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!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Lara Elizabeth says
I would definitely love to try this food in the Ginger Sister’s rotation. I wonder if there are any other baked brands out there?
You know – I’m not really sure. Definitely something to look into though.
I know there’s Stella and Chewy and Lotus – they are baked kibble
I don’t even bake for humans. Otherwise I am a very nice person who never wins anything. Pick me, pick me.
Haha I’m the same way! My brother wins basically everything he enters. It’s crazy how lucky works.
Amelia Torrant says
This baked dog food interests me as well !! Hopefully more to come ~ My Pyrs love to eat ~~ nothing but the best of coarse~~~~ Pick me please ~~
Always the best for our furbabies!
Lauren Miller (ZoePhee) says
I haven’t tried baked foods yet but I’d love to! Great post!
It’s such an interesting and wonderful concept!
we would like to try the chicken, liver and chickpeas!
Looks great, doesn’t it?!
my baby girl has never tried this but would definitely love to!
I’m assuming that is her in your picture? She’s adorable!!
Daniel Scott says
I have not tried baked dog food. I would love to try it. Raw is just so expensive and I’m not sure it is safe.
There’s so much conflicting information on raw. I prefer feeding quality kibble from brands I trust. Baked foods are taking that to a whole new level of awesome!
They all have poultry in them… 🙁 Buckmonster can’t eat chicken. *sadface*
Oh no – what a bummer 🙁 I’m really hoping that Wellness comes out with more flavors because so many dogs are sensitive to poultry. We typically try to avoid it because it seems to trigger Mauja and Atka sometimes, but they’ve been doing great with this one.
Margot C says
Not only have I not tried it, I haven’t even heard of it before. I would be interested in this healthier option for my dog, Mike.
I hadn’t heard of it either!
I have never tried baked food for my dogs. I would be interested in trying.
easy rider says
taht sounds great… we will look for this food… maybe we can get it online :o)
thanks for a tasty reviews and good luck to all pups!
Lisa Brown says
wow, I did not realize the difference in the two regarding nutrition; will look for baked food; thanks for an informative and well-written post.
i have never tried baked food for my dogs before. Although I have baked them home made biscuits.
I have not tried baked food for my dogs but I would love to have them try it.
Sarah D. and Tonya Dog says
I haven’t tried these yet, but I would really be interested to do so!
Wow your right, I didn’t know any of that. Interesting!
Ann Staub says
The food looks awesome and you did a wonderful job explaining extrusion vs baked. Baked does sound better! Shiner would love to give this a try – thanks for the giveaway 🙂
Tenacious Little Terrier says
Mr. N has tried a sample of baked kibble (Lotus, I think?). He didn’t particularly care for it but he won’t eat kibble in general… If we win the giveaway, the food will be donated to a rescue! He does like wet food though.
Heather Duquaine says
I have not tried it yet but I am interested in doing so.
I heard about TruFood right before Blog Paws, so I was pretty excited when I saw a Wellness booth there! I am very interested in their new product line…especially for my picky eater!
We tried a sample tub of the trufood wet food this weekend & my dog really loved it. My dog only gets 1 tablespoon wet per meal so I had to freeze some servings for later so it wouldn’t go bad though. I am willing to try extruded food for my dog.
Jessica Shipman | Beagles and Bargains says
I found this to be super interesting when I learned at the Global Pet Expo too. It’s great to see this becoming more popular in dog foods. Luna is about to give the new Wellness a try too!
Amy Orvin says
My dogs haven’t tried it yet but I think they would love too!
I have not tried it yet, but would love to try
Cassidy Wolf says
I have never tried baked food but would definitely be interested in trying it.
D Johnson says
I have never tried baked food for my pup, but it sounds great.
Jen Gabbard says
I’m going to have to look into baked foods now; thanks for the information – I learned something new (and useful) today 🙂
My pup has not tried baked food but I bet he would love it!
I’m officially intrigued. Will definitely be doing some more research
Sandy Weinstein says
no, never even heard of baked food for dogs. i have baked treats and cooked food for my dogs though.
Starla B says
This is so awesome. I would love to try this out for my big boy, Bentley!
Amy A says
I have only used samples of baked food and my dog liked so I would definitely use baked food in the future.
Food that’s produced the way his favorite crunchy treats are? I’m sure my boy would say “yes”!
Kelly D says
I have not tried this for my dog but I think she would love it!
Angela Cash says
I have tried baked treats for my dogs but not baked food. I would definitely be interested.
Vunda V says
i never paid attention to how it was cooked! I will now though – I’d love to try it
Vera K says
I have never given my dogs baked food but I am willing to try it.
Michelle S says
We have not tried baked food, but we would love to.
Emma Owens says
Sounds better than usual kibble, so thanks for the information but I think dogs (and especially cats) need about 70% moisture in their food for it to be healthy. TruFood sounds nice but I have also been told that for a probiotic to be really effective it has to be kept in the fridge (although I found the tablet form that wasn’t refrigerated worked OK for my dog) just not sure if coating a dry kibble in yoghurt is going to help much – is my honest opinion. However, I agree that TruFood sounds a heck of a lot better than some dry dog foods out there!
Best wishes, Emma.
Jenni Arevalo says
This baked line is no longer available!