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How to introduce a puppy to raw

There is nothing better than starting your puppy off on the right paw and that includes feeding the best and healthiest diet possible -- a raw diet. A puppy fed raw will know how to crunch and tear apart raw bones right off the bat. Their jaw strength isn't quite the capacity of adults, but they have sharp teeth and instinct going for them.

At first, you may need to hold the bone or meat out for them so they can really get into it. Soon enough they will be using their own paws to hold the bone as they pull off the meaty meat. My puppy is such an excellent raw eater. When I watch her it reminds me of a wild wolf tearing apart her prey. She even makes the same facial expression as she crunches down on the raw meat and bone.

Chicken bones will be the easiest for puppies to eat at first, since they are so pliable, flexible, and soft. My 13 week old puppy can also eat duck raw meaty bones with no problems at all. Make sure to keep bones out for teething, such as beef kneecaps, beef ribs, or other beef bones. My puppy does not even think to chew on the furniture or my shoes when she has raw bones to help her with teething.

So how many times do you feed per day and how much? Since puppies have small bellies and fast metabolisms, they need to eat more, smaller meals per day. 4-6 meals per day may suffice. A good place to start is to feed them 2-3% of their expected, ADULT body weight broken up into small meals. But, puppies are also excellent self-regulators. If you let them eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full they will carry on this self-regulatory trait into adulthood. It is another benefit of raw feeding. Kibble has the opposite effect. It prohibits puppies and dogs from knowing when they are full, so some dogs eat kibble like gold fish eat and mindlessly. To us it is like eating french fries or sugary treats.

Finally, make sure to introduce variety early on. You will have a puppy who will not be a picky eater as an adult. Even if your pup turns down food one time, reintroduce it again. One try is never enough for a puppy. Also, the variety will create a well-balanced diet for your furry baby.

March 01, 2014 by Alissa Zalneraitis
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