When it comes to selecting the right pet food for your dog, you have more choices than ever. Here are a few of your options:
Dry kibble. Kibble is one of the most convenient types of pet food. Choose a formula that meets your dog’s specific needs. Your options include grain-free, life stage, raw, limited ingredient diets, skin and coat, hip and joint, weight management and breed-specific.
Dehydrated kibble. Unlike dry kibble, dehydrated kibble is not cooked for long periods of time at high temperatures. Instead, moisture is removed through a drying process that helps preserve nutrients and increase shelf life. Many brands of dehydrated kibble are meant to be rehydrated with water before feeding.
Wet or moist food. Available in a variety of forms, including cans, trays, tubs and pouches, wet foods contain a high level of moisture due to the nature of the processing. Wet food is available in a variety of flavors that can appeal to the pickiest eaters.
Refrigerated fresh food. Fresh food is cooked at lower temperatures and quickly cooled to retain natural vitamins and nutrients. Fresh foods usually contain high percentages of fresh meat, poultry or fish as well as vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. Fresh grain-free recipes are made with no grains, such as corn or wheat. Pasteurized and ready to serve, fresh foods often may not have any chemical preservatives, so they must be kept refrigerated for freshness.
Raw nutrition. Raw food diets should be processed using High Pressure Processing (HPP), which causes minimal changes in the fresh characteristics of foods by eliminating thermal degradation and harmful bacterial contaminates. These foods are often all-natural and made with high quality meats, bones, fruits and vegetables. HPP raw pet foods are uncooked, minimally processed and contain natural enzymes for the digestive health of dogs and cats of all breeds and life stages. HPP raw foods can be served as the primary diet, to supplement an existing diet or as part of a rotational diet. HPP raw foods come in a variety of choices, including dehydrated raw kibble, freeze-dried raw, and frozen raw. Protein choices include chicken, beef, lamb, venison, bison, salmon, duck and rabbit.
Homemade pet food. You may want to personalize your dog’s diet based on his likes, dislikes or specific needs. The greatest challenge with homemade food is making sure that you provide the correct levels of overall nutrition, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Consult with your veterinarian before making any change to your dog’s diet.
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