Dog Food: Things You Need to Know as a Dog Owner

dachshund eating dry grain free dog food
Momo eating grain free kibble

We all love our dogs and want to give them the best life. But the amount of choices when it comes to dog food makes it super hard to figure out what you need. It isn’t always easy to identify the best food for our dog.

Studies have shown that the primary ingredient in dog food should be meat-based protein, not corn meal, flour or corn gluten meal. A better quality dog food results in a healthier coat, fewer digestive problems and firmer stools.

Types of dog food

There are many varieties of dog food to choose from. The three most popular types of dog foods are dry, semi-moist and canned products. Usually dog food made from natural ingredients will have soft earth tones and contain no preservatives, artificial colors and flavors.

Raw Dog Food

mini doxie with a raw beef bone

Raw dog food is becoming more popular. The diet costs more than traditional dog food.

All Natural Dog Food

Many natural dog foods contain only fresh, natural and wholesome ingredients for your dog. Not only are the protein ingredients digestible, but the carbohydrates in the dog food are digestible. Natural dog food has 100% nutritional value which is important for healthy strong dogs. There are also ingredients in natural dog food that really help the health of your dog’s skin and also your dog’s coat. One of the main draw backs of natural dog food is that it has a shorter shelf life and may spoil before it is used.

Human Grade Dog Food

People sometimes just pick the first dog food bag they see at the store. The term that comes up a lot about dog food is human grade. Human grade implies that the dog food is good enough for us to eat. Many commercial dog foods are made from materials unusable or less desirable for human consumption. Often the meat that is used in dog food is of a quality considered unfit for humans to eat. Careful, this does not mean that the dog food is good for your dog just because it is “human grade”. Do your homework before buying. 

Some Important Things to Know

  • There are dog foods specially formulated for dogs that are allergic to wheat, corn, and/or chicken.
  • It’s usually best to let dogs enjoy dog food and not our food, even though they may prefer what we’re eating!
  • Always follow the guidelines on the dog food package for recommended feeding amounts.
  • Always read the label to see what proteins, vitamins and minerals are being provided to your dog.

So Many Buzzwords, here’s how we ended up picking…

What’s better: “rich in antioxidants,” “highly digestible,” “Omega-3 fatty acids” or “Ultra Premium Formula”? What we ended up doing is going the semi-scientific route: conduct a simple dog food comparison to determine which foods best fit our dog’s requirements and our preferences. Some foods offer much greater convenience than raw frozen food that has to thaw out. Our dog used to refuse to eat before nightfall. It was a disgusting mess. Convenience aside, the best food to give your dog depends not on the brand on the quality, the ingredients and your dog’s special requirements (age, size, allergies, etc.).

Supermarket vs Premier Dry Dog Food: Compare Dry Dog Food Types and Brands

The vast majority of dog owners go for dry dog food. There are many brands to choose from. Dry dog food consists of kibble typically made from one primary protein. More specifically, the main ingredient is usually a meat byproduct that’s been processed, dried and sold in packs or bags for easy dispensing. Meat byproducts are far cheaper than meat. This is why it’s so popular among supermarket dog food brands.

A good high quality dry dog food will work out to be more economical than the generic brands even though they cost more per pound. A vast majority of dog owners go for dry dog food for its convenience and ease of storage.

More natural, “premium” dog food is gaining popularity. With higher quality nutritious ingredients are used to manufacture the dog. For the most part, they contain no artificial coloring and preservatives and are chock-full of vitamins and minerals. Although it’s more expensive, you can feed your dog less because it’s more nutritionally dense.

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