Weaning Pups on Raw

   Since our "I" litter, all pups have been weaned/raised on a completely raw diet with excellent results.
(Prior to that, pups were fed 1/2 kibble, 1/2 raw).

Here's how we do it...

At about 3 weeks, we offer our pups a "Gruel" once a day.  This consists of goats milk, baby cereal (like for human babies), egg yolk, organic yogurt, honey and vitamin C (crystals).  We let the pups lick at this and in just one or two feedings, they are eating with great gusto.

At 4 weeks, we add baby food beef, lamb and chicken (yes, again, human baby food), and also baby food veggies which are wonderful since they're already pureed.  I also add a supplement called "The Missing Link".   They are offered this twice daily, assuming they are still nursing also.

By 5 weeks, we start adding canned salmon and ground whole chicken or turkey in place of the baby food, plus a larger variety of real fruits and veggies as well as cottage cheese and apple cider vinegar.  We replace the baby cereal with a 12 grain mixture.  At this point, mom is sometimes starting to want to wean the pups, so the frequency of feeding is based on her willingness to allow them to nurse.

At 6 weeks, we introduce a greater variety of meats, such as Beef, Elk and Emu, as well as some chicken or turkey necks.  At this age, they usually will eat the meat off the bones, but will not be able to eat whole chicken backs or turkey necks until about 7 weeks.

At 7 weeks, the pups are eating just as our adult dogs would.  Mom has usually weaned them by now so they are offered four meals per day. 


A Few Notes:

We always allow mom to nurse pups as long as she is willing.  We feel that mother's milk is the ideal diet for a growing puppy and never "force wean".

We try to introduce new foods to the pups one at a time to ensure that they don't encounter digestive problems.  It also helps up to pinpoint foods that the pups don't like (for instance, I had one entire litter who wouldn't eat anything if there was bananas in it...another litter loved bananas).

If a pup will be fed kibble when it goes to its new home, we recommend that the owner ship us a bag of what they'll be feeding so that we can incorporate it into that pup's diet.  This is to avoid any additional stress when they arrive at their new home.  We also send each pup home with some of our food, so that the changeover is not so dramatic.

We find that our pups that are fed a raw diet grow more proportionately, are more "together" at a younger age ie. better motor skills, and are extremely food motivated adults, making training that much easier.