What is the Best Diet for Dogs? Types of Dog Food
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There are many opinions about what is the best diet for dogs; some experts defend organic foods and homemade meals, while other experts defend the nutritional balance of dry feed. You can find many different types of dog food in the market, and depending on who you ask some of them aren't at all recommended.
Choosing the best kind of food for your pet is a very important aspect in ensuring their health and happiness. It is a complex subject, and it takes some time and research to make up your own mind.
If you have questions about dry feed, wet food or homemade meals for your dog, you've came to the right place. You should keep in mind that your dog's nutritional requirements will vary according to their size or the amount of physical activity they undertake.
Keep reading this AnimalWised article and learn what is the best diet for dogs, with an overview of the different types of dog food.
What does my dog need?
Dogs are carnivorous animals. In the wild, a dog would feed exclusively on meat. As a consequence of hunting, the dog's diet would also include fruit and vegetables, as they would be taken from the prey. The same applies when discussing a cat's diet.
More than discuss whether one type of dog food is absolutely better than another, it is more useful to combine dry feed, wet food and homemade meals and focus on the percentages of their composition. There isn't a single, perfect diet for all dogs; many professionals agree that variety is the key to give your dog the best diet.
Is dry feed good for dogs?
If you're looking for high-quality dry feed for a healthy adult dog, you should should look carefully at the percentages listed on the back of the packaging.
Here are some tips to know if the dog food is appropriate or not:
- Dry feed for dogs should contain at least 30-40% protein. Whilst a single product usually comes from one type of meat, switching between meats and even fish is good for their health.
- 20% of fruits and vegetables is perfectly acceptable.
- Fats and oils should make up 10% or 20% of the total feed.
- The food should have a low cereal content, which should preferably be rice. High corn content will cause a slow and difficult digestion for your dog. Dogs don't need carbohydrates in their diet. A percentage of 60% is a sign that this is a bad quality dry feed.
- Fiber should not be more than 1-3%.
- Proper dry feed for dogs should contain Omega 3 and 6, vitamin E, calcium and phosphorus.
Other things to check in the dry feed's label:
- If the word "flour" is mentioned, it is an indicator that both the meat and vegetables include all sorts of extras: Intestines, bones, branches, leaves...
- It is alright for the feed to provide between 200 and 300 kcal per 100 grams.
- Avoid sub-products and meats with collagen.
- Choose baked feeds over extruded dry feeds.
- Dry feed helps dogs to remove plaque from their teeth.
Is wet food good for dogs?
Wet food is composed of 3/4 parts water, and it is quite likely that your dog will like it more, as it's easier to chew and tastier. Even if it's your dog's favorite type of food, you shouldn't give your dog wet food on a daily basis. It's much better to give dogs wet food only from time to time.
Much like dry feed, wet food for dogs should have a high content of meat and fats and a low content of fruits and vegetables.
It's important for you to know that wet food contains half the calories than traditional dry feed, so it gives them less energy. However, wet food will help your dog to ingest liquid, which reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.
Are homemade diets good for dogs?
There is a wide variety of possible diets for dogs that you can make at home without facing too many problems. If you want to feed your dog homemade food you will need to get informed in detail about your dog's own nutritional requirements; ask your veterinarian for advice. It's also very important to use high-quality products.
The problem of homemade diets is that if you don't have the right information, you could cause serious nutritional deficiencies in your dog's organism. Other possible risks if your dog isn't used to homemade meals include choking on a bone.
Some homemade diets for dogs like the BARF diet advise feeding your dog the same they would eat in the wild, giving them meat, eggs or bones, all of which raw. Here you can learn what is the BARF diet for dogs, with tips and an example menu. However, other owners prefer to boil or fry their dog's food; remember that this should never be done with oil or salt.
A proper homemade diet for dogs ought to include:
- 60% meat, bones and muscle.
- 25% meat alone.
- 15% fruit, vegetables, eggs, viscera.
There are other things you should take into account:
- When choosing ingredients, make sure you know what are the forbidden fruits and vegetables for dogs.
- You can make your own dog treats: Take a look at this homemade cookie recipe for dogs.
So, what is the best diet for dogs? As you can see, all types of dog food can be useful when offered in a balanced manner. If you want to give your dog a healthy diet, we recommend you combine the three types of diets: Dry feed, wet food, and homemade meals - always paying attention to the composition and quality of the food.
Take a look at the following articles to learn more about diets for dogs:
If you want to read similar articles to What is the Best Diet for Dogs? Types of Dog Food, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.