Sweet potato, carrot, salmon, apple, asparagus, cranberry, turkey, dill, spinach, fennel, pork, trout, duck.

Yum, yum. That list of ingredients wouldn’t be out of place on the menu of any fine dining restaurant up and down the country.

But, instead it is just some of the ingredients to be found in today’s high-end dog food – aimed at appealing to your beloved pooch’s tastebuds while ensuring he’s getting all the goodness he needs.

But why do today’s dog foods boast such an array of wonderful ingredients and what are the actual health benefits to your pampered pooch?

Vitamins and Minerals

Vegetable ingredients are a fantastic source of fibre, minerals and vitamins. Vitamins keep a pet’s skin and coat healthy, strengthen bones and teeth, and give them the overall energy to function. They also help to aid the body’s ability to resist disease.

Research shows that vitamin A, is a fat-soluble vitamin that mainly occurs in the liver. Dogs are able to produce vitamin A from carotenoids (pigments in plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. These pigments produce the bright yellow, red, and orange colors in plants, vegetables, and fruits).

Vitamin B is very important for dogs to convert carbohydrates into energy. However, the way in which it needs to be added to the pet food varies.

Natural Ingredients

The current humanisation and clean labels trends, are seeing pet owners looking for more natural ingredients in their pet’s food, whilst also being sustainably sourced. Vegetables can very much be the answer to this.


Variety is the spice of life – and nowhere is that more important than in a balanced diet.

Meat is an important element of your dog’s diet as it provides a source of protein, which is vital to allow a dog’s body to function properly.

Why is protein needed?

Protein is needed to form new skin cells, grow hair, build muscle tissue, and more. It also assists in creating hormones and enzymes that are needed for functions within the body, provides energy and ensures the immune system stays strong.

Canine bodies can’t store protein like they can with fat and other nutrients, so this means that it has to be supplied in their daily diet. Protein needs can vary, especially between different life stages, for example puppies require a high protein diet to meet their body’s demands during growth and development. 

This means it is important that pet food has sufficient amounts of protein. However, a high percentage of protein doesn’t always mean that dogs are getting better quality food as this can depend on how digestible the proteins within the recipe are.

Birchgrove”s own brand JustDog food Grain Free recipes contain freshly prepared meats that are gently cooked at 90 degrees Celsius.

This gentle cooking process protects the nutrients therefore allowing the pet to have optimal nutrient bio-availability.

Gently cooking the food means nutrients, such as proteins, stay intact rather than them being denatured when subject to extremely high cooking temperatures.

This means more proteins are readily available and can be easily digested resulting in less waste.