THE BENEFITS OF GOING FRESH.
What if our pooches could live a healthier, longer and happier life? Care to listen?
The basis of food
Let's talk about food. The food we eat provide the foundation of what we are. The nutrients from the food we eat keeps our cells from regenerating and systems running.
Like humans, dogs can benefit a whole lot from fresh food in their diet. Food made with highly-processed and filled with preservatives doesn't give our body much to work with.
How good will we feel if we are eating food that are sitting on shelves for months and even years? How about eating fast food our food out of a can for our entire life!
Road to a healthier pup!
Wait, there's more to it!
Fresh food that are lightly cooked preserves the nutritional integrity of the ingredients. Protein levels, diverse microbiomes and moisture level remains high, making it easily digestible compared to dry foods.
Higher digestibility equates to a greater accessibility of nutrients and a higher rate of absorption in the gastrointestinal system. - Yes to smaller and firmer stools!
Fresh food can help with weight control as you can easily opt out from heavy starchy fillers such as corn, wheat, rice, potatoes that are commonly in commercial dog food.
Better skin, shinier coats
Making the switch to fresh food from will also eliminate the amount processed ingredients that causes dry dull coats. Providing natural sources of fatty acids can naturally improve skin and coats over time.
The benefits of a fresh diet
Incorporating fresh ingredients into a dog's diet has proven to reap many benefits.
Some of the huge benefits include having more time with your pup. A study in Belgium that gathered data from more than 500 domestic dogs over 5 year period found that owners that fed dogs homemade diet vs commercial pet food had a life expectancy of 3 years longer!
Another study found that adding some fresh vegetables to your dog's diet decelerated cancer cell growth by 70%!
More reasons to skip by-products
Limited ingredient fresh food diets means less triggers to your dog's immune response. Natural vitamins and nutrients that come from fresh meats and vegetables e.g. vitamin A, C, zinc help your pup to build a higher immunity - Phew, fewer vet visits!
Substituting ingredients like corn meal for actual protein can mean trouble for some dogs. Hence, pups with chronic allergies, skin conditions and sensitive stomachs could also find relief on a fresh food diet as they are free from artificial additives.
Fresh cooked food, compared to raw food are safe from pathogen contamination, as bacteria are killed during the light cooking process.
let's talk about commercial.
Some things to consider about kibble
“Processed pet food, including pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, goes through high heat processing, which is designed to kill harmful bacteria...” FDA.
An issue with kibble, even for higher-end brands is that they are probably made out of highly processed and/or feed grade ingredients (e.g. 4D meats). Meat meal, like chicken meal is commonly a primary ingredient in kibble. Meat meal is often made out of meat that are not fit for human consumption.
Fillers such as high-glycemic carbohydrates e.g. rice, wheat, corn are often used to bind the kibble together. This not the healthiest for dogs too. High carb contents could cause high insulin spikes and can be metabolically stressful for dogs.
Potential carcinogens lurking in kibble
When proteins such as poultry, meat and fish go through extrusion, studies have found that one of the most prevalent carcinogens found in dog food is heterocyclic amines. When sugars, starches and amino acids go through extrusion - high heat cooking process, they create carcinogens known as acrylamides. These carcinogens are known to contribute to cancer growth.
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), are nasty chemical preservatives that are added to oils (fats) as preservatives that can be found in pet food. BHA, is currently one of the known carcinogens.
What about premium kibble?
Apart from the eye-catching labels and fancy names, these kibble, like their counterparts are subjected to a similar cooking process, called extrusion. Basically, ingredients are processed under high heat/rendered and dehydrated to form the small little pellets of food.
The truth is, after such high heat rendering process, the molecular structure of protein are changed and denatured; enzymes are rendered inactive and beneficial microflora (good bacteria) are no longer viable. Unfortunately, many bioavailable nutrients in kibble are lost.
To make up for the lost of nutritional value, synthetic vitamins and minerals may be added to meet with AAFCO's criteria. However, studies show that these synthetic vitamins can actually cause more harm than good to our pets.