Commercial Dog Food Versus Raw Dog Food: Picking the Right Food for Your Dog

What Are the Nutritional Requirements for Dogs?

A balanced diet for a domestic dog is formulated on the theory that dogs are discretionary carnivores. Like humans, dogs can survive on grains with minimal access to meat in their diet. However, raw dog food enthusiasts believe that increasing raw meats in dog food helps improve the overall health of their dogs.

What Is Raw Dog Food?

Raw dog food is precisely what it sounds like—uncooked and minimally processed dog food. A raw dog food diet is made from a combination of uncooked foods and meat bones. Raw dog food is composed of specific raw ingredients to fully address all of the natural dietary needs of a dog.

Sample of Raw Dog Food

What ingredients are used in high-grade raw dog food? A typical raw dog food blend will typically contain at least three, if not all of, the following ingredients:


  • Muscle Meat
  • Edible Bone
  • Organs
  • Vegetables


Muscle meat provides essential proteins. Edible bones and ground bones provide minerals and help keep canine teeth healthy. Organs and a selection of dog-friendly vegetables offer the necessary nutrients for a complete and balanced diet.

What Is Commercial Dog Food?

commercial dog food

Unlike raw dog food, commercial dog food tends to contain:


  • Grains
  • Harvested proteins
  • Added vitamins and minerals


In addition to commonly finding a high grain to protein ratio, commercial dog food tends to be made of small, hard bits that can be difficult for some dogs to eat. Commercial dry dog food also has to use preservatives to increase the shelf-life of the fat-binding materials.

Why Is Commercial Dog Food Bad for Dogs?

Inexpensive commercial dog food is often found using vague ingredient names that make their ingredients sound better than they might be. Brief, non-specific ingredient descriptions like “bone meal” and “meat” could be a way to mask what’s really in the food.

Commercial brands also tend to rely on fillers, by-products, additives, and artificial flavors. Some brands rely on cheap grains like wheat and corn, which can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs.

K9 Raw Dog Food With 3 Raw Hounds

A K9 raw diet can easily replace or complement a commercial dog food diet. 3 Raw Hounds offers both a private label named 3 Raw Hounds as well as our K9 Kravings line. Each product line addresses a different alternative raw dog food diet approach.

3 Raw Hounds Private Label Prey Model Raw Diet

The 3 Raw Hounds private label is crafted for a Prey Model Raw (PMR) diet. This raw dog food diet focuses on eliminating processed foods and aligning with the natural nutrients of a raw prey animal. Essentially, a PMR diet matches that of a dog eating a portion of a prey animal.

A PMR diet will combine a specific ratio of muscle meat, organ meat, and meat bones in each serving. The typical ratio for PMR is 80% meat, 10% organ, and 10% bone. This calculation approximates the proportion of each source of nutrition in a wild prey animal.

While the PMR diet is vegetable-free, the combination of bones and organs provides relative vegetative nutrients. The muscle meat provides complete proteins that help release gastric acids and improve the digestion process.

3 Raw Hounds carefully selects our meat vendors to ensure the highest grades of beef, chicken, duck, turkey, seafood, and rabbit meat. Each of our ingredients is clearly listed on each package to tell you exactly what you’re feeding your family dog.

K9 Kravings Label Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet

The K9 Kravings label is crafted for the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet. This line was developed with the direction of Dr. Richard Patton, a well-known animal nutritionist. K9 Kravings raw dog food meets all nutritional levels, as determined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.


This frozen raw pet food line blends high-grade muscle and organ meat with ground meat bones and dog-friendly, low-carb vegetables. A patented blend of vitamins and minerals completes the mix for a fully balanced diet. This complete and balanced raw dog food blend is recommended for dogs of any age and activity level.

K9 Raw Diet Concerns

Potential bacterial contamination from the feces of a dog on a raw diet may concern some households. Households with young children, elderly adults, or people experiencing immune deficiencies may need to seek out other dog food alternatives.

If you have concerns about keeping up with heightened sanitation practices, there are freeze-dried and dehydrated raw dog food and treat options that you can explore. Of course, you should consult with your health practitioner to determine if these options are a viable choice for your health situation.

Typically, a raw dog food household will only need to promote meticulous sanitation while using raw dog foods. These practices can include using a thick, well-made feces containment product to pick up feces. It is also a good idea to wash your hands and the dog’s feeding bowl after each use of raw dog food products.