The 14 Best Raw Dog Foods

By Kevin Myers

This (updated) guide covers all of the best raw dog foods for 2020.

I have reviewed the 14 bestselling and highest quality raw dog foods after spending weeks on:

  • Research,
  • Ingredient analysis,
  • Consumer reviews
    and more…

(here’s my 40 point inspection list)

These are my top picks.

See the remaining top raw food options later in the post.

Let’s dive in…

The Best Raw Dog Foods – My Top 7 picks

1. Stella & Chewy’s — Chicken Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4420kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 48%, Fat (min.) 28%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 5%
  • Form: Freeze-dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken With Ground Bone, 2. Chicken Liver, 3. Chicken Gizzard, 4. Pumpkin Seed, 5. Organic Cranberries
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Prepared from 100% organic fruits, vegetables and cage-free meat options, the healthy combination of sustainably-sourced ingredients guarantee maximum nutrition for your best friend. Provide your dog the benefits of high-quality raw food nutrition while enjoying the ease of preparation. Stella and Chewy’s dinner patties are great for all breeds.

Highly Recommended!

>> Check Price & Read Customer Reviews here.


2. Primal — Chicken Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 6067kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 37%, Fat (min.) 37%, Fiber (max.) 1%, Moisture (max.) 2%
  • Form: Freeze-Dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Necks, 3. Chicken Gizzards, 4. Organic Kale, 5. Organic Carrots
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

The Primal Chicken Formula Nuggets Grain-Free recipe includes protein from high-quality fresh chicken for superior levels of essential fatty acids, amino acids, and optimal levels of calcium for stronger bones and teeth. The raw, freeze-dried formula relies on organic produce to extract essentials vitamins and minerals for your hound. The special diet is crafted without grain, soy, wheat, and corn.

Highly Recommended!

>> Check Price & Read Customer Reviews here.


3. Instinct by Nature’s Variety — Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4427kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 37%, Fat (min.) 20.5%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 9%
  • Form: Dry Food, Freeze-Dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Tapioca
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

This grain-free, raw formula by Instinct is a mix of kibble and real chicken and other amazing ingredients to provide your dog with the best of nutrition. The recipe is not only delicious for your furry friends but is ideal for growth and maintenance at all life stages.

>> Check Price & Read Customer Reviews here.


4. Instinct by Nature’s Variety — Frozen Raw Bites Grain-Free Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1645kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 12%, Fat (min.) 8%, Fiber (max.) 2%, Moisture (max.) 70%
  • Form: Frozen
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken (including Ground Chicken Bone), 2. Chicken Liver, 3. Chicken Heart, 4. Apples, 5. Carrots
  • Grain-free

This nutrient-packed Nature’s Variety raw recipe gets its protein and other nutrition from cage-free chicken, high-quality fruits, non-GMO vegetables, and a variety of wholesome ingredients. The grain-free formula is crafted with love and expertise to ensure your dog gets only the best of what’s available.

>> Check Price & Read Customer Reviews here.


5. Merrick — Backcountry Raw Infused Great Plains Red Recipe with Beef, Lamb & Rabbit Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3738kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 38%, Fat (min.) 17%, Fiber (max.) 3.5%, Moisture (max.) 11%
  • Form: Dry Food, Freeze-Dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Beef, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Salmon Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Rabbit
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Free from all sorts of gluten-based ingredients, this recipe supports easier digestion for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Prominent ingredients include beef, lamb, and rabbit to offer your dog a protein-rich meal with added essential vitamins and minerals. This formula provides a delicious power-packed raw diet.

>> Check Price & Read Customer Reviews here.


6. Sojos — Complete Turkey Recipe Adult Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3604kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28%, Fat (min.) 12%, Fiber (max.) 4%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Freeze-Dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Turkey, 2. Sweet Potatoes, 3. Whole Egg, 4. Broccoli, 5. Apples
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Sojos offers a complete and balanced diet, that doesn’t disappoint. If your dog loves turkey flavor, you cannot go wrong with Sojos Complete Turkey Recipe.

A healthy option free from grain, fillers, soy, preservatives, and artificial flavoring

>> Check Price & Read Customer Reviews here.


7. Castor & Pollux — Natural UltraMix Grain-Free Red Meat Recipe with Raw Bites Dry Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3650kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 38%, Fat (min.) 17%, Fiber (max.) 3.5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Pork Meal, 3. Lamb Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Dried Potatoes
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

If you have to pick one option from the Castor & Pollux line – this is the one! The grain-free red meat recipe is prepared with natural sources of premium-quality protein, minerals, and fiber. Added antioxidants and fiber enhances the overall nutrition of the meal and makes it an ideal food raw food option for your tail-wagger. Omega fatty acids take care of your buddy’s luxurious coat and healthy skin.

>> Check Price & Read Customer Reviews Here.


If you are changing your pup’s diet, consider reading my new guide on the best way to switch dog food.

Related guides:

Raw Dog Food Buyer’s Guide

Raw dog diet is also called the BARF diet, an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.  It is a diet based on raw ingredients eaten and preferred by your pet’s ancestors and even their wild counterparts.

The concept of a raw diet for dogs is tricky but I’ll make it simple for you:

A raw diet is all about feeding your dog what they are naturally supposed to eat i.e. raw food.

So, if you are wondering whether your dog needs raw food or not, the answer is simple:

That is exactly what it needs.

Benefits of Raw dog diet (BARF) Diet

Raw dog food may not be as cheap as commercial kibbles, nor is it as easy to store – but it has many benefits for your best friend.

It is the kind of food your dog is supposed to eat. So, it is good for their overall health. It is the food they chew better and digest easier. Some of the key benefits you will actually witness include:

  • The higher energy level and better mood
  • Better muscle and mental development
  • Shinier coat and healthier skin
  • Healthier teeth and gums
  • Small and less stinky stool

Grocery Bought Meat vs. Commercial Raw Dog Food

I generally advise against homemade raw food for your dog because you can never be sure of:

a) the quality of meat you purchase from the grocery store and

b) the number of nutrients per meal

Commercial raw dog food is a better idea because everything is on the label.

Grocery bough meat is usually unhygienic and may carry harmful bacteria. A meal prepared from that kind of meat will carry some risk.

Instead of homemade meals from grocery bought meat, go for high quality commercial raw dog foods.

What To Look for in a Commercial Raw Dog Food?

Not all commercial raw dog foods are the same. Go for trusted brands and always read the label.

Here is what you should be looking for:

  • Quality Meat: Almost all known raw brands get their meal from healthy and uncontaminated animals. Quality, however, also depends on which kind of meat you get. Chose a product that contains lean muscle. Avoid any product with fat trimmings.
  • Organ Meat: Organ meat is a good source of essential nutrients but not all organs are safe or healthy. For dogs, the liver, kidney, and heart are the best organs. Find a product that labels the source of organ meat contained in it. Keep in mind that organ meat should not be more than 5 to 10 percent of the meal.
  • Carb Content: Carbs give your dog the energy they need. The best carbs for a dog are the ones that come from vegetable sources such as peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. The carbs should be accompanied by fiber as well, that too comes from fruits and vegetables. Avoid raw dog food with grain-based carbs.
  • Fat Content: Too much fat is never good for your dog. That is why you should look for lean meat in your dog food. However, they do need some fat from healthier sources such as vegetables and fish. Make sure the fat content is never more than 15 percent.
  • Bones: It is true: dogs do love bone. It makes the meal more savory and also provides them with calcium and other trace minerals. Just make sure the bone ratio doesn’t exceed 1.5 percent. Bones should be easily chewable ones and not the hard ones as they can cause choking.
  • Supplements: It is a good idea to get raw dog food that contains some form of supplement for your loyal friend. Oils with fatty acids, apple cider vinegar, and kelp are just some of the ingredients that will keep your dog healthy.

Types of Commercial Raw Dog Food? 

Raw dog food may not be cooked but some commercial products undergo certain processes to preserve the quality for longer. While most of them are frozen or refrigerated raw foods, you will also find the freeze-dried and dehydrated varieties.

  • Freeze-dried food is exposed to a very low temperature to remove all the moisture from the raw ingredients.
  • Dehydrated raw food is also free of all the moisture content but you have to rehydrate it before use.

Both processes prevent bacteria and increase shelf life.

Raw Dog Food Frequently Asked Questions

Recently, More and more vets are getting on board with the BARF or raw dog diet, and we’ve already talked about all the amazing commercial raw dog foods out there.

But if you are still skeptical, these FAQs might answer all your concerns.

What Does Raw Dog Diet Mean?

Raw Dog Diet means a diet based on uncooked ingredients, primarily meat. It includes muscle meat with bones and organ meat. However, a completely raw meal must also include non-meat raw ingredients such as vegetables and fruits. This diet is the closest to the natural and ancestral diet of dogs.

What Does Raw Dog Diet Include?

Uncooked meat is the primary ingredient of raw dog foods. The meat is rarely deboned as bones are also part of the raw diet. Some foods also have bones as a separate ingredient. Organ meat from liver and kidney is also part of a raw dog diet. Vegetables and fruits are added for vitamins and minerals. Eggs and yogurt are also part of many raw dog foods.

Is Raw Dog Diet the Same as the BARF Diet?

Yes, a raw dog diet is also known as the BARF diet, the wolf’s diet or ancestral diet for dogs. BARF is an acronym for either’ Bones and Raw Food’ or ‘Biologically Appropriate Raw Food’. The whole idea is to make your dog eat the food preferred by its ancestors

Is Raw Diet Good for Dogs?

There are centuries worth of evidence to prove that raw food diet is good for dogs. It provides them with the right amount of meat proteins as none of it is lost due to cooking. There are many benefits of raw dog food including shinier coat, stronger muscles, more energy, better dental health, and smaller stool.

Do Dogs Live Longer on Raw Diet?

A dog’s lifespan is greatly affected by diet. A study revealed that dogs on an uncooked, raw diet aged slower when compared to dogs on a processed diet. They did not develop degenerative diseases and lived around 36 months longer.

What Raw Food Should I Feed My Dog?

Muscle meat, organ meat, bones, dog-friendly vegetables and fruits, eggs and some dairy products such as yogurt are safe raw food options for your dog. Most commercial raw dog food products include the right amount of these ingredients to ensure a balanced diet.

How Much Raw Food Can I Feed My Dog?

While it will vary from dog to dog, the safest way to start with raw dog food is to feed them around 2 to 3 percent of their body weight a day. This should be split into at least three meals. You can increase the quantity if your dog is more active than an average dog.

Can I Feed My Dog Raw Meat from Grocery Store?

The meat you get from the grocery store is usually contaminated by bacteria that aren’t safe for dogs. The reason that meat is safe for humans is that we do not eat it without cooking or processing. It isn’t meant to be consumed raw, and therefore, may not be the best option for your dog on a raw diet.

Can I Feed My Dog Raw Vegetables and Fruits?

Contrary to popular belief, dogs are actually omnivores. Vegetables and fruits are good for dogs as they are packed with essential minerals and vitamins. A dog may not get these nutrients from meat. So including raw vegetables and fruits such as spinach, asparagus, apple, peas, potatoes are actually good for their health.

Is Raw Egg Good For Dogs?

You probably already know that raw eggs are a great source of protein. Including a raw egg in their daily diet will help them grow stronger and muscular. The fatty acids in the egg will also improve the skin and coat of your dog.

How Does Raw Diet Affect Dog’s Digestion?

Raw dog food helps a dog’s digestion in many ways. Dogs chew raw food more than they chew processed food. You probably know that chewing increases the secretion of gastric juices that aid in digestion. Also, since it is their ancestral diet, their digestive systems are naturally capable of digesting raw food more efficiently.

How Does Raw Diet Affect Dog’s Poop?

Raw dog food aids digestion and it is apparent in the stool. Your dog will poop less often and the stool will be smaller, less stinky. You might notice white powder in their stool, which is pieces of bones included in their raw diet. It is perfectly normal.

How Does Raw Diet Affect Dog’s Behaviour?

Raw dog food will have a positive impact on your dog’s behavior. It will not make them aggressive or hyperactive as typically believed. As a matter of fact, a raw diet can improve the chemical balance that influences the mood. Your dog is more likely to be calmer and happier on a raw diet.

Is a Raw-Fed Dog Safe To Be Around Kids? 

There are studies to prove that raw-fed dogs are calmer and less aggressive as compared to dry fed dogs. Raw food is free of fillers and additives that can trigger bad behavior and aggression. Therefore, your kids are much safer around their raw-fed pals.

Are There Any Side Effects of Raw Food for Dogs?

There are some side effects of raw food for dogs as uncooked ingredients are more likely to carry bacteria such as salmonella. E. coli. However, dogs are natural raw eaters and can handle most bacteria better than we realize. Make sure you are feeding them high-quality ingredients in a properly clean bowl.

Can Dogs Get Worms from Raw Food?

No, raw food doesn’t give your dog worms unless the food itself is contaminated or of low quality. It is rare for a dog to get worms from its food. Worms generally come from the environment. High-quality human-grade raw food will never give them worms.

Which Raw Meat Is Best for Dogs?

Lean muscle meat is the best raw meat for your dog. You can include organ meat from liver, kidney, and heart. Beef, lamb, chicken, rabbit, and pork are the best options. Meat from oily fish from salmon is easy to eat and digest for dogs who are just starting with a raw diet.

Which Raw Meat Is Bad for Dogs?

Giving your dog fat trimmings or meat with lots of fat is never a good idea. It can be harmful to their health as it can cause pancreatitis. Also, meat with bones that are too hard to chew properly carries the risk of choking.

How Do I Start My Dog on Raw Diet?

You can’t abruptly switch your dog’s diet from processed to raw. Prepare for a slow and steady transition. Start with easy to digest meat such as chicken or duck. Switch one of their day’s meal with raw and see how they respond. If they refuse to eat that meal, try serving them raw mixed with their kibble the next time. Change the quantity of meat with every meal and experiment with a different type of meat every week.

Is Raw Food Safe for Puppies?

Raw food is completely safe for puppies. It is actually the best for weaning puppies. It has all the essential nutrients to ensure proper physical and mental growth. Start with easy to digest meat such as chicken, turkey, or fish. Minces are much easier for the little ones to chew and digest.

Is Raw Diet Safe for Dogs with Allergies?

If your dog is allergic to an ingredient, it will be triggered by both cooked and raw forms of those ingredients. Raw food is in no way more allergenic than its cooked or processed counterpart. As long as you are aware of what triggers your dog’s allergies, you can safely feed it raw.

Is Raw Food Good for Dog’s Dental Health?

Yes, raw food can be beneficial for your dog’s dental and oral health. Raw meat, in particular, contains enzymes that can prevent numerous dental issues such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Moreover, the raw diet is free of artificial additives, such as sugar and starch, which are the main cause of dental issues in dogs.

Is Commercial Raw Dog Food Good for Dogs?

High quality commercial raw dog food is actually better than homemade raw meals. Reliable raw dog food brands follow a proper process to ensure that the food is free of bacteria and containments. Each meal is prepared with multiple ingredients to deliver a balanced nutritional value every time.

What Is the Best Commercial Raw Dog Food?

There are a number of good raw dog food brands out there with a complete range of products. You should find the one that is according to your dog’s needs and preferences. Look for quality ingredients and nutritional value. Nature’s Logic, Stella & Chewy’s, and Darwin’s are a few reliable raw dog food brands you can try.

More best rated raw dog food options…

8. TruDog — Feed Me Turkey Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 6440kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 46%, Fat (min.) 15%, Fiber (max.) 2%, Moisture (max.) 7%
  • Form: Freeze-Dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Ground turkey with bone, 2. turkey heart, 3. turkey liver, 4. herring oil, 5. Tocopherols
  • Grain-free

Prepared with real meat, this dog food is an excellent combination of bone, organ meat, and wholesome turkey. TruDog Feed Me Turkey option is a highly nutritious treat for your dog, which can be served as a daily super-food. This nutritional powerhouse is balanced and complete in every sense and is indeed one of the best options available on the market.

 

9. Nature’s Logic — Chicken Feast Patties Raw Frozen Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1200kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 12%, Fat (min.) 7%, Fiber (max.) 3%, Moisture (max.) 72%
  • Form: Frozen
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Liver, 3. Chicken Heart, 4. Montmorillonite Clay, 5. Herring Oil
  • Grain-free

Regarded as a great source of natural calcium, Nature’s Logic raw diet is made from 90% poultry and is an excellent way to add the best protein and high-quality nutrition to your pooch’s diet. Rich in all essential vitamins and minerals, the grain-free formula is one of the top picks for dog owners of all breeds.

 

10. Primal — Beef Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 6314kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 48%, Fat (min.) 38%, Fiber (max.) 1%, Moisture (max.) 3%
  • Form: Freeze-Dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef Hearts, 2. Beef Livers, 3. Ground Beef Bones, 4. Organic Kale, 5. Organic Carrots
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

As the name suggests, the Primal Beef Formula raw free-dried diet is made from hormone, antibiotic, and steroid-free beef meat, organs, and bones. Fortified with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, amino acids, and an abundant supply of minerals and vitamins, the meal is flawlessly balanced and perfect for your dog’s optimal health and healthy biological functions.

 

11. K9 Natural — Beef Feast Raw Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 5269kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 35%, Fat (min.) 37%, Fiber (max.) 2%, Moisture (max.) 8%
  • Form: Freeze-Dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Beef Liver, 3. Beef Tripe, 4. Beef Kidney, 5. Beef Heart
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

K9 Natural supports natural feeding practices and accents the benefits of encouraging it for all dogs. Made from 85% raw meat, blood, and bones, and 15% from fresh veggies and fruits, the supremely platable formula provides optimal nutrition that works for dogs in all life stages and all breed sizes. Provide your four-legged darling with a balanced meal to sustain great health and wellbeing.

 

12. CANIDAE — Grain-Free PURE Ancestral Red Meat Formula Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3350kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28%, Fat (min.) 13.5%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry Food, Freeze-Dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Goat, 3. Goat Meal, 4. Wild Boar Meal, 5. Pork Meal
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Keep your dog healthy and active and offer a profoundly nutritious raw diet free of grains, soy, wheat. The formula is also free from fish and chicken and derives its protein from red meat sources and is an excellent balanced meal for dogs with certain food sensitivities. If quality is your top priority, you definitely need to give this a try!

 

13. Vital Essentials — Beef Entree Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4500kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 51%, Fat (min.) 23%, Fiber (max.) 2.2%, Moisture (max.) 7%
  • Form: Freeze-Dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef, 2. Beef Lung, 3. Beef Liver, 4. Beef Stomach, 5. Beef Heart
  • Grain-free

The grain-free mini nibs is a special beef entrée loaded with essential nutrients. The brand guarantees supreme quality and claims to retain all active nutritional elements in their exclusive freeze-drying process. The recipe does not involve antibiotics, hormones, fillers, or artificial flavoring and coloring and therefore, provides your dog a more natural, healthy diet.

 

14. Stewart Raw Naturals — Lamb Recipe Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 5030kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 45%, Fat (min.) 31%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 5%
  • Form: Freeze-Dried
  • Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Lamb Heart, 3. Lamb Liver, 4. Ground Lamb Bone, 5. Broccoli
  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

With lamb as the major ingredient in the recipe together with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, you know you are feeding only the best to your precious pooch. Serve your dog this grain-free raw meal as a nutritious boost and guarantee optimal health, weight, and fitness through a rich, delicious, and a completely balanced diet.

Now that you know that a raw diet may just be the best diet for your dog, good luck finding the best raw dog food for your buddy!

Related: The Best Dry Dog Foods