Why unprocessed dog food is best

healthy dog food

Intuitively, it makes sense that unprocessed, healthy fresh food is better for your dog. But, since the development of kibble, there haven’t been many studies into how the highly processed food can affect the health of dogs. DogRisk is changing this through their groundbreaking work into how nutrition, the environment and genetics, can affect disease in dogs. Findings indicate that dogs fed kibble have elevated levels of metabolic stress and systemic inflammation.

Who are DogRisk?

The DogRisk team, based at the University of Helsinki in Finland, are dedicated to interdisciplinary research on dog health. They have been collecting data since 2009, looking at diet, disease and habitats.

Their research studies specific dog diets for long periods of time and observes changes including metabolism, blood nutritional profile, gene function and other molecular changes.

What have the DogRisk studies shown so far?

In an interview with Dr. Karen Becker, a leader in natural feeding, Robin Moore from DogRisk explains how they look at changes in dogs on a molecular level and study how different diets affects dogs.

DogRisk research has specifically investigated the levels of metabolites associated with different diets. Metabolites are regarded as the immediate bi-product of the metabolic process. Primary metabolites are those that are directly involved in the growth, development, and reproduction of an organism whereas secondary metabolites are those that are not. Thus, primary metabolites are critical to the survival and the fecundity of an organism. Secondary metabolites may not be as crucial but the lack or insufficiency could lead to the impairment of the organism.

Before assigning dogs to either a raw or a kibble diet, the team looked at the levels of metabolites and no significant patterns were found.

After assigning the diets, dogs eating dry food experienced changes in their metabolites, which suggested higher levels of biological stress on their body.

Dogs fed dry food also had higher levels of homocysteine, which is the marker for disease in dogs. These diseases include skin, kidney, and heart disease as well as cancer.

Why we believe in fresh dog food

As humans, we all know that a less processed diet is better for us. The more natural our food is the better – the same goes for dogs.

Kibble undergoes a process called extrusion, where the food requires high levels of carbohydrate and is cooked at temperatures exceeding 200 degrees Celsius. Natural vitamins and minerals are lost during the heating process, so typically artificial ones are added in their place. Evidence suggests that moving away from a dry food diet can reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases.

Lyka: fresh, balanced & nutritious

At Lyka, we aim to change the norm of feeding kibble by providing fresh food to Australian dogs. Lyka meals are minimally processed to preserve nutrients, but lightly cooked to make it more gentle on tummies and stop pathogenic contamination. Each ingredient has been hand-picked for its nutritional value, with our in-house Integrative Vet, Dr. Matthew Muir, overseeing each formulation alongside a veterinary nutritionist. Order a Starter Box today and experience the fresh food difference for yourself!