Most dog owners have heard the controversial debate over raw dog food versus kibble. Although each has their own nutritional aspects, does one out weigh the other in overall health benefits? The truth is that dogs that eat raw food and dogs that eat kibble can both maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, not all dog foods are made equal and contain the proper ingredients needed to keep the dog in top shape. Instead of turning to expensive dog kibble alternatives to provide a proper source of high-quality ingredients, some pet owners turn to raw food.
Dry and Canned Dog Foods
Pet owners often turn to dry or canned dog foods for their pet as they are convenient. However, it’ important to do your research before grabbing the first dog food brand off the shelf as each contain different ingredients. On one side of the spectrum, you will have the more expensive dog food brands that typically contain top-grade meats, whole-grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. The cheaper brands of dog foods, including many commercial brands, are filled with filler meats, low-quality grains, bones and leftover parts of animals and contain little nutritional benefits.
If your dog currently eats dry or canned dog food, observe his appearance to evaluate whether or not the food is adding to his well-being. His coat should be strong and shiny and not contain bald spots, dandruff or have a greasy look. Are his eyes clear? Is he itching a lot? Reddened eyes and/or an itchy coat could indicate that your dog is allergic to a certain ingredient within his food.
Feeding Fresh Raw Foods
Since the quality of dry and canned dog foods can vary so much, as well as the frequent pet food recalls, many pet owners have turned to raw foods for their dog. When raw food is fed to the family pet, owners can assure that the food is healthy as it comes from the same grocery markets and butcher shops that they purchase their own food from. However, feeding a dog a raw food diet does require additional time for food preparation. Extra raw meat must be frozen and then thawed before use. Many owners must purchase a meat grinder to avoid the dog accidentally consuming bones.
Not all raw foods contain the ingredients that a dog may need to thrive. Therefore, additional supplements must be given to the dog to maintain the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals within the body. Foods must be cut up in bite size pieces for the dog and fed at least two to three times per day. This can be a difficult task for someone who works full-time or is not home often enough to prepare these meals.
Raw Food Versus Kibble
Both raw food and kibble can provide a good source of nutrition for a dog. Before feeding your dog kibble or raw food, do your research to determine which is best for your dog. A healthy diet is essential for your dog to live a long, happy and healthy life.