When can I start my puppy on a fresh food & raw diet

When can I start my puppy on a fresh food & raw diet

So long as you are prepared, you can start your puppy on a fresh food and raw food diet as soon as you bring them home.

Whether you fully transition them immediately or do it gradually over a period of time (say, a week) is really up to you, but there is no reason you need to wait for them to hit certain milestones before introducing dietary changes.

puppy dog food recipes

And if you need help on raw feeding meal plans for your puppy then check out our puppy recipe plan and eBook here

Puppies are resilient and there are so many long term benefits to exposing them to different flavours, textures, nutrients and organisms (the good kind) when they are still very young. 

puppies raw feeding

This is partly due to the importance of the microbiome, which is made up of trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast, fungi and viruses, mostly residing on the skin and in the digestive tract of animals.

While we tend to view things like bacteria in a negative light, in fact most of these cells offer protective benefits, including making up a significant portion of the immune system.

Focusing on developing your puppy’s microbiome from a young age is a fantastic way to set them up for long term health, and failing to do so can have long term negative consequences. 

A puppy’s first microbiome colonising event is birth, when they are exposed to all of the good bacteria in the birth canal.

This is followed by food, initially in the form of colostrum and then milk from their mother.

Once they are weaned onto solid food at several weeks of age, this process of developing the gut microbiome continues, so it’s difficult to overstate the importance of diet in young animals.

Feeding a wide variety of nutritious foods with real, bioavailable vitamins and minerals, digestive enzymes, probiotics and prebiotic fibres, antioxidants, digestible proteins and healthy fats is an incredible way to achieve this. 

A note on breeders

Often breeders will strongly encourage you to feed the food they feed, which is sometimes due to their participation in “Breeders Programs” with a specific brand of pet food, where they receive discounted or free food in exchange for promoting these products to customers.

This is not necessarily to say they don’t genuinely believe the food is good, and some fresh food brands also offer these programs, but know that you don’t have to follow their advice if it’s not in line with the approach you have chosen.

puppies raw feeding   

Benefits of fresh foods and a species-appropriate diet

The benefits of feeding a fresh, species-appropriate diet to our pets is really no different to feeding ourselves a fresh food diet, which most of us try to do with varying levels of success.

And regardless of how dedicated we actually are to healthy eating, most of us know deep down that we should eat as much fresh, unprocessed food as possible, and moderate our consumption of things like refined sugars, simple carbs and heavily processed foods. 

Unfortunately this common sense approach to nourishing our dogs has been somewhat overshadowed by pet food companies who tell us we must feed them dehydrated biscuits made from ingredients that have been processed within an inch of anything resembling actual food.

This goes against not just common sense, but also evidence. 

puppy dog food recipes

In 2020 the University of Florida conducted a large survey that clearly found dogs eating a processed dry or canned diet were more likely to be overweight or obese than those eating fresh foods, such as home cooked or commercial raw food.

Perhaps even more significantly, researchers at a teaching veterinary school in Finland found that dogs fed raw food have lower levels of inflammation and disease markers, regardless of whether they are overweight or not.

This is troubling for the dogs eating processed food because chronic inflammation is widely understood to be a precursor to a vast number of diseases.

puppy dog food recipes

If we can start at the source and raise our puppies on fresh foods from when they are very young, we undoubtedly give them a better chance at avoiding the problems that affect so many dogs these days. 

And if you need help on raw feeding meal plans for your puppy then check out our puppy recipe plan and eBook here

raw feeding puppies

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