there are so many choices of food types: dry, canned and semi-moist. How do I decide which one is best for my dog?
While feeding dogs doesn’t have to be a mysterious process, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the options. it is logical to ask what is the best approach. Your veterinarian is the best source for specific recommendations for a nutrient profile that best suits your dog’s needs. Beyond that, though, it’s good to think about the pros and cons of the various formulations available.
what are the pros and cons of semi-moist dog food?
Semi-moist dog food contains 60-65% water by weight, making it more expensive per calorie of energy than dry food. Unfortunately, semi-moist dog food generally contains more sugar and salt than dry or canned dog food. the added sugar and salt mean semi-moist food is not appropriate for all dogs.
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Note that many semi-moist foods also contain artificial colors, chemical preservatives, and chemical flavor enhancers. perhaps semi-moist foods are best reserved for the occasional treat: the dog version of hot fudge sundae!
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Semi-moist dog food is very convenient because feeding involves opening the bag and pouring it into the bowl. work with your veterinarian to determine the calorie content of semi-moist food and an appropriate daily serving.
what are the pros and cons of dry dog food?
dry dog food, generally known as “kibble”, is still the basis of the dog food industry and has a number of advantages:
- kibbles are by far the easiest to feed and portion out.
- This is an excellent option for dogs who prefer to graze because the total daily portion can be measured in the bowl in the morning and then offered at specific meals throughout the day.
- It comes in many sizes and shapes, so you can choose the one your dog prefers. some very large dogs prefer very small kibble!
- kibble lends itself well to food toys or interactive feeders that move and dispense kibble intermittently or are stationary and make the dog work for his food. food toys can be just as entertaining for humans as they are for dogs!
Work with your veterinarian to determine the calorie content of the kibble you have chosen to determine an appropriate daily serving.
It is a myth that dogs need variety in their food choices. consistency is generally better. Once you find a nutrient profile that agrees with your dog, or one that your vet has prescribed, stick with it. Your veterinarian will recommend changes in food based on changing nutritional needs as your dog ages and his body changes.
what are the pros and cons of canned dog food?
Canned dog food also has some advantages:
- has a very high water content, which often means the dog can enjoy a larger portion per meal to provide the same number of energy-producing calories as an equivalent serving of kibble.
- Some dogs prefer the palatability of canned food to kibble.
- When dogs have to spend time away from home, it can help them eat more normally if you cheer them up a bit with some delicious canned food along with their kibble.
Canned food is more expensive per energy calorie than kibble due to the high water content and packaging. Another drawback to canned dog food is that for some dogs, canned food can contribute to periodontal disease.
Once the can is opened, it’s best to transfer the rest to a small food container for refrigeration. be sure to consult with your veterinarian to determine the proper daily serving.
One option for feeding dogs is to use a combination of dry and canned food every day. remember to stick to the total daily portion that has been calculated for your dog. The only way to prevent your dog from becoming overweight or obese is to carefully measure his intake each day. Mealtime is a bonding time, so mealtimes should be fun for you and your dog!
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