Food & Treats

Choose a Commercial Raw Diet for Your Dog in 5 Steps

Latte Eating | Vanillapup

If you are thinking of switching your dog to a commercial raw diet but don’t know how to go about choosing one, this post is for you!

If you are thinking of switching your dog to a commercial raw diet but don’t know how to go about choosing one, this post is for you!

Mama has been feeding me raw food for over a year. Looking at my routine blood test results, we seem to be on the right track so far. I’ve tried several commercial raw diet brands and formulas over the year, and mama chooses them based on a set of steps.

As far as she knows, most commercial raw diets you pick out from stores are formulated to meet standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). So it’s not that useful in helping you navigate through an increasing range of commercial raw diets out there!

Hence, to ensure your dog is eating the best, you will need to do a little more investigation than just looking out for “AAFCO” or equivalent (outside of US) on the bag!

Choose a commercial raw diet for your dog in 5 steps

Primal Freeze-dried Nuggets | Vanillapup

1. Check the list of ingredients

The first thing mama looks at when she checks out a new commercial raw diet is to look at the ingredients list.

The first three ingredients will give you a good indication of what makes up most of the diet. You should see meat, organs, and bone.

Dogs don’t need fillers like grains, gluten, corn, wheat and soy in their diet. Like preservatives and flavourings, they should not be a part of the diet.

Also, ask yourself whether you recognise all the ingredients in the list. Are there any jargons? If there are ingredients that you’ve never seen before, research to understand whether they are beneficial to your dog.

2. Determine whether natural and quality ingredients are used

Grass-fed, free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat and organic vegetables are always preferred especially when you are paying more to switch your dog to a raw diet.

You may also see some supplements added into the diet to balance it according to AAFCO (or equivalent) standards. It’s good to note that nutrients derived from foods work naturally in synergy and are therefore better for the body than isolated synthetic supplements.

Hence, when choosing between different brands, choose those with minimal or no synthetic supplements. It is best if your dog’s food is balanced with solely natural foods!

3. Choose the ratio of meat to vegetables that’s suitable for your dog

All dogs are different and their nutritional requirements depend on their medical status, activity levels, age and etc. As a guide, there should be at least 75% meat, organs, and bone.

Mama believes in rotating different brands and formulas to ensure I enjoy the benefits of variety over time. I love the frequent change too!

4. Look at nutritional facts

To achieve a complete and balanced diet, there are certain minerals, vitamins and fatty acids that need to balance with each other – calcium & phosphorous, zinc & copper, vitamin E & omega 3, potassium & sodium, and omega 3 & omega 6.

The biggest concern is usually with calcium & phosphorous. Phosphorous is abundant in meat and bone, and too much of it can deplete your dog’s calcium reserves; causing serious problems. The ideal ratio is 1:1.

Other than that, omega 3 must balance with omega 6 (around the ratio of 1:5-10) to prevent nutritional deficiency. While omega 6 is commonly available in our present-day diet, omega 3 is often lacking due to modern farming practices.

If your dog’s commercial raw diet doesn’t provide enough omega 3, you can add a quality omega 3 supplement.

5. Get assurance that the food is produced and handled with good safety standards

Because we are dealing with food, we need to have the assurance that it is properly processed and handled for safe consumption.

The food should be produced in Government-inspected facilities and each batch should ideally be tested negative by a third party laboratory for pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria before sale.

So there we are! These are the 5 steps that mama uses to review a commercial raw diet before she decides whether to feed it to me!

At the end of the day, what’s important is that your dog loves the food, poops well and passes her routine health checkup with flying colours! That’s when you know you are doing the right thing 🙂

Primal Freeze-dried Nuggets

Primal Freeze-dried Dog Food Nuggets | Vanillapup

If you are still clueless about which commercial raw diet to try, you should consider Primal Freeze-dried nuggets! They are made with human-grade and easy-to-understand ingredients from the United States and New Zealand. All meats are antibiotic- and steroid-free without added hormones and all produce are certified organic.

Complete and balanced without synthetic supplements

The formulas offer a good balance of different minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids through food sources without the use of any synthetic vitamins and minerals.

A wide variety

With a wide variety of formulas, you can choose one that best suits your dog’s needs or rotate your dog’s diet for a well-varied diet over time.

Every batch is tested

Each batch of food is produced under strict food safety standards and tested by a third party laboratory to be safe before it hits the shelves.

You can purchase Primal Freeze-dried Formulas from these resellers.

This post is sponsored by B2K Pet Products Pte. Ltd.

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Latte is the happy Westie behind Vanillapup, a website for dog lovers. Discover latest products and services, dog-friendly hangouts, helpful tips and advice, and exclusive perks.


  1. Raymond Yap

    January 29, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    There is no mention of frozen RAW. Try Prime100 BARF from Australia. It is a single protein diet excellent for allergy management. Made from human grade meat, it is a complete meal for all dogs.

  2. weliveinaflat

    August 6, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Commercial raw food can be high fat, compared to other food. So if weight management is a problem, pet parents should watch out for that and perhaps feed less, depending on how your dog’s weight is trending. 😉

    See the comparison between specific raw, dehydrated, dry and canned food products here –

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