What comes to your mind when you hear ‘Dog Food’?
I knew it! By seeing the dogs’ love for a bone in uncountable movies has led us to believe that the whole food block of a dog resides in it.
But only the real dog owners know that dog food means the food that is suitable for dogs and not the food that dogs enjoy eating.
I’ll explain this with an example, we like to eat junk food but will that food be considered as the most appropriate type of food for us? Obviously not!
Dog food is the specifically manufactured food intended for consumption by dogs and other species whose eating habits match with them.
Dogs are listed among the omnivores but they usually incline towards carnivores. Omnivores are the animals which can eat both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, so a dog can eat both but it prefers non-vegetarian over vegetarian which explains the carnivore factor.
Dogs’ teeth are designed in a specific way that eating meat is much more suitable for them than eating vegetables. Chewing bone is a great exercise for dogs’ jaw and it also goes along with their ‘eating prey’ nature being a canine.
Now when it comes to feeding their dogs, people like to boast about how their dogs eat anything and everything. They make dog eating human food seem like the best thing that could happen to it when it is genuinely not.
On one hand, I refrain from saying that human food can be dangerous for dogs and you should absolutely abstain from feeding human food to your dog and on the other hand I feel that imparting the significance of providing your dog with dog food is necessary.
Types of Dog Food in India
There are various, let us just go through each of them quickly
This is dry food for dogs. It is one of the most prominent types of dog food these days and the most affordable one. One of the reasons for the popularity of dog food is that it doesn’t get bad very fast. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, it lasts a really long time
We are a generation of the most patience-less and lazy humans who can’t go out to buy food, again and again, we prefer a one time go for a subtle amount of period, isn’t it? Also, the process of the food getting stale and throwing it out is just unnecessary work we have to tag along with us.
This is not the ideal type of “going an extra mile” for your dog, which is providing them with healthy, nutritious food. Reading ingredients of dry food is very important which we’ll discuss later.
For now, all that matters is that dry food is a great option for your dog, it is healthy, durable and wholesome.
Canned goods are the best types of food, or at least that is what I think. Dogs have a different type of love for canned food, irrespective of whether it’s dry or wet.
Most canned foods lack nutrition due to the presence of an enormous amount of water. While checking the levels of digestible protein in canned foods, we have to keep in mind to check the nutrition so that our dog doesn’t suffer because of it later.
Also, canned food is the most expensive type of food for your dog.
3. Semi Moist
The name defines it pretty much as the type of dog food that is partially dry and partially wet. It includes commercial dog food particularly shaped like burgers and pork chops.
It is even less nutritional than canned foods so it makes it the least nutritional food among all the rest of them. Dogs like this type of food as well, so it can be given to it as a treat on or a cheat day, pun intended. It should not be included in a dog’s daily diet else it will cause a lot of problems.
4. Home Cooking
There is a very big difference between human food and a home-cooked meal for your dog. While human food can be problematic for your dog and lead to a lack of needed nutrition, home-cooked meals can be beneficial for your dog if made by using the right ingredients.
A home-cooked meal allows you to balance your nutrition levels as you have all the control over ingredients and quantities.
Feeding your dog a home-cooked meal is one of the best options and as you know the food requirements of your dog, it is the best for you.
But at the same time, it can be really time-consuming and it is generally not affordable, so it is not recommendable for the long run. You can pamper your dog with a perfectly balanced home-cooked meal on holidays but until and unless you work from home, it is not the most suitable alternative for you as it is for your dog.
If you cook a meal for your dog, research carefully about canine diets so that you don’t miss out on any important nutrient.
As we talked about bones earlier, this will clear all the doubts in your mind. Bones come under raw food and as dogs eat raw bones, it becomes a great source of phosphorus and calcium. Do not feed cooked bones to your dog, in any condition.
Not only will cooking the bones empty the bones from its vital nutrients, but it can also be highly dangerous for dogs. Cooked bones splinter into shards that can cause choking and can damage the dog’s throat or internal parts of its body.
Bone is not the only food in a raw diet, all the types of raw meat come under it and as the dogs can easily digest raw meat because of strong stomach acids, raw meat can be appropriate for your dog.
It contains the necessary nutrients and is affordable, but remember to visit your dog’s vet before switching to a raw diet.
Any dog food containing grains should be avoided. Dogs resemble wolves in a lot of ways but the most important one is grain diets. Unlike wolves, dogs can digest grains, so that is not the problem.
If your dog can digest one type of food, that doesn’t mean its right for it. A lot of reports prove that by consuming a grain-free diet, dogs tend to have fewer diseases, allergies and obesity problems.
Keeping grains out of your dog’s food will turn out to be a good decision in the long run, so remember to keep this in mind.
Chemicals and added preservatives: Chemicals in food not only sounds bad, but it can result in having adverse effects on all living beings. When we talk about plants, we say pesticides are harmful to them when we talk about us, we know chemicals in our food will be dangerous, similarly added chemicals in your dog’s food is harmful.Corn
A lot of dog food manufacturers use corn to keep the cost low but it is not suitable for your dog to consume corn on a daily basis. You won’t notice the results in the beginning but once you keep corn in your dog’s meal on a regular basis, it will deteriorate its health.
7. Salt and Sugar
It will be too weird if you are hearing it for the first time but salt and sugar aren’t healthy for dogs.
Manufacturers add a huge amount of salt or sugar as they are a cheap source of preservatives so you have to keep an eye out for them. To sell their dog food, many people will try to hide the presence of salt and sugar by using alternative names for them.
For example, ‘malt’, ‘starch’ and many chemicals ending with ‘ose’ like glucose and fructose, are some of the alternative names for sugar.
Potassium chloride is the most popular alternative name for salt, sodium, and chemicals ending with ‘ate’ are also among them.
Dry Food or Wet Food, Which is More Recommendable?
We, humans, know how important it is to stay hydrated. We keep on setting our goals to drink this much water in a day and most of the time our efforts go in vain so we can think about how dogs go through it.
Every living being requires water and dogs don’t drink sufficient amount of water, so wet foods, being moist, solves this problem.
Wet foods are most suitable for dogs with a weak stomach, missing teeth or smaller mouths because they are easy to chew.
But wet foods can’t be used for long after opening them, dogs can create a mess with it and they are usually expensive.
On the other hand, dry foods are easy to use, affordable and can be stored for many days. Choosing between dry and wet food wholly depends on you and your dog.
If your dog already has a dental problem then wet food will not be considered as a viable option because it will heighten the dental problems.
So, until and unless your dog is ill or has a digestive/mouth problem, dry food(kibble) is the best choice.