Best Raw Dog Foods

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A raw dog food diet is designed to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral menu. The whole concept of raw feeding is based upon a dog’s instinctive carnivorous bias — a built-in desire to capture (or find) and eat another animal.
Wolf with Raw Food

As unsavory as it may seem, it is completely natural for a wolf to consume the entire animal.

Meat, bones, organs and all.

As direct descendants of wolves, dogs are simply not genetically optimized to consume the 50% carbohydrate content of today’s commercial kibbles.

So, how do these diets compare?

The Ancestral Diet
Compared to Dry Kibble

No one can argue the dry baked pellets we call dog food aren’t convenient. Yet the nutrient profile of a dry kibble is nowhere near the nutrient content of a dog’s ancestral diet.

Canine Ancestral Diet versus Dry Dog Food

Notice the higher carbohydrate content of the kibble compared to the dog’s natural ancestral diet. Or how about the dramatically lower protein and fat levels?

The Benefits of a Raw Diet

Feeding a raw dog food diet has many notable benefits

  • Firmer stools
  • Improved digestion
  • Healthier skin and coat
  • Reduced allergy symptoms
  • Better weight management

There have been many reports of improved health when chronically ill pets were switched from a commercial product to a raw dog food.

The Downside
of a Raw Dog Food Diet

A raw dog food diet can’t touch the convenience of a kibble. Just measure and pour. It just doesn’t get any easier.

Yet besides the lack of convenience, there’s another critical issue. Bacterial contamination.

Salmonella and E. coli germs can always be a potential problem with raw meats. Yet the risk of food-borne disease is actually quite low.

That is, low risk for dogs. But not for humans.

That’s because a dog’s digestive system is shorter and more acidic.

Which makes canine infections like these fairly rare.

The real risk of food-borne disease is actually greater for a dog’s human caretakers — not the dog.

Yet with proper care and handling, this risk can be dramatically reduced.

How to Use Our List

Below you’ll find a list of the Advisor’s suggested raw dog foods. Of course, this list should not be considered a complete catalog of all the raw dog foods on the market.

For there are others. Many others.

We only provide this small group as a starting point.

As a matter of fact, if you know of a specific dog food you believe we should have included on this list, please feel free to share your recommendations in the Comments section below.

Or if you’re looking for some suggestions yourself, be sure to look through our readers’ Comments to find more good ideas.

Suggested Raw Dog Foods

  • Francis Cooke

    My pup a 1and a half year old Siberian Huskywas started on raw at 12 weeks old and has been doing great at first I made it how he eats different brands Primal, natural variety instinct and Stella and Chewys mostly ( with raw you can feed different brands going from one to a rather freely)

  • InkedMarie

    The Honest Kitchen isn’t a raw food

  • Beth Edwards

    what about the Honest Kitchen?

  • Crazy4cats

    I agree with the other two replies, have some blood work done if you haven’t already. My furry nephew had these issues and he ended up being hypothyroid. He takes a small pill for it now and has improved drastically. How is his weight?

  • Babslynne

    My dog had similar issues, please have him checked for thyroid problems, for my dog it was Cushing’s, his back had bald spots from his neck, down his back and over his ribs, even his tail, and it was crusty oozy stinky in spots. I soaked those spots in coconut oil and wrapped him in one of those thunder shirts. I added coconut oil to his food to balance his thyroid and started giving him Melatonin and flaxseed lignans. Its all natural and I didn’t read about any side affects so I had to try it and sure enough his skin cleared up and his hair is growing back. http://www.dogaware.com/articles/wdjcushings.html
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01801836I/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_17?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1NSXJ7I8F20VA
    https://www.chewy.com/thundershirt-anxiety-calming/dp/41103

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Please seek veterinary care, rule out medical issues, senior workup, labs.
    if it is within your means to see a veterinary dermatologist I would (sooner than later).
    I would not apply anything to the skin, nor would I give over the counter meds intended for humans, or supplements, or home remedies without the approval of a vet that has examined the dog. You can make things much worse and increase the risk of infection.

    From a previous post:
    “What you describe sounds like environmental allergies, food would have little impact, if any, on this condition”.
    “I would continue to work with your veterinarian, however, for best results, I would go to a specialist, a veterinary dermatologist.
    Have you tried the search engine here? This subject comes up frequently.
    Example: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/irritated-skin-food-allergy/
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/dog-chewing-nails-till-they-bleed/
    “Food allergies are rare. Food sensitivities tend to result in GI disturbances such as vomiting and diarrhea. Environmental allergies tend to show up as pruritus, ear infections and such”.
    “I tried all kinds of things times 1 year (including going back and forth to the veterinarian), but, did not get results till I took her to a dermatologist for testing”. “Allergen specific immunotherapy worked in her case”.
    “Unfortunately, steroids and such are often necessary (for brief periods) to stop the suffering and prevent infection”.
    “Allergen specific immunotherapy is the most natural treatment”.
    “Also, I have heard that some dogs do well on apoquel, you may want to consider staying with that, talk to your vet”.

  • Nellie ‘Rice’ Samms

    I have a dog with huge yeast issues. His back is nearly bare now… hot spots everywhere. I have tried everything. It’s been ongoing for some time. At one point, I did cave and use medicated shampoo, meds, etc. it wasn’t overly effective. I do think he also has allergies (def. to beef). He is 9 and we have had this issue for a few years to be honest. I have had him on top quality food – from raw to acana to canisource, etc. all good food with no drastic difference. My question is would the apple cidar or vinegar burn his skin (or sting possibly)? I have to bath him every week. Cannot live with the smell.

  • Kimi Painter-Shaffer

    Any thoughts or findings on Eureka frozen raw dog foods?

  • nicky

    thank you very much with your input. i will absolutly speak to my vet about it!!

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I would do what ever you did for the last dog, diet and all. Sixteen years is wonderful!
    Of course age related maladies and genetic predispositions are going to play a role.
    Please consult a vet before you go down this road, raw doesn’t agree with all dogs, especially small breeds.
    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/?s=raw+diet

    Raw diets are another popular option on the market today. Studies have shown that 20-35% of raw poultry and 80% of raw food dog diets tested contained Salmonella. This poses a health risk for your pet, but also for humans. This is especially true for children or immunocompromised adults, whether exposed to the raw food directly, or the feces of the pet eating the raw food. Additionally, there is increased risk of other bacterial infections and parasitic diseases when feeding raw diets. And the bottom line is there is no reason to believe raw food is healthier than cooked food. (excerpt from) https://www.mspca.org/angell_services/choosing-the-right-diet-for-your-pet/

  • nicky

    hello all.

    I had a chihuahua who recently passed away at almost 16. she was always kibble fed.she also developed what the vet believes was a brain tumor that caused seizures that ultimatly cause her passing. otherwise she was always in good health.
    a new chi baby will soon be joining the family and im looking at benefits of raw feeding for the tiny dog ….and i do mean TINY …..variety. I would apreciate input or ideas.

    thanks .

  • InkedMarie

    Hi Erin,
    Do you mean NVIR? If yes, it has produce; an ingredient may be causing the allergies.
    I feed ground raw that I buy from Hare Today; it has meat/bone/organ & some have tripe. It comes in 1, 2 or 5lb chubs. Other good companies are Raw feeding Miami, Reel Raw and My Pet Carnivore. I’m sure there are more.

  • Erin OConnor

    I am new to raw feeding. I was feeding Honest Kitchen. I slowing began transitioning my dogs to Natures Variety Instinct Raw. My dogs have been on NBIR since the begining of December. I took my 7 year old to the vet yesterday. For the first time ever he has shown signs of allergies. He has red irrated paws. I am ready to quit raw. Any suggestions?

  • Jason Proctor

    Raw Wild does not put organs OR bones in their products. If you want to feed a truly balanced raw dog food, you should use another product. They view organs as “by products” and use supplement additives to their meals, but they don’t give a breakdown of what they add on their site.