Looking to feed your four-legged friend the best frozen raw dog food that is both ethical and eco-friendly?
According to studies, raw pet food has grown 33% year on year for the last 5 years, and in the UK, it accounts for around 3%. The UK has many frozen raw dog food producers. However, not all producers of frozen raw dog food in the UK are eco-friendly.
In this article, we answer some key questions that dog owners looking to follow an eco-friendly lifestyle are asking when researching the best frozen raw dog food brands in the UK.
Is Frozen Dog Raw Food Eco-Friendly?
For those of us who seek to follow an eco-friendly lifestyle that includes how we look after our pets, one of our core criteria will be finding frozen dog food, or any dog food for that matter, that is eco-friendly.
As to whether any frozen dog food is eco-friendly is a bit of a debate as to what does eco-friendly look like?
For us, and for writing this article, we think we have three areas to look at.
1) The Sourcing of Raw Foods and Ingredients that go into producing frozen dog food, i.e. meats, fish, fruit, and supplements (obviously, this list will depend on a complete or raw diet).
2) The Production of the Food, along with the food miles where it is travelling from – personally, based in the UK, we’re keen to buy British and reduce the ‘food miles, thus helping to reduce our carbon footprints (or is that pawprints)?
3) The Packaging, from the container/ packet that holds the food to the packaging that insulates the food to keep it frozen in transit and also the outer packaging – the box that it comes in – how much can be recycled?
Eco-Friendly Credentials – What to Access When Choosing your Frozen Raw Dog Food
The following checklist below will help you when searching for your Best Frozen Dog Food supplier.
The chances of ticking every box are going to be slim, however, all 5 suppliers in our recommended Frozen Dog Food Supplier list go a long way to meet many of these credentials, and all are working towards new ways to reduce packaging and improve all they can when producing our dog foods for our environment.
The 5 Best Ethical & Eco-Friendly Frozen Dog Food Brands
Based on the above criteria, to support you in finding the Best Suppliers of Eco-Friendly Frozen Dog Food, we have compiled the following table of our top 5 Eco-Friendly Frozen Dog Food Suppliers in the UK, along with details of where you can buy, and best of all, many offer a trial/taster box.
|Brand||Meat/Ingredients||Packaging||Products||Where to Buy|
|Naturaw||100% British Meat|
Whole Food Ingredients
High Welfare British Meat
|100% Home Compostable Packaging made in the UK|
No polystyrene – Liners are filled with 100% natural wool
Original Taster Boxes
New to Raw Box
Original Puppy Box
|Naturaw can be purchased from 250 suppliers across the UK|
(unfortunately not Highlands & Islands or Northern Ireland)
|Paleo Ridge||Ethically Sourced Produce|
British Ingredients from DEFRA approved local farms
Human-Quality Production Source
High Animal Welfare Standards
Organic, Free Range or Wild Where Possible
|Sustainable packaging – bagged items.|
Direct Product Packaging is compostable
WoolCool Sheep insulation
|Complete Raw Dog Food|
80:10:10 Raw Dog Food
Raw Puppy Food
|Paleo Ridge can be purchased from 300 suppliers across the UK|
Ethical Raw Dog Food
Ethically Sourced British Meat From Animals that are 100% Grass-Fed
Pasture for Life Certified Meat
AGW-Certified Farms & Products
Packaging is not compostable
Is made from Paper and Lined with Food Safe Plastic
|Raw Grass Fed Beef Dog Food|
Raw Grass Fed Venison Dog Food
Ethically Raised can be purchased directly from their website
|The Farmers Dog||100% British Meat – Human Grade|
WoolCool packaging – 100% felted sheep’s wool (recyclable, compostable & biodegradable).
|Choose from a selection of beef, chicken, Lamb, Wild Venison, Goose & Beef, Wild Venison & Goose Boxes OR build your own.|
Trial and Taster Boxes are Available
Selection of Raw Bones
|The Famer’s Dog can be purchased directly from their website|
|Natural Instinct||100% British Meats and Poultry and Ethically Sourced Fish|
No Artificial Additives, Colours, Preservatives, Fillers or Grains
|Tubs – rPET (recycled polyethene terephthalate) – Recycled Bottles.|
Outer cardboard box and Sleeve – recycled materials – can be recycled.
*Packaging is being reviewed
|Pure Dog Food|
Working Dog Food
Natural Dog Food
|Natural Instinct can be purchased directly from their website|
What is Frozen Dog Food?
Frozen dog food is raw dog food that has been frozen. This can be purchased as a complete food where other uncooked ingredients have been included, such as vegetables, fruits and essential vitamins and minerals or raw, where dog owners then prepare their own dog foods. Raw dog food is also known as B.A.R.F.
Frozen dog food adds an element of convenience for dog owners while keeping in all the goodness and flavour. It’s a more natural way to feed your dog vs traditional dog foods.
Benefits of Frozen Raw Dog Food
There are many benefits of frozen raw dog food, as we list below. One point that is important to note here is that not all vets approve of raw dog food, and when you delve further, many who are opposed to raw are more so due to the welfare of the animal and concerns around nutritional value.
Commercial complete foods include all the nutritional requirements that your dog needs. Pet owners who feed their dogs a B.A.R.F need to add to their meat/fish – eggs, vegetables, fruit and supplements to ensure that their dogs are receiving everything they need for their health. The concern here is that some dogs fed on a B.A.R.F may be missing out on some vital nutrients that they need for optimum health.
Nutrients and Enzymes are at their Optimum
Frozen raw dog food is better at retaining the natural nutrients and enzymes that support your dog’s needs and digestion. When we cook food, some nutrients and enzymes are lost in the cooking process.
Firmer and Less Smelly Stools
Not a subject we like to discuss, but as dog owners, something we are all very aware of and pick up on a daily bases is our dog’s poo!
In the above point, we discussed how raw food is better for retaining the nutrients and enzymes that support your dog’s needs; another benefit is that because your dog absorbs more natural ingredients, their poo will smell less, and there will be less of it when compared to alternative dog foods.
Healthy Skin and Coat
Just like us humans, our skin, hair and nails benefit from fresh and natural foods rich in omega-3; this is just the same for our four-legged friends, and as such, their coats will benefit from a diet of fresh, natural ingredients.
Reduction in Some Allergies and Intolerances
Most allergies are either environmental or diet related. In the case of Lisa’s dog, Mr. Shilling, his are environmental, which means there’s little control over them, and a managed approach is needed. However, like humans, dogs can be allergic to some foods/ingredients.
Commercially complete and BARF Raw foods tend not to have the same preservatives, additives and by-products frequently found in other pet foods, which is why many believe that they are better at reducing some allergies and intolerances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Frozen Raw Dog Food Safe?
Raw meat and freeze-dried raw meat products have gained huge popularity among pet owners. This is reported as a humanization trend where products are in line with the human diet i.e. pet food containing raw materials, appearance and that smell similar to human food.
But is it safe? This will depend on who you speak to, there are many vets and canine nutritionists who will argue that it is safe and those who say that it isn’t. The reasons provided include the risk of food poisoning from salmonella and other pathogens found in raw meat. There is also a concern that bones may damage your pup’s teeth or increase the risk of internal punchers.
A further reason why some canine professionals are wary of frozen raw dog food is how we, as human dog owners, handle and prepare the foods for our dogs and, as such complete commercially prepared pet food is preferred by vets over a BARF diet.
This is where you as a dog owner need to do your due diligence and research into the pros and cons of feeding your dog frozen raw dog food. From online searches, to forums and Facebook pages and, of course, discussing with a canine nutritionist. For every pro and con, there is a vet, dog owner and canine nutritionist who is against feeding a dog all the different types of diet, including a vegan diet!
Can Dogs Eat Frozen Dog Food?
Yes, dogs can frozen dog food. However, caution is needed. Ideally, you will correctly defrost your dog’s food before providing their meals. We all know how hard a block of ice is, and giving your dog a frozen block of dog food could damage their teeth.
Can You Microwave Frozen Raw Dog Food?
As for the food you eat yourself, you can use a microwave to defrost your frozen dog food prior to feeding your dog’s meal.
However, for best results, you should defrost it naturally by placing it in a sealed container on the bottom shelf of your fridge. If you are caught short, and you do need to microwave your dog’s frozen dog food, you should refer to your microwave’s manual to ensure you are correctly defrosting your dog’s food.
If you mess up the temperature/ timing, you are at risk of changing the composition of the food and destroying some of the nutrients.
Can You Refreeze Raw Dog Food?
Yes, you can refreeze raw dog food. For some owners, and particularly those of small dogs, the pack sizes of frozen raw dog food can be too big, and you would be wasting your food.
In this case, you can thaw the food a little, break it into the desired quantities then portion the food into smaller sealed containers. Keeping those that you need in your fridge and the remainder stored in your freezer until you are ready to defrost and use.
How Do You Prepare Frozen Raw Dog Food?
Your dog food will arrive frozen in pre-sold pack sizes for you to pop into your freezer.
For best results you will need to remove your frozen food and place it in a sealed container at the bottom of your fridge. When your food has defrosted, you can place it in your dog’s bowl along with any watery juices that may have collected at the bottom of your container.
How Long Does Frozen Raw Dog Food Last?
You can store your frozen raw dog food in your freezer for between four and twelve months. Your dog food must be stored in airtight sealed containers to prevent any contamination and to protect degrading the composition and nutrients from freezer burn.
**WoolCool Eco-Friendly Insulation for Packaging
Many of our best-frozen dog food brands use WoolCool Eco-Friendly insulation for their packaging, as they should. If you haven’t heard of WoolCool packaging before, no fear, as we can quickly explain why they use it (oh, and it’s great)!
WoolCool is a natural material, and yes, a bit of a giveaway, but from Sheep!
It is recyclable, compostable, flexible and reusable – now, we can see why these fab eco-brands use it!
It is a natural alternative to nasty polystyrene and is used across the food industry for packing and insulating frozen foods and pharma in transit.
Many of our recommended suppliers even offer credits when you return the WoolCool insulation such as credits on future orders.
However, if you are more inclined to recycle this material yourself, your options include; packing out your hanging baskets, plumping up sagging dog beds, making your rabbit comfy, frost protection for your plants in the winter, and protecting outside pipes from bad weather.
And, if you’re not inclined to upcycle, then you can remove the plastic liner that contains the wool, recycle this in your plastic recycling and then compost or dig the wool into your veg patch or roses. The wool will break down into your earth. Should the wool end up in a landfill it will break down naturally.