Raw Dog Food for Puppies: How Much and What?

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 contains affiliate links. I may earn compensation when you click on the links 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

Muscle meat are cuts of meat like:

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

Raw Meaty Bone

Raw meaty bones are cuts like:

  • Heads
  • Wings
  • Feet
  • Necks
  • Frames, and
  • 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.

Secreting Organs

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.

Example: 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 for a 4 month old puppy who weighs 35 lbs

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 a seasoned raw feeder, you’ll likely make your own raw dog food.

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

Pre-Made Raw Dog Food

For people just getting started with raw, it’s probably easier to buy pre-made raw at first. That way you don’t have to worry about the right nutritional balance.

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 at least for the first 6 months or so of your puppy’s raw dog food needs.

Raw Paws Pet Food
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!

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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.


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