Preserved raw meat pet foods may be more convenient, safe

Preserved raw meat dog and cat foods may provide the perceived health benefits of raw pet foods, yet are easier to handle for pet owners and retailers.

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Photo by Debbie Phillips-Donaldson
Photo by Debbie Phillips-Donaldson

While raw pet foods have grown in popularity and sales, they tend to be less convenient for retailers and pet owners to store and handle. Also, raw pet foods have suffered numerous recalls. However, preserved raw meat pet foods can provide the best of both worlds, said Natasha Davis, client service manager for GfK, during her presentation at Petfood Forum 2018.

“What makes a preserved diet so attractive?” Davis said. “Well, when you boil it down to the basic nuts and bolts, it's preserved to be healthy like raw but convenient like kibble.”

Health aspects of preserved pet foods

“The one thing that makes the raw feeding attractive to some pet owners is that the food contains natural nutrients to help break down food and to give your pet a longer, healthier life. It’s something different than what’s in the processed pet foods, the fillers and preservatives, that has sometimes been linked to food allergies in your pet.

“Well the preserved diet, through either freeze dry or dehydrated, says that it’s preserved those nutrients that can be found in a raw feeding,” she said.

Easier storage of raw pet foods

Preserved dog and cat diets are easier to store than raw pet foods, Davis said.

“If your purchase a raw food, you have to refrigerate it, it can be quite messy, quite smelly, it doesn’t last as long, so you have more frequent trips to the store. Whereas preserved diets come in a bag just like a traditional kibble, so it sits on shelf a bit longer, yet it’s perceived to give your pets more nutrients, than the traditional kibble.

“I say perceived because I’m not a scientist, I don’t make the food, but I see what’s on package. So, I don’t want to make any false claims that I’m not 100 percent sure of.  But that’s what’s marketed to consumers, it’s a healthier feeding,” she said.

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