A series of educational pet nutrition blogs written by pet experts, just for pet parents.

Which Food is Best for Your Dog?

Posted on 07.17.2023

At Treats Unleashed, we believe that better health for your pet is achieved through better nutrition. Choosing the right food for your furry companion is essential for their overall health and well-being. It can be challenging to navigate the various options available, including wet, raw, and dry dog food. Each type has its own benefits, and it's important to determine which one suits your pet best. Let's explore the world of dog food together!

Benefits of Dry Food for Dogs:

Let's start with one of the most popular options - kibble, or dry dog food. Kibble has been accessible to pet owners for decades and offers numerous benefits, including convenience, cost efficiency, weight management, and variety.

  1. Shelf Stability: Dog kibble is highly shelf-stable, with expiration dates ranging from 12 to 18 months in the future. This makes it convenient for pet owners who prefer to stock up or take advantage of sales. Once opened, a bag of kibble typically stays fresh for four to six weeks, depending on the brand.

  2. Affordability: Dry dog food is easy to store and is generally more affordable than wet food, making it a budget-friendly option for pet owners.

  3. Health Benefits: Kibble provides complete and balanced nutrition, containing proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals that meet dogs' nutritional needs at different life stages. Many kibble brands include fiber sources like beet pulp or prebiotic fibers, promoting digestive health. Moreover, kibble formulations ensure consistent nutrition from batch to batch.

  4. Weight Management: Dry dog food is excellent for weight management. Each bag has serving sizes based on a dog's weight, making it easy to control portion sizes and manage their weight effectively.

  5. Variety: Dry dog food comes in a wide range of options, including different brands, sizes, flavors, and types. Whether you prefer a basic kibble, one with organic produce, or one enhanced with freeze-dried raw protein, there's something for every pet.

Benefits of Wet Food for Dogs

Wet dog food, available in cans or pouches, has been on the market for a little longer than kibble. It offers several benefits that may be missed with dry food.

  1. Enhanced Palatability: Wet dog food often contains a higher meat content, providing a rich and appetizing taste for dogs. This is beneficial for picky eaters or dogs with dental issues, as the soft texture makes it easier to chew and digest.

  2. Hydration Boost: With its high moisture content, wet dog food helps keep your canine friend well-hydrated, supporting optimal organ function and overall health. It can be especially helpful for dogs who don't drink water as often as they should.

  3. Nutritional Density: Wet dog food is typically formulated to be nutritionally complete, offering a balanced blend of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. This can be advantageous for dogs with specific dietary needs or those recovering from illness or surgery.

  4. Promotes Urinary Tract Health: The increased water intake associated with wet dog food helps dilute urine and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and related issues, benefiting dogs prone to such problems.

Benefits of Frozen Raw Food for Dogs:

 Raw feeding has gained popularity in recent years and offers several benefits for dogs.

  1. Improved Digestion: Raw food diets consist of fresh, unprocessed ingredients like raw meat, bones, organs, fruits, and vegetables. These natural foods are easier for dogs to digest, potentially reducing issues like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

  2. Enhanced Dental Health: Chewing raw bones and meat provides a natural dental cleaning mechanism, helping prevent tartar buildup and promoting healthier teeth and gums. This can reduce the risk of dental diseases and the need for future dental procedures.

  3. Increased Energy and Vitality: Raw food diets are often high in protein and rich in essential nutrients, contributing to improved energy levels, increased muscle mass, and overall vitality in dogs.

  4. Shinier Coat and Healthier Skin: The natural fats present in raw foods, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, promote a glossy, healthy coat and alleviate dryness or itchiness in the skin.

  5. Potential Allergy Relief: Some dogs may have sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients commonly found in processed dog foods, such as grains or artificial additives. Switching to a raw food diet can eliminate these potential allergens, providing relief from allergy symptoms.

Benefits of Freeze-Dried Raw Food for Dogs:

Similar to frozen raw food, freeze-dried raw food offers incredible advantages for digestion, dental health, energy levels, skin condition, and allergies. Additionally, it has its own unique benefits:

  1. Shelf Stability and Convenience: Unlike frozen raw food, freeze-dried raw food is shelf-stable and doesn't require refrigeration. It can be fed directly from the package or rehydrated using water, bone broth, or other liquids.

  2. Benefits of Raw without the Hassle: Incorporating freeze-dried food into your pet's diet provides the advantages of raw food without the complexities. It combines the benefits of a raw food diet with the convenience of easy storage and feeding.

Choosing the Right Food for Your Dog:

 Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to dog food. Each option offers unique advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for your dog depends on their specific needs, preferences, and health considerations. Sometimes, a combination of different types of food works best. Consulting with a nutrition specialist is crucial to determine the most appropriate diet for your furry friend. If you need help selecting a new food, you can visit your local Treats Unleashed for a free pet food consultation. Whether you opt for wet, dry, frozen, or freeze-dried dog food, ensuring a balanced and nutritious diet, combined with regular exercise and veterinary care, will contribute to your dog's overall health and happiness.

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