Food scores are based on ingredient quality and safety. For more information, view our evaluation criteria.
Steve’s Real Food Frozen Raw Dog Food scores an average 10 for the 6 foods in the line. No points are deducted for light processing or ingredient quality. The foods are low in carbohydrate, averaging 7.3% on a dry matter basis (meaning with the moisture removed, for comparison with dry foods), with protein averaging 50%.
Steve’s Real Food’s manufacturing is done at a dedicated facility in Aumsville, Oregon. The manufacturing process is done in batches of 1000 lbs, with equipment sterilized between batches. Finished goods are stored in a frozen warehouse in Boring, Oregon. The company doesn’t own either of these facilities, but states that they work very closely with the co-packer who grew up working in a raw pet food plant that was his family’s business. He branched out on his own to manufacture Steve’s Real Food.
The Raw line has 6 raw meat-based formulas (including bone and organ meats) combined with produce and natural supplements. The foods all have a lower percentage of fat than protein, which is desirable in a raw food. The company provides the names and descriptions of all of its suppliers on the website, and there’s a strong focus on sustainable sourcing. Some, but not all, of the produce is organic.
The company does state their foods are GMO free but not certified. Their supplier of turkey meat is certified non GMO, however.
There are no added vitamins or minerals. This suggests indicates higher quality ingredients because the nutrients comes from whole foods.
It’s not clear whether all the fish ingredients are wild-caught or farmed. The website includes the statement “Our fish are sustainably caught to meet the global demand for seafood while keeping wild fisheries healthy.” They follow fish sustainability practices certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. Salmon oil is added to the recipes and this is not stated as wild-caught. Wild caught fish is more nutritious and has a better fatty acid balance than farmed fish.
The food does not provide the omega-6:omega-3 ratio, which is a concern since AAFCO allows a very inflammatory ratio of 30:1. The foods have added coconut oil, another concern because coconut oil has been shown to cause undesirable changes in the gut lining, potentially harming gut health.