For many of us, our dogs are our best friends in life, but we don’t always know how and what we should feed them. With the vast variety of dog food currently available, it can be a daunting task to choose which is best suited for your canine friend. Factors such as breed, age, activity levels, and sensitivities or allergies can and should have an impact on your choice of dog food. If that wasn’t enough, there are now hundreds of dog food brands available, each vying for your attention with their latest innovation and appealing packaging
There are also important decisions to make based on the safety and recall records of these brands which is critical to ensure your dog remains happy and safe.Let’s dive into the world of dog food and break it down into manageable and understand steps so you can make more informed decisions.One of the great benefits of the modern dog food market is its huge variety. Whether it be at a grocery store, an independent pet store, or a large commercial pet store, there are always aisles of choices.
Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food is the most widespread and common form of dog food and can also be known by the name of kibble. The most significant advantage of dry dog food is that it can be safely stored for long periods of time and comes in a vast array of flavors and varieties. Most dry dog food recipes can be stored for weeks or months once opened, assuming they are kept in a dry and cool location. Most dry dog foods are balanced to provide your dog with complete nutrition without the need for any supplementary food. This means that many dog owners can simplify their dog’s diet without worrying about the need for additional nutrition. However, the most notable disadvantage of dry dog food is that it often contains processed ingredients or lower-quality ingredients, which are not ideal or suitable for your dog’s diet. This is why it is of vital importance to choose a high-quality dry dog food that combines high-quality ingredients with balanced nutrition.
Canned/Wet Dog Food
Wet dog food is commonly stored within a can and contains a much higher percentage of moisture than dry dog food. However, you can also find wet dog food in pouches or other containers, depending on the brand. Just like Dry Dog food, most wet dog food is designed to provide complete nutrition for your dog without the need for any additional supplementation. That being said, not all wet dog food is nutritionally complete, so we recommend you review its packaging or can, to confirm. One benefit of wet dog food is that they tend to contain fewer lower-quality or processed ingredients, with some recipes containing none at all. However, there are cheap and lower-quality wet dog food recipes available, so we recommend that you always check the packaging to review the recipe’s nutrition and ingredients.
Puppies need a diet with a different nutritional profile compared to adult dogs. This different balance of nutrition is critical to ensure that your puppy grows and matures into a healthy adult dog. Examples of this differing nutrition include a careful balance of Phosphorous and Calcium for large breed puppies and a larger proportion of protein for all puppies. However, some brands choose to produce food that is suitable for all life stages rather than being age-specific. While these foods tend to be less specialized, the advantage is that there is no transition required from puppy food to adult food. Both dry and wet puppy food is widely available, and they share many traits of adult dog food. You may want to feed your puppy a mix of both to see if they cope well or enjoy one more than the other. Some brands produce varieties of dry dog food for puppies that are smaller in size than traditional adult dry dog food. This is to allow for ease of consumption, given that puppies are much smaller than adult dogs.
Fresh Dog Food
Fresh dog food is an up and coming variety that has seen a significant rise in popularity in the last few years. Fresh dog food can be purchased from specialty and large pet food stores and tends to be stored frozen or refrigerated. Due to its reduced storage life and the ingredients it utilizes, fresh dog food tends to be far more expensive than traditional dry or canned dog food. However, the recent rise of fresh dog food has been focused on home-delivered dog food. This concept allows the food to be quickly and safely shipped straight to consumers’ homes in pre-portioned packaging. This can be done by freezing the food or transporting it with dry ice or other material. We strongly recommend you check out the article below for information on how fresh dog food works and a breakdown of some of the best Fresh Home-Delivered dog foods currently available.
Freeze-Dried/Air-Dried Dog Food
Freeze-Dried or Air-Dried dog food is one of the most premium dog food options, if not the most premium. Ziwi Peak is the best-known brand in this space and has been producing premium air-dried food for decades. The freeze-drying process removes the vast majority of the moisture from meat and fish ingredients leaving behind dog food that is extremely nutritionally dense. Another advantage of freeze-dried food is that due to the way it is created, it can usually be stored for a reasonably long period without fear of spoilage or mold. This lengthy storage capability is in stark contrast to fresh dog food, which must be refrigerated or frozen to remain edible. However, food such as this comes at a cost as it requires enormous quantities of fresh meat and fish to produce a moderate portion of freeze-dried food To make the food more affordable, it is recommended by many to feed dogs a mix of freeze-dried/air-dried dog food and fresh ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, and grains.
We recommend you check out our recently released review of the best freeze-dried dog food below if you’d like to see our favorite brands and learn more about how freeze-dried dog food is made.