Unless properly formulated by a nutritionist, diets made at home are not likely to be nutritionally complete and balanced. For this purpose specially manufactured gravy foods match the feeling of home-prepared food with four potential advantages – nutritional, physiological, emotional and behavioural.
In the emerging markets where commercial petfood penetration is very low (e.g. in India), feeding home-prepared diets is so prevalent because of a variety of factors, including: cultural attitudes, owner compliance, economics and low awareness on prepared pet foods. Pedigree
Today the domestic dog has become elevated to near family-member status. Concurrent advances in the knowledge of canine nutrient requirements (NRC, 2006) have resulted in sophisticated, balanced and nutritionally complete prepared diets for dogs. Prepared diets offer advantages in terms of convenience, cost and nutritional content, and in many countries, the majority of pets are fed these diets.
Introduction of commercial pet foods from reputed manufacturers in the 1950’s has been associated with increased health and longevity throughout the pet population (Watson, 1997). A preliminary study in India suggested that the incidence of disease was lower, and survivability of pups higher, in those dogs maintained for a year on a commercial diet compared to home-prepared diets (Abdul Rahman and Yathiraj, 2001).
None of the home-prepared diets fed to dogs in India were adequate in meeting recommended nutritional requirements and all diets were deficient in at least four essential nutrients (potassium, vitamin E, vitamin D and calcium).
Nutrient deficiency causes classic diseases that can be severely debilitating or in some cases rapidly fatal. Besides, there are questions regarding digestibility, safety and palatability of home-prepared diets. Homemade diets may also contain contaminants and food-borne microbes if the pet parent is not careful.
The customised gravy food thus ensures health and happiness by providing key nutrients which are essential for the dog’s overall well being.
Advantages of specially manufactured gravy food
- It offers more of a feeding experience for the pet parents as they feel good about having to prepare the food for the dog.
- It is more like real food, same mouth feel, looks like human food. It allows a greater variety of feeding behaviour, in terms of flavours, textures and formats.
- It contains high quality proteins and dietary fibre, which aids digestion and ensures your dogs absorb all nutrients from his food. One can see the result in smaller and firmer stools.
- It provides all the key nutrients needed to meet the daily needs of a dog with the quantity of energy required to sustain his body condition and health.
- It offers potentially reduced risk of overfeeding as the amount of wet food looks substantial and more satiating.
- It can be warmed up on a cold day or if the dog is ill or simply just for a change.
- It has all advantages of dry and wet food – good oral health, palatable and water. Dogs lose water through panting and central heating may also have an impact on water loss. A healthy water intake is good for the skin, cells and urinary tract, including kidneys.
- WCPN has showed that when water is added to dry food (amount of water added is similar to the amount of water found in home food), the risk of stone formation is reduced in small dogs, urine volume is increased and it is also good for urinary tract health.
- It can help to keep dog hydrated, especially during the summer or in hot climates, or if the dog doesn’t drink enough water.
- It contains comparatively reduced calorie levels and can help to maintain a normal healthy weight.
- It may encourage the dog to eat other food as well, i.e. if the dog does not take to dry food, you can add Pedigree Gravy to encourage the dog to eat the dry dog food.
- Gravy food may encourage the dog to eat more slowly.
- It provides more choices for the dog – he can pick the kibbles out.
- It is cheaper and also balanced. For example, the cost of feeding a 20 kg dog per day is Rs 70 for Pedigree Gravy and Rs 92 for home prepared diet (non-veg).