Raw Dog Food: Benefits & Options

Raw Food For Your Dog

You love your dog — from his cold, wet nose to his wagging tail. And feeding him a high-quality diet is arguably the most important step you can take to keep him healthy and ensure he lives life to the fullest. But with so many choices — and so many differing opinions — how can you decide on the best dog food?

In the past, feeding a dog generally meant lugging home bags of kibble or canned food from the pet store. But most pet owners today agree that dogs aren’t just pets – they’re part of the family. And as they learned about the benefits of the raw diet, some owners began to offer homemade food. Others turned to freeze-dried or dehydrated raw food in hopes of providing the nutritional benefits while minimizing hassle. However, today, an increasing number of pet owners are choosing what is perhaps the most healthful and convenient option: carefully formulated raw food delivered to their homes.

The Advantages of a Raw Diet

Take a long look at your dog. Does she appear to be in top-notch health? An improper diet can lead to a host of issues, from obesity to heart disease. Madeline Yamate, DVM,  Center for Integrative Animal Medicine – who is also a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, confirms, “Food therapy is critical to my treatment plans. Darwin’s makes it easy for my clients to feed fresh, wholesome diets that follow our recommended guidelines.”

Even for dogs who don’t suffer from health issues, feeding a top-quality raw diet can enhance energy level, behavior, and general mood. Just as you feel better when you eat real, natural meals rather than processed food, dogs tend to thrive when their owners forgo processed nuggets in favor of a raw diet. “Providing dogs with a fresh, raw, varied diet will greatly enhance their joy of life, along with their health,” says,Dr. Jacqueline Sehn, DVM, from Mercy Vet Veterinary Hospital.

Here are a few ways raw can enhance your dog’s health and well-being due to being a species-appropriate diet:

  • – Healthier skin and a sleeker, shinier coat

  • – Good dental health, including a reduced risk of tooth and gum disease and less plaque buildup

  • – Increased energy level

  • – Smaller stools because dogs digest more of the food

  • – Improved digestion

  • – Reduced allergies because raw food has no preservatives or additives

  • – Better weight management

Busting the Myths About Raw Dog Food

If you’ve ever tried to research a raw diet for your dog, you’ve probably come across a variety of “facts” that made you think twice. At Darwin’s, we dedicate our days to researching and perfecting a raw diet for pets — so we decided to address some of the top reasons people cite for not choosing raw food.

  1. “Isn’t raw food dangerous to pet owners because of the potential for bacteria?”

Have you ever rubbed herbs on a raw chicken before roasting it or formed hamburger patties by hand before throwing them on the grill? Handling raw pet food is no different: You simply need to thoroughly and frequently clean surfaces and wash hands, separate raw meat from other foods, and store food in a properly cooled refrigerator.

  1. “I’ve heard a raw diet can be unbalanced for a dog.”

A balanced diet is integral to your dog’s health — and it’s true that certain raw food manufacturers rely on a single premix for all their meals, which may contribute to a lack of balance. However, Darwin’s now uses individual premixes for every type of meat, which means the formula is tailored to every meat’s exact micronutrient profile. The result: Your dog obtains all the necessary micronutrients from his diet.

  1. “I’ve heard a raw diet can be incomplete for a dog.”

Indeed, some raw diets (especially homemade foods or prey model diets) can be short on antioxidants, lack the right amount of nutrients, or contain an improper fatty acid balance. However, reputable companies like Darwin’s continuously research, monitor, and hone their diets — so you can rest assured your pet is obtaining complete and balanced nutrition.

  1. “Isn’t it inconvenient to feed a raw diet? I don’t have time.”

Some people unfamiliar with raw diets may picture themselves visiting butchers, slicing meat and vegetables, or even having to handle animal carcasses. But in reality, feeding your pet a raw diet from Darwin’s is as convenient as it gets! We do all the prep work and then deliver your dog’s meals right to your door, frozen and vacuum sealed. Your only job? Thaw a small amount in your fridge (in the provided plastic tub), open the container using the easy-pull tab, and then place the food straight in your dog’s bowl. Added bonus: No more late-night trips to the pet store when you realize you’re out of dog food!

  1. “I’ve heard raw diets can be very expensive.”

We all want to invest in our pets’ health and nutrition — but the truth is, many people’s monthly budgets can be tight. When you choose to feed a raw diet from Darwin’s, you’re actually skipping two price markups: Because we deliver food right to you, no distributor or retailer gets a cut. And of course, we pass on those savings to you!

In hopes of empowering you to choose the best diet for your beloved pet, we’ve compiled a handy guide to raw dog food.

Types of Raw Diets

Not all raw dog food is created equal. People who choose raw diets for their pets generally subscribe to one of these three models:

  • The Ancestral Diet:

    Renowned pet nutrition expert Steve Brown developed the Ancestral Diet — and it’s the model we at Darwin’s have fully embraced for our top-quality natural food. Like the paleo (or “cave man”) diet for people, this research-based option promotes a carefully formulated diet emulating the animal and plant material your dog’s ancestors hunted and scavenged in nature. The Ancestral Diet consists of high protein, small amounts of fish and eggs, balanced fats as well and other fresh vegetation.

  • The Prey Model:

    This raw carnivorous diet centers on offering food canines would consume in nature by emulating the ratio of an entire prey animal. However, the prey model can lack antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, or the right balance of fatty acids.

  • BARF Diet:

    This quirky acronym stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (or Bones and Raw Food). The focus is on meat, bones, organs/offal, and sometimes dairy and supplements. However, unlike the Prey Model, the BARF Diet incorporates raw fruits and vegetables, as well as allowing some chopped and ground meats. However there are various diets using the name BARF and not all are complete and balanced nutrition.

What makes Darwin’s raw dog food a great choice?

High-quality and real food (the kind your pet would eat in nature) is simply the most appealing and healthful option. A quality raw diet features natural, unprocessed food: real meat and vegetables, with no fillers, hormones, antibiotics, or grains. Many experts recommend Darwin’s raw pet food.

  • “As an integrative veterinarian with a strong focus on healthy nutrition, I appreciate the fact that Darwin’s only uses fresh, high-quality ingredients, and they maintain excellent food safety protocols,” says Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM, CVA, Past President AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association).

Are you worried about the impact a raw diet might have on your lifestyle and your budget? Actually, pet owners who choose Darwin’s food are often surprised to discover how truly convenient and cost-effective a raw diet can be. No shopping trips, no prep — just top-quality raw food (vacuum sealed and frozen for optimal freshness) delivered right to your door.

We at Darwin’s care about your dog’s health and happiness. Finding the right diet for your dog is vital to good health.