at around twelve weeks old. Be sure to choose bones that are appropriately sized for your puppy; small bones can pose a choking hazard to a larger dog.
If you want to make sure that your puppy has a happy, healthy start in life, switching to raw food is a great idea.