Making a decision to switch an ingredient is always difficult, and we won’t switch an ingredient unless we have good reason to. Here are some recent changes we’ve made to our gently cooked Kangaroo dog food recipe and why.
We had previously made the switch to split peas from regular peas for a few reasons: split peas are just peas without the indigestible casing. While this casing can provide additional fibre, it can be more difficult for our pups to get to all the beneficial nutrients inside the pea as they do not have the digestive enzymes to break down that wall.
However, after making the switch, we noticed that some dogs preferred the taste and texture of our original regular peas in this recipe. We're happy to announce that we've now switched back to regular peas for improved palatability and higher fibre.
Why did we remove Hemp Oil?
The removal of hemp oil in this recipe was a major consideration we had to make. There are some pups who have digestive issues or allergies to hemp oil.
While hemp oil is safe for dogs to consume, and has many health benefits when added to the diet, we can’t change the fact that some dogs are intolerant to this oil. Canola oil, on the other hand, is documented to be well tolerated by many dogs, and we have previously used canola oil in our recipes.
In fact, some of our Loyal Companions had no issues when we used canola oil (we always use organic!) but when we switched to hemp oil, they had allergy symptoms. It is so important to us at Tom&Sawyer that we have meals available for all pups out there, and so providing an alternative option for the pups with issues to hemp oil but require a low-fat and/or novel protein was a given.
Photo by Joe Caione
Is Canola Oil a healthy alternative for Hemp Oil?
Because this is a low-fat recipe, we had to carefully consider an alternative oil that would be appropriate. Canola oil is a well-tolerated oil for dogs with years of research behind it.
In addition, canola oil, when compared to other common oils (i.e. sunflower, flax, coconut, and camelina oils), has the lowest level of saturated fatty acids (Burron et al., 2021).
Canola oil contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are essential for a healthy dog. Canola oil is rich in both fatty acids and works well as an ingredient in pet foods to achieve this ratio range.
The biggest misconception about canola oil is its role in inflammation. However, these studies are incorporating canola oils at much higher levels than we would in our pet foods, and use canola oil as the major fat source at fat levels greater than what is typically consumed. Fat from any source at these levels can cause inflammatory responses.
Rather, we have added a small amount of organic canola oil in combination with our omega-3 oil. Together, these oils are able to provide us a lower omega 6 to omega 3 ratio which is favourable for anti-inflammatory effects and supports the pancreas to help prevent or reduce pancreatitis flare-ups in dogs.
And again, we only use organic and non-GMO version of canola oil, which is expeller-pressed (not chemically pressed) as this is the healthiest version of this awesome oil!
Should I be concerned about these changes for my dog with pancreatitis?
The answer here is no, these changes should not be a concern for dogs with pancreatitis. Our Kangaroo dog food recipe continues to remain a low-fat option for pups with pancreatitis, with fat levels below 25 g fat per 1000 kcal.
We have shifted a focus on achieving an appropriate omega 6 to omega 3 ratio for anti-inflammatory effects by raising the levels of omega 3’s. Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of fat that does not pose a concern for pancreatitis. Therefore, this slight increase in fat, focused on bringing in omega-3 fatty acids, is not a concern and continues to remain below the allowable amount of fat for these pups.
Can my puppy have this recipe?
While we do not typically recommend that puppies consume a low-fat meal, with the small increase of fat content in this recipe, we are now able to say that puppies with special dietary needs, and under the supervision of a veterinarian, can now consume our Kangaroo recipe. This is because we now exceed the AAFCO requirements for fat for growing dogs.
Since we have focused on shifting the fatty acid profile to be more favourable for anti-inflammatory effects, we have increased the fat content ever so slightly to account for these anti-inflammatory fats. This has made it possible for us to make this recipe available for growing puppies.
It is crucial to remember, however, that puppies should not be fed a low-fat diet unless they have been advised by a veterinarian or under the supervision of a veterinarian or as a topper. If you are feeding Tom&Sawyer for your puppy remember to incorporate our Puppy Booster!
*Tom&Sawyer is not recommended for giant breed puppies except as a topper*
Can my Senior Dog have this Recipe?
Yes! This recipe remains a great option for healthy seniors or seniors with pancreatitis, muscle wasting (sarcopenia), joint issues, and digestive issues.
We have kept this recipe as a novel protein for sensitive seniors, and it still remains a limited ingredient recipe to help minimize any potential exposure to irritants for seniors with sensitive skin, digestion, and allergies.
Photo by Berkay Gumustekin
Kangaroo meat is a lean protein which can help prevent the development of sarcopenia, or muscle loss, in seniors. In addition, the high protein content can be beneficial for healthy skin and coat, and to help keep energy levels high.
The low-fat content of our Kangaroo dog food recipe with high omega 3 inclusion is great for seniors who are overweight and also for seniors who may need support for the prevention of other inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis.
We have also kept this recipe below 25 g fat per 1000 kcal so that senior dogs with pancreatitis can still enjoy our Kangaroo recipe. You can find the full nutrition breakdown of our Kangaroo recipe for dogs here.
Do you have questions about our Kangaroo recipe for dogs, or any of our other cooked dog food recipes? We’d love to chat!
Other articles you might like:
A Quick Scoop on Fibre in your Dog's Diet
Pancreatitis in Dogs
What Does Healthy Fat Mean for Pets?
BSc.H. | MSc. Animal Nutrition