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Bugsy Air-Dried Raw Dog Food - Review

Inspired by a 17-year-old Labrador and a lifetime of caring for many furry friends at a shelter, Bugsy’s story began as Joanne Cooper set out to make a difference in the health and wellbeing of man’s best friend.

After years of research and product development, Bugsy’s team of vets and PhD nutritionists combined their knowledge of cutting-edge nutritional science and ancient healing philosophies to bring pet owners the best nutritional solution to maintain optimum health for their beloved pets as well as extend their lifespan.

We first discovered Bugsy’s range of functional treats and healthy snacks years ago but since then, Joanne's team also developed a large selection of raw meals (available from their stall at the Camberwell markets and online), dog supplements and more recently a convenient range of Air-Dried Raw dog food.

This range recently underwent a packaging refresh so we thought this was the perfect time to let our dogs sample their range of recipes, suitable for all life stages.

Introducing the Bugsy Air-Dried Raw Range

The Bugsy Air-Dried Raw Nutrition range uses only fresh human-grade meat and wholefoods ethically sourced from sustainable Australian farmers and suppliers. 
Having a diet rich in wholefoods is essential for maintaining the health of your pup and can make all the difference to your dog's digestion.

The range is meticulously handcrafted to be a bioavailable, complete and balanced diet.

This range is gently air-dried to retain nutrient integrity – protecting sensitive enzymes - with the sole purpose of promoting and optimising your dog’s health. 

There are no artificial additives, flavours, preservatives or synthetic supplementationThe additive of synthetic vitamins into commercial pet foods is due to the under compensation of nutrients in the product as a whole. However, an increase in metabolic stress is then placed on your pet leading to a compromised malnutrition of tissues and this can actually have psychological effects on your pet [1].

Importantly to us, the whole range is 100% Australian and is versatile enough to be used as a complete meal or as a meal topper.

While raw feeding is undoubtedly the most species appropriate diet for our dogs, not every pet parent has either the time or the freezer space to incorporate this into their daily routine and if you're heading out on holidays with your dog, convenience comes first!

If you’re a fan of a rotational diet and your dog has no known allergies to any protein, your dog(s) should equally enjoy all varieties. Plus all four flavours come in small packs (328g or 1.1kg), easy to store and take with you anywhere!

1) Air-Dried Raw Chicken promoting joint health & mobility 

This would be our top pick for our senior dogs (9+ years) thanks to the addition of Green-Lipped Mussel and Flaxseed Oil, Blueberries, Wild Marine Algae and many other superfoods!

This formula is also designed to improve your dog’s digestion and is a great option for dogs that are sensitive to red meats. As with all Bugsy’s recipes, it uses whole meat, bones & organs following the BARF diet model.

One ingredient we’ve never seen in dog food is Maitake Mushroom, a natural cellular protectant, prebiotic fibre and anti-inflammatory agent.

2) Air-Dried Raw Beef with a higher calorie content for active dogs

With a minimum 42% Crude Protein and 33% Crude Fat, this formula is ideally suited for underweight dogs (484 kcal/100g) and those picky eaters who struggle to finish their bowl.

In addition to Australian Grass-Feed Beef (whole meat, bones & organs), you’ll find Pumpkin, Carrot Fibre, Parsley, Beetroot, Maitake Mushroom, Wild Marine Algae etc.

Organic Kelp Ascophyllum Nodossum (often sold as a dog supplement) is an interesting addition that helps support healthy energy metabolism and also supports your dog's oral health by curbing the build up of tartar.

3) Air-Dried Kangaroo helping with weight management

This variety would have to be your pick also for dogs suffering from food allergy sensitivities.

With Kangaroo (a naturally lean meat at 362 kcal/100g, bones & organs) the No. 1 ingredient, this formula delivers a 66% Crude Protein (minimum) content. And with only 10% Crude Fat, it is also a good choice to reduce symptoms of IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease and Pancreatitis.

With similar vegetables and superfoods inclusions and also Olive Extract, which offers anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective benefits for pets.

4) Air-Dried Turkey for healthy skin and coat

Grinning dogs don't lie!

Turkey (along with Kangaroo) is one of our dogs’ all-time favourites – possibly not great news for the male brush-turkeys brazenly stepping into our garden if they ever connected the dots...

Turkey protein is a great choice for improved digestion and gut health as well as immunity support and reducing inflammation.

Like all varieties previously mentioned, it includes Green-Lipped Mussel, a proven superfood that can help support your dog’s joint health.

Our Experience with Bugsy Air-Dried Raw Dog Food

There’s always a feeling of anticipation (and copious barking) when a box with enticing smalls lands on our doorstep and it’s extremely hard to prevent the cat from sitting on it and the dogs from tearing it open before any pictures are taken…

Blink and you missed it - just like the sun this spring!

The first thing you'll notice with the Bugsy Air-Dried Raw dog food is its shape (ref. our Air-Dried Chicken image earlier). Instead of the small round pellets you may be used to, this food is bigger, squarer but all pieces vary in sizes (some rectangle, other longer strips etc.).

We liked this because it definitely made our dogs crunch on their food rather than swallowing it, which can only be good for their digestion. This also means the air-dried pieces worked very well in our interactive chew toys as they fell out less easily!

Bugsy's recommendation to fully transition your dog to their food 
(up to 9-10 days) is quite conservative, however if you have a dog with a very sensitive tummy like our Mal Porthos, it's sensible advice.

With the small Variety Pack sizes, we started adding 25g, then 50g, then 75g etc. until we realised we had to order another Variety Pack to keep going!

We appreciated the detailed Feeding Guide at the back of each Pack with detailed feeding advice for Inactive/Senior, Active/Working Dogs or Dogs on a Weight Loss diet as this makes a huge difference in the amounts you should be feeding them (from simple to double!).

For example, a 20kg dog trying to lose weight would eat only 179g of Air-Dried Kangaroo daily vs. 358g for an active / working dog. This would make a big difference after just a few days!

How do you get started?

If you have a multi-dog household (or a very hungry pupper, happy to try anything), our recommendation would be to start with the cost-effective Variety Pack | Air-Dried Taste Pack allowing them to sample all four flavours!

Be like Aramis! Always read the full list of ingredients and nutritional analysis on your food...


Our Verdict:

To summarise, Bugsy Air-Dried Raw is designed to give your dog everything they need nutritionally (and nothing they don't!):

✔️ Ethically sourced human-grade meat
✔️ Single protein recipe
✔️ Complete and balanced diet using wholefoods
✔️ No grains, gluten or glycerin
✔️ No synthetic vitamin premix or preservatives

We also think that Bugsy’s new packaging is a perfect reflection of their food ethos – honest and classic with nothing superfluous added for show...

The use of human-grade meat balanced with whole foods comes at a cost: 
$63/kg for all varieties apart from Kangaroo at $66.45/kg, even buying the largest size (1.1kg pack) on a subscription, which will put this food out of reach of many pet parents' budget.

We're hoping that with increasing volumes and possibly larger bag sizes in the future, the cost will come down to allow more dogs to taste the Bugsy difference.

We highly recommend to browse their range of supplements, functional treats and snacks as there's a lot to love about this entire range crafted for your pet's optimal health, wellness and longevity
It definitely has our pack's paw of approval!

Price & Where to Buy from:

RRP: from $24.95-$26.95 (328g pack); $86.55 (Taste Pack x 4) at

With all options, you can save an additional 5% by selecting the subscription option so you’ll never run out!

If you’re lucky to live in Melbourne, why not visit Bugsy’s stall at the Camberwell Fresh Food Market? Your dog can sample food and treats and also receive tailored nutritional and health advice (and a pat or a hug upon request) from Joanne!
Frozen Raw Food orders can also be picked up from the Market or the Bugsy's warehouse (Sunshine West) and now also shipping to VIC, NSW and QLD.

For international friends reading this review, worldwide shipping is available and trade enquiries welcome.

You can follow Bugsy’s Pet Shop on Facebook at and on Instagram @thebugsyshop


[1] Foods, P. The Benefits of Whole Food Nutrition in Veterinary Medicine.

Disclaimer: We received a Bugsy Variety-Pack - Air-Dried Taste Pack (4 varieties x 328g in order to complete our Review. We also ordered a second one to form a more educated opinion.

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