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It's exciting to see the continued growth of the raw feeding industry and with so many people researching fresh food for their pets, I decided to share a list of my favorite raw food brands to help others as they try to figure out what's going to work best for their dogs and cats (yes, I have a cat too).
What is Raw Feeding?
Before I get to the list, let's start with a definition. Raw feeding is a diet that attempts to replicate the diet of the grey wolf, a distant relative of our domesticated dogs. No, raw feeders don't think that their dogs are wolves, we don't allow our dogs to hunt and kill live prey, and we are aware that dogs have evolved over the centuries and they are now a different species than the beautiful grey wolf. However, we don't agree with those in the pet food industry who are trying to push the narrative that dogs have evolved to a point that they thrive on a diet that is 40-60% carbs or entirely plant-based. [insert eye roll here]
Transitioning to Raw Dog Food
When I was new to raw feeding, I quickly became overwhelmed with all of the information out there and the idea of DIY raw feeding was intimidating. I didn't want to risk feeding my dogs a nutrient-deficient diet and, looking back, there was a lot of misinformation being shared on social media about how to feed raw so I'm glad that I started with a raw food brand instead of diving straight into DIY.
I started my dogs with Darwin's Natural Pet Food, which is a local company that ships raw pet food straight to your door. Starting with a raw food brand allowed me to immediately switch my dogs to a healthier diet of fresh food while giving me the time to educate myself about this new diet. In less than a year, I was ready to slowly transition from raw food brands to DIY, which also helped me save money.
10 Top Raw Food Brands for Dogs and Cats
Although I have DIY raw feeding down, staying on top of our favorite raw dog food brands is important because they still have a role in my dogs' diet. I reach for a raw food brand when…
- I'm behind on meal prep and don't have a DIY meal available to feed to my dogs.
- A raw food brand offers a protein that I'm unable to source for my DIY meals.
- I'm on vacation and want to make raw feeding easier for the pet sitter.
And so on.
That being said, the following is a list of my favorite raw food brands. If you're looking for a list that is more than one raw feeder's opinion, check out The List that is published by The Truth Abou Pet Food.
Now, on to my list (in no particular order)…
1 – DARWIN'S NATURAL PET PRODUCTS
- Darwin's Pet offers three meal options – Natural Selections (premium free-range, organic), Biologics (similar to Natural Selections, but more affordable), and Intelligent Design (veterinarian diet).
- Darwin's Pet offers five protein options- chicken, beef, duck, turkey, and lamb.
- All of the diets are free of antibiotics, steroids, and hormones.
- Great customer service; customer portal that allows us to manage our orders anytime.
- Door to door delivery.
- $15 introductory offer if you'd like to try the food.
2 – WILD COAST RAW
- Wild Coast Raw offers four proteins – beef, turkey, duck, and rabbit.
- Proteins are locally sourced and antibiotic free.
- Available in local, independent pet stores.
- Bulk orders are available.
- This is a family run business (mother and son) built on a passion for feeding animals fresh food.
3 – RAW PAWS PET FOOD
- Raw Paws Pet Food offers lots of variety, including nutritionally complete meals, several proteins, raw goat's milk, raw bones, treats, and more.
- Raw Paws ships directly to your door, offering free shipping on orders over a set amount.
- Raw Paws sources proteins from small, independent farms.
- Regular sales, discounts, and clearance items that help raw feeders save money.
4 – GREENTRIPE.COM
- GreenTripe.com is a family owned farm that offers several beef products for pets, including an organ blend that I'm obsessed with (I order 1-2 cases at a time).
- Products are grass-fed, certified organic.
- I source GreenTripe.com products through my local raw food co-op; orders can be placed through their website (prepaid) or at various locations around the US.
5 – COLUMBIA RIVER PETS
- Supplement foods make DIY raw feeding easier.
- Columbia River offers many proteins, including beef, chicken, duck, rabbit, venison, pheasant, quail, cow pies (green tripe, beef heart, beef, beef kidney), and green tripe. They also have a few recipes with vegetables.
- Columbia River is available in a few pet stores, but I purchase it through our local raw food co-op, allowing me to order in bulk.
6 – VIBRANT K9 (Southern California Only)
- Vibrant K9 offers three proteins – beef, chicken, and turkey.
- Customers can order online, including bulk orders.
- Small, woman-owned business in Southern California.
- Amazing customer service; the owner is hands on and works directly with each customer on their dog's diet.
7 – RAW FEEDING MIAMI
- Raw Feeding Miami = RAW FEEDER GOALS; even if you haven't started feeding raw, you should be following RFM on social media. The meals are so exciting and beautiful, giving us ideas on what we can feed our dogs.
- Raw Feeding Miami offers a variety for raw feeders, stepping outside the norm of ground blends and offering whole raw as well along with proteins that others brands don't have.
- RFM sources for high-quality, ethical farms.
8 – SMALL BATCH
- Small Batch has a stellar reputation in the raw feeding community and my cat goes crazy for their freeze-dried cat food.
- Small Batch offers frozen, freeze-dried, and treats for dogs and cats; along with a variety of proteins, including duck, lamb, and rabbit.
- Small Batch also offers blends that are perfect for DIY raw feeders; these are for supplemental feeding only, so we add a few ingredients to make the food nutritionally complete.
- Small Batch has very high standards for their sourcing, only working with farms with humane and ethical practices, organic vegetables, avoiding chemicals while making the environment a priority.
9 – RAW BISTRO
- Raw Bistro offers frozen and dehydrated food along with treats.
- Raw Bistro offers a variety of proteins, including bison and lamb.
- Pet parents can place bulk orders.
- Raw Bistro also offers limited ingredient foods that are for supplemental feeding; these are great for DIY raw feeders. Simply add what your dog needs along with a base mix and you have a nutritionally complete meal.
- Raw Bistro has placed a priority on high-quality, ethical, humanely raised, and environmental conscious sources.
10 – NATURAL PET PANTRY (Seattle Area and Nearby Cities Only)
- Seattle Natural Pet Pantry is a local raw food company that offers home delivery and is available in local independent pet stores.
- SNPP offers a variety of proteins, including venison, rabbit, and duck, along with treats and supplements.
- SNPP also offers straight grinds that appeal to DIY raw feeders, allowing us to convert the food into a nutritionally complete meal.
- And if raw feeding isn't your jam, SNPP also offers cooked meals too. This is great for people who aren't ready to feed raw, dogs that aren't a good fit for raw, or for pet parents who like even more variety in their dog's diet.
- Pet parents can order online or purchase in stores.
5 Top Freeze-Dried Cat Food Brands
Yep, I have a cat too and it took forever to transition him to a healthier diet. His interest in raw was great when I finally got him there, but it waned within a few months and I switched him to canned food, which was his diet for a few years, and now he loves freeze-dried cat food – no hydrated. With plenty of water and Vital Essentials Minnows nearby.
- Small Batch
- OC Raw
- Stella & Chewy's
- Feline Naturals
- Primal Pets
Why Some Raw Food Brands Aren't On My List
There are a lot of raw food brands on the market and I've limited my list to brands that I feed to my dogs or I have fed to my dogs and would happily add it to their diet again. If I have never fed food from a raw food brand to my dogs, then it will not be on this list. And if a food isn't a good fit for my dogs, then it's not on the list. That doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with a brand, I simply find it easier to focus on what I know.
One great example of an amazing raw food brand that isn't on my list is Bones & Co. I've heard amazing this about this brand, but it's not available in my area, I've never fed the food to my dogs, so I can't speak from personal experience about this brand beyond “I've heard great things.”
Another great brand is Northwest Naturals. I buy their trout and white fish/salmon chubs for my dogs. Although there are lots of great things about this brand, I will only order their trout and white/fish salmon recipes because I don't want to feed foods that are HPP (high pressure pasteurized) to my dogs for personal reasons.
Raw food brands sold in the big box, chain pet stores will not be on this list because I prefer to support local, independent pet stores and the smaller raw food brands. I've found that it's easier to work with these brands, they're very focused on educating their customers, and I can see their passion for raw feeding and our pets in everything.