Some dogs will eat absolutely anything - including the contents of the rubbish bin. This is why we can’t leave the decision up to them and must give them a healthy, balanced diet.
There really is a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to commercial dog foods. Choose a dog food that suits your dog’s lifestyle and always go with the best dog food that you can afford. Make sure that you choose a dog food that has a healthy balance of nutrients and provides the correct amount of energy for the size and exercise requirements of your dog. You can choose between a range of dry dog food, wet dog food, diet dog food and even natural or homemade dog food, but what matters most is that you provide a consistent healthy meal for your dog so that he can grow and be active.
A very hungry dog licking its lips
A lot of dog breeders feed their dogs primarily on animal organs from the butchers. The meat is extremely nutritious, cheap and dogs absolutely love it. It is also the most natural diet for dogs, as it mimics what their ancestors ate before domestication. However, there are also a few downsides such as the risk of harmful bacteria and the difficulties when storing and preparing your dog’s food. To find out more, read our section on raw meat dog diets.
A Beagle pup eating a bowl of food
Formulated Dog Food For Dogs With Allergies
There are a range of specially formulated dog food products that can provide for all kinds of dogs, for example those with vitamin deficiencies or even allergies. You can also get dog food for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Make sure that you choose one that is affordable so that you can continue to feed your dog well, and remember, changing your dog’s diet suddenly will give him an upset tummy, so stick with one food to keep your dog happy.
Dry Dog Food Or Wet Dog Food?
Good quality packaged dog food (wet or dry) contains a balance of all of the nutritional requirements for a healthy and happy dog. They also provide the correct amount of energy that is needed for your dog’s exercise and muscular activity. Your vet will be able to offer recommendations for dog food that might be best for your dog, but in general the best thing to do is to search for an affordable dog food that has been designed for the size of your dog.
One thing to note is that dog food companies are really good at persuading people to buy their products by using tactical words like “gourmet”, “natural” or “premium”. These words can be printed on anything and aren’t regulated so don’t take them to mean too much.
A great big bowl of dry dog food
Choose a dog food that suits your dog’s lifestyle and always go with the best dog food that you can afford. Your dog will soon show the benefits in their health, appearance and energy levels.
Read on to discover the pros and cons of various types of dog foods, as well as a few suggestions and guidelines to help to decide what is best for you and your dog.
Dry Dog Food
- Dry food tends to be less expensive and is usually bought in higher quantities, meaning less trips to the supermarket
- Storing dry food is very easy, it’s shelf life is extremely long
- It cleans teeth better than wet food by removing plaque
- Dry dog food can be used as an effective training treat
Dry dog food
- The moisture content in dry dog food is much lower than in wet dog food - older or ill dogs benefits from having the extra moisture content
A bowl of dry dog food
Wet Dog Food (Canned)
- Wet food tends to have higher-quality protein and few preservatives and fillers.
- Wet food tends to have fewer calories and carbohydrates
- It's better for dogs with delicate gums, missing teeth, poorly aligned jaws or smaller mouths
- It can be a good source of hydration, especially for dogs who don’t drink enough
- Ill dogs who have lost their appetite or sense of smell might favour wet dog food (it’s usually pretty pungent)
A Chocolate Labrador puppy with its head in the cookie jar
- The shelf life of opened canned dog food is very limited
- Wet dog food is usually bought in smaller amounts, which means more trips to the supermarket
- Some dogs tend to be quite messy when eating it (you might not want a big wet kiss from your dog after he has just eaten a bowl of wet dog food)
- Wet dog food doesn’t clean dog’s teeth like dry dog food does, so it may not be best for dogs who are prone to developing tooth problems
A bowl of wet dog food
When you feed your dog always make sure that you provide a bowl of fresh, clean water. A dog that is fed on dry food will need more water after he has eaten than one that is fed on wet food due to the higher water content of wet dog food.