beagle eating in bowl
© Pixabay

Everything you need to know about dry dog food

By Dawn Parrish Content Writer

Updated on the

The diet you feed to your pet can make an enormous impact on their health and well-being. But which to choose? Here we give the reasons why a dry dog food is the best choice.

Why your dog needs a good diet

Without a doubt, food is the number one, most important feature of your dog’s life. His diet provides everything he needs on a daily basis. He needs a vast array of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is his diet that will determine not only the condition of your dog’s health, how much energy he has for exercise but also how long he is likely to live. From being a tiny puppy through to old age, it’s important to get your dog’s diet just right. Choose the wrong diet and this can lead to life-long health problems and an obese dog. Likewise, the correct choice will give you a healthy, slim dog who is in tip-top condition.

Pros and Cons of Dry Dog Food

Many owners, when making their choice of which diet to offer their dogs, question is dry food good for dogs? To answer this we have taken a look at the argument for and against feeding a dry dog food product.

Store dry dog food in airtight containers©Pixabay

Pros for Dry Dog Food

# It’s very convenient to store dry dog food. It can normally be stored in a container that is airtight. It is also more economical if you have several dogs to feed.

# Dry pet food aids canine oral health. The chewing action of the dry kibble clears tartar build up and to reduces plaque on the dog’s teeth.

# There is no worry that a bowl of dry dog food will spoil if left out for several hours. Your pet can eat as and when he needs to, even when you are away from home during the day.

Cons for Dry Dog Food

# If you buy your dry dog food in large sacks, once opened it either needs to be used up quickly, or decanted into smaller airtight containers. Storage may be an issue for larger, bulk bags of dry dog food.

# When your pet eats dry food, he doesn’t take on any additional liquid, as he would with wet food. Always offer fresh drinking water to prevent dehydration.

# If your dog has renal or urinary issues, you may be advised not to feed a dry diet, due to the need for additional water consumption.

How are dry dog foods manufactured

Kibble - a diet of dry dog food©Pixabay

Dried dog food diets can be produced and cooked in several different ways. They are generally made from ground and dried ingredients to produce the best, dry dog food.

Extrusion – This is certainly the most common method when manufacturing dry pet food. First of all, dry ingredients are ground and then they are passed through a factory-size steam cooking process. The mixture is then fed through an extrusion procedure. Finally, the kibble is allowed to dry, cool and then coated with oils and fats to heighten the flavours. Because of the high temperatures and pressures involved in the process, critics argue that nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and amino-acids can be destroyed. However, in contrast, advocates believe that the baking procedure improves digestibility and removes parasites from the mix.

Baking – This method of producing dry dog food requires a portion of wheat gluten in each mix to bind the kibble. It does seem that more of the nutrients are undamaged, as the process requires a lower pressure to manufacture the biscuits.

Cold pressing – Because this method of manufacture is relatively new, it’s not yet readily available in pet food stores. The procedure uses neither high pressures nor temperatures to make these dry dog foods.

Air drying –Requires a stream of heated air to be passed over the food. Water is removed through the process of evaporation. Above all, this air-drying method causes less destruction of the enzymes, vitamins and proteins during the cooking process.

Quality of dry dog food varies greatly

At present, there are many variables and ranges of complete dry dog foods available in pet stores and supermarkets. However, the quality of many of these foodstuffs does vary widely with many containing corn, chicken or rice. To ensure that your dog gets all the nutrients that he needs, if possible opt for a premium range which tend to have the better quality ingredients. Chose a range specifically geared to their size and breed and certainly, if possible, purchase the best brand you can afford.

Your initial cash outlay for many of these dry dog foods might appear quite expensive in the first place. Due to the fact that you can feed a less amount of a premium range than you would a cheaper brand, the cost works out quite comparative, or even less.

How to store dry dog food

It is certainly more economical to buy larger sacks of dry dog food, but once opened, can very quickly turn stale. How to tell if dry dog food is bad – you will soon tell as it loses its smell and taste. Likewise, out-of-date kibble can smell quite rancid. Look out for infestation of storage mites, and fungal and bacterial growth. Prevent this by storing in an airtight container, such as a strong plastic bin with a tight-fitting lid. If you buy smaller bags of this complete food for your pet, keep it fresh by folding over the top of the bag and sealing with a clip. This will retain its freshness for several days.

Because there is such a large range of dry dog food available for our pets, the majority of owners generally find a brand that their dog likes and then stick to it. Remember too, that dry pieces of kibble can be used as rewards when a dog is being trained. Above all, if you do offer as treats, reduce the size of the meal portions you offer, you don’t want an obese dog.

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