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Raw Dog Food Resources

Photo of Boxer with huge bone

As the popularity of raw diets has grown, so have the number of products. Choices range from complete diets (though most are not actually complete; see below for more info), to mixtures of meat, bone, organs and veggies that you can use as the base of a complete diet, to parts of the diet, such as ground or whole raw meaty bones, which you would need to combine with other foods at home in order to create a complete diet (see Homemade Diets for more information on how to ensure that you're feeding a complete diet). Most frozen raw foods are expensive, especially if you have to pay shipping, but they may be feasible if you can find a local source (or have small dogs!).

Note that commercial raw diets are often quite high in fat. If possible, look for foods where the percentage of protein is twice that of fat.

I helped to write three articles on issues with commercial raw diets for the Whole Dog Journal. You can read these articles here (if you do not have access to the articles, let me know and I can send you copies):

These articles discuss the fact that most commercial raw diets do not actually meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines, despite claims that they do. They also discuss other problems with these diets, including the fact that almost all commercial raw diets are extremely high in fat. High-fat diets are inappropriate for all but working dogs such as sled dogs and herding dogs. They are likely to lead to weight gain, or to nutritional deficiencies if portion sizes are reduced enough to prevent weight gain. They are also likely to cause digestive upset in many dogs, and pancreatitis in those that are predisposed.

As a general rule, I don't recommend feeding commercial raw diets exclusively. If you combine commercial raw diets with other types of complete diets or recipes, particularly those that are lower in fat, you greatly reduce or even eliminate the issues we found, especially if you also vary the meats you feed.

Our goal with these articles was not to say that you should not feed those foods; only that you should be cautious about feeding them exclusively, especially to the most vulnerable dogs, which include growing puppies, pregnant and nursing females, and older dogs who eat less than they once did.

Also see these related articles:

See Also:


Complete raw diets (meeting AAFCO guidelines)

See above for more information regarding the fact that most commercial diets do not meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines even when they claim that they do.

Somewhat Complete Raw Diets
Product Description Available from
Answers Raw Pet Food Chicken, beef, and pork varieties. "Straight" varieties are ground mixes that include meat, bone, and organs only (incomplete diets). "Detailed" varieties add eggs, vegetables, and supplements and claim to be complete, but do not meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines. Instead, they use an AAFCO feeding trial statement for their foods (AAFCO feeding trials are easy to pass even for foods that are not complete and balanced). A nutritional analysis shows they are all low in zinc and vitamin E; all but beef are low in potassium and copper; pork variety is low in calcium/phosphorus; not all nutrients are listed, so other deficiencies, such as iodine, are likely. All diets are high in fat (like most commercial raw food diets). Limited information available online: no guaranteed analysis, AAFCO statement or individual ingredient list. Their feeding calculator says all products in the same line have the same number of calories, which is unlikely. Also offers raw goat's milk. Made in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. Available at retailers around the country.
Aunt Jeni's Home Made Offers six "complete" diets consisting of ground meat and bones, organ meat, vegetables, and a variety of other healthy ingredients, with no grains. Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, Beef, Fish, Goat and Pork varieties. All ingredients are human grade, most sourced in the U.S. (no ingredients from China). "Our food has been formulated and analyzed by qualified, degreed, experienced animal nutritionists not only to meet but to exceed CVMA, NRC, and AAFCO requirements." However, the fish, goat and pork varieties are not appropriate for large-breed puppies due to high calcium content, and these foods, like most commercial raw diets, have not been adjusted for high-fat content so they don't all meet AAFCO guidelines. Lamb variety is extremely high in fat; Chicken, Beef, Pork, and Goat varietiues are moderately high in fat; Turkey and Fish varieties are relatively low in fat. Made in Maryland. Retailers in many states, see Store Locator
BARF World Offers three "complete" diets: Chicken, Beef and Lamb. Claims to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for all life stages, but a complete nutritional analysis is not provided, so they may not actually do so due to high-fat content (common to all commercial raw diets). Feeding instructions are linear, meaning they don't take into account the fact that small dogs need more food for their weight than large dogs do. Lamb variety is very high in fat; Beef variety is moderately high in fat; Chicken is close to normal fat. Available through a few distributors in the US, or can be ordered online.
Bravo! Balance Raw Food Diet Bravo!, a company that has long made high-quality incomplete mixes, is now offering Bravo Balance, which "meets the AAFCO standard for 100% complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages." Like almost all commercial raw diets, however, these products do not actually meet AAFCO guidelines. Chicken, Beef and Turkey varieties, made with human-grade antibiotic-free poultry, hormone-free, grass-fed red meats, organ meats and bones combined with Grade A vegetables and fortified vitamins and minerals. All varieties are extremely high in fat.
Also available: Homestyle Complete freeze-dried dinners in beef, pork and turkey varieties.
Bravo! also offers a wide variety of incomplete products (see below).
Distributors in many states.
Darwin's Natural Pet Products

Darwin's offers two lines of food: Natural Selections and Zoologic Meals. Both use human-grade ingredients; Natural Selections uses free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, and organic vegetables. Both offer beef, chicken, turkey, duck, and buffalo (limited availability) varieties with approximately 75% meat and 25% vegetables. "Our meals are formulated to meet or exceed all AAFCO nutritional guidelines for All Life Stages and all state and federal requirements." (This company worked with Steve Brown to ensure that their foods are properly formulated on a caloric basis.) Lamb variety is extremely high in fat; Duck variety is very high in fat; Chicken, Turkey, and Beef varieties are moderately high in fat.
Located in in Seattle, Washington.
Update 2018: No longer recommended due to multiple recalls for pathogenic bacteria (not just salmonella) and serious manufacturing issues. More info:
Darwin’s Refusal to Cooperate in Dog Food Recall Triggers FDA Action; Food Poses “Serious Threat to Human and Animal Health”
Sharp Bones, Plastic Bags and Metal Found in Darwin’s Dog Food; Complaints Date Back Months

 
Genesis Raw Made by Maverick Pet Foods, Genesis Raw offers a several varieties of "complete" diets. Each is about 90% meat, bone, and organs, plus vegetables and oils (no grains).
"The Genesis RAW® recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages." However, like most commercial raw foods, it appears that these foods do not actually meet AAFCO guidelines on a caloric basis due to their high-fat content.
According to the calories shown, all of these foods are dangerously high in fat, higher than any other foods I've seen.
This company also makes Nature's Kitchen frozen cooked complete diets.
Retailers in many states. Will also ship.
K-9 Kraving Offers a number of "complete" diets, including Beef, Chicken, Duck, Turkey, and Chicken & Beef, all with vegetables (no grains). All varieties except Turkey are extremely high in fat (common with commercial raw diets); the Turkey variety has a moderate amount of fat, appropriate for most dogs.
Site says, "Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles For All Life Stages." Like most commercial raw diets, it's unlikely that these foods meet AAFCO guidelines on a caloric basis (no nutritional analysis is provided).
Feeding instructions are linear, meaning they don't take into account the fact that small dogs need more food for their weight than large dogs do.
Located in in Baltimore, Maryland.
Retailers in many states.
Nature's Variety Instinct

Instinct Raw Bites, Medallions and Patties are made with "85% real meat and organs and 15% fruits, vegetables and vitamins and minerals" (no grains). Varieties include Chicken, Beef, and Lamb. The Raw Signature line (95% meat) also offers Duck, Rabbit and Venison varieties. All Instinct Raw products are extremely high in fat. Note that rabbit meat used to be sourced from China; unsure if that is still true.
Instinct Raw varieties state, "formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages except for growth of large size dogs (70 lbs or more as an adult)." A nutritional analysis is not provided, so I can't verify if these foods meet AAFCO guidelines on a caloric basis.
Instinct Raw Signature varieties state, "provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages and is comparable in nutritional adequacy to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO feeding tests. This is the weakest type of AAFCO statement that can be used, and indicates that these foods to not meet AAFCO nutrient standards. If you compare the ingredients in the regular Raw line to those in the Raw Signature line, you'll see a number of added vitamins and minerals that are undoubtedly missing in the Signature foods. The Signature line is not recommended for this reason.
Raw Boost Mixers (freeze-dried) are not complete diets: "intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only."

Distributors in many states.
Northwest Naturals
Offers "complete" raw diets in the form of chubs, nuggets and bars. Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Bison & Beef, Lamb, Whitefish & Salmon, and Chicken & Salmon varieties. All varieties say they are 80% meat, 18.75% produce and 1.25% supplements. "All of our meat is raised in the USA (Lamb also from New Zealand) without antibiotics or added hormones. Beef, bison and lamb are grass-fed. Proteins are USDA inspected and passed. Recipes are grain and gluten free."
Site says, "Complete and balanced diets.
" No AAFCO statement or complete nutritional analysis provided, so it's unlikely that all nutrient requirements are met, especially on a caloric basis (common with commercial raw diets).
Calcium percentages are above AAFCO maximums for large-breed puppies in all but their Chicken variety.
All varieties are extremely high in fat (common with commercial raw diets). Feeding instructions are linear, meaning they don't take into account the fact that small dogs need more food for their weight than large dogs do.
Located in Portland, OR.
Retailers in many states, see Find A Store
Oma's Pride Woof Complete Meals Oma's Pride, a company that has long made incomplete mixes, is now offering "Woof Complete Meals" (Chicken variety only). Site says, "Exceeds AFFCO canine nutritional standards as a complete meal for all life stages," but no nutritional analysis or calorie count is provided, and it's unlikely that this food actually meets AAFCO guidelines on a caloric basis (like most commercial raw diets). Also like most commercial raw diets, this food is quite high in fat (over 30% fat on a dry matter basis).
Feeding instructions are linear, meaning they don't take into account the fact that small dogs need more food for their weight than large dogs do.
Available in both frozen raw and freeze-dried formats.
Oma's Pride also offers a wide variety of incomplete products (see below).
From Miller Foods, Inc. in Avon, Connecticut.
Distributors in many states. Can also be ordered online.
Pets 4 Life Pet Cuisine Pets 4 Life offers Beef, Chicken, Duck, Lamb, Rabbit, Salmon and Turkey varieties. Many ingredients are locally grown and sourced. "Pets4Life and Ultimate Diet products are made in Canada from 100% Canadian meat, fish and poultry."
Site says, "all PETS 4 LIFE Pet Cuisine, don’t just meet, but exceed AAFCO and CVMA requirements for all life stages." It appears, however, that these diets are incomplete based on the ingredients and partial nutritional analyses provided their website. I did not receive a reply to my request for a full nutritional analysis.
Caloric information is not provided, but the Beef variety appears to be extremely high in fat, while the Chicken, Lamb and Rabbit varieties appear to be moderately high in fat. Duck, Salmon and Turkey varieties have less fat and may be appropriate (impossible to know for sure without knowing calories).
Feeding instructions are linear, meaning they don't take into account the fact that small dogs need more food for their weight than large dogs do.
The company also offers Ultimate Diet Organic line in Lamb, Chicken, and Beef varieties. Information is extremely limited, with no Guaranteed Analysis or AAFCO statement.
Available throughout Canada, see Store Locator
Primal Pet Foods

Primal makes both "complete" diets (Formulas) and blends that are not complete (Grinds and Mixes, see below). Formulas are available in Chicken, Duck, Beef, Lamb, Pheasant, Pork, Rabbit, Venison, Quail, and Turkey & Sardine varieties in nugget format, and some are also available in a smaller "scoop & serve" format (Primal Pronto).
Most varieties are extremely high in fat (especially Chicken, Beef and Lamb); Rabbit and Venison are moderately high in fat; Pork has a reasonable amount of fat suitable for most dogs.
The Chicken, Pheasant, Rabbit, and Quail formulas should not be fed to large-breed puppies due to high calcium content.
Feeding instructions are linear, meaning they don't take into account the fact that small dogs need more food for their weight than large dogs do.
Site says that each formula "provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages and is comparable in nutritional adequacy to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO feeding tests." However, the nutritional analyses indicate that these foods do not meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines.
Uses HPP processing to kill bacteria.
Located in San Francisco, CA.

Available at retailers around the country, including Whole Foods. Also available online from Only Natural Pet Store.
Raw Advantage Offers "complete" Organic Chicken and Turkey Dinners, but there is no mention of AAFCO and it's doubtful that these foods actually meet AAFCO guidelines based on their ingredients. The website provides a guaranteed analysis for only one product, Rock Island Raw Recipe, which is extremely high in fat (typical of commercial raw diets). Also offers incomplete mixes.
Located in in Kettle Falls, Washington.
Available online only.
Raw Bistro Complete diets in Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Lamb and Bison varieties that include meat, bone, organs, vegetables, fruits, oils, and other healthy ingredients. Most are very high in fat (typical of commercial raw diets); Bison is only moderately high in fat. Each blend has its own individualized supplements designed to meet NRC and AAFCO guidelines. (This company worked with Steve Brown to ensure that their foods are properly formulated on a caloric basis.)
"We use only inspected, human grade ingredients from USDA facilities."
Based in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.
Available in many areas, see Store Locator. Can also order online.
Raw Wild "Complete" diet made from wild (not farmed) deer and elk meat and nothing else other than supplements. Ideal for dogs with severe food allergies who may need a very limited-ingredient diet with unusual proteins that they have not been exposed to before. No ingredients from China (including supplements).  
Stella & Chewy's Offers frozen and freeze-dried Chicken, Beef, Lamb, and Duck products. "Steaks" are about 95% human-grade, naturally raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free meat, bone, and organs, and 5% organic fruits and vegetables. "All food meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages." However, like almost all commercial raw diets, they do not meet AAFCO guidelines on a caloric basis due to high fat content. Opened their own processing plant in May, 2007, and they have a documented food safety and testing program. Calcium percentages range from 1.5-1.7%, which should be OK for large-breed puppies.
Uses HPP processing to kill bacteria.
Located in Wisconsin.
Retailers around the country and available online from Amazon. Also marketed as Only Natural Pet Freeze Dried Patties (see Shopping page for coupons).
Steve's Real Food for Dogs Steve's is a "complete" diet consisting of ground meat and bones, organ meat, vegetables, and a variety of supplements. All ingredients are human-grade. Has a tiny amount of rice bran, but no other grains. Chicken, Turkey, Beef and "Turducken" varieties available. Now available in patties as well as nuggets, which are bulkier and more expensive to ship. Freeze-dried version is also available, but very expensive. "All formulas of Steve's Real Food for Pets are formulated using the AAFCO nutrient profiles to meet the nutritional requirements for all stages of your dogs life from weaned puppy through seniors."
Retailers across the country in most states. Also available from RawPetFood.com.
Tucker's Raw Frozen Offers raw frozen diets and Carnibars, which are dehydrated versions of the same. Formulas are 95% muscle meat, organs, marrow & bone with 5% pumpkin. "All our meats are sourced exclusively from the USA and Canada, with the same quality as those sold in grocery stores nationwide." While they say that all their Formulas are "formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All life stages," the Salmont & Pumpkin formula is too high in calcium for large-breed puppies. Calories shown are questionable, as they show the same calories for all foods, which is not possible based on fat and moisture levels. See Where to Buy page

See Also:

Not recommended:

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Widely Available Incomplete Blends

See Homemade Diets: Guidelines for feeding incomplete blends for more information on how to use these products as the basis for a complete homemade diet.

Incomplete Raw Blends
Product Description Available from
Bravo! Frozen Raw Bravo! offers a wide variety of incomplete products, including Bravo Blends (ground meat, bone, organs and veggies), Bravo Basic (ground meat, bone and organs), and Bravo Boneless (ground meat only). They offer a number of exotic proteins (rabbit, bison, venison, duck), plus green tripe (which is not listed on their web site). Blends are not complete and do not meet AAFCO guidelines, with the exception of Bravo! Balance (see above). You can formulate a complete diet from their products, but don't just feed the blends with nothing added. See Homemade Diets for more info on how to ensure that you're feeding a complete diet. See the booklet Bravo Beginnings for good information on how to put together a complete diet for your dog from Bravo products. Also see the How-2 web page put together by a Bravo distributor who is also a friend of mine. Distributors in many states.
K9 Natural "Feasts" combine meat, bone, organs, vegetables, and sometimes eggs. Chicken, Lamb, and Venison Feasts are a little high in fat, as most commercial raw foods are, but the Beef Feast and Lamb & King Salmon Feast are extremely high in fat and would be dangerous to feed, as they would be likely to cause stomach upset or pancreatitis. Green tripe variety is tripe only.
Ingredients appear to be very high-quality, but these are not complete diets, despite what they say. I do not recommend feeding half raw meaty bones with this food, as they tell you to do, as that would be way too much bone and would increase the amount of fat even further.
Made in New Zealand. Available in the U.S., Canada, and other countries.
Oma's Pride
Oma's Pride offers unusual meats (elk, kangaroo, rabbit, ostrich,venison), green tripe, whole raw meaty bones, as well as mixtures of ground meat and bones, organ meat and veggies. Mixes are not complete and do not meet AAFCO guidelines, other than their Woof Complete Meals. The mixes contain 35% meat, 35% bone, 10% organ and 20% veggie. See Guidelines for Feeding Incomplete Blends for more info on how to ensure that you're feeding a complete diet.
From Miller Foods, Inc. in Avon, Connecticut.
Distributors in many states. Freeze-dried products can be ordered online.
Primal Pet Foods Primal makes both complete diets (Formulas) and blends that are not complete (Grinds and Mixes, see Guidelines for Feeding Incomplete Blends for more information on how to use these products as the basis for a homemade diet). Grinds are meat, bone and organs only (82% meat, 8-9% bone, 7-8% organs); Mixes add fruits and vegetables as well (same proportion of meat, bone and organs, plus 20% produce). All use heart to supply muscle meat, liver as their organ meat. 100% human grade, hormone, antibiotic and steroid free meats, poultry and game, certified organic produce, certified organic minerals and unrefined vitamins. Grinds and mixes come in turkey, chicken, beef, lamb, buffalo and sardine varieties. Only the venison formula has an appropriate amount of calcium for  large-breed puppies, the rest should not be fed due to high calcium content.
Located in San Francisco, CA.
Available in many stores.
Vital Essentials Vital Essentials (formerly Animal Food Services) calls their frozen raw and freeze-dried diets "complete and balanced," but this cannot be true based on the ingredient lists shown (a complete nutritional analysis is not provided, nor do they show an AAFCO statement with their products). Typical of most commercial raw diets, these are quite high in fat. Feeding guidelines are poor, indicating a limited understanding of nutrition. These diets would best be fed intermittently (if your dog can tolerate the high fat levels), or combined with a lower-fat diet that is known to meet AAFCO guidelines. Available in many stores and online.

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Local and Limited Availability Products

Local or limited availability products, including specialty products

There are a number of other products available which you may want to look into, particularly if they are in your area (many can be shipped, but shipping is costly for frozen foods). Some of these companies offer ground mixes in addition to just parts. Note that very few of these mixes are certified to meet AAFCO nutritional standards -- in other words, most are not complete diets. You will need to balance out the ratio of meat, bone and organs yourself, and preferably add some additional fresh foods as well, such as eggs, dairy and canned fish with bones. See Homemade Diets for more information.

Following are commercial raw food products in the US, listed by state. See below for suppliers in Canada, Australia and Europe, as well as Specialty Products and Grass Fed and Organic Products.

US (listed alphabetically by state):

See my Kidney Page for a list of more tripe suppliers.

See RestaurantDepot.com for a national chain of restaurant suppliers (source of wholesale meats by the case)

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Grass-fed and Organic Suppliers

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Canadian Suppliers

Canadian suppliers of raw food products (listed alphabetically by province):

See http://lepusreg.tripod.com/NRS.html for even more sources, particularly in Canada.

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Australian Suppliers

See Aussie RMB Food Sources

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European Suppliers

 

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I regret that I no longer have much time to respond to questions. See my Contact page for more information. My name is Mary Straus and you can email me at either or

   


Rocky is a Yorkie-Poodle mix who had suffered from digestive problems his whole life. Click on his image to read about the diet his owner finally found to help him.
Pashoshe Fisher, a Chihuahua, was a wonderful, joyful companion to his owner for 19 & a half years. He was on a high quality raw diet for over half his life.
This is Ella, my Norwich Terrier.