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A healthy diet should be “complete and balanced,” meeting your pet’s nutritional needs.
What does “complete and balanced” mean for dog food? And, more importantly, what are the specific ingredients in the food, and how were the ingredients processed along the way? Only through understanding these two critical factors will you go beyond the “complete and balanced” statement to truly feel comfortable that the food delivers the nutritional benefits that your pet needs.
Ingredients are at the forefront of the dog food diet conversation. Dog food ingredients should be recognizable, free from byproducts like meat powder. In addition, processing should be minimal. Extreme cooking processes, such as those found in many kibble processes, may destroy nutrients from the food ingredients, leaving it short of “complete and balanced” and supplementation requirements.
One of the best ways to determine if the ingredients in your dog’s food use the best in whole food ingredients and the minimum in processing to protect the natural nutrients is to see if the brand is included on The Truth About Pet Food List. To be included on this list, the brand must go through a rigorous process to ensure both the ingredients and the processing provide the nutritional outcome desired in a complete and balanced diet.
With these two factors alone, many pet owners are moving away from kibble and toward raw food diets or innovative options like freeze dried dog food to pursue a healthier whole food diet.
What is freeze dried dog food? What benefits could your dog get from switching to a freeze dried diet? What ingredients make up freeze dried ingredients?
Let’s take a closer look at freeze-dried dog food. In this article, we’ll look at what freeze dried dog food is, its benefits and how to choose the right freeze dried dog food for your pet.
What is Freeze Dried Dog Food?
Learn more about the process of freeze drying dog food, the nutritional benefits of freeze dried and common ingredients your pet can expect in their diet!
How is Freeze Dried Dog Food Made?
Freeze dried pet food takes its name from the freeze drying process used to prepare the food. The process begins by gently chopping and blending together whole food ingredients. Once these ingredients have been chopped and blended together, they are then frozen.
The frozen ingredients are then placed into a freeze dryer. During this process of freeze drying, all of the moisture in the food is drawn out. A major benefit to the process of freeze drying raw, whole food ingredients is nutrient retention. Because the freeze dried process does not use high temperatures, freeze dried dog food retains the original nutrients found in natural high-quality whole food ingredients.
Freeze Dried Dog Food and Nutrient Absorption
Another benefit of the freeze dried process is the impact it makes on bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to how much of a nutrient, once consumed, is properly absorbed and used by the body.
There are numerous factors that can impact the bioavailability of food, including how that food is processed. For humans, the structure of the raw food ingredient is important to the bioavailability of the food itself, as an example, broccoli is a wonderful source of fiber and protein and contains iron, potassium and calcium. The manner in which all these nutrients are combined provides for improved absorption because of its natural structure, as nature intended.
The same can be applied to pet food and the type of ingredients and the processing of the ingredients is key. Let’s use the example of a dog food diet that contains beef protein. If the food is processed at high temperatures, as typically found in kibble production, the proteins available in the beef ingredient may degrade and become less digestible. Conversely, if that diet were freeze dried instead of cooked, the protein structure and nutrient quality would be retained.
Ingredient Transparency in Freeze Dried Dog Food
While home preparation of ingredients is a great and healthy option for your pet, it isn’t always cost-effective or time-efficient. Nevertheless, you want to feed your pet the healthiest ingredients without having to start your own farm. That’s where freeze dried dog food comes in!
The ingredients in freeze dried dog food make this pet food choice stand out from other choices like kibble. Freeze dried dog food takes whole ingredients and freeze dries them to retain the ingredient’s natural nutrients! The result? Easy to serve freeze dried dog food with the natural nutrients and whole ingredients of a raw dog food diet.
Another unique thing about freeze dried dog food is the ingredient transparency that comes with some brands like Side by Side. Take a moment to picture the last bowl of dog food you served your pet. Can you point out each ingredient listed in the food’s ingredients list? Chances are you likely can’t. Because of the food’s processing, many dog food brands lack ingredient transparency.
This isn’t the case with select brands producing freeze dried dog food. The actual ingredients come back to life in the rehydration process, allowing you to see the beef pieces, carrots and green beans. That means what you see in your dog’s bowl is exactly what they’re getting. And be sure to pick the brands that don’t use any synthetics, additives or fillers; just check the ingredient list. If you don’t recognize the ingredient keep looking for those brands that are clean and clear.
Common Ingredients in Freeze Dried Dog Food
To give you an idea of some of the tasty ingredients you’ll find in freeze dried dog food, here are various ingredients we use at Side by Side when preparing our freeze dried diets:
- Whole duck with bones
- Beef heart
- Chicken heart
- Chicken liver
- Sweet potato
- Green beans
- Dried kelp
Each whole food ingredient is carefully chosen to create a nourishing and species-appropriate meal. In the end, your pet enjoys real food in every bite!
Switching to Freeze Dried Dog Food
Interested in switching to freeze dried dog food now that you know more about the delicious benefits it can offer your furry family member? Learn how you can find the best freeze dried diet that is personalized for your pet’s nutritional needs.
Take Side by Side’s Pet Health Profile
Have you ever wished that your dog could tell you what they were thinking? It would certainly make shopping for their diets a lot easier! Thankfully, there’s a way you can figure out what your pet is telling you with Side by Side’s Pet Health Profile.
This assessment’s overall goal is to determine if your pet runs warm, cold or neutral. When you think of your pet’s nutrition, there are three main factors to consider: environment, lifestyle and wellness state. Side by Side’s Pet Health Profile analyzes these three factors in relation to your pet, and in three minutes, you can determine if your pet is too warm or cold.
Once you’re done, you’ll have a better idea of what your pet needs from their nutrition! Plus, you’ll get a tasty recommendation from Side by Side to help you start their new diet off right.
How to Interpret Your Pet Profile
Upon completion of your pet’s profile assessment, you will receive recommendations from the Side by Side team. Our assessment is based on the time-tested Eastern Food Therapy that, as previously mentioned, determines if your pet runs warm, cold or neutral.
Why does this matter?
Running warm or cold can heavily affect the quality of your pet’s life. Running warm—indicated by pink eyes, dark stools and other symptoms—may cause internal inflammation and discomfort. Likewise, running cold—indicated by watery eyes, mushy stool and other—signals that your pet might have a weak immune system or other factors requiring attention from your vet.
Your personalized Side by Side Pet Health Profile result will further explain other factors associated with the warm, cool, neutral profile. In addition, you will receive recommendations to help your dog achieve a healthy, neutral balance.
Review your pet profile and seek the guidance of a trusted veterinarian to transition your dog the right way!
Transition the Right Way
Once you know more about your pet with Side by Side’s pet health profile, you may feel you’re ready for the switch. Regardless, how quickly you transition your pet depends on their overall health, how long they’ve been on processed food and their age. This can also impact their detoxification process as well.
While these aren’t the only transition methods, Side by Side recommends two types of diet methods: a swift or a slow process.
A swift process is recommended for healthy and young dogs that have a strong gastrointestinal system. If your dog is happy, healthy and has a strong stomach, you can make their diet switch almost immediately! First, your pet should fast for at least one to two mealtimes. This fasting process lasts 12 hours if it’s one mealtime and 24 hours if it’s two. Make sure your pet has plenty of water and the appropriate amount of vegetable, beef or poultry broth during this fasting period.
If your pet is a bit older or has digestive problems like a sensitive stomach, Side by Side recommends a slower process. The length of time you take transitioning your pet will depend on how long they’ve eaten kibble. The longer your pet has eaten kibble, the slower their transition should be. It is important to take this transition as slow as necessary to allow your pet to adjust to their new diet properly.
Show Your Pet Some Full Belly Love With Side by Side!
Switching to freeze dried dog food comes with plenty of benefits. Not only will your furbabies enjoy delicious, whole ingredients, but it’ll keep them healthy and happy!
At Side by Side, we know just how big an impact real food can make on your pet’s diet. That belief drives us to carefully and intentionally craft each product to perfection.
Side by Side’s freeze dried dog food combines Eastern Food Therapy with amazing whole food ingredients that are gently cooked. Plus, we never use synthetics, additives or fillers to ensure your pet is only getting the best food.
In the end, Side by Side helps you keep your pets healthy with thoughtfully made complete and balanced freeze dried goodness.
Want to give your pets the best when it comes to their diet?
Visit Side by Side today and discover your furry family member’s new favorite food!