It’s easy to sail past a bag of dog food at the supermarket that boasts all-natural ingredients. After all, you’ve seen your pup rummage through a tipped garbage can – how picky do you really need to be when it comes to your dog’s diet? Turns out that being selective with what goes in your dog’s mouth can benefit not only your canine companion in a multitude of ways, but also your budget. They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it comes to switching to natural dog food, your puppy pal and your wallet will thank you.
Why You Should Switch to Natural Dog Food?
First, a story: our dog was turning 8 and growing increasingly lethargic and bigger in size. She was no longer as energetic or playful – choosing to sleep on her bed with her faded red blankie over a game of tug of war with her lambie or a game of fetch. Naps were longer and more frequent, and she stopped barking at the mailman and worse, stopped bounding to the door to greet us whenever we walked in after leaving the house. “She’s getting old,” we said, shrugging. But we did miss her youthful exuberance.
Then our vet, during a regular checkup, suggested a change in diet since she had put on a few pounds. We switched to an all-natural brand, grumbling about the slight increase in cost at the checkout counter.
But soon after, the results turned us into converts: our girl was back. She not only ran back and forth and chased balls, but she bounded again, instead of just ambling to and fro her food bowl. She initiated playtime with us. She barked her little barks to communicate with us, and paced protectively if we were all in different rooms. She looked better – her fur was shinier and softer, and that weird smell that we chalked up to age? It just up and disappeared.
The only thing we did differently was switch to all natural dog food.
You might not have any health issues or change in behavior with your dog right now. You might think “That’s great for you, but we don’t have a need to switch anything up.”
But, This is where the ounce of prevention comes in. Keep pouring that cost-effective food that doesn’t seem to have anything too unhealthy in it, and you likely will have a dog with long range effects in the future.
Here are some of the more immediate effects you can find when switching to a natural dog food:
Better breath and better digestion
Crunchy natural ingredients can act as scrubbers on tooth enamel, gently scraping tartar and other sticky substances that cause sulfurous odors off of the tooth enamel. Plus, processed foods aren’t the easiest to digest, and bacterial overgrowth in the intestines can affect your pet’s breath for the worse. Bonus: it also reduces gas as well.
Healthy teeth and gums
Eyes get brighter and teeth get brighter. Increasing the amount of nutrients they absorb will make a marked difference on their outward appearance. And remember the plaque scraping abilities mentioned above? That reduces gum disease, which can be fatal for canines.
Maintain a healthy weight
More energy = more playtime = more calories burned. It’s easy to keep weight down when running and chasing are a regular part of each day. Obesity can kill dogs if not monitored.
More filling, tastes great!
Byproducts of food, or fillers, are empty calories, and create a false feeling of fullness. Natural ingredients not only provide the nutrients essential for a healthy pet, but keep them satiated throughout the day.
Those pesky fillers can introduce allergies in not just humans, but domesticated animals, too.
Akin to taking a hyperactive child off of sugar, switching to an all-natural dog food will improve behavior. When a dog is playing more, has increased energy, and is enjoying quality sleep, his or her demeanor will reflect this! A better temperament is the hallmark of improved health, too.
A diet bogged down by processed foods and fillers can make your dog’s mental capabilities drag, too. Clear diets, clear minds, can’t lose.
Fewer trips to the vet
Just like getting that gingivitis taken care of immediately in the dentist chair before it turns into expensive gum disease that can lead to tooth loss, keeping your dog healthy now reduces the potential of health issues in the future. Bone density, heart health, and eyesight can all be maintained with a steady intake of nutrients and an elimination of processed portions.
What Is Your Dog Worth?
Why support companies who make money by skimming on quality and putting by product and scraps into dog food, when dogs are living beings who deserve so much better? Dogs can’t speak, but if they could, they probably wouldn’t want to be filled with empty calories on a constant basis (but of course, who can’t resist junk food now and then?!) The health of your pet relies upon your everyday choices.
So What Should You Look For?
First, you can consult with your vet and see what she or he purchases or recommends. Then start reading labels of different brands. Surf the web for articles on this topic. Visit specialty pet stores to suss out what kind of brands they stock on their shelves.
An Ounce of Prevention
In addition to the possibility of cutting back significantly on vet bills over the extent of your dog’s life, you can also possibly save on not having to buy costly medications. Life can continue smoothly, without interruption in your usual routine. That certainly adds to peace of mind if you don’t have to worry about your dog’s health, the cost of bills and medications, or about the way you like to live your day-to-day life.
A Longer Life
This is the part we don’t like to think about. We know that it’s a fact of life that we will outlive our pets, but we sure do want to keep them around as long as possible. Not only does this increase their longevity, it increases their quality of life. A happy old dog with a tail that thumps regularly on the ground is the hallmark of a life well-lived. There’s such satisfaction in knowing you contributed to that.
Mitch Felderhoff joined his family business in May of 2007 after graduating from the University of North Texas. After several years working in sales, Mitch took on the responsibility of marketing, new product development, and was named Vice President of Muenster Milling in 2009. With the company now firmly in the 4th generation of Felderhoff’s, Mitch’s commitment to excellence is stronger than ever. When Mitch isn’t working on extruding dry pet foods, he is a husband and loving father of three boys.