Is a Raw Diet Healthy for a Puppy?

Just like babies, puppies grow rapidly during the first few months of their lives, and a proper diet provides the necessary nutrients to meet their needs. This developmental stage needs to be well fueled for a healthy pup. In this article, we will talk about the benefits of a puppy being fed an AAFCO-approved, commercially-prepared raw pet food.

Why Raw Feed Puppies?

Feeding your puppy on a commercial raw diet comes with an impressive list of benefits.

 What Age Can I Introduce Raw Food to My Puppy?

You can start giving your puppy raw food as you are weaning them at about 8 to 12 weeks. When starting a puppy on a raw diet, the most common worry among pet owners is the number of microbes raw food comes with when it comes to your puppy. It is wise to note that dirt or the environment around us contains billions of microbes that puppies have access to all around us. The study also shows that giving the mom raw food before the puppies are born improves the quality of the puppy when it comes to immunity, growth, and health. Access to these not only helps your pup improve the immune system but make it possible to handle raw food.

How to Transition from Weaning to Raw Feeding?

It is recommended to gradually introduce raw food to a puppy that has been eating processed food slowly. Transitioning them from dry to raw food can be done for about 1-6 weeks. The general recommendation is to start with ¼ of raw food and ¾ of their previous food. Monitor the stools of your companions, and as long as they stay nice and firm and no diarrhea is present, you can continue to slowly add more and reduce the amount of the previous food until the process is complete. Solid stool means that the puppy is responding well to the raw food and a more significant portion can be added.  Loose stool is an indicator that you need to cut back a little on the raw food until the stomach gets used to it and then resume the regiment after a couple of days.

What Does a Puppy Need for Healthy Growth?

Small breed puppies may need up to 10% of their weight per day in food, especially if they are active.  Large breed puppies may need 4-8% of their weight per day. Every dog has a different metabolism, and suggestions for how much to feed are based on averages. Your dog is unique and may require less or more than suggested to maintain an ideal body condition.

*The information below was obtained from the National Research Council. Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats. National Academies Press, 2007.


Proteins are one of the main requirements for growth and are made of complex strings of amino acids. Fat provides essential fatty acids and energy.


Vitamins and Micronutrients are critical when it comes to converting proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into more available forms in the body. They are also responsible for catalytic reactions that enable faster healthy conversions. Click to read the AAFCO Dog and Cat food requirement for micronutrients.

Provide Pets Proper Nutrition in Every Stage of Life

Steve’s Real Food is commercial raw pet food that is complete and balanced for all life stages. Our foods exceed AAFCO dog and cat food requirements to ensure that your pup or kitten gets all the nutritional elements from raw food. Scientifically formulated raw pet food diet is one of the best ways to ensure that your best friend stays healthy and enjoys a long life.

Google Review

  • My dogs LOVE their new food!! I used to feed them dry kibble and they would leave their food in the bowls for 2 days before they would eat. Now they wake me up in the morning ready to eat. They also have so much more energy, they act like they are puppies again. The customer service is awesome! Too bad all companies don't have this kind of service. I will continue to buy Steve's Real Food for my dogs.

    Kelley Dillon Avatar
    Kelley Dillon
  • CONVENIENT, RELIABLE, DOGS LOVE THE FOOD I switched my dogs to a raw diet about 2 months ago. My older dog was panting a lot and he had a potato sized growth on his shoulder. The growth is now the size of an egg and his excessive panting has stopped. My younger dog was overweight despite the fact that she was very active and on a strict low calorie diet. She has slimmed down quite a bit.

    Trish C Avatar
    Trish C
  • We were skeptical of feeding raw. Finally we decided to take the plunge. The first surprise was, my dogs loved it. And the goat milk yogurt is a complete hit! They all love it. We had one small issue with the shipping and after one email everything was taken care of. But now that it's been several months we have noticed many other things. None of my dogs chew on their feet anymore. None of my dogs have itchy flaky skin anymore. And they are all pretty and shiny with tons of energy.

    Denise Moitoza Avatar
    Denise Moitoza
  • My dog was a picky eater and overweight. After 4 months of eating this raw diet he is almost at his recommended weight. I no longer have to coax him to eat by doctoring up his kibble. He eats the food as is and empties his bowl right away.

    Carrie Thompson Avatar
    Carrie Thompson
  • I wanted to give a shout out to Tara at the corporate office. She really went above and beyond! I had several questions about switching my dog over to raw food and the transition that's involved. She met with me in person and took the time to listen and gave me some great suggestions/feedback to my questions. She shared what her own dog went through and how raw dog food helped. Tara made me feel comfortable and was so kind and thoughtful to take the time out of her busy day to be so helpful. My dog is LOVING the food and has been transitioning very smoothly. Thanks so much for being so awesome, Tara. It meant a lot to me and because of the experience I had and the kindness you showed to me, I will continue to be a grateful customer and will recommend Steve's to all my fellow dog moms and dads.

    Susan Romney Avatar
    Susan Romney

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Steve's Real Food

2034 East Fort Union
Cottonwood , UT 84121
United States