My exploration into unknown raw feeding territory began 18 months ago. One of the challenges I was faced with was figuring out how much balanced raw dog food my pups needed to eat on a daily basis to maintain their respective weight.
Pre-Packaged Balanced Raw Food For Dogs From Darwin's Naturals
You can either do the math yourself following a specific raw feeding formula I’ll talk about here in a moment, or you can contact the raw brand and ask them for help.
Many brands actually have quite sophisticated raw feeding calculators on their websites which I found extremely helpful!
Do The Math Yourself With The Raw Feeding 2-3% Formula
In order to maintain an adult dog’s weight (> 18 months), feed 2-3% of raw food of his or her ideal bodyweight per day.
My pups are both 5 years young and Buzz’s ideal weight is around 70 lb, 2% of which are 1.4 lb, and 3% are 2.1 lb.
Since Buzz is fairly active and plays a lot of fetch in addition to his daily walks, I went with the higher recommended amount of 2.1 lb. Divided by two, this comes down to 1.05 lb for breakfast and for dinner.
Missy isn’t as active as Buzz since she doesn’t play ball like her brother. Her ideal weight is around 55 lb, 2% of which is 1.1 lb, and 3% is 1.65 lb. Divided by two, this would come down to 8.8 ounces or 13.2 ounces per meal.
Throughout summer time I’ve been giving her around 8 ounces per meal as the high temperatures just don’t allow for a lot of activity. Come fall and winter, her allowance will be upped to a little over 10 ounces per meal as she’ll be going for daily backpack walks again. I have to omit the backpack throughout the hotter months because it’s just too – well – hot.
Puppies and dogs younger than 18 months require a larger amount of raw food. So do pregnant and lactating dogs. I found a very good feeding guideline on K9RawFeeding’s website for those cases:
K9rf.com Raw Feeding Guidelines for Puppies, Kittens, Pregnant and Lactating Dogs
Get Help From Raw Feeding Calculators
Raw Paws Pet Food Feeding Calculator For A 70 lb Adult Dog
Raw Paws Pet Food Feeding Calculator For A 55 lb Adult Dog
K9 Raw Feeding Calculator For A 70 and 55 lb Adult Dog
Raw Feeding Miami Calculator For A 70 lb Adult Dog
Raw Feeding Miami Calculator For A 55 lb Adult Dog
Evaluate Your Dog’s Body Condition
I also found it helpful to simply look at Missy’s & Buzz’s body conditions. I found that I was feeding Missy a little too much initially because her waistline wasn’t as visible as it had been before. Thankfully there was a very quick fix which consisted in simply reducing her daily raw food allowance by one or two ounces.
Below video shows the pups’ waistlines:
Feed 2-3% of your adult dog’s ideal bodyweight. Double-check your math with the virtual calculators many raw brands provide on their websites, and/or contact them for a personal evaluation. They should be happy to chat with you & get you on the right track.
Raw Paws Pet Food is one of several companies who offer free meal plan consultations. I was on the phone with them for a little over 45 mins back in 2015. I got a ton of value from speaking with Shelli, one of the biggest nuggets of wisdom being the difference between warming, cooling and neutral proteins. Who knew!
Don’t forget to look for confirmation of the amount of raw food you’re feeding in your dog’s waistline – this can be a little more tricky to judge in a dog with a heavy coat, so if in doubt, talk to your vet for some help in that region!
Missy & Buzz anticipating their raw food
Leave your comments or questions below in the comment section!
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