Pet Parents want what's best for their pups, but what exactly does 'best' mean?
With over 35 years of experience in pet food development (along with partnering with a network of PhD nutritionists), our Co-Founder Greg has learned a few things about pet food ingredients and is always excited to share his knowledge!
For us, 'best' means using 100% human-grade ingredients and sourcing them all in North America. We pride ourselves on our use of human-grade ingredients and manufacturing practices, which ensure that your dog’s food is clean, safe, and contains all the nutrients they need.
Let's breakdown the nutritional components of dog food and learn what's best for healthy pups.
Proteins are incredibly important—they contain amino acids that act as the building blocks for structural systems in the body such as bones, muscles, and organs. All NewRoad recipes are crafted with human-grade protein sources: USDA certified chicken or wild-caught whitefish.
Chicken and fish are excellent sources of essential amino acids required by dogs and humans alike. Chicken is high in Omega 6 Fatty Acids, and whitefish is high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which promotes healthy skin and coat conditions.
Whitefish is a unique protein source for dogs managing allergies or sensitivities to proteins such as chicken and is featured in our Limited Ingredient recipe.
We only use proteins fit for human consumption—never feed-grade protein sources or protein meals like most commercial dog food. Feed-grade protein sources are allowed to contain meat from diseased animals. We believe your dog deserves better than that, which is why all our meats are USDA certified.
Fats are an essential component of a dog’s diet. They provide energy, essential Omega 6 & 3 Fatty Acids and aid the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
We use 100% human-grade sunflower oil and coconut oil instead of feed-grade rendered animal fats found in most other dog food brands.
Ever take a sniff of your dog's feed-grade food? Yuck! The rendered animal fat that coats the flash-cooked kibble gives the food a rancid odor, while our human-grade clean kibble smells like fresh-baked bread.
3. Carbohydrates & Fiber
We use a mix of different carbohydrates in our recipes, with oatmeal, barley and brown rice at the top of the list. We also offer grain-free sources of carbohydrates such as red lentils and chickpeas.
Simple carbohydrates are highly digestible and an efficient source of energy. Fiber, a complex carbohydrate, is generally classified as either soluble/fermentable or insoluble. Both types of fiber provide separate but key digestive functions. We use ingredients like pea fiber and oat bran—of course all human-grade quality which assures they are clean and safe from contamination. Ingredients like fruit and veggies also add a natural fiber boost to our clean kibble.
4. Fruits & Vegetables
We all know we’re supposed to eat our five a day, but it’s important that our dogs also eat a balanced diet containing fruits and vegetables.
We use human-grade superfoods like cranberries and blueberries which provide a healthy dose of natural antioxidants to support heart, vision and immune health. These fruits also contain plenty of Vitamins A, C, and K, which are all important nutrients in any diet.
NewRoad recipes also contain fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and spinach which provide your pet with more antioxidants and vitamins in addition to being a natural source of healthy fiber.
5. Specialty Ingredients
The addition of specialty ingredients is intended to further enhance the functional benefits of our recipes.
Ingredients like green tea and rosemary extract are great sources of antioxidants. Studies have shown that dogs who eat an antioxidant-enriched diet are able to learn complex tasks more quickly and are less likely to suffer age-related behavioral changes (references below).
Flaxseed is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and supports a healthy immune system, skin and coat, kidneys, and joints. Inulin is a prebiotic that supports gut health and digestion. Of course, all of the specialty ingredients in our clean kibble and treats are human-grade quality.
6. Minerals & Vitamins
We supplement our diets with vitamins and minerals proportioned in the right amounts to provide optimal health.
Key minerals such as copper and zinc are chelated, which means they are combined with amino acids to enhance bio-availability. Each of these nutrients support different dietary functions.
The human-grade minerals and vitamins we use offer a wide range of benefits, including bone, teeth, and muscle development, eye health as well as metabolic support.
We monitor key nutrients closely via regular laboratory testing to assure they are at proper levels. You’ll find many of the same minerals and vitamins in any multivitamin supplement that you might take every day—your dog needs these too!
We break down the properties of our various recipes in this table, which will help you decide which is best for your dog.
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Learn more about human-grade ingredients: Food vs Feed - What's in Your Dog's Food?
Ikeda-Douglas CJ, Zicker SC, Estrada J, et al. Prior expe- rience, antioxidants, and mitochondrial cofactors improve cognitive function in aged beagles. Vet Ther 2004;5:5–16.
Dodd CE, Zicker SC, Jewell DE, et al. Can a fortified food affect the behavioral manifestations of age-related cognitive decline in dogs? Vet Med 2003;98:396–408.