two dogs looking at dog food

If you’re considering switching your pet to a raw food diet, you might be wondering why it comes at a higher price point than traditional kibble. If it only includes a few ingredients, why does it cost more?

Here’s why (and what makes it worth the price difference).

1. Some Pet Food Ingredients Have Little Nutritional Value

While many traditional kibble foods now include higher quality ingredients than in the past, most still contain fillers like rice or corn as well as animal by-products. Some claim that rice and corn are healthy (or at least not harmful) for your pet, but these ingredients generally aren’t nourishing. Corn and rice, in particular, contain empty calories and create an excess of soluble carbohydrates in your pet’s diet. These ingredients add “bulk” to the food, but they don’t provide your cat or dog with a significant amount of nutrients. So, while traditional pet food comes in at a lower price, you’re paying for low-quality ingredients.

2. Some Ingredients Can Even Be Harmful to Your Pet

Beyond containing fillers, some pet food includes preservatives, food dyes or propylene glycol, all of which have potentially adverse effects on pet health. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), for example, is a preservative that has been identified as possibly carcinogenic, and propylene glycol has been linked to Heinz body anemia in cats. As a result, the FDA banned its use in cat food, but propylene glycol is still a common ingredient in dog food.

Further, food dyes, such as Blue 2, Red 40 and Yellow 5 and 6 and carrageenan—all commonly found in pet food—can potentially cause cancer. Choosing a high-quality, limited ingredient food like Vital Essentials means you can be sure to avoid the potentially harmful effects of artificial ingredients.

3. Your Pet Would Naturally Eat (Raw) Meat

As much as we think we’ve domesticated our pets, they still have a wild side.; they’re still carnivores! So, a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains or fillers deviates from what nature intended for our pets: meat, vital organs and bones. A healthy, natural pet diet is one that’s composed primarily of protein from high-quality meat.

dog on a hike with vital essentials

Photo credit: TheLittleEmmettThatCould on Instagram

What about grain-free traditional food or pet food that includes high amounts of protein?

Even though some pet foods no longer have grains or animal by-products, most of those foods still have some type of filler or potentially harmful ingredients. Grain-free kibble, for example, has been linked to canine heart disease, possibly due to the high amounts of peas and legumes in the food.

And, since dry kibble and traditional wet food are processed and cooked, essential nutrients are often removed or destroyed. That means your pet won’t necessarily experience the benefits or satisfaction protein can provide.

Many raw pet food options, on the other hand, are freeze-dried or frozen. This process preserves nutrients and proteins, which helps keep your pet healthy and nourished.

4. You Can Prevent Long-Term Pet Health Problems

Fillers, artificial ingredients and by-products may not immediately harm your pet’s health. But, in the long term, the high amounts of excess soluble carbohydrates can contribute to obesity in your pet and the wrong bacteria in their stomach. A continuous diet that includes excess carbohydrates can even shorten your pet’s lifespan.

Learn more about how excess soluble carbohydrates affect your pet’s health here.

In the End, High-Quality Ingredients Are Just Better for Your Pet

Feeding your cat or dog a raw food diet made from only high-quality ingredients—meat, vital organs and bones—has numerous benefits, such as immune support, fewer poops, better dental health and higher energy. High-quality ingredients are simply healthier for your pet.

Choose raw—your pet will thank you for it!

pet cat eating a minnow

Photo Credit: PuurfectlyWhiski on Instagram

Want to learn more about Vital Essentials raw pet food? Browse our dog products, cat products or locate a store near you.