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Backcountry Raw Dog Food Review [Weighing the Pros and Cons]

If you’ve seen Backcountry Raw Infused in stores or online and wondered if it’s a good option for your dog, this review will help you decide.

As interest in ancestral and raw diets increases, brands like Backcountry are promoting products with freeze-dried raw meat mixed into kibble.

The promise is raw nutrition in an easy kibble format.

In this article, I’ll provide an unbiased look at what Backcountry offers.

You’ll learn about their variety of recipes, protein sources, and nutritional claims.

I’ll also cover some potential drawbacks to be aware of based on my research and analysis.

My goal is to give you the full details so you can make an informed decision on whether Backcountry or another raw-inspired diet is right for your dog’s needs.

Short of time? I wouldn’t actually recommend Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food.

Keep reading to find out why!


Quick Verdict

For fresh, customized raw nutrition, choose WeFeedRaw over Backcountry’s processed kibble.

WeFeedRaw’s PhD-developed plans fit your dog’s needs with human-grade ingredients shipped free to your door.

WeFeedRaw provides the convenience of high-quality raw food tailored specifically for your dog.

What Is Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food?

Backcountry Raw Infused is a dog food brand from Merrick that offers a unique combo of raw-coated kibble blended with freeze-dried raw meat pieces.

Backcountry aims to deliver the nutritional benefits of a raw food diet in an easy kibble format.

Both their grain-free and whole grain recipes feature freeze-dried raw bits of protein mixed into the kibble.

Protein options include beef, chicken, lamb, salmon, duck, venison, rabbit, quail and more.

What I Like About Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food

While it’s not a perfect solution in my view, Backcountry does have some attractive features compared to traditional kibble:

Protein-Focused Ingredients

One advantage of Backcountry is that the first 5 ingredients are always protein-based sources like chicken, turkey, beef, salmon etc.

This indicates a commitment to leading with quality animal-sourced proteins.

Too many commercial kibbles use inexpensive fillers and grains versus premium proteins.

Convenience Factor

The kibble format, versus fully raw food, provides convenience for owners that want to avoid the mess and storage challenges of handling raw meat products.

Backcountry’s wide availability online and in brick-and-mortar stores also adds to the convenience element.

You can easily grab a bag at many pet supply shops or order from Amazon and other popular e-commerce sites.

Decent Variety of Recipes

Within the Backcountry product line, there are 10 recipes to choose from spanning both grain-free and whole grain options.

The grain-free line has 7 recipes currently, while the Backcountry Originals line has 3 recipes that incorporate healthy whole grains like oats, millet and barley.

It’s nice to see a range of both grain-inclusive and grain-free recipes to suit different dogs.

Nutritional Step Up from Standard Kibble

Backcountry does seem to provide a nutritional boost over most standard kibbles in a few ways.

The recipes feature elevated levels of omega fatty acids for skin/coat health, added glucosamine/chondroitin for joint support, and a wider range of B vitamins and Vitamin D.

The inclusion of freeze-dried raw meat pieces also adds more natural protein and moisture versus baking the ingredients at high temperatures.

So while it’s not as optimal as fresh raw food, Backcountry appears nutritionally superior to many basic kibbles.

What I Don’t Like About Backcountry Raw Infused Dog Food

While Backcountry offers some advantages over conventional kibble, there are still several areas of concern in my opinion.

Produced At Scale

One of my main reservations is that Backcountry is produced in large factories at high volumes like most commercial pet food brands.

When production is scaled up to such large batches, it becomes very difficult to monitor quality control and maintain consistency.

Small batch production allows much greater oversight and care.

It’s Not Truly Raw

Backcountry markets itself as delivering the benefits of raw food through the freeze-dried pieces mixed into the kibble.

However, the majority of the food is still conventional extruded kibble that has been processed and cooked at high temperatures.

This reduces the natural enzymes and some nutrients compared to a fully raw diet.

So while it provides some raw food benefits, it’s still primarily a cooked kibble product.

Non-Tailored Recipe

Another downside is that Backcountry uses a generalized one-size-fits-all approach without any customization.

The same recipes are marketed for all breeds and life stages.

But dogs have very individualized nutritional needs depending on factors like age, size, activity level, and health issues.

A customized approach makes more sense.

Muscle Meat Over Organ Meat

From what I can tell, Backcountry emphasizes generic muscle meats like chicken, beef, or turkey over more nutrient-dense and varied organ meats like liver, kidney, brain etc.

The recipes seem formulated to appeal to human taste preferences rather than optimal canine nutrition.

To make up for nutritional deficiencies, synthetic vitamin supplements are added.

But naturally balanced whole food ingredients are best.

Formula Changes Disrupt Digestion

Across online reviews, many owners report that sudden formula changes by Backcountry have upset their dog’s digestion and stools.

Frequent changes to recipes can cause issues as dogs adjust. Sticking to consistent formulas is better for a sensitive digestive system.

Quality Control and Consistency Issues

There are concerning reports of variation between bags of Backcountry purchased.

Some users find certain bags or batches lack enough freeze-dried raw pieces, short-changing the protein content.

There are also reports of some bags triggering digestive upset indicating potential inconsistencies or quality control problems in ingredients or production.

Final Verdict on Backcountry Raw Infused

Overall, Backcountry Raw Infused appears to be an attempt to capitalize on the growing popularity of raw and ancestral diets for dogs.

Though, it must be said that coating kibble with freeze-dried raw pieces, Backcountry does appear to provide a stepped-up nutrition profile compared to most conventional kibbles.

However, the concerns around large-scale production, formula changes, lack of customization, and over-reliance on synthetic supplements make it less than ideal in my view.

Backcountry is still primarily a processed kibble despite the raw food marketing.

Given the drawbacks of Backcountry’s mass-produced approach, I think fresh, customized raw foods are a better solution for optimal canine health.

That’s why I recommend considering WeFeedRaw instead.

WeFeedRaw provides customized meal plans tailored specifically to your dog’s nutritional needs.

Their recipes are formulated by PhD nutritionists and use quality human-grade ingredients like organ meats.

WeFeedRaw ships frozen raw food nationwide straight to your door for even more convenience, too.

If I were you, I would visit the official WeFeedRaw website. I think you will soon see why it’s the food to go for…

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