If your puppy has been weaned onto raw then they have already had the very best start in life possible. By the time they get to you at 8 weeks old, they will most likely already been used to eating Chicken and Beef. So keep them on this diet for another week and then progress to adding new meats each week from the following week.
If they have been weaned onto processed food, Its not too late!
There are two ways which you can use to calculate the amount to feed. The first way is feeding 2-3% of their estimated body weight at fully grown and feed that throughout their life. So if your dog is estimated to weigh 30kg fully grown then you would feed 900g per day.
In my opinion this isn’t the best way because not all dogs are going to be the exact weight you think they will. Some may be larger and some smaller. All dogs differ in metabolism speeds and energy levels. Be sure to use your eyes as a guide. If they look like they are gaining fat then cut their food back. Just as if they are losing weight, up it.
My preferred method of working out how much to feed is to start at 10% body weight for pups between 8- 12 weeks. You then reduce the percentage of feed gradually until you reach your 2-3% fully grown weight. So by 5 months old pups will be on 6%, 12 months around 3-4%. Again you should use your eyes as a guide.
How often to feed
If your puppy is 8 – 16 weeks old then feeding raw 4 times a day is the most beneficial. Young puppies are growing at a really fast rate and need the constant flow of nutrients going to their bodies.
From 16 weeks onwards 3 times a day will surface up until 6 months old where two times a day will be adequate however I still advise to feed 3 times until 8 months. Obviously some people can’t do that due to work etc. but if you can it would be better.
What to feed
It is advised to take the additions of proteins slowly. So start with just chicken or chicken and tripe. Do at least a week of just chicken and then if they have solid poo’s then you can start to add a second source. Beef for example.
If your looking to feed completes then stick to chicken mince with a wing or two each day. I think its really important for puppies to learn to chew bones properly from a young age. It helps them understand bones and lowers the risk of them swallowing whole when older. Not to mention give them tremendous mental and physical stimulation.
If your looking at more of a prey model approach then whole chunks and bones is what you need to be going for.
So for the first week: Chicken carcass, legs, wings, necks, gizzards, basically everything from a chicken. I would say to start with Chicken Wings backs and Legs in the first week. Wings and backs are great for the first couple of days as the high bone content will help their stomachs adjust and help to firm up their stools. After the first week or so then you should then up their muscle meat content to closer to the 80/10/10 rule.
Then for your second week maybe move onto pork or beef to add with your chicken. Pork ribs are great but try to feed as a rack so they have to work on it. Beef chunks or minced are perfect at this stage. Beef heart is a good too but can be rich so feed smaller amounts to begin with.
Once your dog has adapted to each week add a new protein source into their diet. Ideally you need 5 different meats and a oily fish in their diet for a true complete and balanced diet.
Oily fish should be introduced week 3-4. You must add oily fish to your dogs diet. They contain essential fatty acids which the dog just cannot synthesise themselves.
If your dog doesn't like oily fish such as sprats, sardines and salmon etc (usually a texture issue) then you should be adding Salmon Oil to their diet.
Other ingredients to add to your puppies diet.
You are more than welcome to come in and have a chat about your puppies diet anytime. We can help give you more information as well as diet plans and ideas to help with teething, training and lots more.
Ps. Bring in your dog. We love a good puppy kiss or two!!