Raw & Fresh Whole Food Companies for Dogs




Our companion animals deserve real food too!

Many people can't imagine another way of feeding their dog besides dried kibble or canned "meat" produced by pet food companies. Since the popularity of pet food exploded after World War II, commercial dog food has become the norm. Today, even the best intentioned of pet owners can unknowingly find themselves feeding their dogs and cats the toxic residues of factory-farmed, antibiotic-fed, hormone-laced cows and chickens and sheep, mixed with spoiled grains and some rancid oil. Many are also feeding their pets preservatives and sweeteners. 

Fortunately though, many people are educating themselves and changing the way they feed their dogs and switching to a healthy whole foods diet, and it has become easier than ever now with companies coming out with raw, whole foods in a bag.

There are a few vegetarian options available in this list, and be sure to read the section, "Can My Dog Be A Vegetarian?"

(some of the links just won't turn blue, but they are still links!)

HONEST KITCHEN

Created in 2002, Honest Kitchen is a line of natural, dehydrated human-grade foods for dogs. The Honest Kitchen has taken the rather unusual step of applying for (and actually receiving) FDA approval to label its pet foods “human grade“. This means the meat in the food is not raw, but the vegetables are.

The company only uses human-edible components and produces all its products in a human food manufacturing facility.

From the president, "Our dehydrated pet foods are made from the most pristine, whole-food ingredients available. We put our heart and soul into building a strong brand, based on the foundations of product integrity, transparency and honesty."

Available Dehydrated Options:

Love (grain-free)
Zeal (grain-free)
Embark (grain-free)
Force (grain-free)
Keen 
Thrive
Verve
Prefrence (meat-free) 

Example of the Ingredients (Force):

Dehydrated free-range chicken, organic flaxseed, potatoes, celery, sweet potatoes, apples, alfalfa, organic kelp, honey, pumpkin, green beans, cabbage, bananas, papayas, basil, garlic, rosemary, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate.


SOJOS

In 1985 two forward-thinking women from Michigan mixed up the first batch of Sojos in their own kitchen. The first product, Sojos Original, was based on the teachings of Juliette de Bairacli Levy, considered the grandmother of herbal medicine. This first-of-its-kind pre-mix was soon followed by tasty gourmet treats.

SOJOS raw dog food mixes are made from scratch with whole food. It's homemade dog food, made easy. They offer a variety of grain-free options in their full line of all-natural pet food. Unlike kibble, Sojos has no fillers, no preservatives, and no artificial colors or flavors. Just simple, real ingredients like you’d find in your own kitchen.

Available Raw, Dehydrated Options:

Turkey Complete (grain-free)
Beef Complete (grain-free)
Grain-Free (meat-free)
Original (meat-free)

Example of the ingredients (Turkey Complete):

sweet potato, USDA turkey, whole egg, broccoli, celery, apples, flax meal, pecans, tricalcium phosphate, pumpkin, cranberries, basil, dried alfalfa, ginger root, dried kelp, zinc sulfate, vitamin E acetate, vitamin D3


ADDICTION

Addiction started in 2002 when the founder – a leading holistic veterinary surgeon and clinical nutritionist with over 20 years’ experience– began to notice that everyday pet foods were under nourishing our pets and, in fact, causing them harm.

Identifying a pattern between the painful skin and gastrointestinal problems in the pets he was treating and a lack of nutrition in their diets, he set out to research what pet foods were available. He found that most foods were not providing our pets with the nutrients they need to stay fit, healthy and active. The unhealthy combinations of fats, grains, by-products and additives in these foods were creating harmful food allergies and serious health problems.

Available Raw, Dehydrated Options:
Perfect Summer Brushtail (grain-free)
Outback Kangaroo Feast (grain-free)
Fig'licious Venison Feast (grain-free)
Homestyle Venison & Cranberry Dinner
New Zealand Forest Delicacies
Herbed Lamb and Potatoes (grain-free)
Steakhouse Beef & Zucchini Entree (grain-free)
Country Chicken & Apricot Dinner (grain-free)
Nutri-RX Allergy HS (meat-free, grain-free) 

Example of the ingredients (from Fig'licious Venison Feast):

Venison, Potatoes, Papayas, Canola Oil, Figs, Carrots, Spinach, Tapioca, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulphate, Ferrous Sulphate, Copper Sulphate, Manganese Sulphate, Sodium Selenate, Potassium Iodate, Vitamins E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, L-Tryptophan, L-Threonine, DL-Methionine, Tocopherols (preservatives), Lecithin, Rosemary Extract

More information 
Addiction is on Amazon!

GRANDMA LUCY'S

The ingredients and philosophy of Grandma Lucy's have not changed since they began in 1999. 

Grandma Lucy's has taken great pride in making healthy, natural and delicious pet food and treats. Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Freeze-Dried, Grain Free Pet Food offers all natural, high quality meals for cats and dogs. Freeze-Dried, Grain Free Pet Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat/Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages. It’s every pet owners dream to serve the ultimate high quality pet food that has no preservatives, no by-products, and hormone and antibiotic free.

Available Freeze-dried Options (all are grain-free):

Artisan Chicken
Artisan Lamb
Artisan Venison
Artisan Pork
Artisan Bison
Artisan Pre-mix (meat-free)
Pureformance Chicken
Pureformance Lamb
Pureformance Rabbit

Example of the ingredients (Artisan Chicken):

USDA Chicken, Potatoes, Flax, Carrots, Celery, Apples, Blueberry, Cranberries, Garlic, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Niacin, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Potassium, Manganese, Chloride, Copper, Magnesium, Pyridoxine, Cyanocobalamin


DR. HARVEY'S

As a pioneer and the very first companion animal food producer in the “ultra-natural” category, the team at Dr. Harvey’s has dedicated itself over the past three decades to a powerful vision: helping guardians give their companion animals a better, healthier, happier, longer and more fulfilling life.

Dr. Harvey’s Canine Products are the finest all-natural products in the world. After years of teaching people about the benefits of natural healing for dogs, Dr. Harvey created a line of products that helps guardians to keep their beloved companions healthy.

Dr. Harvey has been teaching guardians for almost 30 years about the dangers of putting chemicals, preservatives, artificial coloring and dyes and salt and sugar into a dog’s diet. He has longed believed that dogs need fresh foods daily and that avoiding chemicals will increase good health and is the best preventative against degenerative diseases.

Available Dehydrated Foods:

Veg-to-Bowl (grain-free, meat-free)
Veg-to-Bowl, Fine Ground (grain-free, meat-free)
The Miracle Dog Food (meat-free)

Example of the ingredients (The Miracle Dog Food):

Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Barley, Organic Triticale, Organic Spelt, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Kamut, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Potatoes, Zucchini, Peas, Green Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Parsley, Dried Yeast, Lecithin, Alfalfa, Dried Kelp, Ground Flaxseed, Calcium Citrate, Dried Ground Fenugreek, Dried Ground Fennel, Dried Ground Ginger, Dried Ground Peppermint, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid


STEVE'S REAL FOOD

Steve’s Real Food for pets is a pioneer in the raw dog food industry, being one of the first companies to distribute a raw meat dog food nationwide.  Their products contain the perfect balance of meat and vegetables to make giving your pet a raw food diet easy and affordable.

To provide natural proteins, antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, Steve’s Real Food is made with best quality 100% hormone-free, antibiotic-free, human-edible raw chicken, duck, turkey, or beef. All varieties are mixed with fresh pesticide-free raw produce. We then blend in natural “functional foods” like vitamin E & sardine oil, anchovy oil and flaxseed oil for the important Omega-3, 6 & 9 fatty acids and add kelp and sea salts for trace minerals. These delicious morsels are then Instant Quick Frozen (IQF) to seal in all the freshness and nutrition.

Available Raw, Frozen Options (all are grain-free):

Beef Diet
Turkey
Turducken
Chicken

Example of Ingredients (Turkey):

Ground Turkey, Turkey Necks, Celery, Turkey Liver, Romaine, Watermelon, Turkey Hearts, Bell Peppers, Flaxseed, Extract of Chicory
(FOS), Dried Kelp, Potassium Chloride, Sea Salt, Sardine/Anchovy Oil, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamine E, Copper Proteinate, Maganese
Proteinate, Oxy-Gon Powder (Natural Antioxidant), Vitamin D, Garlic, Eggshell Powder, Sodium Bisulphate


NATURE'S VARIETY INSTINCT

Instinct fulfills your pets’ instinctive nutritional needs with 100% grain-free and gluten-free nutrition, resulting in vibrant health you can see.   
Instinct foods provide natural and healthy nutrition for your dog or cat – as evidenced by the astounding results their customers experience every day. Freedom from allergies, help with weight loss, and improved skin and coat are some of the amazing testimonials they receive. 

Available Raw, Freeze-Dried Options (they also have raw frozen options) (all are grain-free):

Chicken
Beef
Lamb

Example of Ingredients (Chicken):

Chicken, Turkey, Turkey Liver, Turkey Heart, Pumpkinseeds, Apples, Carrots, Ground Chicken Bone, Butternut Squash, Ground Flaxseeds, Montmorillonite Clay, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Dried Kelp, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Salmon Oil, Olive Oil, Mixed Tocopherols with Citric Acid (a natural preservative), Rosemary Extract, Blueberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Persimmons, Inulin, Rosemary, Sage, Clove.


Also check out: 


Feel free to experiment in your kitchen with your own dog food recipes, but be sure that they are nutritionally balanced if they are going to be a long-term diet. Dogs are omnivores, so if you are like me and cringe at the idea of handling meat, remember that dogs eat both plants and animals therefore it's enjoyable to make healthy vegetarian dishes for your dog. Most dogs love lentil soup.

Foods that dogs should NOT eat: Avocado, Onions, Grapes, Raisins, Macadamia Nuts, Dairy products, Candy, Gum, Xylitol, Chocolate, Yeast, Salt.

Can My Dog Be a Vegetarian?

There is so much controversy on this subject, but the fact is that dogs are omnivores, like humans, and they can and do thrive on a vegetarian/vegan diet (when done right, just as ANY diet should be done right), just like humans. In fact, the longest lived dog was a vegetarian who ate organic lentils, rice and vegetables every day [see here]. 

Opponents claim that a vegetarian diet is unnatural for dogs, but as they declare this they serve their dog human prepared kibble, that doesn't resemble food, in a pretty dish; have the dog's vital sexual organs removed; insist their dog lives in their house and sleeps in their bed, among other unnatural behavior. Most dog species are even unnatural, simply the result of human manipulation. A dog's world (and diet) is far from natural already, yet somehow many remain healthy and robust. Furthermore, one can not deny that many pet owners find their dog's health improves dramatically on a meat-free diet. The simple fact is that a dog can thrive on both a meat diet and meat-free diet. The ultimate goal is to provide a diet that is fresh and resembles food, whether it contains meat or not.

If you do want to try a vegetarian diet for your dog, remember that dogs prefer thoroughly ground up plants opposed to whole chunks of food. They might sometimes gnaw on chunks, but a majority of the time they prefer plants that are ground up.  A few of the prepared dog foods above have meat-free options. This means convenience for you: you can add your own protein source such as sprouted tofu, lentils, hemp, legumes, eggs and others, and then serve. The amount of protein required ranges between 12% - 40%.

If you're looking for a vegetarian kibble, Natural Balance makes one without corn, soy, wheat, dairy or sunflower oil. There are some great reviews for it. Even my dog (dachshund) liked it, when he used to eat it, which was shocking because he is extremely picky. He preferred it over the "healthy" meat kibble I was feeding him at the time. The downfall is that the grain content is a bit high. And also do remember, fresh whole food is always better than kibble.

If you're not ready to feed your dog vegetarian yet, or ever, then the options listed in this article are a tremendous step up from traditional kibble diets and that's what inspired me to do this article. The farm animals are treated much more humanely and the meat is generally antibiotic and hormone-free. A step up for all animals involved.

Thanks for reading! What do you think?

My Picks! ~ click on the photos for more info
 

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