One of the many important parts that make raw pet food for dogs and cats such a great choice, is its nutrition loss compared to other processes such as cooking, freeze drying and dehydrating foods. You will quickly learn in this article that raw food outclasses the competition by retaining most of its nutrients and also the potential health risks of feeding your dog heavily processed foods.
Raw Dog & Cat Foods.
First and foremost let's start with the better choice. We all know that freezing foods can result in nutrition loss. This is very true, but that amount is not very high. About 5% of vitamins, minerals and nutrients will be lost in the freezing process. Also keep in mind that most of those nutrients are coming from whole foods like real meats, vegetables and fruits. Whole food sources of nutrients are considered to be more digestible than the supplemental forms you could find in other foods.
Cooked Foods Including Kibbles, Canned and Even Frozen Cooked Foods.
Cooking food can have a high impact on the nutrient profiles it has. Think of some of the kibbles with already lower quality proteins and imagine those already low quality ingredients undergoing a process to further denature and lower the nutrition that your pet is going to get. The number in my mind is staggeringly high at upto 55% of some nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Although some of higher quality cooked whole foods and kibbles as well as canned foods can be made from good protein and food sources losing such a high percent of nutrients cannot be ideal for your pet's well being.
The other thing to keep in mind with cooking is that it denatures the proteins making them potentially less digestible by your pet and opening a bigger door for allergies.
Freeze drying is arguably another decent choice as many nutrient losses are on the lower end of the spectrum say less than 15%. Although I would disagree do to the substantiated losses in Vitamins A, E and C.
On another note many people don't want to feed their dog or cat raw due to the extra time it takes compared to kibble. Although that's a fight for another article I would just like to note that rehydrating something is more time consuming that feeding raw that already has great nutrition and hydration for your pet.
Freeze drying has also been said to denature proteins. As stated above this is not ideal for your dog or cat.
Foods that are dehydrated typically are exposed to temperatures that can cook them. We discussed the nutrient loss in these types of foods.
Dehydration also denatures the proteins inevitably making it a less than desirable choice for your pets health.
As with freeze dried to make the food more palatable you must rehydrate it.
As with human foods we can begin to understand that less processing typically means a higher yield of nutrients. We all know to eat our veggies raw when we can, but unfortunately as humans we cannot eat our proteins raw. Fortunately for our pets they have eaten their proteins raw for many many years in wild and still possess many traits that would allow them to digest raw foods well.
The number one most important thing to look for if you refuse to try raw food for your cat or dog is the least amount of processing.