There are a variety of different types of dog food on the market, and it can be confusing to figure out which one is best for your pet. In this blog post, we will explore the most common types of dog food and what you should look for when buying them. We’ll also provide some tips on how to transition your dog to a new type of food. So whether you’re wondering what kibble to buy or are curious about raw feeding, read on!
Types of Dog Food
Most types of dog food can be broken down into four general categories:
- semi-moist, and
Wet Dog Food:
Wet dog food comes in the form of cans or pouches; it is made by cooking animal products and adding water to make a thick stew. This type of dog food often comes with added vitamins and minerals for a complete diet. However, it is high in protein and fat, which means that it contains a lot of calories. It can also leave your dog with a mess to clean up, as any moisture added to their food will quickly attract dirt and other particles from the floor.
Wet food is often referred to as “fresh” or “premium” dog food because it is not processed, which means that there are less preservatives.
Dry dog food consists of small kibble pieces made of either whole-kernel corn or meat and other animal byproducts. It is cooked in the factory to remove the fat and moisture, then it’s ground into small pieces to maximize the shelf life.
This type of dog food must be re-hydrated before it is served to your pet. This can be done by either adding water or moistening with canned food, baby food, gravy, juice, oil, yogurt, cottage cheese or cream. It is recommended that you slowly transition your pet onto a new food, either by mixing the old and new food together or offering it in different bowls.
Semi-moist dog food comes in the form of small chunks or bars of “meaty” flavor that are baked together to create a moist product. It is stored in a sealed bag and must be refrigerated, as it can spoil or become dry if left out for too long.
Dry food is the most popular type of dog food because it is inexpensive and convenient, but some dogs’ digestive systems do not handle kibble very well.
Raw dog food consists of animal meat that has not been cooked or processed; it can be frozen raw or freeze-dried to prolong shelf life. This type of dog food is often praised for its health benefits because it is easier for your pet’s body to digest, but you must have the knowledge and skillset to do so properly.
Raw feeding comes with a risk of bacteria, so it is important to handle food safely and buy from a trustworthy supplier. Check out pros and cons of raw dog food here.
A final option is to cook your own homemade dog food at home with the help of a veterinarian or animal nutritionist. While this can be relatively inexpensive, time-consuming, and even therapeutic for pet parents, it is only recommended if you have the skills necessary to develop complete meals that are both nutritious and safe. Check out these homemade dog food for Pitbulls
Dog Food Transition Tips for Wet, Dry, Semi-Moist & Raw Dog Foods:
If you are transitioning your dog through multiple types of food, have an easier type of food available at first. This could be canned wet dog food or even dry kibble that does not contain any additives or coloring.
Next, transition to a medium-difficulty food type for two weeks before trying the next type of food, and so on.
If your dog has trouble with digestion, stick to one type of food for 3-5 days before transitioning them to the next type of food.
One exception is if you are transitioning your dog from a cheap, low-quality dry food to a higher quality wet or semi-moist food. In this case, only transition them every 2-3 days because their digestive system will have trouble handling the changes.
In these cases, you can add plain canned pumpkin if a bout of constipation occurs with a semi-moist food transition.
When transitioning your dog onto raw food, gradually mix in the raw food with their current diet to slow down their body’s adjustment time.
For all types of dog food, it is vital that you never leave moist or semi-moist kibble out for more than 15 minutes, as bacteria can grow rapidly.
When transitioning your dog to a new food, always visit the vet to rule out any sensitivities or allergies before feeding them the new food.
Wet Dog Food vs. Dry Dog Food: Which is Healthier?
- Wet dog food is considered healthier because it contains more moisture, but many dogs do not drink enough water to make up the difference.
- Dry dog food is often filled with preservatives and additives that help keep it dry and appealing to your pet. It also contains animal byproducts that may be dangerous for some breeds of dogs.
- Semi-moist dog food falls in between wet and dry food types, containing additives but no byproducts. It can be high in fat due to the ingredients used to keep it moist.
- Raw dog food is often considered the healthiest option because it contains more nutrients than cooked or processed foods.
- It also uses animal meat that does not include any byproducts, which may be healthier for some breeds of dogs. However, raw dog food comes with a risk of bacteria and is more expensive than other types of pet foods, making it less common and hard to find in stores.
- Dogs who eat too much dry or semi-moist food may suffer from obesity because those foods contain higher amounts of fat and calorie content.
- Dry dog food is often less expensive than wet or semi-moist foods, but it may contain animal byproducts that are not safe for all dogs to eat.
- A lot of dry kibble also contains additives and preservatives like cornmeal, which can cause your pet’s body harm over time.
- Wet dog food contains more moisture than dry or semi-moist dog foods. However, if your pet does not drink enough water during the day, it can be dangerous to their health.
Hi there! My name is Alex Landy, one of the co-founders here at Our Pets HQ and a parent to a small-breed Yorkie. I am a published author of two books on dog breeding and currently write on various pet-related blogs about caring for dogs. I am a parent of two daughters and live outside Boston where I spend a lot of time with family and serve in different breeding clubs. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org