If you walk down the food aisle at your local pet store, you will likely be overwhelmed by the choices available!
Knowing the best choice for your pup can be challenging, so we’ll talk here about some of the most common dietary options for dogs and their pros and cons.
1. Raw food
The raw food diet contains no processed items and no cooked items.
Dog owners will make their dog’s meals themselves out of raw meat, vegetables, grains, eggs, fruit, and sometimes dairy.
• Pros. The main reason pet owners choose to feed their dogs this type of diet is to provide them with more natural foods that more closely resemble what they might eat in the wild. Some owners also choose a raw food diet because it’s easier to cater for allergies than when buying commercially produced food.
• Cons. Preparing your dog’s food is time-consuming, and it can be challenging to get the nutritional balance right with the food that you prepare yourself. By contrast, commercially available pet foods must be nutritionally complete to be allowed on the shelves. There is also a risk of bacterial contamination from raw foods, leading to serious health complications.
Many commercially available pet foods contain grains because they are an excellent source of nutrients and fiber for your pet. However, some people opt to feed their pets a grain-free diet because they believe their pets are intolerant to grains or find them difficult to digest. Here are some reasons to choose a grain free or a grain inclusive diet for your dog.
• Pros. Some owners report that their dogs have benefitted from a grain-free diet. Dogs can be allergic to grains, showing symptoms like hair loss and skin irritation, and if this is the case, switching to a grain-free diet will help. In the same way, some dogs may see improved digestion from switching to a grain-free diet. If properly formulated, grain-free diets can provide the same nutritional benefits as diets containing grain.
• Cons. A grain-free diet may not be necessary for many dogs; there is no substantial evidence to suggest that it’s beneficial – the FDA investigation is still ongoing.
3. Cooked whole food
Similar to the raw food diet, only dog owners cook the food!
• Pros. As with the raw food diet, it may be easier to cater to allergies. There is also less risk of bacterial contamination than with the raw food diet.
• Cons. It can be challenging to get the nutritional balance right, and cooking and preparing food is time-consuming. A lot of people will find pre-prepared food more convenient.
Kibble is the most commonly available type of dog food. It consists of dried pellets that are made of meat, vegetables, and grains.
• Pros. It’s great for your dog’s teeth, lasts a long time, and is an economical choice. Also, if you choose a good brand, it can be nutritionally balanced.
• Cons. Some cheaper brands won’t use wholesome ingredients, so you must check this.