The Truth About Cold Pressed Dog Food

Whilst scanning the isles for the best dry dog food for your fur baby, you’ll come across two different types: cold pressed dog food and extruded dog food. Extruded dog food is the most common and traditional method for producing dry dog food, however cold pressed dog food is slowly gaining popularity for its advertised nutritional benefits. But what’s all the fuss about cold pressed dog food? And, is it really worth the hype? Let’s take a closer look.  

Cold Pressed Dog Food vs Extruded Dog Food: What’s the Difference?

Cold pressed dog food and extruded dog food are both forms of dry dog food or kibble. Their name describes the production method and how they differ. The term “cold pressed” is slightly misleading, however, as contrary to popular belief, heat is still used in this process.

Let’s break it down:

Extruded Dog Food: To make extruded dog food, the ingredients are dried, ground and mixed before going through a machine that “extrudes” the ingredients into the final pellet form. The extruder uses steam to cook the ingredients at a temperature of around 120°C.
Cold Pressed Dog Food: Uses a similar production method where the ingredients are dried, ground and mixed, however instead of extruding the dry dog food, the food is rolled and pressed into the kibble shape. Heat is still used in this process to cook the ingredients however as the roller does not use steam, the temperature is lower and reaches around 80°C.

Cold Pressed Dog Food vs Extruded Dog Food: Which is Better?

To better understand which dry dog food is better for your pooch, we’ve broken down some key factors to consider.
Nutritional Content
The main argument for cold pressed dog food is that the comparatively low cooking temperature helps the food retain a greater nutritional content as higher temperatures can break down impawtent vitamins and minerals.
Although high temperatures can indeed denature or break down some vitamins and minerals it isn’t something that you should be concerned about if you’re choosing a FEDIAF and PFMA-approved dog food that’s specifically labelled as “complete”. 
This is because it is a legal requirement for these dog foods to contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals that pooches need to eat on a daily basis. Most often extruded dog foods will also be sprayed with extra vitamins and minerals after the cooking process to add these nutrients back into the food. Some pawesome dog food brands (like Scrumbles) even spray probiotics onto their dry dog food for added gut-health benefits.
As cold pressed dog food uses a lower temperature, it’s argued that the natural raw taste of the ingredients is better maintained and is more palatable or yummy for dogs. However, this may not always be the case.
Our domesticated doggos have evolved further and further away from their raw feeding and hunting wolf cousins. Every pooch is different and dogs are notoriously getting fussier and fussier. The only real way to test the tastiness of a dog food is to check the palatability score, which is a percentage rating based on a “two-bowl test” where dogs are presented with two bowls of food simultaneously and it’s assessed which bowl is eaten more in a certain period of time. All commercial pet foods go under this test so it’s best to check their score to see which food might be the yummiest for your pooch.
Fun Fact: Scrumbles labs aren’t allowed to take part in palatability testing anymore as we’re rated 100% for everything!
Extruded dog food has a much more crunchy texture than cold pressed. Texture plays a large part in palatability so your dog may like the feeling of one over the other. Crunchy textures have their own benefits of helping to maintain oral health by naturally rubbing off plaque through mechanical abrasions – hello pearly whites!
Protein is one of the most impawtent nutrients in a dog’s diet. During extrusion, the higher temperatures slightly break down protein in meaty ingredients which actually makes the food kinder on stomachs and easier to digest. This increases its bioavailability and helps your dog absorb it better. Supporters of cold pressed dog food argue that extruded dog food can swell in your dog’s stomach causing stomach twisting or bloating, however, there’s no available scientific research to support this.
High temperatures used in extruded dog food powerfully kill harmful parasites and bacteria. In theory, the lower temperatures used in cold pressed dog food can miss killing these pathogens, however, if you buy from a trusted commercial brand this is unlikely.
Cold pressed dog food comes with a higher price tag than extruded dog food. So with a lot of the proposed advantages of it just debunked, it may not be worth the bark.

Is Cold Pressed Dog Food Really Worth The Fuss

As we’ve just discovered, cold pressed dog food may not be all it’s cracked up to be. In any case, the most important thing to consider when choosing a dry dog food is the ingredients that it contains rather than the manufacturing process. 

Just because one production process might be advertised to be superior to another, if it’s not using high-quality ingredients, to begin with, the end product isn’t going to be any good for your pup.
We’ve written an entire guide on how to read the ingredients list on a dog food label in our Ultimutt Dog Food Guide, so check that out to get yourself up to speed on the best ways to choose which dog food will be the most nutritious for your furry bestie.

Try Scrumbles Gut-Friendly Dog Food

If you’re looking to change up your pooch’s diet, check out our range of delicious and healthy dog food. We offer either wet dog food or extruded dry dog food and treats with nutrition and digestibility at the forefront of our mission. 
You can always be confident that your dog is getting everything they need to thrive as every one of our recipes is:

  • Nutritionally complete, made from 100% natural ingredients and human-grade quality meat.
  • Free from common allergens, added sugar, salt and nasty artificial additives.
  • Formulated with added prebiotics or probiotics to support optimal digestion and pretty poops.

·  Ethically produced and for the planet - we were the second ever pet food company in the UK to be certified B Corp and are proud of it!

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