Have you considered making the switch to a raw dog food diet?
Pet parents in the UK may be aware of the growing trend of ‘feeding raw’ as some dog owners look to find a diet that will promote a balanced and healthy life for their canine companion.
Just like any type of pet nutrition, there are pros and cons associated with feeding your dog raw meat – so it’s vital that you do thorough some research when looking to find the best raw dog food in the UK.
Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as veterinary, medical or professional advice. The content of our articles does not constitute veterinary advice. It’s always best to speak with your vet or a certified pet nutritionist before making any changes to your pet's diet or feeding routine.
For social media savvy dog owners, there’s a good chance you’ll have encountered some big influencer accounts who will talk about the purported benefits of making the switch to raw dog food.
However, there are some risks associated with feeding raw so you need to be armed with as much knowledge as possible before you decide whether this type of pet nutrition is right for your dog and your family environment.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the Best Raw Dog Food UK as well as the guidance from the British government where feeding your dog a raw diet is concerned.
We’ll take a look at the three of the leading raw dog food companies who are providing pet parents with a healthy approach to their dog’s nutrition as well as educating British dog owners about some of the benefits of feeding raw.
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Current Top Rated Raw Dog Food UK 2020
|Poppy's Picnic||• Quality raw meat • British ingredients • No nasties||Buy Now|
|Bella & Duke||• DEFRA approved • Formulated by vets • Thorough questionnaire||Buy Now|
|Nature's Menu||• Family business • In-house vets • Experienced||Buy Now|
What Is Raw Dog Food?
If you’re accustomed to feeding your dog a dry food, wet food or fresh food diet, there’s a good chance that you’re unsure what exactly a raw dog food diet entails.
Generally speaking, raw dog food companies provide a diet based on raw meat (supplemented by fruit, vegetables, minerals and vitamins) that would perhaps be similar to what their wild ancestors would have eaten.
While wolves are considered to be predators, they would traditionally eat a scavenger’s diet. That is to say that they would feast on carcasses, eating organ meats, cartilages, fruits, vegetables.
For the 21st century dog owner who has adopted a raw food diet for their pup, you can expect to find organ meat, muscle meat, whole or ground bone, raw eggs, dog-safe vegetables, dog-safe fruits and berries as well as healthy fats.
Most raw dog food companies in the UK will follow a 80:10:10 model: 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal. They’ll usually supplement the raw meat with fruit and vegetables. This is often called the BARF dog food diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Feeding or Bones and Raw Food).
The advocates of raw dog food will claim that by feeding raw, your dog will see lots of benefits from the raw meat that is natural and unprocessed. Unlike some store-bought dog food, you shouldn’t find any additives, fillers or other nasties in the food.
Information provided by some of the leading raw dog food companies in the UK suggest that by eating a diet that is easier to digest, your dog’s digestive systems will reap the benefits.
While raw dog food companies and pet owners who have made the switch to raw dog food will put forward the advantages of this diet, there are also potential risks associated with this particular type of nutrition.
Potential Risks Of Raw Dog Food
If you’re considering making the switch to a raw dog food diet for your four-legged companion, it’s important that you do thorough research on the potential risks associated with raw dog food so you can make an informed decision.
There are a number of factors to be aware of that could influence your decision about whether to make the permanent switch to a raw dog food company in the UK.
It’s always best to speak to your vet to learn more about the pros and cons of feeding raw and whether they recommend switching to this particular type of dog nutrition. As mentioned above, it this article doesn’t constitute professional, medical or veterinarian advice, so be sure to speak to your vet to help you decide whether to adopt a raw dog food diet.
Some of the risks associated with raw dog food diet include:
• The bacteria in raw meat can pose a threat to human and dog health. Most raw dog food companies will do a bacteria test on their products, which is preferred to buying meat from your local supermarket or butchers.
• Raw food diets are not recommended in homes with small children or immunocompromised individuals due to the health risk that raw foods can present to members of the household.
UK Government Advice On Handling Raw Dog Food
The UK Government offers guidance on its website for the handling and preventing infection where raw pet foods are concerned.
The website warns that raw meat can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria and E. coli. It goes on to explain that humans can become unwell after handling raw pet food and treats.
The British government offers the following advice with regards to hygiene around pet food:
• Hands should be washed with soap and hot water immediately after handling and preparing any raw pet food or treats
• Pet food and treats should be stored and defrosted away from where human food is stored and prepared
• Clean and disinfect all surfaces that the raw pet food touched, such as microwaves, work surfaces, storage containers and utensils like knives, forks and bowls.
With regards to the safe storage and handling of raw pet food, it adds:
• Freeze raw pet food until it is required
• Use a dedicated container for storage
• Keep raw pet food away from other food in the refrigerator or freezer
• Defrost frozen pet foods away from other food, food preparation surfaces and equipment
• Throw away any raw pet food that is not eaten as soon as reasonably practical
The advice goes on to add that young children are at a risk of illness if they handle raw pet food given that their immune systems are stilling developing. If you suspect your child has touched raw dog food, it’s important to wash their hands with soap and water thoroughly.
Best Raw Dog Food UK 2020
It’s now time to reveal our pick of the best Raw Dog Food Companies in the UK at the moment.
1) Poppy’s Picnic
Poppy’s Picnic was created by Dylan Watkins with help from his Chief Executive Dog, Poppy, in 2016.
The idea behind Poppy’s Picnic was to find an easy way for British dog owners to feed their dogs a raw food diet in the way that nature intended.
Their website explains that Poppy’s Picnic is “lovingly crafted” with the help of canine nutritionists and fourth generation butchers.
Poppy’s Picnic say on their website that UK pet parents can have peace of mind knowing that their raw food doesn’t contain any hidden nasties.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Poppy’s Picnic balance their meals to ensure British dogs get all the goodness required to promote optimal health and wellbeing.
You may already be aware of Poppy’s Picnic as the brand has been featured on BBC 2’s Dragons’ Den, Countryfile, Channel 4, This Morning and more.
How Does Poppy’s Picnic Work?
Poppy’s Picnic write on their website that they want to provide British dog owners with the food their dog was born to eat.
The premise of their business is simple. They’ll create a custom meal plan for your four-legged friend that is delivered to your door.
Their website emphasises that your dog’s raw food won’t contain any artificial additives, preservatives, fillers or colourings. Just fresh food!
If you want to sign up to Poppy’s Picnic, you have to enter key details about your dog to allow them to tailor their meals to meet your pup’s needs.
You’ll be required to enter details such as gender, age, weight, body shape, activity levels, allergies as well as freezer space.
I really like that Poppy’s Picnic take the time to ask about freezer space as this is something I haven’t seen from other dog food companies in the UK.
Once Poppy’s Picnic have received all your answers, they’ll calculate a recommended plan for your dog. You’ll be provided with a quote.
For instance, to feed my three-year old Alaskan Klee Kai would cost £48.15 every eight weeks. That works out at 68p per day.
What Recipes Do Poppy’s Picnic Offer?
Poppy’s Picnic offer a variety of different protein sources for British dogs. Their website will suggest a particular meat based upon your answers in their questionnaire.
For example, if you enter your dog is allergic to beef, they won’t put forward beef mince as an option for your canine companion.
Poppy’s Picnic offer a number of different recipes, including:
• Turkey Mince
• Beef and Tripe Mince
• Beef Meatballs
• Beef Mince
• Beef Mince Enhanced
• Chicken and Tripe Mince
• Chicken Meatballs
• Chicken Mince
• Chicken Mince Enhanced
• Lamb and Tripe Mince
• Lamb Meatballs
• Lamb Mince
• Lamb Mince Enhanced
• Venison and Duck Mince
There are a number of options for puppies as well as some raw treats.
Poppy’s Picnic sent some samples for my Alaskan Klee Kai to try.
My dogs are already on a fresh food diet so I used Poppy’s Picnic as a topper to complement their current food.
My Klee Kai loved the raw food, especially the beef and tripe recipes. They enjoyed the Chicken Meatballs which were a hit and perfect to add on top of their normal food.
My food arrived in a good condition – it was still frozen and undamaged. Poppy’s Picnic provided two red bowties for my dogs which was a nice addition.
What Are Customers Saying About Poppy’s Picnic?
Poppy’s Picnic gets an average of 4.1 stars out of 5 based on 20 reviews on independent website Trustpilot.
A customer called Timberlands gave this family-orientated company a glowing review.
My dog enjoys this food and they do fabulous hampers which you fill with your choices. They also do a value pack which is a starter pack for a great price. Arrived fast and the whole ethos appears to be family orientated and friendly service like they’re your friends.
Dog mom Naomi gave Poppy’s Picnic a glowing endorsement.
The food itself is amazing it’s a complete raw food mix. Meat, veggies, and everything natural that that he needs is packed in there which is perfect for raw newbies like us. We spread his defrosted meatballs on to a lickMat to slow him down when he eats and also sometimes stuff his kong he just loves it so much. His coat is now shinier than ever and his poos don’t stink. We are super happy and love this brand for our dog and would highly recommend to anyone.
Finally, a Jack Russell owner is sticking with Poppy’s Picnic.
Jack my Jack Rascal terror loves this food! Clean dish every time, high quality food that is healthy for your pooch. I would recommend Poppy’s Picnic to any poochie parent you will not be disappointed. Customer support is amazing and always very helpful. Poppy’s Picnic have a customer for life with me and Jackie.
In our research on Poppy’s Picnic online, we did notice that some customers had issues with deliveries.
However, overall, this Wiltshire company appeared to receive glowing reviews for their food and customer service.
Poppy’s Picnic are one of the leading raw dog food companies in the UK.
We love their range of recipes, providing beef, tripe, chicken, duck and venison options to keep all dogs stimulated at mealtime.
They’ve created a family feel to their brand which is evident when you scroll through their social media.
I was particularly impressed with their forethought in asking dog owners about the size of their freezers. This is a question I haven’t previously seen asked by dog food delivery companies despite the issue of freezer space being a constant headache for me.
2) Bella & Duke
Bella & Duke have a simple motto on their website: your dog, our best friend.
They explain on their website that Bella & Duke was created to help make Britain’s dogs and cats as healthy and happy as possible.
Founders Mark and Tony were spurred into action after losing their dogs to cancer. Having come to the realisation that processed dog food may have actually caused their illness, they set about researching natural dog diets. Bella & Duke was born.
They cook their recipes in their kitchen with help from animal nutritionists and their food is checked by vets.
Their website says that they promise to stay at the “cutting edge of nutrition” to ensure their food is as good as it can possibly be.
Bella & Duke add that they’ll never add something to their meals unless the ingredient provides a real benefit to your dog’s health.
Bella & Duke create meals that are designed to support your dog’s health, are 100% natural and nutritious and carefully source their ingredients.
How Does Bella & Duke Work?
Bella & Duke offer 100 per cent natural raw dog food that is delivered free to your door.
To start the process of ordering your first Bella & Duke delivery, you’ll need to provide some key information such as your dog’s sex, age, weight, acitivity level, health and behavorial issues, and diseases.
Dog owners will also be able to include whether it’s your first time feeding your dog raw food before you receive Bella & Duke’s recommendation.
Like Poppy’s Picnic, Bella & Duke enquire about freezer space which is a thoughtful inclusion that many dog food delivery companies overlook.
To feed my three-year old Alaskan Klee Kai their meals for 36 days would cost me £45.99. Their website explains that I’m effectively paying £1.28 a day to feed Skye her Bella & Duke meals.
Bella & Duke offer the ability to change the size of your order at the checkout if you would like to get more or less food in your delivery.
Their website proudly declares that they’ve got over 35,000 customers and serve 17 millions meals a year.
What Recipes Do Bella & Duke Offer?
Bella & Duke offer a variety of different recipes to cater to all dogs. Their website explains that all meat is sourced from BRC Accredited human grade factories in the UK, and all of their fruit and vegetables is sourced locally.
At the time of writing, Bella & Duke offer British dog owners a number of different formulas and recipes.
Their adult premium range is designed to give UK dogs everything they need to stay fit and active. Recipes include:
• Beef Raw Dog Food Complete
• Tripe Raw Dog Food Complete
• Duck Raw Dog Food Complete
• Turkey Raw Dog Food Complete
• White Fish Raw Dog Food Complete
• Chicken Raw Dog Food Complete
• Lamb Raw Dog Food Complete
• Salmon Raw Dog Food Complete
They’ve also got a Superfood Enriched range, Pure Meat & Bone range and Working Dog Adult range.
Bella & Duke add on their website that they mix the proteins in their meals to offer a wide range of flavours to prevent intolerances occurring.
I was sent a variety of Bella & Duke recipes to try.
The first thing that I was impressed with was the design of their food containers. While other brands stored their raw food in plastic tray, Bella & Duke use white container trays that are extremely sturdy and can be resealed to be airtight.
As someone who is relatively new to the raw dog food market, I liked this added layer of storage to ensure there was no spillage or wastage.
Bella & Duke were thorough in their instructions and I appreciated the variety of protein sources on offer given my Alaskan Klee Kai can traditionally be extremely fussy.
What Are Customers Saying About Bella & Duke?
Bella & Duke get 4.6 stars out of 5 based on 180 reviews on Google Reviews.
Samantha was delighted to see her picky Cavapoo wolf down Bella & Duke.
My 9 month old Cavapoo is not food driven. Some days she hardly ate a thing apart from treats. Tried her on Bella and Duke and a similar alternative. Bella and Duke wins hands down. Clean bowl morning and night. She NEVER touched breakfast and does not like kibble. She’ll eat the other brand, but only off a spoon like a toddler. I’ll use up the other stock then it’s Bella and Duke all the way.
Susan shed light on the positive impact that Bella & Duke had on her pup.
Our dog has been fed on Bella & Duke since she was around 18 months. She had been ill for most of her short life and was totally uninterested in food. When we tried raw, she took to it instantly and cleaned her bowl at every meal. She stopped having runny, smelly poo and now produces firm small stools. She rarely suffers from upsets – only one episode in the last 18 months and is genuinely waiting for her next meal, reminding me if I’m a little late.
Hayley was impressed with the level of support from Bella & Duke.
My Springador loves her food and have never had any issues with quality or the service. They are fantastic and offer a lot of support and advice. I would highly recommend.
I didn’t really encounter any negatives other than the fact that because Bella & Duke provide premium raw dog food, you can expect to pay more than traditional store-bought food.
When I researched Bella & Duke reviews on Google, I did notice a number of negative reviews that cited complications with deliveries. However, a lot of customers also outlined in five-star reviews that their deliveries were reliable.
Bella & Duke provide a great range of raw dog food meals for British canines.
They’ve got a number of different protein sources so you can add variety to your four legged friend’s diet.
Bella & Duke write on their website that they believe by alternating the protein source, you can limit the chances of intolerances.
Irrespective of this claim, I liked having variety to keep my picky Alaskan Klee Kai guessing at mealtime.
3) Natures Menu
Natures Menu are looking to provide real raw dog food.
Their website explains that they use real ingredients complemented by real expertise and a real passion for making a different to British pets.
Natures Menu were founded as a small family business in 1981. As their website points out, they’ve been flying the real pet food flag from day one.
They use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible to put healthy nutrition and real food at the core of what they’re delivering.
Natures Menu only create meals that are vet approved using their own in-house vet team. They add online that their vets are unsurprisingly big advocates of feeding natural.
They’ve got a state-of-the-art facility in Norfolk where they create and make their raw pet food.
Your Natures Menu raw food will be delivered direct to your door by their team of drivers who use a fleet of temperature-controlled green vans operating across England, Wales and Scotland.
How Does Natures Menu Work?
Unlike Poppy’s Picnic and Bella & Duke, Natures Menu don’t tailor their meals to meet your dog’s specific needs.
So what does this mean? You are not asked to fill out a questionnaire providing key details about their canine companions before placing an order.
Having said that, Natures Menu do provide a feeding guideline section that effectively works the same as a sign-up questionnaire. You’re asked to fill out their survey to get an idea about your dog’s breed, age, weight, body type, activity level and food preferences.
So if your dog is used to dry or wet food, or if your pup doesn’t like white meat such as chicken or turkey, you can enter this information into the questionnaire.
Once completed, they’ll offer a range of different options and a suggested daily portion. You can create a subscription so you won’t have to enter these details every time you want to place an order.
What Recipes Do Natures Menu Offer?
Natures Menu offer three different ranges on the website: Natures Menu Original, Home Prepare and Country Hunter.
Natures Menu Original are in a wholesome and meaty nugget form. Natures Menu Home Prepare is high quality mince that is easy to prepare in what is described as a free-flowing frozen format. Country Hunter come in a nugget shape.
They offer a wide range of protein sources: beef, chicken, lamb, fish, duck, turkey, tripe, venison, boar, rabbit, goose and pheasant.
What Are Customers Saying About Natures Menu?
Natures Menu get 4.5 stars out of 5 based upon 165 reviews on independent review website Trustpilot.
A Weimaraner owner gave a big thumbs up to Natures Menu.
Esther my Weimaraner loves it, she has the raw country hunter cubes and the individual raw meat packs. We have a repeat order every fortnight and it always arrives safely, well packaged and cold! Esther won’t eat any other type of food the raw diet keeps her trim, with great teeth and she always jumps up and down at food time until her bowl is ready.
Dog mom Maggie gave a five-star review of Natures Menu.
Great food, great price and boy do my two dogs love the Banquet cubes. They’re easy to measure out. My working Cocker gets 18 cubes and the Pointer gets the rest of the packet. Both super fit and lean on this food. No overweight dogs here. It’s gone in a flash. They use recyclable packets too.
Finally, a Golden Retriever owner was impressed with Natures Menu.
Our beautiful Golden Retriever Mac has had Natures Menu from a puppy. He is now 6 and is still excited at meal times, he absolutely loves his meals any single flavour or combination of any nuggets ( there are so many to tempt him) and he is in his element.
Although Natures Menu say on their website that they use their own vans, a number of reviews on Trustpilot mentioned issues with delivery.
Natures Menu have built a loyal customer base given they’re long-term operators in this industry.
They offer a wide range of raw food options for British pet parents, including a number of different protein sources.
They don’t provide customised meals like some of the other raw dog food companies in the UK.
However, pet parents can still use their feeding guidelines to figure out how much their dogs need each month.
Anything Else To Consider?
As mentioned above, it’s always best to do some thorough research about the pros and cons of a raw food diet for UK pets.
It’s a good idea to speak to your regular vet or an animal nutritionist to learn about the potential benefits and drawbacks of making the switch to raw dog food.
Most raw dog food companies will provide thorough guidelines on how to introduce a raw food diet to your dog. As with any type of dog food, you don’t want to make a dramatic and sudden switch to a new type of food. It’s a good idea to make the transition over a couple of weeks.
If you would like to read the UK government’s advice on raw pet food, click here.
Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts
We’ve reached the end of our feature on the best raw dog food in the UK. My Alaskan Klee Kai have acted as taste testers of Poppy’s Picnic and Bella & Duke with positive results.
Poppy’s Picnic offer UK dog owners the chance to switch to raw dog food and join their growing community. Their sign-up process is easy and simple to follow. They’ve got reliable deliveries of their balanced, complete and natural raw food.
Bella & Duke are another raw dog food company based in the UK who are providing customised raw food meals to British dogs. They’ve got a number of different ranges incorporating different protein sources to keep your dog’s tastebuds tingling.
Natures Menu are one of the more experienced raw dog food companies in the UK. They’ve been creating balanced and natural food for British pets since the early 1980s.
If you want to adopt a raw and wild approach to your dog’s nutrition, we recommend doing thorough research so you can make an informed decision before taking a look at one of three companies reviewed in this best raw dog food UK article.