Believe the hype: Why you should be feeding your dog fresh dog food

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While convenience can be the easiest way to go, when it comes to your pet’s nutritional needs, shortcuts can come at the expense of good health. What we feed our pets is of vital importance to their overall wellbeing. That’s why, just like for humans, fresh food is the best way to go for your dog.

Long-Term Impact of Convenience-Based Dog Food

The vast majority of our food chain, and the food industry as a whole focuses on cheap, prepackaged, commercial ingredients. This typically means the foods we eat are overly cooked, heavily processed, low quality, nutrient scarce, convenience foods enhanced through artificial means. Over time the impact of this type of eating affects our weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, cardiovascular system, and overall health. The same is true for dogs who aren’t fed fresh food.

The top two diseases dogs battle are cancer and diabetes, which can be from genetic or environmental causes. In dogs, the number one cause of diabetes is due to obesity. Unfortunately, this disease often comes coupled with additional chronic degenerative diseases, auto-immune diseases, allergies, and liver disease.

Price over quality. Price over health.

Dog Food Concerns Today

In recent years we’ve seen a rise of DCM (canine dilated cardiomyopathy) cases. To date, evidence points researchers to study the growly reliance on plant-based proteins and taurine deficiencies in dog food. It’s important to note that most dogs that have developed DCM were only being fed dry dog food.

The increase of DCM was first thought to be grain-related. While all grains are not created the same, many are used as fillers in dog food. Many dog food companies use these ingredients as carbohydrate sources in pet food:

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Beet Pulp
  • Canola
  • Potato
  • Rice

 

Also, for protein, many dog food manufacturers use meat or fish ‘meal’ and byproducts versus whole-sourced animal muscle naturally rich in taurine. Meal tends to be a dry, powder-like product made from slaughterhouse and fish processing factory remnants. However, if an ingredient lists beef meal or chicken meal, the food may be of higher quality. For pet owners who feed kibble, the focus should be on the specific type of meal used as an ingredient.

Lastly, while fat is important in dog foods, it best if it’s not in the top four (4) ingredients of kibble. Why? Because dry dog food with fat listed in the first four ingredients also greatly increases the risk of gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), a twisting of the stomach. This is because it’s thought to slow the stomach-emptying process

Supplementing Dry Dog Food

Simply by adding fresh nutrients to your pet’s diet, you can change the health of your dog. A Purdue University study found that by adding fresh vegetables to dogs fed kibble they were healthier and much less likely to develop bladder cancer. Green leafy vegetables resulted in a 90% reduced risk, and yellow and orange vegetables reduced the risk by 70%.

It’s not just hype, feeding fresh foods to your dog can make a huge difference in their health!

Why You Should Be Feeding Your Dog Fresh Dog Food

Knowing that by adding fresh vegetables to your dog’s food can alter their health for the better, why wouldn’t you want to feed them fresh dog food? It isn’t just the addition of vegetables that can improve a dog’s health, it’s also the quality of other ingredients.

High quality proteins

Protein helps maintain the health of a dog’s muscles, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. It also provides enzymes, key hormones, and essential and nonessential amino acids for muscle development and repair. There are 10 essential amino acids that a dog cannot produce that, in part, come from protein. Human-grade protein is of the best quality as it meets the highest level of FDA approval. Ancient grains, like quinoa and chia seeds, also offer quality, complementary protein.

Organs

High-quality organs provide a good amount of natural vitamins and trace minerals. Liver is a natural source of vitamin A, B vitamins, B12, folic acid, and iron. Heart offers co-enzyme Q10, vitamin B12, potassium, selenium, phosphorus, and zinc. Kidneys provide vitamins B6 and 12, riboflavin, iron, folate, and niacin. It’s important to feed dogs well-sourced organs as some, like liver, are used by animals to filter toxins.

Healthy Fats

All fats are not the same, and this is important to note as dogs require 4-10% fat in their meals depending on size and energy demands. This percentage is higher than the amount needed by humans. Fats are converted to energy, offer a great source of essential nutrients omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, increase brain function, and are anti-inflammatory. The type of fat a dog requires is dependent upon the protein source to be balanced.

Antioxidants

Natural antioxidants neutralize free radicals which cause oxidative stress and inflammation. Free radicals increase with age and disease, as well as poor nutrition. Antioxidants come from fruits and vegetables like apples, blueberries, cranberries, phytoplankton, and herbs like rosemary.

What’s Not In Fresh Dog Food

Just as important as what is in a dog’s fresh food is also what is not in the meals. By feeding a dog fresh food, the meal is free of fillers, by-products, artificial flavors, and preservatives. All of which offer no nutritional value whatsoever and can be harmful to pets.

Homemade Dog Food Delivery Options

Due to the number of fresh pet food home delivery choices available, there’s a need to review the top options. Knowing that fresh dog food meals with wholesome, high-quality ingredients are just a website click away is such a relief. Especially during this busy time of the season.

Best overall: Ollie

Freshly cooked, customized, and delivered to your front door, Ollie’s meal plans are uniquely developed based on a dog’s age, breed, activity level, allergies, and ideal weight. Formulas and cooking methods are developed by a canine nutritionist to retain the highest level of nutrition and to meet the AAFCO established requirements. Ollie is a direct service, and that is reflected in their cost controls. Pricing varies depending upon the size of the dog, with the rate for meals for a small dog averaging $2 a day.

Meals

Options include beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb. Ollie offers human-grade ingredients, high-quality US and Australian-sourced meat, fruits and veggies, and superfoods, and absolutely no fillers, by-products, artificial flavors or preservatives. Each meal is sized for a day’s worth of food to avoid waste and comes in individual, easy to open packages.

Example

Some of the whole foods included in the beef menu are: beef, beef heart, sweet potato, peas, potatoes, beef kidney, carrots, beef liver, spinach, chia seed, blueberries, fish oil, and rosemary. Protein: 12%
Fat: 10%
Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 68%

Delivery

Pet parents can schedule the ideal day for delivery, and determine specific frequencies. This is helpful for vacations or to increase or decrease the amount or type of meals delivered. Each delivery has information about the lucky dog who will eat the meals and includes a personal-sized food scooper, container, and feeding directions. Meals are delivered in a well-insulated recyclable box and packed with dry ice.

Verdict

The individualized attention given to a dog’s needs can’t be overlooked. Not all dogs are alike. The use of whole foods, along with the proper types and amounts of fats is critical to providing balanced, wholesome meals. Dog parents can relax knowing they are feeding their furry best friend hormone-free chicken, high-quality, grain-free beef and turkey that comes from human-grade farms in the US, as well as premium, pasture-raised, free-range lambs from the US and Australia.

Top pick due to the use of unique, health-filled ingredients! Chia seeds, blueberries, spinach, cod liver oil, eggs, turkey liver, hear, cranberries, and coconut oil are surprisingly unique ingredients when it comes to fresh food dog food delivery. These items deliver nutrient-rich results. Applaud Ollie for using these ingredients!

Currently, Ollie is offering 20% off your first box, but you can get 50% off through this link for a limited time only.

Farmer’s Dog

The Farmer’s Dog delivers human-grade meat and veggies in simple recipes that are made in USDA kitchens. Veterinarian approved meals are made fresh to exceed AAFCO industry standards. The Farmer’s Dog excludes meal-based protein, fillers, and preservatives, and addresses allergy symptoms in their client membership process. Food is in mid-size, non-resealable bags great for storing in the freezer, and will require proper storage of food not eaten in one day. Costs average $4.50 a day for a 25-pound dog.

Meals

Options include beef, turkey, and pork. The Farmer’s Dog offers whole food ingredients that are human-grade and sourced from ‘reputable food suppliers, local farms, and other human food purveyors that meet USDA standards.’ Meals are balanced due to a mixture of proprietary ingredients including “dicalcium phosphate, zinc gluconate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, copper gluconate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and cholecalciferol.”

Example

Some of the whole foods included in the beef menu are: USDA Beef, sweet potato, lentils, carrots, USDA beef liver, water, kale, sunflower seeds, and fish oil.
Protein: 11%
Fat: 8%
Fiber: 1.7%
Moisture: 66%

Delivery

Meals are delivered in a recyclable cardboard box and biodegradable insulation. Deliveries are scheduled for every four (4) weeks. Modifications can be made to change addresses, rush, delay, or edit the amount of food.

Verdict

A great option, but offers limited animal proteins. Also, while an individualized approach is on the front end, very little in terms of ingredients occurs based on input. The use of whole foods is welcome, however, transparency in sourcing information is recommended, as minimal in-depth details are found on The Farmer’s Dog website. The vacuum-packed packages are great for freezer space and will require proper storage after opening.

NomNomNow

NomNomNow sources whole, restaurant-quality ingredients, that they cook fresh in adherence with high food safety standards. They have a heavy reliance on ‘restaurant-quality, good enough to eat’ language, and state that they inspect every ingredient. Portioned meals are developed by an in-house veterinarian, designed to exceed AAFCO standards and delivered every four (4) weeks. Like Ollie, NomNomNow is individualized to each dog but excludes allergy information. Costs are kept on average of $33 per week for a 10 to 15-pound dog.

Meals

Options include beef, turkey, chicken, and pork. NomNomNow offers whole food ingredients that are sourced in the USA and are USDA approved for human consumption. Meals are completely balanced with a custom mixture of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, Iron, Iodine, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Choline, and Taurine. NomNomNow does not include organs in their mixes and instead relies on supplementation.

Example

Some of the whole foods included in the beef menu are: ground beef, russet potatoes, eggs, carrots, peas, fish oil, sunflower oil, vinegar, and taurine.
Protein: 10%
Fat: 4.5%
Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 73%

Delivery

Deliveries are scheduled upon initial order and then delivered every four (4) weeks. Each delivery comes in an insulated container with feeding directions. Changes to the delivery schedule can be made to accommodate vacations and other needs.

Verdict

A rather individualized approach towards meals is beneficial, improvements could be made as it relates to food allergies. The use of whole foods is fabulous, however, assurances of coordinated types of fat for specific proteins is recommended as there appears to be a strong reliance on fish oil. Additional recommendations include sourcing information for protein. The vacuum-packed meals are space-saving.

Disclaimer

Our team at Insider Envy are not veterinarians but care deeply about dogs. Feeding your dog healthy and balanced meals made out of real, fresh ingredients from places like Ollie may help to lower your dog’s risk of disease, but it doesn’t eliminate it. If you believe your dog is at risk for DCM or any other disease, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.

Update: Ollie is extending a limited time offer to our readers. Buy Ollie now through this article and receive an exclusive 50% off your first box for a limited time only.

At InsiderEnvy we only promote products we love. We participate in a small number of affiliate programs, meaning we may receive compensation when you buy items after clicking a link on InsiderEnvy. We appreciate your support!

by Insider Envy Staff

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