• Smart Bark

Best Raw Dog Foods for 2022

Updated: 4 days ago

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Raw feeding appears to be taking the dog food market by storm. So is it worth making the switch to a raw dog food diet?


If you’re considering making the change, but are still baffled by how it all works and bewildered by all the different dog food suppliers, let us help unravel the facts for you.


We’ve tested and reviewed some of the best raw dog food in the UK for 2022.


They not only offer a complete diet but come armed with smart, informative websites and understanding customer service at the end of a telephone line (which we've tested).

Dog eating raw dog food from a bowl

This is an in-depth, tried and tested article with all our findings on raw dog food for beginners, so is quite a long read. Feel free to read the full article or skip straight to the section which interests you.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Buying Guide for Raw Dog Food

Features to Consider

The Best Raw Dog Foods We've Tested

1. Paleo Ridge

2. Pro Dog Raw

3. Bella & Duke

4. Natures Menu

Our Verdict

Raw Feeding Dogs FAQs

Our Selection Process


BUYING GUIDE FOR RAW DOG FOOD


The truth is that you can successfully produce raw dog food at home. However, long term the nutrients need to be carefully considered to ensure that you're providing a balanced diet for your dog. This requires time, effort and significant research.


Alternatively, several suppliers take out all the guesswork and provide complete raw diets for dogs.


There are so many raw dog foods on the UK market that sifting your way through all the suppliers can be a daunting task. Here at Smart Bark we're always on the quest to find the best of the best.

Best raw dog food suppliers UK

We've tested (and by 'we' I mean Freddie and his four-legged friends), all 4 companies featured over a 6 month period- Paleo Ridge, Bella & Duke, ProDog Raw and Nature's Menu.


This Buying Guide aims to outline your options for a raw diet and if you are a raw dog food beginner, helps you decide which features are most important to you.


So take a break, pour a cuppa and read through our Buying Guide.



FEATURES TO CONSIDER


Before you jump in and make the switch to a raw dog food diet, keep the following points in mind :-


Minimum Order and Tub Size

Our first bit of advice is to be aware that raw dog food arrives frozen and needs to be stored in your freezer until needed. Consider your storage space and what's more, take a look at the delivery intervals on offer.


Sample & Trial Packs

This is a great way to make sure your dog loves the food before you make a large financial commitment. Also look out for transition bundles which can help you manage the move to a raw diet.


Ranges

Do you need to take account of allergies, an older dog's dietary needs or a puppies nutritional requirements ?


We've highlighted not just the standard raw range but also any other specific ranges on offer by each company.


Variety

Raw feeding for dogs should not only aim to be balanced and nutritious but also include lots of variety. When selecting your products, ideally you should be aiming to feed at least 5-6 different protein types over a 2-month period. Most mixed bundles offer a great value, wide selection.


Loyalty Scheme & Introductory Offers

Some companies run loyalty schemes so you can save money long term and others offer deep-cut introductory offers. Both are worth considering and we try to provide the latest information on each.


So let’s take a closer look at four of the Best Raw Dog Food suppliers in the UK and what they have to offer you and of course your dog - Paleo Ridge, ProDog Raw, Bella & Duke and Natures Menu.




THE BEST RAW DOG FOODS WE'VE TESTED


1. Paleo Ridge

Best Overall Raw Dog Food



Who are Paleo Ridge?


This multi award-winning raw dog food business made our top spot because they are currently the most accredited raw dog food manufacturer in a expanding market.


Voted Best Raw Dog Food in the UK, their range offers complete alongside complementary raw dog foods for both experienced and those of you new to raw feeding.


For beginners, Paleo Ridge take the guesswork out of the move to raw dog food. A well thought through 'Switch to Raw Hamper' contains everything you need to make a super smooth transition. They even include a useful printed 'switch to raw' guide.


It's this attention to detail that PaleoRidge offer their customers which led us to 'dip our toe in the water' and trial their raw dog food.


We reviewed a selection of Paleo Ridge recipes for 12 weeks and recommend it as a great all round raw food if you're looking to make the switch.



What’s in their Range ?


Their complete raw dog food is available in a choice of two ranges - Classic and Paleo Plus.


The Classic range adopts the popular 80-10-10 principle with each meal containing 80% human-grade, outdoor-reared meat, 10% offal and 10% bone.

Paleo Ridge raw dog food packaging

This is perfect for dogs with allergies as you can carefully monitor additions and ingredients.


Paleo Plus takes this a step further combining 95% meat, offal and bone with the added bonus of 5% natural superfoods.


High-quality dog foods are increasingly adding natural ‘functional foods’, which can improve your dog’s quality of life as they mature. Paleo Ridge are no exception, with their superfoods chosen for their high nutritional value.

Both ranges offer a wide choice of recipes from Surf & Turf to Lamb & Mint so it's easy to include plenty of variety in their diet.


You have a choice to either purchase the food in a variety bundle (hamper) or select recipes individually.


If you choose to select recipes individually, the newly re-designed website shows at-a-glance whether each product is suitable for senior dogs, puppies, sensitive tummies and whether it's low in fat (if a doggy diet is needed).

Paleo ridge raw dog food hampers

We reviewed the Switch to Raw Hamper. It contains a 8 kg selection from both their Paleo Plus and Classic ranges so seemed the perfect place to start.


The bonus of buying a hamper (or bundle of products) instead of individual trays, is the benefit of free delivery so they work out great value for money


Henry our reviewer, trialled this hamper as he switched from a dry kibble diet to raw.


Our reviewer's family had two initial concerns about switching to raw dog food.


The first was the transition process itself and possible side effects. I'm happy to report, that there were no side effects and the transition was super smooth.


The second concern was the potential extra preparation time involved with raw feeding.


Again, this didn't appear to be an issue, aside from ensuring the food is removed from the freezer to defrost ahead of time, there is a little more to think about than simply pouring dried kibble into a bowl at tea time.


Interestingly, compared to the other raw foods tested, Paleo Ridge had a coarser and chunkier consistency to their dog food. The food appeared less 'paste' like and the individual ingredients were easy to identify.


How do I order and how does the food arrive?


With excellent eco-credentials, all the product packaging is either compostable, biodegradable or recyclable.

Paleo ridge complete raw dog food in a freezer

The food is wrapped in a woolcool liner to keep it cool in transit and there is a return service for the woolcool liners.


The Paleo Plus range is packaged in 500g trays and the Classic range in 1kg trays.


The food arrives frozen so transfer to your freezer then simply defrost a tray at a time. Simply defrost one tray at a time, pop the lid and serve!


It's easy to remember because as you empty one tray, you automatically remove another from the freezer.


If you forget and are confronted with a tray of frozen food at meal time, don't worry, it defrosts quickly on the kitchen worktop. Defrosting in a microwave isn't recommended because it can create 'hot spots' in the food.


The 500g Paleo Plus trays have resealable lids, but the Classic range may need transferring to a resealable container.


Our tester divided the raw into individual containers and Henry then ate his meal direct from the container - so no extra dog bowls to wash !


How much does it cost ?


Their online 'Dog Food Calculator' simply suggests how much to feed based on your dog's weight. Paleo Ridge suggested that Henry should consume approx. 240g - 300g of dog food daily.

paleo ridge raw dog food ingredients

For the Switch to Raw Hamper this worked out at costing between £1.36 (240g) and £1.73 ( 300g) a day.


If you choose to feed entirely from the slightly cheaper Classic range this would reduce the price further.


Our reviewer noticed smaller and firmer dog poo and Henry's coat appeared softer and shinier.


They were so pleased with Paleo Ridge that they are continuing to feed a raw diet and have invested in a small freezer for the garage so they can place larger and better value orders.


If you're interested, Paleo Ridge also offer an extensive ‘DIY’ complementary range of raw foods for dog lovers looking to further customise their dog's diet or experienced customers creating their own food.


It's worth noting that you can purchase their blend of superfoods - Paleo Plus Berry Good to add to your homemade meals.


Finally if you need to organise raw food on-the-go, Paleo Ridge offer Classic Mini pouches which although more expensive, are extremely convenient when travelling.


Reasons to Buy

+ Award winning food

+ Great value

+ 8kg money-saving hampers

+ 250g travel pouches

Reasons to Avoid

- Freezer space required


2. ProDog Raw

Best raw sample pack for beginners


Who are ProDog Raw?

ProDog Raw awards

The ProDog Raw range has won a number of awards for using only human-grade quality meat from DEFRA approved and British Farm Assured sources.


They have also won awards for customer education and they work alongside the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society.



Prodog raw dog food sample pack and outer packaging

They offer a value 5kg Sample Pack which gives new customers an excellent opportunity to trial their food without making a big financial commitment.


ProDog Raw have extended their popular Sample Packs to include one aimed at dog's with sensitivity issues. Made up entirely of novel proteins, this Sample Pack avoids allergies to more commonly farmed proteins.


ProDog Raw provide several different ways for customers to save money including a loyalty scheme and money-saving bundles.


We tested a mixed bundle of ProDog Raw for 12 weeks.


What’s in their range ?


Their complete raw dog food forms three ranges - Complete, Pure 80:10:10 and Puppy.

ProDog Raw Dog food in bowl with packaging

The Pure 80:10:10 recipes provide an exact 80:10:10 ratio of meat, bone and organs.


It makes a perfect base for customers wishing to create their own customised dog food.


The Complete range as the name suggests, is a selection of perfectly balanced complete meals.


The Puppy range is finished to a fine mince consistency which is perfect for young pups developing mouths and teeth.


The Complete Formula Exotics has recently been added to their product range. The unique novel protein meals (pheasant, venison and wild boar) further extend the options available for adding variety to your dog's diet.

Ingredients for chicken recipe dog food

If you’re new to raw, a good place to start is their balanced Complete Range available in either 500g or 1kg trays.


Consisting of a collection of recipes from chicken and duck to salmon and even rabbit.


They incorporate a selection of fruit and vegetables sea kelp and Scottish salmon oil alongside the main proteins.




How do I order and how does the food arrive?

ProDog Complete raw dog food in freezer

The food is delivered frozen, wrapped in wool liners to keep it cold in transit. The wool liners are recyclable.


Place all your trays directly into your freezer. Once defrosted the food lasts 4 days in the fridge.


Their raw dog food calculator suggested 260g daily for a 12 kg adult dog. We offered half a tray (250g) knowing we could give a few additional treats without overfeeding.


Consider the freezer space you will need to set aside for storage. As you can see, we have a particularly compact freezer but could easily fit in 2-3 weeks worth of trays.


You can of course, place regular orders through Subscribe & Save to keep frozen stock to a minimum.


How much does it cost ?

Prodog raw dog food recipe selection

ProDog Raw offer a range of 8 different Bundles which reduces the daily cost compared with buying individual trays (savings of 14% - 18% depending on bundle chosen).


For a 12kg dog, the Mixed Bundle costs less than £1.00 a day which is excellent value.


However, bear in mind you will need significant freezer space as the smallest bundles are 15kg.



Cockapoo and box of proDog Raw dog food

Purchased individually the 500g trays work out slightly more expensive than the 1kg trays.


Delivery is charged at a flat £6.50, so larger orders are better value and it's worth noting that bundles have the additional bonus of with free delivery.


Freddie adored ProDog Raw and he actually devoured the complete bowl the minute it was served which never happened with kibble.


We also noticed some benefits almost immediately. Notably his poop which is smaller, firmer and less smelly so less poo bags 👍🏽


Reasons to Buy

+ Great value sample packs

+ Money saving bundles

+ Cheapest raw food reviewed

+ Loyalty scheme offer

Reasons to Avoid

- 15 kg min. for free delivery

- Freezer space required


3. Bella & Duke

Best subscription raw dog food


Who are Bella & Duke ?


The second company in our review is Bella & Duke. They are the leading pet food subscription company in the UK offering meal plans for dogs and cats.


Bella & Duke offer their raw food as part of a subscription package. But it’s not like the dreaded gym membership! You can cancel or 'paws' your subscription at any time for no cost.

PRO TIP

You can now buy a 4kg trial box and a 8kg variety box on Amazon as a one-off purchase. This is useful if you want to trial their food without setting up a subscription.


What’s in their range?