How Much Raw Food Do I Feed My Dogs and Cats?

How much raw food do I feed my cats and dogs?

One of the many benefits of a raw diet is that it makes weight control so much easier for your dogs and cats.  We work out how much raw food to feed them based on a daily percentage of their ideal weight (which may or may not be their current weight!).  Our handy calculator will give you a quick guideline but it's worth reading this article to help you understand how to work with the range it gives you.

There is often a bit of trial and error in the beginning, as dogs and cats (like humans!) each have a slightly unique metabolism.  In this article we'll explain how to calculate the right range of portion size for your pet to get you started. 

Body Shape is Everything - is your pet overweight, underweight, or just right?

In order to calculate how much to feed your pet, let's first figure out if your pet’s body shape is healthy. This is the most important indicator of correct weight, much more informative than what the scale says. 

You should be able to clearly see a waistline when you look down at your pet from above (slimmer below the ribs, not a barrel shape) and you should be able to easily feel the ribs with your fingers.  If a waistline is hard to decipher or there’s a very comfy layer over the ribs, your pet needs to lose a bit of weight. No matter how cute those rolls may be, being overweight puts strain on your pet's skeleton and joints, so pudgy pets need to trim down.

weight chart

If you can actually see your pet's ribs without touching them, or if there is only a very thin skin layer on the ribs, your pet may need to gain a little weight.  This can differ by breed, of course, as some dogs and cats are meant to be slight of build.  Feel free to send us photos to help you if you're unsure, or consult with your vet to figure out your pet’s ideal weight. 

Once you have a sense of whether your pet needs to gain a bit, lose a bit, or maintain their current healthy size, you can move on to the calculations below.  Remember that these numbers will maintain the current weight – if you want them to gain a bit, feed a little more, or lose a bit, feed a little less. 

Don't panic!  On raw food your pets' bodies will adjust very easily, so if you find you've overfed or underfed a bit, you can just adjust the numbers and you should see their bodies gain or lose as needed within a few weeks.

How Much Raw Food to Feed Your Pet

Most cats will eat 100g to 200g a day, divided into two meals.  If you have a bigger breed like a fully grown Maine Coon, 250g to 300g a day is a good place to start.  Cats are good at self-regulating, so we suggest putting some food out in the morning and then again in the evening for about half an hour and letting them eat as much as they need. Keep an eye on their body shape and adjust as needed.

Remember, cats are nocturnal so they will often eat more in the evening.  Don't be surprised if they leave some of their breakfast but lick the plate clean at suppertime!  You can make one meal bigger than the other if your cat prefers it that way. 

Puppies have lots of growing to do, so they need a bigger portion than adults, divided into more meals.  We recommend 4%-8% of their ideal weight, divided into 3 or even 4 meals per day. Drop this to 3%-6% if your pup is a giant breed (like bullmastiffs, Great Danes, etc – chat to us if you’re unsure) as those bigger babies need to grow a bit slower for the sake of their joints.

This is usually ideal for the first six months. Once they're a bit older you can transition them to two meals per day. Between six months and a year of age you will also start to transition between the puppy feeding amount to the adult dog amount. Keep an eye on puppy's waistline to judge when they're ready to graduate to grown-up meal sizes.

Your puppy will grow slower on a raw diet than a kibble diet, and this is much better for them as big growth spurts put strain on their joints and developing skeletons.

Adult Dogs (Tiny to Large breeds) get 2%-4% of their ideal body weight per day, divided into 2 meals.

Adult Dogs (Giant breeds) should have 1%-3% of their ideal weight pet day, divided into 2 meals

Old Dogs (all breeds) enjoy 1%-3% of their ideal weight per day, divided into 2 meals.

Why Such a Range of Portion Sizes?

The range is there because, like humans, every dog's and cat's metabolism is a bit different. The amount of food needed can be affected by how active your pet is, though energy doesn't always equal high metabolism. We usually recommend you start in the middle of the range (e.g. 150g of cat food per day, or 3% of your medium adult dog’s ideal weight per day) and see how their body shape is looking after about 2 weeks. 

The great news is that weight management on raw food is super easy – if it looks like you’ve been overfeeding slightly, just adjust the amount down and their bodies will correct in a few short weeks.  Unlike pellet-fed animals, raw fed pets’ bodies regulate and adjust really well.

We know this can sound complicated at first glance so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help.  The info we’ll need to help you is your pet’s age, weight, and breed.  Or check out our calculator below!

You really can trust your pet's body to tell you what it needs.  You'll know they're hungry if their ribs are sticking out, not if they look at you with begging soulful eyes. That's just a smart evolutionary trick they've developed to get extra treats out of their loving humans!

How Much Do I Feed?

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For Maine Coons and other giant breeds:

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