Walking into the dog-food aisle at your local grocery store or pet store can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re a new dog parent. There are wet and dry options, raw food, dehydrated food, types of food specifically made for senior dogs or puppies, and a huge variety of flavors and ingredients.
With so many choices, how do you know you’re picking the right food for your dog? Asking your vet is always the safest way to know for sure, but your dog’s breed, age, weight, and any existing health conditions or dietary restrictions can give you some good clues.
Here’s a breakdown of the main types of dog food and how to determine the best choice for your pup!
Dry dog food (or “kibble”) is the most popular type on the market. While ingredients vary depending on the brand and recipe, all dog food must meet the FDA’s requirements and be “safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.”
Dry dog food must have a source of protein (which may include beef, poultry, fish, beans, grains, or eggs), as well as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. All dry dog food also contains preservatives to prevent fats from becoming rancid.
The benefits of dry food include improved gum health, reduced dental plaque, lower risk of bacterial growth, easy storage, convenience, and affordability. However, some pet owners choose to avoid kibble because it is often highly processed and isn’t as nutrient-rich as other options, such as raw food.
A great option if you’re looking for a healthy and delicious dry dog food is Fromm Four-Star Dog Food.
Although wet dog food (also referred to as “canned” dog food) is typically more expensive and less convenient than dry food, it has some definite benefits. Because wet food comes in air-tight packaging, it doesn’t require synthetic preservatives and has a longer shelf life (though opened cans should always be kept in the fridge).
Dogs often find wet food more appetizing than dry food because meat proteins can be kept closer to their natural state and the food in general is less processed. While kibble is great for cleaning dogs’ teeth, it can sometimes become difficult or painful to chew for older dogs with dental issues. For these pups, switching to wet food can be a great option. The moisture content in wet food also helps keep your dog hydrated and helps them feel fuller longer, which is great if your dog needs to lose some weight.
Check out the Fromm Four-Star Shredded Pork Entree if you’re looking for good wet food for your four-legged friend.
Whether or not it’s a good idea to give dogs raw food is a somewhat controversial topic, and has been for quite some time. But raw-food doggy diets are growing in popularity. Raw food has been given to certain breeds — namely racing Greyhounds and Siberian Huskies and other sled dogs — for many years. These diets typically focus on raw meat, fresh bones, and healthy fruits and vegetables.
The argument for raw food centers on the idea that dogs are built to thrive on the same diets their pre-domesticated ancestors ate, and that grain-based pet food may be harmful to dogs’ health and development. The FDA, however, argues that raw food can be harmful to dogs due to the risk of bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses. They suggest that, if you choose to feed your dog raw meat, you should take specific precautions to limit this risk.
A great way to introduce the natural benefits of raw food to your dog’s diet without the risks associated with raw meat is to choose a regular kibble or wet food that has raw pieces mixed into it. Stella & Chewy’s Raw Blend Kibble has chunks of freeze-dried raw meat mixed into protein-rich baked kibble, making it the perfect option if you’re looking to incorporate raw meat but maintain a balanced, FDA-approved diet for your furry friend.
If you’re interested in the proposed benefits of a raw-food dog diet, but you’re concerned about the potential risks, dehydrated pet food might be a good option to try. Dehydrated dog food offers similar benefits to raw food, including minimal processing compared to regular wet or dry food and high nutritional value. However, with dehydrated food, you substantially reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.
Dehydrated options like the Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken Recipe are a good compromise if you’re trying to decide between traditional wet or dry food and raw food. They offer the assurance of a specially formulated, balanced diet like you get with any good commercial pet food, but they also have the added bonus of increased nutrient bioavailability, which you’d get with raw food.
Dehydrated food is also super compact, which makes it easy to take your pup’s food along on road trips or hikes.
As humans, we’re often told to adjust our diets based on our age and stage in life. Dogs’ dietary needs also change with age. Choosing a food that’s specifically formulated for your dog’s age is a great way to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need for their specific stage of life and development. Feeding your dog an age-appropriate diet starts with understanding their specific needs.
For example, since puppies are growing at a rapid rate, they have higher calorie requirements than adult and senior dogs. That’s why choosing something labeled specifically for puppies, such as the Fromm Gold Dog Food for small-breed puppies or large-breed puppies can be a good idea — since it’s specifically formulated for growth and development.
Senior dogs’ dietary needs change as they age and depend on their overall health, activity level, and weight. It’s important to understand how these and other factors impact not only the type of food your dog may need and any special nutritional requirements, but also how much you should be feeding them.
Whether you’re looking for dry, wet, raw, or dehydrated food for your furry friend, King Duke’s has got you covered. We offer a huge selection of high-quality, nutritious foods and treats, as well as toys, gear, accessories, and other items your pup needs to stay happy and healthy. Stop in and see us at our Beaverton store or shop online!
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