My name is Alison. I’m getting a boxer puppy next week. The breeder has been feeding it purina. I want to start feeding raw as soon as possible. How do I make the transition?
Thanks so much for your help!
I’m not an expert, but I have been feeding my pups raw for a few months, so take this as you will. I think it will depend on if you’re planning to feed commercial raw, or make your own. The steps I would take (making my own) are…
1. Transition the pup to a quality kibble that you’re comfortable with and watch for any reactions to different protein sources.
2. Talk to your vet. If your vet is pro raw diet you will get good direction from them. If your vet is anti-raw, you will need to either seek another vet if you are committed to this, or stop talking about food to your vet.
3. Do research. There is a TON of good information out there. It can be daunting, and some of it will scare you, but do it anyway. Look on YouTube for Dr. Karen Becker. Lot’s of good info from her.
4. Don’t back down. People will try to tell you you’re doing the wrong thing. Don’t let them frighten you off.
5. Make a plan. In your research be sure to pay attention to the side effects of going raw and of changing food. Sometimes they can scare you and send you off to your vet or make you stop feeding raw, when really it’s just a natural adjustment reaction, or a reaction to the type of protein or amount of fat you’re using. Know what you can expect to see and be ready to react accordingly. Remember, when you stop feeding raw because of a stool problem or the such, it’s like you have to start over again.
6. Experiment. Begin adding raw into your pup’s diet and see how they react. Do they take the food well? Do they seem to like it? Start adding other ingredients and see how they react. Try to add the ingredients one at a time or you will have trouble figuring out which one, if any causes a problem.
7. Once you have a successful recipe, or more than one successful recipe, start replacing the kibble with the raw… go 25% raw to 75% kibble until the pup stabilizes, then go 50% raw to 50% kibble.
8. Watch your pup’s collar size, and keep tabs on their weight. You don’t want them too skinny or too fat. Hopefully you will have a pro-raw vet that can help guide you.
For myself I’m sticking to 50% raw 50% kibble just to make sure I don’t miss something important in their nutrition. My mix is pretty good, but a good quality kibble can be a nice safety net. I’m hoping to get to the point where I can do 75% raw and 25% kibble, but I want to refine my process more before I go there.
I hope this helps!
Hi Alison– First I want to say congrats on your Boxer pup. My aunt had one when I was growing up and he was such a great dog. Jonathan offered some good advice, but one thing I NEED to stress to you is the importance of being aware the large/giant breed dogs (like a boxer) have very special dietary requirements from 8 weeks of age to 8-10 months of age. They require proper calcium levels and a proper calcium to phosphorus ratio in order to support proper slow growth and help in preventing skeletal diseases that are common in large/giant breeds. If you are wanting to start your guy on raw which I highly recommend as large/giants have been known to live a lot longer on a raw diet, PLEASE make sure you consult with a nutritionist who KNOWS the actual dietary needs of a large/giant breed. Most should, especially if they are supportive of a raw diet.
Here is a testimony of a Newfoundland breeder who feeds a raw diet to his pups and his Sir’s and Dam’s. One of his newfie’s lived to the impressive age 17 years old!
Good catch! Most of the boxers I see are very slim, so I forget they’re considered large breed. And hey, what do you know… that’s Dr. Becker in that video!
Thanks so much to Jonathan S and Pitlove! Very good information from both of you.
So much to consider and think about.
Jonathan– Yes! anything over 50lbs at mature weight would be large breed and I believe most Boxers will reach that weight if not a little more. Also even if the dog does not quite hit 50 lbs you can still feed them like a large breed and it will still aid in preventing skeletal disease.
Alison– You’re welcome! I know it is very stressful. I will feed raw at some point in my life, but I can’t yet for certain reasons. If you have the aid of a properly trained canine nutritionist to help you with recipes, it will be as easy as following them and from what I hear once people make the recipes enough it comes as second nature about what to add and how much.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Pitlove.
The amount of food you give to your dog is also important, as it would help the dog maintain an ideal weight without compromising on its energy and nutritional needs in any way.
To feeding a raw food you have to give it in a Small amount with proper nutritional content in it
Check feeding tips for puppies for new dog owners
As pups are more susceptible to food borne pathogens, when feeding raw using a HPP product adds a layer of safety. A commercial product that has been through feeding trials is preferred as a nutrient error in a rapidly growing pup will be magnified and can result in disaster.
We recently rescued a ridgeback mutt (9 weeks old), and I am researching the raw diet options and am so thankful to have found these forums to help me wade through the info available on the web (as well as help me formulate good questions for our vet!).
I’ll be checking out dr. Becker and other concerns listed here. My follow up question about transitioning to raw is– what’s the most cost-effective and convenient way to feed raw? Freeze dried or frozen? The prices are all over the place!
Also, is there a kibble that can (reasonably) mimic the raw diet?
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