There’s a buzz around dog (and cat) food and feeding your dog fresh human grade food. Have you heard about it? There are many benefits of feeding your dog fresh dog food, but before we get into those I’d like to go into why kibble and the dog food industry is flawed then I’ll introduce you to my fresh dog food delivery service I use for Gatsby + the benefits and why I swear by it. Let’s dive in.
#1 – Just like human food, dog kibble is ruled by large corporations with their own agenda driving the ingredients.
With seemingly so many food options on the shelf at your local pet store, Petsmart, or Petco, it may be hard to believe that only five major companies rule most of the $60+ billion industry (and that figure just covers America). Which means what? Well, a select few companies are dictating what’s inside the majority of commercial pet foods and how they’re produced.
#2 – Kibble Was Invented During World War 2.
Before World War 2, dog food was sold in cans and had a much higher moisture content, and was more species-specific. During the war, though, meat became limited and tin was reserved for ammunition. So the pet food industry needed to come up with something more convenient (+ cheaper) that could be packaged in a bag. Dry Kibble.
#3 – Massive & Deadly Recall In 2007.
In 2007, after a massive and deadly recall in 2007 consumers finally started to question the pet food industry. The news broke that Melamine, a toxic substance, was in dog and cat foods, killing thousands of pets across America. Rightfully so, this finally brought it to the eyes of pet parents to question what they’re actually feeding their fur babies.
#4 – Dogs DNA is 99.9% Identical To Wolves.
Experts concluded that our domestic dog’s DNA is 99.9% identical to wolves. In the Netflix (but now on Amazon Prime) documentary, Pet Fooled points out that while our dogs’ genotype is identical to wolves, it’s their phenotype (AKA their “jacket”) that has changed to adapt to us and their environment. So what does this mean? Think about us – while we all may look different (size, skin tone, body type, gender, etc), our nutritional needs are the same. Which is the same for dogs. Many breeds may look very different from their wolf ancestors, and look very different from each other but experts say their nutritional needs are the same.
#5 – Let me introduce you to “The Association of American Feed Control Officials” (AAFCO).
AAFCO is the organization that sets all standards for pet food, including nutrient ratios, ingredient allowances, and the terminology that’s allowed on the packaging. While AAFCO works with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s important to note that AAFCO doesn’t approve products for safety, has no regulatory authority, and isn’t government regulated. Sounds great right?
#6 – AAFCO’s Pet Food Terminology can be Very Deceiving.
Do you look at the label before buying a bag of dog food? I was guilty of not before I watched Pet Fooled and did some research I didn’t. But even now, reading labels is just the tip of the iceberg because you have to understand what the label are (or are not) telling you. Here are a few examples:
- Foods labeled with the words “Dinner,” “Nugget,” or “Formula” only have to contain 25% actual meat.
- Food labeled “with chicken,” “with beef,” or “with” any other protein only has to contain 3% meat.
- “Flavor” could possibly be the worst. Dog food bags labeled with the word “Flavored” don’t have to contain any real meat at all.
- Also to note that protein percentage may not actually come from meat. According to Pet Fooled, the protein source may have derived from wheat flour or gluten that’s been fortified with protein.
Does your stomach hurt yet?
#7 – “Natural” Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Natural
AAFCO defines “Natural” as:
“A feed or 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.”
#8 – “By-Product” Listed on the Dog Food Bag
Have you ever seen the term “by-product” listed on your dog food’s ingredient list? What’s it really mean? According to Pet Fooled, by-products are explained as, “What’s leftover after an animal has been slaughtered and all the edible parts have been removed.” That could mean feathers, hooves, teeth, etc.
This leads me to the next set of questions about fresh dog food and
Is Fresh Dog Food Worth the Hype?
Let’s dive in and unpack why I think the answer is yes, and I hope after reading this you will too.
As a society, we’re becoming increasingly aware of the role diet and nutrition can play in our overall health and wellness. This is why I think it’s no surprise that we are expanding that knowledge into what we feed our dogs aka why people are more influenced to feed their dogs’ real fresh food. The bottom line that I think we all can agree on is that dogs are members of our families. And our goal should be to have that family member live a longer and healthier life.
What Is Fresh (homemade) Dog Food?
Simply put, fresh dog food is dog food that is human grade. No kibble, no fake ingredients. Nothing that you can’t read.
Fresh dog food will help your dog be completely full of energy, look very fit/healthy, and has a constant shiny coat. It will be full of fresh vegetables (Vitamin A, C) and freshly-cooked meats (zinc) which will help give off these features.
Fresh Dog Food Delivery
NomNom is by far the best dog food delivery service that I have tried. It makes it easy and convenient to feed your dog fresh dog food, so they can receive the best nutrition from their food possible. It’s formulated by a veterinary nutritionist, cooked fresh to order, and delivered right to your front door. And the best part? Not only is a fresh diet healthier and easier to feed than other dog food, but I like most people are amazed at how affordable such a high-quality/fresh diet can be for your dog.
The Benefits of Feeding your Dog Fresh Dog Food
#1 – More energy.
Over-processed diets/foods (like kibble, packaged wet food, freeze-dried) can be hard or next to impossible for a dog’s digestive system to truly break down and absorb nutrients from, which means for lack of a better term, that a lot of food goes in one end and out the other. Fresh and real ingredients are more digestible, which helps your dog’s body to absorb more energy from the food they’re eating. Which in turn will give your dog more energy on-demand to use when they need it. I swear I noticed right away, but in turn, you will notice a perkier pup with more energy overall especially endurance for long walks, hikes, and playtime at the park!
#2 – Shinier coats.
Healthy oils like fish oil are an essential part of any fresh dog food diet, and these fats quickly absorb into your dog’s coat to give them a fuller and shinier coat. Fresh real dog food diets such as NomNom contain a blend of fish oil along with others that help with overall health benefits, with a shiny, soft coat simply being a positive side effect!
#3 – Healthier skin.
If your dog is like mine and suffers from allergies or any type of skin condition, you’ve likely heard fresh food pitched from vets and other dog parents. Nutrients such as zinc, B Vitamins, and fatty acids all are found and the main ingredients in fresh dog food will help soothe and treat many skin conditions. These are more beneficial than any synthetic supplements added to another type of diet such as kibble. What’s crazy is that this can typically be seen in as little as a month from a dog who is being fed a fresh real food diet.
#4 – Brighter, healthier eyes.
Fresh real dog food is full of Vitamin A which helps your dog’s overall eye health. As strange as it sounds, brighter eyes are a common benefit of fresh dog food, which you probably wouldn’t have even noticed your dog didn’t have. and speak to better eye health under the surface. There are many ingredients in fresh real dog food like kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach that have plenty of Vitamin A. aka all you have to do is look for colorful veggies in a fresh real dog food diet to know your dog is getting all the vitamins they need.
#5 – Better digestion.
Many processed dog foods add an enormous amount of fiber because they are often cheaper ingredients (like non-protein sources). And yes, obviously fiber is important, but the old saying is true here…you can have too much of a good thing. In dogs, too much fiber means your dog’s body is working too hard to break down the fiber that they can’t absorb other nutrients from the food. After years of this, it could lead to colon cancer or other digestive tract-related illnesses. With a balanced fresh and real food diet, the fiber will come from natural sources and doesn’t reach the dangerous 10% crude fiber ranges that processed foods contain. This means your dog can actually use more of what they are eating and less of the food simply passes through. This means you’ll have to carry fewer poop bags, a win-win for everyone involved.
#6 – Less frequent visits to the vet.
The vitamins that come from fresh vegetables (like we previously talked about Vitamin A, C), and freshly-cooked meats (zinc), both help keep your dog’s immune system. Not only will this help your dog feel better daily, but it also means fewer trips to the vet. Dogs with chronic conditions such as allergies, skin irritation, or chronic upset/sensitive tummies will also feel better on a fresh real dog food diet and which gives you less costly vet visits.
#7 – Quality of life.
You enjoy your meals, so why shouldn’t your best friend? Amongst all the benefits of fresh dog food, perhaps the greatest is the joy we feel every time we put real food in the bow and watch their excitement in devouring it! Nourishing those you love is one of the greatest responsibilities we get to have, and there’s no better feeling than watching our dogs dig into something we know is healthy (and delicious) for them.
#8 – Longer life.
When dogs are no longer put at risk for cancer, allergies, and the many other threats processed dog food diets pose, a healthier diet translates to more years together. Just like human diets, we know that better nutrition is the clearest path to a longer life!
#9 – No surprises.
Never wonder what’s in your dog food again, you will see whole ingredients that are 100% fresh and real. You can have peace of mind knowing that no artificial ingredients, preservatives, chemicals, or fillers that’s going into your dog’s belly.
For example, the first five ingredients in Gatsby’s favorite NomNom turkey fare recipe are turkey, eggs, brown rice, carrots, and spinach. The entire bag only contains 24 ingredients while the previous brand of “dry high-end kibble” I was feeding Gatsby had 43 ingredients.
Dog Food Delivery Service
I use NomNom because it’s healthy, natural, and fresh, not to mention I think it’s by far the best fresh dog food delivery service for many reasons, but I won’t rewrite that – check out why I think NomNom is the best real food for dog delivery service right here. If you are ready to get your pup healthy! Start your dog’s profile today and enjoy 50% off your first two deliveries of fresh dog food (free shipping included) by clicking this link here.
NomNom claims that their dog food is good enough for people to eat and that we all can try some for ourselves. Not sure that I would (unless I got really desperate) but I do believe that we can. It looks like fried rice you’d get at hibachi if you ask me.
Is Fresh Dog Food Worth it?
It’s convenient, healthy, and knowing that I am taking care and doing everything I can to help Gatsby live a healthy, happy, and longer life makes it all worth it. Before switching Gatsby over to a fresh, real, and natural dog food delivery service he was looking straight into a double knee replacement. We have since gotten one knee done, and according to our surgeon, there is no reason to go in and replace his second at this time because it’s seemingly healthy. Now that’s not saying it won’t ever happen, but as of now, we are good to go. I’m also not saying that this is because he gets NomNom but coincidence or not, I’m here for it. Although our crazy fetch days with Chuck-It’s are over.
I think that sums up why I do think feeding your dog a fresh and real diet is 100% worth it. ALSO!!! NomNom makes food for cats too – don’t think they’re immune from the benefits of fresh and real pet food! Not to mention, from all the fresh dog food delivery services, NomNom is by far the cheapest dog food delivery services.
When I think about it, I love Gatsby and would do anything for his cute little puppy face after all the fun we’ve had, the life lessons he’s taught me, and the constant love I get from him.
Do you feed your pet a fresh food diet, and have you noticed the difference? Let me know in the comments below!
~ XOXO, the Gatsby lovin’, and proud crazy dog mom, Amanda // Blonde out of Water