Whenever we get a puppy, the first thing which happens once they’ve had a little quiet time in their new home, is that they get a chicken wing to play with, we play with them with it for a while, to raise their interest in it, then they play with it themselves, until they pierce the skin and realise it is food, and eat it, then they get another [there’s no playing now, they’re eaten straight-away], and another, until they’ve had a meals-worth.
I believe this is an excellent time to change over dogs to a natural raw diet for the following reasons:
*growth is slower and more balanced on a raw diet,
*you don’t end up [unless you over-feed them] with fat, podgy puppies, which, although they may look cuddly and cute, are carrying extra, unnecessary weight which is putting undue stress on growing, forming bones and joints, which is very important for all dogs, especially large breeds,
*they get a good workout and often don’t then chew things they shouldn’t,
*they learn from a very young age to eat bones nicely so once older, even though a large breed, you can still give smaller bones like chicken wings to them and so have more variety in the diet and make use of whatever is available, and
*they are getting good, sound nutrition from a very young age
– oh, and they love it and are very happy puppies !
We recommend the same diet ratios for adults and puppies:
10% organ meat [liver,kidney, lung, spleen, brains, testicles, heart]
+ an extra 5% of suitablely prepared fruit/veg added.
- of course, once old enough, pups can also be given whole 'prey' like rabbits and here all the ratios are already as they should be, meaning no working out is needed by you - thanks to mother nature.
Because puppies are still growing, they have more frequent meals and require a higher percentage of food than an adult dog who has finished growing, and this can seem tricky to work out as they may not be a specific breed, and parent breeds [if they are full breeds] may be unknown, so an easy way which works well, is to start your pup on 10% of their own weight at 7-8wks of age [the age most pups are when brought home], and just reduce by about 1% every 4wks from then on, so 12wks = 9%, 16wks = 8% etc. slowing down once they hit the 6mth mark and spacing out the increments then until at around 18mths of age they are then onto the normal 2-3% that is normal for an adult dog.
Now, they are no different to human babies in that some will be ‘hungry babies’ and others will want less, but this basic guide works well alongside you keeping an eye on your pup and gauging the amounts so they don’t become overweight.
I remember my GSD [Holly] as a pup start her own change-over, as she walked past my older girls dish [Jess] and quite matter-of-factly just took out a whole lambs heart and munched it !
They love it and take to it so readily, so there are no problems with dogs not liking specific tastes or textures.
It can be daunting, but part of our business is to offer our clients help and support so hold our hand and dive right in !
Sometimes when a puppy is purchased, a breeder will tell the new owner that they need to keep the puppy on the same food for 6mths, I am sure this is simply because the breeder believes that the food they use is the best, and wants your puppy to do well, but healthwise there is no reason to wait to change your puppy over to a raw diet, infact, the sooner a puppy is changed over to raw, the better it is, as good nutrients, in their most bio-available form, are the best thing your puppy can get to help them grow fit and strong and have good healthy immune systems to build their natural immunity quickly and effectively.