eNewsChannels COLUMN: Raw frozen pet food diets have become increasingly popular, however, controversy about them still persists. Some of the controversy arises from a lack of understanding about the commercial raw frozen diets available. Raw food can be very beneficial and for many pets, it can be the long-awaited answer that finally helps a pet get well.

But, raw food isn’t appropriate for every pet. Depending upon your lifestyle issues, a pet’s food preferences and health concerns, a raw frozen diet may or may not be the right choice for your pet.

Here are just a few of the pros/cons to consider regarding commercially prepared* raw frozen diets:


1) Raw frozen diets can be especially helpful for pets with allergies, digestive problems and young, active pets. These are high protein diets containing real meat and poultry, organ meats, vegetables, omega oils and assorted nutrients. Some are especially well-balanced diets. The freshness and high quality ingredients (e.g. hormone-free meats or organic vegetables) deliver exceptional results. The ingredients speak for themselves.

2) Raw frozen diets can be incorporated as a portion of your pet’s diet. Pets don’t have to eat an ALL-RAW diet. You can mix some raw into your pet’s food with ease. There is a misnomer that pets can’t mix raw with canned or dry.  Pets can properly digest a mixture of foods and using even a small amount of raw can be beneficial.

3) Pets that eat raw frozen diets are getting a high moisture content which promotes overall health. The food is highly digestible so stool size is often substantially decreased when compared to dry food in particular.

4) Some veterinarians are now supporting the use of raw frozen pet food diets. For example, Natures Variety, a pet food manufacturer, has a “find a vet” national locator on their website.


1) Depending upon the health conditions and dietary preferences of your pet, raw food may not be an appropriate choice. Some very finicky pets may not like the taste. Converting a pet from a grocery store brand (some even contain sugar) to raw food can be as difficult as trying to teach a child that a fresh apple is better than cotton candy—it takes time and a lot of patience.

2) Raw food may not be convenient for your lifestyle. It cannot be left sitting out for very long. If your pet likes to graze, raw food needs to be given when you can supervise and pick up the bowl while still fresh.

3) Raw frozen diets require “safe handling” for your protection and your pets’ protection. Pet manufacturers clearly indicate safe handling guidelines on the package. When the safe handling guidelines are not followed, you and your pet could become ill. For example, leaving a bag of frozen raw food on the counter to defrost (should defrost in the refrigerator as you would any meat) can lead to pancreatitis and/or intestinal infections in your pet.

*Homemade raw diets may be unbalanced, too high in fat and lacking in essential vitamins and nutrients. This commentary reviews commercially prepared raw frozen pet food.

Raw frozen diets can be a healthy, beneficial food option for pets. Knowing the pros/cons can help you make an educated decision about whether it is the right choice for your pet.


Article is Copr. © 2012 by Susan Blake Davis, and originally published on – all commercial and reprint rights reserved. Davis is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist who provides holistic pet health consultations to cat and dog owners throughout the United States and may be reached via her website at