A hungry dog looking at his bowl of raw food

How Much Raw Food Should You Feed Your Dog

Feeding your dog a balanced diet is important for their overall wellness. Not only should you pay attention to what you’re feeding your pet, but also how much you're feeding them.

Whether your dog is new to the raw food diet or has been enjoying it for years, we have some tips to ensure they’re getting the right daily portion size. Read on to learn about how much raw food to feed your dog.

Calculating How Much Raw Food to Feed Your Dog

The raw food serving size for dogs is determined by a number of factors, which include (but are not limited to) their age, size, activity level, and body weight. 

That being said, there’s no one-size-fits-all raw dog food diet. When you feed dogs raw food, it might take some time to find the perfect balance of portions and meals per day. If you sign up for one of our meal plans, we calculate your dog's meals using the caloric approach. Once you complete the quiz on our site, you will be given a suggested daily portion amount with corresponding daily calories. It's important to note that this is just a baseline recommendation. We can always adjust as time goes on, and we rely on you (the pet owner) to tell us if your dog is gaining or losing too much weight.

If you're taking a more DIY approach to raw feeding (and choose to purchase our bulk patties), we use this simple calculation for the percentage of raw food for dogs: An active, underweight adult dog should eat 3% of their ideal adult weight per day. An adult dog at an ideal weight should eat 2-2.5% of their weight per day. A senior, less active, overweight adult dog should eat 1.5% of their ideal adult weight per day.

Smaller dogs require a higher percentage of their weight per day.

  • Dogs up to 5lbs: Feed 5-6% of ideal adult weight per day.

  • Dogs 6-10lbs. Feed 4-5% of ideal adult weight per day.

  • Dogs 11-14lbs: Feed 3-3.5% of ideal adult weight per day.

  • Dogs 15-19lbs: Feed 2.5-3% of ideal adult weight per day.

How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?

While some people believe feeding once a day is best because it mimics how dogs ate in the wild, how often you feed your dog really comes down to what works best for you and your pup. In a recent poll, 75% of We Feed Raw customers said they feed their adult dogs twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. A smaller percentage feed once a day, and an even smaller percentage feed 3 or more times a day.

Since a raw diet allows for increased bioavailability of nutrients and improved digestibility, you will likely feed them less than you would kibble.

What About Puppies?

Since the raw diet is a dog's evolutionary diet, there's no reason to wait to feed a puppy a raw diet. In fact, you can start feeding puppies a raw diet as soon as you are weaning them, at around 5-8 weeks old. Determining how much raw food for a puppy is similar to that of an adult dog, just with more feeding times.

It’s recommended to feed your puppy three small meals a day on a raw diet. You should portion 2-3% of your puppy’s ideal adult weight. But if you’re not sure what that will be, feed about 10% of his or her current weight.

When starting a puppy on a raw diet, you may want to begin with only 1-2 recipes while slowly increasing variety over time. Helpful supplements include fish oil, kefir, apple cider vinegar, and a good pre/probiotic.

Benefits of a Daily Raw Diet

Incorporating raw food into a dog’s diet can help your pet feel and look their best. Dogs have short, simple digestive tracts, a high level of hydrochloric acid in their stomachs, hinged jaws, and pointy teeth. They are anatomically designed to derive their nutrients from raw animal protein, bones, and fat.

Of course, your pet will experience the most benefits from a consistent raw diet, but adding as little as 25% raw dog food to their eating regimen can be hugely beneficial. 

These are just a few of the benefits:

  • Improved digestion

  • Better weight control

  • Stronger immune system

  • Cleaner teeth

  • Reduction in allergies

  • Softer, and healthier skin and coat

A high-quality diet can help promote a long, healthy, and happy life for your furry friend.

Choosing Nutritious Raw Food

Of course, not all raw food for dogs is the same. Feeding your dog the right percentage of raw food is only one part of the equation. You should also ensure the raw diet for your dog is correctly balanced to meet their nutritional needs.

We Feed Raw is complete and balanced for dogs of all life stages, including the growth of large-breed puppies (70 lbs or more as an adult.) Our food is made up of muscle meat and associated connective tissue and fat; organ meat; and fresh, finely ground bone. There are no fillers, no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors. We also include a high-quality vitamin and mineral premix for an added boost of nutrition.

As part of We Feed Raw's meal plan service, we tailor the amount of raw food in your subscription to your pet’s age, weight, and activity level, among other factors. This ensures that you always receive the right quantity for your pup in every box.

Ready to put together a custom meal plan for your pet? Get started on their tailored premade raw meal plan today.