Dog is a (wo)man’s best friend – that’s been an undisputed fact for many centuries and I am sure, if you’re reading this, you’ve experienced that yourself. That’s quite a special relationship status, isn’t it?
You are invited for dinner
Let’s paint a picture: you’re preparing dinner for your family, the people you love the most. You cook a chicken, steam or roast some veggies, maybe slice some fresh baked bread: most of it has come from your garden or local farms. It smells and tastes delicious. And here comes your best friend—let’s call him Archie, the furry glorious dog. Of course, he is invited to the dinner.
You serve him a plate, adding some extra raw chicken neck, maybe chicken foot and a gizzard that you set aside, crack an egg. Archie gobbles up the dinner and licks your hand to thank you. And he lives happily and healthily till he peacefully dies at age 18…
Photo credit – Lauren Elizabeth Beninger
It sounds like a tale that isn’t based on reality: for one thing, we most likely don’t know where the food we eat comes from (let alone have a garden), two, the dog doesn’t eat with the family – he gets his kibble in a bowl in a laundry room perhaps — and three – in reality “happily and healthily till age 18” is more like “he develops some thyroid issues, gets a tumor, and passes away at 12 years old…”
I’m sure if you had to choose, you would definitely choose “happily and healthily.” What if I told you that it’s possible? What if you could make a decision today that would change your dog’s life? After all, we’re talking about your best friend here…
What if you could make a decision today that would change your dog’s life? After all, we’re talking about your best friend here…
Story behind kibble
Before we jump into THAT VERY NOT SECRET way to create a happier life, let me give you a little history lesson.
Did you know that the dog food you see in the stores today is just another brilliant masterful marketing strategy that has nothing to do with “what’s best for us” but all to do with “what sells”? Convenience sells. People want ease (not dis-ease). You don’t want to “deal” with preparing food for your dog – here you go, a bag of dry food, just scoop and serve. Done. Cheap and easy.
Dry food as we see it today was invented in 1956. It was created using the extrusion method: take ingredients that may resemble fresh meat, veggies, and some grain, maybe synthetic vitamins, some cellulose, wood shavings, or starch, mix it all together to form a dough-like consistency, feed it into a machine where the dough gets cooked under extreme pressurized steam and high temperatures, then pushed through a die cut machine and formed into small uniform shapes. Now imagine eating that one food every day for the rest of your life. Yummm… not.
In the 1960s and 70s a group of pet food industry lobbyists in America launched ad campaigns to convince consumers that kibble was the best way to feed our pets. They succeeded, and that changed the lives of our furry best friends forever. It’s now common the see “degenerative” dis-eases before dogs and cats get to be 10 years of age. Many of these are associated with the toxins in processed dry and wet foods.
This is enough – reclaiming vital food!
It’s time to return to the days of 18-year-old dogs and 22-year-old cats. This is about empowering pet parents to help their animals thrive, not just survive until a chronic degenerative problem starts—and all simply by feeding them fresh food. When it comes to feeding, you can easily take back control of your pet’s health. Just say, “This is enough! We want to take our health back into our own hands.”
Just say, “This is enough! We want to take our health back into our own hands.”
Doesn’t it feel powerful?
And here is the “secret” way to help them live happier: feed yourself (and your best friends) fresh vital foods. Yep, it’s that simple. A good rule is to ask yourself “Did my great great-grandmother have this?” If she didn’t, that means it’s processed.
A good example is modern cat food. The cheapest popular commercial kibble for cats is mostly corn, food coloring and flavoring, plus additives. Cats are obligate carnivores (meaning that a species-appropriate diet would be ~90% meat) yet they survive on corn! However, their vitality and quality of life may be diminished, and dis-eases increased, through their lifetime.
However, the convenience of feeding commercial foods is compelling (and is recommended by most veterinarians). It’s up to you to ask – do I want a convenient, not so vital life for my pets, or do I want a life full of energy, vitality, and joy? The second choice might not be as easy or convenient, but is very much worth it.
The 5 dried dog foods for 2021
So because this article is about the 5 best dried dog foods for 2021, I would like to present it like this: any highly processed food has no life in it. And that does not support life in your dog. Yes, there are some that have better ingredients than others (organic, fewer “extras”). However, at the end of the day – it’s the kind of food that you wouldn’t serve at the family dinner and could only pass as occasional emergency or comfort food (you know, for those days when you just want to lie on the couch with bowl of ice cream, bag of chips, can of soda watching Netflix… it’s ok once in a while).
So instead of 5 kibble brands, I will share with you 5 conveniently packaged more vital dry dog food you can get:
- ZIWI Peak air-dried dog food. ZIWI Peak is an air-dried, and not extruded, food that doesn’t have any fillers, carbs or other high glycemic ingredients, binders, etc. The air drying process helps retain vitality and is gentler on the food than extrusion (the typical method of making kibble).
- The Honest Kitchen dehydrated dog food. They use human-grade ingredients and are very transparent about their production
- Dr. Bob’s Wisdom Food. It’s crafted in small batches, gently air-dried, and made with absolute love, as they claim.
- Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm food. Paradigm is a “green food” revolutionary base-mix dog food that eliminates the prep work of making fresh, healthy and safe home cooked meals. Simply mix with meat and oil for a balanced, homemade meal.
- Carna4 dog food. Their real food recipes contain no synthetics of any kind, not even the vitamin pre-mixes found in most other ‘natural’ foods. They offer innovative ingredients that are amazing super-foods, like organic sprouted seeds.
All the recommended foods are pricier than the regular kibble. Many people are deterred by that. Feeding your animal on a budget and still making sure that they receive good vital nutrients is another great topic discussed on the HA! Forum and in various reliable Facebook groups.
I wanted to thank you for caring about your dog so much! If you are feeding kibble at the moment,no worries—we all learn as we go.
Start small – start by mixing up to 25% of raw or lightly cooked fresh foods with their kibble and see how they like it.
And that will be the beginning of the “healthily and happily” ever after.
Aruna Tumpyte and the HA! Team