We all have one thing in common. We love our dogs. They are our best furiends after all. But whether you’ve been using the same dog food for years and everything seems ok or you have concerns about their diet, at some point or another, you’ll find yourself wondering whether you should change to another dog food. And well…. you’ve just heard about this cold compressed dog food brand that’s meant to be amazing for your dog. It’s def time to change then, isn’t it!?!?
It’s crazy, isn’t it? Even when everything seems ok, we still question whether we are doing the best thing for our dogs. More than anything we want to ensure they are healthy and when it seems like there is a new dog food appearing every day, it does make it difficult to know what to do.
Personally, Millie and I are cold compressed converts. She had so many issues with her diet over her first 2.5 years but for the last 18 months, the change of diet has worked wonders for her.
But if we stick with the facts, cold compressed dog food is still relatively unknown amongst dog owners. If you’ve landed on this page, it’s because you’re doing your research before you make the jump or switch to another brand.
Can we help you with that? Sure. Let’s answer some of those cold compressed dog food questions to help you find the right one!
What is Cold Compressed Dog Food?
Ok, ok. I hear you. You might want to know what cold compressed dog food is before you get into investigating what brands are available.
So, when it comes to how your dog’s food is cooked, you’ll hear two different terms.
The first is called ‘extrusion’ and most dry dog food (kibble) is cooked this way. It involves cooking the food at very high, extreme temperatures. This tends to be well in excess of 100 °C. In some instances, manufacturers will add artificial flavourings and nutrients to make it a bit more yummy for dogs as it loses some of that during cooking.
On the other hand, cold compressed food follows a method of cold pressing. While it’s not a new development and has been used more and more in other animal feeds, it is a fairly new way of producing dog food. In very simple terms, cold pressing is where your dogs’ food is mixed with water and cooked very quickly at much lower temperatures and without the use of steam. This is normally somewhere between 40-75 °C but will vary depending on the brand.
What are the Benefits of Cold Compressed Dog Food?
I think logic alone can tell us that cooking food at a lower temperature from those dizzy heights of over 100 °C has to be a better, right?
But if we were in any doubt, there are a number of quoted benefits to using cold compressed dog food:
#1 Lower temperatures = More Nutrients
By cooking at a lower temperature, more nutrients, oils and natural flavour remains intact. Yep! All those natural enzymes, vitamins and fibre remain intact. If we’ve spent the time sourcing a food which has great ingredients, then the more nutrients that are left intact during cooking the better.
#2 More practical than raw food
While I meet more and more dog owners who’d like to make the move to raw food, sometimes it isn’t practical for their lifestyle or their dog. Cold compressed dog food can be a real option, as raw food’s next natural substitute. Particularly helpful if you are planning holidays or travel where raw food is not an option to either transport or store.
#3 Can be softened for smaller dogs and puppies
If you are worried about the appearance that the food is ‘hard’, you have the option to soak with warm water pre-feeding. Great for puppies and smaller dogs.
#4 Easier to digest than standard kibble
The biggest benefit, in my view, is that the food dissolves from the outside in, meaning it doesn’t expand once digested. This also makes it way more easy for dogs to digest too! It really is fantastic for those dogs who may be a little more sensitive (Millie was one of those!) but also ensure they get the goodness from their meals quicker while avoiding bloating. I love this short 2-minute video from Guru which shows you exactly the difference in how dry kibble and cold compressed food digests. You’ll find most of the cold-compressed suppliers show similar videos on their websites too.
Are all Cold Compressed Dog Foods the Same?
Now we know we’re talking about dog food, so that of course means the answer has to be:
No, of course, they aren’t all the same!
If they were it would make our jobs as dog pawrents so much simpler, wouldn’t it?
Argh is all I can say but it is really important to know that not all cold compressed dog foods are the same. No matter how good your cooking technique is, if you put rubbish in…. well, you know the rest of that story ;0).
There is also the misconception that all cold compressed dog foods are hypo-allergenic or grain free. This isn’t the case.
It is also important to check shelf life too. The shorter the shelf life, then the more natural the dog food is likely to be. This ranges from 6months to 18 months among the brands available to you.
So please, please, please, please still be as careful choosing a cold-compressed brand as you would with any other dog food. Do read the labels, look at the temperature levels that the food is cooked at and check those dog nutrition websites too. And remember that it’s the cost per meal you want to check given the different recommended quantities per brand and differing bag sizes too.
Overall, you’ll find you feed your dog significantly less cold compressed dog food compared to a dry kibble, so don’t let a slightly higher bag cost put you off exploring it as an option. It’s one of those times that you should do the maths.
Looking for a Cold Compressed Dog Food Brand?
Whether you are a new cold compressed convert or have been for some time, you may not know all the brands that currently producing cold compressed dog food. With many of the brands being smaller businesses, in comparison to the big dog food producers, unless their social media and marketing teams are 100% on it then they tend to fly under the radar a little.
Anyho, here are the ones that I’m currently aware of (in alphabetical order of course!).
*Please note I’m recommending all of these companies per se, but rather making you aware of all the options you have for cold compressed dog food. We haven’t tested all of these brands nor compared their nutrients*
#1 Farmfoods HE
Farmfoods HE is positioned as a “Premium quality cold pressed natural and holistic pellets suitable for every dog, no matter what age”. It comes in three sizes of bags (2kg, 4kg and 12kg) and in classic, gluten-free, mini gluten-free and Scottish salmon oil.
All About Dog Food Website Rating – Farmfoods HE Classic is rated 2.6 out of 5 on the website. (n.b. other variants aren’t listed/rated).
Cost: ranges from £9.99 for a 2kg bag to £40/£47 for a 12kg bag (estimated cost per meal – £0.58 per day for a 15kg dog).
Forthglade was established in 1971 by a small Devon team of pet owners and produce a range of wet, cold-compressed and home-baked treats. I personally love their ‘just’ wet food range which contains 90% meat. This has been a lifesaver during a period where Millie was unwell (and saved me cooking lots of chicken and rice!).
They have two flavours of cold compressed dog food – duck and brown rice and chicken and brown rice. They also come in two bag sizes (6kg and 12kg) though you can also order a small starter pack.
All About Dog Food Website Rating – Both varieties are rated 4.8 out of 5.
Where You Can Buy: You can buy direct via the Forthglade website. We also stock their wet range and treats as standard with cold compressed bags available via advance orders.
Cost: 6kg bag costs £34.99 with a 12kg bag retailing at £54.99 (estimated cost per meal – £1.31 per day for a 15kg dog).
Gentle is made by a small traditional family business based in Germany with over 50 years’ experience making cold pressed dog foods.
They offer 3 variations of cold compressed: Original, Small Bites and Fish. All are available in 5kg and 14kg bags.
All About Dog Food Website Rating – Gentle original is rated 4.9 out of 5.
Where You Can Buy: You can buy direct via the Gentle website with the closest stockists in Fife and Glenrothes.
Cost: 5kg bag costs around £27.95 with a 14kg bag costing £59.00 (estimated cost per meal – £0.66 per day for a 15kg dog).
Lisa and Andrew are behind this young energetic company who only produce cold compressed food plus their “nothing to hide” venison sausages.
I will admit some bias upfront around Guru as we use this with all three of our family spaniels. You can read about our own history choosing the right dog food and why we chose Guru over in our guest blog for them here.
Available in two flavours (Surf and Turf and Full on Feast which is grain free) and in two bag sizes (5kg and 14kg).
Where You Can Buy: You can buy direct from Guru via their website . We are also a stockist and always have both flavours and bag sizes in stock.
Cost: £24 to £29 for a 5kg bag and £48 to £59 for a 14kg bag (estimated cost per meal – £0.62 to £0.76 per day for a 15kg dog dependent on flavour).
Offers, by far, the biggest range of flavours (five in total). These include a puppy and veggie option too!
There is a range of bag sizes, depending on the flavour, from 1.5kg to 15kg.
All About Dog Food Website Rating – Rated 4.4 out of 5 (n.b just two variants are listed)
Where You Can Buy: I can currently only find this range available to buy online and no direct sales. As a starter for ten, I’d check out Zooplus.
Cost: £9.99 for 1.5kg bags up to £34.99 for a 15kg bag (estimated cost per meal – £0.48 per day for a 15kg dog dependent on flavour).
#6 Markus Muhle
A German company, offering four cold compressed flavours including a junior and senior range.
Bag sizes range from 5kg to 14kg, though they do offer multi-purchase discounts too. Don’t let the packaging and website put you off and check out the ingredients and methods they use.
All About Dog Food Website Rating – rated 4.5 out of 5.0.
Cost: £19.99 for a 5kg bag up to £39.99 for a £15kg bag (estimated cost per meal – £0.45 per day for a 15kg dog dependent on flavour).
Positioned as “the UK’s first rice-free, cold pressed dry dog food”, Pure’s Wholesome Meal in a Bag comes in three flavours.
Available in just two smaller bag sizes – 1.5kg and 5kg.
All About Dog Food Website Rating – Chicken version is rated 4.0 out of 5.0.
Where You Can Buy: You can buy direct via the Pure Pet Group website here. They do not appear to have any local stockists.
Cost: between £8.59 to £9.09 for a 1.5kg bag and between £19.99 and £22.90 for a 5kg bag (estimated cost per meal – £0.98 per day for a 15kg dog based on chicken flavour).
Have you considered feeding your dog cold compressed dog food?
Or have you already made the switch?
As with all dog food, I do not encourage any dog owner to make a switch of dog food without fully considering both their own dogs needs and their pawrents lifestyle too. Any change in food, I feel, should be to improve the overall well being of your dog and not just to try out what may be seen as the latest ‘fad’ in dog food.
Personally, having had so many issues with Millie’s food since she was a puppy, I’ve been constantly searching to improve her poo’s and overall digestion and so cold compressed dog food was a natural progression for us. However, it does not guarantee it will be right for you and your dog.
Read lots, try samples and make the right decision for both of you.
If you haven’t looked into feeding your dog cold compressed, what’s stopped you? Do you have any concerns? I’d really love to hear about your experiences with using cold compressed dog food and what made you choose any particular brand.
Feel free to jump into the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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