Feeding Small Dogs a Raw Diet

22nd March 2021 6 mins read

Guest Blog: All Pawsability

A lot of those who are interested in raw feeding aren’t sure whether the diet is suitable for their small dog. People are often shocked to find out that Archie - being a Shih Tzu mix - is raw fed! The truth is a raw diet is beneficial for all dogs, not just big ones! They all have the same needs.

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Raw Feeding Small Dogs 101

People often struggle with where to begin when it comes to raw feeding their small dog. Many wouldn’t consider giving them a bone, for example, but bones can be especially beneficial for little dogs who are commonly prone to dental issues!

Here you will find a 101 guide to raw feeding your small companion, covering everything you need to know before embarking on this journey.

1. Bones

It’s not uncommon for people to question whether raw bones are suitable for small dogs - the answer is yes! However you must make sure you choose one that’s suitable for your dog's size.

Raw bones are safe for dogs to eat, but they must be raw. No cooked or processed bones. Feed raw bones that are soft and flexible, as these are easily digested but still provide all the benefits. Steer clear of large, dense, weight-bearing bones.

Benefits of Feeding Raw Bones:

  • Provides the right calcium : phosphorous ratio.
  • Necessary component to a raw diet.
  • Teeth cleaning and improving dental hygiene - especially important for small dogs who are prone to dental issues..
  • Mental Enrichment.
  • Bonding experience between dog and human when hand fed.

Some great bones for small dogs are:

Even if your dog is fussy and won’t eat bones, you can still incorporate them into a DIY raw diet by feeding turkey or duck carcass mince which can be purchased from Paleo Ridge. This is so useful for making sure your dog gets the right amount of bone, especially for lazy chewers.

All bones mentioned above can be purchased from Paleo Ridge.

2. DIY or Complete

Small dogs can have either! It really depends on your lifestyle and your dog’s preference. Personally, I feed Archie both complete and DIY meals because Paleo Ridge provides such a variety. I don't have the time to prepare DIY meals every day so sometimes I just use completes, he loves them and they take no time to serve up!

Archie loves the variety of his DIY meals as they contain lots of chunks and other chewy bits, and I can get everything we need from Paleo Ridge. If you’re worried about your small dog eating larger chunks, you can cut them up into smaller, bite-sized pieces for them. I do this for Archie because he’s a lazy chewer and some pieces can therefore be a choking hazard. For example, the Paleo Ridge beef lips, Kangaroo Chunks, or Beef Tracheas all get cut up into smaller pieces!

3. Shih Tzu Hair and Hygiene

When handling any raw meat, whether for your dog or yourself, hygiene standards need to be high. This is why it’s important to be hygienic around your pet after feeding them raw food. A Shih Tzu like Archie, or any other long-haired dog, needs to have their face/beard wiped clean after eating a meal, as well as any ears that may dip into the bowl by mistake. This is an important step to keep things clean - especially if you have a dog like Archie who likes to rub his face along the carpet after eating!

Of course, you should also make sure to clean and disinfect any utensils and surfaces after each meal, and I would recommend that you don’t allow your dog to lick you for a few hours after they’ve eaten, especially your face.

Images and blog by Sophie Dunne and Big Boy Archie from "All Pawsability", for more information see the website below:


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