There are so many different ways to feed your dog. How do you know what’s best?
There is no easy answer. The best thing to do is to check the pros and cons for each style of dog food and decide what works best for you and your pooch. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of each. This is only an introduction; you should always do your own research and talk to your vet before changing your dog’s diet.
-Highly palatable, so even the pickiest eaters usually devour their food.
-Good for dogs that are missing teeth or recovering from an illness.
-Excellent choice for dogs with limited kidney function.
-Has a long shelf life (one to three years depending on the brand).
-Can be prone to contamination.
-More expensive than dry food.
-Dogs that only eat canned dog food require more frequent dental cleanings on average.
-Can cause loose stools in some dogs.
-Provides balanced nutrition.
-Supplies necessary proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
-May be better for dental health than canned or soft food.
-Lower-quality foods may incorporate meat by-product or meal instead of wholesome meat.
-May include fillers that can be irritating to a dog’s digestive tract.
-Dogs are more likely to develop dry, itchy skin from dry food, which can be caused by dehydration due to low moisture content, allergies to soy, corn, wheat, or grains, or reactions to preservatives.
-There’s always the possibility of accidental contamination. Many recognizable brands have issued recalls due to serious toxicity or contamination concerns. Check Dog Food Advisor for lists of ingredients, recall histories, and facts on every dry dog food on the market.
-Can be made fresh so ingredients retain maximum nutritional value.
-If your dog suffers from food allergies, homemade dog food may let you eliminate the offending ingredient.
-You control the ingredients, limiting your dog’s exposure to artificial preservatives, flavors, dyes, and hormones, as well as contamination.
-Homemade dog food will always be fresh, which may make it more appealing picky eaters.
-It can be difficult to strike the right balance of nutrients; it’s crucial to use a recipe approved by an animal nutritionist.
-Typically has a shorter shelf-life than commercially prepared dog food.
-Making your own dog food might be more expensive than commercial dry dog food.
-There is a greater risk of your dog developing nutritional deficiencies if you don’t provide the right balance of nutrients. Creating a nutritionally-balanced homemade dog food requires a lot of research to make sure your dog’s nutritional needs are met.
-Smaller, firmer stools
-Raw meat may contain harmful bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella.
-May be nutritionally deficient.
-May cause bowel obstruction and intestinal perforations.
-Can be more expensive.
There is no cut-and-dry “best diet” that works for all dogs, it’s up to you to decide what fits into your dog’s lifestyle and nutritional needs. Talk to your vet and check out this helpful infographic from dogtips.com on popular food and feeding myths that have been debunked!