When I began making my own raw dog food in 2016, my first challenge was how to figure out how much raw dog food to feed.
Back then, I had my Boxer mix pups Missy & Buzz. Missy weighed 55 lb, and Buzz weighed 70.
Now that I was going to make my own meals, I no longer had that guidance!
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How To Figure Out How Much Raw Dog Food To Feed: 4 Options
Well, turns out I found 4 different options to help me figure out how much raw to feed my pups when I made my own:
You can either do the math yourself with a specific formula (1) or double check that math with a raw feeding calculator (2). You can also evaluate your dog’s body condition (3) or ask a raw dog food brand for help (4).
1. Do The Math Yourself With A Raw Feeding Formula: 2-4% Of Your Dog’s Ideal Body Weight Per Day
Seasoned raw feeders use a specific formula to calculate their adult dog’s daily raw dog food allowance.
They feed 2-4% of the adult dog’s ideal body weight in raw dog food per day.
How much exactly depends on the individual dog’s age, activity, and metabolism.
For example, a couch potato Bulldog is going to eat closer to 2% of her ideal body weight, while an active Dalmatian or Boxer who goes for daily walks would probably eat 2.5-3%.
Likewise, a working German or Australian Shepherd would eat closer to 3.5-4%. By working dog, I mean a dog who’s extremely active and has an actual job. For example, herding sheep or patrolling a building.
Here’s how to do the math:
Divide your dog’s target body weight by 100. Multiply the result with your feeding percentage (2%, 2.5%, 3%, 3.5%, or 4%). That gives you your daily feeding amount in pounds, which you can then convert into ounces.
Here’s the example of a 50 lb, active Boxer: 50/100 = 0.5 x 3% = 1.5lbs = 24oz.
Of those 2-4%, you need to feed specific amounts of different cuts of raw meat and/or veggies:
Muscle meat (70-80%, decrease to 70% if you’re adding veggies/plant matter in general)
Raw meaty bone (10%)
Secreting organs (10% total: 5% liver, 5% other secreting organ)
Plant matter (10%, omit if you’re not feeding veggies)
Tip: You can now hire me to do the feeding math for you!
How Much Raw Dog Food Do My Boxer Mixes Eat Per Day?
My pups are both adult dogs, and Buzz’s ideal body weight is 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, respectively.
Missy isn’t as active as Buzz since she doesn’t play ball like her brother. Her ideal body weight is 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 is a little over 10 ounces per meal as she’s going for daily backpack walks again. I have to omit the backpack throughout the hotter months because it’s just too hot.
Puppies and dogs younger than 12 months require a larger amount of raw dog food per day. So do pregnant and lactating dogs.
2. Double Check Your Own Math With Raw Feeding Calculators
Another way of figuring out how much to feed your pup is going online and using raw feeding calculators.
They’re super convenient and also a great way to double-check your own math.
3. Evaluate Your Dog’s Body Condition
I also found it helpful to simply look at Missy’s & Buzz’s bodies. Initially, I fed Missy a little too much because her waistline wasn’t as visible as it had been before.
Thankfully, there was a very quick fix! All I had to do was reduce her daily raw food allowance by one or two ounces.
Check out the pups’ waistlines in the video below:
How To Determine Your Dog’s Body Condition
4. Ask Raw Dog Food Brands For Meal Plan Consultations
Last but not least, you can also simply ask raw dog food brands for advice.
Raw Paws Pet Food is one of several brands 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 was her detailed information about warming, cooling and neutral proteins. Who knew!
Darwin’s Natural Pet also offers free meal plan consultations.
How Much Raw Dog Food Per Day: Bottom Line
As a general guideline, you should feed 2-4% of your adult dog’s ideal bodyweight in raw dog food per day.
Double-check your math with raw feeding calculators, and/or contact brands for a personal evaluation.
Don’t forget to look for confirmation in your dog’s waistline. This can be a little more tricky to judge in a dog with a heavy coat, so if you’re unsure, talk to your vet for some help.
Leave your comments or questions below in the comment section!