Dry dog food, or kibble as it can otherwise be known, is often misunderstood, with many high-quality foods having plenty of nutritional quality to them. However, there are equally some examples of sub-standard kibble that don’t offer the kind of healthy and balanced diet your dog needs.
Here, we’re going to look at what you need to know about dry dog food and how to make sure you’re making the best possible choice for them.
The good bits
One of the biggest advantages of dry dog food and kibble is that it is very convenient, easy to store, easy to feed, and can be found just about anywhere.
You can store it in bulk as it keeps for some time; making it ideal if you don’t have easy access to shops, work unsociable hours or travel a lot.
Commonly known as kibble – there’s a fair bit to know about dry dog food and the various types available to you.
Dog nutritional science has come on leaps and bounds over the years. In addition to foods being available in a range of formulas for dogs at different stages of life, different breeds, and different health requirements, there are even options available for dogs with extreme sensitivities, allergies and medically driven dietary needs. For instance, Royal Canin offers a variety of different foods for different breed types as well as foods for small adult dogs, puppies and those with food allergies.
High-quality kibble can offer all the nutrition a dog needs. As an added bonus, it also doubles up well as training treats. It is easy to keep in a bag or pocket and, if your dog is on a diet while trying to shed a few pounds, you can use some of his or her food allowance for training – therefore not adding any additional calories.
When looking at dry dog foods, it is important to look at the ingredients and the nutritional make up to ensure it is going to cater for all of your dog’s needs. Avoid getting confused with mixer kibble which is often fed as an accompaniment to another food source as opposed to offering a ‘complete’ diet.
Things to be aware of…
While brands like James Wellbeloved or Fish 4 Dogs can help to ensure your dog has the best possible diet, there’s no denying that there are a lot of cheaper, low-quality dry dog foods on the market as well.
Many of them will use deceptive packaging to make their ingredients sound high-quality, so it’s important to read the label fully to make sure that you’re getting a decent meal for your dogs. Be aware of foods that are heavy on ‘fillers’. Lots of grains or oats are often used to ‘bulk out’ cheaper dry dog foods leaving the meat and vegetable content to a bare minimum.
While relatively uncommon, dry dog food is sometimes subject to product recalls too. Sometimes this is due to manufacturing errors, storage issues or problems with contamination. However, modern production and packaging methods mean that this is rare these days.
If you’re in doubt and need some advice though, please speak with a member of the team in store and they will be able to find the ideal food for your pet and your pocket.
Things to consider..
Dogs, like humans, have food allergies. Grain in particular – especially when used in high quantities as a filler – can cause gut and skin irritations. Grain free complete foods like Seven offer a fantastic alternative, often using vegetables like sweet potato as the carbohydrate source as opposed to wheat.
Increasingly popular, cold pressed dry foods – like Tribal – are also a great option. Cold pressing uses lower temperatures to produce the food resulting in a very nutritious and digestible kibble. It’s a bit like steaming vegetables rather than boiling them. The kibble slowly breaks down in your dog’s stomach – rather than swelling – making it much gentler and better for digestion.
Some owners find that their dogs aren’t as keen on dried food; preferring a wetter, more aromatic food choice. They also worry about feeding older and younger dogs a harder kibble because of their teeth. In both instances, adding a little warm water to the bowl can help to soften the kibble and release all the wonderful aromas; tempting even the fussiest of eaters.
Average costs of feeding your dog the best kibble
Kibble, in general, can be much more affordable than a raw of wet food diet. However, the costs can still vary widely. We all want the best for our pets and so, for the sake of their health, we recommend investing in the best kibble, for your budget, that meets all of their nutritional requirements. A properly fed dog is a healthy dog.
Dry dog food comes at a range of different price points. Brands such as Royal Canin tend to cost in the region of £40 – £50 for 10 – 12kg bags. A good mid-range food, such as Autarky, costs in the region of £30 – £40 for the same size.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing an all-dry dog food or kibble diet for your pooch, regardless of what age they are. What matters is that you’re taking care to select a food that has the nutritional quality they need and is specifically designed to meet their needs, given their age, breed, and health demands.
If you have any doubt about choosing the right food for your dog, why not pop in store to see us. We’re on hand and always happy to help!