You want your dog to be in an excellent state of health. To accomplish this, it is essential that you feed your dog the appropriate raw diet. There is no type of commercially processed food that can approximate the benefits you provide your dog through a raw food diet. Not even the highest grade, premium quality kibble can come close to the nutritional value of raw meat and bones.
1. Where to Feed
Where you feed your dog depends on your own preferences and in the way on the local prevailing climate. Below are some suggestions that you can consider.
• To make clean up an easier job, try to feed your dog inside his crate without putting a crate pad.
• If the weather is cooperating, feed your dog outside.
• You can also feed your dog in a corner of the garage, laundry room or kitchen.
• Place the raw meat in a towel. It should be easy to teach your dog to stay on it. Training your dog to stay on the towel and eat can let you have your dog eat anywhere by just moving the towel to any location in your house. Make sure you wash the towel using regular soap, water, and white vinegar to kill the bacteria. If you are concerned, use antimicrobial or germicidal soap.
• You can also try placing the raw meat on a plastic table cloth. Wash it well after feeding.
2. When to Feed
The decision when to feed depends a lot on your own personal schedule and your dog. You can try feeding anytime during the day – morning, afternoon or evening. Just make sure you have available time for at least 10 to 30 minutes. It could be in the morning before you go to work or in the evening when you come home. Make time for feeding your dog raw meat so both of you can enjoy the experience.
3. How Often to Feed
The frequency of feeding will depend on your dog. You may start any- time but if adjustments are necessary, then you should be ready to make them. Your dog will eventually show you his preference. To give an example – if you start to feed your dog twice a day and after some- time he starts to refuse a meal, then he is showing you that he needs only one meal a day.
Puppies below 5 months can be fed three times a day. However, if your puppy starts refusing one of the meals, reduce to twice a day only. If he requires four meals daily, you need to feed him 4 meals daily. Six-month-old dogs can be fed twice a day. Switch to one meal a day only if he starts to refuse one meal.
In general, your dog will give indications on how often he should be fed. It is really a matter of knowing your dog and what his preferences are. There are one-meal-a-day dogs and there are two or more-meals-a-day dogs. Many dog owners who feed raw meat and bones to their pets find that their dogs prefer one meal a day.
Energetic and active dogs will most likely need to be fed twice a day, while most inactive ones will do fine with one meal daily. You will not be depriving your inactive dog since he doesn’t need the food anyway.
4. How much to Feed
Like the frequency of feeding, how much to feed also depends on your dog. Active dogs have a higher rate of metabolism so they tend to eat more while the opposite type of dog will eat less. Puppies usually eat about 4 times a day because they need nutrients for their growing body. Veterinarians usually recommend that the amount of food you give your dog be about 2 – 3% of his desired body weight daily. To make calculations easy, a 100lb dog should be fed two to three pounds of food each day. Most active dogs may be given up to 3% of their body weight without any problems while less active dogs should do well with two percent.
Puppies below 4 months can regulate their own food intake so you can give them the chance to feed on raw meaty bones until they fill themselves at every meal. However, if your puppy’s belly becomes swollen and distended after each meal and he is getting too fat, begin regulating his meal. Give him 2-3% of his expected body weight as an adult daily. If on the other hand your puppy looks quite skinny and seems not to put on weight, have his fecal matter examined to eliminate the possibility of worms. Increase his rations if warranted.
Puppies on commercial pet food grow faster which actually contributes to the development of joint and bone problems. With raw meat, however, puppies grow at a slower pace so there is less chance of joint and bone problems when they grow to full adulthood. Never give more than is necessary or force feed your puppy to make him grow bigger or faster. It will not do him any good at all.