If you’ve just begun feeding your dog a raw diet, you likely have a lot of questions: What should I be feeding my pet? How much should I feed? How do I handle the food safely?
Rest assured: once you experience the benefits of a raw diet, you will never return to the stunted diets offered by commercial large-scale pet food manufacturers.
Raw foods grown and processed in USDA-certified facilities with the utmost concern for cleanliness, humane treatment and environmental impact ensure the highest quality products for you and your pets.
Read on for helpful tips on how to feed your dog raw in the healthiest way possible:
Types of Raw Food
There are several options of raw food to feed your pet. Most importantly, choose meat that is raised as 100% grass-fed - free-range - pasture-raised and without the use of antibiotics or added hormones and never from a CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation).
It’s more humane, better for the environment and better for your pets health. Raw Bistro offers these five types of complete diets for your dog:
- Grass-fed Beef Entree
- Free-range Chicken Entree
- Free-range Turkey Entree
- Free-range Bison Entree
- Pasture-Raised Lamb Entree
Which Food Should I Feed?
If you’re curious about which type of raw food to feed your dog, there are a couple things to consider:
- If you’re currently feeding kibble, what is its base meat? For example, raw beef would be a good place to start if you previously fed beef-based kibble.
- If you have a new puppy and haven’t previously fed kibble, it will really depend on your individual dog and what he or she prefers. We recommend starting with raw turkey or chicken because it’s a leaner product, whereas beef is a richer product. Going for a leaner meat may help them ease into raw.
Along with meat, the nutritious value of vegetables and fruits should also be considered. To minimize your pet's exposure to pesticides and glyphosate, feed your dog only certified organic and non-GMO dog-friendly vegetables and fruits.
Ultimately, it’s up to you and your veterinarian to decide which specific type of raw food is the most beneficial for your dog’s health. We encourage you to rotate through our recipes for optimal nutrition and enjoyment!
If your pet is new to raw food, don’t worry: transitioning your dog to a raw diet is simple and straightforward. The complete transition can often be accomplished within a week, but the key is to go slowly, as you would with any dietary change.
Puppies can generally transition over the course of a few days as they typically have a healthier digestive system than older dogs. The older the dog, the longer you should take to transition to the new diet.
To start, we recommend fasting your dog for a half to a full day prior to the first meal to ensure a good appetite and then feed a little bit to see how he or she handles the fresh food. If all is well, continue replacing a little bit of the original diet with the raw diet.
Monitor your pet. If your pet experiences loose stools, wait until the stool is firm to continue the transition.
Adult Dog Feeding Guide
One rule of thumb is to feed 2-4% of the pet’s body weight. Smaller dogs will require a higher percentage of their body weight, while larger dogs will require a smaller percentage of their body weight. The daily portion should be split between morning and night.
- a 10 lb. dog will eat about 2 to 2-1/2 lbs. per week or about 10 lbs per month
- a 25 lb. dog will eat about 5 lbs per week or about 20 lbs per month
- a 50 lb. dog will eat about 8 lbs per week or about 32 lbs per month
- a 75 lb. dog will eat about 10-1/2 lbs per week or about 42 lbs per month
- a 100 lb. dog will eat about 13-1/2 lbs per week or about 54 lbs per month
Remember that these are guidelines. Food needs vary by activity level, metabolic rate, age, breed, outdoor temperature and other variables. Observe your pet closely and increase or reduce food quantity as needed for proper weight. Always consult your integrative veterinarian, especially for puppies and pregnant or nursing dogs.
How Often Should I Feed My Adult Dog?
There are several options for pet owners regarding daily feeding frequency.
- Feed twice a day
- Feed once a day
- Feed twice a day and skip a day
Most commonly, people feed adult dogs twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Observe your pet closely and adjust food quantity as needed.
Important note: If you are switching from dry food, it is common to see significant weight loss in the first week which is primarily water weight. After this, it is important that they lose no more than 1 – 2% of their body weight per week. It is recommended that you work with your veterinarian to assist in monitoring your dog during weight loss.
Puppy Feeding Guide
Feed puppies anywhere from 2-3x the amount an adult dog of the same weight would eat. For example, a puppy that weighs 10 pounds would eat 2-3x the amount a 10 pound adult dog would eat.
How Often Should I Feed My Puppy?
Feed very young puppies 3 or 4 times per day. Older puppies generally do just fine with twice-daily feedings.
Just like adult dogs, there are several factors that play into the amount of food to feed your puppy: age, weight, anticipated adult weight, breed and more. Again, observe your pet closely and adjust quantity as needed.
How to Handle Raw Bistro Products
Raw Bistro raw dog fare is no different than any other fresh meat you serve your family. Follow a common-sense approach to safety and handling, including:
- Keeping Raw Bistro raw pet fare frozen until ready to be consumed
- Thawing in the refrigerator for about 24 hours
- Using thawed portions within 3 to 4 days
- Washing your hands and any utensils or work surfaces that come into contact with raw meat with hot soapy water
- Washing your pet's bowl with hot, soapy water after every meal
Raw Dog Food Calculator
For a baseline recommendation on how much to feed based on your dog’s weight, enter your dog’s information into our feeding calculator.