Pros and Cons of Different Forms of Dog Food
By Kyle Holgate – Woof Whiskers
**Disclaimer: This is from a generous outside source who kindly wrote a guest blog post for us. This information may not reflect the opinion of Rifle Animal Shelter Staff**
With all of the different dog food types on the market, it can be challenging to choose the right dog food that will best suit your beloved dog’s dietary needs. Pet owners should know that there is not a perfect form of dog food that everyone should be using. Each food form has its own benefits and drawbacks, and choosing one is largely a person choice to fit your lifestyle, priorities, and beliefs.
I’ve compiled a list of the most common dog food options and each one’s specific pros and cons. Some things to consider about your dog before deciding on a dog food include:
- Overall health of dog
- Age of dog
- Breed and/or size of dog
- Certain health conditions of pet may require specialty dog food options.
- Budget limitations – prices for dog food can vary drastically between types
- Location – rural & other areas might not have a nearby store that sells dog food
- Dog owner preference for obtaining the dog food – drive to store or have food shipped to your doorstep
- Storage concerns – each dog food type has different safe storage requirements
- Vet recommendations & dog owner preferences
- Your dog’s taste preferences and others
Dry dog food kibble is the most common form of dog food. If sticking to a budget is at the top of your concerns, dry kibble is typically the most affordable pet food. Another plus is that this type of pet food is readily available in grocery stores, pet stores, and more.
-Readily available in stores & online
-Easily stored in sealed dog food containers
-Can be found in a wide range of dietary formulas
-Easy to feed
-Can be found in large, medium or smaller package sizes
-Bulk buying dry kibble deals can save even more money
-Dry kibble dog food can often contain less meat content than alternatives. Meat is often replaced with lower-quality meat by-products typically not as healthy
-Some brands may contain a lot of filler ingredients
-Dogs may develop more allergies depending on ingredient content. Common ingredients known to cause allergies in dogs include wheat, corn, soy and other grains.
-Dry food can be difficult or impossible for older or unhealthy dogs with dental problems to eat.
-Usually contains preservatives to keep food longer on shelves
-Some brands include artificial additives like flavors or colors
-Some potential for spoiling if not stored properly
Wet (Canned) Dog Food
On the other hand, many dog owners prefer to feed their pooches wet dog food for several reasons. Many dogs prefer the taste and smell of wet food as opposed to dry kibble. Here’s the pros and cons of canned dog food.
-Terrific for dogs with dental issues – easier to chew/swallow
-Most dogs prefer the taste & texture of canned wet dog food over dry dog food types.
-Wet dog food has a much longer shelf-life than dry kibble food selections. Expect canned dog food to last from 1 up to 3 years. Timelines for shelf-life vary between brands
-Much higher fat and protein contents compared to dry kibble and less fillers.
-Typically more expensive than dry kibble pet foods
-Might cause diarrhea and digestion issues with some dogs
-Longer shelf-life typically coincides with preservatives used.
–Increased BPA health risks even with canned brands labeled BPA-free
-Strong odor when can is opened, can also be smelly to store leftovers!
Fresh Refrigerated Dog Food
Many dog owners prefer to feed their pups fresh or refrigerated types of dog food. Freshpet is just one example. Dogs of every breed, size and personality usually benefit with more wholesome and fresh and/or raw foods added into the pet’s usual daily dietary routine.
-Better health & nutrition benefits
-Contains fresh or raw food ingredients in a less processed state
-Can improve appetite & digestion problems
-Great macronutrient profile for dogs of all lifestage
-Must store in fridge or freezer often alongside people foods
-Has a shorter shelf-life & must be kept cool
-Typically pricier than other dog foods
-More limited availability in stores
-These are kept refrigerated for weeks or months at stores, so it’s not quite that fresh and still has preservatives
Fresh Dog Food Delivery
Our last form of dog food is a relatively new option that has only been around for a few years. If quality and nutrition is most important to you, then fresh dog food delivery services are hard to beat. Companies like NomNomNow can send pre-packaged, perfectly portioned dog food right to your door on a regular basis.
-The most fresh and healthy option – often made just days before being shipped to you.
-Automatic “no-forgetting” order shipment options
-Takes all the measuring out of feeding as meals are packaged to meet your dog’s caloric needs
-Excellent nutrient profiles with no unnatural preservatives needed
-Requires storage in family refrigerator or freezer
-Usually the most expensive option, especially for larger dogs