There are key differences in terms of nutrition when it comes to selecting the right type of meat for your pup. While large-scale industrial farms may seem like an easy choice, pastured animals from grass-fed sources provide a host of unique benefits packed with nutritional value!
So before making that purchase decision, consider what kind best suits your furry companion’s needs. Here is the first thing you should know about industrial farming.
Animal Feeding Operations in Concentration
In the United States, most of the beef comes from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) – a farming industry that has disrupted traditional methods and caused many family farms to collapse.
With thousands of cattle confined in close quarters, feedlots offer efficient environments for farm management and accelerated fattening. However, when they are weaned at 7 to 9 months old, these calves enter an unfamiliar world. And often, these living conditions come with long-term implications.
The recent spotlighting of grass-fed meats has prompted discussion about its health benefits. If it’s beneficial for us humans, then all the more reason that our furry, carnivorous friends should only be served the best too!
The question is, however, whether the advantages of grass-fed meats are worth the additional expense.
Grain-fed beef: What Is It?
The cows’ diet reared on feedlots only contains one element made of grain. Calves get weight on a diet of corn, soy, and grain distillates (often just bi-products unsuitable for human consumption).
And “by-product feedstuff” thanks to the efficiency of feedlots, which are like factories.
The technique also includes feeding cows cereals that have undergone genetic modification (GMO). However, almost all foods on the market today have been modified in some way. Some changes can make plants pest-resistant or even hardy during droughts.
So don’t assume that all GMOs are bad.
This diet that is fed to these cows encourages rapid growth. When cows reach market weight around 14 to 15 months, the operation is said to have been successful.
Food Value of Factory-Farmed Meat
Cattle, dairy cows, and other grazing animals were designed by nature to feed on fibrous grasses, herbs, and bushes. Grains are a poor substitute. Even worse still is the factory farming approach that relies heavily upon grains; this has been proven to reduce valuable vitamins E, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids in animal sources like beef or milk products. Feeding animals right naturally leads to better, healthier outcomes for everyone!
So while it may seem like a higher price tag on the grass-fed products, you are getting a more nutrient-dense product.
Sustainable Animal Production on Pasture
Farmers that are devoted to elevating their goods and improving soil quality overall can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To do so, they incorporate natural fertilizers that can be used sustainably by the earth while also providing a healthier food system for animals and people alike. It is an investment in time, energy, and resources, but it will pay off over time with more expensive (yet better) meat, milk, and eggs – worth every penny!
Is Your Dog Consuming Meat From Factory Farms?
Dogs enjoy chewing. It’s just how they are. Meat cannot be examined to reveal the method of production. But think about the source.
You can find meat from a conventional grocery sourced from factories and grass-fed farms. However, there’s a much better-tasting and ethically-produced version out there!
Many alternative stores, health food shops, and farmers’ markets offer humanely sourced options from small farms. Look for certifications such as “Organic,” “Grown on Pastures,” or even the folks at Certified Humane when selecting your next cut of deliciousness.
Before you buy something labeled with any certification, though, double-check that it comes with an organization contact line, so you know it is authentic!
What Separates Grass-Fed From Pasture-Raised Animals?
Sustainable farms have come to represent a more ethical way of keeping animals, ensuring that cattle are given ample room for movement and are able to consume natural diets. However, there is often still confusion between pasture-raised and grass-fed livestock.
While both provide healthier lives than their industrial counterparts, one focuses on space, whereas the other refers exclusively to an animal’s diet.
Animals bred on pastures are fed there. Meat reared on pasture is better for you and your dog. When cattle are grown in pastures, most of their food comes from the meadows.
The time it takes for these pastured animals to reach market weight (18 to 30 months) is longer than for animals bred on industrial farms because the grasses they consume are less dense than grain and soy.
Finding Pasture-raised, Grass-Fed, and Dairy Products
To ensure your pup’s health and happiness, take the time to research where you buy their goods. Chat with butchers and farmers’ market vendors; explore if local ranchers are connected to the produce sellers – chances are they might be!
Establishing a relationship with this vast network of suppliers will make sure that only top-quality meat, eggs, and dairy from pasture-raised animals end up in your pet’s bowl each day.
However, we here at Barking Buddha understand that not everyone has the same opportunity to attend these types of events. That’s why we ship delicious grass-fed chews right to your door. Shop now.
Is Grass-Fed Meat Costlier Than Regular Meat?
A growing number of producers are committed to ethical animal rearing and environmental stewardship. The result is a higher quality product, although it does come at an added expense for the consumer. Grass-fed beef can cost 33% more than factory-farmed meat, while pasture poultry costs four times as much – over time, this investment in health pays off with fewer inflammatory diseases and other benefits.
Does Grass-Fed Meat Provide Better Nutrition for Your Dog?
Grass-fed beef is higher in antioxidants, lower in dietary cholesterol, and higher in vitamins A and E than conventional meat. Because there aren’t many scientific studies contrasting pets that consume meat from grass-fed animals with those that don’t, it’s unclear what this means for dogs’ health.
According to some research, there are additionally more omega-3 fatty acids to be found in beef that has been raised on grass, depending on the grass and other elements of the diet.
Growth hormones can be administered to animals fed grain in order to increase their body mass fast. In contrast, grass-fed farms stick to nature’s course by giving animals the grass and other vegetation that they were designed to consume.
You can ensure they receive the highest quality nutrition by sourcing pasture-raised, grass-fed, and dairy products for your pup’s diet. Although it may cost a bit more than regular meat, this investment in health is worth it as these foods are higher in antioxidants, vitamins A, E, and Omega 3 fatty acids while also being free of growth hormones which are typically found in conventional meats.
Here at Barking Buddha, we only source ethically, so you don’t have to worry about where your pet’s treats come from – shop with us now!