The best diet for your dog is the one that fulfills all their needs! Nowadays, there are many options with different nutritious values. Let’s talk about the 5 main different ways we can feed our dogs. Remember to consult the information with your vet, they will know what to recommend for you and your puppy, according to your dog’s needs, as well as your lifestyle!
First things first, we have to let you know that there are wet, dry, and raw complete diets; dogs can get all their nutrients from these.
However, there are complementary foods and mixers that don’t have the complete mix of nutrients that a doggy needs, which means it has to be complemented with other foods to turn into a complete diet.
Dry food or wet food?
Generally, dogs prefer wet food over dry food. But they’re more expensive because the daily amount of food needs to be higher. On the other hand, dry food is more accessible and last longer.
The five main diets for dogs
It’s a type of wet food that has a long shelf life, and easy to find in supermarkets. As we mentioned, it can be a more expensive option. However, not every brand provides the protein and nutrients that your dog needs. Canned foods are usually given to older dogs that might have some sort of condition.
Here’s a tip, the higher the water content in the can, the less nutrients it has, so your dog will need to eat more quantity in order to get the nutritional value its body needs. Usually, most canned foods contain 75% water, so keep that in mind.
What you’re looking for is canned food that has digestible protein, because indigestible protein will just go through your dog’s body without being broken down into absorbable nutrients.
If you decide to go with this type of diet, ask your vet for recommendations! The best canned foods are labeled with “100% nutritionally complete.”
Amongst the canned categories, the most popular options are:
This option contains between 60% and 65% water. These foods are the least nutritional of all dog food options, containing a lot of colorings and artificial flavors. They also contain more sugar and salt than both canned and dry food.
They can serve as dog treats, occasionally, but they should not be the main source of food or nutrients for your dog.
According to Best Reviews, here are the best reviewed Semi-Moist foods for pups:
This is the most common and cheaper option. It lasts for a long time, and it doesn’t need to be safely refrigerated! Which means, less chance of it spoiling. This kind of food helps keeping your dog’s teeth healthy because of the chewing. It helps reduce tartar buildup.
If you’re going for dry food, read the ingredients carefully. Make sure it’s vet approved and ask them if it has wholesome food as its main ingredient.
Dog Food Advisor rates the following best dry dog foods as of August 2021:
If you are more involved in your dog’s nutrition and feel like you can dedicate a lot of time to making their food, then this is the right choice for you. Cooking your pup’s meal is a way of certainly knowing what they’re eating, and that their nutritious needs are being fulfilled. Yes, it is more expensive and it’s an extra effort, but many pawrents vouch that it is worth it.
If you choose this route, pay a visit to your vet first so you can get familiar with dog nutrition, and learn what foods are best for them. Especially if your dog has special nutrition needs.
Having a variety of options is key, so designing a meal plan is probably a good way to start. As long as your pup’s meals have protein (avoiding cuts of meat that are to fatty or rich, as well as seasoned with garlic and others), vegetables, carbohydrates (within parameters, because they have limited nutritional value), and others like fruits, peanuts and peanut butter in moderation, you will do fine! Add calcium, too.
Remember to avoid ingredients like cinnamon, garlic, grapes, onions, macadamia nuts, raisins, alcohol, almonds, avocados, chocolate, coffee, raw yeast dough, artificial sweeteners, mushrooms, and xylitol.
Yes, it is raw meat, sometimes with bones and organs mixed in it. Bones are a natural source of phosphorus and calcium! Some pawrents even mix raw eggs, vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and celery, apples, and some dairy like yogurt.
If you choose this kind of diet for your dog but you are aware that it’s a lot of commitment, we have some good news for you. Nowadays, there are multiple raw food delivery companies that will send every product you need to your home! Some even have different selections of frozen foods, variety packs, bones, freeze-dried food, treats, and meats. If you’re more of a stay-at-home person, this is a good option for you!
Since dogs have short intestinal tracts and strong stomach acids, this kind of diet works well for many dogs because it is easy for them to digest the raw food. Some of the benefits are healthier skin, cleaner teeth, smaller stools, higher energy levels, and shinier coats.
Nevertheless, there are some risks to take into account and talk about with your vet, an unbalanced diet that may damage your dog’s health if given for an extended period of time, potential choking, teeth breaking, or internal puncture from whole bones, and threats to both dogs and their owners from the bacteria found in raw meat.
Talk it out with your vet before making any decision.
So, what do you think it’s the best option for your pup? Let us know in the comments!