Review on Doggobone (active raw food for my dogs)

This isn’t a human food post, but a dog food post, a review on Doggobone.

Kyle and I have three dogs, Buttons, Pepper and Louis. Buttons is a mutt, full of brak – we have no idea what she is. Pepper is a typical South African, Canis Africanis. The two girls we adopted from Malmesbury – see B & P adoption post here (one of my early days posts when I’d just started this blog). Then, our third dog, Louis is a Weimaraner from the southern suburbs in Cape Town, see our first year with Louis post here.

Left to right: Buttons, Pepper, Louis


To be honest, I don’t have a problem with pellets for dogs or cats, but Buttons and Louis had some basic health problems and the vet bills were starting to add up.

The problems

– Buttons – she’s been incontinent from the time she got spayed. She’s also hypoallergenic and would scratch until she bled… seemed allergic to the good quality dog food she and Pepper were eating so we had to change up to a good quality hypoallergenic fish pellet diet. But even on that, she still scratched, less but controllable. She was also the fussiest eater, eating just two pellets at a time, slowly munching and then just not finishing her food.

– Louis – he had five ear infections before the age of eight months. He is a large chested dog and is prone to bloat, which can be dangerous, and even deadly. My roller derby friend Cherry Tempurr has a Great Dane and kindly warned me of this before we got Louis and suggested we introduce a ‘calm time’ after meals.

Being a food person, I like the idea that natural foods can be healing especially for skin conditions, and I also didn’t want to keep giving Louis so much antibiotics.

Pepper‘s fine.

The thought process

As pet owners, we’re quite strict, we don’t give them human meals or junk food. But I’ve also always wondered how boring life would be if you just ate the same thing, so as treats our dogs would get a variety of veggies and fruit, the same way I snack. It might seem bleak to some but you should see how they jump for yogurt, oranges or banana and how they don’t even look at us when we’re eating a cooked steak – I didn’t like that my childhood dogs staring at me while I ate so we decided to condition our three dogs not to beg while we were eating meals and snacks.

The research

Since I started Louis an Instagram account to document his growth and the shenanigans with his sisters, I came across Weimaraners all over the world. Many of them ate a raw diet and their owners would review and rave about the benefits. As someone who works with food, it did make sense that our pets should be able to just eat meat/veg for meals as long as it was balanced.

Now I’m too lazy to buy my own meats and veg, vitamins and minerals to create their meals but the raw diet was intriguing. I did some research and found a local company called Doggobone Active Raw Food, joined their Facebook group and started reading and learning from the reviews (most seemed good). Doggobone Active Raw Food has no preservatives and artificial flavourants, for both dogs and cats and they do the complete messy process for their customers. All you need to do is buy the freshly frozen tubes from a supplier, defrost in the fridge and feed your furkids. Their tubes include classic (beef and chicken), duck, fishmonger, venison, ostrich and more.

After doing the math (that took long), we calculated that each meal (pellets and raw food) would actually cost roughly the same. The idea is that you wouldn’t need to see the vet as often, which is how you save.

An indication – Louis is 30kg, and eats one tube (500g) in the morning and another at night, 1kg a day. But do use their feeding calculator to determine how much your pet needs.

They also sell raw bones (that helps keep their teeth clean), dried raw treats, diatomaceous earth (we use this now instead of topical insecticides/ointments or pills), kefir milk, frozen raw duck/chicken necks and wings and recently introduced turkey.

Their website breaks everything down beautifully.

The benefits on Doggobone’s website

Some potential benefits pet parents have observed when feeding Doggobone

  • Healthy, shiny coat with little or no odour.
  • Better breath, reduced tartar build-up and healthy teeth.
  • A noticeable Reduction in allergies, skin ailments and ear infections.
  • Increased energy.
  • Smaller, biodegradable, less odious stools.
  • Ideal weight control – Raw food, keeps your pet’s weight in control by feeding the amount of food appropriate to your pet’s needs. The body is not maintained by the amount of food fed but by the amount of nutrients in the food that are absorbed by the body

What it looks like

Yes, you’ll need to handle raw meat. You’ll see an odd eyeball, piece of offal (including tripe) and lung. We buy them ‘Classic’ or ‘Duck’ just to give them some variety about 30kg at a time (they have 200g and 500g tubes) and keep them in the freezer, take one or two out at a time to thaw in a container (overnight in the fridge).












The results so far

My daily sweeping has reduced to 1/3 of the dog fur I used to sweep up. Their poops don’t smell so much and dry out quickly, turn white and crumble into the grass. Also, their breath no longer stinks.

Buttons – She eats the classic (beef with a little chicken and has stopped scratching all together. She finishes her food immediately.

Louis – He’s gotten one more ear infection since the five months they’ve been eating raw food but I caught it early and used vinegar to clean it up and it healed without antibiotics. He’s leaner, muscles are more defined and his poop is always healthy. Bloat is less likely now since he drinks less water (gets liquid in his food) after meals and the raw food settles in his stomach nicely whereas pellets would float after drinking water.

Pepper – She seems to like this food way more and is also leaner.

We’re extremely happy with Doggobone Active Raw Food, the support from their useful Facebook group where we can ask the company’s owners and the Doggobone community for advice. Thank you to Abdul Kader Palekar and Zakira Palekar for such a good quality dog raw food product.

12 Responses

  1. Bruce Johnson
    | Reply

    You obviously work for the above company otherwise why would you post all their advertising. To be honest I used this product and was totally unhappy with it. It smelt awful and from what I have heard from other raw advocates Doggobone use “cheap” ingredients in their products. I would not use it again

    • Ming-Cheau
      | Reply

      Well aren’t you a ray of sunshine Bruce? Assume all you want but I don’t work for them, my three dogs are thriving on their brand so I wanted to share my thoughts, i.e a review, which is evident in the title of the post. Raw meat smells… I don’t know what you expect tripe to smell like then? Each to their own, you don’t need to be so accusational.

      • Bruce Johnson
        | Reply

        I am sorry about the accusation, it was wrong. It is just that I have read posts on FB by Doggobone agents who are subtly trying to promote the brand by misleading statements. I know the tripe smell, I eat it myself and raw meat too (steak tartare) This was chicken intestines which cost R1.50/kg. Lazena free range chickens say it goes off very quickly. The cherry on top was when Doggobone delivered stock to a friend. It was a hot day and the driver opened the back of his van, which wasn’t refrigerated and there were loose chicken heads everywhere among the order.

        i spoke to a vet who advocates a raw diet and said with chicken intestines, one is looking for trouble because of their gut flora. yes you are right, each to their own

        • Sagree Pandaram
          | Reply

          Bruce – whilst I use Doggobone.. I am always inclined to rather read the negatives than the positives – being a realist. What you say concerns me. Would you please inbox me details in order that I gather a more wholistic picture of the company. My kids are too precious to me to not pay attention to the negatives.

          • Ming-Cheau Lin

            Hi Sagree, I’ve approved your comment in hopes that Bruce will see this and respond to you directly. I can also suggest you raise any of these concerns with the Doggobone owners in their Facebook group as they are very transparent about their processes. While some people can be raw fanatics, I have no problem with all types of dog food, this is just my personal opinion on the results (formed after months of research before making the move, then a few months of feeding).

          • bruce

            Sorry for the late reply , I have been abroad.

  2. Tam
    | Reply

    Thank you for your review.
    I just started my dog on Doggobone and looking online to see what others had to say.
    I have been feeding my dog pellet food but he often would look at the food and walk away and slowly eat it later in the day/night.
    His doggobone bowl of food tonight was shiny clean in a few minutes.

    • Ming-Cheau
      | Reply

      The difference has truly been amazing! My black mutt used to pick at her food too and I was worried she’d find her food elsewhere (the garden), but now she finishes just as fast as the Africanis.

  3. Mercia
    | Reply

    Thank you for the review. We started our 3 bull terriers on Doggobone about 6 weeks ago and the results have been amazing. Our boy had/has severe allergies and also scratched till he bled and had to take anti-histamines and sometimes cortisone. That improved after about 3 days on the raw diet. Our 2 girls love their food and finish their meals quickly now. All 3 are a little leaner and happier with shiny coats and fresher breath.

    • Ming-Cheau
      | Reply

      An absolute pleasure. Your boy sounds like my Buttons, so glad to hear they’re all thriving off of it!

  4. Wendy du Plessis
    | Reply

    Hello Mercia
    I got my little Bully Boy at 8 weeks old and noticed he started shaking his head a lot. Needless to say, he was on pellets at the breeder which may have caused the ear allergy. I immediately put him onto a specially cooked food, but the allergy has worsened. After many vet visits and an ear rinse now under anesthetic I am on the verge of starting the raw food. I was so glad to read your review. I need to sort this allergy out urgently as I hate seeing him suffer.

  5. Amy
    | Reply

    We have been using it for more than 2 years and all 7 my dogs have coped and are fine on it. Obviously so many factors could contribute to issues with you pets. Remember there are underlying issues you might not be aware of. I generally buy the ostrich and Turkey. My sister in law buy the same. The type of dogs we feed are: two Wolve-hybrids both around 10 years old, 2 yorkies about 6 years old, a Chihuahua 6 years old, a Ridgeback X 14 years old, my sister in-laws dogs include a small spaniel of 13 and a corgi x JR 13 years old. So gosh i dont see the issue really. I can relate with the off smell but it happened once or twice because the food arrived on a hot day in KZN..and it must have been defrosted – needless to say they replaced it when i complained. Its bound to happen and you should be aware of the human factor. Or make your own raw food.

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