As a dog owner, one of the most important decisions you will make on behalf of your canine buddy is what to feed him. Not only does the quality of ingredients vary wildly between different pet food manufacturers, but the labels and nutritional values on the labels can be quite confusing. In this article, your local Cumberland County vet offers some tips on choosing the right dog food.

Canned Food

Canned food has many supporters, and with good reason. Overall, canned food often has more meat content and less preservatives than kibble. It is also less processed, and has a higher moisture content. On the downside, canned food is more expensive than dry food, and it doesn’t last very long, once served. There are some situations when wet food is the better choice. If your dog is sick, for instance, and doesn’t have much of an appetite, he may be more inclined to eat if given wet food. Dogs with small mouths, teeth problems, or jaw issues may also do better on wet food.

Dry Food

There are some definite advantages to giving Fido dry food. Dry food is cheaper, lasts longer, doesn’t need to be picked up after a few hours, and is easier to store. Kibble can also be beneficial to your dog’s dental care. That said, there are often more preservatives, less meat, and more fillers in dry kibble.

Raw Food

While many people support feeding our canine friends raw food, there haven’t been enough studies done to say conclusively whether or not this is beneficial. It is true that a raw food diet would closely resemble the meals a wild dog would eat, but there is a higher risk of parasites with raw food. Most veterinarians still recommend commercial food.

Homemade Food

If you enjoy cooking, why not make Fido’s food? You can use chicken, hamburger, turkey, lamb, or other meats. Just make sure that is has been thoroughly deboned and cooked. Avoid using spices or other seasonings. Boiled rice, veggies, cooked bits of potato, bacon bits, wheat germ, liver powder, eggs, and cheese are a few ingredients you can add. It may take a bit of trial and error to find out what your canine pal likes best.

Do you have any questions about your canine pal’s diet? Please contact us, your local Cumberland County veterinary clinic, at any time.