Most people know the term “cold-pressed” from olive oil, but have you ever wondered what is behind the term “cold-pressed dog food”? We will explain the difference to conventional dog food and give tips on searching for the right dry dog food.
Cold-pressed dog food: pros and cons
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Widespread: extruded dry food
Perhaps you've already guessed that “cold-pressed” refers to the manufacturing process rather than the composition. Let't take a look as a comparison at the manufacturing of extruded dry food, which is most widespread: as with cold-pressing, the raw materials of meat, potatoes and much more are initially dried and ground. In what is known as an extruder, the food pulp made up of the different ingredients is pressed out through small nozzles. Steam heats the mixture to a temperature of 120ºC, then the manufacturers spray fats, vitamins and preservatives on the biscuits. Although extruded dry food is now best known, the first commercially available food was baked rather than extruded in the form of pellets.
Gentle preparation: cold-pressed dry food
For cold-pressed pellets, the manufacturer mixes the ingredients in ground form and brings them to a press that shapes the pulp into canine-appropriate pieces: a roller presses the food pulp under high pressure to make holes with the diameter of the future pellets. Even during the cold-press process, it will get warm due to the pressure. However, the temperatures are limited to 45 to 80ºC and no steam is used. The different process is evident upon first glance, with the pellets physically bearing a greater resemblance to the original ingredients. Hence, people who like to give their dog a near-natural diet tend to choose cold-pressed dry food more often. Since the biscuits contain less fat, they need to be of a minimum size in order not to disintegrate.
Advantages and disadvantages of cold-pressed dog food
As is so often the case on the subject of food, there are a diverse range of views regarding different methods of producing dry food. Extruded dry food reliably kills all germs and is said by its advocates to be more easily digestible for many dogs, since the ingredients are further broken down.
Proponents of cold pressing use additional nutrients as an argument in their favour, because in particular secondary plant substances from herbs and berries can be absorbed to a greater extent by the dog's body due to the gentler processing. This means that it gets more benefit from the antioxidants they contain, which counteract the aging process and can prevent damage to cells. Since the ingredients aren't pressed as densely, more of the “raw essence” of the ingredients is maintained, which should be tasty for your dog! Fans of cold-pressed dog food assume that the taste of the natural ingredients is better maintained in this way. We can't put this to the test, but cold pressing definitely conserves raw materials better with lower temperatures, which in turn often makes manufacturing cheaper. Although the manufacturers make cold-pressed pellets durable through the cooling process, their storage life can be lower on average than that of extruded dry food.
Our conclusion: Both manufacturing processes have their advantages and disadvantages. However, bacterial exposure is more of a theoretical danger. If your dog likes cold-pressed dry food and tolerates it well, there's nothing against it being given this. Cold pressing makes sense most of all if the food contains high-quality cold-pressed oils and vegetables, herbs or fruits, which can particularly benefit from vitamin-friendly production. Since the production method isn't crucial, dog owners can focus on what is important: a dog food with a high proportion of meat.
A selection of cold-pressed dog foods
Manufacturers of cold-pressed dry food for dogs set great store by a diet in harmony with nature, since cold pressing is just one of many aspects to take into account when choosing the right food for your beloved pet. We will show you three cold-pressed dry foods for dogs, which all have a high meat content, use cold-pressed oils and healthy extras like herbs, fruit or algae to add to the pellets. What does your dog like most of all?
Lukullus Dry Food is a cold-pressed organic food containing fruit and high-quality oils that benefit the gentle cold-pressing process. This complete food for dogs of all breeds and sizes is available in exclusive varieties like “Mallard duck and lamb” or “chicken and Norwegian salmon” and provides your dog with plenty of high-quality protein thanks to its high proportion of meat.
Markus Mühle is one of the classic cold-pressed dog foods: this family-run company from the German Westerland claims to produce “prey in a bag” and has focused solely on the cold-pressing process for over 50 years. Along with the tried-and-tested Markus Mühle Natural Dog Food in two different pellet sizes, there are now other varieties such as Black Angus or Red Deer.
Lupo Dog Food from the same manufacturer is solely available in cold-pressed form. Along with a variety for all dogs, there is also a dry food for hypoallergenic dogs. As with Markus Mühle, the focus isn't just on natural food, but animal welfare too: the chicken it contains also comes from Swiss farms that meet species-appropriate animal welfare standards.