Updated: Jul 13
Big pet food conglomerates spend millions of dollars each year to cover up the undesirable flavor of byproducts and low grade ingredients they use in their foods. They add artificial flavors, spray on unnatural coatings, invent new ways for their factories to inexpensively process it – all in an effort to make their substandard food, made from inexpensive processed ingredients, edible for our pets. To validate the results they invest in palatability studies to see how their flavor additives are received by unsuspecting furry test subjects. If it passes the test, they claim victory and take it to market to become ingrained in the diets of millions of pets. Money spent on processing tricks and additives to make their cheap ingredients edible could be better spent on healthy, nutritious, unprocessed ingredients that are naturally healthy and highly palatable.
The fact is, making great tasting, healthy food is quite simple…
Three characteristics of highly palatable pet food:
1. High moisture content (eaten wet not dry)
2. High protein content (25%+)
3. Contain fresh meat (can’t get any fresher than raw)
Pet foods that have these attributes taste great and are often more nutritious. When deciding what to feed your pet, you will want to choose food that they like to eat and provides nutrition derived from natural sources. To evaluate your food choices, you should consider the moisture content, how much protein it contains and if it includes raw meat and other whole foods.
High moisture pet food is easier to chew and often times provides better absorption of nutrients during digestion. High moisture food can have more complex flavor and a pleasant mouth feel for pets. Since the majority of pet foods sold today are dry kibble, you may want to consider ways to make the kibble better for your pet. One sure fire way to enhance the flavor and nutrition is to add bone broth, goat milk and salmon oil. These natural ingredients can moisten dry kibble and add holistic benefits like joint, bone, skin, coat and digestive health.
High Protein Content
Protein is the most expensive ingredient in pet foods. That’s why so many mainstream brands have a low protein content – it costs less to put in less protein. You should look for food that has a protein content of at least 25% or more if possible. Often times the protein source in kibble is not from fresh raw meat, but instead from cooked meat that is powdered. While powdered meat is a good source of protein, you should look for kibbles that are gently dried or baked instead of processed with high heat. High heat processing can degrade the nutrients. The best protein sources that are whole meat – usually that means freeze dried or gently air-dried meat. Kibble that is made with these high quality proteins are usually baked at low temperatures to retain nutrients – so in addition to checking the protein source it is also important to choose one that is processed with a gentle low heat method. In addition to meat, other great sources of protein are whole eggs and bone broth. They both have extremely high protein content and provide holistic benefits for bone, joint and skin health.
You can’t get any fresher than raw meat, but it can be expensive and inconvenient to cut up. Raw meat is not shelf stable so there can be safety issues. If it is cooked to make it shelf stable it is no longer raw as the heat degrades the nutrients. A great alternative is fresh raw freeze dried meat as this is raw meat that only has the water removed, is shelf stable, 100% safe, retains nutrients and can be easily rehydrated by adding your own water. Pets love the taste and consistency of raw freeze dried meat, so any meal or treat that contains it will surely be a hit.
Nature’s Diet® products are designed to naturally taste great and provide the holistic benefits that are required for pets to live long, healthy lives.Simply Raw®, a popular complete and balanced meal, is served moist, contains 40% protein from freeze dried raw meat, bone broth and whole eggs.The essential nutrients are derived from whole foods – fruits and vegetables that were carefully chosen to provide holistic benefits.Gently baked kibbles (Raw Coated®, Raw Mix®, Ultimate Raw®) are made in small batches and enhanced with freeze dried raw meats and bone broth to make them extra delicious and nutritious.Treats only contain natural ingredients, they are single ingredient freeze dried raw meats or whole vegetables that provide a wholesome reward.The natural supplements (bone broth, goat milk, Norwegian salmon oil and Nature’s Toothbrush®) have developed a huge following of loyal fans that value the natural holistic benefits derived from simple whole foods.