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A lot of dog owners have transitioned the diet of their pet from kibble to raw for various health benefits. After all, we want to ensure our canine companions live healthy and happy lives. You may be one of these people who have decided to make the change and are looking for pointers on raw feeding. One of your first questions then might be: how much food does a dog need on a raw diet?
Before we delve into the specifics of the diet, here are few starting things about raw food feeding that beginners should understand.
What is Raw Food Feeding for Dogs
The raw diet for dogs is high in protein, moderate in fat, and has minimal carbohydrate content. It typically consists of organ and muscle meats, raw meaty bones, eggs, fruits and vegetables that are dog-safe, and some dairy, such as yogurt.
Benefits of a Raw Diet
- Leaner, more muscular build
- Healthier skin and coat
- Better dental health: cleaner teeth and fresher breath
- Increased vibrant energy
- Smaller stools
How Much Food Does a Dog Need on a Raw Diet?
It depends on their body weight, age and lifestyle.
- For healthy adult dogs and non-exercising older dogs, you should feed them approximately 2-3% of their body weight daily, divided into two meals. For example, a 22 kg dog would need 220g to 330g of raw dog food per meal.
- For active young adult dogs who regularly exercise, they need about 3-4% of their body weight daily, divided into two meals as well.
- Highly active dogs, such as those who are working and racing, need more in this diet, about 3-6% of their body weight daily. When they are not working or racing, reduce the feeding level.
- For small to medium breed puppies, they are to be fed 3-6% of their body weight daily, divided into three to four small meals.
- Meanwhile, for large to giant breed puppies, you should feed them 2-4% of body weight per day, divided into three to four meals as well.
Raw Food Feeding Tips and Reminders
You must maintain a completely balanced diet for your pet, as they can be at risk of nutritional deficiencies, obesity, and future health problems.
Some key points to remember when creating a balanced raw food dog diet are:
- Meats are high in phosphorus, while bones are high in calcium. When you give your pet meat with 10% bone, you have the exact ratios of calcium to phosphorus that they need.
- Organ meat should not go beyond 10% of the overall diet. 5% of that should also be liver. Feed your dog liver once a week, or serve several small portions per week.
- Never feed cooked bones of any type. Bones, when cooked, may splinter and pierce the stomach or intestines.
As always, it is best to discuss your pet’s diet with your veterinarian first.