6 of the best cold-pressed foods for your dog

  • Horse & Hound is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Learn more
  • The best cold-pressed foods are often sought after to help dogs with delicate tummies, dogs who need to gain weight and for owners seeking all-round good health, so we’ve rounded up a selection of options to consider.

    Cold-pressed vs extruded kibble

    There are two different ways of making kibble: extruded and cold pressed dog food – but which is best? Both are dry foods, but they differ in how they are made. Extruded literally means “squeezed out”, and in this case the ingredients are dried, ground and mixed before being put through a machine that squeezes into the kibble form that you feed your dog. To do the extruding part, the ingredients are heated up to around 140ºC.

    Cold-pressed food doesn’t actually mean that no heat is used. In fact, most “cold-pressed” food still heats the ingredients up to around 50ºC. The ingredients are still dried, ground and mixed, but there is no extrusion process. Instead the mix is rolled and pressed, and cooked at these lower temperatures, before being formed into kibble pieces.

    The argument, for cold-pressed advocates, is that the lower cooking temperature means that more valuable nutrients, vitamins and minerals are retained because high temperatures can break down their nutritional content. Due to legal requirements, some extruded foods actually have the probiotics sprayed on the kibble to ensure they still fulfil the nutritional needs.

    Cold-pressed food is popular with those dog owners who want to feed the best raw dog food, but are put off by the mess and risk of bacterial contamination. It can be fed at the same time as raw – even in the same bowl – because both raw and cold-pressed break down at similar rates. This makes it a suitable dry alternative to raw. Note that you should not mix cold-pressed and extruded kibble because their different digestion rates can cause problems in the stomach.

    As with any food, always take a look at the ingredients. There are poor-quality cold-pressed foods just as there are extruded kibbles which use cheap fillers and meat meal, so use your discernment to use the best you can afford for Fido.

    The best cold-pressed dog food options

    Walker & Drake is one of the best cold-pressed dog foods

    Walker & Drake Cold Pressed

    Flavours: Ocean fish, duck, chicken, chicken/rice
    Sizes: 2kg, 6kg, 10kg or 12kg

    The company maintains that the low temperatures – 40–44ºC – used to cook this cold-pressed food preserves the essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins crucial for canine health. The process is also said to enhance digestibility, enabling the dog to absorb more of the goodness without unnecessary additives or fillers.

    High in protein, from human-grade meat, and packed with fruit and veg such as potato, sweet potato, carrot, tomato and apple, to support the immune system, build muscle, and release energy slowly all day long. It is hypoallergenic, gluten- and grain-free.

    We tested the chicken with rice on tester Fidget, a working springer spaniel. He both gobbled up his dinners and looked shiny and well on this food. He always has buckets of energy, and he remained on his usual busy, buzzy form. Thumbs up and tail wags from Fidget.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or viovet.co.uk

    Forthglade cold pressed food

    Forthglade Cold Pressed

    Flavours: Duck, chicken, salmon, turkey
    Sizes: 2kg, 6kg, 10kg

    Minimal processing of “delicious ingredients”, including vitamins and minerals, makes for an easily digestible, grain-free and balanced meal. Forthglade also does specific recipes for smaller breeds and puppies.

    The recipes are hypoallergenic and made using a single-source protein.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or forthglade.com

    Tribal for canines

    Tribal Fresh Pressed

    Flavours: Duck, chicken, salmon, turkey
    Sizes: 2.5kg, 5kg, 12kg

    Crafted “with digestibility in mind”, this food is cooked for less time at low temperatures to help preserve the nutrients in the fresh meat, sweet potato, herbs, egg and green-lipped mussel.

    It is 100% natural and free from meat meal or grain. It is hypoallergenic and suitable for dogs with sensitive tummies. Available in adult, small breed, puppy and senior/light versions.

    Tribal offers a money-back guarantee, they’re so confident in their product!

    We tested this food on Fidget the springer spaniel, who is usually on a raw diet. Fidget loves this kibble and we found it’s an ideal top-up when he’s had a busy week running around and is looking a bit light, as you can feed it alongside the raw. It’s also great for travelling as there’s no mess. His poos are small and firm, no more diarrhoea (which he’s prone to), and he’s a healthy weight, so wins all round!

    In the UK? View now at petsandfriends.co.uk

    Wilsons dog food

    Wilsons Cold Pressed

    Flavours: Clear water salmon, farmhouse turkey/duck, Highland venison/trout, succulent chicken, wild white fish
    Sizes: 2kg, 10kg

    A minimally processed, hypoallergenic, dry dog food, helping to protect your dog’s tummy as it breaks down gently, while ensuring the dog gets all the nutrients they need. The recipe uses “the best ingredients in Scotland” – such as kale, seaweed, salmon and turmeric – for optimal nutrition, a boost for their skin, coat, energy and all-round health.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Cobbydog dog food

    Cobbydog Cold Pressed

    Flavours: Duck dinner, fish supper, optimum, turkey/vegetables, salmon/squash
    Sizes: 1.5kg, 3kg, 5kg or 10kg

    “As close to raw feeding as possible” – this is a 100% natural, high-protein feed free from gluten and grains. It is marketed towards dogs that have food intolerances, sensitive digestion or grain allergies, as well as touting the major bonus of helping reduce flatulence.

    The food is made at very low temperatures – 42–47ºC for only a few seconds.

    Contains special blend TurmerAid: turmeric, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, yucca, and linseed oil; as well as phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and plenty of vitamins. Also available for small breeds.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Farm Food HE dog food

    Farm Food HE Cold Pressed

    Flavours: Classic, salmon oil, mutton, gluten-free
    Sizes: 12kg

    Combines the richness of raw dog food into the practicality of dry, for all life stages. The Scottish Salmon Oil formula is boosted with the Omega 3 benefits of salmon oil, ideal for sensitive tummies, a radiant coat and healthy skin, while there is also a gluten-free option. Contains no artificial antioxidants, flavourings or preservatives, but be aware it does contain meat meal based on human-grade meat.

    Family business Farm Food HE (High Energy) is founded on the idea that canine digestion is still the same as that of their ancestor, the wolf. They have been cold pressing food since 1982.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    You may also enjoy reading…

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...