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How to Choose the Best Food for Your Dog

There was a time when dogs ate what their humans ate. And sometimes even what their humans didn’t eat, i.e., rejects or table scraps. The use of kibble (dry dog food) gained popularity in the 1960s and 70s. Advances in manufacturing technology made it possible to create new varieties and flavors. Since then, science has made great strides in animal nutrition. The pet food industry in the US, which has a market value of $40 billion, has also invested in research.

At the present time, for the majority of dog parents, feeding their dogs commercially available dog food is the most convenient option. It also makes sense because pet food companies have proven records of using the best ingredients that provide dogs with a nutritious and wholesome diet.

But here’s the thing. All commercially available dog food is essentially processed food. Meaning, it is made in a factory and goes through many steps in the manufacturing process. Therefore, it is not the freshest dog food. Also, any faults in the production system can affect the quality of commercially available dog food.

So, how do you choose the best food for your dog? Here are some of the pros and cons of fresh food versus raw food versus kibble.

Fresh Food for Dogs

Giving your dogs fresh foods means giving them a diet of fresh, natural ingredients like chicken, beef, lamb, vegetables, fruits, and dairy. This diet is not only good for your dogs’ health but also impacts the shine of their coat and the smell of their breath.

But the catch is that fresh food takes time and effort to prepare and can be expensive. Also, most dog owners are not animal nutrition experts. As a result, your dogs may not get a balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients if you feed them fresh food. Additionally, managing portion size can be challenging.

Experts say that if you want to give your dogs fresh food, make sure you prepare and cook the food using recipes created by veterinary nutritionists. There are also some fresh dog food delivery services that calculate the exact number of calories and nutrients in each meal. These carefully prepared fresh meals can ensure that your dogs are getting a wholesome diet according to their breed, age, weight, and activity level.

Raw Dog Food

A raw diet for dogs consists of uncooked organ meats, ground bones, raw eggs, raw vegetables and fruits, and dairy products like yogurt. People who give their dogs raw food say it makes the coats shinier and skin healthier. A raw diet is also believed to increase energy levels. Plus, dogs make smaller stools on a raw diet.

The disadvantage is that raw dog food needs to be handled and prepared with meticulous care. Giving dogs a raw diet may not be appropriate for families that have young children or people with compromised immune systems in the household. Also, a raw diet is not right for all dogs. For example, puppies and older dogs with cancer or pancreatitis may require cooked food.

In general, veterinarians discourage a raw diet for dogs, especially animal-source proteins, because it poses a health risk to the dogs, other animals in the household, and humans.

Kibble or Dry Food

Dry dog food or kibble is the most convenient method of feeding your dogs. There is less risk of spoilage. Storage is easier. It’s also cost effective.

The ingredients in kibble vary from brand to brand. However, kibble is manufactured with strict quality control measures. The USDA requires all animal foods to be safe to eat, to contain no harmful substances, to be manufactured in sanitary conditions, and to be properly labeled.

The key advantage of feeding your dogs kibble is that it includes all the necessary nutrients, including animal source proteins, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It ensures that your dogs have shiny coats and healthy mouths.

The disadvantage is that all dry dog foods contain preservatives to prevent them from going bad. Also, some brands may have a high sugar content or use low-quality ingredients.

Veterinarians say that you should choose kibble that has a single source of protein, for example, chicken or lamb. Also, check the type of grain in the kibble. Some dogs can be sensitive to certain grains like wheat or corn.

The food you feed your dogs affects their lifelong health and happiness. We hope this valuable information will help you make the right choice and give your dogs the best possible nutrition.

19 August, 2022