What makes a great dry dog food?
Often we’re asked, what makes a good dog food? What should I look for?
It’s apart of the reason why we have foods like ours made. At Pets Plus, we wanted a brand you could trust, but one of the reasons why was because in this ever changing world and pet food industry, it can be tough to scour tons of ingredients and brands, hoping to find one that will work for you pet. And that’s how North Winds Premium was started!
Often, I mention to people, there isn’t one food that will fit all the criteria for every dog. Some dogs are picky, overweight, sensitive towards ingredients, even size and metabolism can play a part. That’s why we really wanted to get back to basics on pet food.
Dogs are carnivores. Don’t let the big companies steer you different, often some like to use tons of heavy starches or low quality proteins. Why? They cost less. The most expensive item in pet food (that is used the most) is the protein. Despite the marketing, it doesn’t change the way proteins digest and how proteins digest in a dog. Our goal wasn’t to make a food that would fit a human diet, but a dogs ancestral diet.
That’s why we always focus on a few key factors. Let's dive in!
Highly digestible protein sources
This is what will keep your dogs stomach from being inflamed (causing diarrhea) and help them to absorb essential nutrients. Dogs have a short digestional tract so having quality proteins that your dogs body takes less energy to break down, will often absorb better, and therefore utilize all the amazing things one can put in dog food for their stomach, their coat, and delivering essential vitamins and minerals. Remember, protein will be the sustenance a dog needs and fat will keep their energy level up.
Dogs don’t digest carbohydrates very well at all. Our goal was to have the minimum starch required to hold the kibble together, we also wanted to use one that a dog would digest well. That’s why we often use ancient grains like in our Ancient Grain Formula’s or our Haven formulas. In our Grain Free, we use pea, potato, and tapioca in low amounts. Often with corn, wheat, or soy, it causes an inflammatory state and because of that, no matter the protein, it causes a negative reaction. Companies can make a food full of carbohydrates to keep costs down, but we want the minimum it can be. We also believe this brings value since you can feed less, with the same result and without any of the issues attached to foods with too many carbohydrates.
We always wanted wonderful ingredients from trusted sources. That’s why we’re picky about where everything comes from. Our ancient grain diets are all sourced locally to where our food is made and is GMO free. GMO free to us means that it is just as nature intended, grains as they were for thousands of years. Plus with it being local to our plant, we can make sure it is made and grown our standards.
Proteins matter too! What many people don’t realize that not all chicken and chicken meal are created equal.Pet ingredient suppliers companies list numerous grades of quality of chicken, pork, or fish. All North Winds products use a high quality grade of protein from trusted suppliers to make sure we can get all the nutrients, minerals, and amino acids we want for our pet foods. Plus we can ensure consistent quality from bag to bag.
The little things matter a lot too!
Another way companies can save money (and charge you the same or more) are vitamin and mineral packages. There aren’t that many essential vitamins and minerals, but combined they can make millions of chemical reactions in your dogs body to keep them nourished and strong. All North Winds uses Zinpro Availapet Minerals which ties zinc, manganese, and copper are tied to essential amino acids, so we can increase absorption and digestibility. Your dogs body makes only 13 of the 23 amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, the other 10, have to come from food. This means from the first ingredient in the food, to the last, every ingredient matters.
Even our inclusion of fruits, vegetables, as well as prebiotics and probiotics are focused on increasing digestion and absorption. Most issues for dogs start in their stomachs, so making sure the stomach has absolutely everything it needs. By supporting proper digestion, nutrient utilization, and making sure each bite has the most nutrition possible, and with a short time to make thousands of reactions in your dog’s stomach to absorb all the nutrients necessary for a happy and full life.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what makes a good food and the reasoning of so much of our North Winds Premium dry food diets. Our goal was to make a protein base, meat dense food, with low carbohydrates without fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy. We use the best vitamin and mineral package and fortify each diet with fruits, vegetables, as well as numerous skin and coat as well as supports for digestion. All our diets have responsibly sourced ingredients, grains that are GMO free, and thoughtfully chosen for purpose. Each diet is high calorie because of the meat content and based towards your dogs ancestral diet.