White dog mom nursing her litter of white puppies

Raw Dog Food for Puppies: How Much and What?

In terms of raw dog food for puppies – how much do they need to eat, and what do they eat?

That’s what one of my readers, Lisa, recently asked me because she wants to transition her 3 month old Cane Corso puppy Amber to raw dog food.

It’s a legitimate question because raw feeding puppies is a little different than raw feeding adult dogs.

Puppies need more raw dog food because they’re still growing. Their daily food intake also needs to be balanced for that same reason.

I say that because it’s OK to balance adult raw dog food over the course of 7-10 days.

For example, it’s fine to feed adults more bone one day and none the next. For puppies, that approach doesn’t work.

Either way, I gave Lisa a customized answer with amounts of food that pertain to her puppy Amber’s weight, but this is the gist of it!

Raw Dog Food for Puppies: How Much and What?

K9sOverCoffee.com | Raw Dog Food for Puppies - How much and what plus recipe

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2020 and has been updated in 2024. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you. 

Feed 10-2% Of Current Body Weight From 8 Weeks – 12 Months

There are a few different approaches of calculating puppy feeding amounts, but I personally think this one is the easiest to follow.

  • 2 months old puppy: Feed 10% of your puppy’s current body weight
  • 3 months old puppy: Feed 9.5%
  • 4 months old puppy: Feed 9%
  • 5 months old puppy: Feed 8%
  • 6 months old puppy: Feed 7%
  • 7 months old puppy: Feed 6%
  • 8 months old puppy: Feed 5%
  • 9 months old puppy: Feed 4%
  • 10 months old puppy: Feed 3.5%
  • 11 months old puppy: Feed 3%
  • 12 months old puppy: Feed 2.5%

After that, your pup can be fed like an adult dog. That said, his daily food intake will be somewhere between 2-4% of his adult target body weight.

Why does the percentage vary between 2-4%?

Because the exact amount depends on your dog’s size and lifestyle.

A couch potato needs a lot less food than a dog who walks daily, an athlete working dog or pregnant pup.

Balanced Raw Food Diet for Puppies: What Does It Consist of?

OK, so the next step is to understand what those daily percentages consist of.

If you’re following the BARF approach, raw dog food for puppies consists of:

  • 58% muscle meat (of that, 10% should be oily fish for the healthy fats)
  • 17% raw meaty bone
  • 14% secreting organs (7% liver, 7% other secreting organ)
  • 11% plant matter (8% veggies & fruit, 2% nuts & seeds)

Just FYI, the BARF raw feeding formula for adult dogs is the following:

  • 70% muscle meat (10% of that is oily fish)
  • 10% raw meaty bones (RMBs)
  • 10% secreting organs (5% liver, 5% other secreting organ)
  • 10% plant matter (8% veggies & fruit, 2% nuts & seeds)

That said, here’s 2 tips:

(1) Dogs don’t have the enzyme necessary to break down plant cell walls, so in order to properly digest plant matter, you need to feed it puréed (fruit) and lightly steamed (veggies like broccoli, kale, cauliflower).

(2) Until 16 weeks of age, you can add a mix of raw goat milk, some slippery elm syrup, a few drops of fish oil, a raw egg and a little yogurt.

If you’re following the PMR approach, raw dog food for puppies consists of:

  • 69% muscle meat 
  • 17% raw meaty bone (including furry or feathered heads for fiber)
  • 14% secreting organs (7% liver, 7% other secreting organ)

Just FYI, the PMR raw feeding formula for adult dogs is the following:

  • 80% muscle meat (10% of that is oily fish)
  • 10% raw meaty bones (RMBs)
  • 10% secreting organs (5% liver, 5% other secreting organ)

Muscle Meat for Puppies

Muscle meat are cuts of meat like:

  • Hearts
  • Lungs
  • Gizzards
  • Tongue
  • Green tripe, and
  • Trims

Raw Meaty Bones for Puppies

Raw meaty bones are cuts like:

  • Heads
  • Wings
  • Feet
  • Necks
  • Frames
  • Backs

For example, chicken feet, duck necks, and rabbit heads are raw meaty bones.

They consist of a certain amount of bone and muscle meat.

  • Heads: 75% bone, 25% muscle meat
  • Chicken and duck necks w/o skin: 50% bone, 50% muscle meat
  • Chicken neck with skin: 45% bone, 55% muscle meat
  • Turkey necks: 40% bone, 60% muscle meat
  • Feet (duck and chicken): 60% bone, 40% muscle meat
  • Pork feet: 30% bone, 70% muscle meat
  • Rabbit front legs: 15% bone, 85% muscle meat
  • Duck leg: 34% bone, 66% muscle meat
  • Chicken wings: 45% bone, 55% muscle meat

Raw meaty bones that are great to feed for young puppies until 4 months of age are chicken wings and necks as well as duck feet and quails.

Here’s a wonderful video from veterinarian Dr. Tom Lonsdale where he feeds 4 toy poodle puppies raw meaty bones (quail) for the first time, and they instinctually know what to do:

Carnivore Instincts on Display

Fun fact: I had a video conversation wit Dr. Lonsdale and his vet friend Dr. Clarke-Williams about the benefits of raw meaty bones in general:

Raw Meaty Bones with Dr. Lonsdale & Dr. Clarke-Williams

And here’s another great video I found of 4 Lycan Shepherd puppies eating raw turkey necks:

9 Week Puppies Eating RAW Turkey Necks

Secreting Organs for Puppies

These are organs that secrete a substance, like liver, pancreas, thymus, kidneys, uterus, and brains.

Half has to be liver, and the other half needs to be a different secreting organ.

You can learn more about secreting organs for dogs here.

Daily BARF Feeding Amounts for a 4 Month Old Cane Corso Puppy Who Weighs 35 lb

The 4 month old puppy who weighs 35 lb will eat 9% of her body weight in raw dog food per day.

That’s 3.15 lbs or 50.4 oz in total raw dog food per day.

You can feed 3 daily meals until the puppy’s 6 months old. At 6 months of age, I recommend feeding two meals per day.

Of that:

  • 29.2 oz = 58% muscle meat (of that, 10% should be oily fish for the healthy fats)
  • 8.6 oz = 17% raw meaty bone
  • 7 oz = 14% secreting organs (7% liver, 7% other secreting organ)
  • 5.6 oz = 11% plant matter (8% veggies & fruit, 2% nuts & seeds)

Example BARF Raw Dog Food Recipe

This is an example of what you can feed the puppy in one day:

Sardines are easy to source at most grocery stores. Canned sardines in water are fine!

You can find turkey necks, beef heart, beef spleen, beef liver and green lamb tripe at Raw Paws Pet Food.

Use my affiliate discount code K9Savings for 15% off anything you order from them.

K9sOverCoffee.com | Raw turkey necks for dogs from Raw Paws Pet Food
Turkey necks from Raw Paws Pet Food

Raw Dog Food For Puppies: Pre-Made or Homemade?

In a nutshell, this comes down to personal preference and/or budget.

Homemade Raw Dog Food

If you’re looking to save money on raw dog food, you’ll want to make your own raw meals for your puppies.

Especially if you’re feeding multiple pups because the price of raw adds up quickly when you feed more than one, especially large, pup.

Pre-Made Raw Dog Food

If you’re just getting started with raw, it’s easier to buy pre-made raw for the first few weeks while you’re figuring out homemade raw dog food.

That way, you don’t have to worry about the right nutritional balance.

But don’t skimp out on raw meaty bones because they offer so many awesome dental and also mental benefits!

That’s how I personally got started too when I switched my then Boxer mix pups Missy and Buzz to raw back in 2015.

I first fed Darwin’s and Raw Paws Pet Food.

Help your puppy look fantastic with balanced raw food diet for puppies

Balanced Raw Food Diet for Puppies from Raw Paws Pet Food

I recommend Raw Paws Pet Food for your first few weeks of your puppy’s raw dog food needs.

Raw Paws Pet Food Different Protein Sources in Bulk
Different protein sources from Raw Paws Pet Food
They have a very convenient monthly supply pack for puppies up to 6 months of age, and break it down in weight, as they should.

So for example, they have a 30 day monthly supply pack for a:

These supply packs consist of ground beef and chicken that’s ready to be fed as is.

All that’s left to do is thaw and serve. Super easy and convenient.

Save 15% with my affiliate code K9Savings.

Ingredients of Signature Chicken:

Chicken Breast, Chicken Leg Quarters, Chicken Heart, Chicken Organ, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Chicken Backs

Ingredients of Signature Beef:

Beef Round, Beef Inside Round, Beef Head Meat, Beef Heart, Beef Kidney, Beef Liver, Beef Spleen, Beef Tongue, Beef Bone

These complete packs only consist of meat and don’t feature any plant matter.

If you want to add some, you can purée and steam your own.

Or you can add some of Dr. Harvey’s grain-free Paradigm or The Honest Kitchen’s Veggie, Nut & Seed Base Mix.

Raw rabbit dog food mixed with beef green tripe Dr. Harvey's Paradigm

It’s a dehydrated veggie and herb base mix. All you have to do is add water and serve.

Another alternative is Green JuJu.

That one you don’t even have to rehydrate. Just thaw, scoop, and serve.

Super easy.

K9sOverCoffee.com | I use Dr. Harvey's Green Superfood Pre-Mix Paradigm for my raw dog food
Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm

Please leave any comments or questions in the comment section below this blog post!

Raw Dog Food for Puppies: Bottom Line

Now you know why and how raw dog food feeding amounts are different for puppies than they are for adult dogs!

Remember that the ratio of raw meaty bones to muscle meat, secreting organs and optional plant matter is different for puppies than that of adult dogs.

If you skipped over the raw meaty bone feeding videos, I warmly recommend you scroll back up and watch them.

They’ll help you overcome the fear of feeding raw meaty bones to puppies, plus they’re just adorable to watch.

In the videos, they’re eating raw turkey necks and quail.

If you’re just getting started with raw feeding, it’s totally fine to feed premade raw dog food for puppies for the first few weeks while you’re learning how to make your own.

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.







4 responses to “Raw Dog Food for Puppies: How Much and What?”

  1. Harald Schlieder Avatar
    Harald Schlieder

    Thank you for this. Great!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      You’re very welcome!

  2. Jolene Avatar

    If you feed the premade do you not need to give the raw meaty bones? Does it have bone already mixed in? If you do both are they getting too much bone? Thank you!!

    1. Barbara Rivers Avatar

      Hi Jolene, the premade monthly supply pack already has bone mixed in. But you can still give a whole raw meaty bone like a neck bone or a wing a couple times per week, that’s OK and will help clean teeth, exercise the jaws and provide mental stimulation.

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