Not everyone has time to buy meat by the pound at their local butcher. Then preparing it in the proper amounts while adding all other necessary ingredients for proper nutrition can take even more time. We personally do our own raw food meals that way, however for others it may be necessary to buy pre-made and packaged raw food. Not all brands rate as well as others. In the past decade dozens of companies have popped up. Many of which pump unnecessary ingredients into the food. One of the biggest reasons to switch to a raw food diet is to know which ingredients are indeed in the food. So when looking at food it is important to research which foods are best. Dog Food Advisor published a list of 5 star raw dog foods. I’ve added them below. It’s important to note that the following list includes mostly expensive foods.
- Answers Detailed Dog Food (Raw Frozen)
- Aunt Jeni’s Home Made (Raw Frozen)
- Bravo Homestyle Complete (Freeze-Dried)
- Darwin’s Natural Selections (Raw Frozen)
- Darwin’s ZooLogics (Raw Frozen)
- Fresh Is Best Dog Food (Freeze-Dried)
- Genesis RAW Dog Food (Raw Frozen)
- K-9 Kraving Dog Food (Raw Frozen)
- Lotus Dog Food (Raw Frozen)
- Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Frozen Diets (Raw Frozen)
- Northwest Naturals (Raw Frozen and Freeze-Dried)
- Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried (Freeze-Dried)
- OC Raw Dog Food (Raw Frozen)
- Primal Pronto Raw Frozen Formulas (Raw Frozen)
- Primal Raw Frozen Formulas (Raw Frozen)
- Primal Raw Frozen Grinds (Raw Frozen)
- Primal Raw Frozen Mixes (Raw Frozen)
- Raw Bistro Dog Food (Raw Frozen)
- RAWZ Freeze Dried Nutrition (Freeze-Dried)
- Smack Raw Dehydrated Dog Food (Dehydrated)
- SmallBatch Raw Frozen Dog Food (Raw Frozen)
- Stella and Chewy’s Meal Mixer Superblends (Freeze-Dried)
- Stella and Chewy’s Meal Mixers (Freeze-Dried)
- Steve’s Real Food (Freeze-Dried)
- Steve’s Real Food BARF Diet (Raw Frozen)
- Stewart Raw Naturals (Freeze-Dried and Raw Frozen)
- TruDog Dog Food (Freeze-Dried)
- Vital Essentials Dog Food (Freeze-Dried and Raw Frozen)
Which are the Most Affordable?
Not all on this list are affordable as you can see by the prices on the provided links. At many of these prices my dogs’ food would cost 4 times as much as my family meals. We do have 4 dogs, and they are large golden retrievers. Having a smaller dog would be dramatically less.
We’ve done a lot of research and of these a few do stand out. Darwin’s Natural Selections, Darwin’s ZooLogics, and K-9 Kraving Dog Food are probably your most affordable brands. Darwin’s Natural Selection is organic, and Darwin’s Zoologic is non-organic. Darwin’s Zoologic is however a lot cheaper. It’s about $240 a month for the organic and $200 a month for the Zoologic food. That’s an approximation for a 65 lb dog. For K-9 Kraving it is a bit harder to get ahold of as it isn’t readily available in many states and locations. The above foods do follow the proper amounts of necessary protein and nutrients. They generally follow the FrankenBARF Model of feeding for dogs.
There are other fairly good quality foods that are not 5 star. Bravo Balance Frozen Raw Food (beef is their highest rated) have decent quality food and is a mid to upper tear food. RedBarn is even cheaper, but is a mid tear food. Raw Paws Pet Food also has their food that is not rated on dog food advisor. I’d rate them in the upper tear. Their food is much cheaper than the list above and is another option. There are a bunch others, but generally do not rate well.
Buying meat from a butcher is still the way to go. You will cut your costs immensely and bring it in range of traditional kibble. If anyone has tried brands not listed, feel free to let us know. We can look into it and compare price points as well as quality.