Educating yourself about the food you feed your pet is an important first step. We've done the research and have found these pros and cons of the various pet food options available. To learn more about the pet food industry check out this video, Pet Fooled.
- Healthier skin.
- Cleaner teeth.
- Improved digestion.
- Smaller, firmer stools
- May cause bowel obstruction and intestinal perforations.
- It can be more expensive.
- It can be made fresh so ingredients retain maximum nutritional value.
- If your dog suffers from food allergies, homemade dog food may let you eliminate the offending ingredient.
- You control the ingredients, limiting your dog’s exposure to artificial preservatives, flavors, dyes, and hormones, as well as contamination.
- Homemade dog food will always be fresh, which may make it more appealing to picky eaters.
- It can be difficult to strike the right balance of nutrients; it’s crucial to use a recipe approved by an animal nutritionist.
- Typically has a shorter shelf-life than commercially prepared dog food.
- Making your own dog food might be more expensive than commercial dry dog food.
- There is a greater risk of your dog developing nutritional deficiencies if you don’t provide the right balance of nutrients. Creating a nutritionally-balanced homemade dog food requires a lot of research to make sure your dog’s nutritional needs are met.
Wet (or canned) Food
- Highly palatable, so even the pickiest eaters usually devour their food.
- Good for dogs that are missing teeth or recovering from an illness.
- A good choice for dogs with limited kidney function.
- Has a long shelf life (one to three years depending on the brand).
- It can be prone to contamination.
- More expensive than dry food.
- Dogs that only eat canned dog food require more frequent dental cleanings on average.
- It can cause loose stools in some dogs.
- It provides balanced nutrition.
- Supplies necessary proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
- Lower-quality foods may incorporate meat by-products or meal instead of wholesome meat.
- May include fillers that can be irritating to a dog’s digestive tract.
- Dogs are more likely to develop dry, itchy skin from dry food, which can be caused by dehydration due to low moisture content, allergies to soy, corn, wheat, or grains, or reactions to preservatives.
- There’s always the possibility of accidental contamination. Many recognizable brands have issued recalls due to serious toxicity or contamination concerns. Check Dog Food Advisor for lists of ingredients, recall histories, and facts on every dry dog food on the market.