Raw pet food can be purchased as a complete diet but many owners choose to feed homemade raw as they believe it is better for their pets. Studies show that 95% of homemade diets were deficient in at least one essential nutrient and 84% were lacking in multiple nutrients (PFMA, 2020). Dodd et al. (2019), carried out a nutrient analysis of a homemade diet and the impact that this diet had when fed to a puppy. The results of the study show that the diet was deficient in many nutrients as well as an incorrect balance of calcium and phosphorus which resulted in poor skeletal development. At GA, our puppy recipes have been specifically formulated with the appropriate levels of protein, calcium & phosphorus to ensure healthy growth and development.
Not only has it been identified that there is a risk to pet health from feeding homemade raw diets to pets if they are not nutritionally balanced for the specific species and lifestage it has also been identified that there is a risk to human health. When feeding a raw diet, the risk of infection from bacteria is increased as both the pet and their owner can be directly exposed to foodborne pathogens. A study looked at 35 commercial raw pet foods and examined the products for contaminants such as salmonella, listeria and E.coli. The study reported that over half of the raw food that was tested was positive for at least one contaminant (Bree et al., 2018). The study concludes by stating that dry pet food is a safer option for pets and owners alike.
It is not always easy to make a direct comparison between raw and kibble because of the difference in the physical state therefore it is important to calculate any values on the same “Dry Matter Basis”. Dry Matter refers to material that remains after the removal of water. The below tables compare the nutritional content of various raw diets to DOGSFOOD.UK Superfood 65 Duck Recipe on an “As fed basis” as well as on a “100% Dry Matter Basis”. By converting both products to the same dry matter the Analytical Constituents can be compared equally.
Analytical Constituents on an “as-fed basis”
Analytical Constituents on 100% Dry Matter Basis
There are many different formats of pet food on the market which can sometimes make it hard to decide what is best to feed to pets. The most important message is that the quality of pet food should be measured on the contents of the food rather than the format that it is fed in. Here at GA all of our complete pet foods are formulated to meet the pet’s nutritional requirements in line with the FEDIAF Nutritional Guidelines. Our Freshtrusion™ technology is raw meat that is gently cooked to protect proteins which provide higher nutrient bio-availability and digestibility.
Bree, F.P.J., Bokken, G.C.A.M., Mineur, R., Franssen, F., Opsteegh, M., van der Giessen, J.W.B., Lipman, L.J.A. and Overgaauw, P.A.M. (2018). Zoonotic bacteria and parasites found in raw meat-based diets for cats and dogs. Veterinary Record, 182(2), pp.50–50.
Dodd, S., Barry, M., Grant, C. and Verbrugghe, A. (2019). Abnormal bone mineralization in a puppy fed an imbalanced raw meat homemade diet diagnosed and monitored using dual‐energy X‐ray absorptiometry. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition.
Responsible Raw Feeding for Cats and Dogs. (n.d.). [online] Available at: https://www.pfma.org.uk/_assets/docs/fact-sheet/PFMA-fact-sheet-Raw-Feeding.pdf [Accessed 9 Oct. 2020].
Senior pets is a growing market
Similar to humans, life expectancy has been continuously increasing in previous years. The average life for dogs is 11 years and 12 years for cats.This growing population means that is huge potential for businesses. Pet parents want their animals to remain healthy as they grow older. The opportunity to offer products and services covering the evolving needs of ageing animals develops pet owner loyalty to brands.
Food is a key factor
Food is an ideal proactive way to ensure a pets healthy ageing. There is a strong belief that healthy eating habits can have a positive impact on lifespan, this is leading to an increase in development of senior products.
Life- stage based pet food is in strong demand by consumers. Current diets for senior cats and dogs are formulated to respond to specific nutritional requirements of ageing pets. Protein levels, calories, vitamins and mineral content are carefully controlled in order to help avoid obesity, aid the immune system and limit pain in ageing joints.
Starting from a young age
Dietary prevention of ageing should start from birth. In order to achieve maximum efficiency, the best way is to introduce protective ingredients as early as possible in a pet’s life. These strategies can help to ensure improvements in health and bringing happiness to their human parents.
Here at DOGSFOOD.UK, your senior recipes are ideal for ageing pets, they include an excellent source of high quality protein with a minimum of 26% Freshly Prepared meat, which is highly digestible & palatable and has a high essential amino acid availability to assist in tissue growth and repair.
Your recipes also have added Omega 3 to help supply those essential fatty acids EPA and DHA which support a good skin & coat condition, as well as having links to anti-inflammatory properties and improved cognitive and visual development.
Taste in dogs
- Training the dog to eat at specific times of the day
- Limiting the number of treats and table scraps they are given
- Keep the food fresh by ensuring the packaging is sealed or closed properly