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  • Writer's pictureKarley

Should I Have my Dog on a Fresh Food Diet?

As pet owners, we always want what’s best for our furry companions, and diet plays a crucial role in their overall health and wellbeing. Fresh dog food diets, such as those offered by Just Food for Dogs or A Pup Above, have gained popularity in recent years. Why is this? Speaking from personal experience, my dogs absolutely love it. Their fur and skin appears and feels healthier, which as a Pomeranian owner, this is incredibly important to me when I consider maintaining their iconic floof.


Also, all of my dogs are a healthy weight. When I was feeding my dogs kibble and wet food, some of my dogs were really struggling with their weight. Even when I adjusted the amount to a bit less than what was on the label, they were just not losing the weight. One of my Pomeranians began coughing more and was just overall less energetic due to her weight and that added stress onto her trachea. The switch to Just Food for Dogs has gotten her back to a healthy weight and her coughing and fatigue have lessened. So, after years of struggling with maintaining the health of my dogs, I would say a legit fresh food diet can be incredibly beneficial to the overall wellbeing of any dog.


The Benefits of a Fresh Food Diet


Nutrient-Rich Meals: 

  • Fresh dog foods often contain whole, real ingredients that are minimally processed. This means they can be richer in nutrients compared to traditional kibble. For instance, fresh diets usually include high-quality proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats, which are essential for your dog's health​​. Fresh-food companies typically detail the nutrient value that is in their foods, which is something you do not typically find with non-prescription kibble brands.



Easier Digestibility: 

  • Fresh diets are often easier for dogs to digest. This is particularly beneficial for dogs with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues. The natural ingredients and absence of fillers can lead to better digestion and absorption of nutrients​​.

Personalized for Specific Needs: 

  • Many fresh food companies, like Just Food for Dogs, offer personalized meal plans. These can be tailored to your dog's specific dietary needs, age, weight, and health conditions, ensuring they get the right balance of nutrients​​.

  • From personal experience, I have a few dogs with varying needs so that was also the problem with feeding my dogs kibble. The chicken and rice diet works well for most younger, adult dogs and helps with healthy digestion. Some of my dogs are eating the turkey and macaroni diet because they are picky eaters and are on the older side.

  • I used the chicken diet first for my overweight dog and then moved her over to turkey once she was at a good weight. I would have done the salmon diet, as this is recommended for dogs with weight problems, but my dogs are not a fan of fish.

  • If you are unsure of what to feed your dog, some of these websites, like Just Food for Dogs, have food calculators to determine which diet will best suit your dog's needs.


Improved Health Outcomes: 

  • Some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that fresh diets can lead to improved coat quality, healthier skin, better weight management, and overall improved health in dogs​​.


Potential Downsides


  1. Cost: One of the biggest downsides of fresh dog food diets is the cost. They are typically more expensive than traditional dog food. This can be a significant factor for pet owners with a tight budget​​.

  2. Storage and Preparation: Fresh foods often require refrigeration and have shorter shelf lives than dry kibble. This can be inconvenient, especially for busy pet owners or those who travel frequently with their dogs​​.

**As a person who has a busy schedule, I have not had a significant issue with refrigerating the food or with its shelf life. I have many dogs, so I buy the big packs and keep them frozen until I am planning on serving it for that week. If you have one to two dogs, I would recommend buying the smaller packs.

  1. Lack of Long-term Studies: While there are many positive anecdotal reports about the benefits of fresh dog food, there is a lack of long-term, peer-reviewed studies that conclusively prove these benefits over traditional diets​​.

  2. Risk of Nutritional Imbalance: If not properly formulated, homemade or some commercially available fresh diets can lead to nutritional imbalances. It's crucial to choose a brand like Just Food for Dogs, which formulates its meals with the help of veterinary nutritionists to ensure they are nutritionally complete​​.

**I would not recommend making your food at home unless you are willing to also buy nutritional packs to make sure they are getting their vitamins. Just feeding your dog plain chicken and rice is fine for short term emergencies when your dog is ill, but should not be a long-term diet because they will be lacking necessary nutrients.


Conclusion


A fresh food diet for your dog, like those offered by Just Food for Dogs or A Pup Above, can offer numerous health benefits, especially in terms of nutrient availability and digestibility. Always consult with a veterinarian before making significant changes to your pet's diet. For more information on fresh dog food diets, visit Just Food for Dogs or consult resources like PetMD for expert advice.


Remember, every dog is unique, and what works best for one may not be ideal for another. The key is to find a diet that suits your dog’s individual health needs and your lifestyle.

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