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Raw Pet Food: Unleashing the Benefits of a Natural Diet

According to NielsenIQ Label Insight Trending Attributes, between December 2020 and January 2022, search terms associated with “raw” ranked at 43 and “high protein” at 54. In past years, these terms never cracked the top 100.

And the raw food segment keeps growing.

Raw dog food could include organ meats, bones (whole or ground), muscle, eggs, and pet-safe fruits (such as berries and apples), and vegetables (like spinach, celery and broccoli). Pet owners are choosing raw or minimally processed pet food because it is said to have dental, skin, and digestive health benefits.

It also represents another way that pet owners are eager to find new ways to care for their pets and “humanize” the foods they eat.

However, there is another view.

The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes the unregulated feeding of raw foods and discourages “the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens, because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs, as well as humans.”

MetLife Pet Insurance cites both pros and cons:

Pros

  • Weight management
  • Health benefits
  • Shinier coat

Cons

  • Risk of bones
  • Bacteria
  • Unbalanced diet
  • Time and money

One company that entered the raw frozen and freeze-dried pet food market is Morasch Meats, a USDA processor of beef, poultry, pork, and seafood for humans established in 1956. 

How did they get into raw dog food?

A dog sled team came to the Portland, OR, company in the late 1990s and asked if the Moraschs could create a high-protein food for their dogs. This got the wheels turning on the idea of raw food for dogs.

In 2004, Northwest Naturals was created, a private-label pet food that is under guidelines of a USDA facility — the same USDA guidelines

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