Top Reasons Why You Should Feed Your Dog Fresh Food
“You are what you eat.” -Anthelme Brillat-Savari
Eating well or eating clean is not a concept for us humans only, but for your fur-babies too. If you want to keep your dogs in good and optimum health and ensuring that they eat clean, fresh food is one of the best ways to go.
There has been a rise in pet owners who feed their dogs with fresh food. The question remains though, what is fresh food? Why feed fresh food?
Let’s go back in time, a time when dogs were not yet domesticated when they lived out in the wild. Then, dogs ate small animals like birds, squirrels, mice and rabbits - mostly animals that are herbivores.
By eating these types of animals, not only do dogs eat their flesh but they also consume the internal organs of these small animals. This is where they get their “greens” from.
These greens have already been digested by the killed animal, making it an easy source of fibre which aids in the digestion of the dogs and gives them a healthy gut.
So, history is proof that dogs have always been eating fresh food and are able to receive the needed nutrients in their diet through it.
Is fresh food better for dogs?
Since dogs have mostly been domesticated and are unable to “catch” their own prey, dog owners can assist by preparing cooked or raw food for their buddies.
What makes fresh food better when you have a wide range of choices when it comes to commercial pet food?
Raw or cooked food do not have artificial chemicals, preservatives or fillers that can be found in commercial food. Deduct all these from your dog’s food and you will be feeding it human-grade food, meaning you can expect an all-natural and fresh diet for your pet.
There are also many benefits to giving your dog a fresh food diet:
1. Prevention of Disease
A study by the American Veterinary Medical Association found that dogs who eat yellow-orange vegetables and green leafy vegetables about three times a week have lower rates of urinary bladder carcinomas.
Food produced from pet food plants may also contain low-quality ingredients or ingredients that are rejected for human consumption. This means you may be feeding your dog “garbage” and setting their bodies up for sickness in the future.
These types of pet food are equivalent to our human “junk food”. What happens when we consume too much junk food? Our bodies start to feel lethargic, we feel bloated and in the long run, liable to diseases. The same applies to our beloved pal.
2. Weight management
We all want our dogs to be at their most optimal state, and this can only be achieved if they are within their ideal body weight.
Commercial pet food is loaded with starch. Starch like corn, rice, and potatoes are often included in commercial pet food and this leads to weight gain.
Freshly prepared food, on the other hand, is packed with the goodness and wholesome nutrients that are needed by your dog.
3. Increase lifespan
Fresh food is also said to increase your dog’s lifespan. Studies show that dogs that are fed with a fresh diet lived an extra two and a half years compared to their other friends that are fed with commercial dog food.
As mentioned earlier, there are preservatives, dyes and synthetic nutrients present in commercial food, and this will eventually take a toll on your fur kids’ health.
4. Improves digestive system
When we feed fresh food to our dogs, we need to ensure that there is a good mix of vegetables and meat. So, a 50-50 mix which includes both meat and veggies can provide the needed nutrients to your dog. The veggies provide good sources of fibre which aids digestion.
5. Good sleep
Have you ever gone to bed only to toss and turn because you have a tummy upset? The same goes for your dog. If she keeps tossing and turning and breathing heavily, it’s a sign that there are issues with her digestion.
By feeding your dog fresh food, you can eliminate foods that can potentially upset your dogs’ stomach.
6. Smarter puppies
Fresh food that is rich in antioxidants such as blueberries and blackberries are able to improve your dog’s brain. The rich pigment in these foods prevents cognitive decline and enhances memory.
7. Shiny coat
Who doesn’t want a beautiful mane? Just like us, our dog looks and feels better with beautiful skin and fur. Fresh food can help correct skin problems and give your dog a silky and thick coat because of eating nutritious food.
What is the best fresh food for dogs?
Now that we know that fresh food is better, what are the best types of fresh food to feed your dog?
Fresh food can be either given in the form of gently cooked meals or raw. As long as they consist of all the needed nutrients, you are on your way to good health. Make sure to include a variety of flavours and different nutrients.
Here’s a quick guide to a nutritiously yummy diet:
- Beef (ground beef, cheek meat, stewing beef)
- Turkey (ground turkey, boneless thighs, breast meat, tenderloin)
- Lamb (stewing lamb, ground lamb, shoulder or breast meat)
- Pork (pork shoulder or butt, cushion meat, boneless rib meat, loin)
- Chicken (boneless thighs, breast meat)
Vegetables and fruits:
Berries (blueberries, blackberries)
As pet parents, we understand that time can be constrained. If you need a helping hand, we are here to help. Check out our gentle-cooked meals and raw meals which are ready to be fed to your fur kids.
Is raw or cooked food better for dogs?
When comparing the two types of fresh food, both have their pros.
Raw food is basically a raw meat diet that is uncooked, unprocessed and whole. It is given as is, with no other added ingredients.
Giving raw food to dogs can improve digestion, and weight control, give more stamina and strengthen the immune system.
If you choose to give raw food, here is a guide to all that you need to know about raw feeding.
Gently cooked food, on the other hand, is food that is heated or cooked to kill pathogens such as salmonella and e-coli.
Although the food is cooked, the nutrition count in it still remains high as compared to highly processed dog food. Slow-cooked meals also provide a variety of food sources which you can choose from (meat, vegetables, fruits, grains). This helps keep your dog in an ideal weight and health.
Want to know more about fresh cooked dog food? This guide to gently cooked dog food can provide more details.
Both raw and gently cooked dog food are equally good for your dog. Our suggestion is to alternate between feeding your buddies with raw and gently cooked food to gain all the wholesome benefits of a complete balanced diet.
Is fresh dog food better than dry?
Most definitely fresh dog food is better than dry and canned food. Fresh food contains all the natural nourishments that your dog needs. It has no additives, preservatives and fillings that can harm your pal in the long run.
How can I keep my pet food fresh?
So, you have decided to give fresh food a try, but how do you keep it fresh?
When you cook dog food, ensure that the food is fully cooled down before portioning it out into reusable containers. These cooked foods can be safely kept in the refrigerator for three days. If you have cooked more, these foods can be placed in the freezer and defrosted as and when needed.
It is important to source for fresh meat and especially fish when you choose to give your dog a raw diet. Remember that a variety of nutrients will be obtained only if you include different sources of fresh raw meat.
As responsible pet owners, we must look into what is best for our pets. Research and sourcing the best types of food to give our dogs is always an ongoing process.
Each dog is different and each requires a different set of nutrition and diet, thus whole fresh food is the better option as you will be able to control what goes into your pets’ body. What could be better than fresh food given raw or slow-cooked by pet owners, made with full of love?