Food choices for your pet vary in both types, nutritional value, and affordability. To be sure you're making the right choice for your pet, we suggest speaking with your veterinarian about the best options available to ensure your pet has a long, happy and healthy life.
Kibble or dry food is the most economical type of commercial dog food, making it a top choice by many pet parents. There are factors to consider if choosing kibble for your pet. Kibble is easy to store and doesn't expire as quickly as other options. Because it has a low moisture content, your pet will need fresh water available at all times to make sure they stay hydrated. Many kibble brands are made with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, as well as unhealthy fillers and ingredients that contribute no nutritional value for your pet. Research brands wisely to make the best choice when opting for a kibble diet.
Wet or canned food, on the other hand, has a high moisture content, making it easier for senior pets or those with dental concerns as it requires little to no chewing. It's cooked at a very high temperature to sterilize the food which can decrease the nutritional value. Read the label carefully, paying attention to protein and water content. The higher the water content, the fewer nutrients will be in the food, so your pet will need to consume more food to meet their daily nutritional requirements.
Frozen and freeze-dried raw pet food is another option gaining in popularity with pet parents. Though more expensive, they do deliver the best nutritional value for your pet. If you select a freeze-dried food, you will want to re-hydrate it with water prior to feeding time, and then take care to hand wash your pet's feeding dish and any utensils used with hot, soapy water after every use. You will also need to wash your hands thoroughly and sanitize any surfaces the raw food touches during preparation. The reason for this is that once hydrated, raw foods become susceptible to bacteria growth unless kept cold. Most freeze-dried foods don't need to be stored in the freezer or refrigerator, but care needs to be taken to ensure the packaging doesn't have any tears or holes. Frozen food is less convenient because you'll need to thaw it before feeding it to your pet. Follow the same safe handling recommendations with frozen foods as you do for the freeze-dried raw pet food.
Home-cooked pet foods are another option to consider. Though not as convenient as any of the other types of pet food mentioned, it can be very economical. Care needs to be taken to ensure you include a balanced, nutritious diet when home-cooking. Many recipes are available online, along with suggestions for adding supplements or toppers to make sure the nutritional needs of your pet are met.