Your dog’s nutritional needs are one of the most important aspects that you need to consider if you want to keep your dog healthy and happy throughout their lifetime. It is your responsibility as a pet owner to ensure that your dog is getting the best nutrition possible based on their breed, their age, their activity level, and their overall health.
Of course, you want to be able to buy the best dog food brands available to you, but when you consider the sheer number of different brands available, it’s quite easy to get confused about which one is the best. Of all the questions concerning dog food floating around, one of the most widely debated is the question of using kibble or raw dog food.
What is Kibble?
Kibble refers to the most common and affordable type of dog food that you can find on the market. This type of dog food generally come in pellet form and is made from a mixture of protein, grains, cereals, and additional vitamins and minerals.
Since kibble dog food is the most common type of dog food available, it can be difficult to choose the brand that works best for you. The best way for you to choose the right kind of kibble is by reading the nutritional label. Keep in mind that the first ingredient listed in the ingredients generally makes up most of the content of that particular kibble brand.
If you’re looking for high-quality kibble, look for a brand that lists a protein as the first ingredient. Protein sources can vary, such as poultry, beef, or lamb. Some brands even utilize less common proteins such as salmon or even game meats! Cheap and generic dog food brands often list grains or cereals such as cornmeal or soy meal as the first ingredient.
While most high-quality kibble is listed as grain-free, you should know that having grains isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, your dog might even need grains as a source of energy, especially if you have a high-energy breed, a working dog, or a growing puppy. You just need to look for kibble that contains whole grain such as oats and brown rice, rather than wheat or rice.
Finally, you might notice that all kibble has some form of preservative. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing; since kibble is made to be kept for a longer period of time compared to raw or fresh food, preservatives are used to keep the kibble from turning rancid or moldy. High-end kibble brands tend to use natural preservatives such as citric acid (vitamin C) or tocopherol (vitamin E). Cheap kibble, on the other hand, use chemical preservatives such as BHT or ethoxyquin.
There are several advantages to using kibble as the main source of your dog’s nutrition, such as:
· Longer shelf life
· Reduced dental problems such as gum disease and plaque buildup
· Easier storage
· Less spoilage risk
· Cheaper compared to raw food brands
· Less bacterial risk
What is Raw Dog Food?
Raw dog food is exactly what it sounds like: unprocessed raw food for your dogs. It can be fresh or frozen, although most commercial brands freeze their raw dog food products to increase shelf life and kill bacteria. The raw food dog food idea first came to be in 1993, when it was proposed by a vet named Ian Billinghurst. The main idea behind the raw dog food diet is that dogs will be healthier if they are fed a diet that’s as close as possible to their natural diet in the wild. Thus, raw dog food is made from a mixture of animal protein as well as some additional vegetables, fruits, and bone.
Those who advocate for using raw dog food say that there are several benefits, such as:
· Stronger bones and teeth
· Shinier coat
· Smaller and less smelly stools
· Easier digestion and higher rate of nutrient absorption
However, there are some risks associated with raw dog food diets, such as:
· Increase risk of bacterial growth
· Shorter shelf life and quicker spoiler
· Risk of puncturing your dog’s digestive tract due to the bones
Which Should I Choose?
The bottom line is that the type of dog food that you give your dog will be a decision that’s based on your budget and your dog’s personal needs and taste. Kibble is generally cheaper compared to raw dog food, but most dogs are partial to raw dog food because of the smell and taste. If you’re having trouble deciding, you can always consult a vet to ask for their opinion, as well as try several brands to see which one your dog likes and has a good effect on their health.
Content provided by Pet RX