Why Are Functional Ingredients In Dog Food So Impawtant?

Why Are Functional Ingredients In Dog Food So Impawtant?

Any pawrent already feeding THE PACK to their pooch knows that we only include the highest quality ingredients in our dog food. Unlike in most wet pet foods, our ingredients are there for all to see: meaty pieces of our plant-based mince, vibrant lupin beans, chunks of peppers, green beans, kale, broccoli and more. Our doggy dinners look and smell good enough for us to eat - not that our pups are sharing! 

Swapping meat by-products, fattening offal and greasy chicken digest for plant-powered superfoods, THE PACK’s wet food isn’t just drool-inducingly delicious. It’s packed with functional ingredients that provide nutrients with specific health benefits for your dog. These nutrients are bioavailable: your pooch absorbs and uses them in his or her body so they have an active effect on their health (our food is proven to have high levels of digestibility: over 90%, in fact). 

In our previous blog we flagged a few of these hero ingredients, but today we wanted to dive deeper into all the wagtastic superfoods that go into each can. So here’s a comprehensive list of each ingredient that goes into THE PACK’s wet food, along with the specific functions each one provides for your hound’s health.

  • Algae Oil is high in omega 3, an essential fatty acid that most people think you have to get from fish. Not so! A dose of algae will meet your dog’s omega 3 needs and help keep their coat shiny and their skin healthy, as well as reducing joint inflammation.  
  • Apple is bursting with vitamins A and C to give your pup energy and reduce brain aging, as well as providing a source of dietary fibre to keep them nice and regular. 
  • Blackberries supply a veritable alphabet of vitamins —A, B, C, E and K— to boost immunity and metabolism, support skin, bone and tooth health, promote muscle development and enhance your dog’s brain, heart and coat. There’s omega 3 here too, helping that fur gleam, as well as fibre to fight off constipation. Blackberries’ deep purple colour isn’t just for show either; it’s provided by anthocyanins, antioxidants which improve brain function, reduce inflammation and can even reduce the risk of some cancers.
  • Blueberries are another purple powerhouse, containing antioxidants, fibre and vitamins C and K to support immune system and general wagginess.
  • Brewers yeast will have your dog salivating but it’s not just about the taste: this hardworking ingredient supports your dog's immune system and is rich in B vitamins to aid brain function, digestion, red blood cell production and eye health.
  • Broccoli is a tiny tree your dog won’t be able to pee against, but it offers a wealth of benefits to make up for that. Packed with fibre, this green veg helps maintain a healthy digestive system. It also contains vitamin A for eyesight, vitamin K to build strong, healthy bones and vitamin C to boost the immune system and work as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Butternut squash is brimming with potassium which fuels canine nerves, enzymes, kidneys and muscles. These vibrant orange chunks contain several essential vitamins and minerals, including beta carotene and folate. Similar to antioxidants, scientists believe these may combat free radicals in your dog’s body to reduce the risk of heart disease and other degenerative conditions. And that’s not all this root veg has to offer: there’s also vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and calcium. The fibrous squash keeps your dog’s digestive system healthy and reduces their risk of developing colonic cancer, helping them regulate their bowel movements and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Chicory Root is a rich source of prebiotic fibre, containing inulin to support the growth of good bacteria in your hound’s gut. This promotes healthy digestion, reducing risk of tummy trouble.
  • Green Beans mightn’t sound exciting, but they’re chock full of important vitamins and minerals like protein, iron, calcium and vitamins B6, A, C and K. These stringy supergreens are full of fibre and are low in calories, so make a great treat for your pup too! 
  • Hemp Seeds are golden bullets, delivering big doses of omega-6 gamma linolenic fatty acid. This has a wealth of benefits for dogs, including cancer prevention and reduced joint pain. What’s more, hemp is a complete protein source, meaning it contains all the amino acids essential to a balanced canine diet.
  • Kale is bursting with vitamins C and E which aid in the maintenance of a healthy immune system to prevent your dog from infection. These vitamins also help keep your dog's skin and connective tissues healthy. The leafy green also contains vitamin K, essential in the blood clotting process so ideal if your hound has an injury.
  • Lupin Beans are one of our key ingredients for good reason. These giant yellow legumes are a source of plant-based protein, fibre and minerals such as magnesium, copper and manganese, which help combat canine constipation, arthritis and bloating.
  • Talking of miracle minerals… we add in magnesium, sodium and chromium potassium to help strengthen doggy immune and nervous systems. Oh, and let’s not forget folic acid, which produces and maintains healthy cells.
  • Papaya adds a tropical twist with vitamins A, C, K and E to support your dog's immune system and help build proteins. Fruity fibre aids digestion and supports the gut biome, reducing risk of chronic diseases. And this ingredient adds more minerals to the mix too; namely, calcium and potassium to ensure strong bones and muscle function.
  • Peas pack a ton of protein and fibre into their tiny casings. They're also rich in iron and other vitamins and minerals that can help support your dog's immune system, digestion and overall wagtasticness. 
  • Pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s a great source of vitamins A, E and C, important for the immune system, brain function, eyes and skin health. Pumpkin also contains minerals like potassium, copper, manganese and iron that play a role in cellular functions. The soluble fibre content in  pumpkin absorbs water, helping to firm up runny poos (so the holy grail of dog food ingredients!) Pumpkin contains a lot of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in your dog’s body to help improve vision as well as boosting overall immunity and skin and coat health. The carotenoid zeaxanthin also protects your dog’s eyes from light damage. So in a way, it’s not just carrots that help them see in the dark! 
  • Red Peppers not only contribute to the rainbow of colour you see in our food, but they’re full of vitamin A, C, and E, and have tons of antioxidants. Did you know that red bell peppers have the highest amount of vitamins and nutrients compared to other bell peppers? That means they’re wonderful for your dog's immune system.
  • Seaweed might sound like an odd ingredient for dog food, but it’s an ideal substitute for fish. Containing protein, iron, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids, seaweed can support your dog’s brain development, immune and nerve system health, and joint health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Sunflower oil isn’t just for cooking. It’s liquid gold when it comes to antioxidants and vitamins, containing vitamin E to keep your dog's skin healthy and regulate hair growth, and vitamin A to prevent dry skin by promoting new skin cell growth. It's also a great source of vitamin C, which helps wounds heal faster. Dripping with dietary fats that are great for your pooch's health, sunflower oil provides them with energy, boosts their immunity and, over time, can improve the look of their skin and coat.
  • Turmeric isn’t just for your hipster latte. It contains a compound called curcumin, its active ingredient, which offers dogs antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, wound healing and anticancer activities. It can help fight diseases like arthritis, diabetes, liver disease, cancer, gastrointestinal issues and more.
  • Yucca’s anti-inflammatory properties can reduce swelling and inflammation in your dog’s digestive tract, thus reducing pain too. It’s high in vitamins A, B and C and contains potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and copper, making it very soothing to furry stomachs.

With THE PACK food, what you see isn’t just what you get: each ingredient harbours a host of amazing health benefits for your hound. And that means we don’t need to add any yukky additives or preservatives. Created with an expert pet food technologist and nutritionist, each can of our wet food is 100% nutritionally complete so you know you’re giving your dog everything they need to thrive.  


If you want to discover more about raising a happy, healthy plant-based dog, download our FREE eBook

If you are yet to try our meals, you can get 20% off your 1st order with code THEPACK20

Or, you can get 30% off your 1st subscription with code PACKSUB30. Our subscribers also get 10% off all future deliveries, so you will always get our meals at the best possible price. 

Winner, winner, plant-based dinner!

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