Honing Your Pet Food Picking Skills

You've likely heard us say "feed your pet less processed food and more fresh, whole food!" You've probably heard that your whole life about your own nutrition! So it makes sense for our own diet and we figured we'd explain why it makes so much sense and is so important for our furry family too! 🐾

Pet parents are evolving their furry family's diet and we can see that trend year over year! Take a look at how much it's changed in the past seven years! 👇


In 2017 only 10% of pet parents were serving a fresh diet, while 90% were still only serving a dry, ultra-processed diet. By 2020, 20% of pet parents were serving fresh and 80% were still serving dry. When we look at the shift in 2023, 35% of pet parents are freshening up their bowls! That means they are actively looking for ways to reduce the amount of processed food their furry family is eating and they are making sure to include fresh, whole foods in the diet! 🥳
Feeding less processed food and more fresh, whole foods is an easy way to instantly improve our furry family's health! Not only is it good for them, it provides variety which makes meal time more exciting and ensures we are including all of the 22 essential amino acids our pets need to thrive! 👍
There are lots of easy ways we can freshen up our pet's bowls and improve their diet! The easiest way if you're serving a dry food diet is to replace 20% of the kibble with less processed food. That can be as simple as replacing some kibble with a sardine, eggs, fruits and veggies or even some yogurt right from your own kitchen! 🫐🥦🐟
Another easy way to freshen up the bowl is to include less processed options like freeze dried food or raw food. Raw does not need to be all or nothing, any raw food in the bowl is better than no raw food! Keep in mind, unless you're buying "raw food" from the freezer, it's not raw. Many pet parents believe they are feeding a raw food diet because the Marketing Wizards of the big pet food companies are well aware that pet parents are looking to feed a fresher, less processed diet so they're slapping the word "raw" on everything they put out to the market. You already know, a bag of actual raw meat wouldn't be something you'd eat if it sat on a shelf for months and that's because actual raw meat needs refrigeration to stay good. "Raw coated, raw infused, raw based" or whatever buzz words they throw at it, does not make it raw unless it's actually in a freezer! 👍
With that said, not all freeze dried and raw food are created equal! As we've learned along the way, there are varying degrees of pet food and that applies to all categories of pet food. So let's take a look at some easy tips and tricks for choosing freeze dried foods or raw foods! 👇
Freeze Dried Tips & Tricks
✅ Look for freeze dried options that rely on the raw ingredients to provide the nutrition. That means we want to see the vitamins coming from food, not synthetic vitamin packs. This is important because the body (ours and the furry ones) have a much harder time actually absorbing and using synthetic vitamins. Vitamins from nature are much more easily absorbed and used by the body.
✅ If you've found a freeze dried topper that is not complete and balanced, be sure to only replace 20% of your complete and balanced dry food with the topper. If you're including a complete and balanced freeze dried option, it can replace as much kibble as you'd like because both options are complete and balanced. You'll know if it's complete and balanced because it's listed on the bag!
✅ Look for a freeze dried that includes not just muscle meat, but also organ and bone. Freeze dried foods retain 95% of the nutrients from the raw ingredients (and are 50x more flavourful) but in order to get all the goodness from the raw ingredients, they need to be in there! Our furry guys get a lot of their essential nutrients from organs and bones so if they're not in the freeze dried option, we're not getting the freshness we're paying for!
✅ Trust the manufacturer! This is true for all products we use with our furry family! If we can't trust the manufacturer, we cannot feed it to our pets! Our pet's lives depend on us feeding quality food from manufacturers who are honestly making a quality product. This is something we look for because with fresh food being all the rage, everyone and their dog (literally) are trying to make the products pet parents are looking for which includes freeze dried.
Raw Food Tips & Tricks
🥩 A complete and balanced raw food diet needs to include muscle meat, organ and bone at a minimum. Many quality raw food manufacturers also include vegetables and or fruit because of the benefits they provide as well as the natural vitamins they offer to balance the diet. If you don't see any organ or bone in a "raw pet food", you immediately know it is not complete or balanced and will ultimately cause diet deficiencies in your furry family.
🥩 Confirm the entire list of ingredients either on the company's packaging or on their website. If they're not listing their ingredients, that is a food we would definitely steer clear of. This is especially problematic in Canada where our pet food industry is completely unregulated. We're kind of like the Wild West when it comes to pet food. Most manufacturers do adhere to AAFCO, NRC or FEDIAF (the regulatory bodies of pet food) but it's not a requirement in Canada and we're seeing a lot of "pet food manufacturers" pop up out of no where to cash in on what they see as a golden opportunity.
🥩 Do they have a website? With so many "opportunity seizers" claiming to be pet food manufacturers it's funny how many don't have websites. A raw food manufacturer should absolutely have a website where they are listing some critical pieces of information, such as: ingredients, guaranteed analysis, third party testing results, sourcing, food handling safety, etc. Selling their raw food from their personal Facebook profile or a group is definitely a red flag you should avoid.
🥩 Are they testing their food? If they don't happen to share this information on their website (most do because it's a badge of honour among reputable manufacturers) then they should still be able to provide you with their testing results. Anyone who says their results are proprietary or they're unwilling to share for whatever reason is not a manufacturer you can trust.
There's a lot that goes into choosing a quality food for our pets and we hope these easy tips & tricks can help you find the best option for your furry family! Even if you're not ready to serve a completely fresh, whole food diet there are always ways you can improve your floof's diet and freshen up their bowl! We're more than happy to help you find easy ways that work with both your lifestyle and budget to keep your furry guy healthy and well nourished! Pop and let us know any questions you have and we'll find what works best for you! 🩵
If you're feeding a fresh, whole food diet and want to make sure it's meeting or exceeding your standards for being a quality diet for your furry family, check out our Red Flags of Raw and be sure your furry guy is eating the best raw food diet they can! 👍

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