We all want our dogs to feel good inside and out. And what’s the best way to ensure this? You need to feed your dogs a high-quality diet-your dog’s diet affects their health, mood, energy, and lifespans. But if you’ve taken a trip to the pet store lately, you know how overwhelming it can be to choose a respected brand. And the internet doesn’t help. Every brand claims to be the best.
To make things more complicated, many owners rave about raw diets over anything else. They claim to be a cure-all and better than any store-bought brand on the market. But what’s the truth here? Let’s see what diet might be best for your dog by comparing dry dog food vs raw dog food.
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Pros And Cons Of Dry Dog Food
We will start the dry dog food vs raw dog food debate by talking about dry pros and cons. Dry dog food is the most common form of feeding our pets since its invention in 1941. And we have come a long way since its creation. Let’s take a look.
Pro #1 Convenience
The most significant advantage of dry food for dogs is its convenience. You can walk into any pet shop in America and find about any brand of dog food. There is no special prep, planning, or storage when it comes to traditional kibble. The most you have to do is measure out the food and place it in the bowl.
It also travels well. So if you are always on the move, you can pack dry food with you. The food won’t spoil before you get to your destination. And it doesn’t matter where that destination is because the kibble can go anywhere you do.
Pro #2 Cheaper
A lot of people tout raw food as being cheaper than dry food. But in reality, you will spend slightly more per pound when you feed raw dog food. And you don’t have to buy low-end food to make it cheaper. Dry dog food costs about $2 per pound, while raw diets can cost anywhere from $2.50-$5 per day.
Pro #3 Regulations
When you buy dry dog food, you can rest assured that your dog will get everything they need. The AAFCO and FDA carefully regulate commercial dog foods. They determine what can go into your dog’s food and minimum nutritional values. So you can feed dry food to your dog and know that they won’t be lacking in any essential vitamin or nutrient.
Pro #4 No Risk Of Mishandling
One big thing to consider with dry dog food vs raw dog food is contamination. Since there is no prework with dry food, you can’t spoil it as quickly. As long as you keep it in an air-tight container, there is no risk. That is a stark contrast from raw food, which you can accidentally contaminate in any part of the prep process.
Pro #5 One For All Needs
You see so many different brands and flavors of dry dog food because there is one for everything. If your dog has allergies, they make food for that. Dogs with medical problems can get prescription foods that follow their treatment plans. There are also so many flavors that finding one for a picky dog is easy. And that’s not even including foods made for all age ranges.
Con #1 Subpar Brands
We know that dry food isn’t all sunshine and daisies. That is why we include several cons, with the first being low-quality foods. Not all companies create food equally. Many cheap brands use corn and rice to fill your dog but do not add nutritional value. They might meet the very minimum of what the AAFCO recommends, but they won’t do much to keep your dog healthy.
Con #2 Preservatives
Preservatives are one of those things that aren’t necessarily bad, but you might want to avoid them. The main reason people avoid preservatives is that it extends food to unnatural lengths of time. A bag of dry dog food can sit there for up to 18 months without being compromised. And that doesn’t sit well with some people that you can’t get around with dry foods.
Con #3 Recalls
Another thing that you have to worry about is if a food has been recalled. Every year our pets get sick, and some die from tainted food. Some of these recalls are voluntary and haven’t hurt a dog yet. But more severe cases impair dogs for life or become lethal. Before investing in any dog food brand, check out their past recall list. If they have too many recalls, you might want to steer clear.
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What is the best dog food recommended by vets?
There are so many great brands that won’t break the band. Personally, of all the top brands that vets recommend most, we believe that Orijen has the best ethics. It is reasonably priced and has everything you would ever want or need in dry dog food.
Pros And Cons Of Raw Dog Food
Is it better to feed your dog raw food? These diets have a lot of excellent benefits, but they come at a cost. Let’s see if you think you can handle it below.
Pro #1 More Than One Variety
It used to be that if you wanted raw dog food, you had to make it yourself. But the market has blossomed in the past ten years. You can now purchase a variety of raw brands online and in-store. There are frozen, dehydrated, and freeze-dried raw diets available for more convenience. So you don’t have to slave away making food to get the benefits your dog needs.
Pro #2 Quality Assurance
When you make homemade dog food, you know exactly what goes into it. If your dog has special needs or allergies, you can tailor the recipe to whatever you want. And if you buy a commercial brand of raw dog food, they usually have limited ingredients. These are foods that you can feel good about feeding your best bud.
Pro #3 Health Benefits
Most people switch to a raw food diet when their pets start to have medical problems. Switching to a diet tailored to their needs has so many benefits. Dogs with energy issues or skin conditions completely change in a matter of weeks. You won’t believe your eyes the change it can have.
Pro #4 Nutrient Dense
You might be wondering, is cooked or raw food better for dogs? The answer is that uncooked foods maintain their vitamins and nutrients better. Raw diets are nutrient-dense and better for your pets. There are no fillers, so every bite counts. Your dogs will eat less to fill up and meet their caloric needs faster. Having such a healthy meal has a few other benefits as well.
For instance, since every bite has everything your dog needs, they poop less. Poop is the waste from foods that we eat. So if your body needs everything you eat, you poop less, and it has less smell. That’s a win-win for you.
Pro #5 Longer Lifespan
Healthy dogs live longer no matter what their breeds average is. Do dogs live longer on raw diet? The answer may surprise you because raw diets can prolong your pup’s life by three years. And who doesn’t want that?
Con #1 Careful
There is a lot that you need to be cautious with when you make raw dog food. Everything needs to be sterile, and food never left out to prevent cross-contamination. You also have to be careful about what you put into the food. You can’t just mix different types of meat and call it a raw food diet. There has to be a balance and vitamins added to keep your dog healthy and strong.
Con #2 Vet Approvals First
While we believe that you should have your dogs checked before any diet change, it is crucial here. Not every dog can handle a raw food diet. Dogs with immune compromise, cancer, kidney, or liver damage should never be on a raw food diet.
Con #3 Not Regulated
Finally, we have regulations. The AAFCO does not regulate homemade raw diets and can cause problems. There is a lot of misinformation out there about what recipe is best. And if you choose the wrong one or tamper with the ingredients to cut corners, your dog’s health is at stake. The exception to this is that most premade diets still follow the recommended AAFCO guidelines.
Can I mix raw egg with dog food?
Yes! This is an excellent way of combining everything you love and need from dry food with raw benefits. If that egg is farm fresh and raised in free-range pastures, it has even more advantages than a regular grocery store egg. Another way to mix in some raw benefits is freeze-dried treats of jerky. Any way your dog can get raw food is excellent for them.
Is Raw Food Better Than Dry Food For Dogs?
That depends on you and your dog’s needs. You can look at the dry dog food vs raw dog food lists above and decide which fits better into your life. You might even find that a middle zone is best for your pets. Some people like the convenience of dry food and give it raw as a treat. Only you can make that decision.
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