Most dog owners choose to feed their dogs dry dog food formulas, mostly for convenience and availability. Here is some information about dry dog food, and what types of dry dog food you should choose for your dog’s nutritional needs.
Dog Food Recalls
In some cases, a dry dog food formula may be recalled. A dog food recall may occur for a variety of reasons, some of which aren’t necessarily health-related. Before purchasing a dry dog food formula, it’s highly recommended that you research the company that manufactures the formula, to see if they use any manufacturing procedures that are at risk for contamination. Also, you will want to check the FDA’s pet food recall list, or the updates on this website that list any recent dog food recalls. This way, you can ensure that your dog’s dry dog food formula is safe.
Which Life Stage Formula Should I Choose?
There are hundreds of different dog food companies, each of which may offer a variety of different formulas. That being said, you may be wondering which formula is the best choice for your dog. Ideally, you should choose a formula for your dog’s life stage. For example, puppy food is usually meant to be fed to puppies up to one year of age, as well as pregnant or nursing female dogs. Senior formulas are meant to be fed to dogs that are over seven years of age, or are in the last third of their expected lifespan. There are some formulas that are marketed as being “for all life stages”, but may not be appropriate for dogs with specific nutritional needs.
Choosing a Dry Dog Food
There are many factors to consider when choosing a dry dog food formula for your dog. Since every dog’s nutritional needs may be slightly different, there is no one “best dry dog food” formula for every dog. To choose the best dry dog food for your dog, begin by compiling a list of several different brands that are considered “top rated dry dog food” brands. You can check dog food review websites for more information about how dog food formulas are rated. Otherwise, you may want to ask friends, family and neighbors about the experiences that they’ve had with specific dog food formulas.
Is Dry Dog Food Better than Canned?
Many dog owners often wonder if dry dog food is better than canned dog food. In reality, there are advantages and disadvantages to both formulas. Dry dog food is usually higher in carbohydrates, since many formulas often use a carbohydrate (such as a grain or starch) in order for the dry dog food to hold its “kibble” shape. However, there are some dry dog food formulas that specialize in being low in carbohydrates. Dry dog food is also better for keeping your dog’s teeth in good shape, since the scraping motion of the dry kibble helps to lessen the buildup of plaque and tartar. Dry dog food also does not have the risk of spoiling quickly once opened.
Canned dog food formulas don’t need to hold a specific “shape”, so they may be lower in carbohydrates. However, canned dog food does not have the added benefit of cleaning your dog’s teeth, and it may spoil quickly once opened.
In general, it comes down to your dog’s nutritional needs, and your budget for dog food. Many dog nutritional experts have suggested that the optimum composition of commercial dog food should be a mixture of both dry and canned dog food formulas.
Homemade Dry Dog Food
Many pet owners are now choosing to make their own dry dog food. There are many different recipes for dry dog food online, most of which involve oven-baking. When making your own dry dog food, use caution! Be sure that you have researched the proper balance of nutrients that your dog needs in order to maintain good health. Never use ingredients such as salt, sugar or garlic, which can be detrimental to a dog’s health. Also, be aware that any ingredients that contain caffeine can be toxic to your dog, especially chocolate. A great way to ensure that your dog’s homemade dry dog food formula is safe, is to ask your veterinarian for tips about what to include in your dog food recipe.
Specialized Dry Dog Food
There are some dry dog food formulas that are designed for dogs that have special health requirements. For example, a high protein dog food may be designed for dogs that are involved in performance sports. A low protein dog food may be recommended for dogs that are experiencing certain kidney issues. Dogs with diabetes may also benefit from eating a formula that is designed for their health condition.