Dogs are said to be humans’ best friends. It’s true, and your dogs could quite simply be the only ones who love you more than they love themselves. The least you could do to pay back the love you receive is by taking good care of them. Apart from shelter, baths, and walking, one of the crucial basic needs you can’t skimp on is food.
However, with countless dog food varieties to choose from, it can be a daunting task to get the right food for your pets. Not to mention that you also have the option to give them meat and vegetables.
To help you with this simple dilemma, read this article and become better at choosing the right food for your dogs.
Types Of Dog Food
Grocery stores and pet shops have aisles and aisles with different pet food varieties. It’s, therefore, essential to know the various types before you think about which one’s best for your dogs.
Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food, also known as kibbles, is one of the common forms of dog food on the market. It’s favored by most for its easy storage and high shelf life. Dry food comes in many different varieties and flavors.
Kibbles are made mainly by mixing fat, meat, grains, and some selected concentrated minerals and vitamins. These are ground, compounded, mixed, and extruded before being dried and packed. They could also come in a great range of grain-free dog food options.
A disadvantage of dry dog food is that some manufacturers use cheap and highly processed ingredients that could be detrimental to your dogs’ health. And this is the main reason it’s important to only select trusted brands.
Wet Dog Food
Depending on the brand, wet dog food can be commonly found in cans, pouches, and other containers. Wet food also comes in a variety of flavors and varieties, and it’s made by mixing fresh ingredients such as meat, fat, flavorings, minerals, and vitamins.
One main advantage of choosing wet dog food is that you’ll often get fresh and unprocessed ingredients, which may be good for your dogs. However, it’s important to note that not all manufacturers will use high-quality ingredients. And just like with dry dog food, you should also select from trusted brands.
Puppies often require special care and diet to grow to be strong and healthy adult dogs. Puppy food normally has supplemental vitamins and minerals mixed in to ensure your puppies have no nutrition deficiency. You can get it both wet and dry in pet stores and grocery shops.
Senior Dog Food
Senior dog food is specially made to suit aging dogs. They typically contain a set of nutrients that can help senior dogs to maintain their health.
Like puppy food, senior dog food can be wet or dry. Although senior dog food is available as an option for your aging dog, it’s important to note that it’s still okay to feed your old dogs with the regular dog food you have. If you’re in doubt, you can always ask your dogs’ vet for recommendations.
Fresh Dog Food
Fresh dog food is a new but trending type of dog food available in some specialty pet stores. Because it uses fresh ingredients, it’s usually more expensive than the other types discussed so far. In exchange for short shelf life, fresh dog food has the advantage of letting your dogs munch on highly nutritious, delicious, and fresh food.
Dried Dog Food
Dried dog food is one of the most premium dog foods on the market. Note that there’s a difference between dried and dry. Unlike kibbles that still have moisture in them, dried dog food is freeze-dried or air-dried, which makes its moisture content low.
The drying process allows dried dog food to have a longer shelf life and free from mold. Also, because of the high amounts of fresh meat used in the drying process, freeze-dried and air-dried dog food can be pretty expensive.
Dog Food Ingredients
Most commercial dog foods have a list of ingredients written in order of their quantity. This means the main ingredients will be at the top of the list. Always go through this list before deciding on what to pick for your dog.
It may be difficult to distinguish the good ingredients from the bad. But for a rough idea of what to choose or prefer for your dogs, here are some of the most common ingredients.
High-quality food often has some of the following as main ingredients:
- Sweet potatoes
Low quality is usually dominated by the following:
- Meat by-products
- Pea protein
- Artificial flavors
- Potato protein
Bad quality often has the following:
- Artificial dyes
Like humans, dogs are omnivorous creatures. They feed on meat and vegetables to intake core nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Dogs need protein for their growth and body maintenance. They also need protein for boosting their immune systems.
Carbohydrates can be used to provide energy for your dogs. Most dog foods will have a carb component through mixed vegetables and grains. The vegetables commonly used in dog food include brown rice, chickpeas, oatmeal, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. Grain-free dog food, however, typically uses grain or legume flour such as rye flour, pea flour, and starches like potato starch.
Fats are crucial for providing energy and for the development of your dogs’ cells and muscles. Your dogs’ digestive system is designed to digest animal or fish fat. These fats are said to provide healthy skin, coat, and brain.
They say dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen. Try to pay attention to your dogs. Identify which foods they love and those that don’t. Follow this simple guide, and your dogs will surely thank you for it.