How To Choose A Healthy Dog Food

December 03, 2019 5 min read

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Choosing The Best Healthy Dog Food

Any caring and responsible dog owner would agree that it absolutely matters what we choose to feed our animals. These days, however, it is harder than ever to get a majority of them to agree on what's best. For most pet owners – even those who truly do care – the choice all too often comes down to cost and convenience.


While we can certainly appreciate how important those two considerations are, we’d also like to remind you that we don’t feed ourselves or our families on convenience store quality foods, often for good reason. Prioritizing health and quality above cost and convenience is how we ensure our pet companions will spend many exceptional years by our side. 

Cali Raw healthy ingredients for dog food





A stroll down the dog food aisle in any grocery store in America will reveal an overwhelming number of corporate dog food brands and choices. Typically with a cheesy tagline follow by an advertisement that their brand is simply the best! Contrary to what the bag says, all dog food breaks down into one of three simple categories:

  • Raw Dog Food Diet
  • Lightly Cooked Dog Food Diet
  • Extruded Processed Junk Dog Food Diet

In this article, we will discuss the pro’s and con’s of all three to help you make the most informed decision for your pet’s optimal health!

KIBBLE (The McDonalds Of Dog Food)

Walking into any corner-store pet market to purchase a lifetime supply of odorless and nutritionless kibble balls is typically a convenience that many pet owners can’t resist. The downside to that convenience is that bag of food often sits on a store shelf for much longer than any natural food should.  Now consider the fact that it is impossible to create a “complete and balanced” pet food that is also shelf-stable for those periods of time.

Not to mention that whatever nutritional components it started out with will begin to break down. Sometimes into less effective versions of themselves, and occasionally into detrimental; inflammation-causing byproducts.

Kibble products are usually coated with sprayed-on nutrient mixes and flavor enhancers, a far-cry from the rich and nutrient dense diet they should be on. How far, exactly, are we willing to stray from a natural diet just for convenience?

Kibble is the Mcdonalds of Dog food

The vast majority of store-bought kibble is produced with ingredients that are nowhere near being considered safe for human consumption – things like expired food from supermarkets, diseased animals, and in some extreme cases other euthanized dogs.

Kibble contains grains and starches that your dog not only doesn’t need in their diet but could be suffering from ingesting. Furthermore, a New York Times article from 2018 linked several top dry dog food brands and products with cases of dilated cardiomyopathy, a deadly form of canine heart disease.

While kibble can be used to supplement the transition to a more species-appropriate diet, the sooner your pup goes cold turkey on extruded dog food/kibble, the better.

Read More: Why Kibble Isn't Good for Your Dog

LIGHTLY COOKED DOG FOOD (The Olive Garden of Dog Food)

We’ve all likely done it – slipped our furry friend a slice of steak or a bite of burger under the table. Aside from a piercing glare from your partner, there was likely no harm no foul for doing so. In reality, there are just a few differences between this type of diet and a raw dog food diet, but those differences are pretty significant.

First, the benefits. A balanced diet of lightly cooked meats and veggies is, by far, much more optimal than a strictly extruded kibble diet. Dogs that are notoriously picky eaters – like those recovering from a surgery or an injury – often respond paws-atively to some good ol’ cooked human food.


Healthy dog food please

With a lightly or gently cooked dog food diet, you are back in control of what ingredients ultimately make it on your pets plate. Finding a proper balance in the nutritional benefits between those ingredients can be tricky and even cooking certain foods can profoundly change their core nutrients. Yes, we believe in treating our pets more like family members but it is crucially important to remember that just because you like braised ribs for dinner doesn’t mean that is the best choice for your dog.

Again, your goal should be to mimic your dog’s natural ancestral diet as closely as possible. A lightly cooked diet, while better than kibble, leaves out essential phytonutrients and free enzymes that can only be found in a raw diet for dogs.

RAW DOG FOOD (The Whole Foods of Dog Food)

Now, we may be a bit biased here. But it sure helps when you have the facts and science on your side! When you make the switch to raw dog food you provide a species-appropriate diet that your canine has evolved over thousands of years to utilize. By introducing your dog to a complete and balanced diet of meat, vegetables, bone, and organ matter you will transform their gut biome into a disease-fighting energy factory. Over time you will notice a shinier coat, healthier stools, and just more pep in their step in general!

Dog waiting for best dog food

Of course, finding that perfect balance on your own can be a daunting, costly, and time-consuming task. Between researching recipes, acquiring ingredients, and then prepping and storing meals; let’s face it… that’s not convenient and often can feel overwhelming for many pet owners. Luckily we take the uncertainty out of all of it by offering raw dog food subscription and delivery services here at Cali Raw.

At Cali Raw, we take the guesswork and the mess-work out of raw feeding with handy tools like our Feeding Calculator and our furbaby-favorite pre-prepped meals delivered fresh directly to your door.

Much like our dogs did not evolve by naturally foraging in the wild for grain-based pelletized kibble, nor did they cook their caught prey over a flame. What they did consume was a diet of high quality protein and fat. A properly balanced raw dog food diet provides a biologically-appropriate return to your dog’s evolutionary path. Cali Raw takes the cost/convenience question out of the equation, we make raw feeding easy and affordable. If the enhanced health and longevity of your pet’s life matter to you, make the switch to a raw diet for dogs today!

But hey, you don’t have to take our word for it…

Cali Raw Truth About Dog FoodCali Raw Dog Food was recently named as 1 of only 26 pet foods in the United States that meet the quality & manufacturing criteria for the annual list put out by We take our role in your dog’s life very seriously and we are honored to be recognized for our dedication to helping as many pet owners as possible. The truth is out there and Cali Raw Dog Food delivers it fresh to your doorstep!