Why does dog food stink so bad? This is the question you should put to your pet food supplier. They should respond to the unpleasant odour you encountered when serving it to your beloved puppy.
We discover the underlying reasons why dog food smells bad when you open the pouch or tin. There is no single explanation, but there are several that suggest that food is unpleasant and made of poor quality.
1: Vague Ingredients from Unknown Sources
Ingredients from unknown sources can produce a strong smell when they are mixed without quality checks. This is a typical tactic employed by low-quality pet food manufacturers that cut corners and skimp on ingredients in their products, such including cat and dog food types.
This can happen when manufacturers source raw food unknowingly and use bad stock, remaining stock, or even unhygienic food altogether. In this situation, the culprit’s vague ingredient may be found in both dry and wet recipes. So always read the ingredients list to choose the best food for your pet.
2: Contain Preservatives and Chemicals
Dog food may contain additives or preservatives (chemicals) that contribute to the smell. Some of these additives are added to help in and preventing the food from spoilage, but they can also contribute to the overall odour of the food.
3: Avoid Freezed Pet Food
If dog food is stored improperly, it can go bad and develop an off smell and taste. This can happen to both wet and dry forms of pet food.
Canned dog food should be stored in a cool place, such as a fridge. Dry food should be kept in an airtight container inside a drawer or cupboard where the temperature should be below 100°F (38°C); cool and dry.
If wet food is accidentally frozen, it will lose its taste and may become smelly, but doesn’t go bad. If dry food is accidentally chilled, the consequences can be catastrophic; it reeks and must be thrown.
4: Avoid High Heat
Exposing dog food to high temperatures for an extended time can have negative consequences.
Both wet and dry dog food can spoil or go bad when exposed to high temperatures or when overcooked above 160°C (320°F), the nature of the food can change, resulting in a bad-smelling and making food inedible.
This can result in decreased levels of antioxidants (omega 3 & 6), changes to the ingredient’s protein, oxidation of fats, and even starch gelatinization (which is more common in dog food formulas rather than cat food.
So, it is important to store dog food at an appropriate cool place and to follow proper cooking and handling techniques to ensure that the food remains safe and palatable for your pet.
5: By-Products and Meat Derivatives
By-products or rendered materials that are not acceptable for human eating may be present in the dog food. These substances are frequently referred to as offal.
These are usually parts of animals that are not used for human consumption, such as bones, blood, lungs, spleen, kidney, heart, connective tissue, and other organs.
While they can be a source of protein and nutrients for dogs, they can also contribute to food odour and spoilage.
6: Palatants (Sensitive Chemicals)
Palatants are special chemicals added to pet food to make it more appealing to your furry friends. They are mainly used in dry pet food (kibble) to increase its acceptability to pets.
They are more effective in stimulating a pet’s sense of smell than taste, as pets have more olfactory receptors than taste buds and hence more sensitive to odours.
For example, dogs have around 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses which is significantly more than the approximately 6 million olfactory receptors in humans. Due to this, pets can detect smells 10,000 to 100,000 times better than us.
This is why pet food producers aim to combine as many aromas as possible to make their recipes appealing to pups’ noses. So next time you see your dog going crazy over their food, remember it’s not just the taste but also the palatants that’s making it irresistible.
Simple Ways to Make Dog Food Smell Better
- Add Fresh Ingredients: You can use green herbs to deodorize the food, if possible add sweet spices such as cloves and cinnamon with pieces of cooked meat for enhancements. These can help to mask the smell of the dog food and make it more appealing to your pet.
- Fresh Broth or Gravy: You can also try mixing the dog food with a small amount of broth or gravy, which can add a more pleasant aroma and help improve digestion.
- Freeze-Dried Recipes: You can also look for dog food that is specifically designed to have a more appealing nature with all freeze-dried ingredients, such contain no artificial preservatives or odour.
- Natural Dog Food: A natural dog food type can be the simple choice for puppy health. So look for a recipe that has a more pleasant smell. There are many brands and flavours of high-quality dog food with no unpleasant contents.
It’s important to keep in mind that the smell of dog food is not necessarily an indicator of its quality or nutritional value. While a strong odour can be off-putting, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the dog food is bad for your pet. You should always consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog, and choose a dog food that is appropriate for your pet’s age, breed, and health needs.