Recently there has been a rise in the number of companies offering “fresh” dog food. In this article we ask the question, is fresh dog food really more beneficial to your dog’s health? We also ask, what is the optimal diet for your dog?
It is important to note that choosing the right food for your dog will be based on multiple factors. The optimal nutritional requirements for your dog are generally based on the following:
In this article we look at the general advice suitable for all breeds and ages of dogs.
As with humans, giving your dog fresh dog food as opposed to dried dog food can have some health benefits. Fresh dog food is made with natural, fresh ingredients and is free from artificial or chemical preservatives. Fresh dog food has also been shown to retain more of the essential vitamins and nutrients that are required to keep your dog healthy. The downside is that fresh dog food can be more costly, and you will be required to buy the food more regularly. If you are thinking of changing to fresh dog food, make sure you read the package to find out what exactly is in the fresh food and monitor your dog’s reaction to the new food within the first two weeks.
Wet or Dry Food
If you choose not to buy fresh food, you will have to choose between wet dog food and dry dog food. Wet food contains water so does give your dog an additional source of water, important for hydration. Wet food can also be easier to digest than dry food which is of benefit to older dogs. By comparison, dry food is a more economical choice since it can be purchased and stored for months at a time. Dry dog food has all of the required nutritional additives that your dog requires and also offers benefits for dental health because of the texture of the food.
Some dog owners will choose to feed their dogs only raw food. A raw food diet means only feeding your dog raw foods and not including any foods that have been cooked or prepared in any way. Raw diets usually include a combination of raw meats and raw vegetables and fruits. There is no real evidence to suggest that a raw food diet is the most beneficial diet for your dog. Most experts will suggest a balance of all foods to give the optimal healthy diet.
Dog Treats – Frequency and Type
Overfeeding your dog will lead to obesity which will cause long term health problems for your dog. On average it is suggested that 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake should be from treats or human food. Be careful when using treats during training, excess treats will be of harm to your dog so the treats used during training should be included in your dog’s 10% daily allowance.