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11 Best Raw Dog Food Brands for Australian Shepherds

Written by: Tarit Das
Tarit is a Special Projects Coordinator at,, and The Hero Company. He likes pets for their honesty and loyalty and believes they have no match. They are one of the most selfless creatures and just love to be around their owners.Read more
| Published on December 15, 2022
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Many Australian Shepherd parents are turning to the best raw dog food brands for Australian Shepherds for their pet’s dietary needs. Kibble might be the convenient option, but it often lacks the protein and nutrients that dogs benefit from. Raw dog food is a diet that can help keep your Australian Shepherd in shape while also appealing to picky eaters.

However, switching to raw dog food requires some research to make sure you choose a recipe that’s ideal for your Australian Shepherd’s needs. Consider your Australian Shepherd’s weight, health conditions, allergies, and preferences when deciding what kind of raw food to get them.

Best raw dog food for Australian Shepherds

What is Raw Dog Food?

“Raw dog food” usually describes any type of dog food that uses raw, uncooked ingredients, such as meat, organs, bones, fruits, and vegetables. It’s designed to mimic the high-protein diets of your Australian Shepherd’s ancestors.

In the wild, it’s common for canines to consume whole animals after hunting them, bones and all. So, your Australian Shepherd’s ancestors ate food that was high in protein with minimal carbohydrates. Dogs have changed a lot since their time in the wild, but they still benefit from a diet that contains lots of real meat.

Most Australian Shepherd parents feed their dogs dry food, which is high in carbohydrates to give it a crunchy texture and increase its shelf life. Kibble often has more carbs than dogs are meant to ingest, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems in some cases. Thus, many Australian Shepherd parents are now trying raw dog food to give their pups meals that are higher in real, nutritious animal products.

Raw dog food is usually served in frozen or freeze-dried forms.

 Raw Dog Food vs. Fresh Dog Food

Fresh dog food is another type of dog food that’s growing in popularity due to its high protein and quality ingredients. Both raw and fresh food contain whole ingredients, including meat, fruits, and vegetables. However, the main difference is that fresh food goes through a cooking process while raw food doesn’t.

If you’d rather serve your Australian Shepherd fresh food instead of raw food, check out the best fresh dog food brands.

Can You Make Your Own Raw Dog Food Recipes?

Yes, many Australian Shepherd parents choose to create their own raw dog food recipes as opposed to buying a brand. However, this can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. You’ll need to ensure your Australian Shepherd gets a proper balance of protein, fat, carbs, and nutrients. If you’re not confident you can prepare that for your dog, you can talk to a vet or canine nutritionist for advice.

Even though creating raw dog food recipes is tricky for beginners, it can help you feel more confident about your Australian Shepherd’s health in the long run. You’ll know exactly what’s going into your Australian Shepherd’s meals, so you can cater those ingredients to fit your dog’s needs, such as including their favorite foods and excluding their allergies.

However, raw dog food brands are generally safer and more convenient for Australian Shepherd parents using raw food for the first time. They’ll already provide a nutritionally-balanced meal for your furry friend, so there are less risks involved.

Australian Shepherd eating best raw dog food.

Raw Dog Food for Australian Shepherds: Pros and Cons

Like all types of dog food, there are benefits and downsides to raw dog food. Here are some pros and cons to consider.

Benefits of Raw Dog Food for Australian Shepherds

  • Uses limited, high-quality ingredients
  • Appeals to picky eaters
  • Improves digestion
  • Reduces allergy symptoms
  • Improves skin and coat health
  • Leads to firmer stools
  • Assists with weight management
  • Increases energy levels

Downsides of Raw Dog Food for Australian Shepherds

  • It’s expensive
  • Has a higher risk of spreading bacteria
  • Can be harder to store
  • Takes more time to prepare and serve

Best Raw Dog Food Brands for Australian Shepherds

Below are some of the best raw dog food brands for Australian Shepherds on the market to help you decide which one is the best choice for your furry friend.

1. Darwin’s Natural Pet Products

Darwin's raw dog food

Darwin’s is a subscription-based raw dog food brand for Australian Shepherds, making it one of the best raw dog food delivery services. Customers start by filling out a questionnaire about their Australian Shepherd, and then, the company will suggest the best raw food to fit their pup’s needs. The food is auto-shipped to your door frozen for no additional cost. So, you will have to thaw it in the fridge overnight before serving it to your dog.

There are three main types of raw formulas: Natural Selections, BioLogics, and Intelligent Design. Natural Selections are made using free-range meats and organic vegetables while BioLogic uses conventionally-sourced ingredients at a more affordable price. Then, Intelligent Design has formulas catered to specific health conditions. There are many protein options available, including chicken, duck, turkey, beef, and lamb. Canine nutritionists helped formulate the recipes.

All of Darwin’s food is high in animal protein, with over 70% protein in each meal. This food can ship nationwide in the United States, but you won’t find it in any pet stores. Many Australian Shepherd parents love this brand because it offers balanced raw diets in easy-to-open packages. The only downside is that this food is pricier than other popular raw food brands.


  • Offers personalized feeding plans
  • Variety of meal options
  • You can choose between different ingredient-sourcing options
  • Free shipping to your door
  • Good for Australian Shepherds with allergies
  • Recipes formulated with the help of canine nutritionists

2. We Feed Raw

We Feed Raw bowl of dog food

We Feed Raw is another dog food company that creates meal plans that cater to your Australian Shepherd’s needs. All you have to do is answer some questions about your Australian Shepherd, and then the company will suggest the ideal food for them. During the questionnaire, the company takes into account your Australian Shepherd’s age, weight, breed, allergies, and current diet.

This company offers raw dog food in several proteins, including chicken, beef, turkey, duck, lamb, and venison. All the formulas are created by a PhD animal nutritionist who has over 30 years of experience in the industry. The food is always high in protein, so the first four to five ingredients come from real animal products. All the meat comes from animals raised on farms in the United States and New Zealand.

This company only uses USDA-certified and human-grade meats for its products. The food is shipped to your door at no additional cost. It can be shipped to any of the 48 contiguous states. The food ships cold, and it can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to four days. In the freezer, it can last for up to six months.


  • Offers personalized feeding plans
  • Free shipping to your door
  • Good for Australian Shepherds with allergies
  • Only uses human-grade meats
  • Formulated by PhD animal nutritionist
  • iHeartDogs Offer: Save 20% on your first order

3. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze Dried Raw Dinner Patties

Stella & Chewy's raw dinner patties

If you’re not looking to commit to a questionnaire or subscription to get raw Australian Shepherd food, Stella & Chewy’s is a more convenient option. Their raw food comes in the form of freeze dried raw patties, which helps give it a longer shelf life while still preserving the nutrients of raw food. The company offers a wide variety of protein options, including chicken, lamb, pork, rabbit, beef, turkey, and venison.

Since the food is in patties, it’s easy to portion out your Australian Shepherd’s meals. You can serve the freeze dried patties as-is, but Stella & Chewy’s recommends rehydrating them to give your dog some added moisture. To rehydrate, you can crumble the food and add a 1/4 cup of water for every two patties. These patties can be used as full meals, but many pet parents use them as food toppers instead.

95% of the formula includes meat, organs, and bones. The recipes also have organic fruits and vegetables in them. The ingredients used can benefit skin and coat health, heart health, and digestion. The patties are also grain-free to cater to Australian Shepherds with allergies. This company’s products are sold in pet supply stores across the United States, and the food is formulated in USA facilities.


  • Easy to portion
  • Easy to store
  • Several ways to serve
  • Good for Australian Shepherds with allergies
  • Variety of options

4. Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Meals

Instinct freeze dried raw meal

Instinct offers another one of the best raw freeze dried Australian Shepherd foods due to its convenience. It comes in small, freeze dried pellets that are about the size of kibble pieces. You can feed the pieces as-is or you can mix them with warm water, which is ideal for making sure your pup gets enough moisture. These freeze dried pieces can be served as full meals or food toppers.

85% of the formula includes meat, organs, and bones. Then, the rest contains non-GMO fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. Despite looking like kibble, this Australian Shepherd food has never been cooked and it’s minimally processed to preserve the nutrients. All the dog food is made in USA kitchens. This food comes with either beef, chicken, or lamb as the primary protein.

The freeze dried raw meals are the more popular choice, but there are also frozen raw meals available. If you’re not ready to switch completely to raw, Instinct also offers “Raw Boost” recipes, which are kibble mixed with freeze dried raw pieces.


  • Convenient to store
  • Several ways to serve
  • Good for Australian Shepherds with allergies
  • Other types of raw food are also available

5. Open Farm Freeze Dried Raw

Open Farm freeze dried raw food

Open Farm offers a wide variety of Australian Shepherd food, including dry, wet, fresh, and raw. Their raw dog food is freeze dried to make it easier to store and serve to your pup. Like other freeze dried options, it can be used as a full meal or a topper. Freeze dried raw food can be pricy, so many pet parents save money by mixing it will kibble.

The freeze dried pieces are about the size of kibble, so they’re ready to serve when you pour them out of the bag. If you’re worried your Australian Shepherd isn’t ingesting enough liquid, you can mix warm water with the food. Otherwise, make sure clean water is accessible to your dog while they’re eating.

There are six formulas available: surf & turf, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised lamb, homestead turkey, harvest chicken, and farmer’s table pork. Each recipe contains meat from humanely-raised animals, along with organic fruits and vegetables. On Open Farm’s website, the source of every ingredient is listed.


  • Convenient to store
  • Can be served in several ways
  • Good for Australian Shepherds with allergies
  • Lots of protein options
  • Lists ingredient sourcing on the website

6. Sojos Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food

Sojos convenient raw dog food

Sojos’ raw dog food is designed to provide complete raw meals in a convenient form. Their recipes are ideal for Australian Shepherds of all ages, sizes, and breeds. They currently have five formulas: turkey, beef, lamb, chicken, and senior turkey & salmon. They also have “Mix-a-Meal” recipes that are raw dog food toppers.

To serve this food, you need to mix and measure the correct amount of food and water as directed on the bag. Then, you’ll let the food soak in the water for 15 minutes before feeding it to your Australian Shepherd. The preparation time is a bit longer than it is for other brands, but the extra soaking helps activate the nutrients and enzymes in the food. Every pound of Sojos dog food makes up to five pounds of food when rehydrated.

Sojos uses ingredient lists that are “short and sweet” to avoid allergic reactions in dogs. The USDA-approved animal protein is paired with human-grade, air-dried fruits and vegetables. All the formulas are made in kitchens in the United States.


  • Uses USDA-approved and human-grade ingredients
  • Rehydrating activates the nutrients
  • Variety of options
  • Good for Australian Shepherds with allergies
  • Easy to store

7. Wysong Raw Dog Food

Wysong raw dog food

Wysong offers a few different types of raw Australian Shepherd food diets. Their original raw diet is called Archetype, which is a bag of freeze dried raw dog food that needs to be rehydrated before serving. Some recipes of the Archetype food also come in the form of burgers for customers that want larger quantities. They also sell “UnCanny” wet food recipes, which are designed to be mixed with the Archetype formulas.

This brand’s raw food comes in chicken, rabbit, quail, and beef. All options are high in natural protein and fat. They also contain plant nutrients, prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. These “Non-Thermal” raw dog food options are designed to mimic your Australian Shepherd’s ancestral diet by focusing on high protein. The food is only sold in small packages that preserve nutrients, so it can make a great food topper if you don’t want to use it as a meal.

If you like this brand, but your Australian Shepherd isn’t a fan of their raw food, they also have dry and wet food formulas. All the products can be ordered online or purchased at select pet supply stores.


  • A variety of raw dog food options
  • Contains lots of nutrients
  • Packaging preserves nutrients
  • Good for Australian Shepherds with allergies
  • Several ways to serve it
  • iHeartDogs Offer: 10% off healthy food with the code 10OFFWYSONG

8. Primal Freeze Dried Raw Nuggets

Primal freeze-dried nuggets

Primal’s freeze dried raw dog food comes in the form of soft nuggets. The nuggets make it easy to portion out meals for your Australian Shepherd based on their weight. To turn the freeze dried pieces into healthy meals, you can crumble up the nuggets once they’re portioned and add warm water, broth, or goat milk to it. You’ll mix the chosen liquid with the food to rehydrate it, making it more nutritious and flavorful for your Australian Shepherd.

These freeze dried nuggets make great full meals or food toppers. They come in a variety of protein options, including beef, lamb, pork, duck, venison, and rabbit. This company also offers some frozen raw options.

All the ingredients used in primal foods are sourced from sustainable ranchers and inspected by the USDA. In addition to quality animal protein, they also have organic fruits and vegetables, along with non-synthetic vitamins and minerals. Overall, this is a convenient choice for Australian Shepherd parents who are new to raw dog food. However, some customers complained that the nuggets were crumbled when they received them.


  • Comes in a variety of proteins
  • Easy to portion
  • Can be served in several ways
  • Packed with nutrients
  • Easy to store and travel with

9. Raw Wild LLC

Raw Wild LLC

Raw Wild is an online raw dog food subscription service. The food will ship to your door in a Styrofoam cooler, and it should be stored in the freezer to preserve its freshness. When preparing to serve the food to your Australian Shepherd, you should thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. You can get a discount if you order the trial for the first time.

All of Raw Wild’s food is made from wild elk and deer. Over 99% of the food includes meat and bones from wild animals. The company chose not to include organs because they didn’t want to add organs that could potentially contaminate the wild food. The rest of the food is made up of essential vitamins and minerals.

Raw Wild is a bit pricier than many other raw dog food brands because they have a limited stock since all the meat comes from wild animals. They hand-pack and hand-inspect every product to ensure it’s the ideal quality. All the products meet AAFCO standards, and the meat is processed in a facility that also processes elk and deer for human consumption. So, the standards and level of quality are always high with this brand.


  • Only uses meat from wild animals
  • Over 99% of the food is meat and bones
  • Avoids organs to reduce the risk of contamination
  • Subscription ships to your door
  • Uses rare types of human-grade meat

10. Halo Meal Bites Freeze Dried Raw

Halo Meal Bites

Halo Freeze Dried Raw Meal Bites used to be called TruDog Feed Me Freeze Dried Dog Food. The branding changed in July 2022. Even though the name and packaging are different, the food still has the same great recipe and taste. The company freeze-dries raw ingredients into crunchy pellets to lock in the natural nutrients and flavors.

The food can be served as-is, but the company recommends rehydrating it to give your Australian Shepherd extra moisture. If you don’t rehydrate the food, make sure your pup has access to clean water. The first several ingredients of the food are animal meat and organs, along with vitamins and nutrients. Looking at the ingredient list might not sound appealing to you, but it’s healthy and mouth-watering for Australian Shepherds.

You can choose between beef, turkey, whitefish, or turkey & duck recipes. Some Australian Shepherd parents aren’t fond of this food because it has strong odors, but that means that it usually interests picky eaters.


  • Convenient to store
  • Locks in natural nutrients and flavors
  • Multiple ways to serve
  • Appeals to picky dogs
  • Good for dogs with sensitive stomachs

11. Raw Paws Pet Food

Raw beef recipe for dogs

Raw Paws has the best variety when it comes to raw dog food. They offer raw food recipes in patties or ground-up. They have products with and without fruits and vegetables, and they even offer raw meat on its own. So, you can either order pre-made raw recipes or you can order simpler products and add ingredients to them to create customizable meals for your Australian Shepherd.

They offer chicken, beef, turkey, salmon, lamb, goat, and venison products. So, there are plenty of products to choose from regardless of your Australian Shepherd’s preferences. Most of the food needs to be stored in the freezer, and then you can thaw it in the fridge when you prepare for your dog’s upcoming meals. There are several raw treat options too. The food can all be ordered online and shipped to your door. It’s not available in any pet supply stores.

The wide selection of raw dog food products can be overwhelming for new customers, but it allows you to choose the one that is best for your Australian Shepherd. All the products use ingredients sourced from “responsible and ethical farms.” One of the best parts of this company is that they ship the products quickly so they don’t thaw during shipping. US orders placed on weekdays ship out on the same day, and weekend orders ship out the following Monday.


  • Wide variety of products are available
  • Fast shipping
  • Full meals, parts of raw meals, and treats available
  • Good for picky eaters
  • Offers free meal plans

Transitioning Your Australian Shepherd to Raw Dog Food

It’s always a good idea to do a gradual transition when switching your Australian Shepherd to a new food because it helps prevent tummy troubles. Transitioning is especially important when there’s a drastic change in diet, such as from kibble to raw dog food.

Here’s our recommended transitioning process:

  • Days 1 to 3: Serve 80% old food with 20% new raw food
  • Days 4 to 7: Serve 50% old food with 50% new food
  • Days 7 to 14: Serve 20% old food with 80% new food
  • Day 15: 100% new food

Since raw food is much different than dry dog food, it’s best to have a slow transition. It should take at least one to two weeks before you feed your Australian Shepherd a 100% raw diet. If you know your dog is sensitive to new foods, you may want to make the transition even more gradual. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your Australian Shepherd’s health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Australian Shepherd eating best raw dog food.

Below are some common questions dog parents switching to raw food ask.

Are Raw Dog Food Diets for Australian Shepherds Safe?

Yes, raw diets are safe for Australian Shepherds, as long as they provide a balanced diet. Australian Shepherds have shorter digestive tracts and higher acidity in their digestive systems, allowing them to tolerate bacteria better than humans. So, as long as you choose a brand with an ideal balance of ingredients and follow through with a gradual transition, your Australian Shepherd will be unlikely to face issues.

How Will Raw Food Change My Australian Shepherd’s Stool?

Once a Australian Shepherd gets used to a raw diet, their stool will likely be smaller and firmer. However, during the transition period, you may notice loose stool as their body adjusts to the new diet.

Can Australian Shepherds Get Salmonella From Raw Chicken?

Yes, dogs can get Salmonella from raw food, but dogs can handle a higher level of bacteria than humans can. So, raw dog food poses a bigger risk for humans than it does for Australian Shepherds. To prevent the spread of bacteria, always wash your hands and anything else the raw food touched after preparing your dog’s meals.

Are Bones in Raw Dog Food Dangerous?

No, raw bones are beneficial for your Australian Shepherd’s health. They don’t splinter the way cooked bones do, so they’re safer to eat. However, raw bones aren’t recommended for puppies under six months because their teeth aren’t strong enough to chew them.

Can Dogs With Allergies Eat Raw Food?

Yes, raw dog food is generally better for dogs with allergies because it has fewer ingredients. So, it’s easier to keep track of what ingredients your Australian Shepherd is eating so you can avoid potential allergens.

Can You Switch Between Meat Sources When Serving Raw Dog Food?

Yes, once your dog has transitioned to a raw diet, you can switch between meat sources regularly. Using a variety of meat sources is great for your Australian Shepherd’s health and keeps them interested in the food, as long as you don’t use meat they’re allergic to.

Why Isn’t Raw Dog Food for Australian Shepherds More Popular?

The number of Australian Shepherd parents using raw diets is increasing, but it’s not very popular for a few reasons. The biggest reason is cost. A lot of Australian Shepherd parents aren’t able to commit extra money and time to preparing dog food, so sticking to kibble is the easier choice. Also, many pet parents are unaware of the benefits and the variety of options when it comes to raw dog food.

Australian Shepherd parents looking to try raw food without wanting to switch the meal entirely can try raw food toppers.

Is Raw Dog Food Right for Your Australian Shepherd?

If you’re looking for a healthier diet for your Australian Shepherd, the best raw dog food brands should be considered. Raw dog food can be great for picky eaters or dogs who aren’t getting enough nutrients in their current diets. However, raw food can be pricy and may take more time to prepare for your dog, so it’s not for everyone. If you don’t want to have to keep your dog’s food cold, you can opt for some of the best dehydrated raw dog food for easier storage.

No matter what brand you choose, the best raw dog food diet can help your Australian Shepherd have a healthier lifestyle. Any of the brands on this list are great options to switch to, as long as you provide a gradual transition.

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