With 6 weeks remaining til Suburban Pup’s final order deadline (Sun 19 Nov) it’s time to start either stocking up or winding down your SP meal supply – and importantly, turning your mind to fresh food alternatives.
The awesome news is that:
So here’s 4 pup food choices you’ll need to review soon to keep supporting you and your pup’s ongoing wellness, longevity + convenience!
Commercial pet food is formulated/marketed according to AAFCO’s minimum ‘complete & balanced’ requirements. These requirements are accepted by commercial nutritionists like ours too, as they’re achievable through completely fresh ingredients. If you take a closer look at food labels, AAFCO’s ‘all life stages’ formula means food is also rich enough for growing puppies (like our pork and lamb meals), but their ‘adult dog’ formula can be more than adequate as your pup reaches its senior years. NRC is another similarly recognised set of requirements some brands may use.
Or, while we’re unable to recommend other commercial brands we’ve simply not tried, the one SP alternative we CAN personally vouch for is nutritionist-approved home prep like Ruth Hatten's The Real Food Diet for Dogs, which is similar to what we were doing immediately before SP. This option allows you flexibility that might not always meet AAFCO requirements down to the micronutrient in every single meal, but can certainly provide a sound balance over time – just be frank with yourself about your ability to maintain home prep long term.
Most brands will focus on ONE of your pup’s preferred prep methods, raw or lightly-cooked, just because their production methods are so different in an industrial setting. You may well have a rock-solid raw eater in your household these days (if so congrats!), but for a lot of suburban pups, lightly-cooked will be a gentler option, especially for their initial transition. Please note: there’s no need to revert to highly-processed tinned food ok :)
(Some clients also like to mix in some crunch, but please stick to air-dried or freeze-dried brands that were originally raw; there’s no need to revert to highly-processed kibble here either!)
These choices sit at the heart of my obsession with longevity! Organic pet food’s become a bit less common in the current market due to price and supply challenges, but is still available. However you can expect excellent, readily-available free-range quality in proteins like chicken and pork, and grass-fed quality in proteins like beef (and lamb, though price has also become an issue here in recent years too). Turkey tends to be most readily available in human-grade form (ie factory-farmed, but also known as barn-raised, simply because it sounds nicer).
And remember, there’s also a quality continuum within each of these standards – you want fresh (not close to end of date) and human-grade cuts (not a random variety of offcuts). And to be honest, this kind of quality is most evident in price – if it looks too good to be true, it likely is, and your pup’s tummy will pretty quickly prove it. Having said all that, there’s zero need to revert to inferior pet-grade proteins; keep human-grade your minimum standard.
Be honest with your busy human self: what shopping option provides the best chance of success for you? Instore purchase can include buying individual portions, bulk packs or picking up online orders.
Home delivery often involves a cost or a subscription – but for many of us this is still more cost/sanity efficient than having to run to the shops whenever your supply runs out.
Finally, I want you to have as much fresh feeding hope as ever, so please remember:
And if this blog has raised questions, please direct them to me (Anna) at firstname.lastname@example.org as SP’s retiring dog food lady 😊– not to my team or stockists, who have other superpowers! Thank you so much xx
Photo: Eve Editorial