Why Fresh Food for Dogs?

by Healthy Barks Social August 25, 2022 5 min read

Why Fresh Food for Dogs?

Do your furry babies a favor, feed them Human-grade, Real food!

They told us to feed the best dry dog food to our furry companions. We did that. 

For as long as any of us can remember, we’ve been trained to feed dry food/kibble to our doggos. We talked about theharmful effects of kibble on dogs’ health in our previous blogs and explored behind-the-scenes of the kibble-making process. 

In this blog, we talk about the healthy alternative to kibble i.e.fresh dog food

So, is your dog the healthiest version of itself? 

Well, with time, like everything else, our dogs’ food habits also need to evolve.  Today, there are several dog food choices in the market, but selection needs to be careful. 

Why Fresh Food? Let’s find out.

What do we have to show for it?

Unfortunately, the Indian ecosystem offers minimal research on pet care. We’ll look into the research conducted in economies with higher pet ownership to bring the truth to light.

Fun fact: 68% of US households own at least 1 pet. 

Let’s look at some numbers. 

Following are the results of the Pet Obesity Surveys for the years2007-2013as recorded by the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention:

  1. Obesity

% pet dogs and cats categorized as obese and overweight (US - as per APOP)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Dogs

53%

52.5%

52.6%

53%

54%

54%

56%

55.8%

Cats

55%

58.3%

57.6%

58%

58%

59%

60%

59.5%


With pets being exposed to serious health issues, pet parents are torn between conflicting advice on how to manage their pet’s health effectively.

Obesity results in a lot of severe, chronic health conditions in dogs like arthritis, diabetes, and heart diseases among many others as shown in the table below.

Therefore, there is a raising need for fresh, healthy, and nutritious pet food. With changing lifestyles, pet parents need to be investing in the right product for their pets. One that has all the nutritional components required for their puppies. 

  1. Diabetes

1 in every 300 dogs and1 in every 230 cats will develop diabetes during their lifetime — and the statistics keep rising. The 2016 State of Pet Health Report shows an upward trend in the prevalence of diabetes in dogs, rising nearly 80% in dogs and 18% in cats at 10 years old.

Diabetes usually occurs in dogs between 5 and 12 years of age and is uncommon under 3 years of age.

Usually, middle-aged-age & overweight dogs are prone to Diabetes Mellitus.



Picking a diet with the right combination of nutrients is very crucial for a diabetic dog. Dogs need a specialized diet that caters to their body and nutrient needs. This is the main reason whyhome-cooked meals are not recommended. Due to the lack of testing, home-cooked meals do not offer nutritional value in your dog’s diet. 


  1. Joint Diseprevalence

Age

Prevalence of arthritis (in the US)

>1 year and <8 years

20%

>8 years

80%


As per a joint study conducted by the University of Lincoln, Royal Veterinary College, University of Cambridge, and the University of Leeds, 2.5% of dogs in the UK were estimated to be suffering from osteoarthritis, the most common joint disease. Here’s an article for you:Prevalence of osteoarthritis in the UK dog population

  1. Gastrointestinal Issues 

In 2013, the Faculty of Vet Medicine, Cairo, conducted research on 3,864 dogs.34.8% were suffering from digestive diseases such as diarrhea di-diarrhea concurrent vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and constipation.

The presence of toxins and BPA in low-fiber content, and cheap raw materials used in commercial kibble fail to ensure the right gut health, leading tochronic gastrointestinal (GI) issues and digestive problems in dogs.

  1. Skin Allergies

An estimated 10-15% of dogs are affected by skin allergies (environmental, fleas, food). 

An estimated 20% of the affected dogs suffer from allergies. An elimination food trial is a way to go if your dog is allergic to a certain food ingredient.


Allergy Symptom

% of dogs reporting symptom

Scratching

77%

Paw Licking/chewing

63%

Licking chewing other areas

59%

Face rubbing

46%

Sneezing

20%

Watery eyes

19%

Runny nose

9%

Some of the common skin allergies found in dogs 


65-80% of cases of food allergies are cases where dogs develop allergies to protein sources, dairy, and wheat sources.

Suffering from chronic itching can decrease your dog’s immunity. 

This article by the Pet Care brand ‘Wag!’explains Kibble allergies in Dogs

  1. Cancer

As per a study done by the Veterinary Cancer Society, US, 47% of dogs over the die of 10 die of cancer. 

The following article explores the presence of carcinogens in commercial dry pet foods based on the experiments conducted by doctors and research scientists:

Carcinogens or Cancer-causing elements in Commercial Pet Foods 

They also talk about how there is only minimal research done in this field.

As we discussed in our previous blogs,extrusion and rendering are the main villains in commercial dry food manufacturing. Cooking ingredients at very high temperatures have a strong correlation with introducing carcinogens into food.

Let’s dig in a bit more into the subject.  

The Pet Food industry is growing rapidlyat a CAGR of 17% in 2018-24 as per the Televisory report which means parents pet parents, there are more pet food options than ever before. While there are numerous pet food options available, consumption of dry pet foods exposes your dog to a variety of chronic issues as discussed above. 

The pet care industry in India is expected to show strong growth numbers in the next decade. Having said that, India lacks the presence of necessary legal and regulatory bodies to ensure appropriate pet industry practices. Due to the absence of pet nutrition standards and guidelines by the Indian government, most food brands end up followingAAFCO (a US body geared towards dog research in the US).

This shows a list ofdog food recalls in the US over the years.

None of the dry food brands customize their food to even Indian weather conditions, customize it for absence. The absence of strong regulatory bodies in India lets any case of food contamination go by without any legal punishment.

The word ‘bioavailable’ is now getting familiarized in the pet food domain.It states the degree and amount of various nutrients available for absorption by a dog’s body. Bioavailability is very high for gently cooked foods and it reduces greatly in dry processed foods.

Most pet dogs in India are expected from the above-discussed discussed diseases if proper care isn’t taken towards their food.

Fresh food is essential for dogs just like it’s essential to you.

Conclusion

Data shows most pet care dogs to be in very bad shape. Feed your dogs quality human-grade food, fresh, nutritionally, balanced, and highly digestible tailored for your dog’s requirements. Be an informed and responsible parent while choosing the right food for your pet. 

Healthy Barks is a nutrition-first fresh dog food brand based in Bangalore. If you’re looking to add years of health and happiness to your pet, explore us.

Fresh foods are indeed more bioavailable than the ones made with highly processed ingredients.

Check out our wholesomeChicken and Fish recipe for your doggo.

Most pet parents often struggle with managing their pet’s nutritional requirements. We help pet parents with free complete tailored nutrition for their pets by providing personalized meal plans (made fresh with real ingredients) specially designed to meet their pet’s health needs, and formulated by a veterinary nutritionist so that they stay worry-free & can get on with spending real-time with their doggos. We are currently serving in Bangalore. So, if you reside in Bangalore, book a free, in-person consultation with the Healthy Barks family at https://www.healthybarks.in/free-consultation or feel free to call or drop us a ‘Hi’ on WhatsApp at +91 - 76767 20200. Come food-tasting food tasting session with us!

PS: If you have any additional queries, or would want us to cover any specific topic, feel free to tell us in the comment section below.

Happy Wagging & Healthy Barks! :D


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