Dog Products
ultimate guide to fresh dog food

Fresh Dog Food UK - The Ultimate Guide

Written by Steph McCulloch


Discover the nutritious and tailored meals from Butternut Box, crafted with love for your furry friend's health. Explore how these fresh, homemade-style meals can transform your pet's diet and well-being.
a collie against a yellow background looking at 'chicken you out' butternut box food


Feeding your dog a nutritionally complete, balanced and delicious diet goes a long way towards maintaining their overall health. Choosing a good quality food, such as Butternut Box fresh dog food, can help to minimise common problems such as dull coat, itchy skin, bad breath and sloppy poops.

However, we know that sometimes the unexpected can happen. Which is why it’s equally important to have a pet insurance policy in place to give you extra peace of mind and help with sudden costs.

What is fresh dog food?

Whilst traditional wet and dry dog food is regarded as nutritionally complete and approved by FEDIAF guidelines, improvements can definitely be made to go the extra mile.

Often mistakenly confused with wet dog food, the production process of fresh dog food is very different.

Wet dog food, often found in a tin, tray or pouch, is made by combining the raw ingredients (meat, grains, vegetables and other fillers) and cooking them at high temperatures, which then activates the starches and thickens the mixture. This is where the jelly-like substance comes from. Additives and preservatives are added along the way to prolong the shelf life of wet food.

Meanwhile, fresh dog food skips excessive processing and instead uses whole ingredients that are gently cooked at 90°C. This cooking method allows nutrients to be retained, whilst also getting rid of any harmful bacteria. Fresh dog food typically uses whole, human-quality ingredients, the sorts of things that you can find in your own fridge and cupboard at home. Once cooked, the food is then cooled and frozen. Freezing the food means that there’s no need to add preservatives or any other nasties.

Looking at Butternut Box’s Chicken You Out meal for example, you can find the following ingredients only in this recipe:

Human Quality Chicken 60% (Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart), Carrots (15%), Sweet Potatoes (4%), Peas (4%), Cauliflower (4%), Split Red Lentils (4%), Whole Red Lentils (4%), Broccoli (2%), Brewer’s Yeast, Minerals, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Sage.

an array of meat and vegetables presented on wooden blocks. in the bottom of the image human hands are chopping up broccoli whilst a dog tries to lick it.

Benefits of fresh dog food

Feeding a fresh diet to your dog can unleash a number of benefits both inside and out.

84% of customers report that they have seen improvements to their dogs' health since switching to Butternut Box. Some of the benefits that a fresh dog food diet can have includes:


Fresh dog food is hypoallergenic, meaning that there are no nasty ingredients which could cause intolerance symptoms, such as itchy skin or runny poos. That makes it suitable for dogs that are prone to an upset stomach or excessive scratching.


Whole ingredients and a gentle cooking process mean that dogs absorb more nutrients from fresh food, helping them thrive from inside.

Supports gut health

The ingredients in fresh dog food, prebiotic-rich sweet potatoes, pumpkin and flaxseed, offer unique digestive benefits. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin are abundant in fibre, acting as prebiotics to support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria while providing essential vitamins and antioxidants. Flaxseed contributes omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fibre, aiding digestion and reducing inflammation.

Taste and palatability, ideal for fussy dogs

Butternut Box has 12 different recipes to choose from, so there’s a flavour to suit every taste palette. From their signature Chicken You Out, to deletable Wham Bam Lamb your dog will be spoilt for choice. There’s even a vegetarian recipe, Ready Steady Veggie and a plant-based recipe, Plant Get Enough.

Shinier coat and healthier skin

Dry skin, itchiness and excessive scratching in dogs is often due to the fact that their skin is not sufficiently hydrated. The moisture content, protein and omega 3 in fresh dog food can, and has been shown to, help to promote healthy skin and shiny coats in dogs.

Better breath

Fillers, artificial additives and preservatives contribute to bad breath in dogs. You won’t find any of these ingredients in fresh dog food.

Firmer poops and less gas

Because of the high digestibility of fresh dog food, many owners find that their dogs have smaller, firmer, less frequent poos.

Is fresh dog food right for my dog?

Fresh dog food, such as Butternut Box, is suitable for dogs of all life stages.

This includes puppies, too. Once they have been weaned, you are able to feed them Butternut Box and feel assured that they will be getting all the nutrients that they need to thrive. As your dog grows and develops, so do their calorie needs. Their daily portion size is easy to adjust, simply update their new weight in your account and they will calculate the rest.

Senior dogs can also benefit from being fed a fresh diet. Butternut Box even has certain recipes that can help them with ageing ailments. The turmeric in the Wham Bam Lamb recipe, for example, can help to reduce joint pain and inflammation.

a spaniel puppy sat in a butternut box cardboard box in his kitchen

Butternut Box Fresh Dog Food

Butternut Box makes it their mission to deliver health and happiness to dogs all over the world. While making fresh dog food is a huge part of that, there’s also a number of different things they’re doing to make a difference.

In 2022, they were granted B-Corp Certification. Certified B Corporations, otherwise known as B Corps, are companies verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability.

In 2023, Butternut Box donated just under 83,000 meals to dogs in need across various rescue centres.

To sign up to Butternut Box, all you need to do is answer a few questions about your dog, including their breed, age, activity level and any health conditions that they have. Their algorithm will then use this data to calculate exactly how much food your dog will need per day. Once you’re happy with the recipe selections, simply checkout and they will deliver the perfectly-portioned pouches directly to your door, on a day to suit you.

To get an exact price and plan, click here.

a full box of butternut box dog food

The importance of quality pet insurance

Even with all the love in the world from their family, a good quality food and a regular exercise regime, dogs still need to be protected with insurance.

The ever-increasing cost of living in the UK has resulted in a lot of people making cuts to financial outgoings that they no longer regard as ‘essential’. Pet insurance, without a doubt, is essential for helping you to make big savings in the long run.

At Waggel, we provide just one type of policy, a Lifetime policy. With a Lifetime policy, you will be able to claim up to your chosen Annual Limit year-after-year. Coverage applies to a wide range of health conditions, including dental, orthopaedics and cancer. Other benefits of our pet insurance include:

  • Up to £15,000 coverage

  • 24/7 unlimited access to our online vet service, to provide advice on everything from grooming assistance to concerns about your pet's health

  • Personally assigned UK-based vet nurse


We know that a high-quality diet, plenty of exercise and lots of love can be enough to keep any dog happy and healthy. However, a pet insurance policy is essential for protecting yourself against costly vet bills should the unexpected occur.

By giving yourself peace of mind through a Lifetime policy with Waggel, you can pour your energy into much more important things, like giving your dog a belly rub for the fifth time today.

We provide support and guidance to all customers, no matter how big or how small the concern may be.

Once you’re a Waggel member, you’ll get unlimited access to our Membership Platform where you can access exclusive deals and discounts each month. This includes 40% off your first two boxes of Butternut Box. Secure your free, no-strings-attached quote with us today to find out more.

Waggel Pet Insurance

Need more help? You're in luck if you're a Waggel Pet Insurance member. Along with our excellent coverage, we offer access to a 24/7 online vet to answer all your sticky questions, especially if you need grooming assistance.

Not a member? Why not get a quote now and cover your furry friend for a range of illnesses, all while enjoying our amazing perks and rewards.

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