If you buy a quality dog food, whether canned or dry, it will provide the nutrition your dog needs. The first ingredient on the list should be an identifiable source of protein, like beef, chicken or lamb. In addition to protein, the food should contain fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. To ensure the food you choose is healthy and nutritious, look for an endorsement by the American Association of Feed Control Officials on the label.
Kibble is the popular choice among pet parents for feeding dogs. The cost is a consideration, as kibble is less expensive than canned food, and it's easy to store. Kibble is nutritionally efficient, meaning there'll be less waste to clean up in the yard and it's good for Ralphie's dental health because it scrapes his teeth clean as he chews.
Canned food has a higher moisture content than kibble. This can be an advantage over dry food if Ralphie is prone to urinary tract infections. And if he's overweight, you can feed him more canned food than kibble because it has less calories by volume. That means your dog will think he's eating as much or more, but he'll be getting the same or even less calories than with dry food.
If preservatives in Ralphie's food is a concern, you'll probably want to choose canned food. Dry kibble is made to be stored at room temperature, and is capable of lasting anywhere from 12 to 18 months because of the large amount of preservatives used in making it. Canned food will last quite awhile, too, as long as it remains unopened. Having the smallest amount of preservatives, though, canned food may only be good for as little as 30 minutes at room temperature. Canned food should be kept in the fridge after opening and used within a couple of days.
Your dog may find the taste of kibble unappealing and become bored with it quickly. Canned food, on the other hand, is more fragrant and therefore more appetizing. If Ralphie is a finicky pooch, canned food could be effective in stimulating his appetite. You can always compromise and mix the two together. Give your dog a kibble to canned ratio of nine to one. He'll get the benefits of kibble with the flavor he's craving from canned and it won't cost much more than if you were feeding him kibble exclusively.
- The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats; Editors of Prevention Health Books
- American Kennel Club: Nutrition and Feeding
- Web MD: Best Dog Food Choices
- Beagles for Dummies; Susan McCullough
- Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine: Nutrition for the Adult Dog
- Airedale Terriers; Dorothy M. Miner
- The Everything Chihuahua Book; Joan Hustace Walker
- Housetraining for Dummies; Susan McCullough
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