Any dog owner wants to do the right thing for their dog to keep them happy and healthy. We exercise them regularly, groom them, and try to feed them the best dog food. But that leads to the question: what is the best dog food? There seem to be so many options available these days, and it can be hard to know which is the right one for your dog.
Every dog is different. Certain breeds have their own characteristics that mean some types of food can be more beneficial, and in some cases, certain foods should be avoided. Additionally, each dog has its own needs, and certain health conditions or predispositions to health conditions can also influence the kind of food they should eat.
Having said that, the main types of dog foods do have the overall characteristics and advantages that you should be aware of. There are also other tips that it is essential to keep in mind when choosing the right food for your best friend.
Different Types of Dog Food
There are many kinds of dog food around, including:
- Fresh meat
- Dry (kibble)
This variety reflects the many different types of dogs there are. The food your dog needs will depend on a range of factors, including their breed, age, body type, activity level, and any health concerns. For example, puppies that have been removed from their mother need wet dog food to make up for their weaker teeth and should have food formulated specifically for puppies.
Dogs may have allergies to certain foods, so you should be sure to watch out for signs of allergies, such as itching and scratching. Even if your dog does not visibly react to the food you give them, this doesn’t mean this is the best food for them. There is a range of other things that are important to know when choosing a dog food.
Canned versus Dry Dog Food
In very broad sense, there are two main types of dog food: wet and dry. Commercially available wet dog food typically comes in cans, so for the purposes of this discussion, we will talk about canned food and dry food, though there are other wet food options, such as raw dog food.
Canned food is good for dogs that don’t drink enough water or otherwise need help to make sure they stay hydrated. Wet food contains water, so automatically ups your dog’s hydration. It also generally has fewer calories than dry food, so it offers more bulk for fewer calories. On the other hand, canned food can lead to dental problems, tooth decay, and bad breath. It also loses its nutrients if kept out for too long, so it should only be given to dogs who will eat it all immediately.
One of the advantages of dry dog food or kibble is that it can be kept out for hours without losing nutrients or spoiling. Dry food also aids with dental care as it cleans the dog’s teeth as they chew, removing bacteria and dirt. Dry food also typically has a higher concentration of nutrients compared to canned food.
Grain-Free Dog Food
Grain-free dog food, sometimes also known as keto dog food, is another increasingly popular kind of dog food, because of its many benefits. Grain-free dog food can help dogs manage or eliminate allergies, as well as helping them to maintain a healthy weight.
Grain-free dog food can particularly be beneficial for dogs with cancer. This is because carbohydrates feed cancer; therefore, a low-carb diet is believed to starve cancerous tumours, or at the very least, stop it from growing.
How to Switch Dog Foods
You should be careful when switching your dog from one kind of food to another because changes in diet can lead to digestive problems in some dogs. Generally, it is recommended to slowly introduce a new diet for your dog, gradually using the new food, and giving it to your dog in combination with old food until they become accustomed to it. Take a few days for this process and make the change as gradual and smooth as you can.
Remember that every dog is different, so it is important to find the right solution for your pet. If you are looking to manage a specific health condition or make a major change to your dog’s diet or lifestyle, be sure to consult with your vet.