If you have a pet, whether it be a dog, cat, or turtle (I won’t judge) then I’m positive that making sure they are as healthy as they can be is your top priority.
In today’s world we have an endless amount of food options to feed our pet. Your dog and cat might not care, but unfortunately these delicacies are not all created equal. In fact, the FDA has linked 16 top dog food brands to heart disease.
Feeding your dog is the easy part. With unlimited different types of food, which one is best for you and your dog’s lifestyle? While your veterinarian can give you a great recommendation based on your dog’s specific nutritional needs, it’s best to be informed on the pros and cons of each type of dog food and what’s available to you.
First on the list is dry food also referred to as ‘kibble’. Dry food is widely available, comes in a variety of flavors, and lasts around a year with proper storage. It’s the best option for dogs who like to ‘graze’ all day instead of eating a meal at a time. Kibble is also the easiest feed for portion control.
Munching on crunchy dog food can help prevent tartar buildup in your best friend. Kibble works very well in ‘food toys’ like Kong’s; and if you have an ‘inhaler’ type of eater, you can put kibble in a slow feeder or snuffle mat. There are also many varieties of dry food. So you can find the food that best suits your dogs nutrient and breed/size specific needs.
Dry food variety can also be overwhelming. With so many different brands, packaging, and nutrient densities how do you know what to choose? It’s much easier to hide ‘filler’ in kibble. Packaging and advertising isn’t always honest and you have no way of knowing of what you are actually getting. Some vets say that dry food leads to skin allergies in dogs, which may be difficult to treat because you aren’t sure which ingredient they are having a reaction to.
Moist (Canned) Food
I have yet to encounter any pup who doesn’t love canned dog food. In fact, it’s often recommended by veterinarians for dogs who have lost their appetites, older dogs who have started losing teeth, or just your run of the mill picky eaters. Moist food lasts even longer than dry food, a whopping two to five years. It’s available in almost any grocery store.
Although wet food has a very high water content, with the average being 75% water. This doesn’t typically leave a lot of room for protein. If you feed your furry friend solely canned food, make sure you find one that is labeled ‘100% nutritionally complete’. Once opened, canned food needs to be stored and refrigerated promptly if not eaten. It is more expensive to feed your pup canned rather than dry food due to its high water content and getting less calories per weight than the average kibbles.
Something to worry about with moist food is your pups teeth. Moist can food can lead to periodontal disease. So, you should either make brushing your fur baby’s teeth a habit or invest in treats that remove tartar build up. Another solution is to feed a mixture of dry and canned food (this solution is also a little easier on the pockets).
Semi-moist foods are typically found in pre-portioned pouches. They have all the same benefits as canned food with none of the mess, and dogs love them. Semi moist foods have less water content than wet food, coming in at 60-65% on average. They are extremely convenient just open the pouch and pour.
That being said, the pouches are pre-portioned. Meaning it would make it a little more difficult for larger or smaller breed dogs to make sure the amount is correct. Historically, semi-moist foods are the least favorite of feed due to its complete lack of nutrition. However, semi-moist foods have come a long way and some brands have a pretty good nutrient profile. Propylene glycol is the additive that makes this food retain its semi moist state. Despite assurances from the FDA and pet food companies most owners shy away from feeding this to their beloved furry friends because it can be harmful in large doses.
Raw food is a trending new diet for Fido that goes back to the original domestication of wolves and the very first dogs. Feeding your fur baby raw food can have many phenomenal benefits.
For starters it has zero processed ingredients. It’s great for dogs with allergies, and you know exactly what your pup is eating. No hidden ‘fillers’ here! It also leads to cleaner teeth, healthier skin, shinier coat, and consistent smaller firmer stools.
I know how much better I feel when I eat whole non processed foods. I can only imagine how it makes my magnificent pup feels. Also, if you have ever smelled a truly awful dog fart, you have a small inkling of what is going on in your dog’s stomach. It’s a battlefield.
The raw food diet assists in improving digestion. This helps ease tummy trouble. Which in turn keeps your pooch from running you out of your own house.
Some hazards of the raw food diet are a little obvious. Raw meat can contain harmful bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. It can be more expensive and very time consuming.
Raw food can be nutritionally deficient. So, you need to work with your vet and calculate your best friends exact needs to make sure they are getting proper nutrition.
Freeze Dried Raw
Is price no object? Do you have an infatuation for foods with long shelf lives? Do you want your dog to eat like an astronaut? The answer is probably no, but the next type of dog food on our list is easily the newest and coolest. You can definitely say we saved the best for last.
Raw freeze dried pet food. Yep, you read that right. All the benefits of the raw food diet with a thirty year shelf life and no preservatives. I now know what to do with my income tax money, stockpile freeze dried dog food and never have to worry about it again. What? That’s not a normal thing to daydream about?
Majority of pet food companies use organic ingredients and certified humanely raised grass fed meats. Most raw freeze dried diets contain as much as 95% animal muscle meat, organ meat, and raw ground bone. Which is great for dogs of all ages, especially large breed pups during growth spurts. These foods contain absolutely no grains.
Let’s squash some misconceptions. This is still raw food. It’s simply dehydrated to prevent moisture causing the breakdown of food or decay (less moisture, less biological activity). It’s not frozen and travels well. Due to the high concentration and quality of the food (not to mention it’s super minimal processing), when rehydrated the flavor is very robust. Your four legged bud will go nuts over this food. In fact, many people use freeze dried food as delicious high calorie treats.
This is a wonderful addition for pet owners who want to feed their pups a raw food diet, but don’t want to deal with the mess or just don’t have the time. Let’s face it I can barely make myself food, much less prepare a raw food diet for me beloved four legged wonder. It’s also great for people who use the raw food diet but are traveling, forgot to defrost frozen meat, or left the sweet puppers with a sitter. One massive benefit freeze dried has over raw (other than the mess), is that it’s designed by experts. So, the potential for nutrient deficiency is nearly zero. It takes out the guesswork.
Due to its enormous health benefits, it’s a substantial idea for all dogs of all ages. However, it’s an extraordinary idea for dogs who are recovering from an illness, have a chronic illness, senior or even malnourished dogs. Let’s list the benefits shall we
Smaller (less fragrant) stools
Less allergy problems
Helps your pet gain and maintain a healthy weight
The only downside to feeding your pup raw freeze dried dog food is the price. It’s the most expensive of all the feeding options. Keep in mind that each pack, once hydrated, swells up to three to five times larger.
If you can’t afford to use this type of food full time, I highly recommend adding some raw freeze dried feed into your dogs diet.
One way to add it into your pooches fare is to use the freeze dried food as a kibble ‘topper’. This means just adding a little to the top of their dry food or mixing it in. They get all the advantages while lessening the hit to your wallet. It has so many benefits, even adding this delicacy as a twice a week meal treat would do wonders.
Doesn’t your dog deserves the best? After all, they don’t call them man’s best friend for nothing.
We’ve gone over several different types of pet food today, each with their own pros and cons, but by far the best thing you can feed your furbaby is raw freeze dried pet food. Give it a try and let us know what you think!