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.
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.
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.
Jump To Section
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
Editor's note: Be sure to check the latest information shown on the official website of any product you're considering purchasing, as details may change from time to time and therefore may differ from what's shown on this page.
It’s now time to reveal our pick of the best Raw Dog Food Companies in the UK at the moment.
Naturaw believe dogs deserve real food. The founders decided to launch Naturaw after witnessing the positive impact that a raw food diet had on their poorly Rhodesian Ridgeback Louis. Naturaw only use high welfare meat from British farms. You won’t find any additives, preservatives or nasties in their raw food so you can have peace of mind your dog is eating a premium diet. With help from their in-house vet, Naturaw have created three ranges: the Original Range uses veg free mince, made up of high welfare meat, bone and offal; the Forage Range combines high welfare British meat with exquisite whole food ingredients; the Simply Ranger is a do-it-yourself option for dog owners with a lot of experience feeding raw. While their ingredients are high quality, Naturaw have a sustainable approach to running their business. They use stylish packaging that is made from sustainably-sourced materials and can all be recycled (tray, film lid, liner and sleeve). They’ve installed solar panels on the roof of their 20,000 sq base to harness the power of renewable energy. The food is high-quality, their approach is commendable but how does their food taste? Well my Alaskan Klee Kai aren’t typically big fans of raw dog food but they loved Naturaw (to my surprise). We were sent a sample box and my two dogs polished off Naturaw which I initially used as a tasty topper before feeding 100% raw. I was impressed – and at the time of writing they’ve got an average score of 4.7 stars on Trustpilot.
2) Bella & Duke
Bella & Duke have a simple motto: 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 create meals that are designed to support your dog’s health, are 100% natural and nutritious and carefully source their ingredients. 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. Bella & Duke enquire about freezer space which is a thoughtful inclusion that many dog food delivery companies overlook. Bella & Duke offer a variety of different recipes to cater to all dogs (full review here). 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. These include beef, tripe, duck, turkey, white fish, chicken, lamb and salmon. Bella & Duke write on their website that they believe by alternating the protein source, you can limit the chances of intolerances. Having received a sample box of Bella & Duke, I was impressed with the food and the packaging. My dogs don’t typically eat raw dog food but they didn’t hesitate to tuck into their Bella & Duke meals. At the time of writing, Bella & Duke have an average rating of 4.5 stars based upon over 7,500 reviews. You can sign up to Bella & Duke or learn more about the company by clicking here.
3) Paleo Ridge
Paleo Ridge started as a result of a personal experience. The founder’s dog Herbie was severely ill and given a year to live before his owner started to make raw dog food for the poorly pooch. Herbie’s health improved greatly and he went on to live a further seven years and inspired the creation of Paleo Ridge. Based in Hampshire, this award-winning raw dog food company have a range of raw dog food products to cater to British pet parents. Paleo Ridge’s ethos is outlined on their website – they want to provide outstanding quality products and excellent service to both customers and their dogs. This British dog food company only use high-quality ingredients that are sourced from sustainable farms that follow high animal welfare standards, while they use organic, free range or wild sources where possible. Paleo Ridge doesn’t offer a subscription service like some other dog food companies but their shop is easy to use. There’s a lot of flexibility because Paleo Ridge have a wide range of offerings to cater to all dogs and all dog owners. Whether you want big packs, small packs, a higher meat ratio or even a Do-It-Yourself kit. If you’d like to try a hamper to get a taste of all their different ranges, you can sign up to their Switch To Raw Hamper. Paleo Ridge have three prominent ranges on offer for British dogs and their canine companions: Classic range, Paleo Plus and Classic Mini (learn more in our in-depth review). They’ve also got an environmentally-friendly approach to their business, using recyclable material and operating a woolcool return service that can earn UK dog owners loyalty points. My Alaskan Klee Kai really enjoyed trying some Paleo Ridge meals and I was impressed with the versatility of their range. They’ve got an average score of 4.7 stars based upon over 800 reviews on Feefo.
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 Naturaw, Paleo Ridge and Poppy’s Picnic with positive results.
Naturaw is our top pick based upon are overwhelming positive experience feeding their raw food. Like I mentioned earlier in the article, my dogs typically eat fresh meals rather than raw dog food and they’ve not shown much enthusiasm for raw dog food in the past.
However, they loved their Naturaw meals, especially the Forage range. They showed mealtime excitement and licked each other’s bowls clean. So it was a resounding success! Naturaw’s sustainable approach is another factor to consider. As a dog owner, you can feel confident your dog is eating a premium diet and you’re also doing your bit for the environment.
Bella & Duke 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.
If you’re looking to use a company with a sustainable approach to their raw pet food business, Paleo Ridge is a good option. They use recycable materials and have a coolpack return service that we think is a great idea. They’ve also got a versatile range of raw dog food meals to cater to all dogs.
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.