5 Best Raw Dog Food Products To Keep Your Pup Happy and Healthy

Many dog parents are now considering raw dog food as the best diet for your pup. That’s because traditional dry dog food is far from healthy. Most kibble brands are packed with carbohydrates, along with unhealthy filler ingredients. Basically, all dry dog food is like fast food for dogs because it’s processed. Some brands are certainly healthier than others, but it will never live up to your dog’s ancestral diet. So, that’s why many people are interested in raw dog food instead.

What is Raw Dog Food?

Raw dog food emphasizes the essential parts of a dog’s diet, such as raw meat, bones, fruits and vegetables. Working dogs like sled dogs have been known to eat this type of diet for a long time, but now it has grown in popularity for companion dogs too. Some dog parents prepare the raw meals themselves while others purchase frozen or freeze-dried versions of it. As long as the food has a properly balanced diet for your pup, both options are generally higher quality than any dry dog food.

Here are some common ingredients used for raw diets:

  • Muscle meat, which can sometimes still be on the bone.
  • Bones, either whole pieces or ground up.
  • Organ meat, like liver or kidney.
  • Raw eggs.
  • Vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, and kale.
  • Fruit, such as apples and blueberries.

Raw Dog Food Benefits and Risks

For the most part, raw dog food is healthy if prepared correctly. However, it has its benefits and risks, just like any other type of diet. So, here are some things to consider if you’re planning to feed your dog a raw diet.

Benefits of a raw dog food diet:

  • It promotes shinier coats and healthier skin.
  • It boosts energy levels.
  • It keeps teeth cleaner.
  • You know exactly what’s in the food.
  • It has less chances of causing allergic reactions.
  • It might give your dog smaller stools.
  • It’s tastier for most dogs.

Risks of a raw dog food diet:

  • The bacteria in raw meat could harm humans or dogs.
  • An unbalanced diet could affect your dog’s health negatively.
  • Whole bones could pose a choking hazard.
  • It’s typically more expensive.

A lot of the risks have to do with how the food is prepared. So, if you don’t feel confident in making a safe, balanced diet for your dog from scratch, then you might want to use a pre-made raw diet. If you eventually decide to try preparing it yourself, you should follow specific recipes to make sure your dog gets the proper amounts of protein, fat, and other ingredients.

Best Raw Dog Food Products

Raw dog food is newer in terms of popular dog food options. So, there aren’t nearly as many raw food choices as there are for dry food and wet food. Here are five great raw dog food options that your dog is sure to love.

#1 – Primal Chicken Formula Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Primal dog food is made with raw, freeze-dried nuggets. It comes in either a 5.5-ounce bag or a 14-ounce bag. Neither of which sound very big, but you have to add water to the nuggets, which adds a lot of weight. When serving it to your dog, all you have to do is add water to it and stir. This particular formula is a grain-free chicken formula, with 37% protein and 37% fat, which is much higher than most dry dog food brands.

All the chicken and organs in this formula are antibiotic, hormone, and steroid-free. The food also uses organic produce and minerals to give your dog a balanced nutrition. Additionally, it has amino acids for added protein, essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coats, and no filler ingredients.

Pros:

  • It comes in two sizes.
  • It’s high in protein.
  • It has no filler ingredients.
  • It promotes a healthy skin and coat.
  • It has organic ingredients with no antibiotics, hormones, or steroids.
  • It lists animal protein as the first three ingredients.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive.
  • It doesn’t come in larger bags for large breeds.
  • The quality could vary.

#2 – Instinct Frozen Raw Bites Grain-Free Chicken Recipe

This raw food is frozen as opposed to freeze-dried. This particular option is a grain-free recipe that’s made with cage-free chicken. It only comes in a 3-pound or 6-pound bag, which seems small for large dog breeds. The food thaws quickly, so you should leave it frozen until it nears mealtime. Then, you should give it a few minutes to thaw and serve it to your dog with the pieces still cold to the touch. All the extra food should be kept in the package to preserve freshness. Unlike other raw foods, this option doesn’t require you to add water to it.

Unfortunately, this food only contains 12% protein and 8% fat, which is very low for dog food. Yet, it lists animal protein as the first three ingredients. In total, this food states that it’s packed with 85% meat and organs, along with 15% non-GMO fruits. This filler-free food promotes strong, lean muscles and it benefits your dog’s dental health and digestion.

Pros:

  • It comes in two sizes.
  • It lists animal protein as the first three ingredients.
  • It has no filler ingredients.
  • It benefits dental health.
  • It benefits digestion.
  • It’s easy to serve.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive.
  • It doesn’t come in a larger bag for large breeds.
  • It has a low protein percentage.
  • It turns into mush if defrosted too much.

#3 – Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Food

Similar to Primal’s food, Stella & Chewy’s is a freeze-dried form of raw food. This formula comes in three different sizes: 5.5-ounce, 14-ounce, and 25-ounce. It comes in the form of chicken patties, which are made with cage-free chicken. In total, it has 48% protein and 28% fat, which is much higher than most dog food brands. It also lists animal proteins as the first three ingredients. It’s a balanced diet with no filler ingredients in order to closely resemble your dog’s ancestral diet. 

There are a few different options for how to serve this to your dog. You can serve it as is or you can rehydrate it by adding water to it. Rehydrating is the recommended choice, especially if your dog doesn’t drink much water throughout the day. Cool or warm water will be suitable for the food.

Pros:

  • It’s high in protein.
  • It comes in three sizes.
  • It has no filler ingredients.
  • It lists animal protein as the first three ingredients.
  • It closely mimics a dog’s ancestral diet.

Cons:

  • It’s a little expensive.
  • The quality could vary.

#4 – Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food

The Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food is a unique raw formula because it’s air-dried as opposed to freeze-dried or frozen. It’s packed with natural ingredients like fresh meat, organs, and bones. This is the beef recipe, and it lists animal proteins as the first six ingredients, which is much higher than most dog foods. It also has 38% protein and 30% fat, which is higher than average as well. Unlike similar foods, there’s no need to rehydrate it. It can simply be served as is.

This food comes in four different sizes, ranging from 1 pound to 8.8 pounds. It has a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which promotes healthy joints. It also has proper amounts of taurine, which promotes heart health. It’s just as digestible as any other raw diet, and it doesn’t include any preservatives or other filler ingredients.

Pros:

  • It lists animal protein as the first six ingredients.
  • It’s high in protein.
  • It comes in four sizes.
  • It promotes healthy joints.
  • It promotes healthy hearts.
  • It has no filler ingredients.
  • It’s easy to serve.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive.
  • The quality could vary.
  • It could be difficult to chew.

#5 – Nature’s Logic Chicken Feast Patties Raw Frozen Dog Food

This dog food is made of frozen patties, which is somewhat similar to the Instinct formula. It only comes in two small sizes: 3.2-ounce and 8-ounce. This particular formula is a chicken flavor, and it lists animal protein sources as the first three ingredients, followed by lots of fruits and vegetables. However, it only has 12% protein and 7% fat, which is low even compared to dry dog foods.

The food is grain-free and gluten-free, and it only uses whole-food ingredients that are packed with nutrients. It doesn’t contain any chemicals or filler ingredients either. It uses ingredients that are high in calcium in order to promote bone health for your pup. It recommends that you keep it frozen until you’re ready to use it. Then, put it in the refrigerator to thaw. It’s important to keep it away from other foods since it does contain raw meat.

Pros:

  • It lists animal protein as the first three ingredients.
  • It comes in two sizes.
  • It doesn’t contain any fillers.
  • It promotes healthy bones.
  • It’s easy to serve.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive.
  • It doesn’t have larger sizes for large breeds.
  • It has a low protein percentage.

Is Raw Dog Food Right for Your Dog?

All dogs can benefit from a raw diet, but it might not be the right choice for all dog parents. Raw diets usually take more time and money to prepare, so you need to take that into account when choosing your dog’s food. If you can’t commit to this, then you should find a different way to give your dog a healthy diet. Many dog parents add a healthy topper to their dog’s kibble to give them some extra nutrients. Also, wet food is usually a better option than dry food.

If your dog is picky or has food allergies, then a raw diet can be extra beneficial for them. If you make a raw diet yourself, then you know exactly what ingredients go into it. That way, you can ensure that they’re all safe for your dog and that they’ll fit your dog’s preferences. Pre-made raw food is similar because it has less ingredients than kibble and more beneficial items, so you’ll know what’s going into your dog’s tummy. Both options will have less unhealthy carbs in them too.

Whether or not you switch to raw dog food is entirely up to you. Just remember that if you make it yourself, you need to be extra careful when choosing the ingredients. Dogs need a certain amount of protein, fat, and nutrients in their diet, so it’s important that they get that in their food.

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