Why our kibble is the best choice for your kibble-loving pooch

Speaking to other pawrents, I find there’s a lot of confusion around doggo nutrition. Between raw, kibble, and wet food, it can feel like an overwhelming task to know what to feed your dog.

Everyone loves to shout from the rooftop about their favourite. But the reality is there’s no clear, definitive research to say that all dogs should eat one way or the other.

Dogs are carnivores, right? So the raw diet makes a lot of sense. But when I put George on raw, there was so much blood in his stomach that his poo was black. And after crying myself to sleep because he spent four days in hospital with food poisoning from (in-date) raw meat, it’s safe to say that I’m not going to put him through that again. That’s not to say I’m anti-raw, I just know that it’s not the best for Big G.

Your dog’s physiology is unique. If their breed is something closer to a wolf (think Huskies and German Shepherds), then it’ll have stronger enzymes in its stomach to break down raw food. If, however, it’s been bred through generations to be how we as humans want it, then its internals are going to be an entirely different story. Not only that, but epigenetics are at play too.

Explaining epigenetics

Epigenetics are essentially how your genes have been changed by the behaviors of your ancestors and their environment. Being scared of spiders, for example, is a human fear through epigenetics. An irrational fear of spiders is a survival trait that’s written into our DNA because Jurassic arachnids had a deadly venom that could kill us instantly. While some of these still exist, when it comes to the common household spider, you’re perfectly safe. Yet that unsettling frozen fear still sets in when you see a tiny shadow dart across the room. 

As we’ve evolved, so have our bodies, and the same theory applies to your dog. While it is important to understand that the dry food industry is a product of commercialism, the best way to know what to feed your dog is to watch, observe, and act accordingly. 

Here are some signs to look out for:

Dog poo – first, check the colour and consistency. It’s not exactly the most glamorous job, but checking their poo can tell you a lot about their health. Next, what about the smell? It’s never going to smell like strawberries, but when their gut bacteria is off, poo smells deadly.

Scratching – a little scratch behind the ear every now and then isn’t uncommon. But incessantly clawing at their skin is a bad sign. If their food isn’t right for them, it can cause dry, flaky skin or allergic reactions which cause them to scratch. 

Excessive licking – licking can also be the result of an allergy. Just like how you and I can’t stop scratching a mosquito bite because it feels so good, dogs love to lick injuries or other forms of irritation. 

Head shaking – this can be allergies too. Dogs usually shake their heads to get irritants out. When they have an allergic reaction, it can affect the skin on their ears. 

Weight changes – dogs can become obese or underweight when they don’t get the nutrition they need. The right nutrients keep their metabolism in check, otherwise their weight might swing too much one way or the other.

Developing allergies – malnutrition can make dogs more sensitive to foods, pollen, and more. Keep your eyes peeled for any changes.

Farts – like poo, you’re never going to be delighted by the smell of a fresh fart, but farts that make your stomach churn can be a sign of a problem.

If you notice any of these issues, you might have to consider changing up their diet. The gut influences everything. So if their food doesn’t sit right in their gut, it can cause a whole host of issues. Try eliminating certain foods until you notice a change. Maybe start with the ones dogs are commonly allergic too. This includes beef, pork, wheat gluten, dairy, and soya. And ensure your pup is eating nutritionally complete food, like Swagwags.

If you’re thinking of trying your pooch on a kibble, or if you feed your dog dry already, there are a number of reasons why we’re confident Swagwags is the best choice for dinner time.

First, let’s start with what Swagwags doesn’t contain.

Dodgy “meat”

“Animal derivatives”. You’ve probably seen this one before; I know I’ve seen it on at least a dozen. It doesn’t sound bad – animals, that’s what dogs eat. That’s fine. But let me just translate that real quick. Animal derivatives = all the nasty stuff. We’re talking beaks, feathers, feet, hooves, blood, veins, basically anything that most humans would dry heave at. Do we really want that for our fur babies? 

Not only is the thought of them tucking into jellified veins and feet disgusting, but what’s the nutritional value? Higher quality cuts of meat – actual meat – are incredibly powerful sources of nutrients. A good cut is high in protein and can contain Omega-3, Omega-6, iron, essential amino acids, B vitamins, and glucosamine.

Sure, bones, feet, and beaks will contain some of this goodness too, but potentially at the cost of your pooch’s digestive health and at much lower quality. If we wouldn’t eat it, why should they?

“Full of vegetables and goodness!” Is it though?

Vegetable derivatives can technically be anything that’s not classed as cereal, grains, or meat. It’s typically all the by-products (the food they didn’t want to use) in our human factories. It’s then blasted with heat and processes, eventually leading to something that doesn’t add much real nutritional value except fibre. As a blanket term, pet foods can use it to cover pretty much anything they like.

This is problematic on so many levels, but the main ones are that they’re just using cheap products for bulking up foods and you have no idea what’s actually in it. So if your dog does have allergies, there’s no telling what it could lead to. The absolute best-case scenario is they’ve chopped the top and bottom off a carrot, put the actual carrot into our food, and popped the odds and ends into the dog food. The worst… We don’t like to think about it.

Additives 

Remember the blue Smartie? It got banned after parents everywhere were concerned about their children being off their faces, bouncing off the walls after munching on the sweets. That was all because of the additives. Now we have a huge list of additives that are banned by the EU, but also a list of approved ones. 

The issue is, the banned list is made up of additives that were once approved. We now know that the banned ones cause unwanted effects ranging from being a bit hyper to asthma, allergies, cancer, and brain tumours. 

So now if you check a dog food label, you might see “EC approved additives”. But that tells us nothing. That list contains over 4,000 additives. And you wouldn’t know which are in there. Swagwags is all about transparency and creating the healthiest food possible. That’s why we don’t do additives. To preserve our kibble, we use good ol’ natural rosemary oil.

Common allergens 

Just like how humans have common allergens (such as nuts, peanuts, penicillin, or celery) our furry friends do too. As we mentioned, the most common allergies for dogs are beef, pork, wheat gluten, dairy, and soya. None of our kibbles contain these and I’ll tell you why.

If your dog has an allergy, you probably know the struggle of trying various foods to see if they have a reaction, removing foods from their diet to see if anything changes, and inspecting their poo. It’s a nightmare. Trying to find out what your pup is allergic to can be a gruelling process. 

By creating a kibble without these common allergens, we make it that bit easier for pet parents. Dogs can still be allergic to pretty much anything, but this approach means your pooch is much less likely to have a reaction to our kibble.

Difficult-to-digest carbs

We want our kibble to be as easy on the gut as possible. A happy gut makes for a happy dog. So we decided to create our grain-free range with sweet potatoes. And in our Super Premium range, you can find sweet potato, potato, and rice. These ingredients are easy on the stomach, and are packed with nutrients to keep your pup on top form.

What do our pups need?

Okay, now let’s discuss nutrients.

Nutrients are as essential to our dogs as they are for us. Without them, our dogs get ill, feel awful, and can even develop serious health problems. Ensuring complete nutrition is crucial. So what nutrients do our doggos need? Here are the six essential ones:

  1. Water
  2. Fat
  3. Carbs
  4. Protein 
  5. Minerals
  6. Vitamins 

Every pup needs these daily to ensure they stay healthy. Since you’re already familiar with water, we’ll start with fat.

Fat isn’t all bad like some believe. It’s actually essential as it protects organs, regulates body temperature, and promotes a healthy nervous system. And since our pups’ bodies can’t produce essential fatty acids naturally, they need to get it from their food.

Carbs are your dog’s main source of fuel. Without them, they would simply be exhausted. They also contain important vitamins and minerals. 

Protein is crucial for growth and is also the building block for everything in your pup’s body. Protein is used to create and support muscles, bones, skin, nails, and more. They also contain amino acids that they need to survive. 

And you already know that vitamins and minerals are essential too. These keep them happy, healthy, and support many body functions and organs. 

So now let’s talk about what Swagwags does contain.

High-quality protein

As I said before, having a healthy protein source really is important. So our kibbles only contain high-quality sources of protein. That’s chicken, lamb, salmon, trout, and turkey. No nasty cuts and no unusual sources.

Proteins are also essential sources of B vitamins, iron, Omega-3, zinc, and more.

B vitamins, in particular, are essential to a healthy pup. They regulate energy and carbohydrate metabolism. They’re also important for maintaining the skin barrier. Deficiency in this area can result in dry, itchy skin, alopecia, and weight loss. 

Iron is vital for energy. An iron deficiency can result in lethargy, weakness, depression, tar-like poos, and can even make your pooch more susceptible to disease. 

With our high-quality cuts of protein, your pup gets a healthy dose of those all important amino acids from food that gets the tail wag of approval. And you as a pawrent are safe in the knowledge that they aren’t eating anything nasty. And did we mention all our proteins are responsibly sourced? It’s a win-win.

Single sources of protein

You may have noticed that each of our Super Premium range only contains one source of protein. This is because our Super Premium range is for pups with sensitive stomachs. Digesting one protein source is much easier on their tums than digesting multiple at once. Gut health is essential to a happy, healthy pooch, so we wanted this range to be as easy to digest as possible.

Sweet potato 

You’ll find sweet potatoes in all of our grain-free kibble. Why? Carbohydrates are great sources of energy and vitamins and minerals for dogs, but we didn’t want to exclude those grain-free pooches out there. 

Sweet potatoes are:

  • Naturally gluten-free
  • High in fibre, which promotes a healthy digestive system, aids digestion, and good stool formation (see you later liquid poops)
  • Soothing on the stomach 
  • A complex carbohydrate with a lower glycemic index which means it releases energy slowly throughout the day (so no more zoomies around the flat after dinner time)
  • One of the best sources of vitamin A – an antioxidant that helps maintain good eyesight, skin, and coat condition
  • Rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant thought to have anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties
  • High in magnesium, which is thought to help with stress and promote calmness, good moods, and relaxation

How could we not include such an amazing ingredient? 

Omega-3 supplement 

The importance of Omega-3 really can’t be emphasised enough. Let’s just talk a bit about what it does:

  • Controls the immune system
  • Supports kidney and heart health
  • Reduces anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity
  • Supports joint health
  • Keeps their skin and coat on fleek
  • Helps with blood clotting and cell growth 
  • May increase their ability to fight cancer
  • Important for fighting germs – essential for puppies as they have an underdeveloped immune system 
  • Crucial for pregnant and breastfeeding dogs as it’s essential for brain and eye development in puppies

Phew. you see what I mean by “can’t be emphasised enough”! It’s essential. So that’s why we add Omega-3 supplements to our kibble – to give them that extra boost. And salmon is naturally high in Omega-3 too. You can find salmon in both our Super Premium and gluten-free ranges.

Prebiotics 

You can’t have a healthy pup without a healthy gut. Simply put, without a healthy gut, they won’t be able to break down and absorb all the goodness in their food. So they could be eating all this nutritious food but it won’t do much good. That’s why we included prebiotics FOS and MOS. By including these, we’re promoting healthy digestion, meaning your doggo can take in as much of the good stuff from their food as possible. 

Beet pulp

Why beet pulp? Well, if you’ve ever had to scrape a liquid poop off the grass or cringed as your dog tried painfully to squeeze out a rock solid present for you, listen up. Beet pulp is rich in soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre is an essential source of energy for the cells that line the large intestine. And insoluble fibre helps your pup lose or maintain weight. It also adds bulk to their poops which stimulates movement in the GI tract, meaning it’ll help treat constipation. 

Joint pack – puppy food

We want to give your puppy the best start to life possible. They have a lot of growing to do, so that’s why we included a joint care pack in our kibble for puppies. This helps support cartilage metabolism and builds up healthy joints – perfect for your new furbaby. 

Swagwags is all about being completely transparent and helping other pawrents make the best decision for their pups. What works for my George won’t necessarily work for your pooch. But after reading this, we hope you’re more confident when it comes to reading dog food labels and are one step closer to finding your pooch the dog food of their dreams. 

If you’re looking for a mouth-watering, nutritionally complete kibble for your doggo, Swagwags is the perfect choice. Our grain-free range and Super Premium range are guaranteed to get the tail wag of approval while giving your pup everything they need to stay happy and healthy. Check out our kibble here.

And if you’re ever concerned about potential allergies, take one of our sensitivity tests. It’s non-invasive and takes 5 minutes to do – a small price for perfect pup health!