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- To know how much raw food to feed a dog, give him a meal equal to 2 or 3 percent of his body weight.
- Other factors that affect the amount of raw food to give a dog are calories by weight, energetic play, and life stage.
- When transitioning your dog to a raw diet, do it by gradually by adding portions of raw food until it takes up 100% of his meal—this should take up about 2 to 7 weeks.
When feeding a dog, the general rule is that his food should be about 2% to 3% of his body weight and this applies to raw feeding too. However, other factors that come into play are a dog’s life stage, energy levels and lifestyle, as well as any existing health condition.
Dogs are the most popular household pet nowadays with the dog food industry currently valued at around 94.76 billion in 2021 alone. Today however, dog owners put more attention on the quality of food with a special focus on raw dog food. When I tried raw feeding for the first time, my dogs absolutely loved it. I also witnessed firsthand the many benefits to my pets like healthy body weight, shinier coat, and high energy levels. In this article, I’m going to discuss more about raw food diet for dogs and some tips to help you get started.
Is Raw Dog Food Good for Your Pet?
In general, a raw dog food diet involves a combination of raw meat, organ meat, green tripe, some veggies, and supplements. Unlike fresh dog food and other forms of pet food, raw diets do not involve any form of cooking. Many pet owners are making the switch as they try to offer their dogs a diet that’s as healthy as their own.
Note however that not all raw dog food is the same. The overall health of the dog depends on the content of the meal itself. This means choosing the right ingredients, counting the calories, and making sure the food includes all the right vitamins and minerals appropriate to the breed.
This is why when it comes to feeding raw food, the recipe should ideally come from a licensed veterinary nutritionist. Fortunately, there are recipes online that have been vetted by professionals that you can use as a guide for raw dog food. If you are subscribing to dog food delivery service platforms, every meal is typically proportioned depending on your dog’s needs. Take We Feed Raw for example.
How to Calculate Raw Food Based on Body Weight
Calories by Weight
The amount of raw dog food to feed your dog depends on his body weight. Ideally, you should give him a meal equal to 2 or 3 percent of your dog’s body weight. So if you have a 70-pound Bully, you should feed him 1.4 to 2.1 pounds of food divided into two meals. This rule also works for fresh food feeding.
Many raw feeders also look into the calorie content of the food. Ideally, canines should have anywhere from 25 to 30 calories per pound of their current weight. Note though that this calculator applies only dogs with a healthy dog. For underweight dogs or those where you can easily trace the dog’s ribs—adjustment to the calorie count is necessary. For an underweight dog, you should increase the meal by 5 calories. If weight gain is the problem, reduce the meal by 5 calories. It also makes sense to change the time of meals. An overweight dog can be fed just one meal per day while an underweight one may need 3 or 5 small meals given throughout the day.
The activity levels of the dog also comes into play. If your pooch stays mostly indoors, you’d want to adjust based on their Resting Energy Requirements  (RER) so they don’t gain weight. To get the precise amount, multiply 70 by the dog’s weight in kilogram raised to the power of 3/4.
Larger dogs that love to play outside and burn off energy will need more food and more calories in their diet. For active large-size breeds, their caloric requirement can go as high as 1700 per day! Remember though that not all small dogs are couch potato. There are small breeds with a high energy drive like the Jack Russell Terrier and they may need as much as 400 calories everyday. Working dogs, police dogs, and farm dogs may also need more protein sources and calories to maintain their ideal body weight.
Dog Life Stage
Puppies have rapidly growing bodies and an energy to match. They actually need more compared to an adult dog! The same holds true if you’re feeding your puppy a raw diet. Aside from the calorie however, the raw foods must also be nutrient-dense.
For older dogs, the dog’s total diet must contain supplements and vitamins that assists the pooch during his older years. It can include ingredients that help with joints, eyes, muscles, and so on. It’s also crucial for senior canines to maintain proper weight since their bones aren’t as strong as they used to be.
Making the Transition to a Raw Diet
A slow transition is usually best, covering anywhere from 2 to 7 weeks to fully immerse your dog into his new diet. Start by feeding a serving of their regular meal in the morning and a serving of raw servings in the afternoon. Since kibble and raw meals are processed differently, it’s not a good idea to mix them. These rules apply to puppies and adult dogs.
Since raw meals are freeze dried, make sure it completely thaws before being served. Gradually, increase the serving amount of the raw meals while decreasing the kibble. Not all dogs adjust quickly to this so be patient. Pay close attention to their health during the time such as energy levels, if they have loose stools, and if there’s any weight loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much raw food should I feed my dog?
A raw feeding calculator is available online to help you better pin down the exact amount of foodstuff to offer your pooch. Remember to fill in all the information required to get accurate results.
How much raw food should a 60 pound dog eat?
To maintain the dog’s body condition, a 60-pound dog should eat around 1.5 pounds of raw food everyday. Remember though that the dog’s ideal body weight is just one of the factors here. You also need to make adjustments based on his activity levels, the life stage, and the breed.
Can dogs eat raw food every day?
Well-made raw diets that’s been cleaned of pathogens is something dogs can definitely eat every day. However, it’s also possible to introduce raw dog food as an “add-on” to dry food or canned food. This way, your dog gets a variety of texture and flavor. Plus, it helps reduce the work if you alternate on the food.
How much raw should my dog be having?
Your dog’s body processes ultimately determine the amount of raw food he should be getting on a daily basis. You can start by getting an estimate through online sources and make adjustments as needed. Keep in mind though that the amount of raw food is just the start. You also want to make sure the freeze dried food is packed with nutrients to address or prevent health issues.