I want to thank my dear friend Tammy Kinkade of Eyota Mastiffs (http://www.eyotamastiffs.com/) for providing me with this information, as I have yet to raise a Mastiff from puppyhood on a raw diet. However, with my next puppy we will definately go this route.
|New Beginnings Too Hot to Fox Trot "Pepper"|
Owned by Tammy Kinkade, Eyota Mastiffs
Raw Fed Since 8 Weeks of Age
That said, you can do it in a very similar fashion to how you switch an adult. Depending on the age of your pup (right after weaning, vs. an older pup that has been eating kibble for awhile), you may want to start with ground chicken or turkey first. A young pup (the 4-6 week range) won't have teeth hard enough to chew through bones yet, so ground is a necessity. Be sure you're using ground meat WITH bone - pups need the calcium, and the balance between the phosphorous levels in the meat vs. the calcium in the bone.
Pups at this very young age aren't terribly picky about what they eat - they're so hungry all the time that any food you give them will be gone quickly! So it's the perfect time to try raw foods. They'll devour it quickly and happily. At this young age, it's best to skip the veggies and organ meats and stick to just meat and bone. The pups will do far better with simple foods right now, and organs will be far too rich for their developing systems. Offer small amounts at a time and don't let them gorge. Feeding too much will and can cause diarrhea in a dog of any age.
By the age of 8 weeks, puppies should be able to handle the bones of chicken wings, necks and backs without too much trouble. Oh, they'll spend some time chewing and working at the backs, but it's good exercise for them and teaches then to chew well - a good lesson for them to learn early. At this age, it's also safe to add another protein source - again, staying away from organ meats and veggies if possible. Sue Johnson said it best in her book, “Switching To Raw"... use the KISS method... Keep It Simple, Stupid! (Not meant to be insulting... just meant as a caution that we tend to get overly excited when starting something new, and throw too much at our poor dogs at once!) One ingredient at a time...
My biggest piece of advice, and one of my biggest pet peevers, is to stay away from the pre-groun mixes that have "everything but the kitchen sink" in them when starting a dog on raw. Some of these commercial raw foods have meat from more than one protein source, supplements, exotic fruits ad vegetables, and really cool sounding stuff in them. The only problem with the "everything but the kitchen sink" approach is that *IF* your dog reacts badly with digestive problems, you have NO way of knowing what ingredient might be causing the digestive upset. And therefore, you have no idea what needs to be eliminated from the diet. If you can't figure out what it is your dog doesn't tolerate well, then you're setting the dog up for a roller coaster ride of uncomfortable digestive upset.
Once you have a dog who is an experienced raw dog, who you KNOW has no issues with the various ingredients in the "everything but the kitchen sink" mixes, then by all means, give them a try if you think your dog might like them. But until then, think about how *you* would feel if someone took the ingredients from all three of your daily meals, threw them in a blender, and then asked you to eat that mix. I don't know about you, but I think I'd be spending more than my fair share of time in the bathroom!
Puppies will also benefit from certain supplements, eggs, and even green tripe. I'm sure to slowly add them all, over time, and make them regular additions to their meals.
Keep in mind that with Mastiffs and Great Danes – our giant breeds – nutritional needs are different from other breeds. I have always fed a higher bone content to puppies, until about 5-6 months of age. It goes against what people tell you to do when feeding kibble… but what this does is it helps keep protein levels down. The calcium they are getting from bone is more naturally absorbable, and also more naturally dispersed if it isn’t needed. It is more “bioavailable” than any of the supplements added to kibble. By keeping more bone content in their foods, you are helping to limit protein – and protein tends to be a bigger problem for young puppies than calcium. By about 10 weeks, I am adding in veggies – ground veggie mix I make myself or buy. I use green leafy vegetables such as Romaine lettuce, celery, and spring greens, then for variety, I add zucchini, broccoli, peas, green beans, an occasional carrot, and even some blueberries. I put it all in a blender, add some water and the eggs (whole) and grind together. You can freeze it in ice cube trays for convenience, or put in containers or baggies. I feed a couple of “cubes” per meal.
How much do to feed?
In comparison to feeding an adult Mastiff a raw diet, puppies need to be fed more as they work through heavy growth periods. The general rule of thumb for puppies is to feed approximately 10% of their current body weight... OR... 2-3% of what their adult weight should be. In all actuality, these two formulas work out to pretty much the same weights. I use the 10% rule, feeding three meals per day until the 6 month age range, or until a puppy stops wanting to eat that middle meal. Many pups will tell you when it's time to drop the mid-day meal as they'll be far more interested in playing than eating... if they skip the middle meal for a couple of days at a time, at around the 5-7 month range, then you know it's probably okay to go back down to 2 meals per day and just divide the food evenly into those two meals.
|Harvest Haze Griffin's On The Brink "Brinkley"|
Owned by Amanda Griffin, Gryphon Mastiffs
Raw Fed Since 1 Year of Age
I have fed and raised dogs/pups for the past 20 years on raw I have Curly Coated Retrievers and I find it easy and cost effective. I will never ever feed grain based kibble to my dogs. My dogs like whole sardines too have you tried them with your dogs? Any other oily fish from a clean environment is a good source of omega 3 fats too. Ruth Markable Curly Coated Retrievers AustraliaReplyDelete
I have yet to find a source of fish I trust with all the 'mercury' talk and poisons present in fish. I supplement with organis Fish Oil instead. Within the next year we will live on a property with seveal medium sized ponds. One of the benefits of having your own property/pond is you can fish for your dogs, something I look forward too immensely.Delete
We are purchasing an 8 week English Mastiff Puppy this week and we would really like to transition her from what she's eating a raw diet. I see that you recommend ground chicken or turkey at first. We are first time Mastiff owners and I was wondering if I should be buying ground chicken/turkey from my local grocery store or walmart or if I should be buying this from a specific pet store?
You can get the stuff from any grocery store, watch for sales! The only thing to beware of is sometimes poultry gets added preservatives (like tons of salt). Companies are legally required to state that on the packaging, so it should be easy to find if it does have additives you don't want to give your dog.Delete
I have a 13 week old. I started her on raw ground chicken, liver and heart. but is it okay to also supplement with her dry non-grain food as well. until she is off completely.Delete
It's fine, I would avoid feeding them together though. Raw takes ~4 hours to digest, kibble ~ 12 hours, so it can cause stomach distress. And although usually not in puppies, in adults any stomach distress can increase the chance of bloat.Delete
Hi, I have a 10 month old Italian Mastiff I am going to switch to a raw diet. I know I need to slowly introduce him to it bc he has been on kibble since he was a puppy. I just would like to know what should I introduce him to first and some steps I should take to complete the process. He weighs about 115lbs right now and I want him to be 100% healthy inside and out, Help pleaseReplyDelete
I have had both of my english mastiffs of raw for two years now what a HUGE diffenence from kibble they look and act amazing everyone comments on them and when you tell them about the diet 80% of people say no way I would never give my dogs raw food and I reply its not for everyone but the results are right in front of me and after 30 years of labs and mastiffs I only wish I would have done this decades ago.Delete
10 months is the age Brinkley was when I made the switch to raw. When switching to raw you can go cold turkey (no pun intended). I would stick with one protein source for a week, then each week add an additional protein source until he is used to all sorts of meats. Make sure you are feeding approximately 70-80% meat, 10-20% bone and 10% organ.ReplyDelete
how do I start my 3 month old on raw and how do I present to her. I have given her raw chicken in small bits and she loves it. Need more advise.ReplyDelete
my Sheba is 12 weeks. Had her one week and she weighs 20 lbs. I have had her on blue buffalo dry food but want to begin her on raw diet. so far, I have given her small bits of chicken raw and she loved it. I have given her turkey and she loved that. but I need to find out what all she needs to go with that. I have given her raw chicken with her dry food just to see how she does and she liked the raw over her dry food.ReplyDelete
Variety is key in a raw diet, however you want to start off slow. Chicken for a week, if she's fine with that add a second protein, do that for a week and so on and so fourth. Once she's adjusted completely I would try and feed 3-4 different protein sources a week. The meat/bone/organ ratio is the most important though in a complete raw diet. They need the nutrients found in bone (calcium, phosphorus, etc) and the nutrients and enzymes in the organ to have a balanced diet.Delete
Hello. I will be getting my first mastiff puppy January 24th. He will be 8 weeks old. I current have a Staffordshire terrier. She is 2. I have had her a year and I feed her 4Health Chicken and rice. It is a soy, wheat and corn free product. It is 26 grams of protein and 14 grams of fat per cup. Is this a good food for my mastiff puppy? I have heard not to feed a puppy food. I would prefer to do raw for both of my dogs but I worry I would not do it properly and not feed the right things.ReplyDelete
That is actually a food I hear alot of Mastiff owners and breeders have success with.Delete
Portia is a 2-year old Neapolitan rescue.ReplyDelete
I am getting her over to raw, feeding it in the a.m. with veggies and sometimes white rice; grain free kibble for supper.
I either give her whole chicken wings and thighs, or ground w bones from a supplier I trust not to add the kitchen sink :)
My main question is to find out how much to feed her. She should weigh 120-128 lbs fully grown at 3 - 3 1/2 years old, and is now at 105.
Any help would be appreciated :)
I would go slow on the weight gain with her, if she is or was emanciated you want to not make her sick by feeding her too much too fast. At that age she should be done or close to done growing bone structure wise. My guys eat approximately 1-1.5% of their ideal body weight daily, but they are fairly sedentary.Delete
I have a 4 1/2 month old Cane Corsco puppy. I currently have her on a good quality puppy food. I am wanting to start her on a raw meal meal. What do I start her out on? I have been putting milk and egg in her food and she loves it. Do I take her off the dog food or does she stay on both ? how much raw meat does she need?ReplyDelete
I would leave out the milk for sure. If you want to try and start raw I would follow the directions outlined above. Start with one protein source and be sure she is okay on that before adding another. I would also keep the kibble and raw meals separate, they digest at different rates and can cause stomach distress if fed together.Delete
I'm sorry, the directions outlined in the blog post Switching your Mastiff to a Raw Diet.Delete
Hello. I was wondering if you could tell me what my 6 month old cane corso/french mastiff should weigh? We are 1st time mastiff owners and he is eating more than our 3 year old dane did! He eats about 8 cups of food a day (broken down into 3 feedings) and always seems hungry. He is not overweight and is very active. I have wanted to try the raw diet because he just doesn't seem to get his fill on dry dog food. What should he weigh at his age? Would you recommend the raw diet and would it be more cost effective with the amount of food mastiffs eat?ReplyDelete
Goodday. Just got myself a 9 weeks english mastiff. Feeding at first was good but suddenly it lost appetite. Wont eat again. I need advice please.ReplyDelete
If it's just a one day event give it time, if the puppy goes for more than a day with no food intake I would call your vet. Their appetites will change as they grow, so don't panic if they skip a meal here or there, if its a few days definitely call the vet for advice though!Delete