Fresh puppy food for thought

March 20, 2023

Fresh puppy food for thought

If there's one regret I have about fresh-feeding my's that I didn't start when they were puppies!
(Anna, Lead Human, suburban pup + mum of Vin, Chief Taster, pictured at 12 weeks old)

If you’re bringing a new puppy home in the near future, you’ll be planning for plenty of details, such as where they’ll sleep, how you'll train them, whether you have anywhere near enough puppy pads, and allll the toys and accessories. One of the most im-paw-tant things to consider, however, is what you'll feed them - because fresh food is the most consistent investment you can make in your pup’s general wellness and future longevity.

Puppies naturally wean off their mother’s milk at around 8-12 weeks old, but continue to have specific dietary needs to at least age 1. For instance, puppies require higher quantities/ratios of specific vitamins and minerals to support the growth and development of their furry little bodies, plus they have higher proportional calorie needs and faster metabolisms than adult dogs. Your pup’s breed and energy requirements should also be taken into consideration; here at Suburban Pup, we specialise in servings for small to medium-sized dogs, whose body shape can continue to change right up to age 2!

What to feed your puppy

It’s a good idea to find out what your puppy was fed before you picked them up, and continue with a similar diet until just until they are first settled into their new home. You can then start gently transitioning them to a fresh diet via our spoon-by-spoon transitioning guide (and for puppy tummy transitioning, we mean teaspoons!)

When it comes to introducing new proteins, gentleness can also greatly enhance your success. For new Suburban Puppies, we always suggest starting with our lightly-cooked, reduced allergen Green Turkey Dins recipe before moving onto our richer and raw meals.

Your lil SP's fresh-feeding goal from there will be our Growing Puppy pack of two fresh puppy-friendly meals: lightly-cooked Pork Dins + raw Lamb in the Raw.  Featuring the extra protein, calcium and fat needed for puppyhood, these meals all-naturally meet AAFCO's 'all life stages' standard, so are also suitable for continued inclusion in active adult dog diets. 

If you’re a brand new pup owner, it’s also an awesome idea to familiarise yourself with foods that are toxic for dogs (both in one-off quantities + cumulatively over time) - here's a non-exhaustive list to start with!

How much to feed your puppy

Did you know that for puppies, we use their projected adult weight as your feeding guide? It may seem like a lot at first, and is best split across 2-4 meals a day - but they definitely need extra energy for growing!! Of course, if you’re mixing Suburban Pup with other dry, wet or home-prepped food sources, you can reduce its weight proportionally.

So here's our daily feeding guide for adult dogs that appears on all our meal labels: per 1kg of your pup's weight, we suggest feeding approx. 20-30g of suburban pup daily. That means dogs to 10kg in weight would consume approx 200g or one container per day (for example, our 8kg shih tzus eat half a container each for breakfast and half a container each for dinner) but be aware tiny dogs under 5kg adult bodyweight may need up to 40-50g per kg per day!

Remember too that every animal's individual metabolism is a little different depending on their breed, age and activity level too - so keep an eye on their body weight every few weeks to determine if you need to tweak their overall food quantity up or down until you reach a steady level you're happy with. Scales rarely lie, regardless of how floofy your new fur kid looks!!

Training and treats

Raising a happy, secure puppy requires positive training, both initially and ongoing. When training with usually calorie-concentrated treats, remember to follow feeding guides, and factor them into your pup’s daily diet. For instance, it may be necessary to feed a little less puppy food to compensate for treats, or you can even serve spoons of your puppy’s usual meal as high value training rewards instead.

When you're out and about though, dehydrated treats offer a handy solution, and our calcium-rich Daily Quail Delights can be broken into small pieces to help make them last for your first short walks. Like turkey, quail is a more novel protein known for its low allergen quality, and our treats' single quail frame mince ingredient can keep the consumption of vital bone content by your puppy nice and low-stress.

Food and water bowls

Now for the extra fun part: choosing your puppy's first bowls! Once again, you’ll want to consider your puppy’s breed. For example, if they have long, floppy ears you may consider a bowl with higher tapered sides, or get them used to wearing a snood for meal times. Or if they’re a breed known for wolfing down their food, you may very well want to try a slow feed bowl or mat. A variety of vessels can also help keep their little brains busy - this is known as enrichment feeding, and can be a lifelong activity you enjoy working on together. In fact, our recent Instagram reels feature a range of these fun ideas, demonstrated by our part-time teamster Pepsi.

Good hydration habits can be encouraged by making multiple water bowls available throughout your puppy's living space, ideally with puppy pads nearby. Always use filtered water if possible, and clean all bowls at least once daily. Keep in mind that fresh-fed dogs receive natural moisture through their food, so may seem to drink a little less than their dry-fed playmates. But for a little extra hydration on these still-hot Autumn days, you can easily mix an extra splash of water into their meals as well.

Let us sup-paw-t you!

We know humans are busy, so our product range is all about making fresh-feeding convenient and flexible, even for new pawrents!! So for practical trouble-shooting when starting your pup's transition toward fresh-feeding goals, don't hesitate to contact us. We genuinely delight in dog foodie journeys, and as a boutique local business we can provide you with day-to-day support. Literally!

In short, we paw-sonally urge you to invest now in your puppy’s wellness and longevity - by adding fresh food to their bowl from the beginning of your life together. Vin (now nearly 12 years old) and I can vouch that neither of you will ever regret it.

vin at nearly 12 years old

Words by Kate & Anna
Photos by Carley Blue & Eve Editorial


Where longevity meets wellness
Where longevity meets wellness

November 01, 2023

A tribute to Archie, Penny, Diesel, Tully, Banksy, Lady, Harvey, Ollie, Minnie + Ernie.

Continue Reading

4 new pup food choices
4 new pup food choices

October 18, 2023

With 6 weeks to go, let us help you look at fresh food alternatives.

Continue Reading

Busy humans, please read
Busy humans, please read

August 28, 2023

In early November, Suburban Pup (SP) will turn 7. And on Sunday 19 November, we’ll close our weekly meal orders for the last time.​​​​​​​​

Continue Reading