Balanced Blends Pet Food recently relaunched with two new lines of raw and steamed dog food. The biggest difference compared to their previous lines of raw dog food? No more bones. WHAT?! More on how that’s possible below.
My raw fed pup Wally taste-tested 5 lb of each and did very well with both.
I first came across Balanced Blends in 2016 when they launched their brand new raw dog food line on Kickstarter, and fed their food to my then pups Missy & Buzz, who enthusiastically gobbled down every last bit of it.
Balanced Blends Pet Food Quick Facts
- Complete & Balanced. For all life stages.
- USDA Inspected & Approved. Whole meat and organs, egg, and oil.
- Cold Pasteurized. Kills pathogens without heat or preservatives.
- Verified Safe. Test and hold – independently verified.
- No Bones
- No Digestible Plants such as legumes, peas, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, grains, starches.
- No Unnecessary Additives such as colorants, preservatives, bacteriophages (viruses), fermenting yeasts.
Disclaimer: Balanced Blends is sponsoring this blog post. Here on K9sOverCoffee, I only share information I feel is relevant to my readers & always provide 100% honest reviews. Balanced Blends is not responsible for the content of this blog post.
Balanced Blends’ New Dog Food Recipe
The brand’s new recipe isn’t getting any of its nutrients from digestible plan matter as they’re relying more on animal matter to deliver the most species appropriate nutrition while continuing to meet and exceed AAFCO nutrition profiles for canines.
The result is their enhanced recipe which consists of 97.5% animal, 0% bone, only 2.5% addition supplements (like the all important Taurine, etc), and 60% protein.
In addition to this, Balanced Blends now also offers both raw (HPP in FINAL PACKAGING for your safety), and gently steamed dog food (also in final packaging). Both options include the same ingredients.
Balanced Blends’ Approach To Dog Food Safety
Balanced Blends places a huge emphasis on food safety and ensuring that their products arrive safely in their customers’ homes. To ensure the highest level of safety, Balanced Blends’ raw and steamed products go through their pathogen kill step in their final packaging.
This means that there is zero handling of the contents post-killstep, which then also goes through a test (independent lab) and hold process before shipping.
I received Wally’s raw & steamed dog food in a box cooled with dry ice, and everything was solid frozen, despite the temperatures being in the low 90s F (about 32 C).
Species Balanced Raw – Balanced Blends’ New Line Of Raw Dog Food
I will say that I was a little taken aback when I first studied the ingredient list of Balanced Blends’ new raw dog food line Species Balanced Raw. That’s because it doesn’t contain any raw meaty bone, unlike their previous Balanced Raw line I fed my dogs Missy & Buzz. Raw meaty bones contain the perfect 1:1 ratio of calcium and phosphorus that’s part of a balanced, raw dog food diet and necessary for bone growth and regeneration.
I remember thinking to myself well how in the world are the dogs getting the proper amounts of calcium and phosphorus?
The answer to that question is the ingredient Tricalcium Phosphate. Balanced Blends substituted ground raw meaty bones with tricalcium phosphate, which has roughly the same ratio of calcium:phosphorus as raw meaty bones. They also use additional organ meat to provide a wide range of connective tissues.
Which leads to the next question:
Why does Balanced Blends Substitute Raw Meaty Bones With Tricalcium Phosphate?
Balanced Blends received feedback from some customers in the past who expressed concern about their dogs being unable to digest fresh bone or bone meal, possibly resulting in intestinal blockage. Some also reported that their dogs had gotten small bone shards stuck in their gums requiring surgery to correct.
As a result, Balanced Blends decided to create a recipe that prioritizes addressing all health concerns. Their new raw dog food line is more broadly accessible as it provides a raw dog food option for those concerned pet parents.
That said, the brand does have plans to re-introduce their Balanced Raw line at a later date, which will include fresh ground bones for those that desire such, and don’t share the concerns mentioned above.
I have to point out that I’ve been feeding a raw dog food diet containing either whole raw meaty bones or ground ones since 2015, and neither of my dogs Missy, Buzz, or Wally ever had/has any trouble properly digesting raw meaty bones.
I do, however, understand that some dog owners are concerned about the potential of their dogs not being able to digest them, so I can appreciate Balanced Blends’ approach to meeting as many pet parents’ expectations as possible.
I Relied On The Poop Test
One raw feeders hack is to check your dog’s poop to gauge whether you’re feeding too much or too little bone. If your dog’s poop is runny, it doesn’t contain enough bone; if it’s too hard, it contains too much.
I’m happy to report that Wally’s poops had the perfect consistency while eating Balanced Blends raw & steamed dog food, although it doesn’t contain ground raw meaty bones!
Species Balanced Steamed – Balanced Blends’ New Line Of Steamed Dog Food
Steamed dog food has been very gently cooked. According to the brand, Balanced Blends’ steamed dog food is more easily digestible as raw. That’s why it’s great as a transition step to raw, for dogs with severe gut problems, and for dogs that just can’t make it to a raw diet at all.
Some dogs who suffer from certain illnesses such as cancer truly do better on a diet that’s gently steamed or cooked (I experienced that with my pup Missy during her second cancer treatment), and other dogs who’ve eaten highly processed kibble and wet dog food for the vast majority of their lives have a more difficult time adjusting to a raw diet.
I’m happy to report that Wally gobbled the steamed dog food down as enthusiastically as the raw dog food!
How To Transition Your Dog From His Previous Food To Balanced Blends’ Dog Food
My dog Wally has been raw fed for about 8 months at this point (I adopted him in late February of 2019) and did not require a transitioning period from his raw meals to Balanced Blends raw & steamed dog food. I switched him over cold turkey (pun intended!) and he had no problem whatsoever with properly digesting Balanced Blends food.
If your dog isn’t used to raw dog food, you should allow a transitioning period of 7-10 days. Balanced Blends put together a transitioning series which you can access here. Our order also came with a Pet Feeding Log to help with any transitioning period.
How Much Does Balanced Blends Raw & Steamed Dog Food Retail for?
Balanced Blends’ raw & steamed dog food comes in 8 oz chubs. Our Variety Packs consisted of 10 raw and 10 steamed chubs respectively, for a total of 5 lb per pack.
Balanced Blends’ Lines of Raw & Steamed dog food retail for the following prices:
- 5 lb of raw & steamed chicken $37.50
- 5 lb of raw & steamed turkey $40.00
- 5 lb of raw & steamed beef $42.50
Balanced Blends also offers Raw & Steamed Variety Packs containing a mix of all 3 proteins (chicken, turkey, beef):
- 5 lb of Raw Variety Pack $40.00
- 5 lb of Steamed Variety pack $40.00
Are There Any Cons?
I personally enjoy feeding my dog(s) a variety of different protein sources, ranging from poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, goose) to beef, lamb, and rabbit, as well as the occasional exotic protein source (camel or kangaroo). That’s why I would enjoy seeing a few more protein sources in Balanced Blends’ lines of dog food.
I did, however, enjoy seeing salmon oil in their ingredient lists and understand that the brand is slowly growing and that it might take a while to incorporate more variety.
I will also say that Balanced Blends isn’t the least expensive raw (& steamed) dog food brand, therefore it might be a better longterm fit for parents of smaller dog breeds if budget is a concern.
I’m always interested in broadening my raw dog food horizon, so I’m excited in having learned about Balanced Blends’ new lines of raw & steamed dog food.
Wally did very well with both of their raw & steamed dog food lines, meaning I’ll continue to include the Balanced Blends food in his raw dog food diet every now and then. I feed a mix of pre-made raw dog food and homemade raw dog food and enjoy switching it up between the two.
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