Your Natural Feeding FAQs answered
Have you got questions about natural feeding? We’ve answered a few of our most asked questions about feeding fresh food to your dogs.
What’s the difference between lightly cooked and raw food?
Lyka is a fresh and lightly cooked diet. We cook our meats just like you would cook for the rest of the family at home. This means that the nutrients in pupper’s foods are retained. Raw meat poses food safety risks, such as potential contamination through pathogens and bacteria. By lightly cooking we also avoid the negative side-effects of high temperature processing, such as the formulation of acrylamide chemicals.
Raw meat is not suitable for some dogs as they can find it difficult to digest and it can be hard on sensitive tummies. Lyka bowls provide a complete and balanced diet that will suit puppies, adults, and seniors.
Don’t dogs need dry food to clean their teeth?
Most people think that because kibble is hard and crunchy it will clean pupper’s teeth while they eat. It’s just not that simple. This is like saying that eating hard chewing gum cleans human teeth. Kibble is high in carbohydrate, which convert to sugars and form a film on your pup’s teeth. This can lead to plaque build-up.
While dental kibbles may have a small benefit, too many can lead to weight gain, inflammation and potentially damage their gut microbiome. Chewing toys can provide some assistance but you still must brush pupper’s teeth!
What does complete and balanced mean?
A complete and balanced diet provides all the nutritional requirements a dog needs for optimum health. This includes macronutrients such as protein, fat and carbohydrates, and micronutrients – vitamins and minerals. Pupper’s food must contain the right ratios of these ingredients to have a balanced diet.
A food could be complete – for example, contain all the omega 6 and phosphorus a pet technically needs but the ratio of omega 6 to 3 or calcium to phosphorus could be incorrect. This can lead to disease, inflammation, or rickets.
My dog has a sensitive stomach. Can they eat a fresh diet?
A fresh, lightly cooked diet is proven to be more easily digested so may support puppers with sensitive tummies. Just as gut health has become very important for humans, scientists are now looking into the value of microbial diversity in dog food. Fresh diets have a complexity of ingredients which may be helpful.
If you are transitioning your dog to a new diet, it is important to take it very slowly and consult your vet if you notice any reactions.
Look for food that is lower in fat, has limited proteins and is low in carbohydrates.
A fresh food diet will not protect your pooch from food allergies.
Can puppies and seniors eat fresh food, or do they need special diets?
Puppies are growing and developing rapidly. They have special nutritional requirements, different to the needs of adult dogs. We design our diet to meet the critical growth needs of pups. This means that our adult puppers are getting slightly more nutrients than they require. We see this as a healthy nutritional insurance policy, in case your adult dog’s needs are higher or they are not absorbing nutrients properly.
There are no special nutritional recommendations for senior dogs, however science is emerging to suggest certain ingredients could be beneficial. If you are wanting your pupper to age well and have a quality of life in their senior years look for foods that include omega 3s such as fish oil and sardines. These are great for joint and skin health. Avoid high GI carbohydrate foods which are believed to increase metabolic stress and have been linked to chronic diseases.
Lyka is a fresh, lightly cooked diet. It is low in carbohydrates and balanced for all ages including puppies. Our food is intelligently designed and incorporates bioactive superfoods in the correct ratios so that your favourite furry friends remain in optimum health, whatever stage of life they are at.
Reach out to our friendly customer care team if you have any questions about our food and what is best for your pupper.
Can I cook my dog’s food myself?
You can always cook your dog’s food at home yourself if you’d like to give your pup less processed food than store-bought kibble and wet food. However, home cooking is not as simple as it seems: meeting the correct nutritional requirements for your dog can be tough, and can lead to severe nutritional deficiencies over time if their food is not complete and balanced. Plus, when you factor in the costs of meat, veggies, superfoods and any supplements you may need, the costs can add up quickly.
This is where Lyka comes in: the benefits of the minimal processing of home-cooked meals delivered to your door. Not only would we save you time in the kitchen, but our meals have been designed by our in-house vet and veterinary nutritionist to meet or exceed all AAFCO and FEDIAF requirements.
Does wet food mean wet poop?
No! The important factors in your dog’s diet which affect their poop are carbohydrates, water content and fibre levels.
Carbohydrates are important to maintain stool texture, but too much carbohydrate content can add lots of bulk to your pup’s poops without much improvement of texture – not so fun for you to pick up at the dog park! Dry foods have a high carbohydrate level, especially compared to fresh food: kibble typically contains more than 50% carbohydrate, while at Lyka our meals only contain between 11-17% carbohydrate.
Fresh food is high in moisture, but this doesn’t translate to wet poos: this moisture is great to help keep your pup hydrated, which can help to avoid constipation and hard, lumpy poos. This water content won’t mean that poos become overly soft.
The healthy fibre sources that you’ll find in Lyka meals like quinoa, butternut squash and purple sweet potato help to stimulate movement within the digestive tract and form healthy-texture poos.
If you transition to our fresh food too quickly and your pup’s tummy doesn’t have enough time to adjust, you may notice a sudden change in the texture of their poos. Reach out to our customer care team, who will provide you with some transition tips and help to find a transition timeline which suits your dog’s unique needs.
Do dogs need variety in their meals?
If you’re feeding your dog a complete and balanced fresh food like Lyka, they can safely eat the same recipe every single day and still receive all of their required nutrients. However, each of our recipes contain different superfoods, vegetables and proteins, meaning that your pupper can still benefit from the diversity in phytonutrients from our variety of recipes.
This is why we’ve developed different options for your pup: each of our recipes are still great options on their own, but you might like to try out some different options. We recommend giving all of our recipes a try (as long as your pup doesn’t have any intolerances), so you can find your pup’s favourite!
Do dogs need extra vitamins added to their meals to make them complete and balanced?
If you prepare your pup’s food yourself at home, the answer to this may be yes. It can be hard to ensure that the ingredients you use meet all of the nutritional requirements for your dog, so additional supplements might be a necessary addition to make sure your dog doesn’t develop any nutritional deficiencies over time.
With a complete and balanced fresh food option like Lyka, you don’t need to add anything extra: all of your pup’s required vitamins, minerals and macronutrients are satisfied, meaning peace of mind for you and a happy, healthy dog!
Thank you to Lyka for answering these commonly asked questions by caring dog families who want to know more about natural diets for their dogs, so they can help their dogs live the longest, healthiest lives possible.
To give their fresh food a try, head to lyka.com.au and build your dog’s customised box today.
Use code BOTHENDS20 at checkout and claim 20% off your first order.