As a devoted pet parent, you’ve probably heard of the many benefits of a raw diet: stronger teeth, shinier coats, more energy, and better overall health. You’ve probably also heard that it can be very difficult to get dogs who are accustomed to basic kibble or wet food to start eating raw food consistently.
This is true, but it doesn’t mean that your dog can never enjoy all the upsides of a raw diet. You just have to be very careful about how you introduce him to raw dog food, and that includes choosing the right brand of food for him to try. The four brands listed below are some of the ones we recommend most often for dogs who are new to raw food. Each has certain features that make it exceptionally well-suited to easing dogs into this new and radically different diet.
NatuRAWls is one of the most well-known raw dog food brands. With 70% muscle meat, 10% organ meat, 10% ground bone, and 10% fruits and vegetables, their food matches industry-leading standards for optimal dog nutrition. The food is packed in one-pound or half-pound packages inside each of their larger boxes, making it easy for you to measure the exact portion your dog needs each day and keep the rest safely frozen.
NatuRAWls also offers puppy formulas, which are great for getting young dogs used to raw food at an early age. Just like with humans, the sooner you introduce a dog to something new, the more likely they are to accept it.
2. K9 Choice Foods
K9 Choice Foods is an Alberta-based raw dog food company that promises pasture to package manufacturing, using only human-grade ingredients without additional fillers. Aside from their more exotic flavour offerings (including kangaroo!), one of the best things about this brand is their line of small 3-pound packages. These are relatively affordable and contain several small 1-inch cubes of raw food.
These morsels are the perfect size to serve your dog alongside some of the kibble or wet food he is used to eating. Giving him just a little raw food at first gives you a chance to see how well he tolerates it and decide whether you want to continue the transition. If you do, you can gradually increase the proportion of raw food to standard food over time, helping your dog ease into his new diet.
Pets4Life is an approachable, friendly raw dog food brand that emphasizes a natural approach in their production. While they do use plenty of fresh meat in their food formulas, they also incorporate a selection of premium fresh produce, including green beans, broccoli, papaya, and sunflower seeds. This gives their food a unique flavour and an enhanced nutritional profile.
Like with K9 Choice Foods, one of the main benefits of starting your dog on Pets4Life is their small portion sizes. All their food comes in small 1-ounce medallions that are specifically intended to be served as an accompaniment to regular dog kibble – at least at first.
4. Open Farm
Open Farm is a little different than the rest of the brands on this list. Their raw food is ‘gently-cooked,’ meaning that it is not technically raw in the strictest sense of the word. This particular company cooks its food using the sous vide method common in French cuisine.
The cooking process changes the food’s nutritional profile slightly, but it retains virtually all of the minerals and nutrients that raw food is so well-known for. It also kills most of the bacteria and pathogens that make raw diets so difficult for some pets to tolerate. As a result, it’s easier on their stomachs, which is very important during the early stages of transition feeding.
Building a Raw Dog Food Diet One Step at a Time
Raw dog food is not the right choice for every pet, but most will come to enjoy it if it is introduced to them in the right way. Start your dog off with small portions of food that he can tolerate and let him get used to the taste of real meat. Pretty soon, you will wonder why you ever fed him anything else.