Properly Balancing Raw /Fresh Food - Commercial Brands

This page is dedicated to ensuring your fresh pet food is balanced to a certified guideline like NRC or AAFCO. This is important to ensure the longevity of your pets health and well being, and to further ensure your health care professionals are confident in what you are feeding.

As the raw food industry is one that is unregulated, it's hard to know when a label says "balanced" whether it's balanced to any particular standard or whether it's a term the manufacturer has chosen to put on their food based on their own beliefs.  Some folks believe balanced is 80/10/10. (just meat organs and bones) but when you're attempting to mimic the balancing of kibble to an AAFCO standards it's best to include fruits and veggies and some other synthetics to ensure your pet is getting all the daily nutritional requirements

These are in order of confidence of balance.

NOTE: Any brand selling meat/organ/bone as "balanced" is not correct based on AAFCO or NRC requirements.  You are missing essential vitamins, minerals etc. when you omit fruits and veggies.



Dinners are certified to NRC guidelines. Pure diets are not a balanced meal.

  • Add an omega oil to either of the above options.
  • Add Fortify powder to the Signature Blends and Pure blends.

Follow this link for more information:

*omega-3 not required when feeding sardines or fish dinner


The Primal balanced meals are AAFCO certified. We only suggest adding an omega oil or fresh fish option. This includes Nuggets and Pronto options. Not the butchers blend.


Using whole foods and under the guidance of Veterinary Nutritionists, this brand is very close to an AAFCO balance. This balance can be met and exceeded using their own built in rotation. See link for the suggested rotation of proteins to hit the balance needed for AAFCO. A great ready:


This is a gently cooked, fresh food. This product has been balanced to NRC standards using necessary vitamins and minerals and can be fed as is to meet the guidelines. An omega-3 oil or fresh fish is a great additive.

More info here:


Bold Raw makes Megadog line (more Fruits and veg) and the Bold Select line (just meat, more tripe than Megadog). To balance out this brand to get close to AAFCO they suggest:

  • With rotation our formulas will be very close to AAFCO/NRC, we recommend the customer rotate between Mega & Select. To achieve this, Select must be added to the rotation because of the benefits and high tripe content. We typically suggest a diet consisting of 3 Meals of Select and 3 Meals of Mega, while rotating between the proteins.
  • If only one protein can be fed, for example, Chicken; Bold suggests adding  fish oil! It should be a blended oil, not just Salmon or Herring. 



Iron Will Raw has a dinner option with greens and a basic option with MBO. Ensure you are aware which you have, and add supplements and rotation as outlined in the following pictures. Refer to the pics for balancing options.



Coming Soon


Carnivora Dinners contain little fruits and veg. Carnivora diets are pure meat/Organ/Bone.

  • Carnivora considers the whole animal diet a balanced meal, but we would disagree. If you choose to feed this brand add Earth Origins to the Diet meals. Add an omega oil to all options.

Doodle Dogs does not consider these balanced. More information if found here from Carnivora:


Speaking specifically about the Econo Boxes. These are not at a level that we feel is adequately balanced. 

  • If you do feed the PGR Econo we suggest an omega oil, and a Pure red meat diet be rotated in as the Econo is mostly chicken. Buy some pure red meal meat/organ/bones options from other brands and mix into rotation to get a closer balance.
  • This brand uses 25% veggie, 7% organ and egg shells for a lot of formulas so you could add organ meat, tripe, and frozen bones such as chicken feet to supplement with as well.