Saturday, February 20, 2016

Review: Feeding a Raw Diet with Raw Paws® Pet Food

Review: Feeding a Raw Diet with Raw Paws® Pet Food

The Chesnut Mutts were compensated in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are genuinely mine and we would not share a product that we did not fully believe in. Please do not use any image without permission. This post also contains affiliate links.

Feeding your pet a raw diet has been a hot topic among pet owners and many are jumping on the bandwagon. There're so many things to consider like how much to feed, what to feed, what ratio of meat to bone to organ to use, how can I make sure my pet is getting the right vitamins, what about bacteria? It is enough to give you a headache! Thankfully there is a place online where you can learn about raw feeding and easily buy the right food without any hassle. Introducing, Raw Paws® Pet Food!

Raw Paws Logo

Raw Paws has been in business since 2014 and are in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their website provides pet owners with an extensive selection of all-natural pet food, organs, meaty bones, treats, chews, and supplements. They get their USDA inspected meat locally and make sure that it meets their high standards while being involved in the process from sourcing to delivery.

What makes Raw Paws unique is that they really try to make it easy for you to figure out all the details of raw feeding. You can get a free phone consultation with a raw specialist, there are feeding guides and a calculator, and my favorite of all is their complete ground raw foods.

Raw lamb pet food
Complete Ground Lamb

There are a couple of different ways to feed raw including the Prey-Model diet and the BARF diet. BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) is an omnivorous diet (raw meat, organs, bone, fruits, veggies, and supplements) while the Prey-Model believes that your dog or cat should be eating like their ancestors would with an all meat diet. The ratio that they follow is 80% meat 10% bone and 10% organ ( with 5% being liver). You can choose either diet, just make sure you do it right!

So you can go to Raw Paws and order the ingredients for your pet's meals individually or you could try out their complete ground meals which were recommended to me as a newbie to raw. We were given Complete Ground Goat, Complete Ground Lamb, and Ground Beef Green Tripe which is complete from a nutrient perspective.

When you order from Raw Paws, you get your frozen items quickly (1-3 days) in an insulated styrofoam box. To defrost, stick it in the bottom of your fridge for 48 hours. Mine had been frozen for quite some time so I stuck it in a big bowl on the counter to defrost even more for a couple of hours.

Ground Lamb Complete

Raw diet lamb for dogs and cats
5 pounds of ground lamb meat, lamb bone, and lamb organs

Prepping the raw food for dogs and cats

What is great about these complete raw foods is that it contains the 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ already. No guesswork needed and all you have to do it portion it out for your pet. For this, I grabbed a food scale and a Tupperware bowl to place the raw meat.

weighing the raw ground lamb with a scale

I used Raw Paws' feeding calculator to figure out how much to feed the girls daily. Turns out Jada would eat 2.6 oz twice a day and Bailey would eat 1.8 oz twice a day.

Complete Ground Lamb Raw Diet

The raw goat and lamb smelled similar to ground hamburger, but just a tad different. It was easy to measure and I started putting the portions in small Tupperware containers until I realized a more space saving way to store it.

Making meatball portions for the raw food

What I decided to do is to get plastic wrap and make meatball portions! This way I could put them in a plastic freezer bag which stores flatter compared to my previous idea of Tupperware.

raw diet portions for dogs
8 days worth of food for Jada
You can see how Jada enjoyed her raw lamb in our video:

Ground Goat Complete

Ground Goat Complete raw diet for dogs and cats
5 lbs of ground goat meat, goat bone, and goat organs
I did the same thing with the Ground Goat Complete for Bailey (she looks like a goat so why not)

Ground Goat Complete raw diet for dogs and cats

She really enjoys her goat and has not turned her nose at it at all!

Bailey eating raw complete ground goat

Ground Green Beef Tripe

Ground Green Beef Tripe for pets

Raw Paws Ground Green Beef Tripe is made of the stomach muscles of pasture-raised cows. This tripe is "green" because it hasn't been processed so there is plenty of nutrients for your pet.

Ground Beef Tripe for pets

Tripe is known to be smelly so I expected it to be so, haha. But the good thing is that if you have a picky eater this is a great option. If you are going to feed tripe you still need to feed meat and bones to complete the ratio. The tripe was easy to portion out but I think if you are sensitive to smelly smells you might want to try something else.

Jada eating tripe on top of her complete ground lamb
Jada enjoying some tripe on top of her lamb

Transitioning to Raw

Transitioning from dehydrated dog food to raw dog food

The transition to raw was pretty easy. On average it takes around 3 weeks to transition completely and Raw Paws can help you with the process. We were already on dehydrated food so every day I replaced a little bit more of the old food with the new food. The first time I added raw the girls were hesitant, but that didn't stop them from trying it.

Jada waiting for her Raw Paws dinner
waiting impatiently for dinner
For cats, I would go super slow with the transition process. Cats seem to have more sensitive stomachs so adding a very tiny bit of raw at first would be ideal. Even if you don't want want to switch completely, you can do partial raw.

In a nutshell...

  • Raw Paws has been in business since 2014 and is located in Indiana and source their USDA inspected meat from local farmers and vendors
  • They provide pet parents with high-quality products to help you feed your pet raw or partially raw
  • Their Ground Complete products contain the right ratio of meat, bones, and organs so you don't have to figure it out yourself.
  • Tripe is a great option for picky eaters starting out on raw food
  • Transitioning to raw can take up to 3 weeks
  • You can buy their raw foods on their website and use our coupon code "Mutts3710" for $25 off $224 or more (one time use for a new customer)

Overall, I am very impressed with this company and the quality of their products! They helped me along the way to figure out how to make the transition and what foods to feed. There are many health claims with raw food, ultimately for me it comes down to the cost if Jada can eat it due to allergies, and how easy it is to prepare. Raw Paws made all three easy for me and I highly recommend checking them out if you are curious about a raw diet for your dog or cat.

Bailey licking her lips after eating her raw paws food
"More please!"
Learn more about Raw Paws here!

Do you feed your pet a raw diet? Why or why not?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. I feed my dogs raw. They get Fromm Kibbles too. Schooner is allergic to grain and was having terrible ear infection all due to grain. They have been eating raw for 4 years now. Schooner & Skipper prefer to have there raw frozen and eat it frozen. I go to the butcher for all of our meat. They love turkey and chicken wings. I do all the cooking for them. They love free range chicken eggs too!

  2. Ooh, I love that it's just raw ingredients, it's great when dog food is just.. food!