A raw diet, or an ancestral diet is gaining in popularity in the pet market. This is because pet parents are more informed over the years and some believe that the raw dog food diet is the best and healthier alternative to heavily processed kibble. While this may be true, a raw dog food diet may not be suitable for every dog. Some dogs are better off with some raw meal toppers or a partially raw diet while others with digestive issues will benefit best from complete raw food meals.

Whichever is best for your pooch, we have a healthy lineup of products ready to assist you! The transition from a previously kibble or wet food-based diet to a raw one can take some time, but if you take all of the health benefits into consideration, it will all be worth it if what you get in return is a healthy and happy fur baby.

View The Best Raw Dog Foods Below

1. Darwin’s Raw Dog Food

darwins raw dog food

If you know anything about subscription dog foods, then you will be familiar with Darwin’s concept – except it’s with raw food! It follows the same business model of crafting tailored meals for each unique pup for a balanced diet. They ask basic questions about your pooch such as his or her weight, age, and activity level to help their experts craft the best recipe.

You won’t be constrained by a hard subscription service because Darwin’s Raw Dog Food allows you to customize and change your order at any time. Each of Darwin’s dog meals comes with free delivery and is sent straight to your door – fresh and ready to serve!

Pros:

+Expertly tailored

+ Fresh and wholesome ingredients

+ Free delivery

+ Vet recommended

+ Customize at any time

Why We Like It – No two dogs are the same, so Darwin offering custom-tailored meals unique to each dog is definitely something we love.


2. Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

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In order to keep commercially produced raw dog foods fresh, they need to be freeze-dried. Open Farm offers six different flavors to satisfy the tummy of even the pickiest eaters that can be used as full meals on their own or meal toppers to boost the nutrients in each bowl.

All of the ingredients are humanely sourced and certified so you know your dog is getting the best. Open Farm balanced all food groups to create delectable little treats that any dog will love. Meat is always the first ingredient in all of Open Farm’s freeze-dried food recipes and they skip out on all the unnecessary fillers, starch, and artificial additives.

Pros:

+ Six different dog food flavors

+ Can be used as food toppers or meals

+ Freeze-dried fresh

+ Meat as first ingredient

+ No artificial additives

Why We Like It – The best thing about frozen raw dog food is it can keep its freshness. Open Farm’s transparent process coupled with the absence of unnecessary ingredients makes their raw foods for dogs an excellent choice.


3. Instinct Frozen Raw Bites

Instinct Frozen Raw Bites

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Instinct’s Frozen Raw Bites come in a variety of flavors including beef, chicken and lamb. The assortment of flavors make these raw dog food choices a good option for picky eaters and dogs with allergies. Each 6-pound bag is full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals to aid in your dog’s growth. All of Instinct’s freeze-dried dog food is minimally processed and never cooked to compromise raw nutrients.

All made with wholesome and raw ingredients, Instinct makes sure your pup absorbs the maximum amount of nutrients in every bowl. Made in the USA, you know your dog is getting the best freeze-dried dog food that passed the most stringent food safety standards.

Pros:

+ Minimally processed

+ Raw vitamins and minerals

+ Never cooked

+ Wholesome ingredients

+ Made in the USA

Why We Like It – Unfortunately, where the dog food is made does play a part in how safe and fresh it is. The best raw dog foods will have been known to come out of American soil.


4. Visionary Pet Foods Raw Frozen Keto Diet

Visionary Keto Pet Food

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Now your dog can enjoy frozen beef paddies for every meal. The keto diet is one that is devoid of carbs, and it’s a trending feeding concept that has now carried over to dogs. There are less than 4 grams of carbs per 8-ounce beef patty. There are no unnecessary ingredients included in the recipe, and each patty is free of rendered ingredients and grain and gluten as well.

Everything your dog will get in a pack of 12 patties is human-grade food because you know your furry best friend deserves the best.

Pros:

+ Keto diet dog food

+ Free of rendered ingredients

+ Grain and gluten-free

+ Human-grade

+ 4 grams of carbs per 8-oz patty

Why We Like It – Not only does Visionary Pet Foods offer one of the best raw dog food diets but also a ketogenic one as well. They really live up to their name and are real visionaries in the pet food industry.


5. Northwest Naturals Raw Rewards Freeze-Dried Liver Treats

Northwest Naturals Raw Rewards Freeze-Dried Liver Treats

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For those who are looking to supplement their dog’s regular diet with the occasional freeze-dried treat, Northwest Naturals Raw Rewards presents a great solution. Each yummy liver tidbit is rich in protein and other vitamins and minerals. Feel free to toss a few of these delicious nuggets into your pup’s feeding bowl as a meal topper as well.

There is no false advertising with Northwest Naturals Raw Rewards. In each pack there is only one ingredient – liver. What you see is what you get with no hidden additives or preservatives, just freeze-dried goodness in little bites.

Pros:

+ Just one ingredient

+ Minimally processed

+ Freeze-dried to keep fresh

+ Rich in protein

+ Can be a meal topper or snack

Why We Like It – Knowing exactly we are feeding our dogs is important, so just having one ingredient uncomplicates things and is easy on their digestive systems.


6. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Stella’s Super Beef Meal Mixers

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Stella's Super Beef Meal Mixers

 

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Raw dog food can be grain-free too. Grain-free options are great for dogs who are more sensitive and allergic to food. Kickstart your dog’s day the right way with raw nutrition. All of the ingredients are wholesome and top-notch with grass-fed beef and cage-free chicken depending on the flavor you choose. Each batch of frozen raw dog food is 95% meat with added vitamins and minerals for a balanced meal.

For dogs just starting off on the raw food diet, these meal mixers are great supplements to add to their daily nutritional intake and to get them acquainted with raw food.

Pros

+ A variety of flavors

+ Wholesome ingredients

+ 95% meat

+ Vitamins and minerals

+ Rich in protein

Why We Like It – We like Stella & Chewy’s meal toppers as the entry product into the raw food diet for dogs. They make each meal more delicious while adding to each bowl’s nutritional profile.


7. Better in The Raw for Dogs Dog Food Supplement

Better in The Raw for Dogs Dog Food Supplement

 

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This best raw dog food supplement is a powdered additive that boosts the flavor of bland kibble for dogs but also adds in some extra nutrients. It’s a premixed blend of wholesome ingredients in powdered form that will help pawrents prepare raw meals for their fur baby.

It’s a grain-free recipe that won’t aggravate existing allergies and can be activated by adding water. Whether you have a puppy or a senior dog at home, this dog food supplement is great for dogs in all life stages an made completely from human-grade ingredients.

Pros

+ Made from human-grade ingredients

+ Good for all life stages

+ Grain-free recipe

+ Powdered form

+ Extra nutrients

Why We Like It – The Better in the Raw Dog food supplement is easy to prepare with minimal fuss. Just add it onto your dogs daily meal with a bit of water to boost the taste.


8. Vital Essentials Beef Entree Mini Nibs

Vital Essentials

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Your domestic dog will no longer get the thrills of foraging for food in the wild, but you can somewhat simulate the delicious rewards with these beef entree mini nibs from Vital Essentials. Freeze-dried treats and meal toppers can be stored easily at room temperature without the need for refrigeration. Your pet can have quick and easy access to fresh and delicious dried raw food at any time.

The grain-free and gluten-free pieces are great for small breeds and blend a myriad of wholesome ingredients into the mix. There are no undesirable ingredients like antibiotics added and you will see the difference in your fur baby in just a few weeks!

Pros

+ Freeze-dried and easy to store

+ Grain-free

+ Gluten-free

+ Wholesome ingredients

+ Nothing harmful

Why We Like It – We like how our domesticated canines can still enjoy the thrills of raw food as they would in the wild, all while getting more balanced meals.


9. Primal Pet Food Freeze-Dried Nuggets

Primal Pet Food Freeze-Dried Nuggets

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Primal Pet Food freeze-dried treats come in a wide variety of flavors. They are balanced extra treats that are suitable for all life stages. In the chicken recipe, for example, the chickens were raised cage-free without added antibiotics or hormones. The vitamins and minerals in each mixture are naturally derived to make sure your dog’s meal is all-natural.

These freeze-dried nuggets are grain-free, gluten-free and made without corn, wheat or soy. Feel free to mix and match the flavors so your dog gets something new in every bowl. These freeze-dried meal mixers will break even the pickiest of eaters.

Pros

+ Many flavors

+ Naturally derived vitamins and minerals

+ No added corn, soy or wheat

+ Gluten-free

+ Grain-free

Why We Like It – While some freeze-dried dog food can seem unappetizing, these nuggets can be mixed with water to really bring out the flavor and appeal to all fur babies.


10. Stewart Freeze-Dried Treats

Stewart Freeze-Dried Treats

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Stewart Treats are made with your dog’s palate in mind. Every treat is made from one single protein meat source with the best wholesome ingredients. All of the ingredients in these raw dog treats are human-grade, meaning good enough for even you to try! You can keep the freeze-dried dog food fresh with the patented resealable bag design without refrigeration.

Everything is thoughtfully sourced in the USA, to give pawrents further peace of mind knowing that only the best ingredients go into this food for dogs.

Pros

+ Top human-grade ingredients

+ Sourced in the USA

+ Wholesome diet

+ Single protein meat source

+ Resealable packaging

Why We Like It – We love just how much care went into sourcing and creating these mouth-watering raw food recipes for our fur babies.


The Best Raw Dog Food Buying Guide

Just because the package says raw dog food, it doesn’t mean that the ingredients that went into it or the handling process were 100% safe. To further give pawrents peace of mind a reassurance that they aren’t feeding their dogs just any raw dried dog food, we have come up with a checklist below to make sure your fur babies are getting nothing but the best.

The Meat Source in Raw Food

With regular kibble and wet dog food as well, ingredients are usually listed in order of percentage. This means that the ingredient that takes up the largest ratio is listed first in the raw food and so on. It’s important to note that the first ingredient is always a carefully labeled and easy to understand meat source – or in this case, raw meat source. Look for words like chicken, beef, lamb, etc., that are straightforward and clear.

Top-rated dog food brands will always be clear and transparent with their product labeling. Look for meat sources that were humanely sourced and grass-fed or cage-free. There should also not be any antibiotics or hormones added to the main meat source, because those are all lingering compounds that will be ingested by your beloved pooch.

What about Organs in Raw Food?

A lot of people perceive organ meat to be a type of filler, especially in raw food. However, For raw freeze dried dog food, these organ meats are rich sources of protein that help with lean muscle growth. Livers, hearts and kidneys are excellent organs to incorporate in your dog’s diet. However great organs may be, do not go for raw food for dogs that have more than 10% or use organs as the main meat protein source.

Are Carbs Good or Bad for Your Dog?

Carbs are where your dog gets his energy from. Carbs should not come from soy, wheat, corn, grain, etc. in raw food if you can help it. It’s easy to find grain-free diets on the market now, but healthy sources of carbs come from veggies. A balanced meal of fruits and vegetables will give your fur baby enough energy without the unideal ingredients. If your dog has special needs or you believe carbs can be cut out, the Visionary Pet Foods Raw Frozen Keto Diet presents more flexibility for dog owners.

Fat in Raw Food

The best raw dog foods, or best regular dog foods at that should have some amounts of fat. Food with too much fat content won’t do your dog and his weight any favors. Try to look for lean meat in your dog’s diet and raw meat diets are often pretty lean. Healthy fats tend to come from fish such as omega fatty acids that help with skin and coat health. The overall fat content in your dog’s diet should not exceed 15%.

Down to the Bone

Yes, even raw freeze dried dog food can contain bones. Bones fit the dog cartoon stereotype that we are used to, but it’s actually true. Dogs love to chew on bones and they are an excellent source of minerals, calcium and trace nutrients. In raw freeze dried dog food however, the bones are usually ground up into powder and mixed into the raw food.

Never feed your dog pieces of bone as they can be a choking hazard and can even pierce their organs. Always give large full pieces or use ground up powders.

Added Vitamins and Minerals in Raw Food

Also, pay attention to any beneficial additives such as vitamins and minerals. They can come in the form of fruits and additional compounds. They are there to boost the immune system and others such as glucosamine can have more focused advantages such as joint lubrication. A balanced diet of fruits and vegetables will provide a lot of extra added vitamins and minerals your dog needs that he cannot get form kibble.

Easy to Administer

Not a lot of us have the time to make full-on meals from scratch for our dogs every day, despite what they deserve. When you purchase raw dog food or freeze dried raw food, it needs to be as easy as possible to use. Ready-made nuggets or powders are great options for the best raw food for dogs. We also recommend the freeze-dried raw options because they are easy to store. Just reseal them and keep them in a cool and dry place at room temperature.

Affordable Price for Raw Dog Food

No matter how good the freeze dried raw food is for your dog, you don’t want to go into debt for something like dog food. The best raw dog foods should be affordable and have varieties for every budget. We will caution against making the price the number one determiner when purchasing raw dog foods. While a raw food diet is undoubtedly more expensive, it’s for good reason because the ingredients used are of a higher quality. Don’t compromise quality for the price when looking for the next freeze dried raw dog food.

Does Your Dog Like the Food?

All your research and efforts will have been in vain if your dogs don’t find the freeze dried raw diet for dogs enjoyable. Kibble is highly processed and it’s easy to add artificial flavors to entice your dog in the manufacturing process. It’s more difficult to hide undesirable flavors during minimally processed production, so there is a chance your dog may be a little standoffish when presented with the raw dog food.

Get to know your dog a bit and understand what flavors he or she likes. You can experiment with treats first to get a picture of their preference and then transfer that knowledge to the raw dog food. Your end goal is to have your dog gobble every last little morsel up in their bowls and come back begging for more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do vets recommend raw food for dogs?

Yes, some vets do recommend a raw diet for dogs due to certain health reasons. Most will advise a partially raw food diet or supplementation of raw treats instead due to unprocessed meat being a culprit of pathogens like E. coli and salmonella that can make your dogs sick as well.

Is raw dog food really better?

Raw dog food can be better, but the end result depends on each individual dog. For those who are more sensitive and have digestive issues, a raw diet may be more advisable. However, for regular happy and healthy dogs, just a small add-on to top off your dog’s daily diet should be enough.

Can dogs eat raw beef?

Yes, dogs can eat raw beef as its a rich source of protein and fats, However, raw meat bring the risk of contracting certain bacteria and pathogens that can make your dog sick.

What is the BARF Diet?

The BARF Diet is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. The BARF diet adheres to the principals of providing food preferred by your dogs’ ancestors – the wolves.

How much raw food can I feed my dog?

Some owners go for a fully raw food meal plan, while others only provide raw meat as a topper or as a treat. Depending on your dog’s needs, the amount will vary. Introducing a raw meat diet slowly by just adding 5% and increasing gradually is a good start for the diet switch.

Best Raw Dog Food Conclusion

Our top pick for the best raw dog food will have to be Darwin’s Raw Dog Food. We are big fans of the subscription pet food service for many reasons, and customizability is one of them. Darwin’s Raw Dog Food allows for perfectly tailored raw dog food meals that can be grain-free and much healthier than regular kibble. With so many benefits to incorporating some semblance of raw food into your dog’s diet, it’s hard not to consider this ready-made and fresh choice that will be delivered right to your door!

Expert Tip

We would not recommend just feeding grocery store-bought raw meat to make your own raw food. This is because there will be bacteria that may get your dog sick. Look for a butcher’s shop that is renowned for fresh meat without harmful additives.

Did You Know?

There have been studies linking raw dog food plans to healthier fur babies that live longer lives compared to ones that are on the regular kibble diet. A kibble diet is not frowned upon, but adding some nutrition through raw dog food will only help.

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Jess
Jess' life is never boring and full of loyalty and love from her fur babies. Being able to write about all of these products and being a doggy mom herself, gives Jess insight into what’s important when choosing the right products for our cuddly pals.