Once you’ve decided to make the transition to feeding raw dog food, you may be asking yourself:
Where can you find meat in large and affordable quantities to feed your dog? Your excitement begins to dwindle as the “what if” internal dialogue begins…
- “I don’t have time for this.”
- “I can barely shop for myself”
- “what if I can’t find meat that’s affordable?”
Raw feeding isn’t any more difficult than your weekly trips to the grocery store. It involves a bit of dedication and the establishment of new shopping habits at first.
Before you know it, you’ll be a savvy shopper discovering new meat sourcing locations and drawing crowds as you mosey through the grocery store with more meat than bystanders can reasonably believe you’ll consume. You’ll be educating strangers on raw feeding and fielding questions like a pro.
But until then, let’s offer some actionable advice.
Take a look at the helpful list below for some ideas on where to shop for your furry friend.
Traditional Pet Stores
Most larger pet store franchises, like Petco and Petsmart, are beginning to carry commercial raw dog food brands or fresh cooked foods. Though, I’ve found that the smaller, locally owned pet stores are better choices for finding a larger variety of premade raw dog food.
If you feed commercial raw dog food, check with the local pet stores nearest you. If you’re pet store has a freezer section, there’s a good chance they stock it. Larger chain pet stores may carry raw pet food depending on the location as well.
Visit our local raw dog food map to find stores that carry premade raw dog food near you.
Regular Grocery Stores & Ethnic Grocers
Some grocery store chains have freezers in their pet food aisles and carry a limited amount of commercial raw pet food.
Aside from the pet aisles, grabbing regular human grade meat is a great option for your dog. However, depending on the number of dogs you own and their size, sourcing meat from your grocery store may not be a financially viable option. It’s also not the best option when looking for deals, savings, and buying meat in bulk. If you feed plant material, buying herbs, fruits and vegetables from your local grocer is usually a smart idea.
Another tip is to shop at ethnic grocery stores and food markets. Ethnic grocers tend to carry more organ and offal products along with exotic meats.
Your local butcher is an excellent place to obtain meat for your furry family members.
Butchers carry a wide variety of meats and are able to order specialty items. When it comes to saving on costs, most butchers can order meat in bulk which drives the price down. Moreover, there’s usually a few options when it comes to the quality of the meat you’re ordering, so finding something within your price range should be easy.
Bottom line: they’re flexible and can get their hands on just about anything if you ask.
Due to the popularity of raw diets, many butchers even carry raw meat scraps, recreational bones, and product offerings specifically for dogs. Butchers are a friendly bunch and let’s not forget, they’re essentially meat connoisseurs. They’re happy to help you with your meat needs!
In my experience, I’ve found sourcing meat at our local butcher to be a pleasant experience.
Not only do the employees love hearing how I feed my dog raw meat, but they’re eager to help. We’ve been invited into the back of the store where they’ve shown us the cuts of meats they had on hand and told us what they could order in bulk to bring the price down. Even better, they asked us to bring our dog by, making it a fun experience for everyone. Talk about customer service!
Check out our local raw dog food map to find butchers offering scraps, raw meaty bones (RMBs) and in-house raw dog food.
Big Box Discount Stores, Warehouse Clubs, & Wholesalers
Warehouse clubs are retails stores that sell a wide variety of merchandise that typically require customers to buy in large or wholesale quantities.
These clubs are attractive not only for bargain hunters, but for raw feeders! They’re able to keep prices low due to the basic format of the stores (you’re essentially shopping in a warehouse). Some may even require customers to pay annual membership fees to shop. These stores are a great option when looking for deals on meat on buying meat in bulk.
- Sam’s Club – Offers three levels of membership (Sam’s Plus, Sam’s Business, and Sam’s Savings) for individuals and businesses starting at $45 – $100 a year.
- Costco Wholesale – Offers three levels of membership (Executive, Business, and Gold Star memberships) for individuals and businesses starting at $55 – $110 a year.
- BJs Wholesale Club – Offers two levels of membership (Personal and BJ’s rewards memberships) for individuals and businesses starting at $50 – $100 a year.
- Restaurant Depot – Restaurant Depot is a wholesale food service supplier. Membership is free but you must show a valid reseller’s permit (business license) or tax-exempt certificate (for a non profit organization) and proof that you’re authorized to purchase for that business or organization. If you don’t qualify, do you have any friends or family members that do? If so, go along with them on some shopping trips to stock up on meat.
- Boxed – Think of boxed like a online warehouse. They offer the same bulk products but deliver them directly to your door. Depending on your location meat and/or produce may or may not be available through boxed. But it’s worth checking out.
Sourcing meat from local farmers is another fantastic option.
Not only is it important to support local farms, but local meat is often fresher since it doesn’t have to travel as far to get to your dog’s belly.
Local farmers are a great choice when looking for higher quality meats like grass fed, organic, free range, and certified human meats to name a few. Additionally, local farms usually have options for buying in bulk. I’ve seen many farms offer up a whole cow for purchase. They’re even a great source for organs and other raw offal for your dog (liver, heart, kidney, lungs, etc.). And they can be a fantastic option for local produce as well if you include plant material in your dog’s diet.
One last tip, it’s worth establishing a relationship with your local farmer because they’re more likely to offer deals or discounts for buying in bulk and taking less desirable products off their hands. The price is probably flexible with farmers as opposed to your local grocer, so there may be room for negotiations.
Farmers markets can be a great way to meet local farmers in your area and are worth checking out. While they may not have a large variety of meat on hand, these markets usually provide a great chance to meet farmers in your area and discuss your needs.
Check out some of the sites below to help you find local farmers or a farmers market nearest you.
- Local Harvest – Use this site to find farmers markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainable food near you.
- Eat Wild – Has a great directory of U.S., Canadian and international farms and ranches that offer pasture raised and grass fed beef and diary products. Farms on Eat Wild assure that their animals and farm land are well treated and that their products are high in nutrition and free of antibiotics and added hormones.
- Farmers Market.Com – A directory used to find farmers markets and local food sources.
Are you a recreational hunter or do you know someone that is?
If so, you’ve hit the raw feeding jackpot. Talk about free (sometimes), high quality meat. Deer, duck, quail, rabbit and other wild animals are perfect foods for your kitchen carnivore. These animals eat a real, natural diet and will generally have a superior nutrient profile. Plus they’re be grain, antibiotic, and hormone free!
And you’ll be getting all of this for free.
If you don’t have the heart or stomach to kill and butcher your own meat (and I don’t blame you), maybe you have some friends that hunt. If so, ask if they’d be willing to share. Or, you could offer to spot them a few bucks to save some meat for you. The only caveat here is it’s illegal to sell game meat. Gray areas include gifting and bartering. So maybe you offer to clean your buddy’s garage in exchange for meat instead. Get creative!
Either way, it will most likely be cheaper than buying meat from a store.
Online Meat Suppliers (For People)
In this day and age you can buy just about anything online, including meat.
There are a ton of online meat suppliers that sell a variety of meat products where you can buy online and have them shipped to your doorstep.
This option will most likely be more costly than anything else on this list but it’s worth looking into regardless. You may find a great speciality store with decent prices and a better selection than your local grocery store.
Online Meat Suppliers for RAW FEEDERS
Believe it or not, there are actually dog specific online meat suppliers.
They typically carry high quality and human grade meats catered to raw feeders and dog owners. Since these stores target raw feeders they often carry products most traditional, human-focused stores do not like chicken feet, green tripe, organs, and exotic and wild meats.
- Raw Paws Pet Food – once a co-op, they expanded to a full service online store. Their entire inventory is sourced from USDA-inspected farms and they also provide a Raw Paws Monthly Service including raw food variety packs, pre-portioned meals, and servings guides.
- Soul’y Raw – Purveyors of specialty, raw pet food located in San Marcos, California.
- Raw Feeding Miami – RFM is a supplier that carries a vast variety of animal proteins and meat products for raw feeders. They’re dedicated to quality, reliability, sustainability and honesty.
- ReelRaw – A company providing meat and bone products for dogs that are 100% USDA inspected/approved and fit for human consumption.
- My Pet Carnivore – A family run company with approximately 70 products sourced from Midwest farmers with the highest ethics and standards
- Hare Today Gone Tomorrow – A small farm run by a raw feeder.
- Green Tripe – A supplier of green tripe and other raw feeding products all sourced from grass fed and certified organic animals
- Simply Rawsome – Provides raw meat products all across the US and carries certified organic meats, human grade meats, and non human grade meats (Note: non human grade meats are an issue of debate among the raw feeding community. I suggest you conduct your own research and form your own conclusions before buying but it may be an alternative for the budget conscious raw feeder).
- Maui Nui Venison – A company out of Hawaii that sells venison (the elusive Axis Deer) and goat. It’s available for raw pet food companies, raw pet food stores, co-ops, and individual customers. They ship second day Fedex anywhere in the US.
Not-For-Profit Raw Feeding Co-ops & Buying Groups
A cooperative (co-operative) or co-op for short is an association or group of people who cooperate for mutual benefit.
It’s no surprise that there are a number of raw feeding co-ops across the country where members are committed to optimal nutrition for their four legged companions. These groups are for individuals interested in participating in efforts to source the best meat products for their dogs taking quality and price into consideration. Raw feeding co-ops tend to network, source suppliers, pool purchasing power to buy in bulk at discount prices, and coordinate orders, deliveries and food pickups among members.
I highly recommend joining these groups to connect with other raw feeders, slash prices, and make meat sourcing and preparation a fun social activity.
New Jersey & Pennsylvania:
- rrrRawsome (serving Saratoga Springs areas)
- NY Raw Feeders (serving Westchester/Putnam areas)
- Western NY Raw Feeders (Serving Buffalo, Binghamton and Syracuse areas)
- Binghamton Area Raw Feeders (serving Binghamton areas)
- Pearl River-Dobbs Ferry NY Raw Dog Food (serving Pearl River/Dobbs Ferry areas)
Kentucky & Indiana:
Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., & Virginia:
North and South Carolina & Georgia:
- Central FL Raw Food Co-op
- Raw Instincts (serving South Florida)
- Raw Feeding Co-op Fort Lauderdale
- Raw Feeding Co-op Tampa
- San Antonio Raw Feeding Co-op
- Austin Raw Feeders Co-op
- Bravos Valley Raw Feeding Co-op
- Austin Raw Feeders Co-op
- San Francisco Raw Feeders
- OC BARF Co-op
- Fremont BARF Co-op
- Capital City Raw Feeder
- Foothill Raw Feeders
Oregon & Washington:
If can’t find a co-op near you, consider looking for online forums, groups, and Facebook groups in your area (listed here). Once you’ve joined, ask members where they source their raw meat from. Raw feeders are a friendly bunch and will be happy to help!
Where do you source the meat for your dog’s raw diet?
Please share any of your favorite stores, co-ops, or other unique ideas that may be helpful for other raw feeders. I’d love to hear your input.