RAWZ Meal Free Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

RAWZ Meal Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The RAWZ Meal Free product line includes two dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

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

  • RAWZ Dehydrated Chicken, Turkey and Chicken [A]
  • RAWZ Salmon, Dehydrated Chicken and Whitefish [A]

RAWZ Dehydrated Chicken, Turkey and Chicken Recipe was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

RAWZ Dehydrated Chicken, Turkey and Chicken Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 34%

Ingredients: Dehydrated chicken, dehydrated deboned chicken (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), chicken, turkey, chicken liver, turkey liver, turkey hearts, pea starch, tapioca starch, dried peas, dried egg product, flaxseeds, natural chicken flavor, dried tomato pomace, salt, choline chloride, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, calcium carbonate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, iron amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide), mixed tocopherols (preservative), taurine, citric acid (preservative), rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis40%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%13%34%
Calorie Weighted Basis40%29%31%
Protein = 40% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 31%

The first two ingredients in this dog food are dehydrated chicken and dehydrated deboned chicken. Dehydrated chicken is considered a meat concentrate and contains more than four times as much protein as fresh chicken.

Plus (unlike chicken meal) dehydrated chicken is never exposed to high temperatures during processing, so it preserves more of the meat’s natural nutrients.

The next two ingredients include chicken and turkey. Although quality items, raw poultry contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The following two ingredients include chicken liver and turkey liver. These are organ meats sourced from named animals and thus considered beneficial components.

However, raw organs contain about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The seventh ingredient is turkey heart, another quality, raw item inclusive of water. 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 eighth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The ninth ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

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, dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, flaxseed is 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.

In addition, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

RAWZ Meal Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, RAWZ Meal Free looks like an above-average dry 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 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 34%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 34% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 30%.

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

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

Bottom line?

RAWZ Meal Free is a grain free, meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of chicken or salmon as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically 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.

RAWZ Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

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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.

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

Notes and Updates

12/19/2016 Last Update

  • Case ODonnell

    Actually, we’ve been back on RAWZ and both my girls absolutely love it. The first bag might’ve just been a bad batch, maybe the store that carried it didn’t store it properly.

    We found out that the “black tar” poops were because ZiwiPeak was entirely too rich (lots of organ meat in there) and it was caused my Skyes’ upper GI tracts to bleed. We stopped it immediately, gave their stomachs time to recover, and have been on RAWZ ever since. Customer service at RAWZ is fantastic, and both our girls have firm poops and are in amazing shape.

  • Ginger Mosel Breon

    My dog is on an air dried food like ziwipeak and her stool is black as well. What is causing this? It it normal with air dried food? Ty

  • sandy

    Only Natural Pet MaxMeat is comparable to Ziwi Peak. It is air-dried and actually made in New Zealand too. I haven’t compared prices, but it might be worth a look. As far as “usual transition method” you stated above, I’ve actually had some dogs that needed about 2 months to completely transition to a new food.

  • Jim Scott III

    My name is Jim and I’m with RAWZ Natural Pet Food. At almost 88% digestible and made without the inclusion of any rendered ingredients, RAWZ is incredibly digestible as formulated. With such a meat-centric recipe, the slow transition (5-7 days) is imperative. As for palatability, RAWZ’s original recipes beat the next leading dry food 3 to 1 in independent, non-invasive feeding trials run by an independent lab. Please see our website for more information or to find a local independent retailer. Next month’s blog post (up the first week of July) will profile both Pre and Probiotics and our thought process in formulating RAWZ!

  • InkedMarie

    Omg so beautiful! No dogs for me at this time; we have three. Someday!

  • Crazy4cats

    Lol, Marie! I don’t think you’ve ever met a dog or breed you didn’t love! The owner of a pet store I frequent has a Norwegian Terrier. It’s adorable and looks about the right size for me someday. But for now, my zoo is full.

  • Case ODonnell

    If you’re serious about it we know numerous people who’ve just had litters and are extremely well respected in the Skye community.


  • InkedMarie

    I can’t help as I’ve never fed Ziei but SKYE TERRIERS!!! I hope to someday have one! There is someone in my state who either breeds or used to breed them; he could steer me in the right direction at that time!

  • Case ODonnell

    Wanted to love this and spent $90 at a local pet store upon recommendations from numerous breeders…but my Skye Terriers, even when following the usual transition method, threw up frequently and one, who is the pickiest eater of any dog I have ever seen, literally snubbed her nose at it. We’re on ZiwiPeak Venison and Lamb (by two separate bags and give them half of each when we feed them); however, their poops are “black as tar” (which is to be expected) and soft/not picker-uppers, but it isn’t diarrhea and there’s no blood in the poop.

    It’s disappointing that Ziwi is the only food my picky eater will scarf down without us spending another $200 every month for RX-grade, wet food topper for her sensitive stomach; even then, she doesn’t eat her meals without question like she does on Ziwi.

    Advice, anyone? I love everything about Ziwi’s ingredients and how great their customer service has been, just crowdsourcing is all.

  • HotInEER

    I’m disappointed that it doesn’t come with pre and probiotics, especially considering the price. My Siberian Huskies do love it though. I rotate between this and Annamaet Grain Free Manitok Red Meat Formula.

  • Magwheelz

    Looks great except for no probiotics..but I give my guy a daily probiotic chew anyway.

    I get email updates when there’s a new review and besides the reviews themselves..I like how I discover new foods via this place. So thanks 😉