What Holistic Dog Food Means

Tired of giving your dog super-processed kibble that doesn’t give them the nutrients that they need? Learn about the importance of whole foods for your dog.

If you have a dog, there’s no doubt that you want them to eat the best possible food. That means that their daily meals will be nutrient-dense, free of processed junk that they don’t need, and, of course, human-grade. After all, if your dog is going to eat it, you want to make sure that you’d eat what’s in it, too!

When you start your search for great dog food, you’re likely to run into the term holistic from time to time. But what is holistic dog food, and is it a good choice for your dog? Let’s find out.

Defining Holistic and Holistic Nutrition

The term holistic is used to characterize a food or other substance that serves multiple purposes for nutrition, health, or wellness. 

Anything that is holistic is made based on the principle of holism. The key idea of holism is that all parts of a “whole” – in this case, a dog – are interconnected. Holistic nutrition recognizes that the process by which your dog takes in food and absorbs its nutrients is connected to all of the many other physiological processes that happen at once. When applied, holistic nutrition aims for the best, most nutrient-rich ingredients that will have the most beneficial effects on your dog’s whole body.

At Sundays for Dogs, our dog food is specifically designed to give your dog the nutrients they need to fuel their mind and body, rather than just filling up their tummies with empty calories for the sake of feeling full. Our signature formula is made without any artificial or low-quality ingredients, which makes it the perfect choice for your pup, both physically and mentally! 

Your Dog Needs High-Quality Nutrients, Just Like You 

When it comes to taking care of your dog, the food that they eat can make one of the biggest differences in their overall health. After eating foods that are loaded with preservatives, additives, and other processed ingredients, your dog is likely to feel lethargic, bloated, and all-around unwell. 

However, natural food that contains clean, wholesome ingredients can keep your dog feeling energized, fueled, and more alert. This is true for humans, and it’s true for your dog, too! Just like humans need to get all of our essential nutrients each day, dogs need all those vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients as well to live their best. 

The Problem With Most Dog Food 

We know how much you care about your dog’s wellbeing, and that’s why it’s essential to stay away from typical cheaply-made dog food formulas, and go for something that gives your dog what their whole body needs!

Unfortunately, many regular dog foods have unnecessary additives like artificial preservatives, artificial colors, and fillers. Many are also highly processed, and do not contain all of the essential nutrients that your dog needs in quantities that actually matter. 

When animals are deprived of specific nutrients, they can become malnourished, just like a human would. A malnourished dog is more vulnerable to getting sick, may deal with fluctuation in weight and energy levels, and won’t live a quality life — all the opposite of what you want as an owner!

What a Bad Diet Does to Your Dog 

A low-quality diet that lacks proper nutrients can mess with your dog’s body as a whole. Without enough protein and fat, your pup may not be able to replenish energy at the same rate they expend it. On the other hand, too many empty carbs and lots of preservatives and artificial ingredients can add some weight onto a dog that doesn’t quite get a daily run every morning. Maybe your dog exercises a ton and eats decent food, but misses out on the vitamins and minerals that can support joint health, bone health, eye health, and more, which may put him at a disadvantage when he’s older and isn’t in as good of a place health-wise as he could be. 

In the same way, feeding your dog the nutrients that they need can keep them holistically healthy. By giving your pup foods that aid absorption or boost their digestive enzymes, you're helping them get the most out of their food, whether they're eating potato, pumpkin, beef, cranberries, or a hearty sardine meal. Each dog's needs are different—from needing some extra probiotics to going gluten-free for gluten-sensitive pups—but at the end of the day, a holistic, natural diet can help all dogs feel their best.

That means that a dog who lives on clean, natural food can have better cognition, stronger immunity, and a body that stays in tip-top shape. 

The Holistic Dog Food Difference 

The vitamins and minerals that a holistic diet can provide for your dog can help them absorb the most nutrients from their food, which keeps malnourishment at bay while supporting wellness and health. 

In addition, a typical holistic diet for your dog will include plenty of fiber. All that fiber is crucial for canine gut health, and a healthy gut means good digestion, less bloating, and a stronger immune system. Those are all big perks of holistic dog food!

Regulations for Holistic Dog Food 

When it comes to choosing holistic food for your dog, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This organization sets regulations and standards for ingredients that are used in feed and pet food. They also work to develop uniform definitions for terms that are used in association with pet food ingredients. 

The AAFCO has definitions for words like “natural” and “organic” when it comes to pet food. So, when you see organic ingredients listed on your dry dog foods, you can have a good idea of what you're getting. 

Although the term holistic does not yet have a legal definition in the pet food industry, a holistic diet is recognized as one that consists of high-quality ingredients that are minimally processed.

Because the word holistic doesn’t have official criteria set by the AAFCO for use, some dog food companies like to throw it around on their food labels, all the while still using artificial, low-quality ingredients in their food! Because of this, it’s always smart to take the ingredients’ word for it. If it’s all-natural and packed with nutritious ingredients, it’s the right choice for your dog.

What to Know Before Switching to Holistic Dog Food

If you want to jump right into feeding your dog a holistic diet, you may want to prepare for a bumpy ride at first. If your dog isn’t used to all-natural, unprocessed food, they might not take to it right away. However, with time, your dog will love what they’re eating!

Foods To Avoid Giving Your Dog 

Although human-grade food is ideal for dogs, not everything you eat is a good – or safe – choice for your dog. Some foods can cause gastric problems for dogs, and others can be toxic, meaning they might send you racing to the vet’s office in emergency mode.

Foods that may give your dog an upset stomach include avocados, raw bread dough, dairy (think cheese and too many puppoccinos), nuts, and anything overly salty. Foods that are toxic to dogs include alcohol, chocolate, coffee and other caffeinated drinks, citrus, grapes and raisins, onion, garlic, and chives. 

To read more about the specific effects that these foods have on your dog, check out the ASPCA’s website. You can also get all sorts of helpful insight from the Sundays for Dogs Blog.

Dogs may also have allergies or sensitivity to certain foods. While these allergies will differ from dog to dog, common allergens include soy, chicken, and wheat/glutens. If you notice that your dog is reacting poorly to their food, an elimination diet may help you determine the cause of the reaction. 

Can I Give My Dog the Food They Need Without All the Hassle? 

There is certainly a lot of information, preparation, and work that goes into giving your dog a healthy, nutritious diet! Even if you are giving them the healthy ingredients they need, there’s still plenty of work to be done. 

You’ll need to make sure that they are getting the right amounts of necessary vitamins and minerals they need daily, as well as carbs, fat, and protein. It may sound easier to stick to the kibble you’ve been giving your dog for years now, but the likelihood of that dog food actually being healthy for your pup is low.

If you want to give your dog food that is made with only the highest-quality, all-natural ingredients, it might require some hard work. Luckily, Sundays for Dogs is a holistic dog food brand that has already done all of the hard work for you! 

Our vet founders, Tory and Michael, know that creating home-cooked, holistic meals for your dog can take a major toll on your time and your budget. In fact, they created Sundays for Dogs to meet that exact need without all the prep work or burning a hole in their wallet. 

Before Sundays, Tory and Michael were getting burnt out looking for something that was easier than home-cooked foods but healthier than kibble. Tired of searching, they decided to make a solution themselves.

Our Holistic Dog Food: What Makes It Different? 

Sundays dog food is specially formulated to give your dog everything that they need for everyday nourishment. That means high-quality protein, healthy sources of carbohydrates, and beneficial fats – a well-balanced combination that every dog needs! 

Sundays Everyday Food for Dogs is made up of all-natural, human-grade ingredients. The ingredients list is clean and full of foods with names that are actually pronounceable and recognizable! 

For protein, your dog will get USDA-Grade Beef, Beef Heart, Beef Liver, and Beef Bone, as well as nourishing whole grains and seeds like quinoa, flaxseed, and more. For micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, there are strawberries, blueberries, carrots, apples, tart cherries, and other nutrient-packed, all-natural whole foods. And, of course, your dog needs a high-quality source of fat to fuel both body and brain. That’s where ingredients like wild salmon oil come in. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, this fish oil supplies your dog with healthy fats for healthy skin and contains essential nutrients for cognitive development.

All of that goodness is packed into every box of Sundays’ Air-Dried Food for Dogs. The whole foods listed above are what set this dog food apart from all the others – and there’s nothing else sneakily hiding in the fine print on the back of the bag! With no artificial flavors, colors, or unnecessary additives, your dog’s taste buds – and whole body – will thank you.

Sundays Has Just What Your Dog Needs. 

With Sundays’ Air-Dried Food for Dogs, you don’t have to worry about gimmicky buzzwords like “holistic” and “raw” in the first place. 

We don’t need these labels attached to our food – all you need to do is look at the ingredients to see how healthy it is for your dog!

In addition, Sundays’ Air-Dried Food for Dogs Beef Recipe meets all the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages, including large-breed puppies. In fact, fresh meat, organs, and bones make up 90% of Sundays’ Food for Dogs, so dogs love the taste while they get the protein that they need. The rest of the ingredients are fresh fruits, veggies, and other highly beneficial, all-natural foods – only the best for your dog!

To learn more, check out our mission statement to see what we’re all about.

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