Last updated on April 24, 2015
I am the world’s worst cook. Seriously, I am one of the worst cooks in the world, and long-time readers of this blog know all too well about my culinary misgivings. I am so bad that the folks at The Food Network wanted me to appear as a contestant on their popular television show, Worst Cooks in America (click here to read why I said no). Just because I lack cooking expertise does not mean my dog should suffer for it.
Cooking in small batches with a less processed and more home-cooked feel is all the rage, and rightfully so. Finally, this trend has made its way into mainstream and pet parents are privy to the artisan-style way of preparing food for Fido and Fluffy. If you are like me and either can’t cook or don’t have the time or energy to do so, Hill’s® recently rolled out their Ideal Balance™ Crafted™ line of dog and cat foods in both kibble and canned forms.
What is Small Batch?
Rather than mass producing food in large batches , small batch production involves dedicated master bakers crafting recipes with high quality meats, wholesome veggies, and ancient grains. In other words, it’s the good stuff you and I would eat… and now it’s available for our beloved pets.
Small Batch Cooking
Oven roasting dry kibble is not common, but it is a very effective technique. The dry dog food from the Crafted line involves:
Rolling out the dough
Carefully cutting each kibble and inspecting them
Oven roasting the kibble at 400 degrees so that dogs crave the pieces
For the wet foods, meat, gravy, and vegetables are mixed the way humans would to make a stew. For canning, the food is slow cooked at 250 degrees to lock in flavor and nutrition.
Allergies are Rampant
Many pets seem to have allergies these days, present company included. As a lifelong dog mom with pets who suffered from allergies, I am all too familiar with the itch, scratch, and discomfort allergies cause to pets. My dog, Dexter, is an allergy sufferer, but his symptoms are controlled with medications, proper diet, and supplements. Since I am unable to rock the boat and switch up foods to try a new diet, I will only recommend a product that we try ourselves.
Select proteins are used in the Hill’s Crafted line like tuna, salmon, and beef: All three of these proteins are those to which my dog is not allergic. Can I have a wag and an amen to that? These ingredients also promote lean muscle for an active lifestyle. Grains like quinoa, buckwheat, and oats mean a healthy digestion without any nasty glutens. Couple that with chickpeas as a gluten-free legume, herbs, fruits, and veggies, and the flavor is locked in.
Putting Crafted to the Test
My dog is not a fan of most kibble, and he is on a special diet for his lunch and dinner meals. So we decided to incorporate the Hill’s Crafted kibble into his nightly game play. Indeed, this dog mom got creative with dog games in order to see if the Hill’s Crafted would be considered a high value reward to my finicky Cocker Spaniel. Give a peek at this video and then jump down for some behind-the-scenes scoop and how your dog or cat can get in on the small batch homemade frenzy sweeping the nation.
Save and Try it for Your Dog or Cat
If you want to give the Hill’s Crafted dog food a try, check your local pet food supplier, and use the Ideal Balance coupons found here.