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As dog lovers are becoming more and more concerned about the nutritional value of the food they are feeding their companion animals, the best dog food manufacturers are exploring new ingredients to meet those needs, including novel dog food.
In the last couple of years, dog food manufacturers have been exploring non-traditional, novel ingredients with impressive results. However, with so many advancements it is hard to keep up with all the trends. So we’ve put together a list of the top ten novel dog food ingredients to look out for.
1. Asian Carp
Asian Carp started as a nuisance fish in the United States. They have spread from their original habitat in East Asia to American waterways, throwing off the ecosystems within these areas. However, this invasion could have a huge benefit for dog lovers who wish to feed a novel dog food. Asian Carp is loaded with lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, essential for dog nutrition, however, they do not contain the harmful ingredients like lead, mercury, and arsenic like other fish. Manufacturers like BareItAll have taken advantage and have had huge success, especially with dogs that have skin and coat issues.
Crickets are growing in popularity as a healthy protein source and novel dog food because of their minimal ecological impact. Dog food manufacturers have taken note, and have found that crickets are a great protein source for our furry friends. Plus crickets are biologically appropriate because dogs will eat crickets in the wild. Veterinarians have also found crickets are a great protein source for dogs with food allergies.
Alligator is another unusual protein source some of the best dog food manufacturers are exploring as a novel dog food option. Alligator is a low fat, high protein source that is great for active dogs. It is also high in omega-3 fatty acids and contains no cholesterol, so it is a great option for the heart health of your dog. Plus, alligators are not industrially farmed, so their nutritional value isn’t compromised. Finally, dogs have been known to eat reptiles in the wild, so it is a great option for people looking for ancestral sources of protein.
Kangaroo has risen in popularity in their native home of Australia as a great protein option for dogs. Kangaroo is wild-caught, so it is an extremely safe form of protein. Kangaroo not only provides a lean, natural protein source but it is loaded with conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs). CLAs help improve cholesterol levels, aids in weight management, supports the immune system, and may even help prevent cancer. Kangaroo provides the most CLAs of any protein source so the best dog food manufacturers are exploring kangaroo as a healthy ingredient.
Though Ostrich is a bird, it actually is a red meat protein source so it has a surprisingly similar taste to beef. However, unlike beef it is extremely low in fat, containing ⅔ less fat than beef. Plus it is lower in cholesterol and higher in calcium, iron, and B vitamins. Unlike other red meats, Ostrich is a great protein source for heart health, weight management, and cancer prevention, making this an excellent novel dog food. Also it is extremely high in protein with 22g per serving, so it is a fantastic protein source for dogs.
Bison is a favorite ancestral food and is already found in some of the best dog foods on the market like Taste of the Wild and Merrick. Wolves eat bison in the wild, so it is a biologically-appropriate source of protein for dogs. Bison is often compared to beef, however it has a much better nutritional profile for dogs. Bison provides more protein and is lower in cholesterol and fat than beef. Plus bison is a great alternative for beef loving dogs that have digestive issues or beef allergies. Bison based dog foods have exploded in popularity, with dog owners seeing massive improvements in the health and over well-being of their dogs, so we can expect to see more bison in dog foods in the future.
Boar is another ancestral protein source that is being included in novel dog food. Boar is extremely high in protein and companies like Zuke’s and Orijen have been providing boar-based treats with crude protein ratings as high as 45%. Boar is a great novel protein source for dogs with allergies and food tolerances, especially working dogs and active breeds who need extra protein for sustained energy. Boar, like Bison, has seen a lot of success in the market in the last year, so expect to see more dogs food including boar in their ingredients.
8. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are extremely rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, staple nutrients for the heart and skin health of your dog. They are also very high in fiber and help clean out your dog’s intestinal tract. Plus they are great for dogs with allergies. So with all these benefits, the best dog food manufacturers like Good Dog Food Company, Wellness, and Honest Kitchen have included chia seeds in their recipes with impressive results.
9. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are considered a superfood for dogs. They contain a more balanced ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids than fish oil, so they are extremely healthy for your dog’s heart, skin, coat, and joints. There is also evidence that hemp seeds help protect against diabetes and cancer. So it has had amazing results when added to senior dog food formulas. Since hemp seeds are a relatively new ingredient for dog food, more studies are being done. However, with so many positive findings, it is very likely we will see hemp seeds appear in more dog foods this year.
Algae is an amazing, nutrient-dense ingredient to have in novel dog food. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Not only does it provide a concentrated array of nutrients, a recent study shows that algae helps improve cognitive function in older dogs. So many senior dog food manufacturers like Health Extension are adding whole-cell algae as a key ingredient to their formulas.
These ten novel ingredients are just some of the latest innovative ingredients popping up in dog foods. From unique, ancestral proteins to rich superfoods, the best dog food manufacturers are always looking for new ways to improve their formulas. So the next time you are shopping for a new food for your pet, look for these ten ingredients. They may be extremely beneficial to the health and wellbeing of your dog.