By The Farmer's Dog | January 26, 2017

Over the past few decades, we’ve reconsidered how we’re eating, swapping highly processed food for fresh vegetables and lean protein. Our perspective on the traditional American diet has evolved, as has our understanding of the undeniable power that food has on health.

This journey to better health has been all-inclusive, spanning multiple generations and taking shape in schools and communities across the country. But while we’ve become skilled at deciphering labels in our grocery store aisles, our dogs have been eating from the same bulky bags for years.

Commercial pet food brands —yes, even the “organic” or “all-natural” varieties — are highly processed. The extreme processing used to create kibble is so harsh that it significantly damages ingredients’ natural nutrients. 

Fresh food from The Farmer’s Dog is made to the safety and quality standards of human food. And the food is lightly cooked to retain nutrients.

Here are a handful of the improvements you can expect when you start to add fresh, real food to your dog’s diet:

1. No more guessing games

Fresh food means real ingredients you can actually see in your dog’s bowl. Goodbye, ultra-processed, brown balls of kibble.

Protein sources in dry food that have not been approved for human consumption are much lower quality than fresh, whole, human grade meats. With fresh food you can always see how much meat and fresh produce is used, whereas most commercial dog foods are extremely processed. Research also shows that a substantial number of kibble ingredient lists are inaccurate.

2. Better, faster, stronger

Popeye was right: eating spinach helps build strong muscles and promotes good health. Your dog can’t scarf canned spinach like the Sailor Man, but a fresh diet produces the same benefits.

Human-grade food is made with fresh, high quality meat and vegetables. Our gentle cooking method ensures our food is safe for dogs to eat, while preserving vital nutrients. Vegetables may not be the first thing you think of when you think “dog food,” but green and orange vegetables provide important health benefits to dogs. They can provide your dog with an array of key vitamins and minerals, including phytonutrients, like antioxidants which help promote a healthy immune system.

3. Healthier digestion

Many ingredient lists on commercial pet food bags bulk up the protein percentages and don’t clarify the quantity of each ingredient. This means that the healthiest-sounding ingredients could be used in negligible amounts. Similarly, when a dog food bag claims that it contains 30% protein, it doesn’t mean it’s all digestible.

Our fresh food has been clinically proven to be highly digestible. Food is digested properly, nutrients are directly absorbed, and you get poop bags for days.

4. Healthy  coats (+ softer cuddles)

Fresh, nutrient-rich diets with essential fatty acids (usually a combination of omega 3, 6, and 9) improve coats, leaving dogs so soft you’ll never want to kick them out of bed.

5. Easy weight management (a big deal for their health)

One of the best things you can do for your dog’s long-term health is to keep them at a healthy weight. Research has shown that lean dogs can live up to 2.5 years longer. Switching your dog to a fresh food diet can help. Our food is delivered to your door in packs pre-portioned just for your dog’s unique needs, making weight management straightforward. 

6. No additives

A true fresh food diet would have no additives or preservatives. Any alteration in dog food is generally meant for the convenience of manufacturing (a longer shelf life) or marketing for humans (i.e. food coloring, carrageenan, or xanthan gum used in kibble to make it look more “attractive.”) FYI, dogs can’t see  the same colors we can.

Many fresh, dog-friendly foods are already in your kitchen, making them an easy addition to your pup’s current diet. Just be sure not to add any more than 10% of their caloric intake in fresh food (or treats), to avoid unbalancing their meals. If you’d like to incorporate more than 10% fresh food in your dog’s diet, there are nutritionally balanced fresh dog foods available that can be sent right to your door.