If you have ever walked into a pet store, you know the countless number of dog food options can be overwhelming. There are so many different brands and variations of kibble and wet food claiming to be healthy, natural, and full of high-quality ingredients that your dog will love. But have you ever investigated what is actually inside the bags and are its ingredients as healthy for your dog as the advertising makes it seem?
Raw Dog Food or Kibble? First, let’s take a deep dive into the world of kibble.
Kibble is a popular and convenient choice for many dog owners. Kibble’s colorful packaging and clever, attractive marketing often make buyers believe it is the best option for their pup. What most dog owners do not realize is the healthy claims made on kibble packaging for many brands are often misleading and incredibly inaccurate. One of the major inconsistencies of pet food labeling to consider is that words have completely different standards and definitions when applied to pet and human food.
For example, let’s take a look at the word “natural.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a simple definition for the term “natural” on human food labeling. Based on FDA information,
“The FDA has considered the term “natural” to mean nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or added to, a food that would not normally be expected in that food.”
While it’s true that the FDA technically regulates the pet food industry, the difference in standards of human food and pet food are significant. The FDA’s pet food regulations are based on a model provided by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Now let’s take at the definition of “natural” according to AAFCO. AAFCO defines natural as:
"...a feed or feed ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur in good manufacturing practices."
Everyone's face right now.
Unfortunately, "natural” is just one example of a term used inconsistently across food labeling and is subject to misleading claims made by some commercial pet food companies.
Let's Look at Nutrition.
Do you Feed your Dog “Real Food” or an “Edible Food-Like Substance?" Applying simple human nutrition principals to our pets.
Michael Pollan, thought leader and New York Times bestselling author, explores the relationship between nutrition and the Western diet is his book In Defense of Food. His novel details how Americans (humans) have overcomplicated nutrition, and this has harmed American eating habits. Pollan makes a simple suggestion on how to determine what is real food, which is what we should be consuming, and what are edible food-like substances, which are foods we should be avoiding. While Pollan's theory was intended for humans, the same principals should be applied to our canine counterparts.
Real Food – Not from a package or can, nothing that contains more than 5 ingredients or ingredients you cannot pronounce or recognize.
Example: Chicken, Apple, Sweet Potato
Edible Food-Like Substances - Processed foods that tend to have more than five ingredients, make health claims, are cooked by a machine, and are advertised on television.
Example: Oreos, Doritos, Twinkie
Applying these principles to dog food.
Raw Food - Simple ingredient list, all ingredients that are recognized by the average person.
- Typical Ingredients: Meat, Organ, Bone
Kibble: About 50+ ingredients, most of them words most people (including myself), cannot pronounce. We know based on info above that kibble packaging makes health claims, and we do see these products advertised on TV and other media platforms. Kibble pellets are mass produced by machines which is why every pellet looks identical and unidentifiable.
Image from scoobysblog.com
Now that we know what not to feed your pup, let's discuss what to feed.
Have you ever thought about why dogs love chasing rabbits, squirrels or other animals? There is a reason that dogs have a prey drive! Raw food is what dogs’ bodies are designed to consume. Even though our dogs are domesticated animals, the truth is that they still are animals.
People with pet snakes feed their snake mice. Pet frogs eat insects. So why should we feed dogs kibble?
There are so many benefits of feeding your dog raw food. Here are some of those benefits to feeding raw:
Naturally clean teeth
Controlled allergy symptoms or fewer allergies
Natural weight control
Shinier, healthier coat
If you are currently feeding your dog kibble, it’s time to advocate for your dog’s health. Swap out the highly processed, 50+ ingredient kibble with Raw Paw Life raw pet food.
At Raw Paw Life, we provide pets real, healthy, high-quality food their bodies were designed to consume. Our products are sustainably sourced and have less than four ingredients total, with meat as the number one ingredient.
Help your dog achieve optimal health by beginning their transition to raw today.
Feed Your Pet What They Deserve. Feed Raw Paw Life.