Everyone knows that eating fresh food is important for our overall health, but what about our dogs?
Human diets have been consistently improving over time as we learn more about nutrition. People are realizing just how important the food that we put into our bodies is. Nature is nurture. Yet for some reason, the diets of our dogs haven’t gotten an update in decades. It begs the question – why do tons of dog owners still feed their pets highly processed dog food on a daily basis?
Most of the commercial pet food brands are devoid of a lot of nutritional value by the time the food actually hits your dog’s bowl. Sure, your dogs can survive on traditional commercial dog food, just like humans can technically “survive” on eating junk food every day.
The benefits of a fresh food diet are truly compelling. Keep reading on below to learn about 5 great benefits of feeding your dog fresh human-grade food.
#1 – Includes Whole Foods
You may have already heard about the nutritional benefits of eating whole foods right? Well this is also true for our dogs! When including whole foods into your dog's diet, they are getting all of the nutrition that an ingredient has to offer. For example, fresh food includes ingredients like whole peas rather than just pea starch. This means that dogs are getting more protein and fibre from the peas, rather than just the sugars in the pea starch. Because why take out the healthiest nutrients in your dog's diet, when they can just eat whole foods?
Including whole foods in your dog's diet also means that they are less processed. Gently cooked diets preserve the integrity of natural vitamins and minerals in each ingredient, making it a more nutritious overall diet.
#2 – Simplicity At It's Finest
Fresh food is much more simple than other diets and sometimes simple is best. Nutrition is based around 5 basic nutrients; protein, fibre, fat, essential vitamins and essential minerals. Fresh food ensures that these nutrients are met but with no extra additives. The ingredient list is easy to read and understand with full clarity.
Limited ingredient diets are also better for dogs with allergies and stomach sensitivities. This is because there are less ingredients to trigger your dog's immune response or upset their stomach.
#3 – Better Doggy Digestion
With fresh dog food, you are feeding your furry friend fresh and healthy food that is easy for them to digest. Food that is easier for dogs to digest means fewer and smaller stools, and more importantly, a happier and healthier dog.
Fresh food is more bioavailable to dogs and therefore more digestible. This is because it is lower in resistant fibre and higher in moisture and available nutrients. Higher digestibility equates to a greater accessibility of nutrients and a higher rate of absorption in the gastrointestinal system.
#4 – Boosts Hydration
Kibble diets are relatively low in water (only around 8-15% moisture), which does almost nothing for hydration. Fresh food contains at least 50% moisture! The extra water is great for a number of reasons. It boosts weight loss, increases the feeling of fullness, helps regulate temperature, lubricates joints and helps deliver nutrients throughout the body.
The extra moisture can also potentially help dogs with urinary and renal problems. Water helps to flush solutes, bacteria and other stone forming compounds out of the urinary system!
#5 – Additive Free
There are some pet food companies that unfortunately tweak their formulas to include unnecessary ingredients to improve their bottom line. Substituting ingredients like corn meal for actual protein is not the best approach to feeding dogs. Protein should always be the first ingredient on the list and with fresh food that is always the case. No fillers, food coloring, artificial flavours or other unnecessary ingredients here!
Take Home Message
Pet food is a very subjective topic and we're not saying that fresh food is absolutely necessary for every dog. Nutrition and diet should be tailored to a specific dog's specific needs. Fresh food does however have many benefits, wether it is used as a full meal or just a topper. You know that your dog is dining on fresh food that provides them with the nutrition they need to live their best life.