How much raw food to feed a dog per day?

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So you’re switching your dog to a raw diet. Congratulations!

You might be wondering, how much raw meat should I feed my dog per day?

The general rule of thumb is to feed the dog 2 to 3 percent of her ideal adult body weight. Then, adjust accordingly if she starts to seem too thin, too hungry or too fat. Some dogs will naturally require more or less food depending on their genetics, age, health, activity levels and other factors.

As an example, my dog Ace weighs about 68 pounds, and he is a healthy weight. Two percent of 68 pounds is about 1.3 pounds, which is indeed about what he eats per day.

I don’t actually measure my dog’s food anymore, but I initially used the 2 percent rule to get a general idea on how much to feed him.

Since I’ve been feeding him raw dog food for awhile, I have a pretty good idea how much to feed just by looking at the food. Every meal does not have to be measured perfectly.

Commercial raw dog food is often measured in 8-ounce patties. Sixteen ounces equals one pound, so my dog would need a little more than 2.5 patties per day. Commercial raw dog food is much more convenient than making it yourself, but it is also more expensive. Check out my post on affordable raw dog food ideas for tips to save money on raw dog food.

If your brain hurts from trying to calculate all this, here is a basic equation you can use to figure out the amount of raw dog food your pup needs per day in ounces:

Take your dog’s ideal adult weight in pounds and multiply it by 16 to get your dog’s weight in ounces. (For Ace that would be 68 pounds x 16 = 1088 ounces.)

Take your dog’s weight in ounces and multiply it by .02 to get an estimate of the amount of food she should eat per day in ounces, assuming she needs to eat around 2 percent of her weight. (For Ace, that’s 1088 x .02 = 21.76 ounces.)

How much raw food to feed a dog per day?

I like to keep my dog lean, so I try to feed him the minimum amount each day for him to maintain his weight, and he generally does eat about 1.3 pounds of raw dog food per day. Obviously if you have an underweight dog, a puppy or a pregnant dog you are going to want to feed more than 2 or 3 percent of her weight. Check with a vet if you are not sure.

For more info, see our post: Raw dog food for beginners

How much of my dog’s raw diet should be meat/bones/fat/organs?

If you’re following a “whole prey raw diet,” meaning a diet of mostly animal products, the general rule of thumb is 80 percent muscle meat, 10 percent organ meat (half of that should be liver) and 10 percent bone. This is pretty standard and agreed upon by most raw feeders.

If you are feeding a diet that includes fruits and veggies and maybe even some grain (barf diet recipes), you would adjust the percentages a bit, so it might be more like 70 percent meat, 10 percent organs, 10 percent bone and 10 percent vegetation. This is roughly what my dog eats.

There is disagreement on whether dogs need fruits or veggies in their diets. My belief is that fruits and veggies can’t hurt. While I’m not overly concerned about what fruits and veggies my dog eats, I do try to feed them every day in small quantities for a variety of nutrients.

I’m actually more concerned about the quality and variety of meat products my dog eats and making sure he gets enough fat, organ meat, calcium and so on.

How much raw food to feed a dog?

Do I need to include any supplements in my dog’s raw food?

Vitamins

For added nutrients, you could give your dog a daily multi vitamin. Ideally, your dog shouldn’t need a vitamin because she should be getting all the necessary nutrients from her raw diet. But, as with humans, sometimes it’s just easier not to worry about it and just take a daily vitamin. It can’t hurt. Or, at the very least, give your dog a vitamin every couple of days or once per week.

Another option is to feed your dog a base mix from The Honest Kitchen. This will have all the vitamins and nutrients your dog needs so all you have to do is add the meat.

Fish oil

I give my dog a fish oil tablet most days for the omega 3s. Everything I’ve read about fish oil for dogs says it is beneficial and helps to balance out the omega 6s found in supermarket meats such as raw beef. I take a fish oil tablet myself most days.

“EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, provide widespread benefits,” according to Mary Straus in an article “The Benefits of Fish Oil to Your Dog’s Health” in the September 2012 issue of “The Whole Dog Journal.”

According to the article, some of the benefits of fish oil for dogs include weight loss for overweight dogs, a healthier coat and healthier skin, reduced joint pain, reduced allergies, a healthier immune system and lower blood pressure.

If you feed your dog a homemade raw or cooked diet, what are some foods you feed?

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How much raw food to feed a dog per day?

27 thoughts on “How much raw food to feed a dog per day?”

  1. Just a note, with raw feeding, I wouldn’t necessarily worry as much about vitamins, as I would about minerals, calcium in particular. That would be the first thing I would want to know how much the recipe contains, and what the ratio to phosphorus is.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Equation is in the post:

      Take your dog’s weight in ounces and multiply it by .02 to get an estimate of the amount of food she should eat per day in ounces, assuming she needs to eat around 2 percent of her weight. (For Ace, that’s 1088 x .02 = 21.76 ounces.)

  2. I completely get the equations but for my pack of 10 i was curious what your take on feeding raw at night and a cup of kibble in the morning as ive read they digest the 2 differently. So do you think feeding at 7am and the raw at 7pm would be enough time?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      My guess is with 10 dogs it will work well for some and not others. Each dog is a little different in what they can handle. I know my Lab mix seemed to do OK when each meal was mixed or when I fed one meal raw, one dry but when I fed him 100% raw for an extended period and then suddenly switched him to dry for a few days he got really sick from the switch to dry.

      It’s hard to know. I’d say once you find something that works, try to stick with it and be consistent. 12 hours a part would be a good way to try and see how they do.

  3. I started giving my maltepoo raw meat about a month ago., she eats very fast, in less than one minute she is finish eating 1-2 ounces. should i be concern?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      No, that’s how some dogs are. Only concern would be if she shallows a large piece of bone that could be a potential choking hazard.

  4. I have had my yorkie on raw food for about 4 mos but his hair does not look healthy. Looks dry and skin itches . I put fish oil in food. Any suggestions or thoughts?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Allergies are a complicated issue, if that’s what it is. Could be environmental, could be something in his food. Do you feed chicken? Might want to try a different protein source for a few weeks to see if that helps.

  5. I have a 10lbs papillon I’m new at raw diet how much should I feed him daily? What foods meats are good for him

  6. GeriLynn Weills

    I get beef mixture, primarily organ based with liver. I do switch between raw and cooking it. Is liver an issue? Dogs are doing great but heard something about bone issues with liver.

  7. Hi my cavalier is very overweight at 17kg I am trying to find out how much raw I can give him to lose weight can anybody help??

  8. Thank you for posting the info you did.Not to many people can find it and I really needed it for my hybrid puppy. You made it easy

  9. For a 10 lb. dog, feed 3-4 ounces of raw food per day. 4 ounces = 1/2 cup. Adjust accordingly.

    20 lbs. = 1 cup
    30 lbs. = 1 1/2 cups
    50 lbs, = 2 1/2 cups
    75 lbs. = 3 3/4 cups
    100 lbs. = 5 cups

    The measured amounts above will be much less than recommended for dry kibble dog food, but it is the right amount so do not worry they are not being fed enough. It’s not about the amount we need to eat to be healthy, it’s about the ingredients. *Some dogs are allergic to chicken, it will make their skin dry and itchy. It is best to start with beef, pork, lamb, or turkey.

  10. Brenda Seiple

    Raw rabbit is what I give our itchy little Miss Peaches who is a 16# Shih Tzu. I might as well have a PhD in dog food as I have been trying to reduce her itching for years. We are blessed to have no skin outbreaks, but still her discomfort is paramount. Raw Rabbit has helped me get a handle on this condition

  11. Thank you , Norma. I’m glad you mentioned about the amount of raw verses kibble amounts . I WAS thinking if that was enough! Very helpful as well as you listing the weight of the dog and the amounts of food to give. Thank you 🙂

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Hi Jean, not sure if you plan to make the food yourself or buy a pre-made brand. If you go with a pre-made brand it’s really as easy as feeding dry food. You just have to keep it frozen and then refrigerated. If you decide to make the food yourself, you can start pretty simple. You don’t have to make it really complicated at first. Here is my article on raw feeding for beginners that might help answer some questions as they come up: https://www.thatmutt.com/2018/12/17/raw-dog-food-for-beginners/

  12. thank you
    Thank you. Hmm, MAYbe I’ll go back to raising rabbits , just for the dog. 😀 I know for feeding raptors, they need all the animal parts. so…
    Do you include the hide?

  13. I’ve heard not to feed what critters you don’t want your dog hunting on their own. ie: we have ducks and rabbits free range, the pup at this point is VERY good, never chasing. She just wants to eat their grain. {should i let her?]
    Back to My main question. If we don’t wish to have her eating our ducks should we refrain from her eating raw duck remains [ from our butchering] in her diet? Or, would it be o.k. to mix it with other meats and she won’t know the difference??? We tie her away from the area when butchering.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I don’t think she’d know the difference. Training not to chase them is one concept. Eating the meat another concept. Just my opinion.

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