May 17, 2021 4 min read

Can puppies eat raw dog food?

Puppies can eat raw food just like an adult dog can!

No matter the age or breed, puppies can start eating raw dog food as early as 4 weeks old. It’s very important to provide growing puppies the proper nutrition and balance of essential nutrients in their diets.

Puppies require protein to synthesize tissue for growth and replace that which is broken down and lost from the body each day, as they grow quickly. A variety of raw meat naturally fulfills this role and ensures that sufficient levels of amino acids,the building blocks of protein, will be absorbed for use in growth and development. Meats & animal organs provide an enzyme-rich mixture of protein, B-complex vitamins, vitamins A and D, some vitamin C, and the fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA).

NOTE: Each puppy’s development time depends on breed size. 

Key Raw Dog Food Components & Their Benefits

Organs.Organs contain almost every important mineral that puppies require, however, meat and organs contain little calcium. For this reason, a puppy’s diet must contain connective tissue such as bones and cartilage.

Ground Bone. Ground bone contains small amounts of other amazing minerals such as copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, zinc, and manganese. Whether bones are fed in a ground form or whole, they are vital to your puppy's development. Chewing raw bones is also an excellent addition to their exercise regime that will promote healthy growth & contribute to disease free bones & joints.

Calcium & Phosphorus.Both of these minerals are essential for neuromuscular, cardiovascular, immune, and endocrine function and it is vital for blood clotting. Phosphorus plays an important role in the body’s use of carbohydrates and fat. It also helps with synthesizing protein for growth, maintenance and repair of cells and tissue. The production of ATP, a molecule the body uses to store energy, Supporting B Vitamins, Muscle contraction, Kidney function, Heartbeat regularity and nerve conduction.Calciumis vital for normal skeletal development. The most useful and beneficial way to provide balanced calcium & phosphorus in a puppy’s diet is by feeding fresh bone and cartilage together with raw meat.   

Raw Meaty Bones for Puppies

Raw meaty bones provide recreational activity for adult dogs and an appropriate chewing outlet for puppies. Young and teething dogs have a psychological and physical need to chew. Besides providing a fun and engaging and tasty activity, young dogs can properly develop jaw, skull, neck, and shoulder muscles. 

We suggest introducing softer bones as your puppy goes through the teething stage. Please keep in mind the bone must be large enough so that the puppy cannot fit the whole bone in its mouth. Rib bones, chicken necks, turkey necks, chicken feet & pork femurs are a great starting point for pups. As they get older, you can introduce other yummy bones like marrow & Beef knuckle bones.

NOTE: Remember to ALWAYS supervise your puppy while enjoy a raw meaty bones. Not all bones are suitable for puppies. Bones should only be fed 2 to 3 times per week

  • Healthy teeth & gums
  • Great for jaw, skull & shoulder muscling
  • Skin & Coat
  • Offers minerals & nutrients
  • Unwanted chewing habits
  • Aid with their digestive tract

 Transitioning Tips:

  • Begin with a simple protein like our Pure Turkey or Pure Rabbit and feed this single protein for 4-5 days before weaning in other proteins like our Pure Beef or Gourmet Pork. This gives them a great variety & rotation of proteins. It also allows your puppy to adjust & build a tolerance to them, while making sure they are not having any reactions or sensitivities.  This helps your puppy adjust and build a tolerance, while making sure they are not having any reactions or sensitivities. 
  • For the first week, bring the food up to a slight room temperature (20 mins on counter or add a little warm water) to allow their tummies to acclimatize to cold food.
  • Add a good quality Pre-Probiotic to their food.This helps with a smooth transition.
  • After your pup has successfully tried a few proteins, you can introduce a cold-water fish oil (Omega 3) such as our Herring oil. This is required daily.

Puppy Feeding Guidelines.
If you 100% are certain of what your puppy's adult weight will be, you can feed 2% to 2.5% of that weight. If you are not certain, you can follow the puppy feeding guidelines below.

  • 2 – 3 months 8% to 10%
  • 4 – 5 months 6% to 8%
  • 6 – 8 months 4% to 6%
  • 9 – 12 months 3% to 4%
  • 12 plus 2% to 2.5%

*We suggest purchasing a food scale to correctly measure and portion out your dog's raw food. 

Puppy Support Supplement

For added support for your puppy's growth and development, try our Puppy Support Supplement. Puppy Support is a raw, home-cooked supplement that provides a source of nutrient-specific ingredients to promote & maintain optimal health in puppies 8 weeks to a year old. 

Benefits of this supplement include:

  • Provides powerful antioxidants to support a normal inflammatory response 
  • Aids in immune & digestive support
  • Helps with the absorption of essential nutrients 
  • Includes Amino Acids, Vitamins & Minerals to support overall health.
  • Promotes steady growth
If you have any other questions regarding feeding your puppy a raw dog food diet, please reach out to us at hello@rawperformancedogfood.com 




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