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Compared to decades ago, the availability on UK store shelves for alternative diets is far more abundant for us humans. But what about our little four-legged companions? Cold-pressed dog food isn’t new to our neighbours in Europe, having been widely available since the 1980s, but it’s only recently been introduced to the UK.
There are plenty of benefits of switching to cold-pressed dog food, but first let’s get into what sets it apart from ‘normal’ dog food.
What is Cold-Pressed Dog Food?
Cold-pressed dog food is a sensible manufacturing method whereby the raw ingredients (meat, offal, insects, grains, etc.) are produced at lower temperatures (typically within the 45-80° range, and only for a quick application) than extruded foods. To clarify, extrusion is the most common method of processing dog food, used by about 95 per cent of dog food manufacturers. Examples include Pedigree Complete, Royal Canin dry, and Orijen brands.
Under extrusion, dog food is produced at temperatures of up to (and sometimes exceeding) 150°. Unfortunately, this method is highly ineffective at preserving the nutritional value, natural fats, and vitamin content, so why do most manufacturers still use extrusion?
All about dog food claim that it’s all about the cost of convenience. While the dog food can remain on store shelves longer and the process makes sense for efficiency reasons (the entire process can take five minutes), the cost of convenience is outweighed by the nutritional benefits of cold-pressed dog foods and the retention of vitamins, enzymes, and natural fats needed to keep your dog or puppy happy and healthy.
Benefits of Cold-Pressed Dog Food
1. Superior Nutritional Content
It’s no mystery that high heat reduces nutritional content, which is why it’s better to steam vegetables than to boil them, according to medical journals. Likewise, the high heat associated with extrusion affects the nutritional content our dogs receive from their kibble. Heat reduces the total quantity of proteins, nutrients, and sugars (complex starches) which are essential for a happy and healthy pup through every stage of their growth and maturity.
In brief, cold-pressed is the way to go if you want to maximise the potency of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your dog is consuming. The low and brief application of heat used in processing cold-pressed dog food ensures that your dog is getting as close to a raw food diet as possible in terms of taste and digestibility.
2. Better Flavour, Better Taste
Although you probably wouldn’t want to be eating dog food at all, your dog’s appetite and taste buds will love the nutritional benefits of cold-pressed dog food. Dogs are more naturally drawn to raw food diets and since the cold-pressed method of production is the closest alternative to completely raw food, they’ll naturally love the taste and flavour of cold-pressed over kibble without much (or any) fuss.
Note that extruded dog foods tend to include a variety of fillers such as grains and bulking agents, which can really upset the stomachs of dogs with allergies, insensitivities, or intolerances. Cold-pressed dog foods don’t need to add any filler and can instead pack their foods with nutrient-dense proteins, minerals, and vitamins that are naturally appealing for all but the most discriminate appetites.
3. Easier to Digest
One of the most important benefits of cold-pressed over extrusion is that it’s far more digestible for dogs. Some breeds genetically have a disposition to bloat, volvulus, and gastric dilation as they age, and the problem is only exacerbated with a poor diet.
Kibble tends to swell and float (drop some in a glass of water and see for yourself), so one can only imagine how that can upset our beloved canine companion’s stomach after a meal. Cold-pressed, on the other hand, breaks down from the outside in, gently and without expanding. This is quite similar to how dogs process raw foods, so it’s natural and a lot gentler on their digestive system.
4. Closest Alternative to Raw Food
It would be ideal for every dog owner to provide their canines with a raw food diet, but it simply isn’t practical for most of us. Moreover, the handling of raw foods can be dangerous for the elderly, pregnant women, or those with compromised immune systems.
The closest way to approximate a raw food diet safely is with cold-pressed manufacturing methods, which preserves all of the goodness of a raw diet yet remains processed and as such is safe to handle. Bug Bakes uses cold-pressed production for its quality dog food, which makes sense since you probably wouldn’t want to be handling a cricket farm of your own!
5. Ideal for Sensitive Appetites
Following on the previous point, a dog food diet which approximates raw will be beneficial for your pupper. Dogs with sensitive appetites, however, won’t likely put up a fuss when switching to cold-pressed dog food. Why is that? Since cold-pressed dog food resembles natural raw food diets in terms of taste, texture, and digestibility, sensitive dogs will almost always find cold-pressed to be preferable anyway.
If you’d like a barking testimonial, we’ve got plenty of satisfied pups such as Rafa, Peter Gabriel’s dog, who simply love Bug Bakes’ cold-pressed dog food. Don’t just take our word for it, let your dogs decide what they like best by ordering a sample for yourself.
6. Much, Much Better for the Environment
Extrusion is highly effective for mass-producing dog food for consumers around the world, since it’s got a long shelf life and can be quickly produced, but as mentioned, the cost of this convenience is rather high.
The environment is highly impacted by the production of not only extruded kibble but from meat-based dog food in general. The stress that meat-based dog food diets put on the environment is immense - more can be found in this article.
That’s why switching to far more environmentally-friendly options such as vegetarian and insect-based proteins are the only sensible option going forward. The former has its disadvantages, however, such as being less palatable for many dogs (they need plenty of proteins!) whereas the latter hasn’t reached widespread appeal - yet.
Insect-based dog food contains all of the necessary proteins and minerals your dog needs, so don’t hesitate that your dog won’t be getting a complete, nutritious meal and try it out today.
7. Can be Combined With Raw Diets
Since cold-pressed dog food resembles raw dog food, it’s fairly easy to combine both for your dog. Why would a dog owner want to combine two diets together? Well, there are two main reasons why you’d consider such a thing.
Firstly, if you spend plenty of quality outdoors time with your pup (and you should), such as camping, you may not have the full availability of freezer storage and may want to provide your dog with a full and complete meal. Mixing cold-pressed and raw foods in these circumstances gives them all of the nutrition they need even if you’re miles away from a Tesco or Asda.
Secondly, should you have any doubts about switching from kibble to cold-pressed diets, combining a little raw dog food can wean them away from their habitual diet. It’s probably a lot easier to switch to cold-pressed from kibble than to go the other way around, since cold-pressed approximates a raw food diet and is therefore more natural for your pup.
8. Lower Ongoing Costs
Now, it should be said that the dog food market in the UK is slowly adapting to alternatives to traditional, extruded dog foods, so the sheer availability should be driving down costs since it’s already a competitive market. Add on the fact that novelty gourmet dog foods such as insect-based dog food are relatively rare on store shelves and it may seem counterintuitive that cold-pressed dog food is less expensive.
Bear in mind that by providing your dog with a completely nutritious diet from cold-pressed dog food encourages growth and a healthy and active lifestyle. By being more easily digestible, nutritious, and a ‘less is more’ feeding routine (up to 30 per cent less food may be required for each meal since it’s so nutrient-dense compared to kibble) and the true cost becomes apparent.
By encouraging a healthy and nutritious diet from cold-pressed dog foods, you’ll likely see far less bloat and digestive problems and, consequently, far fewer visits to the local veterinarian. On the long-term, you could potentially save thousands on treatments alone.
Try Bug Bakes Today
Ride the wave of nutritious, cold-pressed dog food by giving insect-based, protein-rich Bug Bakes a go today. Get in touch with us and learn more about the benefits of insect-based dog food and why it’s the way to go for your dog’s health and for the environment.
Try a free sample today and see if it’s right for your pup.