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In today’s blog, we’re talking ingredients. The meaty, fruity, and other nutritional goodies we pour into everything we make here at Natures Menu. We’ve been creating carefully balanced raw food for dogs here in Norfolk for over 40 years – and as proud pet parents ourselves, we know how much it matters to serve up fresh, healthy dog food, full of ingredients you feel good about. That’s why today, we’re popping open our packs, diving in and taking a closer look at what makes our complete raw food for dogs so deliciously, nutritiously good…
It’s all about the balance
When it comes to healthy dog food, balance is everything. Four decades of working with dogs has taught us that bringing together meat, fruit and vegetables – and for some dogs, an additional healthy source of carbohydrate – is the best way to give our four-legged friends the nutrition they need.
In our experience, two simple ratios tend to work well for most dogs – a blend of 80% meat with 20% fruit and veg, or a blend of 60% meat, 40% veg and healthy grain. That’s why we use those two ratios as the basis for our Complete & Balanced range. You can read more about why they work so well here.
Tender, juicy cuts of meat
Every ingredient we use in our raw food for dogs comes from carefully chosen, trusted suppliers – and that includes the generous helpings of juicy meat that sit right at the heart of our recipes. From classic beef and lamb to tender chicken and turkey, rich rabbit and venison to delicious fish, it’s all sourced responsibly and specifically prepared for pets, to industry standards.
Freshly picked fruit and veg
Freshly picked fruit and veggies arrive at our Norfolk kitchen every day of the week from farms across the UK and Europe. They’re a really important ingredient in any healthy dog food, and we love creating tasty new recipes with the beautiful, colourful produce our farmers grow.
From carrots, swedes, spinach and chicory, to blueberries, redcurrants, apples and plums, it all gives our raw food for dogs a great balance of vitamins and minerals , as well as a natural source of fibre that’s good for gut health – and happy, comfortable tummies.
As well as being an essential part of any healthy dog food, fruit and veg also help to keep dogs’ dinnertimes interesting, adding lots of flavour, texture and variety. If you’d like to find out more about the best fruit and vegetables for your dog – and the things you should definitely avoid – this blog’s got the lowdown.
Why peas are good for your pup
There’s a popular myth about peas that we’d like to put to rest once and for all. Time and time again we hear people say peas are a filler, put into raw food for dogs just to bulk it out. And that’s just not true. The simple truth is, in the same way that peas are good for us, peas are good for dogs – which is why you’ll find them in our raw dog food recipes.
In fact, peas are a good source of carbohydrate as well as providing healthy dietary fibre to aid digestion. We love using them in our complete raw food for dogs, where their sweet, fresh flavour works perfectly with our meat, poultry and game options.
Healthy, wholesome brown rice
Again, people often get the wrong idea about grains appearing in raw food for dogs – and we understand why. Technically, dogs have no nutritional need for carbohydrates, but as historic hunters and foragers, it’s likely they’ve always had small amounts in their diets. And over the last 40 years we’ve seen just how useful healthy grains can be for some dogs, depending on their activity level and lifestyle.
We’ve found that a small amount of healthy grain can be a good extra source of energy for working dogs, dogs who love being super active, or dogs that struggle to maintain weight. That’s why, in our Complete & Balanced 60/40 raw food for dogs, you’ll find healthy grains or parboiled brown rice. In fact, brown rice is a real favourite because its medium glycaemic index means it releases energy slowly and steadily over time.
There’s no proven, hard-and-fast, best way to feed your dog a raw diet. At Natures Menu, we’re big believers in sharing what we’ve learnt and giving you plenty of healthy dog food choices. If you’re happy to feed a small amount of healthy grain to your dog , give our Complete & Balanced 60/40 range a try. And if you’d rather skip grains altogether , you’ll find lots of tasty, meaty raw food for dogs in our no grain Complete & Balanced 80/20 range.
Of course, sourcing healthy dog food ingredients is only half the story. We also work hard to wrap all of those ingredients up into easy-to-feed formats, making your dog’s dinnertimes as quick, clean and convenient as possible – doggy table manners aside!
Our all-time favourites, and the real stars of our Complete & Balanced ranges, are our frozen nuggets. They’re juicy, meaty mouthfuls of tasty raw food for dogs, made with just the right mix of meat, fruit and veg with both grain and no grain options available to choose from . All the goodness of fresh dog food, conveniently frozen and ready to just pour, thaw and serve.
Just like with any raw food for dogs, you might notice colour variations between different types of meat and even different bags of the same product. That’s because our nuggets are made with natural, honest ingredients, which don’t all come in one uniform colour – and if you ask us, it’d be pretty strange if they did.
Super-clear, straight-talking packs
Dogs are part of the family. They might even be the best part. So, we know how much it matters to be confident about what’s in the raw dog food you’re feeding them. That’s why we’ve been working hard to make our Natures Menu packs clearer and easier to understand than ever.
On the front, you’ll find really clear recipe names and meat-to-veg ratios, and on the back you’ll see simple, straightforward lists of ingredients you can understand – no-nonsense information you can use to make the right choice for your own dog.
To sum it all up…
Just like us, dogs need a balanced, varied diet, which is exactly what our Natures Menu recipes are made to give them. We know how much healthy dog food ingredients matter to you – because they matter to us too. That’s why we take the time to carefully source fresh dog food ingredients, including tender meat, tasty veggies, fresh fruit and healthy grains , from farmers, growers and producers we trust.
It’s why we use those fresh ingredients in imaginative ways, from frozen nuggets to pocket-friendly on-the-go-treats. And it’s why we carefully prepare all of our raw food for dogs in partnership with our very own in-house vets, to make sure they’re nutritious – and delicious too.