Raw Dog Diet Planning: Determining Serving Sizes

When planning a dog diet, raw food portions may be different than traditional dry or canned portions. Often you will find that, though you are feeding your dog less, his condition-his coat, skin, weight and muscle tone-will improve.

Nutrient-Rich Raw Food = Smaller Servings

The raw diet for dogs features no empty calories or high-calorie, low nutrition ingredient "fillers" which are not only difficult to digest, but not very filling (requiring your dog to eat a large amount of food before she feels full).

On a raw diet, your dog's fecal output will usually decrease. All of the food that is fed on a raw diet is highly digestible and metabolized.

The raw diet for dogs is a healthy choice. There are several convenient options available, including frozen raw patties and kits that require only the addition of ground raw meat. It is a safe choice for puppies and dogs of all ages.

Factors Determining Proper Serving Sizes

Aside from your pet's size, other factors will impact the quantities of food that you serve.

  • Activity level is a factor, as less active dogs may need less food and extremely active dogs will need more.
  • Some breeds have a higher metabolism than others.
  • Medical conditions may require further quantity adjustments to attain optimal health.
  • Overweight dogs will benefit from reduced quantities. On the raw diet, losing weight does not mean lowering nutrition. Calories are reduced, but nutrition-vital to healthy weight loss-is increased. Your dog will lose weight and gain muscle, making it easier to maintain her optimal weight once she gets there.

Recommended Portions By Age and Weight

Age is a serving size factor, as well. For puppies, feed a total of approximately ten percent of their body weight, divided into three or four meals. If, for example, your puppy weighs ten pounds, you would feed a total of one pound per day.

For adult dogs, feed two to three percent of body weight, divided into two meals. If your dog needs to lose weight, these quantities should be adjusted. An overweight dog should be fed approximately two percent of her body weight until she reaches her ideal weight. Very active dogs may need more food-begin with three percent of body weight.

These quantities are estimates. Your dog may need slightly more or less. As her energy and activity level increase, you may need to adjust quantities as her increased muscle and healthy weight increase her metabolism.