What to feed my dog?
With so much choice out there for pet owners it can be hard to know whats best to feed your dog. The fact is there is no 'best', only what suits your dog and yourself. We have tried to outline the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
In this section:
- Dry Complete food
- Wet Dog Food
- BARF or Raw Food Diet
- Diets for Different Dogs
Dry Complete Food
Dry food is by far the cleanest, easiest and cheapest way of feeding your dog. But with thousands on the market, which one do you choose? Ideally a dog should have meat, vegetables and carbohydrate in their diet but it comes in varying levels of quality.
On the back of the packaging meat should be listed as the first ingredient, usually listed as 'meat meal'. Dry foods are easy to feed and easy to weigh out. It is often cheaper in the long run to buy an 'expensive' dry food as you will feed less of it and less waste comes out the other end. This is because high end brands tend to use top ingredients. Remember the more expensive the food, the more research, time, effort and quality have gone in to it.
Dry food is also good for your dogs teeth as it helps break down the tartar and plaque. It is important that fresh water is available at all times. If your dog eats very quickly, a lot of manufactures make a large breed diet, which has larger pieces to encourage the dog to chew and properly digest its food.
Wet Dog Food
Wet dog food is generally more appealing to dogs as it has a strong smell. Wet food can be fed on its own or with a mixer biscuit. It is however, a more expensive way of feeding your dog. Wet food is about 75-80% water so you are paying more money for not much in the way of nutrients.
Wet food also does not help to keep the teeth clean, instead having the opposite effect and can also affect your pets breath.
Although your dog may seem to enjoy wet food more than dry food is it not necessarily the most cost effective or healthiest way of feeding. We do have a range of wet food in both stores and try to cater for different ages and lifestyles.
More companies such as Applaws, Royal Canin and James Wellbeloved are now bringing out a higher quality wet food to try and meet the demand for wet while still giving your pet good quality nutrition.
BARF or Raw Food Diet
The Bones and Raw Food diet is based on what your dog would naturally eat in the wild. In principle it sounds good. Dogs would naturally eat scavenged animals and grazed items such as rabbits, sheep, fruits, nuts etc. They would eat everything including the stomach contents, organs and bones (which would help clean the teeth).
A BARF diet must be as varied as possible for it to work with lots of raw bones, minced meats, liver. lungs, yoghurts, fruits and herbs. If the diet is the same all the time they would not be getting all the nutrients they need like they would in a pre balanced complete dry food. Feeding chicken and rice every day does more harm than good.
If you have the time that is needed to make this way of feeding balanced it is a nice natural way of feeding your dog. If you would like to learn more on the BARF diet please click here to visit our page.
Diets for Different Dogs
Dogs are not all the same and will need different levels of nutrients depending on their age, exercise levels and breed. For example puppies need a diet high in protein, vitamins and minerals due to their growth rate. Senior and overweight dogs need fewer calories to either loose weight or to compensate for the decrease in activity.
If you do change your dogs diet make sure you do so over a period of 7-10 days, gradually introducing the new food and weaning out the old. This should reduce the chance of upset tummies and refusal to eat.
The last thing to consider is that there would not be so many different and varied diets on the market if one product suited all. What is important is that the diet you choose is suitable for you but most importantly, suitable for your dog. If you do not want to feed a particular food, don't feel you have to because your friend or relative feed it to their dog.The most important thing is to establish a routine of feeding with regular mealtimes.
Please feel free to ask in store any questions about the different foods, there are so many to choose from and we are here to help.