Just like with human food, we know that whole foods made with real ingredients can be better than commercially processed kibble in quality, digestibility and bioavailability. As a result we’re going to focus this article on how Grocery Pup’s freshly cooked food stacks up against raw food.
Since raw diets are often marketed as fresh or frozen many customers ask us about the difference between Grocery Pup and raw food, and why we prefer to cook our food at low heat. We’re often asked, isn’t raw food better because it’s closer to a wolf-like diet?
At Grocery Pup, we believe cooking human-grade whole food ingredients at low-heat is the best option for our pups’ health for two reasons: 1.) Quality and 2.) Safety
What Do You Mean by Quality and Safety?
Many people assume that because a brand is raw, that it’s automatically higher quality. Unfortunately this isn’t true.
Commercially made raw food diets are commonly made using ingredients that are not USDA certified fit for humans. This means they can include rejected carcasses or medicated animals (i.e. dead on farm, sick, or removed from the human food chain). You may be surprised to find out that even the most popular brands, which call themselves “premium” engage in these practices. Some manufacturers will hide the fact their meat is not fit for humans and say “USA meat” or “meat from a USDA facility”. None of these statements mean USDA certified meat, so beware of these claims. These ingredients usually include flesh (muscle), internal organs, blended body parts and bones. They may also include untreated milk, or uncooked eggs, which leads us to our second point around safety.
Combining these low quality ingredients with the fact that the food is not cooked makes raw food even more dangerous for you and your pup since there’s no cooking process to eliminate potential pathogens. The recent string of raw dog food recalls due to Listeria and Salmonella highlights this point. You can see them here on the FDA website.
Grocery Pup only uses meat certified by the USDA for human consumption because it goes through rigorous tests of quality control at many levels, and results in cuts of meat commonly found on our plates. We also make our food in a human food facility so all of our food is handled according to the same standards that human food is, guaranteeing higher safety and quality standards.
Digestibility of Raw vs. Cooked Food
The other important thing to keep in mind is that there is no research that shows raw is more digestible than gently cooked wholefoods. There is research that shows that animals better digest whole food diets than kibble, but those same studies failed to show any difference in digestibility between the raw ingredients, and the same ingredients when they are cooked.
Given these findings, we don’t think it makes sense to put you and your pup at risk by feeding raw food. And as a a result, we strongly believe in providing our pups with whole food ingredients that are gently cooked in a human food facility.