What Are The Risks Of Raw Food Diets For Dogs
Pet owners should be aware that there can be some risks associated with raw foods:
- Health Issues. Raw dog foods can offer threats to human and dog health. This is because of harmful bacteria that are found in raw meat.
- Unbalanced Diet. An unbalanced diet may damage the health of dogs, especially if it is given for an extended period. Pet parents should be careful that the diet should contain all the required nutrients.
- Bone Hazards. There is a potential for whole bones to choke your dog, break their teeth, or even cause an internal puncture which could be fatal.
Tips On What To Look For In Quality Freeze Dried Dog Food
Your dogs food plays a huge role in his overall health, so make sure you pick out the best quality dog food available.
Regardless of if you are feeding your dog kibble, raw food, or freeze dried dog food, its important to understand your dogs nutritional needs.
All dogs need a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins and minerals to stay happy and healthy. Furthermore, puppies, senior dogs, and dogs of different sizes need certain foods specified for their age, weight, and activity level.
When looking for the best quality dog food, we suggest looking for foods that are made with all the good ingredients that support a dogs overall healthy lifestyle.
For the healthiest dog, look for freeze dried dog foods that:
- Contain a high level of omega fatty acids
- Are free of any additives like artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
And remember, not all freeze dried dog foods are intended to be full meals. Many are mixers, toppers, or supplements so be sure to read the packages carefully so you get the product you are looking for.
Of course, one of the cons of this type of dog food is that finding a good, quality brand can be difficult, which is why we have listed some of our favorite brands below. Youre oh so welcome.
It’s More Nutritious And Healthier Than Kibble
If your dog seems to have a hard time digesting kibble, it may be time to consider an alternative. In many cases, gently-processed dehydrated food is often easier for dogs to digest because it doesn’t contain the artificial preservatives, by-products, fillers, and other ingredients that often give dogs with sensitive stomachs a hard time. And unfortunately, these ingredients are found in many mainstream kibbles.
Likewise, dehydrated food is able to meet the protein needs of most dogs much more efficiently than heavily processed food. Many pets require a high-protein diet thats difficult to meet feeding only kibble. Dehydrated dog food has a greater concentration of the protein sources that your dog needs at all life stages. Dehydrated dog food is often the best way to give your pup lean and healthy protein.
And unlike kibble, even pickier dogs love it and tend to have an easy time transitioning from dry food to dehydrated food. If your dog is a finicky eater and needs to gain weight, dehydrated food may be able to help them consume more calories and have a more balanced diet.
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How Do You Store Freeze
Its best to store freeze-dried or dehydrated dog food in their original packaging or container. You also need to tightly reseal the package after opening it. Store it in a cool, dry place and ensure you keep it out of sunlight and damp areas.
Some experts also suggest opening the bag of food and placing it in a dog food storage container. This will help in preserving the freshness of the food and protect it from rodents and insects.
It is not recommended to refrigerate dehydrated food as it can absorb moisture. Since the goal is to remove moisture in the first place, adding moisture can change its state and make it go rancid quickly. However, if you wish to freeze it, we suggest rehydrating it first and dividing it into individual portions before placing it in the freezer.
Freeze-dried dog foods are best stored in mylar bags. Mylar bags are made from metalized polyester, which blocks sunlight and locks out heat and moisture. They are great for storing food long term. You can also store freeze-dried foods in airtight, nitrogen-packed cans.
If you cant use mylar bags or nitrogen packed cans, keep your freeze-dried dog food in its original container or transfer it to an airtight container. It will stay fresher when you protect it from moisture. Just like dehydrated dog food, you can rehydrate freeze-dried food and place individual portions in the freezer.
Who Should Use Raw Foods
Raw foods are an option for dog owners who want to give their pups fresh food with minimal processing. Raw foods are made with fresh, raw ingredients that have not been cooked or processed in any way. This helps to preserve all of the nutrients and enzymes in the food. Raw foods can be a bit messier and more time consuming to prepare, but they may be worth the effort for you.
- See Also: Raw vs. Cooked Dog Food
Recommended Reading: How To Balance Homemade Dog Food
It Delivers The Best Nutrition Possible
Cats and dogs thrive in the wild on a natural diet. Obviously, it wonât be cooked food.
This is the best diet because it delivers the utmost nutrition to felines and canines to chase, hunt, and eat their prey.
If the raw diet can provide the nutrition to thrive in the wild, your indoor pets will obviously get the optimum nutrition from the food.
Also, premium freeze-dried raw cat food from popular brands like Dr. Marty Pets and Ultimate Pet Nutrition.
They prepare their pet food formula with fresh, all-natural, and even exotic ingredients.
Such a blend is more complete, balanced, and wholesome for pets. So itâs actually better food than what dogs and cats get to eat in the wild.
On the other hand, industrially processed kibbles are tailored by mixing different ingredients and cooking them.
Well, this disrupts the natural ratio of macro and micronutrients present in the food.
However, it doesnât mean that those kibbles are not palatable.
All brands have to conform to the AAFCO guidelines of the minimum levels of nutrients available in the food.
But thatâs still far from the nutritiousness of the raw food or freeze-dried raw food.
Best Overall: Trudog Freeze
Your dog is sure to enjoy the taste of TruDog Freeze-Dried Dog Food, our choice for the #1 Best Overall freeze-dried dog food. There are four different flavor options , and each flavor uses 100% meat in the recipe and does not include any fillers or preservatives.
This all-meat raw food is easy on a dogs digestive system. As a filler-free food, it is also a good option if your dog is allergic to ingredients founds in many other foods. Most dogs love the taste of this all-natural food, and you can feel confident knowing youre feeding your dog beneficial ingredients that will help them stay healthy.
The two main drawbacks of this food are that some dogs refuse to eat it and its expensive.
Read Also: Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Dog Food
Is Raw Dog Food Right For Your Pup
If youre looking for a healthier diet for your dog, the best raw dog food brands should be considered. Raw dog food can be great for picky eaters or dogs who arent getting enough nutrients in their current diets. However, raw food can be pricy and may take more time to prepare for your dog, so its not for everyone. If you dont want to have to keep your dogs food cold, you can opt for some of the best freeze dried raw dog food for easier storage.
No matter what brand you choose, the best raw dog food diet can help your pup have a healthier lifestyle. Any of the brands on this list are great options to switch to, as long as you provide a gradual transition.
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Preparation Of Raw Food Is Time Consuming
Feeding your bestie a raw food diet takes time and preparation. As germs like listeria and salmonella bacteria are a risk, you must take food safety precautions to prevent your dog or your family from becoming sick.
When handling raw pet food, you must properly wash your hands and any surrounding surfaces. It takes a long time, to put it mildly, to prepare, sanitize, and research proper raw food feeding.
Home-prepared raw food might not be for you if you dont have the time to become a part-time dog nutritionist and maintain your dogs area like a commercial kitchen!
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Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dry Dog Food
Image courtesy Chewy
Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dry Dog Food is a grain-free food that is infused with raw, freeze-dried meat.
The first five ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, tapioca flour, and turkey meal. These provide your dog with the protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals they need to stay healthy and happy.
Instinct Raw Boost Whole Grain Dry Dog Food is made in the USA with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
It Promotes Superior Joint And Bone Health
Regardless of your involvement in your dogs diet, if you feed him raw food, you automate his joint and bone health. Meat intake has a direct correlation with joint and bone health in dogs.
Technically raw food can feature just veggies, so this benefit is contingent on the amount of meat in the dogs diet.
Also Check: What To Put In Dog Food To Make Them Eat
Frozen Foods Can Lead To Acidemia
Tissue degradation and oxidation under high heat freezing , which occurs along the supply chain with most raw food products, also leads to acidification. Increasing acid consumption can contribute to acidemia that lies at the base of virtually every chronic degenerative disease plaguing modern pets.
Your Dog Can Become Overweight
Another problem with raw dog food is that it is hard to pinpoint its nutritional information. The only exception to this seems to be in freeze-dried food or raw frozen. Packages of freeze-dried and raw frozen dog food can be categorized by dog breed and life stage. But if youre using raw meat and dairy to feed your dog, even your most accurate guess is still a guess.
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Kibble: A Brief Overview
The word kibble used to mean to chop coarsely. Today, it stands for food that is formulated to be nutritious for dogs. It is not chopped coarsely, but its size does match its ancestor meaning. Kibble serves canines in general but is often produced for specific breed sizes and life stages.
There are mainly three types of kibbles in terms of nutritional value: small dog kibble, medium-sized dog kibble, and large dog kibble. Within each type of kibble, there are puppy, young adult, and senior dog variations.
Kibble is one of the most popular commercial dog foods, but its popularity can often be limited to dog owners and may not be shared by dogs. You will love or hate kibble based on how fussy your dog is. Fortunately, kibble isnt the only type of dog food.
Can Dogs Get Sick From Freeze
Yes, freeze-dried dog food can make dogs sick.
Here are some of the cases in which freeze-dried formulas can make dogs sick:
- Inappropriate Storage & Serving. If the food is not properly stored or prepared, it can make dogs sick. This is because freeze-dried recipes are minimally processed and can go bad if left outside for longer.
- Sudden Food Introduction. Because of the high nutrient density, freeze-dried food can cause stomach upset in dogs used to eating regular kibble. To avoid this, switch your dog to freeze-dried food gradually.
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Lets Talk About The Pros And Cons Of Freeze Dried Dog Food
While some dogs enjoy freeze dried dog food, not all dogs will do well with it.
Many dogs enjoy freeze dried dog foods and many owners prefer it to raw food as its so much easier to store. Still, we should mention its not cheap dog food.
Quality and price aside, not all dogs and owners will do well with this type of dog food and we encourage you to consider the pros and cons of this type of dog food before you invest in it.
Lets begin with the pros.
Pros of Freeze Dried Dog Food
- It is easy to travel with
- It has a long shelf life
- It is considered raw or minimally processed
- It almost always contains the highest quality ingredients
Cons of Freeze Dried Dog Food
- It is one of the most expensive food options for dogs
- It may not offer key nutrition your dog needs and is sometimes best for supplementation.
- It may be difficult to find in some pet retail stores
Weighing Up The Pros And Cons Of Kibble
There are advantages and disadvantages to feeding your dog a kibble diet.
Kibble generally comes at a low cost, with no preparation required. It can be stored at room temperature with a low risk of salmonella, due to the extreme heat used in the extrusion process. It can be bought in bulk and is usually suitable for all dogs life stages.
Despite these conveniences, unfortunately, most manufacturers display a lack of quality ingredients and use grains, cereals, soya and other cheap derivatives. These filler ingredients may cause bloating, loose stools, and some are even known carcinogens.
Kibble also typically has a low shelf life of around one year. It can become stale and bland if the bag is left unsealed.
There are a number of independent kibble brands that produce a top quality product, with great care and consideration. There are many more that care little about our dogs health and wellbeing, compromising nutritional value for profit. Larger corporations have even been known to subsidise veterinarian training or offer commission to recommend their food in veterinary practices. In the pet food industry, this is essentially buying a Vet-approved sticker.
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Make An Informed Decision
Overall, there are advantages and disadvantages to feeding your dog either dry food or raw food. With either option, you need to make sure your dog is receiving the perfect balance of nutrition from all desired food groups. I would recommend discussing your chosen food with a pet nutritionist, to be certain of its benefits to your dogs health. You could also choose to research your dogs diet on All About Dog Food, a leading independent dog food rating website.
Although some food choices may cost more than others, quality food makes up for this in the nourishment they provide for your dog. There are many benefits to raw feeding its time to move forward from the dry kibble lifestyle. My mission for my own dogs is to do everything I can to make them happy and healthy, and I want to share that with you too.
Ready to change up your dogs diet to raw? Read my beginners guide to raw food for dogs.
What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Your Dog Freeze
Youll discover that there are many benefits that come along with choosing freeze-dried dog food for your pup. These include:
- Enjoyable for dogs: Most dogs seem to really like freeze-dried dog foods and often prefer them over kibble. Its typically less processed and meatier, preserving natural, full flavor dogs are programmed to prefer. This is why there are many freeze-dried add-ins available to improve the taste of dry kibble.
- Only high-quality ingredients: For the most part, when you buy freeze-dried food, you can feel confident that it uses high-quality ingredients. Some of the most nutritious ingredients to look for include muscle meat, ground bones, and organs. Fruits and vegetables may also be included in some freeze-dried foods. The majority of freeze-dried dog foods also do not contain artificial preservatives or other additives.
- A convenient way to feed your dog a nutrient-rich raw diet: Since freeze-dried food is made using frozen raw food, a freeze-dried diet can still help dogs enjoy the benefits of eating raw foods while being easier to keep up with for owners.
- Shelf-stable: Freeze-dried foods are shelf-stable and will remain safe to use for many years.
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Instinct Raw Dog Food Formulas Reviewed
Instinct Raw Dog Food has several products and recipes. To help dog owners find the right one for their pets, we have reviewed some of the best-selling formulas.
Summary: Instinct Raw Boost natural dry dog food contains a grain-free kibble blend that is loaded with protein. It also includes natural bites of freeze-dried raw beef. The beef has been raised in the USA and is the first ingredient in the meal. This dog food also contains probiotics to support healthy digestion and omega-fatty acids for healthy skin & coat. Additionally, the product has no grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors, or preservatives. It is perfect for all dogs , including small breeds, toy breeds, puppies, senior & healthy weights.
Type: Dry dog food + freeze-dried raw pet food
Best for: Adult dogs
Flavor Options: Beef Chicken Duck Salmon
- Contains high protein, grain-free kibble
- Formulated with natural bites of freeze-dried raw beef
- Has probiotics to support healthy digestion
- Made without grain, potato, corn, wheat, or soy
- No by-product meal, artificial colors, or preservatives
- The packaging could have been better
Review: This product contains responsibly sourced meats, fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome ingredients that offer numerous health benefits. Pet owners give the recipe 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Type: Dry dog food + freeze-dried raw pet food
Best for: Puppies