Dog Food Hack #2: Trust Your Nose
Author: Nathan Dewsbury
Did you know…all dry commercial dog food, aka kibble, is basically the same? For all intents and purposes, no matter what the starting quality of ingredients (real or perceived), they all become a denatured extruded product.
On your next pet food store excursion, while on a mission to find the best value and nutrition for your dog, don’t compare labels on the off-chance of finding the hidden formula that will change your dog’s life. Instead….trust your nose. When, if ever, did your high-order label analysis match the smell that emanated from the bag you opened at home?
For a minute let’s assume you opened all the different types of kibble in a pet food store. Then commenced to smell every bag in the hopes of discovering which meat source was used or in an effort to play the byproduct guessing game. Could you identify any ingredient on the label, let alone which protein source was used? Skipping over the fact that most of the national label, private brand, and “ultra-special” kibble is made by only a few manufacturing sites, the one commonality to realize is that they are all extruded products.
What is extrusion you ask? Ah, good question. Think pressure cooker tied into a spaghetti maker. In dog food extrusion, dried and stabilized ingredients are channeled through a high-pressure cooking system. Moisture is added and ingredients undergo another cooking stage at roughly 203°F. Heat is the enemy of protein molecules—it changes the structure and affects quality of protein molecules, which don’t return to their original structure. The cooked ingredients are then forced through a sieve, like a pasta maker, with pressurized air streams that determine the ultimate shape and length of the product when pushed (extruded) through the sieve. It’s not over yet! The extruded kibble pieces are dried, then sprayed with a preserved and rendered animal fat, dried again, possibly dusted with a marketed health product or even a flavor additive.
Through this extended process, nutrient value of the original ingredients is lost, with many processing steps adding cost to the starting ingredients yet negatively changing and altering them at the molecular level. Could you honestly say that the labels you thoughtfully analyze which claim no-hormone, non-GMO, hand-fed, deboned bison meat meal produce food of the same quality once it undergoes extrusion?
I know what you’re thinking: this production process must be specifically required to make pet food, right? Nope. Extrusion is the same process used to make crunchy-cheesy coated chips, many infant/toddler puffed snacks, breakfast cereals, and more. The phrases “puffed” or “air puffed” are give‑away terms of extruded products. The difference is the final shape or presentation of the product. Starting components of canned or “wet” food for animals is often extruded as well. Whenever extrusion is used, nutrient value is diminished.
What can dog owners do? Trust your nose. Give Rogue Dog Feed products the sniff test. You’ll smell the difference. Rogue Dog Feed Company develops its products to help every dog owner close the nutritional gap caused by commercial kibble. Rogue exercises common sense to avoid the extrusion process and keep value in food ingredients. Food and supplements made through our process help enable your animals to thrive.