It is common to shop for pet food when shopping for your own groceries in retail stores. After all, pets are family, right?
The most common type of dog food available in these sources is kibbles. Many pet parents in the community may reach out to grab a bag of kibbles for their pups by default.
Some pet parents are also not aware of the different types of dog food available in the market.
A rising number of pet parents conduct the necessary research into dog food before making a purchase. It is with much pleasure that this is a growing trend, and this article is aimed at helping you on your journey of better health for your pups.
Kibbles dog food
- Short answer
Rendered meat meals, 4D meats, additives including colouring and flavouring, preservatives, synthetic vitamins… and the list goes on.
- Long answer
If you were to describe kibbles as a human-grade food, one of the closest comparisons would be nuggets. Kibbles, including premium, grain-free and organic, are all made via a process called extrusion.
Many of the ingredients that go into the product were already processed before they arrived at the production site.
One of the best examples of these ingredients is meat meals, which are rendered products from mammals. According to AAFCO, these mammals may be regular cattle and pigs, and could include mammals other than cattle, pigs, sheep or goats without further description.
4D meats refer to meat from dead, deceased, destroyed or disabled animals, which, as suggested, are of low quality. Other ingredients used to make the final product may also be supermarket rejects that are no longer of human-grade.
Many manufacturers also use carbohydrates of low-cost such as potatoes and corn in high quantity to make up the volume for the product. These are usually referred to as “fillers”.
Don’t be alarmed, potatoes and corn are still a great source of food for your furkids, just not when they are consumed in large amounts, moreover if they are of low quality.
These ingredients are then put together and made into a mix, which is then heated with extremely high heat and pressure. This process destroys many nutrients from any natural ingredients present from the mix.
The mix is then shaped and dried, which results in boring, dry, unappetising-looking little balls. The little balls are then added with colourings and flavourings to increase palatability.
To make up for the lost nutrients, synthetic vitamins are also coated onto the product before they are packed into bags.
Air-dried dog food
- Short answer
Meats, organs, bones, fruits and vegetables, possibly other superfoods.
- Long answer
Food drying has been a preservation technique that has been around since ancient times, as early as 12,000 BC… salami anyone?
Rapid progress in technology and probably many rainy days led to the creation of air-drying machines, or a simpler term for it would be a dehydrator, which is a moisture-removing machine. You get it.
Air-dried dog food is not cooked, and as heat involved during the air-drying process is low, heat-sensitive nutrients are very much protected with minimal damage to the amino acids, enzymes and vitamins as compared to that of kibbles.
The end-product also has a long shelf life without the use of preservatives due to the low moisture content, which discourages the growth of microorganisms and bacteria.
Fresh ingredients are introduced into drying chambers, after which low-temperature heated air is blown into the drying chamber over the course of many hours until the moisture content of the fresh ingredients is removed to the desired level.
Air-dried dog food keeps the nutrients from the natural ingredients protected, but also provides the scoop-and-feed convenience for pet parents.
Kibbles is usually produced in a mass manufacturing production site in huge batches, which undoubtedly makes the final retail price more economical to feed.
However, it is still crucial to include fresh, real food into your pup’s diet for health and nutritional balance. With a well-balanced diet, health goes a long way for your furkids. Do your research today!
PledgeCare is run by a small dedicated team of wholehearted animal-lovers. Their belief is that all animals deserve better – not only the ones living in homes, but also the strays living on the streets. They operate as a social enterprise and proudly donate a share of their proceeds to local shelters helping animals in need.