Our dogs deserve the very best when it comes to healthy food. While it can be tempting to buy the first thing you see on the store shelf, it's worth knowing the difference between the types of food available. This can be down to the personal preference of your pooch; however, the way a dog food is made and prepared can make a world of difference in terms of nutrition. Below are 5 of the most common types of dog food and what they contain.
Kibble is one of the most popular dog food types on the market, and it is one of the most convenient. This type of food is made by mixing wet and dry ingredients to form a dough. The mixture is then cooked at high temperatures and cut into bite-sized pieces.
While kibble is good for your dog's teeth because of its hardness, some commercial kibbles contain fewer nutrients because they are highly processed. Rather than grab any old bag off the shelf, look for brands like Ancient Grains that produce high-quality, nutrient-dense kibble. If you get started with Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains benefits, your dog can reap the benefits of their natural ingredients, which include meats, fruits, vegetables, probiotics, and more.
Most dogs love canned food; it has a long shelf life and is easy to find at any supermarket. However, it can be expensive. For some pet owners, it's definitely worth the expense, but not every brand of canned food provides the protein that your pup needs. When buying canned food, check to see how much digestible protein it provides.
Also, most canned food is about 75 percent water. The higher the water, the less nutrient content, so the more food your dog must consume to get the nutritional value its body needs. If you decide to feed your dog canned food, it's best to go with a kind that's labeled "100% nutritionally complete."
Dehydrated food is a minimally processed food that has had its moisture removed. This type is fairly new and is becoming increasingly popular as it marries the best of convenience, nutrition, and quality. Many brands use high-quality natural ingredients, and most of the nutrition is maintained during the drying process. Dehydrated food also removes the risk of pathogen contamination as the drying process kills the bugs off.
Semi-moist foods are like the dog version of 'junk food'. These foods are fun and often shaped like meaty products such as burgers or pork chops. While these may be visually appealing, they are considered one of the least nutritional of all food types. Semi-moist foods often contain a lot of additives, artificial flavors, and colorings, so it's best to leave these as an occasional treat.
Raw food has many benefits from a nutrient standpoint, especially since it gives you autonomy over the contents of your dog's meal. After all, nothing beats preparing a healthy home-cooked meal with your loving hands. However, the downside of raw is that it can be expensive with a lot of prep time. You also run the risk of contamination from pathogens like salmonella or E. coli. If you go this route, make sure you school yourself on puppy nutrition so that you can ensure your dog is getting everything it needs. You may even want to prepare these meals in advance so that you're not spending too much time attending to your dog's dinner.
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