Many of us associate dehydrated foods with trail mix or backwoods camping. But for a significant percentage of the U.S., relying heavily on dehydrated food as a dietary staple is a delicious, nutritious choice. Even lesser known is that dehydrated diets for dogs work too!
We received a number of requests for more info about the dehydrated diet option when we published a fun article last week on How Dogs Taste Their Food. Here’s our rundown of some of the best ways to give our canine companions the best possible nutrition with a dehydrated food choice that will be enjoyable and tasty for them.
Why Opt for Dehydrated Diets for Dogs
There are a number of reasons, but each of us can rank these according to our own needs, values and preferences.
A healthy alternative to commercially produced food. Commercial food is highly processed, reducing the availability of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. When food is commercially provided, additives and high levels of sugar are a big part of the bulk, significantly reducing the available nutrients for our precious pups.
High bioavailability of nutrients. The dehydration process is gentle. It slowly cooks proteins and vegetables without compromising their nutrient value. And it helps to get the digestive process started, making it easier on sensitive digestive tracts – especially helpful for older dogs that may have trouble in this area.
Fresh, light, and compact. Dehydrated food is as close to fresh as a diet can be without pulling the food straight from the fridge or the garden. Plus, it’s light and compact, making it perfect for storage. No more giant Tupperware or open kibble bags sitting around.
Inexpensive. Of course, some dehydrated foods are more expensive than others. But more often than not, adding water is where the bulk is, not in the price. For example, just one 2-pound bag of EcoEats yields 16 pounds of fresh food. The average 16-pound bag of kibble is $40, but for $16.95, EcoEats is a fresh dehydrated option.
All lifestyles welcome. Because it’s light and compact, dehydrated dog food can go anywhere. It not only takes up less shelf space, but it’s great for road trips, families who travel a lot, and active families who love camping and backpacking.
Health Benefits of Choosing a Dehydrated Diet
When we eat good food, we feel good, right? Same goes for our furry friends. Upset stomachs, flatulence, energy highs and lows, some allergies – none of these are normal reactions to food. Instead, they are reactions to the wrong food for our bodies.
Energy and Vibrance. Minimally processed fresh foods lead to a vibrant, healthy bodies and minds. If our pups are already lively and loving, we may not realize that they aren’t actually performing at their peak.
Sharp Mind and Good Attitude. Imagine that foggy head we all get when we have food that isn’t really meeting our nutritional needs. If any of us have difficult to train dogs, food can be a factor. By committing to at least 90 days on a dehydrated diet, we eliminate the possibility of processed foods being the cause of behavioral problems and distracted minds.
Immunity and Defenses. Itching, scratching, chronic infections, even some allergies can all be caused by food. Just like humans, some dogs are more sensitive to certain foods. By choosing a dehydrated diet that is hypoallergenic, we’re removing common irritants that can hinder our pups natural defense systems. There is a lower risk of allergies associated with fresh and dehydrated diets.
Digestion and Bodyweight. Trouble with digestion can be embarrassing for humans, but it’s about discomfort for our dogs. Look for clues like soft stools, flatulence, and eating grass. Unhealthy food can lead to digestive problems and trouble maintaining a healthy bodyweight. A dehydrated diet can eliminate ingredients that are troublesome for our furry Fidos.
Silky Coat and Healthy Ears. Whenever a veterinarian does a quick assessment of a dog, they look at three key indicators of canine health. Is their coat shiny and healthy? Is their skin irritation-free? Are their ears clean and healthy? When a dog’s coat, skin, and ears are lackluster, smelly, or irritated, it shows a general lack of health. And because food is is a pillar of health for anyone, a change in diet can optimize these well-being factors.