The most convenient, hassle-free, no stress way to feed your dog a raw diet is buying it pre-made. This will cover what to look for in a raw food brand to ensure your dog gets proper nutrition. Along with suggestions on what to consider to make sure it works in your household.
How to Choose Pre-made Raw Meals for Your Dog
Since I am biased I asked my fellow raw feeders, Kimberly Gauthier from Keep the Tail Wagging, what she considers before buying. She is one of those peers that I have mentioned that DIYs her raw dog food but did start feeding raw by buying pre-made meals.
What Her Best Raw Dog Food Brands Have In Common
- The meals are all complete and balanced. – By this, she means they provide all the nutrients, protein, and moisture your dog needs. You can check this by seeing if the food is AFFCO and NRC compliant. Also refer back to which diet you chose, B.A.R.F. The Ancestral, or Prey Model, and make sure they follow that.
- They are transparent. – They have loads of information online already. This includes nutritional data, formulations, and ingredients. Also shared sourcing, ingredient quality standards, and informational articles about raw feeding.
- These companies use high-quality ingredients. – No by-products, meals, or split proteins. The best meals have a single source animal protein as the first ingredient. Followed by whole foods. Animals that have been grass-fed and pasture raised/cage-free are optimum.
When She Will Ask Questions
- If you start seeing a huge list of ingredients or synthetic vitamins. – Time to call the company says, Kimberly. The purpose of feeding a raw diet is that the food is supposed to supply everything your dog needs naturally. If a company has to add them back in you should know why.
- If the company has proprietary blends. – This isn’t a hard no, but can be if the brand’s formula is largely made up of ingredients they will not tell you about. Once again, raw diets are supposed to be the dogs’ natural diet. If the company cannot produce their meals with whole foods to provide those vitamins they might be cutting costs by using low-quality ingredients.
What Other Things Should Be Considered?
Of course, proper nutrition from whole ingredients is most important, but what about fitting into your lifestyle. I mean, when I was still feeding kibble the idea of ordering/buying ingredients, then making the meals, then storing them along with defrosting a proper rotation was overwhelming. Still is. So here are the things I look for when buying dog food to ensure it is going to work in my house with my family. So basically, lets TLRF up this article.
Is It Ready to Serve?
Am I able to get the raw meals pre-made, ready to serve, complete and balanced enough? See my first post hack #1 to define enough. By pre-made, I need the food to be already prepped at the time of purchase. There are a lot of great raw dog food companies that sell whole animal parts with the idea that I will portion out the parts Frank n Feed style to ensure my puppers have a balanced diet by the end of the week. I do not have the time in my life or space in my home to maintain this. When choosing your own raw make sure it is prepared for your household needs.
How Is It Packaged?
I also see companies that sell pre-made raw dog food in huge tubes, chucks, or chubs. This requires me to defrost the entire package divide into meal portions then refreeze them. Sure, they have taken the complete and balanced responsibility off my plate, but I still need to devote hours to repackaging. Not going to happen.
Can I Have My Dog Food Delivered?
This can go both ways. Some prefer to go out shopping for their dog’s raw. They have a few high-end pet stores nearby that they can frequent. I personally love having my dog’s meals delivered. I just set up my schedule and it magically appears on my front porch while I am at work. Now delivery does have its downfalls. Like when a snowstorm hits and all orders are delayed. That can be a headache. (If that does happen I have a few tips on stretching your meals.) Overall it beats having to go to the store every other week.
Well, there you have it. The Lazy Raw Feeder’s starter pack of tips by Kimberly Gauthier to buying an easy raw dog food that still benefits your pooch. In the end, the number one thing I recommend asking yourself:
Is this the highest quality food I can provide for my dog without going broke or crazy?