Your dog’s health is mainly controlled by what he eats. As loving pet owners, there’s nothing wrong with being picky when it comes to dog food brands. As many pet parents become more conscious of the appropriate food, they start to explore different food options to meet the nutritional needs of the pooch. A common comparison: fresh dog food vs dry kibble.
Feeding guidelines can be confusing especially with the different types of pet food available today. You get to pick from kibble brands, raw food, wet food, dry food, fresh pet food, commercial pet food, and even homemade dog food. Seems overwhelming right? At the end of the day, all these pet food types can be divided into two major categories: fresh food and dry food.
What is Fresh Dog Food?
What is fresh dog food? This type of canine food refers to all meals that have little or zero preservatives. A common mistake is that fresh dog foodstuffs are equivalent to raw food or any food you have to prepare yourself. However, there is actually packaged fresh food that you can buy right from the pet shop. The top fresh dog food brands today are usually frozen or refrigerated for safekeeping to guarantee a longer shelf life even with zero preservatives.
Of course, most pet owners prefer to serve fresh pet foods that they prepared themselves. This is usually composed of cooked or raw meat, vegetables, fruits, and supplements. The exact contents of the composition depend on your pet’s diet, existing allergies if your dog needs weight management, life stages, and so on. Generally, fresh dog food has a wet consistency but not all wet dog food is considered fresh. Like Nom Nom dog food, meals are customized based on a dog’s unique needs.
What is Dry Dog Food?
Dry dog food is never fresh. It’s made by drying and grinding raw food until it gets a dough-like consistency. From there, the food is gently cooked and comes out as the hard kibbles most dogs know and love. They also come with preservatives for long shelf life, making them the most convenient option for pet parents.
Dry dog food comes in different varieties with some made specifically for puppies, adults, and then senior dogs. You can also choose from dry dog food options that are grain free or are made from a certain kind of protein. The variety makes it possible for dog owners to choose products that will satisfy their picky eaters.
Pros and Cons of Fresh Foods
Fresh or raw feedings offer a more rounded meal especially if you prepare it yourself. It’s also easier to prevent food allergies if you have full control over the pet’s meals. Is fresh dog food worth it? Studies show that raw feeding also helps the development of stronger bones, a shinier coat, regular bowel movements, and even in fighting some diseases including cancer .
Unfortunately, homemade food can be very time-consuming for the dog parent. You will need to carve out a specific time each day to prepare the meals and serve them to your pooch. When following a fresh food diet, you also want to consult with a certified Veterinary Nutritionist to guarantee that the dog’s meals aren’t nutrient deficient. Don’t forget that raw diets are also prone to bacteria and parasites which can lead to gastrointestinal problems.
Use fresh dog food if your dog:
- needs to lose or maintain a certain weight for optimal health
- is allergic to certain ingredients commonly found in dry or canned food
- is a picky eater—fresh meals have a more pleasing texture for dogs
Pros and Cons of Dry Dog Meals
Compared to fresh foodstuff, dry kibble diets are so much more convenient. You can serve them to your dog right off the pet store and they are very easy to store for long-term use. It contains less water and therefore delivers more protein per pound, making it perfect for large breeds that need the energy.
Dry dog foods are less pleasant in terms of taste and texture. It’s not uncommon for some dogs to refuse to eat when served dry kibble each time. Notably, the nutritional value of dry dog food is also composed mainly of grain, which can be problematic for dogs. Ideally, dog food should be composed mainly of meat byproducts to meet their protein requirements.
Use dry dog food if:
- you want to eliminate pathogens from the meals
- your dog is a large breed that requires tons of energy
- you do not have the time to prepare homemade meals for your pet
Frequently Asked Questions
Is fresh food better for dogs than dry dog food?
Either would be able to deliver proper nutrition for your pet. The primary determining factor would be the content of the dog foodstuffs. Make sure to check the pet food packaging and consult with a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association before preparing a raw diet .
What is the healthiest food to feed your dog?
A balanced combination of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber would be the healthiest fare for your dog to maintain excellent immune health. Some owners recommend offering a combination of wet and dry dog food to make sure that no nutritional deficiencies are present. Undergoing checkups through a veterinarian should also help guarantee the creation of a diet that includes all the nutrients.
Should I switch to fresh dog food?
Not necessarily. The value of fresh dog foods comes in the quality of the ingredients and the preparation. Only switch to fresh dog food if your pooch shows health problems with the use of dry food. Keep in mind that fresh dog food may contain pathogens that can cause gastrointestinal problems. If you do not have the luxury of time to properly prepare the meal, you might want to use the dry kind.
How healthy is fresh dog food?
Well-made fresh food that’s been vetted by a reputable animal nutritionist is definitely better and healthier than dry food you can buy at the store. However, it can be tedious and time-consuming which is why most owners prefer to serve the best nutrient-dense kibble they can find and supplement with fresh foodstuffs. This way, you have a more rounded diet without the added work of daily preparations.