You may have heard about all the amazing benefits your dog can receive eating a raw food diet, but how much raw food do you need to feed your dog? Every dog is completely different from size, weight, to even their activity level. You will need to take those topics into consideration to determine how much raw food to feed your dog.
Below you will find out simple guide on getting started to feed your dog raw food. Keep in mind if you are feeding a puppy, there are separate guidelines for that.
How Much Raw Food to Feed Dog?
Dogs need between 2 to 3 percent of their body weight in pounds converted to raw dog food. The number will vary depending on your dog’s activity level. If your dog is very active, it will burn more calories needing more food. If your dog is the opposite and overweight, it will eat less.
For example, if your adult dog weighs 30 pounds and is moderately active, it will need between a half of a cup to one cup per day of raw dog food.
*Adult dogs need 2% to 3% of their weight in pounds for food.
*Senior dogs over the age of ten will need 1.5% of their weight in pounds for food.
*Very active dogs with lots of energy should get 3% of their weight in pounds for food.
You will want to break the daily food allowed into two meals. This will replenish your dogs lost calories later on in the day, and they won’t feel so hungry. I suggest feeding your dog once in the morning and once at night.
If you are ever unsure how much raw food to feed your dog, you can consult your veterinarian. The vet will guide you in the right direction and let you know exactly how much to feed your dog.
There are big name commercial raw dog food brands that have their own feeding guidelines you can follow.
Check out our raw dog food chart below; that way, you can get an idea of how much to feed your dog based on its weight.
Raw Dog Food Chart
|Toy||4-10 pounds||0.64 ounces to 1.6 ounces|
|Small||11-35 pounds||1.76 ounces to 5.6 ounces|
|Medium||35-65 pounds||5.6 ounces to 10.4 ounces|
|Large||65-90 pounds||10.4 ounces to 14.4 ounces|
|Extra Large||90-120 pounds||14.4 ounces to 19.2 ounces|
How Much Raw Food to Feed a Puppy?
Puppies need a higher percentage of raw dog food than adult dogs. When it comes to a puppy, the food requirement is based on your puppy’s age. As your puppy gets older, closer to adult age, they will eat a lower percentage of their weight in pounds for food.
Puppies grow very fast, so it is important to know how much raw food to feed your puppy each day. Take a look at these basic raw food feeding guidelines below.
*2 to 3 month old puppy – 8% to 10% of their weight in pounds for food.
*4 to 5 month old puppy – 6% to 8% of their weight in pounds for food.
*6 to 8 month old puppy – 4% to 6% of their weight in pounds for food.
*9 month to one year old puppy – 3% to 4% of their weight in pounds for food.
Again, you will want to split your puppy’s food into even smaller meals, preferably 3-4 small meals throughout the day.
It is important that when you switch your dog to a raw food diet that you do it gradually. That way, your dog gets used to the change, and it isn’t sudden.
Do the Four Day Switch
The four day switch will get your dog used to the raw dog food diet. Once your dog gets to the fourth day, it will be completely switched over to its raw food diet.
Day 1: Give your dog one spoonful of the raw diet food. This can be given on top of the existing dog food that your dog is eating, already getting your dog used to it gradually. This can even be given to your dog right on the spoon as a treat.
Day 2: Now that your dog has gotten used to the spoonful amount, you can now replace ¼ of your dog’s food with a raw diet. Serve it with the other portion of the existing dog food.
Day 3: On day three, you can replace half of your dog’s daily food intake with the raw form. Mix with the other half of your dog’s daily food and serve together.
Day 4: Your dog has made it to the final day and can now have a full raw dog food diet.
What Raw Foods Should I Feed my Dog?
You may be surprised to know all the different raw foods your dog can actually eat; some are more vital to your dog’s overall health than others. Below is a list of the most important foods your dog’s needs:
- Lean Meats (Chicken, Beef, Turkey, Pork, Venison, Lamb)
- Animal Organs (Liver, Heart)
- Bones (Raw Bones, Bones with meat)
- Green Vegetables (Spinach, Mixed Greens, Broccoli)
- Other Vegetables (Carrots, Beets, Parsnips)
- Oils/Omegas (Olive Oil, Liver Oil, Sunflower Oil)
Other things you can add into your dogs raw diet but aren’t as important as the things above are:
- Fish (Salmon, Herring, Sardines)
- Dairy Products (Goats Milk)
- Eggs (Whole Eggs)
- Fruits (Apples, Bananas, Watermelon)
How Long Does Raw Dog Food Last in the Fridge?
After you have thawed your dog’s raw food and it is in the refrigerator, you now have 72 hours to use it before it goes bad. As long as you haven’t thawed out huge amounts of food, your dog should be fine with this.
Keep the meat that is raw away from the other raw fruit and vegetables for safe handling. When you serve your dog’s food, if it doesn’t eat all of it within thirty minutes, you can either throw it away or place it into the refrigerator for twenty-four hours.
Is It Expensive to Feed a Dog a Raw Diet?
Yes, a raw dog food diet can be quite expensive than your traditional dry dog food, but it truly is a more natural and healthy way for your dog to eat. If you purchase raw dog food from a company, it can get extremely expensive, but if you make the same meal for your dog yourself, you can cut down that cost by a lot.
Obviously, the bigger your dog, the more expensive its diet is going to be since it needs to eat so much more than a smaller dog. You can always debate this and estimate this diet’s cost for your dog before you switch over to it.
Just remember too that the health benefits outweigh the cost of this diet. Your dog will be very healthy, and this way, you also know exactly what is going into your dog’s body.
Can I Feed my Dog Raw Meat from the Grocery Store?
Yes, you certainly can feed your dog meat from the grocery store. It is best to talk to the butcher at your grocery store and let them know you are looking for very lean muscle meat for your dog. They may have some lean scrapes that they can sell to you at a very reasonable price.
You can always ask your butcher if they have raw bones with some meat on them or some kidney, heart, or livers that they can sell to you.
Your butcher should have some ideas for your dog that will be healthy. The chicken’s backs and wings can be inexpensive, so that is an option you can look into.
Which Raw Meat is Best for Dogs?
The best type of meat that you can feed your dog is a lean muscle meat from sources of chicken, beef, venison, pork, or turkey. You will want to cut up the meat into smaller chunks or bite size pieces for your dog.
If you have a smaller dog breed, you will cut up the protein into even smaller chunks; that way, their smaller mouths can handle that better.
Now you have a little more knowledge on how much raw food to feed your dog. Remember, the amount you feed your small breed dog will be different than the amount you feed a large breed dog. You can get great deals on meat if you talk to your local butcher at the grocery store. Pair the leans meats together with a variety of vegetables, fats, and omega-rich oils.
Let us know in the comments below how much raw food you feed your dog and if your dog likes being on a raw food diet.