How To Figure Out How Much Raw Dog Food To Feed

My first challenge in 2016 was how to figure out how much raw dog food to feed. That’s when I began making my own raw dog food.

Back then, I had my Boxer mix pups Missy & Buzz. Missy weighed 55 lb and Buzz weighed 70.

Until then, I had fed them pre-made raw dog food from Darwin’s Natural Pet and Raw Paws Pet Food. Both come with feeding suggestions based on your dog’s weight and age.

How much raw meat to feed dog
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How much raw meat to feed dog
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How To Figure Out How Much Raw Dog Food To Feed: 4 Options

Now that I was going to make my own meals, I no longer had that guidance!

Well, turns out I found 4 different options to help me figure out how much raw to feed my pups when I made my own.

You can either:

  • (1) Do the math yourself with a specific formula or
  • (2) Double check that math with a raw feeding calculator
  • (3) You can also evaluate your dog’s body condition or
  • (4) ask a raw dog food brand for help
How much raw meat to feed dog

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(1) Do The Math Yourself With 2 Raw Feeding Formulas

Seasoned raw feeders use specific formulas to calculate their adult dog’s daily raw dog food allowance.

Step 1: Maintenance percentage

They feed 2-4% of the adult dog’s ideal body weight in raw dog food per day.

How much exactly depends on the individual dog’s age, activity, and metabolism.

For example, a couch potato Bulldog is going to eat closer to 2% of her ideal body weight, while an active Dalmatian or Boxer would probably eat 2.5-3%.

Likewise, a working German or Australian Shepherd would eat closer to 3.5-4%. By working dog, I mean a dog who’s extremely active and has an actual job. For example, herding sheep or a military working dog.

How much raw meat to feed dog

Here’s how to do the math:

Divide your dog’s target body weight by 100. Multiply the result with your feeding percentage (2%, 2.5%, 3%, 3.5%, 4%). That’s your dog’s daily raw dog food allowance.

Here’s the example of a 50lb, active Boxer who’s fed at a 3% maintenance percentage:

50/100 = 0.5 x 3% = 1.5lbs = 24oz.

That’s step 1.

Now that you know how much raw dog food your pup needs per day, the next step is to divvy it up into different cuts of meat and plant matter (unless you feed whole prey, in that case you don’t need veggies).

Step 2: 70/10/10/10 or 80/10/10

There’s a different formula to figure that part out.

It’s known as the 70/10/10/10 (with veggies, aka barf) or 80/10/10 (without veggies, aka whole prey) formula.

70/10/10/10 Formula (Barf)

  • Muscle meat: 70%
  • Raw meaty bone: 10%
  • Secreting organs: 10% total (5% liver, 5% other secreting organ)
  • Plant matter: 10% (includes 2% seeds and nuts)

80/10/10 Formula (Whole prey)

  • Muscle meat: 80%
  • Raw meaty bone (RMB): 10%
  • Secreting organs: 10% total (5% liver, 5% other secreting organ)

How Much Raw Food for 50lb Dog

Let’s stay with the example of the 50lb, active Boxer who’s fed at a 3% maintenance percentage and eats 24oz of raw dog food per day.

Here’s what the 24oz of raw dog food would consist of – I’ll provide the amounts for the barf (with veggies) and the whole prey (without veggies) options:

How Much Raw Dog Food Do My Boxer Mixes Eat Per Day?

My pups are both adult dogs, and Buzz’s ideal body weight is 70 lb, 2% of which are 1.4 lb, and 3% are 2.1 lb. 

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Since Buzz is fairly active and plays a lot of fetch in addition to his daily walks, I went with the higher recommended amount of 2.1 lb. Divided by two, this comes down to 1.05 lb for breakfast and for dinner, respectively.

Missy isn’t as active as Buzz since she doesn’t play ball like her brother. Her ideal body weight is 55 lb, 2% of which is 1.1 lb, and 3% is 1.65 lb.

Divided by two, this would come down to 8.8 ounces or 13.2 ounces per meal. 

How much raw meat to feed dog
Raw meals for Buzz (left) and Missy (right)

Throughout summer time I’ve been giving her around 8 ounces per meal as the high temperatures just don’t allow for a lot of activity.

Come fall and winter, her allowance is a little over 10 ounces per meal as she’s going for daily backpack walks again. I have to omit the backpack throughout the hotter months because it’s just too hot.

Puppies and dogs younger than 12 months require a larger amount of raw dog food per day. So do pregnant and lactating dogs.

(2) Double Check Your Own Math With Raw Feeding Calculators

Another way of figuring out how much to feed your pup is going online and using raw feeding calculators.

My favorite ones are the calculators from Raw Paws Pet Food and from Perfectly Rawsome. Perfectly Rawsome differentiates between PMR (without veggies) and BARF (with veggies).

They’re super convenient and also a great way to double-check your own math.

(3) Evaluate Your Dog’s Body Condition

I also found it helpful to simply look at Missy’s & Buzz’s bodies. Initially, I fed Missy a little too much because her waistline wasn’t as visible as it had been before.

Thankfully, there was a very quick fix! All I had to do was reduce her daily raw food allowance by one or two ounces. 

Check out the pups’ waistlines in the video below:

How To Determine Your Dog’s Body Condition

(4) Ask Raw Dog Food Brands For Meal Plan Consultations

Last but not least, you can also simply ask raw dog food brands for advice.

Raw Paws Pet Food is one of several brands who offer free meal plan consultations. I was on the phone with them for a little over 45 mins back in 2015.

I got a ton of value from speaking with Shelli. One of the biggest nuggets of wisdom was her detailed information about warming, cooling and neutral proteins. Who knew!

How much raw meat to feed dog

Darwin’s Natural Pet also offers free meal plan consultations.

How Much Raw Dog Food Per Day: Bottom Line

As a general guideline, you should feed 2-4% of your adult dog’s ideal bodyweight in raw dog food per day.

Double-check your math with raw feeding calculators, and/or contact brands for a personal evaluation.

Don’t forget to look for confirmation in your dog’s waistline. This can be a little more tricky to judge in a dog with a heavy coat, so if you’re unsure, talk to your vet for some help.

Leave your comments or questions below in the comment section!

— Update: 14-03-2023 — found an additional article Raw Guide: How Much Raw Food to Feed a Dog from the website for the keyword how much raw meat to feed dog.

Feeding your dog a balanced diet is important for their overall wellness. Not only should you pay attention to what you’re feeding your pet, but also how much you're feeding them.

Whether your dog is new to the raw food diet or has been enjoying it for years, we have some tips to ensure they’re getting the right daily portion size. Read on to learn about how much raw food to feed your dog.

Calculating How Much Raw Food to Feed Your Dog

The raw food serving size for dogs is determined by a number of factors, which include (but are not limited to) their age, size, activity level, and body weight. 

That being said, there’s no one-size-fits-all raw dog food diet. When you feed dogs raw food, it might take some time to find the perfect balance of portions and meals per day. If you sign up for one of our meal plans, we calculate your dog's meals using the caloric approach. Once you complete the quiz on our site, you will be given a suggested daily portion amount with corresponding daily calories.

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It's important to note that this is just a baseline recommendation. We can always adjust as time goes on, and we rely on you (the pet owner) to tell us if your dog is gaining or losing too much weight.

If you're taking a more DIY approach to raw feeding (and choose to purchase our bulk patties), we use this simple calculation for the percentage of raw food for dogs: An active, underweight adult dog should eat 3% of their ideal adult weight per day. An adult dog at an ideal weight should eat 2-2.5% of their weight per day. A senior, less active, overweight adult dog should eat 1.5% of their ideal adult weight per day.

Smaller dogs require a higher percentage of their weight per day.

•Dogs up to 5 lbs: Feed 5-6% of ideal adult weight per day.

•Dogs 6-10 lbs: Feed 4-5% of ideal adult weight per day.

•Dogs 11-14 lbs: Feed 3-3.5% of ideal adult weight per day.

•Dogs 15-19 lbs: Feed 2.5-3% of ideal adult weight per day.

How Often Should You Feed Your Dog?

While some people believe feeding once a day is best because it mimics how dogs ate in the wild, how often you feed your dog really comes down to what works best for you and your pup. In a recent poll, 75% of We Feed Raw customers said they feed their adult dogs twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. A smaller percentage feed once a day, and an even smaller percentage feed 3 or more times a day.

Since a raw diet allows for increased bioavailability of nutrients and improved digestibility, you will likely feed them less than you would kibble.

What About Puppies?

Since the raw diet is a dog's evolutionary diet, there's no reason to wait to feed a puppy a raw diet. In fact, you can start feeding puppies a raw diet as soon as you are weaning them, at around 5-8 weeks old. Determining how much raw food for a puppy is similar to that of an adult dog, just with more feeding times.

It’s recommended to feed your puppy three small meals a day on a raw diet. You should portion 2-3% of your puppy’s ideal adult weight. But if you’re not sure what that will be, feed about 10% of his or her current weight.

When starting a puppy on a raw diet, you may want to begin with only 1-2 recipes while slowly increasing variety over time. Helpful supplements include fish oil, kefir, apple cider vinegar, and a good pre/probiotic.

Benefits of a Daily Raw Diet

Incorporating raw food into a dog’s diet can help your pet feel and look their best. Dogs have short, simple digestive tracts, a high level of hydrochloric acid in their stomachs, hinged jaws, and pointy teeth. They are anatomically designed to derive their nutrients from raw animal protein, bones, and fat.

Of course, your pet will experience the most benefits from a consistent raw diet, but adding as little as 25% raw dog food to their eating regimen can be hugely beneficial. 

These are just a few of the benefits:

  • • Improved digestion

  • • Better weight control

  • • Stronger immune system

  • • Cleaner teeth

  • • Reduction in allergies

  • • Softer, and healthier skin and coat

A high-quality diet can help promote a long, healthy, and happy life for your furry friend.

Choosing Nutritious Raw Food

Of course, not all raw food for dogs is the same. Feeding your dog the right percentage of raw food is only one part of the equation. You should also ensure the raw diet for your dog is correctly balanced to meet their nutritional needs.

We Feed Raw is complete and balanced for dogs of all life stages, including the growth of large-breed puppies (70 lbs or more as an adult). Our food is made up of muscle meat and associated connective tissue and fat; organ meat; and fresh, finely ground bone. There are no fillers, preservatives, or artificial colors or flavors. We also include a high-quality vitamin and mineral premix for an added boost of nutrition.

As part of We Feed Raw's meal plan service, we tailor the amount of raw food in your subscription to your pet’s age, weight, and activity level, among other factors. This ensures that you always receive the right quantity for your pup in every box.

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Ready to put together a custom meal plan for your pet? Get started on their tailored premade raw meal plan today.

— Update: 16-03-2023 — found an additional article HOW MUCH RAW FOOD SHOULD I FEED MY DOG? from the website for the keyword how much raw meat to feed dog.

June 12, 2018

How much raw meat to feed dog

Dogs can’t talk, but they sure do have their own ways of letting us know that they’re excited to eat. Some do the raw dinner dance, others get vocal, and others even bring us their food dish.

But when it comes to feeding time, switching your dog to a raw food diet can lead to some questions about the amount of food you need to give him.

This handy guide will help you figure out how much you should be feeding your dog so you can feel more confident that you’re not overfeeding, and you’ll always make sure he gets the nutrients he needs.


If you’ve ever owned a puppy before, you know how fast they grow. It seems like every time you turn around they get bigger and bigger, no matter how badly you wish they’d stay little. As a result of this growth, puppies need the right portion of raw food to provide them with the nutrients to keep them going.

You’ve come to the right place! We’re proud to announce our Puppylicious: Complete and Balanced raw puppy food. Puppylicious™ has been carefully formulated to ensure all nutritional requirements for puppies are met. Balanced to meet AAFCO Nutrient Profile for Growth and Development (including growth of large breed dogs over 70 lbs.). Puppylicious is the perfect choice for your puppy and will allow you to “love them right from the start”.

Visit our newly added Puppy pages to learn more on Puppylicious, How to transition, How to feed, and frequently asked questions to help guide you through the transition. Click here!


When it comes to adult dogs, there are other considerations and needs you should factor in. An adult dog’s diet is based on maintenance instead of the growth support that they needed as a puppy.

Just like humans, a dog’s portion depends on their weight, metabolism and their activity level. Of course, you should talk to your vet if your dog has any special dietary needs or medical requirements that affect her food intake.

Here are some general guidelines for feeding your adult dog raw food:

  • Active, underweight adult dogs should eat 3% of their current weight in pounds per day.
  • Senior, less active, overweight adult dogs should eat 1.5% of their current weight in pounds per day.
  • Adult dogs at an ideal weight should eat 2-3% of their current weight in pounds per day.

If you are wondering how often you should feed your dog, we recommend 2-4 times per day for puppies and 1-2 times per day for adult dogs. Again, this will depend on if your dog has any specific requirements set out by your vet.

Learn more about how to feed your adult dog a raw food diet by clicking here! 


Sometimes it takes more than just looking at your pet to determine their ideal weight. Many long haired and double coated breeds can be harder to gauge by just looking at them. Breeds differ in shape and build, so that can complicate things when you are trying to figure out their weight.

We encourage you to feel them to best determine their physique.  Besides, it’s another great reason to pet your dog!

You can determine whether your dog is overweight by using your fist as a guideline.  

Feel your dog’s ribs and compare it to your fist. If your dog’s ribs feel like the spot between your palm and your thumb, he is overweight. If his ribs feel like the area of your knuckles, he is underweight. His ideal weight should have his ribs feeling like the back of your hand.

If you still aren’t sure how much raw food to feed your dog, get in touch with us. We’ll answer your questions and give you the best advice to help you make the transition.



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About the Author: Tung Chi