A guide to raw feeding your puppy
Raw feeding your puppy
Before you welcome your new family member home, you need to have food organised for them. It is best-practice to start feeding what your breeder feeds or if you rescued a pup, what they have been fed on previously. This is because any sudden change in diet can cause tummy upsets, and also because you don’t want to overwhelm them with too much change too soon.
You don’t have to feed this diet forever, but if you begin here, you can slowly transition to your preferred food; we recommend 2 weeks is generally a good amount of time to do this.
There’s no ‘one-size fits-all’ model, dogs have different tastes, metabolisms, allergies etc., and some breeds require specific feeding requirements; we recommend chatting with an Animal Nutritionist, Holistic Vet or trusted pet food manufacturer for more info on your specific breed.
Transition to raw
If your puppy was weaned onto a raw food diet, you can generally transition straight to a 100% Big Dog diet.
If your pup was weaned onto cooked or processed food (canned food, dry food or cooked rolls) then we recommend to transition more slowly.
Please follow these guidelines, whilst monitoring your puppy’s stools. You should begin to notice smaller, less smelly stools as you transition towards a 100% raw food diet. Loose stools are OK during the transitioning period, but do make sure there is no persistent, watery stools.
Our Big Dog range has a detailed feeding guide for puppies to ensure they're getting the nutrition they need to grow. Refer to each product page or the side of your box of Big Dog raw food to work out how much your puppy needs.
Keep in mind that feeding guides are general and optimal feeding amounts may vary with age, size, breed, and activity level. Increase or decrease the calories your pup consumes daily to ensure a healthy weight is maintained. With growing puppies, it’s best to slightly overfeed, rather than underfeed if you’re ever unsure. For large breed puppies, we recommend consulting your Vet to make sure they’re growing at a healthy rate. Once your pup is fully grown, you can monitor their weight more closely to maintain their health throughout their life.
If your puppy has no known allergies or health conditions, then you can start them on any flavour from our core range (Beef, Chicken, Combo, Tasmanian Salmon, and Lamb). Most people choose chicken as it is highly palatable, especially when starting off on raw food for the first time.
Alternatively, our Small Dogs Combo diet may be most suitable, especially for smaller pups. Our small dog recipe is minced more finely and is portioned into smaller patties which can help reduce wastage in the transition phase or in smaller breeds.
If your puppy does have a diagnosed allergy or they suffer from skin conditions, we recommend either our Single Protein Allergy Diet – Turkey or Goat, or our Scientific Diet – Sensitive Skin. We do not recommend our Kanga or Wellbeing diets due to their low fat content. Fat is important in a growing pups diet. Only feed these low fat diets to puppies if you’re supplementing their diet with extra calories from fat and we recommend to do this under the advice and care of your trusted canine nutritional health professional.
For large breed puppies, our Single Protein Goat is a suitable recipe with a calcium/phosphorous ratio of 1:07.
For more information on each product, see our products page for dogs.
Can I make my puppy’s food myself?
Yes, you can if you feel confident that you can provide them with a complete and balanced diet.
When it comes to a DIY raw diet, the most critical thing is getting the right ingredients in the right balance to ensure adequate nutrition.
Whilst adequate levels of macro and micronutrients are vital to a healthy diet, some are fundamentally more critical than others. A key example in our pets’ diets is calcium and phosphorus in the correct ratio for proper health and development. Muscle meat is rich in phosphorus and bones are rich in calcium.
Too much of either, particularly during a pup’s growth and development can result in improper skeletal development and problems later in life including hip dysplasia and some arthritic conditions. The correct ratio of calcium to phosphorus ensures proper orthopaedic development and a raw diet made up of 80% meat (including offal) and 10% bone will result in the right balance of calcium to phosphorus.
A balanced homemade raw diet would be summarised as follows:
• 75% lean muscle meat from various sources
• 5% organs including at least 4% liver
• 10% bone with accompanying cartilage
• 10% plant matter and other healthy ingredients
We recommend consulting with a holistic vet or canine nutritionist to help guide you with a complete and balanced homemade diet for your puppy.
Ingredient selection will change over the course of your pet’s life based on their age and activity. For example, fattier cuts of meat are great for growing puppies and active or working dogs. For less active or older dogs, you would be choosing leaner cuts of meat, lower in fat for your pet.
Varying the types of protein sources and the choice of plant matter is important for maximum nutritional exposure over the course of your pet’s life. Just like us humans, pets need variation in their diet to ensure it is balanced. You can read about the benefits of a MPD (Mixed Protein Diet) here.
Trusted Raw Feeders Since 2000
If you’re worried about getting the balance right or you don’t have the time to make your dog’s food, we offer fresh, raw meals that are
- 100% human-grade ingredients
- 100% Australian produce
- Complete and Balanced naturally without the use of synthetic nutrition
You can read our interview with our Quality Assurance Manager here.
Check out our range of recipes for dogs here or get in touch with any puppy questions you have – we’re always happy to help.
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