Getting a brand new puppy is one of life’s most exciting and happy moments (who could not smile at the thought of a brand new puppy to play with!).
One of the biggest concerns new pet parents have is making sure that they choose the right food so that their new, young, bouncy, family member may grow into a strong, healthy adult.
The good news is that a natural, high quality, raw food diet is the best thing a puppy can have and it’s easily achievable!
A balanced raw diet provides all the essential nutrients and vitamins puppies’ require without the need for preservatives, artificial additives and other nasties that exist in excess in dry foods.
Here are our 5 top pup tips to remember when starting your puppy to a raw diet!
1) How much raw food should I serve my puppy?
If you have a puppy, ever had a puppy, know a friend who’s got one or even watched one on YouTube, you will know they are (super-cute) bundles of uncontainable energy. You’ll also know they grow up… fast!
But where does all this energy and ability for rapid growth come from? Food… and lots of it! Comparative to their size, puppies can really put it away.
Puppies need to eat daily servings of roughly the equivalent of what they would eat as grown adults. This can be worked out as roughly 2-3% of their adult bodyweight or you can use our helpful table below:
Puppy’s Age % Bodyweight
2-4 Months 10%-8%
4-6 Months 8%-6%
6-8 Months 6%-4%
8-12 Months 4%-2%
If you’re feeding raw and you notice your pup is still hungry after eating, then don’t be afraid of giving them more. Overfeeding in puppies is less common in dogs on a raw food diet as opposed to kibble, however if they do get a little plump (i.e. you can’t feel their ribs any more) then think about decreasing the amount they eat per day.
How WOLFit BOX can help:
Our raw food subscription box contains ready-to-serve, portioned, balanced, daily meal servings which means you can be confident that your pup is getting the right amount each day.
If you’re not sure which size box your pup needs you can contact us and we can help advise you. If they need a little more or a little less, you can change your box size when needed.
2) How often should I feed my pup?
Most pet parents of adult dogs serve meals twice a day, breakfast and dinner although some serve just one big meal per day.
Puppies need to eat more frequently. As a general rule of thumb, puppies under 3 months old should have their daily amounts divided into four meals throughout the day. Puppies 3-6 months old can have three meals through the day and pups 6-12 months may have two meals through the day.
This is only a guide as every dog is different. Some pups can be 4 months old and thrive on two meals a day and that’s perfectly fine!
Water is also essential for dogs. Dogs on a raw diet need less water than dogs on a kibble diet (as the food naturally contains moisture which is extremely beneficial), however always provide fresh, non-chlorinated water along side your pup’s food so they can drink when they need to.
3) Feed your puppy bone
Puppies need a solid source of high quality vitamins and minerals. Calcium and phosphorous are two of these essential minerals and they are extremely important for puppies. They are paired together because they work closely with one another in the body.
Meat is high in phosphorous but low in calcium which is why a pure meat diet is not good enough for dogs, a rich calcium source is needed. This is why bones are so important.
Bone contains both calcium and phosphorous in their natural form which is necessary for the healthy development of a pup’s own bones, joints and muscles. Puppies find artificial calcium (which is found in some kibbles as an additive), very difficult to excrete.
All pet parents should keep this phrase in mind: ‘the proof is in the pooping!’
If puppies are not getting enough bone in their diet, you will be able to tell because their stools will be loose. A healthy amount of bone content in diet will produce solid, firm poops.
How WOLFit BOX can help:
Bones can be sometimes difficult to manage and pet parents can often be nervous about serving them to a small pup. Some bones can be too hard and damage your pup’s teeth. Some pups may eat them too fast and therefore pose a choking risk.
We use ground bone in our meals to ensure dogs of all ages and size can have the essential bone they require in a safe and manageable way. Ground bone makes up 10% of our perfect raw food meal plan so you can be sure your pup is getting the correct amounts of calcium and phosphorous in their natural form in a convenient way.
4) Start with one protein
Providing puppies with a variety of different protein sources is highly beneficial as it greatly reduces the chances of allergies and skin irritations in adult life.
However, if your puppy is eating raw for the first time (for example, if their breeder has been feeding them kibble previously), it is best to start off with one main protein source.
Chicken is usually an agreeable protein to start with before introducing other meats. This will minimise the chances of any cases of an upset stomach.
How WOLFit BOX can help:
Our raw food subscription box contains five delicious recipes (with more being added soon) which pet parents are free to feed in any order they wish to. For instance, you can start by feeding our Paw Lickin’ Chicken meals and once you’re confident your pup has adjusted well, you can begin to introduce red meat meals, such as Unleash the Beef, Tum Rubbin' Roo or Boom Bang Lamb.
You can continue this until they’ve tried and become accustomed to all of them! As mentioned, variety is great for puppies and contributes to many benefits in adulthood. Our subscription boxes are also customisable, so if you wished to include only certain meals then just let us know!
5) Don't mix with kibble
A dog’s stomach and digestive tract is built for digesting meat and bone. Their stomach acid is strong (in fact it’s as acidic as battery acid!), which is perfect for breaking down these foods.
Kibble however contains lots of carbohydrates and starch and causes the pH in the stomach to rise and become less acidic. Carbohydrates and starch is non-essential for dogs, but kibble needs starch to hold it together. Most kibbles contain at least 30% starch and some are as high as 60%.
This rise in pH caused by kibble means the enzyme Pepsin, the enzyme responsible for breaking down meat and bone, works less effectively resulting in the pre-digestion of proteins happening less effectively.
These processed and artificial kibbles, made primarily with carbohydrates and starch, result in raw foods taking twice as long to digest causing a build of bacteria whilst also resulting in vital minerals calcium and phosphorous being unable to be stripped from bone.
Also, if your pup (or their breed) is prone to suffer from yeasty ears or yeast infections, Candida (which brings about these issues), thrives on a more alkaline stomach pH that comes along with increased starch consumption.
How WOLFit BOX can help:
A complete raw diet means there is no need to feed kibble at all. The high starch content contributes to bad digestion in your pup and is best avoided if possible. Our meals are conveniently packaged into a 1 or 2 day serves making it just as convenient as serving kibble but providing all the incredible health benefits that a biologically-appropriate raw food diet does.