What does a raw feeder do when she’s getting ready to board her pups for a few days? In my case, she goes back to how she started feeding raw 2.5 years ago and buys pre-made raw dog food.
This time around, I went with one of the more expensive pre-made raw dog food options and bought Nature’s Variety complete raw beef patties in the frozen dog food section at a local Petco’s.
How Much Do The Beef Patties Cost?
Their 6 lb bag is the largest and costs $43. A bit steep price-wise, so I decided to purchase only one and stretch it a little with chicken gizzards and hearts from the grocery store. 5.5 lb of those cost me just about 10 bucks. So we’re looking at a total of $53 for 6 days of doggie food during boarding.
Buzz eats 8 ounces of food twice per day, and Missy needs 6 ounces with every meal, so I need just shy of 2 lbs in food for the pups per day (1 lb 12 oz).
Beef Patties Mixed With Chicken Gizzards & Hearts
Why Didn’t I Just Prepare My Own Meals?
You may wonder why I didn’t just prepare my own raw dog food meals and send them along to our vet who the pups are boarding with this time.
The reason are bones. Raw meaty bones are part of a balanced, raw diet and I have no way of grinding those myself. Our vet is a traditional vet and while she does admit that the pups are super healthy on the diet I feed them, I don’t want to push the issue by sending along fresh duck or rabbit heads and turkey necks and expect her to feed those to the pups.
So pre-made raw dog food it is since it comes with ground everything, to include bones.
For anyone interested in transitioning their pups to a raw diet: Pre-made raw dog food is complete and ready to feed. That means it already contains the perfect balance of muscle meat, organs, and bone, sometimes with the addition of veggies/fruit/herbs, so you don't have to worry about getting it right.
What Do The Beef Patties Consist Of?
I will say that Nature’s Variety’s ingredients are top notch and justify their price point. The beef patties consist of muscle meat, organs (liver + another organ, in this case kidney), and bone, as well as antioxidant rich non-GMO veggies/fruit/supplements.
I typically make an effort to support smaller businesses when I purchase pre-made raw meals, but due to an “oops” moment when I placed my last raw dog food order online (forgot to add complete raw meals from Raw Feeding Miami), this ended up being the most practical option.
Other Pre-Made Raw Dog Food Brands I’ve Purchased From
For those of you who don’t know – I fed Missy & Buzz pre-made raw dog food from Darwin’s Natural Pet for the first 6 months of our raw diet journey. I wasn’t knowledgeable in putting the pups’ raw meals together yet and wanted to make sure that they ate nutritiously balanced food.
I’ve also fed pre-made raw from Raw Paws Pet Food and Balanced Blends. Raw Paws Pet Food also offers beef patties by the way (without any veggies/fruits). The price point is similar to Nature’s Variety – 6 lb cost 40 bucks. You’ll have to add shipping costs though unless you order $199 in frozen products, at which point shipping is free.
Pre-made raw dog food is super convenient, there’s just no doubt about that. You thaw and serve, that’s pretty much it, without having to worry about getting all the ingredients right.
That peace of mind is certainly one of the huge advantages of investing in pre-made raw dog food. Keep in mind though that you’re paying someone else to create a raw dog food formula for you, and that comes at a price, of course.
It’s considerably more expensive than putting your own raw dog meals together, so the price of raw dog food depends on how willing you are to put in the time and energy to learn about whipping up your dog(s)’ own raw meals.
And don’t get me wrong – no judgment here at all. It IS time consuming and I realize that not everyone has that time.
I personally can’t afford to buy pre-made raw meals exclusively. That would translate into just about $400 of raw dog food costs for my two guys over a 30 day period.
I will, however, purchase it every now & then – most likely when the pups are boarding and/or I run out of raw food at the house. At least I don’t have to pay any shipping costs when going to Petco 😉
Have your pups had Nature’s Variety frozen raw before? Or any other pre-made raw dog food? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!