Did you know pets suffer from food intolerances too? From chronic ear inflammation and gastrointestinal problems to chronic diarrhoea or an itchy rear end — these are some common signs of a food allergy in your furry babies.
With the market being inundated with different dog food formulas and brands, it becomes all the more difficult to figure out which is the best option for nutritious and balanced diet. So why not switch to meals prepared at home or with all natural ingredients? Learn which ingredients should go into your home-cooked pet meals.
Organic pet food
Most of us check the labels thoroughly when purchasing food for ourselves, but when it comes to our pawsome friends, many do not put much thought into it. Most pet foods contain animal by-products and are not fit to be consumed. Akshay Gupta, who runs Benny’s Bowl, an organic pet food chain, asserts they use only organic and responsibly sourced ingredients to create nutritious recipes. “We use 100% real and human-grade ingredients. Our food is free of rendered or processed meats, by-products or any kind of preservatives. They are also free of harmful chemicals such as sulfates, parabens, silicones and artificial fragrances,” he adds. Their organic pet meals are also packed using sophisticated retort technology, which stops the growth of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in the food, making them fit to be refrigerated for long.
Benefits: Pet parents can notice a reduction in skin ailments and allergies in their furry babies as organic pet food is devoid of artificial colours, flavour enhancers, chemical additives and pesticides.
Genetically modified foods for humans has been a much-debated topic for years, but GMO foods for pets has not really been talked about much. For the unversed, non-GMO dog food — dry or canned — contains ingredients that have evolved naturally, rather than being genetically modified in a laboratory. Choosing natural ingredients such as fresh meats to go into the meals you prepare for your furry baby at home can have a host of positive impacts. “Fresh, home-cooked meals work wonders for the overall well-being of our dogs. We go to great lengths to ensure we only source the best of ingredients. Take the turmeric that goes in our food, for instance. We get it all the way from a farm in Meghalaya, which is known for its high-curcumin turmeric produce,” says Manvi Gupta, founder of Nuts Over Mutts, a pet food startup who use all natural, fresh, human grade ingredients for their pet meals. A meal typically contains chicken and mutton meat, organ meat (liver and heart), pumpkin, carrots, green beans and brown rice.
Benefits: Promotes better heart health in your pooch, increases their energy levels, makes their fur coats shiny and breath smell better. Nutritious meals like these also improve their eyesight and helps to better their digestive system to reduce smelly poop.
Gluten is the protein that is found in some of the specific types of grain like wheat, rye and barley. Gluten-free is the safest kind of food that can be included in your furball’s diet. Sujata Bhattacharya, founder, Furr Meals, a preservative-free, gluten-free ready-to-eat fresh wet dog food and treats brand, says, “We use fresh chicken and lamb in our non-vegetarian meals and cottage cheese for the vegetarian meal. Besides using fresh vegetables like broccoli, carrot, pumpkin, beans, peas, cauliflower and sweet potato, we also use a blend of cold pressed coconut oil and flaxseed oil to give the right amount of dietary fat to the meals and avoid any gluten containing items. Organic turmeric, chia seed, flax seed, sesame seed and cumin are also used.”
Benefits: It is great in taste, boosts your dog’s immune system and helps in weight management. It can also reduce your visits to the vet by giving them a shinier coat, better gut health and firmer poop.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, grain-free and gluten-free are not synonymous terms. Gluten-free foods do not have gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, but they may still contain other grains. “At Doggie Dabbas, we believe our dogs should be fed just like our family. So we source fresh produce daily to maintain quality. Our products like Chicken Jerky were the first-of-its-kind in India as it is made up of only 1 ingredient — just chicken. Our products are grain-free and contain no filler ingredients such as cereals, wheat or any preservatives. Pet Parents shouldn’t have to ‘google’ the ingredients in their pets’ food. Everything is simple, clean and of good quality,” says Rashee Shah Kuchroo, founder, Doggie Dabbas. Sweet potatoes, quinoa, chickpeas, and potatoes are few examples of delicious veggies that are used to formulate grain-free diets.
Benefits: Grain-free diets provide better nutrients and value. The primary benefit of it is that there tends to be an increase in omega 3 fatty acid, which is particularly good for your pet’s skin and coat.
Preservatives free food
Keep your dog’s energy high, their proper weight maintained, and their body strong with a grain-free and preservative-free diet. DawgieBowl recipes are made with only local, natural, and fresh ingredients like real meat, vegetables, eggs, and more. These ingredients are sourced daily from reliable vendors that we have been working with for the last 5 years. “We don’t use any artificial fillers, by-products, preservatives, or taste enhancers. Neither do we add any unnecessary synthetic colors to the food. Our food consists of everything your pet needs and absolutely nothing they don’t,” says Abhishek Agarwal, CEO, DawgieBowl
Benefits: A balanced and complete diet made with 100% real ingredients is surely healthy for your pet. The benefits includes better digestive health, low shedding, balanced mood, higher activity levels, as first signs. “Over time, pet parents have also noted changes like a regulated weight, shinier skin and coat, drastically reduced body and mouth odor, and low to none instances of falling ill in their furry children,” adds Agarwal.