When it comes to feeding your family, you look for the best and freshest ingredients. Feeding your family pet should be no different but the choices are just as large. Are the expensive brands worth the extra money? Are there healthier, economic options for your pet? Considering your dog will live with you for many years, it is important to decide on a supplement meal that is nutritionally balanced for your pup and financially reachable for your wallet. Here is our quick guide to picking your pet’s dog food.
Dry dog food
Dry grain free dog food is usually the most commercially known and available dog food source, and can also be the most economical. That being said it is also one of the most convenient food types because it requires no specific storage methods like refrigeration. Having dry food prevents tartar buildup in your pet’s teeth, which means a healthier mouth. The specific dry food you should get is now the issue. You need to read the list of ingredients on the bags. The first ingredient mentioned should always be some kind of meat: chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, etc. If it is not the first, it should definitely be the second or stay away from that brand. The second or third ingredient should also read chicken, turkey, lamb, or beef “by-product”. This will ensure proper intake of protein for your dog. Protein is essential for their health.
Canned dog food
Many dogs enjoy the taste of canned dog food but there are important things to know as the owner. Canned food is typically water (sometimes up to 75%) and high water content means less nutrition for your dog. You will have to buy 100% nutritionally complete cans. This type of dog food is more expensive than dry food but also entails no storage hardships. Most canned foods are higher in calories, which can be a bad thing for those lazy dogs.
Semi-moist dog food
This type of food should not be used as a steady diet but as treats instead. They are usually shaped like a burger or pork chop and though tasty for your pet, they offer few nutritional benefits. The majority are made with high amounts of artificial colors or preservatives.
Homemade dog food
Home-cooked dog food is for those who can spend a lot of money and time cooking daily meals. This option requires knowing what nutrients your dog needs and from where he can obtain them. It is a time consuming task because your dog will require more than one meal. This type of food should only be used for owners with plenty of time and plenty of money. The benefits are that you know exactly what you are feeding your pet and meeting his nutritional needs personally.
Raw dog food
Raw dog food means raw meat. The meat is usually mixed with organs and bones. The bones should never be cooked or else they lose their natural source of phosphorus and calcium. This type of food is also easy, convenient, and nutritional. It can also be less expensive depending on where you live and your access to meat supplies. All dogs are equipped to eat this type of food.
No matter which type of dog food you choose, and you can always mix it up, it is important to take your pet to the vet to ensure they are getting all the necessary nutrients.