With so many doggy diet fads out there, we’re frantically asking ourselves ‘what should I feed my dog?’
As a dog owner, you’ll know that proper nutrition is crucial for their well-being. Team Gudog have tried to compile a simple overview of what might work for you and your four legged friend.
What should I feed my dog?
There are 5 main types of food to choose from:
- Dry, often referred to as kibble
- Wet, which often comes canned
- Semi-moist, which you’ll generally find in resealable pouches
- Fresh, home-cooked or raw
We’ve spoken to 100s of pet parents, and the consensus is that you need to find the combination that works best for you and your woof monster.
The most important thing to consider is whether what you’re putting in comes out as dark brown, firm, formed stools or not. You’ll also have plenty of other things to consider such as budget, storage facilities and preparation time.
Before you try and test with your pooch, we’ve defined the five main types of pup food below:
There is a huge range of dry ‘complete’ food in the market but they’ll all tend to have a chicken and rice/corn base. Of all five, it’s probably the easiest to portion manage, but the lack of moisture means you’ll need to ensure your dog stays well hydrated.
It’ll come in large, resealable bags, which may seem like a big investment, but because there’s often so much goodness packed into each little nugget you won’t need to use much for each feed.
Our friends over at jugdog.co.uk have compiled a list of the UKs best reviewed dry food, which you can check out here.
Most pups will find wet food highly quaffable; more so than dry food (probably because it’s got such a strong smell). Other than the moisture content, it’s not that different to dry food in that it has the same base; chicken with rice or corn. So it’s a good option if your dog isn’t a big drinker because it’s both nutritious and hydrating.
Here is a list, again compiled by our mates over at jugdog.co.uk, of the top reviewed wet foods in the UK.
Semi-moist dog food isn’t that dissimilar to wet food, though it does tend to contain more sugar, salt and preservatives per gram than either dry or wet dog food.
It’s probably best reserved for an occasional treat for most pups.
Fresh, home-cooked and raw food
A whole food diet has been proven to prolong the life of us humans, and it’s likely the principle is the same for doggos. If you have the time and budget to make your pooches food from scratch, go for it!!
Generally a doggo diet should be made up of 50% vegetables, 40% meat protein and 10% grain carbohydrates.
Though before you start you might want to consult your vet as it’s important that you understand exactly what nutrients your particular breed of dog needs.
If you get it right, it can lead to a happier, healthier dog, less food waste and peace of mind for you.
When it comes to raw food, this diet is exactly what it sounds; uncooked beef, tripe, chicken, raw veggies.
It’s indisputable that since the introduction of processed pet food, health issues such as obesity, food intolerances, dental conditions and cancers have become more common in our canine companions.
It makes sense; if you think about it, doggos survived in the wild for 1000s of years on a diet of raw meat, and whatever else they could find.
We’re now feeding them an ever more complex diet, and the question prevails; do we need to?
Totally up to you, but if you’re thinking about switching your pup to a raw food diet, it’s always best to consult your vet to make sure it’s truly the best thing for them.
By extracting the moisture from food, you inhibit the growth of microorganisms.
The benefit of this when it comes to dog food is that you can dehydrate vast qualities of food such as meat, veggies and grains and pack them into cupboard friendly pouches, with no additives and all the natural goodness preserved.
Our friends at Pure actually create really great dehydrated dog food which our office dogs love.
It’s got all the nutritional benefits of fresh food, but without the storage and prep hassle of home-made or raw food.
You just need to mix a scoop or two with water, and it’s ready for your pup to gobble up.
The other food type: treats
Treats are a great way to bond with your dog, to train them, and even to help them keep their teeth healthy. That said, treats should be given sparingly, never more than 15% of their total calorie intake. Our friends over at Hill’s Pet have written a great article on ‘healthy treating‘.
Top tips on doggy nutrition:
- There are certain foods which are dangerous, such as grapes and chocolate. You can read up on this here.
- Regularly clean food bowls, and refresh water a couple of times a day.
- If you’ve bought a huge sack of dry food, and your dog isn’t sold on it, try soaking it in a little warm water to soften it, or mix in a little wet food.
- If you want to change your dog’s diet, do it gradually over a period of a couple of weeks. Sudden changes in diet will throw their digestion out of whack.
- According to the PDSA’s 2018 annual report, Obesity in dogs is on the rise, with 81% of vets reporting a rise in obese pets. So, no matter how cute, don’t be taken in by your dog’s little puppy dog eyes when they are begging for food!!