There’s something in the air… air-dried dog food that is. Everyone is talking about it. But what exactly is this much-lauded addition to the pet food space? And why should you consider joining the many advocates of air-dried dog food by feeding this nutrient dense delight to your own dog?
Air-Dried Dog Food Explained
The name says it all: air-dried dog food is made by gently drying the raw ingredients using high velocity air, humidity, and minimal heat.
But buyer beware: just like any other pet food, not all air-dried dog food is created equal.
The air-dried process itself cannot magically turn poor quality ingredients into nutritional powerhouses. For the food to achieve full benefit in the finished product, it must start with high quality ingredients, carefully chosen specifically for their pet-health potential. Earth Animal Wisdom Air-Dried veterinary-formulated recipes do just this by using premium grade, ethical, sustainable, natural ingredients that are gently air-dried to optimize nutrition and flavor.
Why Is Air-Drying Dog Food Better?
1. The air-drying process not only safely preserves a high level of nutrients and flavour, it also:
2. Eliminates the need for added artificial preservatives – the likes of which are often used in kibble and canned food to extend shelf life.
Helps retain moisture in the food, enhancing its flavour, aroma, and contributing to whole body health for the animal.
In the best, most thoughtfully produced air-dried renditions, like Wisdom™ Air-Dried, the end result is a dog food that delivers excellent, trusted nutrition and flavour to dogs of all ages and sizes.
Is Air-Dried Food Good for Dogs?
The benefits of air-dried dog food can be summed up quite simply: the air-drying process maximizes nutrient retention and density that is extremely nutritious and flavourful.
When done right, there is so much more to this unique approach to pet nutrition than food science:
1. Wisdom™ Air-Dried prioritizes ingredient quality and sourcing, to ensure that your dog food not only does good for your dog, but for the planet too. Earth Animal’s philosophy of transparency and communication earns the complete trust and confidence of air-dried advocates.
2. Their carefully researched, air-drying food production process, conducted at optimal temperatures:
a. Protects the nutrient dense ingredients that support superior nutrition and wellness.
b. Delivers pathogen free, safe finished food.
c. Eliminates the need for added artificial preservatives.
d. Ensures minimal processing creating a simple all-natural, food that is bursting with flavour.
3. Air-dried dog food is top dog when it comes to palatability and digestibility, with holistic formulas designed to maintain microbiome and gut health, making it suitable for dogs of all ages, sizes, activity levels, and food sensitivities.
Of course, even the most scientifically, nutritionally sound recipes, formulas, and cooking processes mean absolutely nothing in the face of flavour and convenience. Wisdom™ Air-Dried exudes the intense flavour and aromas that drives dogs wild. And all this delivered with the mess-free convenience of a kibble.
Just scoop and serve!
No matter how long our dogs live, for most of us, it’s simply not enough time. Fortunately, there are things we can do to prolong our time together.
Canine geneticists have found that 20 percent of degenerative diseases may have a genetic component or predisposition, says wellness veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker. That means 80 percent of the chronic, non-infectious diseases in dogs are lifestyle or environment-related—and therefore “potentially within the realm of our control.”
In essence, it’s all about prevention, says Dr. Becker, a faculty member of the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies and Arizona-based YouTube creator. Keeping animals healthy is much easier and more successful than treating disease and illness down the road—“not to mention our animals feel better in their bodies as they go through life thriving, not degenerating.”
Modern Dog spoke with five experts working in different areas of dog health for easy, proactive things you can do to maximize your dog’s health span.
#1. Promote Good Gut Health
Science has confirmed it—nutritional diversity is critically important. Eating the same food over and over, or only ultra-processed food, is a recipe for disease.
This is due, in large part, to the incredible role gastrointestinal (GI) health has on overall health. The good news? Small tweaks to your dog’s diet can make a big difference.
Prebiotics and probiotics used to be big words for average dog owners, but research and supplementation have increased in the last decade, says Dr. Becker, the co-author of Real Food for Healthy Pets (2009) and The Forever Dog (2021).
The less familiar “prebiotics” are a type of fibre found in fruits and vegetables that serve as fermentable food sources for beneficial “probiotic” bacteria and other microbes in a dog’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
A dog’s GI health is important to long-term well-being, with more than 70 percent of a dog’s first line of defense—their immune system—located along the GI tract. GI imbalances lead to inflammation of the intestinal lining, which often results in a condition known as dysbiosis or leaky gut, says Dr. Becker. “The more scientists study gut bacteria, the more they learn about how vitally important this ecosystem of microorganisms is to just about every facet of overall health, wellness, and even behaviour.”
Some of the most common reasons for chronic GI problems (vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea, gas, bloating, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease) are food intolerances, malabsorption, maldigestion, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and pancreas and gallbladder dysfunction.
“Eating the same food over and over, or only ultra-processed food, is a recipe for disease.”
Although both pre- and probiotics can also be given as dietary supplements, Dr. Becker recommends pet parents feed a variety of real prebiotic foods in conjunction with a fresh, wholesome diet made with human-grade ingredients to build gut health. “Our dog’s bodies have evolved to know exactly what to do with real food,” she says.
All fresh produce contains beneficial fibres that nourish the enteric ecosystem. Prebiotic fibres are naturally found in foods including bananas (the greener the better), asparagus, broccoli, okra, Jerusalem artichokes, and leafy greens (like endive). One of the best sources of prebiotic fibre are free: puree or chop unsprayed dandelion greens from the backyard and mix them with a dog’s meal.
Cultured foods like plain kefir and plain yogurt (organic, if possible) naturally contain helpful probiotics, which can help populate the gut with beneficial microorganisms that enhance digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function—all factors for longevity.
To feed, pet owners can add one teaspoon of kefir or yogurt per 10 pounds of body weight to a dog’s food or freeze it in an ice cube tray as a treat.
Photo Denise/Adobe Stock
^ Add one teaspoon of plain, unsweetened kefir or yogurt per 10 pounds of body weight to a dog’s food or freeze in an ice cube tray as a treat.
Fermented veggies are loaded with probiotics and are easy to make at home or can also be found at most grocery stores.
Take it slow, Dr. Becker advises. “A dog that has consumed the exact same type of commercial dog food for months or years lacks microbial and nutritional diversity and needs time for its biome to adjust.”
#2. Clean Your Dog’s Teeth
Photo New Africa/Bigstock
Oral health plays a crucial role in promoting longevity in people and pets alike, making periodontal (gum) disease management a top priority, says Dr. James Anthony, DVM, MRCVS, FAVD, DEVDC and board-certified veterinary dentist with more than 35 years of expertise in the field.
“If you’re looking for a natural toothpaste alternative, consider using coconut oil.”
“While managing tartar and plaque is helpful, addressing gum disease is crucial for your pet’s oral health and overall well-being,” says Dr. Anthony. Periodontal disease leads to swelling and damage to the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. Chronic inflammation produces byproducts that spread throughout the body, contributing to various age-related diseases such as arthritis, and heart, kidney, and liver disease.
Veterinarians have not sufficiently emphasized to pet owners the importance of a daily home care routine, which is key to preventing the need for professional cleanings and maintaining a healthy animal, says Dr. Anthony.
To effectively control plaque and inflammation, pet owners should brush their dog’s teeth daily, but Dr. Anthony says only four to five percent actually do. Dr. Anthony recommends a child’s toothbrush for small dogs or an adult soft bristle for medium to large pets, and pet toothpaste, as human toothpaste contains chemicals that may cause stomach upset when swallowed.
If you’re looking for a natural toothpaste alternative, consider using coconut oil. Coconut oil is safe for dogs to consume and may help decrease plaque and tartar build-up on their teeth and reduce inflammation to fight gum disease. In one study, oil pulling (swishing oil around the mouth) with coconut oil for 30 days significantly decreased plaque buildup and signs of gingivitis in 60 human participants with plaque-induced gum disease. To use coconut oil to brush your dog’s teeth, simply rub a small amount of coconut oil onto their teeth and gums.
In addition to brushing, chew toys, dental treats, and water additives, such as Oxyfresh Pet Dental Water Additive, that reduce plaque and tartar can help.
Dr. Anthony also recommends 1-TDC, a specialized fatty acid which promotes healthy inflammatory responses, to minimize plaque buildup. He serves as the chief medical officer for Elite Science, the makers of 1-TDC, and says the supplement is palatable and cost-effective—superior to coconut oil, which has milder anti-inflammatory properties.
Dental diets—to be fed exclusively or used as treats—approved by the Vet Oral Health Council (VOHC) are also beneficial, Dr. Anthony says. The size, shape, and texture of the kibble is designed to clean the tooth as your dog chews, minimizing the need for additional dental procedures.
Pet owners who practice consistent oral home care with their dogs may avoid the need for professional cleanings, but, if needed, should be done under general anesthesia. Non-anesthesia procedures, says Dr. Anthony, do not effectively reach below the gumline, the area where periodontal disease starts. “Anesthesia ensures the procedure can be safely performed.”
Although anesthesia itself is a risk (which can be mitigated by pre-procedure blood work and a thorough examination) it is “outweighed,” says Anthony, “by the benefits of professional cleanings when performed by an anesthesiologist.”
#3. Titer Testing
Vaccines are important but are not without risk. Immunologist Dr. Laurie Larson, DVM, calls herself “a strong proponent of using an evidence-based approach to vaccinate our dogs appropriately.” In essence, titer testing involves ascertaining your dog’s immune response before giving a vaccine to see if the booster shot is, in fact, needed.
“An unexpected vaccine reaction can come with a very large price tag,” says Dr. Larson, an instructor of veterinary immunology and titer expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine and director of the Companion Animal Vaccines and Immunodiagnostic Service (CAVIDS) laboratory — titer testing service. “Appropriate vaccination—giving vaccines based on potential benefit—ensures immunity without undue risk of adverse vaccine reaction.”
Many pet owners—and even some veterinarians—are unfamiliar with titer testing, a measurement of a specific antibody. The goal of vaccination is to immunize by inducing antibodies above protective thresholds. Once a dog is immune, both disease virus and vaccine virus are locked out. More doses of vaccine provide no further benefit.
“We need to consider that anytime we put a vaccine into an animal, things can go wrong,” says Larson. “It is true that adverse vaccine reactions are not common, but we can’t predict in advance which dogs are predisposed to bad reactions. When the benefit side of the equation is zero, even a small risk is not worth taking.”
“An unexpected vaccine reaction can come with a very large price tag.”
To be done every three years in adult dogs, titer testing is an effective evidence-based tool to help veterinarians determine which dogs would benefit from vaccination and provide peace of mind to guardians of dogs that don’t need a dose at that time. “Appropriately vaccinating dogs… will help to protect them from deadly core viral diseases,” says Larson. “Appropriately refraining from vaccinating dogs that are already immune will protect them from unnecessary adverse vaccine reactions.”
If a titer test finds immunity, vaccines for core canine vaccines—parvovirus, distemper, and adenovirus—can be delayed. A titer test doesn’t apply in cases of non-core vaccines, including rabies, as most areas will not accept a titer test in lieu of a vaccination certificate due to the seriousness of the disease.
#4. A Wholesome Non-Processed Diet (Including Raw Bones)
Photo Milan/Adobe Stock
A wholesome diet can make a big difference to overall well-being, says Dr. Peter Dobias, an integrative veterinarian focused on empowering people with knowledge to prevent disease in their dogs. A better diet equals better health, whether in humans or pets. This means a menu that closely mirrors what dogs’ wild counterparts naturally eat—prey animals, a combination of meat, organs, bones, and small amounts of plants and fruit. Dr. Dobias generally does not recommend dry food. “Any food that is heavily processed and sits on the shelves for weeks, months, and sometimes years doesn’t belong in a dog’s bowl.”
“A better diet equals better health, whether in humans or pets.”
Dobias advises making the switch over several days by mixing a cooked meal with the current pet food; then serving only cooked foods; and finally, introducing raw food. The advantages of feeding a raw or fresh diet include improved coat quality, increased energy and mobility, reduced instances of obesity, diabetes, liver disease and kidney failure, and other degenerative diseases.
The best benefit is a longer life—Dobias estimates that a fresh food diet can extend a pet’s lifespan by at least 20 percent.
He also recommends supplementing with raw bones (refrain from feeding cooked or smoked bones), which are a source of minerals and other nutrients and helps with dental health and in turn, heart, kidney, and digestive health.
Although feeding raw bones does come with a few simple rules (feed bones under supervision, store bones in the fridge between chewing sessions and toss after two days), many people forget that the canine digestive tract is designed to digest bones, says Dr. Dobias. “The strong stomach acids dissolve them in the stomach so they can safely pass through the gut.” The best bones are the ones a dog can crunch. Avoid large marrow bones, especially for large dogs, as they’re too hard and often fracture a dog’s teeth.
On rare occasions, dogs may struggle to digest bones and experience vomiting or diarrhea, which can be due to advanced age, weaker digestion, allergies, or dental issues that make chewing difficult. To give a dog time to adjust, build up digestive acids and enzymes, Dr. Dobias recommends feeding raw meat mixed with ground bones and trying bones from different animals.
“A switch to fresh and raw food can make a world of difference at any stage of a dog’s life,” says Dr. Dobias. “Even for dogs in a terminal stage, I’ve seen dramatic improvements once they start receiving wholesome foods. Food is the greatest medicine. By making this change, you’re highly likely to gift yourself some extra time with your canine friend.”
Petcurean Helps Pets Displaced by Hurricane Michael
Petcurean donates 2,000 pounds of pet food to local animal rescues in need
One of our favourite premium pet food manufacturers Petcurean is donating 1,000 pounds of pet food to the Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., which has taken in animals from shelters and residents in the Florida Panhandle who fled the area due to Hurricane Michael. How cool is that! What’s more, another 1,000 pounds of pet food is being donated to the Alaqua Animal Rescue, which is located 70 miles west of the storm’s path and has been collecting supplies and providing boarding and medical assistance to animals affected by the storm.
Hurricane Michael is the strongest storm on record to hit Florida’s Panhandle, placing 375,000 people under evacuation orders from government and weather officials. As people evacuated, unfortunately, many pets were left behind resulting in overcrowded and undersupplied animal shelters and rescue organizations. To help aid those impacted by the storm, Petcurean is donating food with help from its Florida distributors.
“As yet another devastating storm displaces people and their pets, we hope that our contribution provides some form of comfort and aid to those impacted by Hurricane Michael’s destruction,” said Christine Mallier, PR & Community Relations Manager at Petcurean.
Petcurean is committed to helping pets and pet parents that are impacted by natural disasters and supporting the incredible animal rescue groups that work tirelessly to assist animals in need. In 2018, Petcurean made 196 donations, for a total donation of more than 42,300 pounds of food to-date!
Petcurean is a family-owned Canadian company that creates premium-quality pet food recipes; GO! Solutions, NOW FRESH, GATHER and SPIKE treats for dogs and cats (and cats and dogs). Petcurean pet foods are sold exclusively through pet specialty retailers in Canada, the United States, and more than 30 countries internationally. At Petcurean, with every decision they make and every recipe they create, they put pets first. Please visit www.petcurean.com to learn more.
Air-Dried: The Perfect Alternative to Kibble or Raw
Sales of raw and raw alternative pet foods in the United States have more than tripled in the past 6 years. While consumers love the idea of feeding fresh or frozen diets, many are looking for shelf-stable alternatives that are high in meat content and free from unnecessary fillers.
Air-dried diets offer excellent nutrition with the scoop-and-serve convenience of kibble. Air-drying is a slow and gentle process that naturally preserves nutrients in the raw ingredients, while eliminating harmful pathogens. The result is a shelf-stable, nutrient-dense, highly digestible diet that is free from artificial preservatives.
Ziwi, the innovator of air-dried pet nutrition, produces air-dried dog and cat foods that are based on the whole-prey model. Limited-ingredient Ziwi Peak Air-Dried recipes contain 96% meat, organ, and bone, with 3% New Zealand Green Mussel – a rich natural source of glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega 3 fatty acids. Made with 100% New Zealand-sourced free-range meats and sustainable seafood, Ziwi recipes are complete and balanced for all life stages and breeds, eliminating the need to add expensive supplements.
Ziwi’s Air-Dried recipes are versatile and simple to feed as a complete and balanced daily diet or as a nutritious topper or mix-in to other foods. There’s no wrong way to feed Ziwi! Adding Ziwi to a kibble diet as a topper or alternative meal option is a simple way to increase the meat content, reduce carbohydrate intake, and add valuable nutrients such as taurine, cystine, and methionine. Because it is nutrient-dense, serving sizes are smaller than kibble, while still offering the same scoop and serve convenience. Ziwi Air-Dried is also an excellent alternative to freeze dried, as it costs approximately 40% less per serving, and is fed as is, without the need to rehydrate.
Ziwi is family-owned and operated, with air-drying kitchens in Mount Maunganui (North Island) and Christchurch (South Island), in New Zealand.
Top 5 Benefits of a Vegan Dog Diet
Plant-based diets offer a wide range of health benefits, which makes them a great fit for dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages. If your pup suffers from chronic symptoms like itchy skin, digestive issues, joint pain, or eye discharge, it might be time to try a nutritionally-complete vegan diet. Below are 5 incredible health benefits that you can expect when switching your pooch to plant-based.
According to experts at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, "The most commonly reported food allergies in dogs are chicken, beef, dairy, and egg…What surprises many pet owners is that grains are actually uncommon causes of food allergies – most pets are allergic to animal proteins." Food allergies can cause a variety of symptoms in dogs, including rashes, dry and itchy skin, loose stool, constipation, gas, vomiting, eye discharge, yeast infections, and fur loss. Exposure to allergens over time is a health concern, as it compromises the immune system. Plant-based diets are naturally allergen-friendly, meaning that your pup can finally get some relief from those chronic, uncomfortable symptoms.
Vegan formulas commonly help dogs with a whole range of digestive issues, from loose stool to constipation to gas. Conversely, meat-based dog foods are often hard on the digestive system due to the acidifying and inflammatory effects of animal protein. Because plant-based ingredients are gentle on digestion and often free of irritating allergens, they can help clear up symptoms in even the most sensitive of pups.
Compared to animal-based foods, plant-based foods are naturally anti-inflammatory, which means they can help relieve joint pain and arthritis (making them an excellent fit for senior dogs). Dogs who switch to a vegan diet often experience improved mobility, which means stronger muscles, longer walks, and more endurance at the dog park.
Made with lean and easily digestible ingredients, vegan dog food formulas are a great choice for dogs who have trouble maintaining a proper weight. Overweight dogs often shed excess pounds after making the switch, helping them stay lean and live longer, more active lives.
Improves energy levels
Switching your dog to a vegan diet can help them regain puppy-like energy due to the clean, readily-available nutrition (without the negative effects from meat-based and byproduct-heavy food). Plant-based pups often find boundless energy on their new diets, which contributes to a higher quality of life.
Is your pup ready to make the switch to a cleaner, healthier diet? At v-dog, we've seen thousands of dogs reap the health benefits of our 100% plant based products, receiving A+ checkups at the vet. Our kibble is nutritionally complete and balanced, meets AAFCO guidelines, and free of byproducts, fillers, and common allergens. Learn more about what we do at v-dog.com.
Introducing the Fraser Valley Grub Formula from KASIKS
Taplow Ventures LTD., is pleased to announce a NEW and NOVEL protein source with the introduction of our canned Fraser Valley Grub Formula. KASIKS canned products are produced at Coastwise Processors Inc., our human-grade canning facility located in British Columbia, Canada.
Insect protein has become increasingly popular over the past few years as part of the human diet.
Insects are Eco-Friendly, Novel, Clean & Healthy:
Insect protein is equal and in some cases higher in protein and fat than traditional sources
Zero methane production
No added hormones, antibiotics or steroids
Reduced water consumption in farming insects over that of other animal protein options
Low environmental impact and source of excellent nutrients
Kasiks Pet food is sourcing our soldier fly larvae from within our community. Enterra Feed Corporation is a CFIA approved farming facility located in British Columbia, Canada. Enterra feeds excess fruit, vegetable and grain from human food production.
“North American and European consumers are continually seeking unique quality protein sources for their pets. Insect protein is a part of many peoples’ diets. Our KASIKS Fraser Valley Grub formula contains insect to enhance the fat and protein of the diet.” – Michael Florian, President & Founder KASIKS Pet Foods
New Brand of 100% American Made Jerky Snacks & Treats for Dogs
Pet Adventures Worldwide successfully launched a new brand of American sourced and manufactured jerky snacks and treats for dogs this year—Uncle Ulrick’s. All of Uncle Ulrick’s products are American Made with American Pride in a certified USDA approved facility in Ohio, the heartland of America. Uncle Ulrick’s is committed to making wholesome, delicious treats for dogs everywhere. The brand was created by PAW pet enthusiasts to provide the company’s pickiest pet with treats that have the same high quality ingredients and preparation methods that you would expect for humans. Only the freshest whole muscle, all white meat American chicken breasts, American grown sweet potatoes and choice cuts of American beef are used to make the finest jerky snacks for dogs.
All of Uncle Ulrick’s jerky treats and sweet potato snacks are made with real American ingredients that are fresh (never frozen) and cooked to perfection without adding grain, soy, wheat, fillers, by-products, artificial flavors and colors.
“We believe that dogs deserve the same level of quality cuisine as their humans. That is why our recipes have human grade ingredients,” said Aron Cremeans – Executive Chef for Uncle Ulrick’s. Currently, the menu consists of Chicken and Beef Jerky Strips, Sweet Potato Strips, Chicken and Beef Jerky Canine Croutons.
For more information about the entire menu, please visit Uncle Ulrick's online at www.uncleulricks.com or e-mail them at email@example.com.
About PAW – Pet Adventures Worldwide PAW has serviced the pet industry for nearly 30 years. After focusing on the marketing and sales of flexi retractable leashes for many years, PAW now offers several brands worldwide. For more information on all of our brands – Alcott Products, Uncle Ulrick’s, Great Jack’s and Mutt Mitts, please visit us online at www.petadventuresworldwide.com.
Charlee Bear® Products Introduces GRAIN FREE BEAR CRUNCH—Dog Treats for a Healthy Lifestyle
Charlee Bear® Products created original Charlee Bear Dog Treats over 20 years ago. Leading the way in providing Natural, Low Calorie Treats. We were convinced that treating for training or just for fun is an important way to build the bond between you and your doggie companion. We choose simple, natural ingredients and real meat and cheese to create a great tasting treat that dogs would love. At only three calories per treat you can treat often. We made them “Pocket Perfect®” so you could put a handful in your pocket and take them with you on walks and outings.
Our treats were tested by many professional trainers and dogs with rave reviews. We wanted consumers to be able to understand our label so we kept it simple. We made four great flavors; Liver, Cheese & Egg, TukeyLiver & Cranberries and Chicken Soup & Garden Veggies.
NOW we are introducing our latest Natural, low calorie treat, GRAIN FREE BEAR CRUNCH. With a new process these grain free treats have a SPECIAL SUPER LIGHT CRUNCH all of their own. Still “Pocket Perfect®” and less than 3 calories each, they are also perfect for training or any time. We had fun with three great new flavors; Chicken Pumpkin & Apple, Bacon & Blueberry and Turkey, Sweet Potato & Cranberries. Our doggie fans gave us high approval ratings—all paws up.
Charlee Bear has many loyal fans who wanted to tell about how much they love our treats. We hope you will watch our video. Our treats are available nationwide at major pet retailers and smaller pet supply stores. Check our website www.charleebear.com and visit us on facebook for contests and fun, www.facebook.com/charleebear
Irresistible Dog Treats
I always feed my dog natural products which is why I love Tucker’s Chicken Jerky as much as my dog does! Made in the USA from human-grade ingredients, they smell and taste great! My dog’s favourite is the Classic Chicken but he also loves the Chicken and Banana and the Chicken and Apple. It's a treat you can feel good giving!–KG
Yummy Yaff Bar
My pooch and I are always on the go together. Then I discovered these amazing all-natural energy bars by Mudd+Wyeth that me and my pup can both enjoy. These bars are the first “people food” that can be shared with your dog, and taste great! We both can’t get enough of them! –KG
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