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An Overview of Natural Dog Food- An Inside Look at What the Best Dog Food Brands’ Offerings Have in Common

written by Freshpet

Natural dog food is a growing section of the pet food space, especially within the past few years. Freshpet recognizes that the benefits of natural dog food are clear— pet parents want to feed their dogs food that take their various needs into account and empower them to live longer, healthier lives.

Pet parents are more educated than ever before when it comes to understanding the nutritional value of the foods that they provide their furry friends. Even still, really understanding the meanings behind these terms can be tricky. This is why we’ve included a brief overview of how your dog can benefit from natural dog food.

Defining Natural Dog Food

One challenge that pet parents face when exploring dog foods is understanding that certain definitions can vary significantly from person to person. With natural dog food, guidelines are set by the Association of American Freed Control Officials (AAFCO). Natural dog food ingredients are defined by AAFCO as:

“Ingredients derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not

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The Benefits of Natural Dog Food from the Best Dog Food Brands

There are dozens of reasons why pet parents are exploring the benefits of natural dog food. As is the case with other high-quality recipes, natural products provide a host of benefits that can contribute to your dog’s overall health and happiness.

A few of the benefits of natural dog foods from the best dog food brands include:

Less Allergies and Stronger Immune Systems

Research suggests that dogs who consume natural foods are less likely to experience allergic reactions. While there are many reasons why this may be the case, one suggestion is that the lack of additives can cause intolerances and allergy flare ups. Vitamins and minerals and the ingredients’ high nutrient values can also result in a stronger immune system, because dogs’ bodies are better able to absorb available nutrients. The amount of nutrient value that is able to be absorbed during digestion is often referred to as bioavailability.

A Healthy Digestive System

A well-functioning digestive system is vital for your dog’s continued health. This is especially true for dogs who have sensitive stomachs, as they may struggle with digesting certain additives and need a gentler diet that is full of more easily digestible, healthy, and nutrient rich ingredients. Because natural dog foods are less processed, feature protein rich sources, and do not contain artificial substances, they are much easier to digest than lower quality foods. Natural diets also encourage more predictable, proper bowel movements, which lowers the risk of digestive tract issues.

Healthier Skin and Coat

Healthy fats in natural dog foods can be excellent for promoting shinier coats and healthier skin. For example, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids can add a natural shine to the coat. Dog coats are up to 90% protein, so this makes perfect sense! Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids also play a role in supporting skin elasticity and overall skin health. Because natural dog foods are free of additives that may trigger allergies, skin can also remain healthier by being less aggravated, flaky, or enflamed.

Better Weight Control

Filler-rich dog foods can cause obesity for a long list of reasons. Not only can fillers cause high blood sugar (which can lead to diabetes and weight gain), but these additives may also replace more nutritional ingredients as well. Lack of nutritional value can impact how full your dog feels while eating, causing them to want to eat more as a result. Natural dog foods from the best dog food brands take this into account by avoiding fillers and unhealthy additives, as well ensuring that recipes feature highly nutritious ingredients. This helps prevent obesity and gives dogs the energy required to stay fit and healthy well into their senior years.

Figuring Out if Natural Dog Food is Best for Your Pet

The reality is that every dog has different needs that we can address through their diets. Recipes from Freshpet and other respected brands that feature natural ingredients can go a long way towards our pets’ continued health. However, it’s still important to consult experts, such as veterinarians, to provide insights on their diets and how we can best support them.

If you are considering making the switch to an natural pet food, check in with a vet who can assess your dog’s current health, provide choices for vet recommended foods, and help you come up with a plan for a gradual switch. A healthier and longer lifespan through an natural diet means more cherished time with our dogs and reassurance that they are feeling their best as we journey through life together!

A person holding a black and white dog reaching for a Freshpet recipe.

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