You love your pup, and that little furball loves you. Of course, you want what’s best for your dog. The best toys, the best treats, and most importantly, the best food. It’s only natural to want your dog to be healthy. And natural, healthy dog food is exactly what your dog needs.
But searching for “natural” dog food is just the first step. There are plenty of important factors to know and understand before finding the right food for your dog. Ideally, these meals should be healthy, easy for you, and fresh. They should contain the right balance of nutrients and vitamins for your dog, too! It sounds like a lot, but finding the perfect food for your pupper is easier than you think.
What Makes ‘Healthy’ Dog Food?
Just like with human food, cheap, processed food mixed with chemicals, preservatives, or additives isn’t ideal. Healthy food for dogs is going to be fresh, natural, ingredients. There are no fillers that some mass-produced brands use.
Typically, healthy dog food brands will use lean meats like chicken or turkey with a healthy helping of veggies, grains, and fruits mixed in. If that sounds like a balanced human diet, you’re right! While the dietary needs of your dog may vary dramatically based on size and weight, it’s important to ensure they’re getting these servings. For example, Pet Plate, a fresh food delivery service for dogs, features customized dietary plans. That means your dog gets delicious meals based on their breed, weight, activity level, and age. It’s the easiest way for pet parents to ensure their pup is getting the diet they need to stay healthy and happy.
Pet Plate has all their meals designed by a licensed Veterinary nutritionist—Dr. Renee Streeter, DVM, DACVN. “All Pet Plate diets are nutritionally balanced and highly palatable to dogs,” Streeter says. “Most dogs respond really well to a fresh diet comprised of high quality ingredients and vitamins and minerals.” The healthiest dog food brands are ensuring that your dog gets all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need with each meal.
As a general rule, it’s always best to check the ingredients label on anything you buy for your pup. “Pet Plate’s labels are short and simple, which makes it easier to help identify allergens,” says Streeter. “You’ll often find multiple sources of proteins and starches (pea and potato starch) hidden in the longer ingredient statements for kibble, and this can be problematic for pet parents trying to avoid specific ingredients due to their pet’s allergies.” Short, recognizable ingredient lists are typically a good sign. If there are any chemicals or words you don’t recognize, odds are it’s not something you want your dog eating. At the very least, it’s worth looking into.
What Is Fresh Dog Food?
Fresh dog food refers to alternatives to store-bought, bagged food that often sits in trucks and on store shelves. Unlike traditional dog food brands, fresh brands like Pet Plate prepare the food, freeze or refrigerate it, and deliver fresh, ready-to-serve meals straight to your door. This also means they won’t be using preservatives. While other foods need to use them to extend the shelf life of the product, those chemicals can be unhealthy for dogs. These fresh dog food delivery services are like those trendy meal kit plans, except for your dog! They’re simple, easy, and allow you to set your own schedule.
Most importantly, fresh food is more bioavailable than other forms of pet food. In short, that means your dog is able to utilize the nutrients easily. “Pet Plate uses fresh, human-grade ingredients which makes the nutrients more bioavailable for your pet,” explains Streeter. “Having food that is easier to digest helps your pet stay healthy, and makes the morning walk a bit more pleasant.”
What Is The BEST Dog Food?
That’s a deceptively complex question. What’s the best human food? There are plenty of good, healthy options to choose from, and every person will likely have a different answer. Dogs are the same way! Generally, the best types of food for dogs contain lots of lean protein and are low in fat and fiber. Really, if you find a healthy food that meets those requirements, and your dog loves to eat it, then that’s the best dog food for your dog.
If your dog is a picky eater, you aren’t alone. Ensuring your fussy mutt gets all the nutrients and minerals their fuzzy body needs can be difficult. Buying the most nutritious dog food in the world doesn’t matter if your dog isn’t interested in going anywhere near it, let alone eating it. What you’re really looking for isn’t dog food. It’s food that’s good for dogs. “Fresh cooked diets are generally more palatable for picky dogs,” says Streeter. “This is likely because of the higher moisture content as well as the quality of the protein and fat sources.”
Pet Plate is a perfect example. They offer beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb meals with all of these necessary ingredients your dog needs. More importantly, these ingredients are all-natural, USDA grade, and kettle-cooked in a USDA kitchen. Every meal contains a custom blend of vitamins and minerals to ensure your dog’s diet is complete and balanced. There are no artificial
preservatives, colors, or flavors. Their food does not contain rendered meat or by-products. And it’s flash-frozen to lock in freshness before delivery. These are the kinds of factors you want to look for in a healthy dog food brand.
What About Pet Food Delivery? Is It Safe?
Absolutely! As mentioned above, the best way to get your dog fresh food is through a service like Pet Plate. These services freeze or refrigerate the food before delivery, so they’re fresh
when they get to your door.
On top of that, Pet Plate offers personalized, calorie-based meal plans. That means you can simply open up a bowl and set it in front of your hungry pup. There’s no fussing or measuring on
your end. And they deliver on an ongoing basis, so you’re not cluttering up your freezer.
Can I Make My Own Dog Food?
Sure! There’s nothing wrong with taking some of the fresh, natural ingredients previously discussed and throwing together your own dog meals. There’s nothing like a home cooked meal, right? Just make sure it’s properly packed away and stored, and frozen if need be. You can absolutely cook healthy dog food. If you’re cooking dog food at home, there are several things to be mindful of: supplements, time, and portion sizes. But under the right circumstances, this can be a way to ensure your dog is getting healthy, fresh meals.
The most important consideration to make here is ensuring your dog is getting the correct supplements, vitamins, and nutrients they need. For example, it might be easy to meal prep servings of chicken and rice for your dog, but that isn’t a balanced diet. Brands like Pet Plate include a blend of supplements to ensure your dog is getting everything they need. Before anything else, if you’re going to cook your own meals, consult with your vet and ensure you’re using the correct supplements.
As mentioned above, preparing meals for your dog isn’t as simple as leaving something on the stove for ten minutes. Make sure you have the time to commit to daily meal preparations. You can find a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist to help you or who will work with your vet to create a diet that’s balanced for your dog at www.ACVN.org.
How Much Should I Feed My Dog?
You’ve likely heard the phrase ‘“too much of a good thing” and food is no different. Even if you’re giving the dog the best, leanest, healthiest meals, overeating can lead to weight gain, and that can lead to other problems for your pup. Portion control is hugely important. A good guideline is giving your dog ⅓ cup for every ten pounds they weigh. But their age, breed, and energy levels can all play a part in making slight adjustments. Ideally, consult with a veterinarian to ensure you aren’t over or under-feeding your dog.
Get Started With Healthy Food For Your Dog Today!
So while there’s a lot to consider when searching for the best way to feed your dog, just remember that Pet Plate makes all of this healthy (and delicious!) for dogs and easy for humans. If convenience, safety, and assurance are important to you, a fresh food delivery service like Pet Plate is absolutely ideal. Click here for 50% off your first box of Pet Plate meals!