Dog Feeding Guide
What is the best way to feed your dog?
Is it better to eat it dry, moist, or fresh and raw? Opinions on the best feeding approach for our four-legged pals are as diverse as the food options available. Is raw feeding, however, truly healthier? Is it true that wet food tastes better and that dry food is less expensive? We show you the most essential benefits and drawbacks of various feeding strategies. To state the obvious, there is no one-size-fits-all feeding technique for all dogs. Whether you feed your dog raw, dry, or wet food, each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Essentially, you may feed all three varieties to your dog and provide an optimal energy and nutrient supply.
Is it a matter of taste?
The optimal feeding method is a question of your unique capabilities and desires, rather than a judgment of right or wrong. Which food is the most tolerable for my dog? How long do I have to get the dog food ready? Is there anything wrong with my dog that necessitates a particular diet? And can I even afford the chosen method of feeding? To make this personal decision a bit easier for you, we'd like to first clarify the differences between dry, moist, and raw feeding, as well as which arguments support or oppose each style of presentation.
There are three types of dog food.
No other pet has a food selection as large as dogs, whether at a supermarket, a pet store, or on the Internet. There is a particular diet for each of our four-legged friends, whether puppy, adult, or senior dog, whether sporty or overweight dog, whether allergic or sick dog, whether large or little breed. It's no surprise that this offer often overwhelms new dog owners. It helps to remember a few facts about the various types of food. Dog food is usually divided into three categories:
- Dry food
- Wet food
- Raw feeding
What you should know about dry, moist, and raw feeding.
In traditional dry cuisine, heat is used to break down dried and crushed raw materials, which are then pressed into croquettes, which are normally sold in huge kilo sacks and have a short to medium shelf life. In the case of moist or wet food, on the other hand, the raw materials are crushed and mixed before being filled into airtight cans. As a result, wet food has a softer consistency and a more intense flavor, as well as a higher water and protein content than dry food. The contents of a closed can are preserved for a long period when heated.
In recent years, raw feeding has emerged as a third type of dog nutrition, in which unprocessed (raw) fresh meat is combined with raw, usually pureed fruits and vegetables in the food bowl. "Born-again raw feeders" was the original meaning of the acronym rohfütterung, which was eventually altered to "Bone and Raw Food." The word is now commonly translated as "biologically species-appropriate raw feeding" in German. The raw feeding system, created by Australian veterinarian Ian Bilinghurst in the 1990s, is based on wolves' natural diet. It roughly imitates the wolf's prey, which comprises not only of bones and meat, but also of processed berries and plants, with rations of raw fresh meat, offal, bones, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. More information about feeding puppies raw can be found here.
Benefits of Dry Food
Each of these three feeding systems has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so each dog owner must decide for himself which factors are most important to him. The storage and convenient handling are probably two of the most significant advantages of dry food. The light kilo bags are readily available and may be allotted without difficulty. The simple and clear portioning will appeal to those who are frequently on the road with their dog. The form of packing also minimizes the waste generated to a minimum. Dry food is unquestionably the quickest and most convenient option for excursions and travel. Another benefit is that dry food, even in little quantities, has a high nutrient value. As a result, the portions are substantially lower as compared to wet food. Furthermore, the minerals are already broken down during the manufacturing process, resulting in a high digestibility. The dry croquettes stimulate dogs to chew depending on their size and density. The size of the croquette is determined by the size of the dog and its bite.
Dry food has a number of drawbacks
At the same time, the kibble's shape makes it impossible to draw any judgments about the raw ingredients it processes. The major disadvantage of dry food is the associated uncertainty about the quality of the ingredients. In fact, it is important to carefully check the label on the box because many kinds include an extremely high amount of carbs, which can quickly lead to obesity in dogs. A lack of fluid intake can also be harmful. Due to the low moisture content of dry food, owners must ensure that their dogs drink adequate water.
Wet food has a number of advantages
70% to 80% of wet food is made up of liquid. Wet food is therefore ideal for dogs who only consume a small amount of water. Even picky eaters prefer wet food to dry food because it has a more robust flavor. The soft consistency of the meal is preferred by tiny dog breeds in particular. Furthermore, the proportion of animal proteins, which are necessary for animals, is frequently larger in wet food than in dry food. Heating in closed packaging, such as cans or fresh bags, extends the shelf life even further. Furthermore, similar to dry food, the nutrients are broken down by heating, which improves digestion.
Wet food's disadvantages
You should pay particular attention to the declaration of wet food, just as you should with dry food, to identify which ingredients have been utilized. There can be significant discrepancies in animal protein quality between producers, but this is also true of dry food and ready-to-feed raw feeding menus. Meat and animal by-product proportions should be balanced. Dog owners sometimes cite the very short shelf life of unsealed containers of wet food as a disadvantage: once opened, the food degrades quickly. Others find the heavier odor of moist food repulsive. Another drawback is the high amount of packaging trash generated, which is primarily due to cans.
Advantages of raw feeding
Raw feeding, as opposed to traditional dry or wet food, is thought to be more natural, species-appropriate, and so healthier, especially among proponents of this feeding practice. The raw feeding method has yet to be scientifically demonstrated to be healthier, but because the meals are constructed, owners can respond more to the unique demands of their dog. Food components that provoke allergies, for example, can simply be substituted with another food component in the case of allergy patients. When feeding raw, changes in the dog's growth, weight, or activity level can be taken into account more individually. Furthermore, using specific food components, such as fresh meat and fresh fruits and vegetables, provides for a more accurate assessment of quality.
Raw feeding has a number of drawbacks
However, the particular composition of the goods is also one of the issues with raw feeding. It takes considerable expertise and experience to adjust the rations to the dog's particular nutrient demands as effectively as feasible. Incorrect nutrient distribution can result in not only obesity or underweight, but also severe deficiencies or overfeeding, all of which can be dangerous to one's health. Another danger is pathogens found in raw meat, fish, and eggs. Dogs and cats should not be fed raw pork. Most germs are killed by cooking, but they can live for a long period in the freezer and even grow during the thawing process. Other drawbacks include the relatively high cost of fresh food and the significant amount of time that dog owners must devote to assembling, purchasing, chopping, and mixing their own food.
The advantages and disadvantages of the three alternative feeding strategies are rather evenly divided, as shown in the table. As a result, it's difficult to give a broad answer to the question of which type of feeding is best or healthiest for the dog. After all, dogs, like humans, are unique individuals with distinct wants, preferences, and requirements. As a result, the only person who can decide which food is best for your dog is you. Do not be misled by other dog owners' opinions, whether on the Internet or in the dog park. What matters is that you and your dog are happy with your decision.
It is the content, not the presentation, that counts.
Of course, the food you choose must first and foremost suit your dog's nutritional requirements and supply him with all he requires for a healthy development. Whether or whether this is the case is determined more by the content of the food than by its appearance. Both traditional dog food and the BARF method can provide enough and healthy meals for your dog if you pay attention to the individual ingredients and their quality. When selecting dog food, it's critical to consider your dog's age, weight, size, and amount of exercise. Diseases and potential allergies play a significant role as well. Personal circumstances will, of course, play a role in your selection. Consider how much time you have to spend preparing food, how much dog food costs, and whether you travel with your dog frequently.
Find the best option for both you and your dog.
Also, ask to your veterinarian about the various nutrition options. A combination of dry and wet food, or BARF and regular meals, could be an excellent choice. The portion-packed BARF menus available on the Internet can also be a handy alternative for beginners who want to barf. One thing is certain: there is no such thing as a bad way as long as the energy and nutrient supply is guaranteed and your dog is healthy and vital.