Feeding Raw Dog Food to Puppies and Seniors!
30 May, 2017
By Kimberly Gauthier, Dog Nutrition Blogger for Keep the Tail Wagging
It’s never too early or to late to switch a healthy dog to a raw food diet. Two of my dogs were switched to raw slowly right after their third birthday; our other two dogs were switched cold turkey at six weeks of age.
While age hasn’t been an issue, there are some things to consider when feeding dogs, young and old, a raw food diet. Here is what I’ve learned.
Feeding Puppies a Raw Food Diet
Start with one protein to test for tolerance. After a week, you can alternate a new protein. I started with chicken and it didn’t take long for me to learn that my puppies had a chicken intolerance. They do well on duck.
Go easy with the offal in the beginning. Liver and other organ meats are rich and feeding too much may result in explosive diarrhea. Gradually add it to their diet.
Balance the calcium and phosphorous. I did this by feeding my puppies a premade raw diet until I began comfortable making raw meals at home. Darwin’s Natural Pet delivers frozen raw meals in a variety of proteins – chicken, turkey, duck, beef, and lamb – to our door. They have amazing customer service and a quality product.
Feed three times a day. We fed our puppies three times a day until they were three months old, giving them a healthy protein treat midday. While some suggest feeding dogs three times a day until they’re six months old, that’s challenging when you work full time so I suggest asking a friend to stop by the house midday.
Feed your puppy 10% of their body weight. Or feed them 2-3% of their adult body weight. We have mixed breed dogs so I wasn’t sure their adult body weight (Scout and Zoey are twice the size of their parents), so I chose 10% of their current body weight, weighing them weekly.
Feeding Seniors a Raw Food Diet
Rodrigo and Sydney are seven years old and official senior dogs. The only changes I’ve made thus far to their diet is provide a quality joint and digestive supplement to address health issues.
I’m eagerly awaiting the day that I can adopt a senior dog to add to our family. When transitioning our new dog, I’ll do the following
- Introduce one protein a week.
- Feed ground raw dog food for easier consumption.
- Add supplements to improve the joint, immune, digestive health along with milk thistle for improved liver health. To start.
Learn More About Raw Feeding
If you’re one of the many people who have seen Pet Fooled and are interested in learning more about feeding your dog a species appropriate, raw food diet, please join us at Raw Feeders “Kicked Out” Club. This is a group that includes raw feeders of all models coming together to share our experiences in a non-confrontational arena so that we can all feed our dogs better.
CLICK HERE to join. You’ll be asked a few questions, respond with “I found this group on PetPav” and you’ll be added.
And if you have a dog with health issues that are prompting you to transition to raw feeding, I suggest contacting a local holistic veterinarian experienced in feeding a raw to help you along the way.
About the Author: Kimberly Gauthier is the blogger behind Keep the Tail Wagging, a blog about raw feeding and dog nutrition. Kimberly and her boyfriend are raising two sets of littermates in the Pacific Northwest where they enjoy a property with plenty of room to run and explore.
Check out this other great post about feeding raw to a picky eater!
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