Dog Food, Feeding Guidelines and Tips

How Much Raw Food To Feed Your Dog? How To Serve Raw Food?

How Much Raw Food To Feed Your Dog?

Feeding your dog a raw diet typically involves calculating the amount based on their weight. As a general guideline, an adult dog should eat about 2% to 3% of their body weight in raw food daily. For example, a dog weighing 50 pounds would require about 1 to 1.5 pounds of raw food daily. Puppies, however, may need up to 10% of their body weight in food per day as they are growing and have higher energy requirements.

Raw Pet Food

General Guidelines for Feeding Raw Food to Dogs According to Body Weight

  • 10-pound dog: For a dog weighing 10 pounds, feeding about 2% to 3% of their body weight means they should consume approximately 0.2 to 0.3 pounds (3.2 to 4.8 ounces) of raw food daily.
  • 25-pound dog: A 25-pound dog should be fed about 0.5 to 0.75 pounds (8 to 12 ounces) of raw food per day, following the 2% to 3% guideline.
  • 50-pound dog: A dog weighing 50 pounds would require roughly 1 to 1.5 pounds (16 to 24 ounces) of raw food each day.
  • 75-pound dog: For a 75-pound dog, the daily raw food intake should be about 1.5 to 2.25 pounds (24 to 36 ounces).
  • 100-pound dog: A 100-pound dog should be fed approximately 2 to 3 pounds (32 to 48 ounces) of raw food daily.

When can Puppies Start Eating Raw Food?

Puppies can start eating raw food as early as they begin weaning, usually around 3 to 4 weeks. It’s important to introduce raw food gradually, starting with small, manageable amounts and slowly increasing the quantity. The raw diet for puppies should be high in protein and fat to support their growth and development.

Puppies generally require more raw food compared to adult dogs, often needing up to 10% of their body weight in food each day. This is because they are growing rapidly and have higher energy needs. The raw diet for puppies should be nutrient-dense, rich in protein and fat, to support their development.

When can Puppies Start Eating Raw Food

How Often Should I Feed Raw Food to My Dog?

The frequency of feeding raw food to your dog depends on their age and dietary needs. Puppies typically require three to four meals daily due to their rapid growth and higher energy needs. Adult dogs, on the other hand, can be fed once or twice a day. Some owners prefer twice-daily feedings to aid in digestion and energy regulation. It’s important to establish a consistent feeding schedule and adjust it based on your dog’s health, activity level, and specific dietary requirements.

Factors that Affect Raw Food Quantity


The weight of a dog is a primary factor in determining the quantity of raw food needed. Generally, an adult dog requires about 2% to 3% of their body weight in raw food daily. However, this can vary; smaller breeds may need a higher percentage of their body weight (up to 4%), while larger breeds might need a lower percentage (closer to 2%). This variation accounts for differences in metabolism and body composition among different sizes and breeds.


Age significantly influences dietary needs. Puppies, due to their growth and development, require more food proportionally — often up to 10% of their body weight. This supports their rapid growth and high energy levels. Conversely, senior dogs often require less food (about 1.5% to 2% of their body weight) because of their reduced activity levels and slower metabolism.

Activity Level

  • Sedentary Dogs: Dogs with a sedentary lifestyle typically need about 1.5% to 2% of their body weight in raw food daily. These dogs usually engage in minimal physical activity.
  • Average Activity: Dogs with an average activity level require about 2% to 2.5% of their body weight. This suits most household pets who get regular exercise.
  • Active Dogs: Active dogs, who engage in more intense exercise, might need 2.5% to 3% of their body weight. This higher percentage caters to their increased energy needs.
  • Working Dogs: Working dogs, such as those in law enforcement or herding, may require 3% to 4.5% of their body weight in food to meet their high energy demands.


During pregnancy and lactation, a dog’s nutritional needs increase significantly. Pregnant dogs, particularly in the last few weeks of pregnancy, and lactating dogs might require 3% to 4% of their body weight in raw food daily. This increased amount is necessary to support the growth of the fetuses and the production of milk. The diet should be high in protein and fat and may require further adjustment based on the veterinarian’s advice.

Factors that Affect Raw Food Quantity

How to Serve Raw Food to my Dogs?

  • Choose the Right Ingredients:Select high-quality, fresh raw ingredients. This typically includes muscle meat, organ meat, bones (either whole or ground), and sometimes a small amount of fruits or vegetables. Ensure the meat is fresh and sourced from a reputable supplier.
  • Balanced Diet: Ensure the diet is balanced. This means the right proportion of meat, bones, and organs, and possibly supplements if recommended by a vet. The general guideline is 80% muscle meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ meat, of which half should be liver.
  • Portion Size: Determine the correct portion size based on your dog’s weight, age, and activity level. This is crucial for maintaining their health and preventing obesity or malnutrition.
  • Thawing Safely: If you’re using frozen raw food, thaw it safely in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth. Never thaw raw dog food at room temperature.
  • Hygiene Practices: Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands, as well as any utensils or surfaces that come into contact with the raw food, to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Feeding Method: Serve the food in a clean bowl. Some dogs may prefer their raw food at room temperature, while others might eat it cold straight from the fridge.
  • Supervision and Adjustment: Initially, closely monitor your dog’s reaction to the diet. Look for signs of gastrointestinal upset or allergies and adjust the diet as needed.
  • Consultation with a Vet: Especially when starting a raw diet, consult with a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist. They can provide guidance to ensure the diet is nutritionally balanced and appropriate for your dog’s specific health needs.

Raw Food Components

  • Muscle Meat
  • Organ Meat
  • Bones (whole or ground)
  • Fruits (in small amounts)
  • Vegetables (in small amounts)
  • Eggs
  • Dairy (like yogurt or cottage cheese, in moderation)
  • Fish (occasionally and properly prepared)
  • Supplements (as advised by a veterinarian)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Senior Dogs Eat Raw Food?

Yes, senior dogs can eat raw food. It’s important to tailor the diet to their specific needs, which might include lower calorie content and easier-to-digest ingredients. Consult with a veterinarian to ensure the diet is appropriate for their age, health status, and any medical conditions.

Can I Serve Bones to My Dog?

Bones can be part of a dog’s raw diet, but they must be served correctly. Raw bones are generally safer than cooked ones, which can splinter and cause harm. Ensure the bones are appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing behavior to avoid choking hazards or dental damage.

What are the Drawbacks of Feeding Raw Diet to My Dog?

Feeding a raw diet to dogs can have drawbacks, including the risk of bacterial contamination, nutritional imbalances if not properly formulated, and the potential for choking or internal injury from bones. It can also be more time-consuming and expensive than commercial dog food. Consultation with a vet or canine nutritionist is essential to mitigate these risks.

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