National Puppy Day Blog

Can Puppies Eat Raw Meat?

If you have or are looking at getting a puppy, you may be wondering: Can a puppy eat raw meat? The short answer is “Yes,” but you can’t just give your puppy raw hamburger meat and expect it to provide all the nutrients your growing puppy needs. Here’s everything you need to know about whether puppies can eat raw meat.

Can Puppies Eat Raw Food?

Yes, puppies can eat raw dog food as soon as they start weaning off their mother’s milk and are being introduced to solid foods.

However, puppies need a nutritionally complete and balanced raw diet, and that can be hard to do on your own. That’s why We Feed Raw is an excellent choice for puppies. All of our recipes were formulated by a PhD pet nutritionist to exceed AAFCO nutrition standards for dogs of all life stages, including large-breed puppies (70 lbs or more as an adult).

When you choose We Feed Raw, you can rest assured that your puppy will get all the nutrients their growing body needs without worrying about any possible nutrient deficiencies you may inadvertently cause by trying to DIY a raw diet.

Get your puppy started on the right paw with a We Feed Raw meal plan.

Puppies eating

When Can Puppies Eat Raw Meat?

Puppies can eat raw meat as soon as they start weaning off of their mother’s milk around 3-4 weeks old. It’s best to add one protein to their diet at a time, allowing them to adjust to each protein for about a week before adding new “flavors.”

Can Puppies Eat Raw Ground Beef?

Yes, puppies can eat raw ground beef. HOWEVER, raw hamburger alone does not make for a nutritionally complete diet for a puppy. You can include raw ground beef as one of the components of a balanced raw meal, or take out all the guesswork and give your puppy We Feed Raw’s beef recipe, which includes organ meat and finely ground bone in one easy-to-feed patty.

Can Puppies Eat Raw Fish?

Yes, puppies can eat raw fish as part of a balanced raw diet. Fresh fish directly from the water or a seafood market has the potential to carry parasites, however, so it’s best to freeze the fish first before thawing and feeding it to your puppy. Alternatively, canned fish can be an excellent addition to your puppy’s diet, as long as it’s canned in water without any salt or oil added.

Puppy and Bowl

Can Puppies Eat Raw Chicken Bones?

Yes, puppies can eat raw chicken bones, but they must be closely supervised to prevent choking. Always make sure to feed raw, meaty bones that are large enough not to be swallowed whole.

Raw bones are an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus, two critical nutrients for growing puppies. Note that We Feed Raw already includes finely ground bones in our patties, so be careful about adding more bone to your puppy’s diet.

Never feed your puppy cooked bones, as they are prone to splintering and injuring your dog’s mouth or digestive tract.

Can Puppies Eat Zucchini?

Yes, puppies can eat zucchini. Technically a berry rather than a vegetable, zucchini is full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water, making it a highly nutritious, low-calorie treat for puppies.

Dogs can’t easily digest raw fruits or vegetables, so you should chop zucchini into small pieces and boil, steam, ferment, or blend it before feeding it to your puppy.

Our PhD nutritionist recommends no more than a 5-8% fruit and vegetable inclusion in a dog’s diet.

Can Puppies Eat Raw Sweet Potatoes?

While puppies can eat cooked sweet potatoes, raw sweet potatoes can cause a tummy ache, so give those tubers a steam, bake, or boil before serving them to your puppy.

Puppy and Bowl

What Is the Raw Diet for Puppies?

The raw diet for puppies involves giving them uncooked muscle meat, organs, and bones in the appropriate proportions to match the prey that canines would eat in the wild. While a properly balanced raw diet is critical for dogs of all ages, it’s especially important for puppies so they can grow properly.

Feeding a fully balanced commercial raw diet like We Feed Raw is the safest way to ensure your puppy gets all the nutrients they need in all the right proportions. Our patties are made from approximately 80% muscle meat with the associated connective tissue and fat, 10% secreting organs, 10% finely ground bone, and a small amount of added vitamins and minerals for a complete and balanced diet you can trust.


Benefits of a Raw Diet for Puppies

Raw diets have numerous benefits for puppies, including:

  • •Improved dental health

  • •Healthy growth rate

  • •More energy

  • •Smaller, firmer, less frequent, and less smelly stool

  • •Healthy skin and a shiny coat

  • •Better digestion

  • •Stronger immune system

  • •Reduced likelihood of developing allergies

  • •Better behavior

  • •Boosted bone strength

  • •Longer life expectancy

How Do You Start a Raw Diet for Puppies?

With puppies, you can start feeding them raw as soon as they start weaning, gradually transition them from kibble to raw, or start feeding raw immediately as soon as you bring your puppy home or decide to feed them a raw diet.

Since their digestive system hasn’t been shaped by a lifetime of carb-laden kibble, puppies typically have an easier time switching to a raw diet than adult dogs.

Your puppy may still have some loose stool when you first start feeding them a raw diet, but this is normal and should pass within a few days. If your puppy does have some tummy trouble during the transition, you can find some excellent tips here. Puppy doesn’t like the raw food at first? Find answers here.

When to Start a Raw Diet for Puppies

Since a raw diet is what puppies were biologically designed to eat, you can start feeding them a raw diet as soon as they start weaning, usually around 3-4 weeks of age. That said, it’s also never too late to start your puppy on a raw diet! The older a puppy is, the longer they may need to transition to a raw diet without tummy trouble; however, puppies of any age can still be switched to a raw diet.

Beagle Pups

We Feed Raw Is Perfect for Puppies!

Since puppies have such specific nutritional requirements, it’s not a good idea to DIY a raw diet for them. We Feed Raw’s patties are easy to feed and nutritionally complete and balanced, exceeding AAFCO nutrition requirements for dogs of all life stages, including large breed puppies.

Start building your puppy’s meal plan now and start them on the road to a long, healthy life eating the raw diet they were biologically designed for!

Raw food for dogs by We Feed Raw

Complete & balanced raw meals.

Portioned out, packaged up, and cold-shipped (for FREE!).