The BEST Dog Food for the Advanced
I have written extensively about how synthetic (and/or lab created nutrients) in highly processed commercial diets are unhealthy for dogs. I agree with the top vets who have taken course study in biologically appropriate raw diets. Such vets made the choice to take their education beyond what the veterinary school provides as their schools are supported by various corporations (Hills, Purina…). When such corporations support learning, it is a conflict of interest to teach subject matter that opposes the products that those corporations manufacture.
If a food contains more than four or five vitamin supplements, it is a clear indicator that the product is missing a lot of nutrients (aside from the synthetic and/or highly processed ingredients created in a lab including additives). Although I prefer no vitamins & minerals added, I can personally overlook around 5. Most commercial dog food contains extensive lists of such ingredients. It is like living on flavored vitamins without any whole food or eating Fruity cereals day after day. A couple of articles that might be of interest to you include Why a Raw Diet is Vital and Why Don’t Conventional Vets Recommend Raw Feeding. When feeding raw, I generally add my own natural supplements. Most of them are made from natural ingredients from whole foods including superfoods which are packed with nutrients (i.e., spirulina, chia seeds…). Being that the Barfworld diet includes such ingredients, I don’t feel the need to add as many supplements as I do when feeding the Raw Paws diet. I feel that the adding additional supplements assure that my dogs are getting the healthiest fruits and veggies along with additional nutrients. After all, fresh kill is really the best as the nutrients are most rich and plentiful, but the majority of people don’t hunt for their food.
For more advanced raw feeders I recommend Raw Paws Pet Food. The Frozen Raw Paws Meals include the appropriate balance of meat, organs, ground bone, vitamin E, and herring oil. I prefer their “complete meals” because they contain muscle meat, ground bone and organ meat which are important in order to mimic the biologically appropriate diet that the species eats in the wild. The Raw Paws Complete meals contain the muscle meat, organ meat, and ground bone. The beef adds green tripe to the recipe. For beginner raw feeders I recommend Barfworld. If you are a beginner, take a look at my article The Best Raw Food for Beginners in which I recommend The Barfworld diet because it is an excellent food and very simple to work with.
Freeze Dried Meals: Raw Paws carries freeze dried meals, but they don’t contain ground bone so it would be best to add a bone supplement. Freeze dried products tend to be much more expensive than regular raw form. Raw Paws carries an enormous selection of products including freeze-dried food & treats.
Treats Bones, and Chews: Raw Paws carries a great assortment of dog chews, green tripe, meaty bones (my dogs love the duck necks), dehydrated treats, freeze-dried treats, chews, and more. I love that they enable you to select chews based on what you want. For example, you can choose a chew by its hardness, the protein type (i.e., chicken, beef…), and other characteristics. I have tried several chews. I tried esophagus strips and the beef tendons which are also great for chewing. They didn’t smell very good so I kept the dogs in the kitchen so they can really go at it. Afterwards I wipe down their faces and front paws.
My girls love the dehydrated lamb lung, freeze-dried liver. The lung is not easy to cut so I use the poultry shears for that too. The freeze-dried liver can be used as small yummy nutritious treats. Although the liver is very healthy, it is high in calories and very rich so I go easy on these treats.
Raw Food: Their selections include organic, free-range, wild, gluten-free, free run, grain-free, grass-fed, antibiotic-free, pasture raised, hormone-free, non-GMO, and wild products. Their proteins include beef, duck, chicken, lamb, turkey, goat, pork, rabbit, quail, venison, and fish. Like Barfworld, Raw Paws contains no artificial flavor, coloring, or preservatives. I have purchased many of their bones and chews from Raw Paws. The purpose of the bones and chews is to maintain their oral hygiene. I have ordered the trachea, goat bones, and duck necks. Harriet had an upset tummy and had diarrhea after eating a duck neck. It was just too rich for her. Now I use poultry shears and cut them in half. I give each dog half and everything is fine. It is really messy so
to make life easier for me, I will give them the bones either outside on a cheap blanket or I will put an old blanket down onto the kitchen floor and put the gate up. They love it and it is fabulous for their teeth as the enzymes from the raw meat and the mechanical action of chewing the vertebrae help keep their teeth really clean. Raw Paws requires a little bit more work than the Barfworld diet (which comes in the form of eight ounce patties or in small nuggets) as the Raw Paws comes in bulk and needs to be divided into smaller portions. I defrost them just a little bit, them I cut down the large tubes and divide the tubs into smaller portions. I then wrap the smaller portions in wax paper and put them into freezer bags and put them into the freezer. When serving, I take a portion, put it into the fridge the day before and weigh the meals when it is time to feed my little dogs. The remainder goes back into the fridge. I use a pyrex container to store the food in the fridge. Raw Paws carries patties, but pound for pound the patties are more expensive.
I like that Raw Paws carries green tripe in bulk and in other forms. Green tripe is one of the healthiest foods that you could feed your dog. Green tripe is packed with amino acids and enzymes. It is packed with probiotics I purchase my green tripe from Raw Paws and feed it to them around three to five times a week as meals. Read about what green tripe is and its benefits in my article The Most Nutritious Ingredient for Dogs. Barfworld food's beef, lamb, and combo recipes include green tripe.
Raw Paws Freeze-Dried Diet: The moisture is removed from the food while keeping it frozen. This allows the food to remain uncooked and raw. Freeze-drying is more nutritional value than other dehydration processes because of the manner in which the moisture is removed. If I would choose a freeze-dried food for my dogs, I would go for Raw Paws Freeze-Dried Food. It comes in three formulas (beef, chicken, and Green Tripe).
Raw Goat Milk: Raw Paws also carries lots of bully sticks as well. Raw Paws is one of the few places where you can purchase Raw Goat Milk which provides many health benefits. Goat milk is an excellent source of enzymes, calcium, electrolytes, probiotics, and tons of other nutrients.
A Word About Treats: As far as treats go, whenever purchasing treats anywhere, always pay close attention to all the ingredients. I avoid smoked and jerky treats like the plague. I also avoid soy and other ingredients that are not necessary. With all the natural options out there, it doesn’t make sense to me to bother with all that garbage.
A Word About Supplements: To see the supplements, I have three pages that discuss the supplements I add. Not every supplement I use is a must, but there are some that I highly recommend. Some Supplements I feel that most dogs should be on, but I list others that are worthwhile to consider. I don't give my dogs the same thing day after day so I use many things to vary their supplementation. I wrote about the products at The Pet Health & Nutrition Center, NuVet Labs, and my soon to be published article, Mother Earth Pets Super Essentials.
A Funny Story Their meat is excellent. I can tell you first hand. I also keep my own meat in ziplock bags as well as the Raw Paws food. I was exhausted and really hungry one evening and I had this unbearable craving for a hamburger. I took out some meat, defrosted it and cooked it. I think it was the best hamburger that I ever tasted. I noticed a tiny crunch as I chewed the meat. As I chewed the meat and the crunchy bits, I realized that something wasn’t quite right. I looked at the ziplock bag and noticed that “GOAT” was written on it as clear as day. I was so hungry that I finished it despite. It was cooked… No biggie.