April 21, 2022
This post is sponsored by We Feed Raw. We only recommend products we know and love, and all opinions expressed here are our own.
The popularity of raw dog food has exploded in recent years. More than ever, experienced dog owners are showing preference for the biologically appropriate, minimally processed, and nutrition-dense dog food. Many point to the health benefits of the diet. To name just a few, raw-fed dogs often have smaller and firmer stools, healthier skin and coats, better digestion, and fewer allergy symptoms.
Earlier this year, our long-haired dachshund, Django, had surgery for Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). In addition to helping Django recover and embarking on a rigorous physical therapy program, we (Mike and Steph) also examined Django’s diet to see if improvements could be made.
We’ve always been incredibly picky when it comes to Django’s diet. We only feed our hairy little sausage dog high quality and often organic foods. We tend to favor fresh dog foods and never hesitate to top his dinner bowl with wild Alaskan salmon, boiled organic chicken, half an egg, or even fresh organic strawberries (his personal favorite!).
Most recently, we decided to try We Feed Raw. This company is one of the more reputable ones in the raw dog food industry. It cuts out mystery ingredients and unpronounceable additives and replaces them with easily digestible, human-grade meat. Unlike other dog food brands whose recipes have endless and often unrecognizable ingredients, you can easily count and identify all We Feed Raw recipe components.
Here is an honest and in-depth review of We Feed Raw dog food. All opinions expressed are solely our own and are based on our personal experience feeding We Feed Raw to Django.
WE FEED RAW DISCOUNT CODE:
Raw dog food encompasses a range of ingredients, but it typically consists of raw animal protein (muscle meat and/or organ meats), raw eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes. It can be homemade, store-bought freeze-dried, or store-bought frozen.
Here is a full list of the most common ingredients found in raw dog food:
- Muscle meat (i.e., beef, chicken, turkey)
- Organ meats (i.e., heart, kidneys, or liver)
- Whole or ground bones (i.e., poultry necks and wings)
- Whole fish
- Raw eggs
- Dairy (i.e., cottage cheese and plain yogurt)
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Legumes, nuts, and seeds
- Grains (i.e., cornmeal, millet, and rolled oats)
- Alfalfa power and kelp
- Essential vitamin and mineral supplements
For more information about feeding your dog a raw food diet, click here for our Beginner’s Guide to Raw Dog Food.
We Feed Raw makes biologically-appropriate raw dog meals for puppies and adult dogs with human-grade meat. They are made with approximately 80% muscle meat, 10% organ meat, 10% edible bones, and a vitamin and mineral premix. Unlike many low tier dog food brands on the market today, We Feed Raw does not use fake flavors, unnatural coloring, fillers, or preservatives.
We Feed Raw offers a variety of high quality dog food products including customized meal plans, 5-pound bulk patties, and raw dog treats.
WE FEED RAW FOOD SAFETY
All We Feed Raw’s recipes are made in a USDA-certified, human-grade kitchen, and they follow the BRCGS Global Standard for Food Safety. We Feed Raw also uses a high water pressure technology called high-pressure processing (HPP) to ensure their meat is safe. HPP neutralizes E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella without destroying nutrients. We Feed Raw does not use any chemicals, heat, preservatives, or unnatural additives.
WE FEED RAW DOG FOOD SUBSCRIPTION
We Feed Raw’s customized meal plan is a subscription service. This means that you sign up for ongoing customized dog food deliveries on a monthly basis. Make sure to get 20% off your first We Feed Raw box by entering promo code DJANGO20 at checkout. If you prefer to bypass a subscription plan and order in bulk, you can also elect to order any of We Feed Raw’s six recipes in 5 lb bags.
If you are a new customer and order a We Feed Raw Trial Box, you will also be enrolling in a monthly plan. Unless you cancel your We Feed Raw subscription before the end of your trial period, it will automatically renew.
To cancel your We Feed Raw plan, log into your account or send an email to [email protected]. You can also chat with a customer service representative at 843-732-2849 or use We Feed Raw’s live chatbox from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
RECIPES AND NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS
We Feed Raw has 6 raw dog food recipes that were created by a PH.D. animal nutritionist: chicken, duck, turkey, beef, lamb, and venison. We’ve had the privilege of trying all of these recipes with Django—more on Django’s reaction to We Feed Raw below!
All We Feed Raws recipes meet AAFCO’s Dog Food Nutrient Profiles, including the growth of giant-breed puppies (i.e., 70 lbs or more). They are approximately 80% muscle meat with connective tissue and fat, 10% organ meat, and 10% edible bone. To ensure proper nutrition, We Feed Raw also adds a high-quality vitamin and mineral premix to their recipes.
Here are the ingredients, calorie content, and guaranteed analysis for each We Feed Raw dog food recipe.
QUALITY OF INGREDIENTS
All We Feed Raw’s recipes are made with USDA-certified, human-grade meat. USDA certification means that strict standards were met for processing, labelling, facility sanitation, and slaughtering operations. Here are a few additional facts about We Feed Raw ingredients.
- Meaty meat (i.e., muscle meat with connective fat and tissue) and organ meat. We Feed Raw’s beef, chicken, turkey, and duck comes from farms in the U.S. The chicken, duck, and turkey are conventionally raised, and the cows are grass-fed. We Feed Raw’s lamb and venison are sourced from New Zealand. They are pasture-raised, grass-fed, and grass-finished (i.e., they eat grass their whole life).
- Raw meaty bones. We Feed Raw uses turkey necks in their Turkey Recipe. For the Beef, Lamb, and Venison Recipes, they use beef necks. The raw dog food company also uses duck necks in their Duck Recipes and chicken necks in their Chicken Recipes.
- Vitamin/mineral premix. We Feed Raw’s vitamin and mineral premix is sourced and made in the United States.
We Feed Raw boxes are shipped directly to your door and include individually, vacuum-sealed meal plan packets. For an example of what a meal plan packet looks like, simply refer to the photo above of Django’s Chicken Patty recipe packet.
Meals are shipped frozen in insulated and biodegradable packaging. The amount of raw food in each meal plan packet is based on your dog’s weight, energy level, and body condition. For reference, our 6-year-old dachshund Django is 13 pounds, and his activity is currently limited because he is recovering from IVDD surgery. His meal plan packets are currently 6 ounces in weight. This is enough food for 1 day—3 ounces for breakfast and 3 ounces for dinner.
Our We Feed Raw food has always arrived frozen solid and in very good condition. Upon receiving our We Feed Raw delivery, Mike and I simply transfer Django’s meal packets directly into the freezer. As the photo shows above, Django’s 6 ounce meal packets are small enough to fit in a standard cereal bowl. This makes them very easy to stack and store in the freezer. We don’t have to worry about massive frozen dog food containers that barely fit in our freezer!
Since the meal packets are pre-portioned, they only need about 12 hours in the refrigerator to defrost. This means we simply need to put one new meal packet in the refrigerator the night before it is to be used. By morning, the meal packet is thawed and ready to be devoured by Django.
In addition to the food, each box of We Feed Raw includes feeding instructions tailored to your dog as well as a reusable silicone container and lid to store refrigerated food.
Although Django cannot describe with words how he feels about We Feed Raw, his actions speak quite loudly…. Django flips out every time we cut open a We Feed Raw meal packet! He shrieks excitedly, spins around, and tries to jump up at us while we’re preparing his meal. Based on his behavior and ridiculous high-pitched sausage dog screams, you would think that we hadn’t fed Django in weeks!
If I had to guess, it is the aroma of the high quality and raw animal protein that gets Django so excited. The only other times Django gets this crazed over food is when we are about to give him freshly cooked chicken or fresh strawberries. Interestingly enough, We Feed Raw food does not have a discernible odor to humans. The raw dog food’s scent is pleasantly mild and unnoticeable. Obviously, Django’s strong dachshund nose tells him otherwise!
Since Django is still in recovery and rehab mode after his IVDD surgery, Mike and I actually grew concerned Django might re-injure himself with all of this excitement over We Feed Raw! To ensure Django stays safe and doesn’t hinder his recovery, we’ve recently been keeping him in his crate while preparing his morning and evening meals. Keeping Django contained for this short period of time prevents him from running around the kitchen like a mad man, jumping up on us, and re-harming his sensitive back.
So to sum up Django’s feedback and experience with his new raw dog food… he absolutely loves We Feed Raw!
Here is how to order your first We Feed Raw trial box:
- Step 1: Visit We Feed Raw’s website. If you are on a personal computer, you can click the accessibility icon — the figure with outstretched arms and legs in a circle. Located under the Create Your Meal Plan button, it lets you change contrast (i.e., hi-con, desaturate, and invert), increase text size, and adjust the font (sans serif, serif, and dyslexic).
- Step 2: Select the Create Your Meal Plan button. Then complete your pup’s profile (i.e., name, age, gender, breed, body condition, activity level, and protein allergies).
- Step 3: Enter your email address, and check the “I agree to the Terms & Conditions” box. Then click the Build Their Perfect Plan button.
- Step 4: Pick your pooch’s recipes: chicken, turkey, duck, beef, lamb, and/or venison. You can also order bulk raw dog food patties in 5 lb increments.
- Step 5: Do you want to mix your raw pet food with high-quality dry dog food and/or fresh dog food? Tick the “I will be supplementing my pet’s We Feed
- Step 6: Then select whether you want to use We Feed Raw as a whole meal (i.e., 100% We Feed Raw ) or a dog food mixer (i.e., 75% or 50% We Feed Raw). Unlike other fresh dog food brands we have covered, We Feed Raw does not have a “Three-Quarter Plan” or “Half Plan” for small dog breeds (i.e., 10 lbs or less). The raw dog food brand also does not offer a “Half Plan” for dogs under 20 lbs.
- Step 7: Click the Checkout button and enter We Feed Raw promo code DJANGO20 for 20% off your first box. Enter your personal information (i.e., name, password, email address, phone number, and billing/shipping address). Then enter your debit and/or credit card information. We Feed Raw accepts American Express, Discover, Mastercard, PayPal, and Visa.
We Feed Raw’s price depends on your dog’s size, activity level, and goal weight. It is also based on which raw dog food recipes you feed him. Chicken, lamb, venison, and duck cost more than turkey and beef. The cost is also connected to whether you use We Feed Raw as a dog food topper, a dog food mix-in, or the main meal.
For example purposes only, we priced out meal plans for 4 different dog breeds. They include a 10-lb miniature pinscher, a 20-lb French bulldog, a 40-lb English bulldog, and a 60-lb standard poodle. The meal plans are based on a varied protein selection of chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb. Each dog used for our pricing analysis is 6 years old, neutered, in ideal shape (not overweight or underweight), moderately active (i.e., one hour walk per day with extra play sessions on the weekends), and without protein allergies.
HOW MUCH IS SHIPPING?
We Feed Raw’s custom meal plans and 5-pound bulk patties are cold-shipped for free to the lower 48 states.
To find out how often you will get deliveries, visit We Feed Raw’s Start Meal Plan page. Once you have signed up for a subscription, you can change your address, skip a box, or rotate your dog’s recipes in the My Account section.
1. IS WE FEED RAW A TRUSTWORTHY COMPANY?
2. HAS WE FEED RAW EVER BEEN RECALLED?
3. WHO DEVELOPED WE FEED RAW’S DOG FOOD RECIPES?
We Feed Raw’s dog food recipes were created by a Ph.D. animal nutritionist with more than 30 years of experience in canine nutrition and raw feeding.
4. HOW LONG DOES WE FEED RAW AND STAY FRESH AFTER BEING DELIVERED?
In their original packaging, We Feed Raw’s customized meals and 5-pound bulk patties will keep in your freezer for up to 6 months. The meal plan packets take approximately 12 hours to thaw while the bulk patties thaw in roughly 24 hours. Once your dog’s raw food is thawed, it will only stay fresh in your fridge for up to 4 days.
5. WHAT IS WE FEED RAW’S RETURN POLICY?
We Feed Raw’s minimally processed raw dog food is perishable. To prevent food poisoning, exchanges and returns are not allowed. But the South Carolina-based company may refund or replace any lost boxes if they are caused by a third-party carrier like UPS. If you move and do not provide We Feed Raw with a change of address, they will not refund and/or replace your order. To request a return and/or replacement, email at [email protected] or call 843-732-2849 within 30 days of purchase.
6. IS MIXING RAW DOG FOOD WITH DRY DOG FOOD SAFE?
Yes, it is safe to mix raw dog food with kibble. Bacterial changes in your dog’s gut can cause diarrhea. They are more likely to happen when you dramatically change his diet, not when you feed him a stable combo of high-quality dry and raw dog food.
“People do it all the time, non-stop; sushi tonight, Italian tomorrow, a Big Mac the day after,” says We Feed Raw’s Ph.D. animal nutritionist. “And all animals in the wild dine on a smorgasbord. They eat what they can when they can, and their metabolic machinery is perfected by millions of years of evolution to thrive on variety just fine.”
7. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RAW MEATY BONES AND RECREATIONAL BONES?
Raw Meaty Bones are flexible and easy for dogs to crunch and tear. Raw beef, chicken, lamb, and turkey bones are high in calcium. It not only strengthens your pup’s bones but helps his muscles contract.
Raw meaty bones provide mental stimulation and increase a happy hormone called serotonin. (The human equal is solving a jigsaw puzzle while brushing your teeth.) Raw meaty bones are also like “Nature’s toothbrush” because they remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth. While raw meaty bones are safe for your canine companion, cooked bones are very dangerous. That is because they can splinter and get caught in his throat. With that said, watch your dog while he is chewing a raw meaty bone, and throw it away once the meat is gone.
8. WHY IS MY DOG DRINKING LESS WATER AFTER EATING WE FEED RAW?
All We Feed Raw’s recipes are low in sodium and have more than 68% moisture. That means your dog is getting the water he needs from his minimally-processed raw meals. Kibble is about 10% water, so dogs on a dry diet will need to drink 1/8 of a cup of water per pound of bodyweight every day.
9. WILL MY DOG GO THROUGH DETOX AFTER STARTING WE FEED RAW?
Your dog might go through detox when you switch him from canned wet food and/or kibble to We Feed Raw. This means his body is removing impurities and toxins as it adjusts to getting proper nutrients. Unfortunately, detox can cause bad breath, itchy skin, diarrhea, and/or vomiting. Depending on your pup’s age, immune system health, and how long he has been fed low-quality dog food, detox can last days, weeks, or even months.
10. MY DOG IS POOPING LESS, AND IT IS WHITE. IS THAT NORMAL?
If his poop is white and gray or dry and crumbly, it is most likely because We Feed Raw contains finely ground, edible poultry/beef bones.
11. WHY IS MY DOG’S POOP ENCASED IN MUCUS AFTER SWITCHING TO RAW FOOD?
Mucus is made by your dog’s intestines and keeps the lining of his colon moist and lubricated. So it is normal to see a small amount of this slimy, jelly-like substance in his poop. When you first switch your dog to We Feed Raw, his stool may be surrounded by a shiny mucus-like casing. This usually means his digestive tract is getting rid of the junk in his system. Though mucus-covered poop can also be caused by polyps, autoimmune disorders, parasites, cancers, and parvovirus.
- In 2009, Alissa Zalneraitis and her future husband, Rich Reel IV, founded We Feed Raw. As a dog owner and foster parent, Alissa wanted to feed “the world’s friendliest wolfpack” the healthiest raw dog food.
- Alissa and Rich (a former sushi chef) originally ran their raw dog food business in their garage. It was packed with 500-pound chest freezers.
- Tragically, just as We Feed Raw was taking off, Alissa was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The 34-year-old continued working until the week she died, just 2 days before Christmas in 2014. Today, Alissa’s family carries on her legacy: “We love dogs, so we feed them well.”
- We Feed Raw’s coolers are also biodegradable, compostable, and eco-friendly. When you run them under cold water, they disappear within minutes.
- We Feed Raw posts raw dog treat recipes like Peanut Puppet Pooch Cake on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Don’t forget to use We Feed Raw promo code DJANGO20 for 20% OFF your first box!
Questions? Comments? Do you have an experience with We Feed Raw that you’d like to share with our dog loving community? Please let a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
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