Which dog treats are right for your pet? The answer varies from one dog to the next based on age, breed, activity levels, and more. There is a reason why dog treat aisles are so large nowadays. It's because so many different dogs have so many needs when it comes to treats and dog food as a whole. This guide offers tips for dog treat selection so you can pick the perfect snack for your dog.
Are you comparing kibble versus raw dog food? Dollar for dollar you won’t pay much more for a raw diet than you would for a premium kibble but, that is where the similarity ends. A raw diet dog food (fresh, frozen or freeze-dried) is the best you can buy to promote your dog’s health, stamina and longevity.
Kibble versus Raw Dog Food
Those innocent sounding words like “meat by-products” and “meat meal” are topping the ingredient list of many commercial dog foods. Sure, they have great marketing campaigns with pictures of plump chickens, salmon and healthy vegetables, but that is not reality. What is in the bag is a whole different story with more dollars being spent on the marketing than the actual ingredients.
Meat by-products and meat meal on ingredients labels are misleading because they contain little, if any meat. With few legal regulations, meat meal can (and does) contain the boiled down flesh of animals like zoo animals, road kill, and 4-D (dead, diseased, disabled, dying) livestock. Pet food producers that claim to be getting their ingredients from “USDA facilities” is also misleading to consumers. Chances are, they are getting the waste or rejected material from these facilities – the parts that are not fit for human consumption. The carcass is still deemed a suitable protein source and is commonly used by pet food manufacturers to produce dog food for your pet.
If the ingredients aren’t bad enough, consider the preservatives and harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, chemical preservatives and other artificial additives are the norm in commercial dog food. Commercial dog food is usually rendered using a high heat method that is designed to kill bacteria. This process also destroys many of the essential vitamins and nutrients. And, what’s worse is the chemicals used to euthanize zoo animals, disabled and dying livestock can and do survive this cooking process.
You can’t beat commercial dry or canned food when it comes to the convenience factor. Throw some kibble in a bowl and you are done. But, what is the cost to your pet’s health and longevity? Starch is used to form the kibble and even the varieties that claim to be “grain-free” are not “starch-free”. They simply substitute one starch for another. Most canines thrive on a low starch, high protein diet. Kibble changes this balance with too much starch.
What’s in your dog’s kibble?
It’s becoming increasingly popular for commercial pet food manufacturers to claim they use “all natural” or “human-grade ingredients”. We want to clarify a few things about these claims. First, they can make any claim they want but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Because of cost, pet food manufacturers will often utilize the cheapest sources of protein they can find – and, because pet food manufacturers are poorly regulated, how do you really know their claims are true?
Commercial Raw Dog Food versus Homemade Diets
Not every pet owner has the time or inclination to cook or prepare a special diet for their pet. If you do, we applaud you; however, beyond the time it takes to do this there are a few other things you should consider.
The acceptable level of bacteria in meats you buy at a grocery store is relatively high because it is meant to be cooked. The acceptable level of bacteria in produced raw foods for dogs is relatively low because it is meant to be fed raw. At K-9 Kraving, we utilize a special process of manufacturing, keeping ingredients stored at 8-degrees and the temperature consistently below 28 degrees at all times to safeguard against bacteria.
Also, if you are feeding a homemade diet (whether raw or cooked), it needs to be complete & balanced. Without the ingredients essential to the overall health of your pet, you could end up defeating the purpose with a diet that is deficient in one or more nutrients.
The K-9 Kraving raw diet was developed in conjunction with Dr. Richard Patton, PhD in Animal Nutrition. Our formulas supply all the vitamins, minerals and trace minerals your dog needs to thrive. It does not contain any preservatives or added chemicals.
The Bottom Line
Our ingredients are sourced fresh in the USA (with only our fresh whole Mackerel imported from Canada). We NEVER use artificial chemicals or preservatives. We DO NOT deal with rendering plants or slaughter houses, the source for most dog/cat foods. We DO NOT outsource any of our product manufacturing or re-sell other product made elsewhere. K-9 Kraving was the first dog food manufacturer in the USA to be USDA certified and have an inspector on site. We did this as a voluntary choice and we welcome and support changes in the pet food industry so that consumers can rely on the ingredient list in a commercial food and not the marketing language to select their dog’s food.