Do you know how your dog food is made?
Until BlogPaws, it never occurred to me to look into it. I am meticulous when it comes to the contents of Mauja and Atka’s food and research every last ingredient. If I care so much about what is in their food, shouldn’t I care just as much about how it is produced?
Extruded Dog Food
While the extrusion process was initially used to create puffed cereals, it has become a staple in the pet food industry. Extrusion is an easy and efficient way to create large amounts of nutritious, shelf-stable food. Here’s a brief explanation of the extrusion process:
- Raw and wet ingredients for the food are mixed together to form a dough.
- The dough is pushed through a machine, called the expander, that uses hot water or pressurized steam to cook the dough.
- While under these extremely high temperatures, the food is forced (extruded) through special sized and shaped holes and then trimmed by a knife.
- Once the pieces exit the expander, they puff up to look like the kibble we are used to seeing.
- The kibble is then sprayed with fats, oils, vitamins, and minerals and packaged before the oils can spoil.
There you have it! Is it just me or does anyone else think that sounds pretty gross? The extreme cooking process removes the vitamins and minerals that then have to be added back at the end of the process. I don’t like when my food is created like that, so I certainly don’t like it for my dogs!
But what’s the alternative?
Oven-Baked Dog Food
Oven-baked dog food is exactly what it sounds like – baked in the oven. Oven cooking is a slower process which is done in small batches. I definitely appreciate the extra time and quality control when it comes to feeding my fluffies.
While the extrusion process leaves the kibble with less than 40% of it’s vitamins and minerals, baking retains almost 100% of the initial nutrients. This means your dog is getting his/her vitamins and minerals from real food. Baking also ensures the protein sources included in the initial recipe survive the cooking process leaving you with a more flavorful, nutrient-dense food.
But it must be crazy expensive.
You know, that’s what I thought too until I did a bit more research. Turns out baked kibble weighs about 20% less than the extruded variety. This means that a 25 lb bag of dog food will have approximately 20 more cups if it’s baked than extruded. Since it is also much more nutrient dense, you may end up feeding less overall!
When we were at BlogPaws, we had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people from Wellness that introduced us to the TruFood line. Mauja and Atka went BANANAS for the CocoChia bakes. These delicious, crunchy treats are made with meat, vegetables, coconut oil, and other wonderful ingredients. The fluffies are really enjoying the CocoChia salmon, coconut oil, and spinach variety.
Even more, they LOVED the food. With 70% more protein than other similar brands (thanks to the baking process), it is irresistible. Getting pictures for this post was a challenge as they kept drooling all over the place! I went through several drool rags during this photoshoot… 😉
Wellness TruFood is unique from many other brands as you can actually see the goodness in the kibble. Not only are there air-dried fruit and veggie pieces, but living superfood nuggets as well. These nuggets are naturally colored from beets and turmeric and packed with other superfoods such as kale and blueberries. To top it off, they are coated in live yogurt cultures for a natural source of probiotics to increase digestibility.
Wellness TruFood Baked Blends currently has a few formulas to choose from:
- Chicken, Chicken Liver, and Flaxseed (adult)
- Salmon, Turkey Liver, and Flaxseed (adult)
- Lamb, Turkey Liver, and Chickpeas (adult)
- Chicken, Chicken Liver, and Chickpeas (small breed adult)
- Chicken, Chicken Liver, and Flaxseed (puppy)
The TruFood line also includes Tasty Pairings which are food our wet food eating friends.
So what do you think? Would your furry friend like to try the Wellness TruFood line? You’re in luck! Wellness was kind enough to provide TWO fantastic prizes! Prize 1 is one (1) 18 lb bag of Wellness TruFood Baked Blends and Prize 2 is one (1) gift basket of Wellness wet food and treats!
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