Stroll through your local pet store’s selection of dog food and you’ll likely be bombarded with a whole slew of choices, from organic dog food to grain-free to gluten-free balanced diets for dogs. These dog foods are great for different types of dogs - and more pet food manufacturers are prioritising our pups’ health, introducing the concept of natural, healthy eating.
For many dog owners, looking for all natural diet dog food options used to be tough. But now, dog food brands likeNUTRO are dedicating their brand to creating the best clean diet dog food products for our pups, even putting it in their slogan - “NUTRO. Feed Clean”. It’s now easier than ever to get your pet started. In fact, NUTRO’s nutritional single-protein dog food are built for different breeds and types of dogs.
Of course, it’s important to understand exactly what a natural diet for dogs consists of, and exactly why certain dog food options are labeled “natural”. Natural dog food should generally only consist of specific natural ingredients that have not gone through extra processing - other than to infuse further vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. These all natural options should not contain any additives, preservatives or artificial colors or flavors, preserving the original taste and nutritional value of their ingredients.
While “Natural” foods may still contain ingredients like grains or glutens that do go through minimal processing, foods labeled “All-Natural” on the other hand should contain no artificial ingredients at all. There are a lot more guidelines that make up a healthy dog food. Here are some to look out for:
- Recognizable, Single-source proteins like Chicken or Lamb. Protein ingredients should also be listed first, indicating that they make up a majority of the ingredients used to create that diet.
- A good mix of protein, fruits and vegetables
- Whole grain
- No filler foods like corn, wheat or any other type of low nutrition grain that increase the food amount without increasing the nutritional benefit
- Vital ingredients and nutrients like Omega-3 Fatty Acids or other vitamins
Another important factor of natural eating is that the dog food ingredients in these types of diets should be humanely raised, preferably in a free-range environment with no artificial chemicals or growth enhancers injected into them. But why choose to feed all natural food? What is the most suitable dog food and exactly what is healthy for dogs to eat?
#1 Back to the Basics
Looking into the roots of our pups, it’s easy to see why all an all natural diet for dogs might be beneficial. For one, our dogs’ ancestors ate natural, freshly hunted meat with scavenged fruits and vegetables on occasion - and so should our dogs. After all, our pups digestive system isn’t made for preservatives and other artificial additives.
While additional artificial preservatives help make life a little easier for pet parents by making commercial dog food last a little longer and become easier to prepare, the reality is that some of these chemicals and preservatives, like Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) can be carcinogenic and may also cause skin problems in highly sensitive pups. Instead, biologically appropriate dry dog food brands likeOrijen’s andAcana’s selection of dry dog food makes for a much improved, natural diet for dogs, by remaining true to our pup’s diet in the wild.
Regardless of the breed or stage of life your pup is at,Wellness’s range of dog foods are great options. With a focus on imitating your dog’s natural diet, they’re committed to delivering high quality natural dog foods that are food safe, and highly nutritional. Pet parents with more time on their hands could also try preparing The Grateful Dog’sfresh ready meals, to really cater to their dog’s needs.
#2 Know Your (Pet's) Food
Choosing the natural route is all about understanding your dog’s diets and where it comes from, includingunderstanding the labelling on our pup’s daily diet. So picking out human grade dog food made locally likePet Cubes’ range of single-source protein, frozen dog food are excellent for a cleaner diet.
In fact, reading up on the ingredient list and keeping yourself informed on your pup’s favourite natural-food focused brands likeStella & Chewy’s freeze dried dog food is essential. That kind of information can help us as pet parents make an informed decision when deciding on the right diet for our dog’s unique needs and lifestyle.
The best food for dogs to eat also avoids a great amount of junk or fillers that distract from the main nutrients and nutritional benefits of our dog’s daily diet. In fact, by taking away these fillers, your pup gets to enjoy more health benefits for less. Plus, a lot of these cheap fillers are grain-based - which in general can be linked to intestinal issues and allergies in some cases.
Bone broths likeThe Barkery’s Frozen Bone Broth are excellent and tasty ways to transition your dog into a more natural diet, especially if they’re picky. It’s also a great way to boost the nutritional value of any type of dog diet. Furthermore, freeze dried raw pet food mixers likeSmall Batch’s Bites are great ways to also introduce raw nutrition to your pet’s diet. They also utilise trustworthy suppliers and focus on giving pet parents reliable information on pet nutrition - to help our pups get the absolute best.
#3 Health is Wealth
Outside of understanding what your pup is eating, it’s also important to understand dog nutrition i.e. the health benefits of the food they’re consuming. Natural diets are one of the few doggy diets that aren’t restricted for dogs with certain sensitivities, making it a great springboard for you and your pup to break into the healthy dog diet scene, especially as single-source protein foods make it easy for pet parents to distinguish what causes allergic reactions and what doesn’t - narrowing down the list of foods suitable for their pup.
In general, the way that many dog food brands process their ingredients can also cause some health issues. Som studies even suggest that food processed via the very commonly utilized method of heat treatment become harder to digest and don’t give our dogs as much nutrients as they should.
In contrast, premium dog food brands likeZiwipeak’s make use of a slow air-drying to maintain the density and digestibility of raw dog food whilst destroying harmful bacteria and germs from getting to your pup.
Carna4’s Quick Baked Air Dried Dog Food also takes special care when producing their dog food, only heating up ingredients once throughout the quick process, and only at moderate temperatures. This helps strip illness-causing bacteria and germs from their protein of choice, while preserving naturally-occurring nutrients, enzymes and probiotics that help aid your pup’s digestion. The added benefit - it maintains the delicious natural aromas of their dog food!
While it might be hard to navigate through different brands and types of dog foods, making the conscious choice to feed natural, wholesome food will do wonders for your pup’s health and wellbeing, so it’s definitely worth the trouble. At the end of the day, we all want our pups to be healthy and glowing!
Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog.