If you’re looking to feed your dog a more natural product, then your two main options are a natural based dry dog kibble, or a fresh meat diet commonly referred to as a raw food diet for dogs. With dog food, there are a few things that most people want. The first is that it needs to be convenient, and the second is that it must offer their pets excellent nutrition.
When it comes to feeding your dog, gone are the days when you’d simply go to the local supermarket and grab whatever is there. Today we as dog owners have an almost unending choice when it comes to feeding our little mates. One of the largest pushes in most recent times is the move to feeding a raw food diet for dogs. These are usually either refrigerated or frozen (although there are a few air-dried examples as well). In this article, we’ll cover the pros and cons of choosing a raw food diet for dogs and that of feeding a dry dog kibble.
Working out the costs of dog food
In most retail pet stores you’ll find dry dog kibble; after all, it is the number one selling type of dog food. It offers a very convenient way of feeding your dog It often has a long shelf life, and you can find it to suit any budget. The main problems with dry dog kibble are that there is a lot to choose from. You may look at what is on offer and think, why is this bag $50, and then that bag $150?
Type of dog food
While there are not as many preprepared raw foods to choose from you can work out the exact costs in much the same way. Most frozen foods are sold in individual patties, and you’ll feed a certain amount based on how much your dog weighs, and this is often the same method used with fresh rolls.
If you’re making your own raw dog food, working out how much to give them can be quite difficult. As dogs are usually classified as scavengers, they’ll eat as much as they can in one sitting. This can make it difficult to figure out when they’ve had enough to get through the day. If you’re making it yourself, it may be a good option to try some of the frozen patties, and feed you dog a similar amount of freshly made at home food.
Pros and Cons of Dog Kibble
Dog kibble is a tried and true method for giving your dog the right amount of nutrition. There are plenty of brands and all of these have their own unique spin on why they are the best. If you read all the labels and consider their claims it can be quite easy to get confused as to what it all means.
Even at the most basic food level, your dog is going to get the nutrition they need, but often it is nothing more than to keep them alive. With other brands of food, you are getting additional benefits, and some of these are backed by years of research. However, as these are all in the same sort of category, dry kibble dog food, we can focus on the benefits you’re getting from that.
Pros of dry dog kibble
- Convenience – dry dog kibble is ready prepared and good to go at all times.
- Long Shelf Life – On average dry dog food will last about a year in storage. It should be kept in a waterproof and airtight container to keep it as fresh as possible; often the bag it comes in is enough.
- Price – you can easily find a brand that fits within your budget
- Availability – you can buy the food at supermarkets, specialty retailers, and online.
- Targeted Feeding – if your dog has any problems, you can often find food to help with that. Examples include oral care, weight loss, skin and coat problems.
Cons of dry dog kibble
- Feed Guides – the feed guide on a brand can often be confusing and overly detailed. They can rely on age, weight, activity levels, and breed.
- Ingredients – the listed ingredients can be long, and that makes it difficult to ascertain what is actually in the kibble. This can be an issue if your dog is allergic to some foods.
- Interchangeability – dogs prefer the same food day in and day out. It can be hard to move a dog from brand to brand.
- Quality – as all the ingredients are baked and pressed into a kibble, it can be difficult to determine the quality of the ingredients that went into it. While more expensive brands may use better ingredients, you’re reliant on the brands marketing telling you that.
Pro and Cons of Raw Food
Believe it or not but a raw food diet is not a new thing. It has been around for many years, however it has only been in the last few years that this style of dog food has taken off. As pet parents we are always looking for the best food to give to our dogs. In the past feeding a raw food diet meant studying exactly what you should be putting into the food.
Confused with all the dog food options?
Many people may be confused in thinking that feeding a raw diet means a lot of cooking and food prep. However, that is no longer the case. Now, you can buy fresh rolls that are a simple cut and serve, or frozen patties that you can either defrost the night before or microwave till it’s warm and ready. Of course, if you want to make it yourself, and your prepared to put in the time to learn what ratios are best for your dog, then you can do that as well.
Pros of Raw Dog Food
- Limited Ingredients – if your dog has any allergies, a raw food diet can make it easier to avoid any potential issues
- Highly Digestible – most dogs will not have a problem moving to and staying on a raw dog food diet.
- High in Protein – while dogs are not obligate carnivorous, they do benefit from a diet that is predominantly meat based. The right amount of protein is essential for growing puppies and keeping your dog in excellent condition.
- Skin and Coat – feeding a high quality food will be shown in the dog’s skin and coat. Dogs are largely ‘inside out’ animals. That means that what you feed them is directly related to what you’ll see on the outside. A soft and well maintained coat, means they are well maintained on the inside.
Cons of Raw Dog Food
- Expensive – raw dog food can be more expensive than some dry dog kibble.
- Time – if you’re cooking it yourself (which is not recommended) it can take a lot of time to prepare. Premade food can be more convenient. However, it will still take more time to prep than feeding a standard kibble based food.
- Shelf Life – some fresh foods may have a limited life, and that means more trips to the shops. As they need to be refrigerated or kept frozen, they may take up valuable kitchen space.
Which is better for your dog, raw food or kibble?
There’s little doubt that there are pros and cons with raw dog food and dry dog kibble. For the answer on which is better you need to think about what you’re hoping to get out of your food. While most dry dog kibble will be more than appropriate for your dog, there are a few brands that are not doing much more than keeping your dog alive. While these are a good food and will perform adequately, there are some much better options available.
If you’re looking for a good and high quality selection in dog food, you may consider that a raw dog food diet is best. Provided you’re willing to put in a little extra time to prepare your dog’s food. You’ll likely be rewarded by having a much happier and healthier dog!