(Sorry for the crazy long reply)
I honestly have no experience with transitioning a puppy on to raw. Although from what I've read, your guy should be able to handle regular raw meals.
There are many people on here MUCH more knowledgable than me, but here's a few key things that I found really helpful as a newbie.
- Start by feeding meals that weigh about 2-3% of your dogs' body weight, and adjust upwards or downwards as necessary. (feeding a puppy is a little different here, you'll feed 2-3% of your puppy's estimated ADULT weight, and adjust up or down as needed.)
- Balance is important! An ideal diet will consist of about 80% MM (Muscle Meat), 10% Bone, 5% Liver, and 5% other OM (organ meat). HOWEVER, balance is not needed in every meal, you just need to be sure you're balancing over time. (my dog gets her balanced diet over every 3-4 days)
- When beginning, DO NOT start with the totally balanced approach, your poor pup may suffer from cannon butt as a result.
Start with ONE protein (I used chicken), and feed bone-in meals (Chicken leg 1/4). Over a period of a few days, increase MM to proper ratio, and after your dog is doing well on that, begin to SLOWLY add SMALL portions of liver, working towards the full 5%. (After that's established, begin to add variety and other OM, MM, etc.)
Here are some resources I found to be very helpful:
Raw Feeding (RF) (on yahoo! groups, and on Facebook)
Raw Feeding Community (Facebook)
And the RAW forums here, of course!
Finding good, reasonable food sources is a biggie for raw feeders. I started by buying stuff from regular grocery stores, and have branched out over the last few months. Free stuff is the best (hunters can be a fabulous resource), but even ordering from online suppliers should certainly be less than $35 for 6lbs! If there's a co-op that delivers to your area, that can be great too! Do a little local research and see what you turn up.
I did a lot of calculating when I started raw, and I've figured out that if I average $1.60/lb or less, I will be paying the same (or less) than when I was feeding kibble (Orijen). I've been able to stay under my budget with little to no trouble. I splurge on something if I get a great deal, or score some free stuff.
Supplements and what is or is not needed are a HUGE ongoing discussion in the Raw community.
Some believe that all the dog needs is meat, bones and organs. Some believe they need a vegetable and/or fruit puree. Some add all sorts of oils, powders, you-name-it to every meal. Ask 3 different raw feeders, you'll probably get 4 different answers!
Personally, I decided to feed with a prey-model diet as my starting point. (Prey model, or PMR, is the faction of raw feeders who believe in the meat/bones/organs ideal.) Lena has been doing fabulous, but I also feed her veggies/fruits on a semi regular basis, she gets fish oil when there is no fish in her diet, and she gets garlic as a flea/tick preventative, among a few other things.
Just do some research and only feed what you're comfortable with. Even if we never figure out the "perfect" way to feed raw, our dogs seem to be pretty happy with it.
is a link to a page that has some info about % of bone in certain cuts/pieces of meat.