By Kimberly LeMaster
At some point in your dog's life, you've questioned whether you were feeding him the right diet. From nutrients to taste, we all worry that our dog isn't getting the best of the best, even if he is.
However, are we asking the right questions about his diet? Should we be more worried about fillers, name brands and flavor? Or, should we be worried about nutrient amounts, types, supplements contained in the food, and how it effects our dogs from the obvious (health, weight, etc) to the not so obvious (fur quality, teeth and gums, digestion).
If you said the second is more important, you're on the right track.
While yes, brands with less fillers and more nutrients are better, there are positives and negatives involved with how your dog actually gets them despite the brand that makes the food. Most dog food comes in one of two ways: Dry or Wet, and surprisingly, the state of the food matters just as much as what's in it.
Ingredients should always play a huge role in what type of food you are offering. Obviously, you want less fillers and more whole ingredients. While many dry kibbles do a great job of offering whole ingredients, with meats as the first, second and even third item on the list, the actual process of creating the kibble takes away a ton of the nutrients that are contained in the wholesome ingredients. Even if your kibble contains the best of ingredients, it will always lose to a wet food when it comes to the nutrients.
With wet food, there is no dehydration of the meats and vegetables used, thus the nutrients stay stocked and your dog stays healthy.
Digestion & Health
One aspect of canine diet that is often overlooked is how easily can your dog digest his food? You have to remember, no matter what you feel or think, dogs are carnivores by nature. This means that they have shorter digestive tracks in order to expel the meat they eat before it rots. When feeding wet, the food is able to be broken down quicker, the nutrients absorbed faster, and the waste expelled before the food can rot.
With dry food, it takes a lot longer to digest the food and get the nutrients from it. However, due to a dog's shorter digestive track, the food is expelled before the body gets a chance to break down the nutrients in there.
This leads to the body expelling food before it has had a chance to take advantage of the healthy bits there.
Other aspects of health are often overlooked as well. Tooth and gum health are a very important part of your dogs daily regimen. There is a common belief that dry food helps keep your dog's teeth clean. While this is true, the hard bits of kibble that scrape the debris from your dog's teeth also scrub away the enamel, allowing bacteria to settle on the now exposed tooth. It also damages your dog's gums thanks to it's coarse nature.
Lastly, you need to be thinking about pro-biotics. Pro-biotics are a natural, healthy kind of bacteria, that help your dog in digestion and fighting off illness. While dry food can contain types of pro-biotics, wet food will contain not only a broader range, but healthier bacteria, due to it's more hospitable living environment.
Ease of Feeding
This is usually the deal breaker for many people. Kibble is very easy to feed. Unfortunately, most people overfeed, taking one or two scoops each meal for their pup, or worse, filling the bowl and letting the dog eat whenever he wants. This leads to obesity in dogs, and also puts them in a mindset of not having a set schedule, which can lead to behavior problems.
Wet food, however, usually comes in packages that are meant to be fed in one sitting.
With products such as the Catzenpup Automatic Wet Food Feeder, you don't even have to worry about opening the package! The feeder takes care of everything for you, making it even easier than free feeding kibble!
Which is Better?
When it comes down to it, wet food is the better option. With the helpful pro-biotics, less abrasive texture and more nutrient packed chunks, it will make your dog healthier, happier, and it could even help them live longer.