A lot of concerned pet owners are now considering the best fresh dog foods and whether to switch their dog over to a fresh diet. With more and more brands like The Farmer's Dog, Nom Nom, and Ollie coming onto the market offering fresh alternatives it's a valid talking point and one that is definitely worth discussing with your vet, especially if your dog has any specific dietary or health issues.
DCM is a heart condition that has been reportedly linked to certain low carbohydrate dog foods. However, the FDA has still not confirmed a specific cause and its latest study is also inconclusive. As such, at the time of this writing (July 16, 2020) there have still not been any recalls. For further information see: FDA, Dog Food Advisor article, and an article by Daniel Schulof, the founder and CEO of KetoNatural Pet Foods, Inc. addressing potential Bad Science and Financial Conflicts of Interest Plaguing the FDA's Investigation Into "Grain-Free" Pet Foods and Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
So what exactly is fresh dog food and why should you choose it for your dog? As the name suggests, fresh dog food is made using only fresh, natural ingredients including meats, vegetables, fruits, and grains that are gently cooked at lower temperatures in order to retain the maximum amount of nutrients. Most fresh foods are specifically designed to provide the right balance of protein, fat and moisture that dogs need at every age.
For years, most dog owners simply accepted that the popular brands of food they found on their grocery store shelves were more than adequate. Only in recent years have we begun hearing talk about the best fresh dog foods and the difference they can make for your dog's health.
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AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles help dog owners to guage the quality of brands and make informed choices.
We are all aware of the need for a healthy diet and we try our best, with varying degrees of success, to avoid processed food and get all the necessary nutrients. The same holds true for our four-legged best friends. Dogs need proper nutrition to maintain good health too and the fact is that some traditional dog foods may not provide it.
That's because, unlike the best fresh dog foods, some poorer dog foods contain high levels of fillers, preservatives, and other ingredients that are lacking in vitamins and minerals. However, the best dog food brands do take nutrition very seriously and provide excellent options in familiar kibble-type foods, but the fresh dog food approach provides a nutritious alternative without sacrificing convenience.
If you eat a lot of processed foods, you likely end up feeling sluggish, tired, and just generally unhealthy. A dog that is fed a steady diet of filler-rich dry food will be the same way, lacking in energy, possibly overweight, and just not feeling his best.
Recognizing this need for better nutrition, several companies stepped forward to provide a healthy alternative based on fresh ingredients and formulated to your dog's individual needs at every stage of life. In most cases, fresh foods are designed by vets so you can be sure that they contain everything a dog needs to maintain the best possible health.
One of the major advantages of the best fresh dogs foods is that they can be tailored to your dog, taking into consideration his age, weight, breed, activity level, and allergies. This ensures that your dog is getting the specific balance of nutrition he needs throughout his life. The foods are then delivered straight to your door packed in dry ice. Because they are fresh, they need to be stored in the freezer or refrigerator and eaten within a few days after the package is opened.
In order to ensure nutritional quality, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) maintains standards for nutritional requirements that all dog foods are expected to meet. A quick glance at the package of any dog food should be able to reveal the AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy, something that most fresh dog foods will contain.
Of course, the AAFCO statement isn't a guarantee of quality, so it's worth taking the time to look more closely at any food you're considering to ensure that it has everything your dog needs. The best fresh dog foods will have an ingredient list that contains only natural foods like pork, chicken, and beef, along with carrots, lentils, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables and fruits. What they will not contain are artificial ingredients that hold no nutritional value.
In order to ensure that you are choosing the best possible food for your dog, it's essential to understand his specific needs, which can vary from one dog to the next. For Australian Shepherd owners, proper nutrition can be a delicate balancing act since, at anywhere from 35 to 65 pounds, Aussies tend to straddle the line between medium and large size while at the same time being more active than most breeds.
This means that while Australian Shepherds require a high-quality diet rich in animal protein with a healthy balance of fatty acids for energy like all dogs, they also require a little something extra in the form of nutritious and digestible carbohydrates such as whole grains, starchy vegetables and fresh fruits in order to help them keep up their energy and also maintain their thick double coat. That's where the best fresh dog foods can make a real difference.
While any Aussie that reaches 50 pounds or more at maturity is technically considered a large dog, their exceptionally high energy level means that most calorie dense foods tailored specifically for large breeds won't be ideal for them. The flexibility of fresh dog foods makes for a great alternative, allowing you to get exactly the right blend to meet your Aussie's nutritional needs.
The best fresh dog foods have opened all sorts of pathways to better nutrition, allowing you to provide your best friend with a quality diet. The result is a dog that is healthy, happy, and living his best. What's not to love about that? Now I just have to start eating as healthy as my dog does. ;)
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