Dry dog food
When you look at the dry food shelves in shops, you can certainly see that the choice is much greater than it was just a few years ago. Dry food is now the most popular and the range is extensive. They are classified according to their purpose and prices range from several to several dozen zloty per kilogram. So when choosing, it’s worth knowing what to look out for.
Advantages of dry food
Dry food is convenient to give. They are widely available and do not require additional preparation. What’s more, they provide your dog with a complete range of nutrients (complete food). They contain all necessary vitamins and minerals. Dry foods, due to their hardness, also help to fight tartar. Price is also an advantage – they are relatively cheap and can be stored for a long time, even in larger quantities.
Feeding dry food – disadvantages and risks
Dry food is very calorific and has a low water content (around 10%). This means that care must be taken to ensure that your dog is fed the correct amount and that fresh water is always available. Feeding too much dry food can lead to obesity and health problems for your dog. Guidelines are usually found on the packaging (grams of food for active dogs, small dogs, large dogs, etc.), but it’s also a good idea to make your own observations and correct the dosage.
Dry foods can also go rancid – so keep them in closed containers. I would also advise avoiding those sold by weight – we can’t be sure how long it’s been there. When using dry food exclusively, it’s also worth changing the type of food once in a while. At some point, a dog may become too used to a particular food and reject others, which can be a problem if it needs to change (e.g. for health reasons).
Food types and composition
Dry foods also allow the precise nutritional requirements of dogs with special requirements to be met. Specialty foods include:
- dry foods for seniors (low protein content, due to the kidneys,
- dry food for dogs with diabetes,
- dry food for overweight dogs,
- dry food for dogs with allergies (often contains lamb, which is not very allergenic),
- dry food for dogs with liver disease,
- dry food for puppies (high protein) and adult dogs.
Analysis of the composition, apart from specialised food, will allow us to determine the quality. It is worth paying special attention to the packaging – here the manufacturer is obliged to give the actual composition, without “marketing tricks” and obscuring the reality. It is beneficial to choose food with the highest possible content of meat and relatively low content of grains (it is necessary to be vigilant, because different types of grains may be given as separate ingredients). Even once we have bought the food, to the best of our knowledge – it is necessary to observe the dog’s behaviour. We may find an ingredient that sensitises our pet – then a change and a different choice will be necessary.