With so much emerging information about pet food and what really goes into it, it's hard to know which direction to take your dog's nutrition. We encourage you to read labels, research dog food companies and ask questions about what they put into their products. By making more informed decisions about your pet’s nutrition, you are putting a demand on pet food companies to make safer, more natural and healthier products for your furry family member. So what’s the best direction to go? Dry food? Canned? Refrigerated? What about raw? With so much buzz about raw pet food these days, it’s easy to get misinformed about this up-and-coming category of commercially available pet food.
While we do our research to supply our customers with the most carefully hand-picked brands of dry, canned and refrigerated pet foods, a diet that incorporates some if not all raw food is still the most biologically, species appropriate diet you can feed your pet. Dry kibble (even the best ones) is still extremely processed in a way that completely denatures the whole food ingredients that are used. The company then has to add vitamins/minerals (sometimes synthetic) back into the food to make it nutritionally whole again. And it’s not only about the way it’s processed, it’s about what goes into raw food that makes it a healthier long-term option for your dog or cat. If your dog or cat suddenly found herself out in the wild, she would seek out a high protein, high moisture, low-fat diet. These three elements are most crucial because it’s what your pet’s body thrives on, digests the easiest and inherently craves. Most commercially available, reputable raw food companies will meet these essential requirements. (We say commercially available because just throwing your dog or cat a piece of raw chicken from the grocery store is NOT a balanced raw diet.) And while dry food may not be causing your pet any obvious issues now, remember that dogs and cats are resilient animals; their bodies can adjust to an inappropriate diet for a period of time, but that doesn’t mean long-term damage is out of the question.
Don’t want to make the full-on switch to a raw diet? Can’t afford it? No judgement here. We advocate feeding your pet the most biologically appropriate foods THAT YOU CAN AFFORD. If that means you only add a patty of Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried raw food to your dog’s dry food everyday, then he/she is better off than having no raw food at all. Feed raw as a treat, a meal replacement, or mix it in with what you’re currently feeding. When it comes to raw, some is better than none. Also, don't be afraid to look into dehydrated or air dried food mixes. They have been processed at lower temperatures than dry kibble and offer much needed moisture to your pet's diet when you rehydrate with water at home.
The more raw you add, the more physical benefits you will start seeing in your pet. It can help your pet maintain an ideal weight, keep their teeth clean and breath fresh AND can help keep their stool a healthy consistency AS NATURE INTENDED! Still not convinced? You can cook for your dog! You have more control over what goes into the food and it's the least processed meal you can feed your friend. Just make sure you follow a biologically appropriate recipe that will ensure that your pet gets all the vitamins, nutrients and trace minerals she needs. Or, let us cook for you! Visit www.phoebeandlouies.com and check out our homemade superfood stews for dogs, EXCLUSIVELY at Paw Naturals!