Are you asking yourself the question: “Is fresh food better for dogs?” If so, you’re in the right place. Dog Ownership Guide loves to provide fresh raw dog food because of the benefits it has to a dog’s health and well-being.
Is Fresh Food Better for Dogs? Yes!
Fresh food for dogs OR humans is the best food. It’s completely whole and natural, which means the body doesn’t have to deal with unnecessary additives and preservatives, which are found in dog kibble.
In addition to the body not having to deal with unnecessary additives, nutritious fresh dog food promotes:
- Heart Health
- Higher Activity Levels
- Shiny Coat
- Improved Eyesight
- Better Gastrointestinal Health
All of the above health benefits of fresh dog food are only possible when it is complete. This can be difficult with homemade dog food unless the pet parent understands exactly what fresh ingredients to use in preparing it.
According to Merck Veterinary Manual:
If owners choose to feed a home-cooked diet, they should use a recipe formulated by a veterinary nutritionist (vs found on the Internet). It is also important to realize that no home-cooked diets have undergone the testing and research used to formulate complete and balanced commercial pet foods.
Is Fresh Food Better for Dogs than Kibble (Dry Dog Food)?
The ingredients in kibble have to be processed with preservatives to keep the fat from becoming rancid. Many kibble (dry food) brands add carbohydrates and low-quality ingredients to keep costs down. When the body has to process preservatives and excess carbohydrates, it takes away energy from the body that should be used to function optimally.
To compound the effects of the preservatives and added carbohydrates, low-quality ingredients do not provide a dog’s body with the nutrition it needs to function optimally.
With a body that isn’t receiving the nutrition it needs and then having to work hard to break down carbohydrates and preservatives to get out of the body, many dogs suffer from health issues. The body simply has to work harder with less effective fuel and overtime that just wreaks havoc on their system.
The Benefits and Cons of Fresh vs. Dry Food
As you’re researching what is best for your dog, you may find the following points helpful in making your decision between fresh or raw food vs. dry dog food.
Benefits of Kibble
- Kibble is highly researched because of the scrutiny it has received over the past couple of years.
- It lasts longer.
- Commercial dog food manufacturers must be nutritionally complete.
- There’s a wider variety of options.
- Most kibble has added vitamins.
- There is little to no preparation needed.
Cons of Kibble
- Most dry dog food manufacturers use low-quality ingredients and add sugar and preservatives.
- Most dogs’ kibble is fattening because of the high amount of carbohydrates in it.
- It’s hard for pet parents to know if their pup is receiving a balanced diet.
- Since it’s commercial pet food, it’s created with a one-size-fits-all mentality, so it may not meet your pup’s needs.
Benefits of Fresh Food for Dogs
- There’s a wider variety of healthy ingredients (fresh vegetables, fruits, and fresh or raw meat).
- Most dogs prefer the taste of homemade meals vs. commercial dog food.
- Ingredients are unprocessed or minimally processed, unlike dog kibble.
- It’s possible to include the nutrients a dog requires according to a veterinarian.
Cons of Fresh Food for Dogs
- Fridge space can be a challenge for some households.
- Depending on the brand or if homemade, it may not contain all of the nutrients a dog’s body needs.
- It can be more costly – whether buying fresh food or homemade.
Why Not All Fresh Food Is Better for Dogs
Many fresh pet food brands market their products with terms such as “human-grade” and say they don’t contain fillers. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they are better than dog kibble.
Human grade simply means that it’s safe for human consumption. As humans know, just because it’s safe to consume, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
Not containing fillers simply means the company didn’t add grains, corn, or soy. All of those ingredients provide nutritional value, so not including those isn’t a positive point of the food. It’s just that many pet owners see “fillers” as bad, so it’s a marketing trick.
When shopping for a fresh diet for your dog, it’s a good idea to consult with your veterinarian to discuss your pup’s individual needs. Once your veterinarian has weighed in on what and how much pet food would be beneficial, you can move forward with considering some of the many fresh and raw dog food delivery services, as many of them employ veterinarian nutritionists as part of their team to ensure their products provide optimal nutrition.
Fresh Pet Food Options
The following are dog food delivery service options that offer fresh and raw food diets for dogs.
While Ollie doesn’t have a veterinary nutritionist, their recipes follow AAFCO standards. Meals arrive frozen and each package contains several meals that last up to 14 days in the fridge.
Spot & Tango
This company does something a bit different – they sell fresh kibble, which they call UnKibble. They use human-grade ingredients (fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains). Products do not contain additives or preservatives. Food comes individually wrapped and frozen. Once unfrozen, the fresh “kibble” can be stored for up to three to four weeks.
Happy Dog Brand
The Happy Dog brand believes dogs should eat the same nutritious food their owners eat. This is why their motto is that they make food for dogs, not dog food. All of the ingredients Happy Dog uses in their pet recipe are human-grade. All dog owners have to do with the Happy Dog brand food for dogs is add meat.
Only Natural Pet
Only Natural Pet food has set itself apart from the majority of pet foods in the industry by becoming a Certified B Corporation and committing to full-body wellness of dogs and cats with high-quality wet and dry food. Learn more by reading Is Only Natural Pet Food Good or Only Natural Pet Product Reviews.
Is Fresh Food Better for Dogs with Allergies?
Fresh food is the best solution for dogs with allergies. It can help dogs with food sensitivities and skin allergies. You can read more about how fresh food is good for dogs with allergies by clicking below:
Best Food for Pitbulls with Skin Allergies (NOT just for pitbulls!)
Fresh Food Diets for Your Dog’s Health
At Dog Ownership Guide, we promote fresh dog food because we believe it’s healthier and nutritionally complete (as long as it is prepared to meet your pup’s needs). Whether you decide on raw dog food or fresh dog food, you’ll know that you’re providing the best for your dog’s diet to prevent health issues.
Health issues lead to discomfort and stress for the dog and dog owners, which doesn’t make dogs or owners happy. Dog Ownership Guide believes in Happy Dogs ~ Happy Owners, which is why we recommend fresh or raw food.
Learn More from D.O.G.
How Much Raw Food to Feed a Dog
January 7, 2022 at 8:01 am
Another great and documented post for pet owners. Keep going with your great work!
January 7, 2022 at 8:28 am
As someone who has raw feed for over 20 years, I firmly believe in the benefits of a more natural diet. Balancing can be tough and it does require help from the professionals. Great tips for people thinking about getting started with a fresh food approach to feeding their pets.
January 7, 2022 at 2:36 pm
I can see why “real food” would be the way to go!