How To Wean Your Puppy To A Raw Food Diet
An increasing number of pet owners these days are learning about raw food diet and its benefits for their dogs and other pets. In fact, many people want to start their puppies or kittens on to raw food right from the beginning. Starting your pets on this type of diet from an early age will allow them to gain the most benefits possible and have a healthier start in life.
This diet will make sure they get all the nutrients needed to start developing stronger and healthier bodies in a form that they can handle. This is why it is very important and much advised that you start them on a raw food diet as soon as possible.
However, for those whose puppies and kittens are already on a regular diet, you will need to slowly wean your pet off this diet and move them to the raw diet safely. Let’s get to it:
How To Start?
If you are dealing with a young pet such as a puppy or kitten, then to begin with, you will need to go with some milk meals to wean them from their mother. Some people wait until the puppy is 3 to 5 weeks old but you can start as early as 2 and a half weeks to start on this type of diet.
It is advised to start off with goats milk (actually it is much preferred) as it is easier for a puppy to digest, but you can also prepare raw or fresh milk meals too which are fine as cow’s milk is probably the most common milk used when weaning puppies.
It is also important to add some natural ingredients to your milk whether you use goats or cows milk. These natural ingredients will provide the extra nutrients your puppy needs that are essential for growth and some pet owners also like to add in some vitamin C and B supplements as a precaution and so there are no problems. Some of these natural ingredients previously mentioned include:
– Flaxseed oil
– Eggs without the shells
– Unprocessed Honey
These ingredients can all be put into a blender along with the milk to be mixed well and ready to be served to your pet. It is important that everuythig is mixed well. An excellent blender choice for this purpose is the NutriBullet Pro.
Now if you are confused about switching your dog to raw food in general, we created a comprehensive guide to raw food which covers:
- The best method to switch depending on your dog’s age, health and prior exposure to raw food
- The best methods to switch your dog to raw food
- Example recipes and preparation instructions
What Age Are They Ready For the Solid Food?
A lot of pet owners with experience will already know this. Puppies, when just a few weeks old will want and need to be fed usually around 4 to 5 times a day. Base this on how often they would nurse from their mother.
Look out for signs that your pet may be ready for solid food such as some new teeth or that the mother may be regurgitating the food and feeding the puppy. This can all happen when the pup is around 6 weeks old. As soon as you see these signs it is more than likely time to start introducing some solid food into the diet of the pet and a lot of people like to start with some vegetable mush with around fifty percent protein content.
Important Things To Remember Before Starting
1. Animal offal or organs are a good source of protein and other nutrients that your growing puppies need. But make sure that these do not make up more than 10% of your puppies meals and know what to buy and where to buy it.
2. Continue to serve the milk meals while you are starting your puppy on the solids.
3. Stay away from grains when dealing with puppies as you can end up giving then allergies.
4. Use animal organs or offal as a great source of protein but make sure at the start that this does not make up more that 10% of your pets meal.
5. Puree the foods very well as this will make sure that the pup gets all the nutrients it needs from the meal you will serve. Avoid anything from the cabbage family as this can give your pet some thyroid or gas problems.
6. Take it week by week. One week, give the pup the same type of vegetable and the next week a meat, keeping it interesting and gradually getting your pet use to the foods. This will also help you identify potential food allergies (it is important to keep note of what you feed the pet) and by doing this you will know the foods your pet is not allergic to and eventually you can start mixing these foods.
Be sure to alternate the meals you serve you pet. It is all about balance and variety over a certain period of time and soon your pet will become accustomed to the process and will start enjoying the benefits.
The whole switching or starting your pet on to the raw food diet require a lot of attention to detail, planning and knowledge and I got mine from Lew Olson’s Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs (paperback). You can also go for Kimberly Gauthier’s A Novice’s Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs if you prefer a digital kindle book. These are great books, which is why I’m always banging on about and recommending them to fellow pet owners. Both have everything you need to know, in a step by step beginner-friendly way.