I recently shared a post highlighting the dog food brand I feed Diego and Gigi. It’s called The Farmer’s Dog and it’s a fresh food subscription service that cooks up human-grade dog food with your canine companion in mind.
Before transitioning to The Farmer’s Dog, I was home-cooking. And before that, I fed kibble. Since ditching processed kibble and filling up my pups’ food bowls with real meats, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich ingredients, I’ve noticed a few major changes. Keep reading to find out the top reasons why I’m a huge advocate for feeding fresh!
Not As Thirsty
Dogs who eat dry kibble tend to become excessively thirsty and will likely need more water because of the lack of moisture in their food.
Rewind the clock to a time where I used to fill my dogs’ food bowl with processed brown pellets. Back then, my dogs used to drink A LOT of water. I even had to keep a bowl on my bedroom nightstand so my Chihuahua, Diego, could have access around the clock. No exaggeration — he would get up to drink at least once an hour. He would drink so much that I actually took him to the vet to find out if something was wrong. Nope. His tests came back normal.
Since changing to fresh food, though, he never wakes up at night to drink. And, the amount of time he spends in the kitchen corner lapping up water from his bowl has dramatically reduced.
Way More Energy
Diego sleeps in my bed, under the covers. While I like to wake up no later than 6 am to get my day started, if I would let him, Diego used to snooze until noon. He was one lazy boy! But, since transitioning to fresh food, he’s become an early bird. He can’t wait to wake up, run down the stairs, make a tinkle, and then gobble down his breakfast.
I guess I’m not surprised his fresh food diet has given him so much more energy. Just think about it: Do you have more energy after eating a garden salad topped with grilled salmon or a plate of fried chicken with some mac and cheese? Junk food makes us bloated, sluggish, and fatigued. Our bodies (and by “our” I mean both human and canine) need good nutrition to thrive.
Since Dr. Karen Becker says it so well, I’m pulling a quote of hers:
“Because kibble is processed multiple times and at extremely high temperatures, effectively killing all the nutrition in the food, manufacturers assume the finished product contains no micronutrients. That’s why the final production step involves spraying on a nutrient mix (and a palatability enhancer to make pets want to eat the stuff). The nutrient mix contains cheap, feed-grade vitamins (often from China), including metal oxides and sulfates that speed the oxidation of fats, ultimately resulting in rancid fats in a formula that may or may not be entirely safe to feed as little as a week after it was opened.”
On the contrary, you have foods like The Farmer’s Dog that boast:
“Our meals are prepared in USDA kitchens, where each recipe is gently cooked at low temperatures according to USDA-facility standards. They’re then quickly frozen (never deep frozen!) for safe shipping and your storage convenience. Since we package and deliver your meals on a convenient subscription, your food is truly made fresh and never contains preservatives which allow kibble to sit on a shelf for years at a time.”
Dog parents are no strangers to good ol’ poop talk. Truly, if you want to know how healthy your dog is, pay attention to the frequency, color, texture, and smell of their poop (but please don’t bend down and deliberately sniff dog poop … that’s just weird!).
In general, dogs who are fed a fresh food diet will produce smaller poops because the food is being more effectively absorbed into their body. On the flip side, if your dog’s food is filled with cheap fillers and excessive amounts of fiber, he may not be properly absorbing the nutrients from his meals. This will result in large and bulky stools.
I definitely noticed this with my own dog.
When I was feeding kibble, my poodle, Gigi, would leave behind a very large poop every time I let her outside. Yes, every time! Since changing to fresh food, though, she poops way less. Maybe twice a day.
Gigi and Diego’s poops are also smaller, firmer, and more consistent in color. Plus, Diego used to make really stinky ones (like, he should be ashamed of himself they were so stinky!). But, now, picking up his doo-doo is way more pleasant!
Shinier Coat and Healthier Skin
Shortly after swapping kibble for whole foods, I noticed my dogs’ coats were a lot softer and shinier. That’s thanks to the essential fatty acids in their meals. They’re now getting a good combination of omega 3, 6, and 9! While neither Diego or Gigi have ever suffered from skin issues (like severe itchiness, rashes, and dry coats), those fatty acids also help to improve skin!
Healthier Body Weight
When I fed kibble, I left the food bowl out 24/7. Yup, I used to free-feed. While my dogs were never obese, they were definitely starting to put on some extra weight. Since switching to fresh food, though, I serve a perfectly portioned out breakfast and dinner. I have little guys, so I prefer to space out their calorie intake by feeding twice a day. As a result, my dogs’ bodies maintain their healthy weight.
When I home-cooked, I used a food scale to ensure I was feeding my dogs the right amount. With The Farmer’s Dog, they do that work for me by sending customized bags that each contain four days’ worth of food.
Some Other Benefits of Feeding Fresh Dog Food
Overall, dogs are happier, healthier, and less at risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and many other illnesses. Once you change to fresh dog food, you can feel comfortable knowing there are no more:
- Guessing games — you know exactly what you’re feeding your dog!
- Red flag preservatives
- Unnecessary additives
- “Meals” or “by-products”
Convenient & Healthy
If you have the time to regularly cook and do the necessary research, ensuring you’re feeding your dog a balanced diet (one that fits their unique needs), then homemade meals are great!
For me, I started to feel a major time crunch and needed a convenient alternative that was just as healthy. That’s when I turned to The Farmer’s Dog. Formulated by veterinary nutritionists, they cook up human-grade meals in USDA Kitchens right here in the USA. Food is delivered to your door within days of cooking and you just have to sit back and watch your dog enjoy!
Want to try it for 50% off?
I reached out to the company to see if I could get you a discount! And, good news: They’re offering Proud Dog Mom readers 50% off your first trial order.