In our blog post "Why cook for your dogs", we spoke about the many benefits of homemade dog food and healthy dog food recipes that can benefit you and your dog's life. In that, we talked about the idea of being able to choose your own protein source, manage food options for particularly picky pups and provide the same level of nutritional care as we pet owners do for ourselves for our dogs. While we touched on some of the benefits of switching to home-cooked pet food over pre-packaged kibble, let's deep dive into the benefits of feeding your dog a fresh and balanced diet.
Let's first discuss kibble. Much of the dry food our dogs are fed is made up of mainly carbohydrates, little moisture, and very little low-quality protein. When looking deeper into the history of kibble, it was designed in response to the great depression, in which meat was extremely expensive. During this time, dog food diet’s consisting of purely kibble seemed like the best option due to its accessibility, low cost, and efficiency. However, more information has become available over the years regarding kibble and its adverse effects on our dog’s health. Kibble is made of highly processed, cooked ingredients with little nutritional value that often contains many fillers, additives and toxins. These meals are often so highly processed that they lose any nutritional value they may have held by the time your dog eats it. While dogs may still be able to survive off of this type of food, it is clear the health benefits that come from fresh, human-grade food are worth exploring for dog owners.
So, let's talk about what dogs should eat: Fresh food, fresh ingredients! Why? Let's break it down.
Health Benefits of Fresh Food
When considering the harmful ingredients and processes that regular kibble goes through, it is without a doubt that fresh food can be beneficial to a dog’s diet and offer various health benefits just as it does for humans. Fresh foods such as apples and broccoli contain calcium and essential antioxidants and nutrients that are easy to incorporate into your dog’s diet. Further, by choosing the right foods and nutrients for your pup, studies show even small amounts of fresh food can help reduce health issues in dogs while still meeting their nutritional needs.
Skin issues and dry coats are often a result of the additives and artificial preservatives found in processed commercial dog food and kibble. Therefore, including fresh, nutrient-rich food into your dog’s diet with essential ingredients that aim to help improve skin quality and hydration, such as essential fatty acids, can create healthier skin and shinier coats for your pup.
A fresh diet produces fantastic benefits such as building a strong immune system and increasing energy levels and strength. High-quality ingredients can increase your dog's ability to stay active for longer, improve their digestive system, and can help fight illnesses. Further, a fresh food diet has been shown to increase your pet's lifespan by up to 20% as it can help them maintain healthier body weight compared to commercial pet food and processed foods (The Farmers Dog, 2017).
Adding fresh dog-friendly foods into your pet's diet can provide numerous benefits to your pet's overall physical health and well-being. We encourage you to take the time to consider your pup's health and start feeding them fresh foods! If you'd like to share your fresh homemade dog food recipes, you think we might like, be sure to tag us in it!
Llera, R., & Downing, R. (n.d.). Feeding Your Dog During Cancer Treatment. VCA Animal Hospitals.
The Farmers Dog. (2017). 6 Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Fresh, Real Food. Digest.