Weaning Puppies Onto Raw

Weaning pups onto a raw diet
As a breeder, Moran explains how she feeds her Rottweiler pups:

The first solid food I feed puppies at about four weeks of age is a very soupy mix of goat milk and ground turkey, gradually adding more turkey and less milk (all meals followed by nursing on the dam).

After a few days, I add whole, skinless chicken drumsticks and thighs, with the meat scored. Chewing meat helps relieve teething pain and saves the dam’s nipples – most dams do not want to nurse during this stage, but I have found this helps tremendously (I’ve also found a raw diet increases the amount of milk the dam has at this point).

At five weeks of age, I give the puppies a meal of ground raw meaty bones (usually from Bravo!). The second meal of the day is whole RMBs (skinless chicken), and the third meal is ground turkey and goat milk.

The puppies soon begin chewing the edge of the chicken bones. When this starts, I introduce chicken backs (I still give larger chicken pieces as well, as there is not much meat on the backs). I like to use chicken backs as they are too big for the puppies to swallow whole, and they learn to hunker down and chew through the backs until they have pieces they can swallow. I found that if I started with chicken necks first, there was always one puppy that would swallow the necks whole. I had a 5-week-old puppy who swallowed three chicken necks whole, then pitched a fit when I took him from the food bowl, wanting even more! He was fine, but it’s better that they learn to chew their food first before swallowing it.

Once the puppies are doing well with their chicken backs, I add in another protein. I use ground RMBs from Bravo!, starting with the beef blend. I continue to add one new food every few days.

I recommend to their new owners that puppies be fed three meals a day, as follows (the order does not matter):

# Meal one: whole raw meaty bones
# Meal two: meat meal (no bones), eggs, organs, cottage cheese and yogurt, along with veggies, if desired
# Meal three: ½ meat, ½ raw meaty bones (ground or whole)

This diet is half RMBs and half meat and other animal products. The emphasis is on the ‘meat’ in RMBs as well. If chicken necks or backs are the RMB of the day, I recommend adding more meat to this meal to improve the meat to bone ratio. I also suggest the same supplements I use for all my dogs (see above).

With my Rottweiler puppies, I feed 5 percent of their body weight at seven to eight weeks of age daily, divided into three meals. I then monitor their condition at least weekly, increasing each meal by one ounce when I see a puppy start to look thin. The timing will vary depending on each puppy’s activity level and genetics.

By 12 weeks of age, pups need their food increased every one to two weeks, and by six months, usually only monthly increases. By ten months of age, I am feeding 2 to 3 percent of their estimated adult weight, and no further increases are needed.

I find the body structure of my raw-fed puppies seems to be more solid. I believe they are a little more muscled from putting their front feet on the raw meaty bones and pulling the meat off. Muscles work out while eating!

Comments: This feeding approach can work for any puppy, but it may be best to wait a week or two after bringing a new puppy home before changing his diet, so that if digestive problems develop due to parasites, disease, or the stress of a new home, you’ll know diet is not the cause.

Source: http://www.dogaware.com/wdjhomemade5.html

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