One of the most important aspects of your dog’s well being is his food. Without good food, a dog may be prone to nutritional deficiencies, weight loss or gain, or even the development of certain types of health problems.
There are three primary types of dog food: dry dog food, raw dog food, and canned dog food. Dry dog food is the type that most popular are familiar with; it is also the most common type of food people give to their dogs. Dry food typically comes in the form of ‘kibble,’ or hard dry pieces made up of various ingredients. Raw dog food is composed of raw foods, including raw meat and certain types of vegetables. Raw dog food is not very common due to the fact that it is expensive and many people feel uneasy giving their animal’s raw meat for consumption. The third type of dog food is canned dog food, which is pre-made cooked food including meats and starches. Canned dog food is popular because it can sometimes provide more nutrients than dry food, but it isn’t overly expensive and is quick and easy to prepare.
But which type of dog food is best for your dog? There is no easy answer, and it largely depends on the brand and the ingredients of the particular brand. A food’s quality can be determined largely by its ingredients. You should avoid foods with an excess amount of fillers; fillers have no nutritional value for your dog and can actually cause your dog to gain weight and lose out on important nutrition. You should look for foods with actual meats as the first ingredients and take care to avoid foods which primarily consist of meat by-products.
The ideal solution to meeting your dog’s nutritional needs is to cook and make your dog’s meals yourself. Cooking for a dog is similar in many ways to cooking for a child: you need to make sure that all of the dogs nutritional needs are met, and that the dog will find the food appetizing enough to actually eat it! Dogs can eat both cooked foods and some raw foods; it is very important to do thorough research on the general nutritional needs of a dog, as well as what foods aren’t safe for your dog to consume.
Although cooking for your dog is the best option for ensuring they get all of the nutrients they need in high quality meals, it is not always feasible for everyone; cooking for your dog can be both time consuming and expensive. If you are unable to cook healthy meals for your dog, however, you can still ensure your dog eats healthy, nutritional food by making smart choices about what pre-made foods you buy. A quality pre-made food, whether it is canned or dry, will not be made primarily with fillers; high quality foods should also have meats and ‘real’ foods (such as vegetables or grains) listed first in the ingredients list.