A Brief History on Whole vs. Ultra-Processed Foods for Dogs and Little Hunter's Perspective

A Brief History on Whole vs. Ultra-Processed Foods for Dogs and Little Hunter's Perspective

The growing movement towards whole food-based, biologically appropriate diets for dogs stems from an increased understanding of dog health and nutrition. Grounded in research, this shift emphasizes the superiority of whole, animal-focused, minimally processed foods over ultra-processed alternatives.

The Origins of Kibble

The inception of ultra-processed dog foods, notably kibble, during the early 20th century, particularly due to WWII meat rationing, marked a significant shift in pet feeding practices. Initially celebrated for convenience, kibble was predominantly made from low-quality, low-meat content, necessitating heavy processing like extrusion to eliminate pathogens. This process, coupled with the addition of preservatives, significantly diminished the food's nutritional value, leading to long-term health implications and sparking debates about nutritional adequacy.

The Downside of Ultra-Processed Foods

Ultra-processed foods undergo extensive cooking, reducing nutritional value and introducing artificial additives, preservatives, and fillers. The reliance on processed plant proteins and fibers as fillers, due to the low meat content, poses challenges for canine digestive systems, leading to digestive issues and nutrient absorption problems. Over time, such diets have been linked to severe health concerns, including pancreatitis, exacerbated by the high-fat content in processed foods. Additionally, the need for added ingredients and preservatives to compensate for the low nutritious meat content and extend shelf life can trigger allergic reactions, especially in sensitive dogs, and contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders due to high carbohydrate content.

The Emergence of Whole Food-Based Diets

The shift towards whole food-based diets is fueled by research highlighting the negative impacts of ultra-processed foods. Advocates like Dr. Ian Billinghurst championed diets that mirror the ancestral diet of dogs (known as “biologically appropriate raw food” diets or “BARF”), advocating for raw meats, bones, and organ meats, supplemented with fruits and vegetables, challenging the norm of feeding dogs processed kibble.

The Benefits of Whole-Food Diets

Fresh, animal-based, and biologically appropriate whole food diets offer minimally processed ingredients, preserving essential nutrients. These diets emulate the natural dietary patterns of wild canines, focusing on raw meats, bones, and organ meats. Anecdotal evidence from pet owners and holistic veterinarians points to significant health improvements in dogs on these diets, including better weight management, improved digestive and immune system health, healthier skin and coat, and improved dental health. These holistic improvements suggest a positive impact on overall health and longevity.

Little Hunter's Philosophy

Little Hunter is committed to providing quality, human-grade meats, supplemented with organic fruits and vegetables, and utilizing natural freeze-drying methods. This process preserves the nutritional integrity of raw ingredients without the need for preservatives or refrigeration, aligning with our philosophy of offering pets a diet that is both nutritious and reflective of their natural dietary needs.


Choosing between whole and ultra-processed foods for dogs transcends dietary preference; it's about ensuring our pets' health and well-being. Little Hunter believes a healthy, whole food based diet, rich in animal meat, nutrients, supplemented with fresh fruits & vegetables can be transformative and gives our pups the best chance to lead healthier, happier lives.


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My boys are in love!
We love the beef meal & will be trying all of there other meals! We absolutely love this company, happy dogs & happy parents! It’s always good to know what’s going into your pups are also good for them! ❤️❤
One of the best decisions we've made for our dog
Since we switched Chief to a fully raw diet 6 months ago we’ve seen amazing changes in him! He’s less bloated and is very lean now!( more defined muscles ) His teeth are way more clean on raw. He doesn’t suffer from itchy skin anymore, his coat is naturally shiny now!
My pet hates EVERYTHING! Little Hunter was a hit though. I couldn't believe how she enjoyed the beef, fruits and vegetables recipe.