What is the Best All Natural Dog Food?
We at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique want to preface this article by explaining that all dogs are unique. Some dogs have obesity issues, some need extra protection for their teeth, or even food allergies. Researching the best all natural dog food is a collaborative effort. Take the time to discuss with specialists what specific nutrients your dog’s needs. If you have a dog with any diet peculiarities, please consult your vet before switching diets, or deciding what to feed your new puppy.
With this said, finding the best diet option can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your dog. The best all natural dog food should be packed with protein for building and repairing muscles, glucosamine & chondroitin for joint health, and fatty acids to keep their coats nice and shiny. Providing great food gives your dog a much higher quality of life. In the past few years, we’ve also become more aware of the things you don’t want in your dog’s food.
Look out for:
- Artificial Chemicals & Colors
- Chemical Preservatives
- Synthetic Byproducts
- Exposure to Pesticides/Herbicides
- Filler Foods like Sugar or Corn Syrup
It’s important for pet parents to be able to read a dog food label to know exactly what’s in the treats and food you’re feeding your dog. The good news is, as more people become aware and the demand to provide the best all natural dog food becomes more prevalent, pet food makers are developing healthier formulas every day. This article will walk you through how to make the best selection for your dog.
The Rotational Diet
We’re big fans of the rotational diet and we use this method on our own dogs at home. The rotational diet is based on the science that dogs need variance in their diet. Feeding a combination of dry, wet, fresh, and raw foods is one of the best ways to ensure that your dog gets adequate nutrients.
Most veterinarians agree that feeding a dog a completely raw food diet is the best way to provide nutrients. But we, as dog owners, know this is not always practical for pet parents’ budget, effort, and time. The diversity of a rational diet allows your dog to get most out of their food without breaking your budget and spending hours of prep time each week. Pups who are picky eaters also love the rotational diet because it’s not the same flavor day in and day out.
Using the four elements, you can get your dog on a schedule providing different parts of the rotational diet for each meal. One meal can be the best all natural dry kibble food and a grain-free canned meal for dinner. Fresh meals consist of prepared vegetables and meats without fillers or byproducts which are minimally processed and make excellent snacks. These are known as the ‘scraps.’ Finally, every once in awhile, give your dog a completely raw protein-rich meal. Because dogs have a different anatomy than humans, veterinarians advise that a dog needs one gram per pound of their ideal body weight per day.
Canned Vs. Wet Food
If you choose to opt out of a rotational diet, there is still the decision of getting canned or wet food. Before World War II, all dog food was actually canned. In an effort to ration metal for the war, the U.S. government mandated that pet food was a non-essential. The shortage of metal pushed pet food companies to figure out another way to store and distribute. These companies quickly learned to process the food into kibble by ‘baking it’ and storing the food in bags. After the war, many pet parents loved the convenience of dry bagged dog food and the temporary fix became an industry standard.
The issue with dry food is that many brands contain unhealthy fillers that provide zero nutrients for your dog with unnecessary calories. The calorie-dense kibble food is one of the leading reasons for doggie obesity. Most kibbles have been processed. Moisture is extruded by a machine using thermal pressure during the manufacturing process. This means that it cannot be reconstituted by adding water. Kibble food will never return to its natural form. Many also argue that dogs do not receive enough hydration from dry food and need moisturized canned food to sustain themselves.
Canned food is not only typically much more expensive but it can worsen a dog’s oral hygiene. Wet foods stick between a dog’s gums and teeth and there is less chewing involved. The mechanical action of chewing naturally scrapes plaque away from a dog’s teeth. Larger kibble foods promote this chewing. Canned food will also spoil quickly. It needs to be covered and refrigerated after opening or it will need to thrown away. If you have a dog with long fur around their snout, eating wet can food can get messy.
Deciding which to use—canned or kibble—is more of a question of economics. If you choose the best all natural dog food then using kibble will be more than fine. If you have a toy breed that eats small portions, canned food might meet their needs equivalently.
It’s more about the quality of the food than anything else!
Top Five Dog Foods
- Nature’s Variety Instinct
Instinct is made using all natural ingredients with no preservatives and artificial chemicals. Using cold pressure technology, Instinct locks in raw foods into kibble form. Instead of using thermal pressure, the manufacturers are able to seal in all the nutrients by freeze-drying raw food.
- Blue Wilderness Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo is grain free and does not contain chicken by-product meals, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat, or soy. We like the entire company’s food line which includes options that resemble the ancestral wild diet like Wilderness and Natural Veterinary Diet which is packed with vitamins and minerals. Many of us at Splash and Dash feed our own dogs with Blue Buffalo.
- Earthborn Holistic
Chicken meal and whitefish meal are the proteins used alongside easily digested grains like oatmeal, barley, and brown rice. Fruits and vegetables are baked in to provide immune system support. Earthborn is great tasting for dogs and is more affordable than some of the other brands.
- The Honest Kitchen
This brand uses ingredients that are approved for every member of the family to eat—human grade. Human grade food is held up to the FDA standards instead of the AFFCO. The company also makes base mix food. Healthy dehydrated ingredients are mixed with warm water to make every meal a balanced one that you can add meat to.
- Fromm Family Foods
Based out of Wisconsin, this company has three dry food lines and canned food that will please your gourmand doggie and your budget. The grain-free and protein-rich formulas are made with ingredients you can actually pronounce. A bowl filled with Fromm is a meal of all-natural dog food that keeps tails wagging!
Decisions for Your Dog
As you shop around, comparing different dog food formulas against your dog’s nutritional needs, remember that price does not always mean the best all natural dog foods. There are dozens of affordable brands on the market that provide everything your dog needs to be happy and healthy.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wants the best for your dog, and wishes you luck finding the best!
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