Steve’s Real Food (Raw Frozen)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Steve’s Real Food raw frozen dog food earns the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Steve’s Real Food product line lists four raw frozen recipes, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.1

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Steve’s Real Food Turkey Diet
  • Steve’s Real Food Chicken Diet
  • Steve’s Real Food Turducken Diet
  • Steve’s Real Food Beef Diet (4.5 stars)

Steve’s Real Food Beef Diet was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Steve's Real Food Beef Diet

Raw Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 43% | Fat = 41% | Carbs = 8%

Ingredients: Ground beef, beef hearts, broccoli, beef kidney, carrots, beef liver, apples, raw goats milk, beef bone powder, flaxseed, dried kelp, cod liver oil, anchovy oil, coconut oil, inulin, sunflower seeds, salt, mixed tocopherols, eggshell membrane, dicalcium phosphate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.5%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis43%41%NA
Dry Matter Basis43%41%8%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%66%6%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.2

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is beef heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.

The third ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli is a healthy green vegetable and a member of the kale family. It’s notably rich in vitamin C and fiber and numerous other nutrients.

Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is believed to provide anti-cancer benefits.

The fourth ingredient is beef kidney, an organ meat low in fat and rich in protein and essential minerals.

The fifth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The seventh ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The eighth ingredient is goat’s milk. Goat’s milk is rich in calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D. Although it contains slightly less lactose, in many ways it can be considered nutritionally similar to cow’s milk.

The ninth ingredient is beef bone powder, an excellent source of natural calcium.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With five notable exceptions

First, anchovy oil and cod liver oil are rich in both EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids and cod liver oil has vitamin A and D. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, these oils should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, depending upon the quality of the raw material, coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids.

Coconut oil has been reported to have a beneficial effect on a dog’s skin and coat, improve digestion, and reduce allergic reactions.3

In addition, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

Next, this recipe includes flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

And lastly, we find no added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list. We would assume these essential nutrients are provided by the food ingredients in the recipe.

Steve’s Real Food Frozen Raw Diet
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Steve’s Real Food frozen raw diets looks like an above-average raw product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 36% and estimated carbohydrates of about 12%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 40%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 9% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 90%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing a significant amount of meat.

However, with 66% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 29% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal. In addition, this same finding also prevents us from awarding the brand a higher rating.

Bottom line?

Steve’s Real Food is a meat-based raw product using a significant amount of beef or poultry as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

10/22/2014 Last Update

  1. Per Gary at Steve’s Real Food Customer Service, 12/12/2012
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  3. Dr. Bruce Fife, Healthy Ways Newsletter, Vol 4:3
  • PUNKem733

    Oh man, I thought this was A review for Real Meat dog food. You should review them.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Steve’s is now making a raw goat’s milk yogurt with added coconut and chia. I hope I can get my hands on some of this! Has anyone tried it?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Wow, that’s cheap. I just got some not too long ago to try out and paid $4.45/lb.

  • Schnazuermom

    I sell this in my shop and also feed it to my dogs. My prices are no where near what y’all are saying…maybe it is the area??? It runs about $2.95 a lb. My dogs are doing GREAT on all varieties of this. I do throw in a few pieces of chicken every now and then just because my dogs are so large. This was the only food that helped my male dog finally put some weight on.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    It was on 3/7 actually. The article is still listed on the left side bar.

  • Shannon
  • InkedMarie

    I should have clarified that was the price to order online. 

  • Pattyvaughn

    Price varies by location.  Shipping in a freezer truck costs money.

  • Snowdogmom

    $4.45 a pound is high for Steve’s. I buy the 9.75 lb box of Beef nuggets and it’s about $3.29 a lb. or $31.99 for the box. Several local independent pet shops carry it in my area.

  • InkedMarie

    I was out all day, haven’t had time to look at the site. $4.45 a pound is more than I pay for Darwins. My last Darwins order, this week, was $162 for 40lbs. Hmm, if it’s the same price, give or take, as Darwins, I’ll stick with that.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Let me know what you think of it if you try it. I just noticed where rawpetfood.com is selling it now – free shipping and $4.45 per pound so I was thinking about giving it a whirl. Looks like a good food.

  • InkedMarie

    I just found out that a store not too awfully far from me carries Steve’s; I may take a look at it

  • myshepee

    Fantastic!!! So happy by the way that you make the food.
    I will share this great food to whom ever will have ears to hear and eyes to see.
    Thank you, keep up the wonderful work…
    Sincerely Dawn

  • Doug

    You donn’t cook it feed it raw

  • Elevbr00000

    I fed this to my maltese who had chf for 3 yr before he crossed over 45 days short of reaching 15 yr. There was less tear discharge and some weightloss at first once he stabilized. That with his vetriscience holistic meds for his chf allowed him to live a good life which the vet couldn’t believe. I wish it was available in the 10lb medallion size bag within a reasonable distance of my present address in ga. My other dogs which were a chi and a yorkie all loved it and thrived on it.

  • LA

    When i started RAW two of my dogs went through detox – lost weight and fur but now they are doing great – eyes are bright, fur grew back.

  • Cathyjohnson8

    Laura, I have an older sheltie and switched to raw. At first I thought I would have to switch back to kibble. But we stuck with the raw and she quit having issues. I think it was part of the detox of all those years of kibble. Don’t give up you won’t be sorry. I use Darwins.

  • Laura

    I have an older dog and the raw food seemed to upset her stomach.  She is 14.  My younger dog, 6, didn’t have any problem.  How long do you cook the food?

  • M Ward1993

    Steves Real Food vs Natures Variety raw?

  • Lisa Hoop

    Steve’s Real food is a great and convenient frozen food that I have given for 3 years to my brittany, starting when he was 10 years old. He will be 13 this month, and I can no longer serve him the food raw, which now causes bile vomiting. So now I am cooking it and no more upset digestive track issues. Keep this in mind if you have an older dog. My vet did not mention the food could cause it, but I found info on the internet that did, and I am glad I did.

  • Gordon

    This looks like a good raw food compilation for the 4 legged variety, Nicole. Raw is best, although RMB’s and offal is all they need and do best on, it’s nonetheless good that manufacturers such as that, you represent, at least compile together such, for those looking for added convenience. Sure beats any kibble and canned foods no matter how dressed up the lies may be, or how liver coated those pellets and what else, to make it appear more appealing to dogs taste and smell sensation. RAW AND REAL FOOD RULES!!

    Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.stevesrealfood.com Nicole Lindsley

    Thanks for the great review Mike. Here at Steve’s Real Food we will not sacrifice quality ingredients for higher profits. We believe in transparency and appreciate that the Dog Food Adviser provides honest, simple advise about the food we feed our four legged loved ones.

  • Jan (Mom to Cavs)

    I picked up some of the chicken flavor of this food today at my vet’s office. She also carries Nature’s Variety. I’m gonna add it to our raw rotation of NV and Primal.

  • Gordon

    That was meant to read….I’d feed this to my dogs in preference over any kibble.

  • Gordon

    This looks as though it’s a high quality formulated raw food. Not available down under. It’s not quite scientifically formulated as well as BARF, judging its ingredients list and order. Still, I feed this to my dogs over any kibble.

  • Meg Hoffmann

    Thank you so much for finally reviewing Steve’s! I’ve been feeding it for quite awhile and chose it from what I’ve learned about food on this site. Glad I made a good decision!