How Much Raw Food to Feed Your Dog?
I'm finding that I get asked this one a lot - how much do I feed my dog?
How much raw food do I feed a dog on a raw diet? Or a combined raw and kibble diet? Well, first and foremost pay attention to your dog. Is she overweight? Feed less. Is she growing, active, or are her bones very visible especially in her hips and ribs? Feed more.
The rule of thumb with kibble is that you will feed less of a higher quality kibble than a lower quality one. Just as we humans need less food when we eat whole grains, lean meats, and lots of fruits and veggies than when we hit the fast food joints or eat a lot of packaged cookies, chips and crackers.
Our 6 dogs, at the time I'm writing this article, all eat about the same much. That's because I have 3 full grown adults who are simply maintaining their size and 3 young growing pups who are using that nutrition for expansion. My dogs eat 2-3% of their body weight. That's a very general rule of thumb with raw feeding. Again, pay attention to your dog and adjust your ratio as needed. My puppies or pregnant girls can easily need 5-6% of their body weight in food per day.
What's that in volume; this is usually the next question. That's around 4-4.5 cups in volume. That could be 2 very large sweet potatoes, or about one full dozen farm fresh eggs (equal to about 3 cups) plus a cup of yogurt, or 1.5 chicken leg quarters, and so on. If you prefer not to weigh your dog's food every day (I don't blame you! I never weigh food any more although I did in the beginning of my raw feeding experience) than weigh the food a few times to get the idea for the volume. Use a kitchen scale and practice until you're comfortable with the volume of your dog's diet. Take an extra moment and scoop the weighed food into cups so you KNOW how many cups it actually fills. And feed accordingly.