If you have decided to welcome a new puppy into your home, it is always a fun and exciting time for everybody in the household. Whether you live alone and want a new furry companion, are taking the next step in your relationship by getting a puppy together, or are a family looking for a dog that will be your children’s best friend for years to come, getting a puppy can be one of the best experiences ever. Although puppies can be challenging and you need to be realistic about the hard work that they entail, getting a dog means that you will never be short of companionship and unconditional love.
When it comes to choosing your new puppy’s diet, you may have heard of some of the benefits of raw feeding. If your puppy hasn’t been eating raw food up until now, it’s important to know how to swap him or her safely to avoid stomach upsets. We’ve put together some guidelines to follow to help you switch your puppy’s diet without any hassle.
Table of Contents
Do It In a Single Swap
When switching to a raw feeding diet for your puppy, it’s not advisable to combine kibble or canned dog food with raw food. A straight switch is often a much more effective and safer option for changing your puppy’s food over. Since kibble requires a different level of pH in the gut to digest, this way will also help your puppy avoid stomach upset and digestive problems. You can find prepared raw dog food for puppies and a handy feeding guide at Bella and Duke. Bella and Duke offer specially formulated, nutritious raw meals for your dog that you can purchase in bulk and freeze. Since the meals come in portions, you can be sure that your puppy is getting all the nutrients that they need when you make the switch.
Feed Little and Often
Puppies are often quite small, and their feeding plan needs to reflect this. While adult dogs are usually fine eating two larger meals in the day, your puppy should eat little and often until they are bigger. Ideally, your puppy should be having 3-4 small meals per day until they are at least six months old. This is especially important for small breed puppies who are at an increased risk of hypoglycaemia if they are left to wait too long between meals.
Measure it Out
It can often seem complicated when first figuring out how much your pup should be eating, but the good news is that there is an easy formula to follow. Feed around 2-3% of the adult weight that your puppy will reach if they are grown. If you are not sure or if your puppy is a mixture of breeds of different sizes, your vet should be able to help you determine roughly how big they are expected to grow to. You can also feed your puppy 10% of their current body weight. Watch them closely for any signs of weight loss or weight gain that is out of the ordinary. Remember that puppies grow quickly, so it’s important to weigh them regularly and adjust their food as needed.
Begin with a Single Source of Protein
Adding too much at once into your puppy’s diet after making the switch from kibble can cause stomach upset. And even though the idea of giving your pup a new and varied diet might be exciting, it’s best to keep things plain and simple at the beginning so that their body can get used to it. Start by feeding a single source of protein such as chicken for around one week. You can also include some veggies in your pup’s meal to balance their nutrients. After the week, add another source of protein if there are no signs of digestive problems. Continue adding new foods slowly, giving your puppy time to get used to it.
Introduce Organ Meat Gradually
Organ meats are an important part of a raw dog food diet since they are very rich in nutrients that cannot be found in muscle meat. However, introducing organs to your puppy’s diet is something that should always be done gradually and carefully, as feeding too many of them too often could lead to stomach upset. Introduce them slowly over time until they are making up around 10-25% of your puppy’s diet. It’s a good idea to wait a few weeks to give your pup’s digestive system time to get used to eating raw food before you introduce organ meat.
Every puppy can benefit from getting some good supplements alongside a healthy raw food diet. Probiotics, nutritional herbs, phytoplankton and digestive enzymes are some good options for a growing puppy. And, always make sure that your puppy’s healthy diet is combined with plenty of clean water to drink and lots of exercise, play and training.
If you’re welcoming a new puppy, their health and happiness is your responsibility. One of the best ways to make sure that your pup is living their best life is to feed them a healthy, nutritious raw food diet.