Your pet’s nutritive needs will widely vary based on their age, activity level, breed and size, among other things...

Your pet’s nutritive needs will widely vary based on their age, activity level, breed and size, among other things. In answering why you should switch your pet to a fresh meal (“Why Fresh?”), we saw that commercially-produced pet foods don’t necessarily contain the proper amount of nutrients – while following AAFCO’s guidelines – harming your pet in the process.

At PawPots, we understand how to balance nutrients in a recipe to promote your pet’s good health. In the process of founding PawPots, we compared different pet foods’ quality by studying their nutrients with the help of veterinary nutritionists, and we wanted to share with you our results.

Dry Food

The elephant in the room, most dry foods, if not all, are made to meet only the minimum nutrient content required by the AAFCO. Moreover, the quality of the proteins found in dry foods varies based on cost. While expensive, “Premium” brands could use whole cuts of higher-quality muscle, they essentially use the meats leftover from human food processing; on the other end, cheaper brands can use proteins with lower digestibility.

If you see “meat” or “chicken” in the name of the food, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s made with whole chicken breasts or cow thighs. This being said, it’s important to note that some dry foods include high amounts of insoluble fiber (i.e., grain hulls or powdered cellulose), to add bulk to the food and, in some cases, to change who quickly food moves through your pet’s digestive system. These ingredients, usually harmless, offer not direct nutritional value to your pet. If you tend to avoid preservative-laden food for yourself and your family, some dry foods include preservatives that tend to prevent the fat in the food from becoming rancid, allowing the sale of larger bags of food that last longer in retail stores and your home (such as BHT and BHA). While not proven harmful so far, you should avoid them out of caution.

Wet Food

Like it’s above counterpart, cheaper wet foods will meet the minimum AAFCO nutrient guidelines. More expensive options often have nutrients designed for specific life stages or health needs. This being said, just like dry foods, you shouldn’t trust wet foods’ package claims. While some of them incorporate while cuts of mean, many are made from leftover proteins as well, often with unknown digestibility. The information on the label is designed to entire pet parents, not the pets themselves.

Canned foods usually don’t contain significant artificial or natural preservatives, as the canning process itself is a fairly effective preservation technique. However, it’s important to take note of the “best by” date on the can.

Raw Food

Raw diets are often sold on the idea that in the wild, our pets subsist on a diet primarily made of raw animal meats. While that’s true, the typical household domesticated pet has changed significantly from its wild relatives. Protein from animals is still an important and needed ingredient, but your pet can digest and benefit from helpful vegetable ingredients as well!

Most raw foods are primarily made of raw animal meat, organs, and edible bones. Organ meats offer fairly concentrated levels of vitamins and minerals per volume. However, levels vary from animal to animal, and some organs (i.e., the liver) can contain harmful substances unless tested before feeding. Formulas that don’t include organs are often supplemented with proper nutrient blends that create a highly-digestible and consistent nutrient source for your pet with less risk of contamination. Bacterial contamination, however, remains a concern.

PawPots: Fresh, Homemade Food

After our studies, we realized that the best option for our pets is fresh food.

Whether made at home or a commercial kitchen, fresh foods are often made from whole cuts of meat, vegetables, beneficial nutrients and oils. Our meals are gently-cooked, which can help release proteins and carbohydrates as well as make the food more easily digestible compared to raw food. We tend to add little to no added fiber, helping your pet’s digestive system to properly break down the meal and use more of the food itself, with less waste. Many fresh foods have a far shorter list of ingredients, especially when you compare it to more highly-processed dry and wet foods. When it comes to PawPots, our high-placed value on transparency is represented through the ingredient list on our products, allowing you to know exactly what you’re feeding your pet.

Homemade pet foods may seem appealing because you are in control of the ingredients, but keep note that far too often, recipes shared by others or found online are missing important nutrients your pet needs, or fail to have various nutrients in the right ration to promote good overall health. A nutrient imbalance can lead to serious health issues and expensive vet bills. We recommend that you only use recipes from a reputable animal nutritionist, and check in often with your vet to ensure your pet is getting all the nutrients necessary to stay healthy.

In a nutshell, we at PawPots have made it easier for you to offer your pet the best quality meals. Our meals are customized to YOUR pet’s needs and characteristics, pre-portioned, delivered at your own time, and easy to serve.

Join our family of PawPotters and offer your furry friend a healthy diet!

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