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According to the famous veterinarian Dr. Karen Shaw, the single most important thing to ensure your canine’s health is its diet. A poor diet can lead to your dog developing obesity, joint problems, gastrointestinal issues and other health issues.
Biologically speaking, dogs are carnivores with short gastrointestinal tracts. Historically, with wolves as ancestors, dogs are used to eating more meat than carbohydrates. Their bodies lack the enzyme needed to break down carbohydrates and hence need a diet that is higher in proteins and fat.
What Is Wet Dog Food?
Wet dog food has fewer carbohydrates than dry kibble, which is healthier for dogs considering what we mentioned earlier so that they do not gain unnecessary weight or develop any digestive or immunity issues.
How does wet dog food get made in the first place? Firstly, protein sources or meat ingredients are ground up and mixed with a gravy containing various vitamins, minerals and grains. Once the mixing is done, food is cooked and sterilised to produce a canned product. Wet dog food typically has a percentage of maximum moisture on their labels under the Guaranteed Analysis section. Compared to dry dog food that may have around 10% moisture at most, wet dog food may have a max moisture content of around 78%, that is close to 8 times of difference!
Apart from keeping your dog hydrated, there are other benefits such as being more palatable to your dog’s tastebuds. Wet and canned dog food are typically more aromatic and flavourful compared to dry dog food. This can be extra useful for picky canines or older dogs that see a drop in their appetite.
Wet dog food can also create a longer-lasting feeling of being satiated which also helps dogs that need to manage their weight. Furthermore, being softer, wet food is also easier to chew which is good news for dogs that have dental diseases and other oral abnormalities.
However, wet dog food is generally more expensive than dry dog food and it would require more time and effort to prepare for your canine as compared to just scooping dry dog food for your canine. It is also important to note that wet food has a strong smell that while may be appealing to our dogs, are usually unappealing for most dog owners. Furthermore, wet food can spoil quickly when left out too long and would not be ideal for dogs that like to take their time to finish their food.
What Is Fresh Dog Food?
Fresh dog food refers to dog food that has been produced without any preservatives or fillers and usually contains higher levels of protein and fat. Such fresh dog food can be frozen or refrigerated but often has a shorter shelf life than kibble or canned food, considering they do not contain preservatives.
The main benefit of fresh dog food is that it is nutritionally complete and contains no fillers or preservatives, which is why they are commonly deemed as a healthier dog food choice. It is very important to remember that not all fresh dog food is made equal and that we should do our own research to check that the ingredients used are of high quality and sourced from reputable manufacturers. It is also important to ensure that the chosen fresh dog food you decide on does not contain any fillers or preservatives and is nutritionally complete.
Compared to kibble diets, fresh diets also tend to have a lower caloric density, similar to how a cup of fresh fruits is different from a cup of dried fruits. This is due to the different water content in each food.
Fresh dog food is typically marketed as “human-grade” which essentially means that it is suitable for human consumption as per AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials)’s definition. In comparison, having something as “feed grade” means that they are suitable for animal consumption.
Ultimately, every dog is unique depending on its size, age and health conditions. Before making any major changes to your dog’s food, it is best to always consult your veterinarian to reduce any risks of upsetting their digestive system or for your dog to avoid its food altogether.
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