It’s hard for us to imagine the days that we thought of dried kibble and pellets as food for our beloved pets. Yet, feeding raw meals, is still a relatively new concept. And as such it evolves as we learn more.
At Raw Love Pets, it is our practice to keep abreast of whatever new information comes to the fore and it was with interest that we observed latest developments around two components.
Dog Food News
The ‘pre-digested vegetation debate’ has recently been in the spotlight. This boils down to the fact that dogs are designed to more easily absorb nutrients from pre-digested veg/fruit, as opposed to cooked or completely raw – in line with the state of vegetation they would ingest from the prey’s GI tract when hunting.
So, well, we got busy. Our research led us to the process of veg fermentation. More importantly, of fermented veg/fruit suitable for dogs, which is similar but also different compared to fermented vegetables for humans (think sauerkraut).
Some benefits worth mentioning:
- It allows for truly optimum nutrient absorption, in line with dogs’ biological and physiological make up. The vegetable matter dogs naturally ingest are pre-digested by their prey. With short GI tracts (to prevent unfriendly bacteria settlement), we know the food passes through their systems quickly. Fermented vegetable matter makes the nutrients inside the food more bio-available.
- The fermentation process brings a whole lot of goodness to the table – millions of beneficial microbes (probiotics) that help balance gut bacteria, boosting overall immunity. Fermented veg also acts as a potent detoxifier helping rid your pet’s body of a wide variety of toxins including heavy metals. It produces vitamin C, the B vitamins, vitamin K2 and enzymes that all support healthy metabolic activity. It contains choline that balances and nourishes the blood. And the lactic acid produced by fermentation is a chemical repressor that fights cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
- Thirdly, fermented veg in raw dog food acts as an extremely effective safety agent, as the probiotics attack unwanted pathogens, prohibiting them from growing to infectious levels. Adding fermented veg therefore, is like inoculating the food against harmful bacteria. No chemicals, no preservatives, only beneficial bacteria.
In a nutshell, fermentation is so effective because the lactic acid also produces an antimicrobial agent called bacteriocin – a micro-organism that acts almost like an antibiotic, which combats bad bacteria (e.g. listeria, e coli, salmonella). This is based on years of research in the human food industry. In fact, in the late 1980’s the FDA approved an extracted bacteriocin to manage human food safety.
Raw Love meals for dogs now made with fermented veg/fruit
We started experimenting with the veg fermentation process and are happy to report that we have got it down! We opted to use a little salt only (pure Kalahari Desert salt at that) and kefir, not including whey as others have done. As we make more batches, we harvest the probiotic rich liquid and re-introduce to the next batch. It’s rather exciting to watch and feel the goodness grow. 😊
More importantly, our dogs (and friends’ dogs) still happily chow down the Raw Love meals. It’s a tad too soon to notice additional external advantages. But as Helena said: Our dogs can’t be any happier, healthier or shinier than they are!
We highly recommend you take a moment to watch the following clips:
- Watch video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7PXULsBq5I
- Watch vedeo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiigsFnNDuQ
- Watch video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qozDfTOqpeQ
Cat Food News
When one considers what cats would naturally consume – the likes of birds and mice – the truth is that the amount of vegetation a cat would naturally ingest (in the prey’s GI tract) is negligible. The Raw Love cat food meat to veg ratio was significantly higher than our dog food, but we were beginning to question the percentage of veg it contained. After much deliberation with raw diet nutrition experts, including veterinarians, we made the decision to amend our recipes to exclude veg/fruit for cats. We also add probiotic-rich kefir to the cat meals, to achieve the same balanced micro environment that the introduction of fermented veg brings to our dog meals.
While we were concerned about the cost implication, our research on pricing of kibble & tinned food (wow!), as well as other raw brands, leaves us satisfied that we are still offering superior products at very competitive prices. Especially considering the fact that our cat meals now contain not 80%, but 100% real, fresh, free-range meat.
We have completed the production and palate testing processes. The cats loved it, clearly preferring the no veg option. We’ve also completed the nutritional analysis, updated tub labels and will be launching the New & Improved products within the next few weeks. And when we do, we will no longer be offering the ‘old’ variants.
We remain committed to the well-being of all animals