Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dry dog food

Many dry foods can be less expensive, per pound, than their canned (wet) or semi-moist counterparts, and are less likely to spoil than an open can. In addition, dry food is much more nutritious than canned food because of the canned food`s high water/moisture content (anywhere from 60%-90%, depending on brand).

Wet dog food

Wet or canned dog food is significantly higher in moisture than dry or semi-moist foodBecause the food is sterilized after being canned (sometimes it is also cooked in the can), it is often easier to ensure the sterility of wet food. A given wet food will often be higher in protein or fat when compared to a similar kibble on a dry matter basis (a measure which ignores moisture), however, given the canned food`s high moisture content, it is hardly a significant source of nutrition. Canned food should always be used alongside dry food (kibble) to ensure proper nutrition. Grain gluten and other protein gels may be used in wet dog food to create artificial meaty chunks, which look like real meat.

Alternative dog food

In recent years, new types of dog food have emerged on the market that differ from traditional commercial pet food. Many companies have been successful in targeting niche markets, each with unique characteristics.A non-alcoholic "beer" for dogs (Kwispelbier) is made in the Netherlands from beef extract and malt.

Popular Alternative Dog Food Labels:

  • Frozen or Freeze-Dried, comes in raw or cooked (not processed) form. The idea is to skip the processing stage traditional dry/wet dog food goes through. This causes less destruction of the nutritional integrity. To compensate for the short shelf life, products are frozen or freeze-dried.
  • Dehydrated, comes in raw and cooked form. Products are usually air dried to reduce moisture to the level where bacterial growths are inhibited. The appearance is very similar to dry kibbles. The typical feeding methods include adding warm water before serving.
  • Fresh or Refrigerated, produced through pasteurization of fresh ingredients. Products are lightly cooked and then quickly sealed in a vacuum package. Then they are refrigerated until served. This type of dog food is extremely vulnerable to spoiling if not kept at a cool temperature and has a shelf life of 2–4 months, unopened.
  • Homemade Diet often comes in a bucket or Tupperware-like package. In the past this was thought to be a diet that owners create themselves. However, recently, many small companies have begun to home-cook dog dishes and then sell them through specialty stores or over the Internet. Many pet owners feed dogs homemade diets. These diets generally consist of some form of cooked meat or raw meat, ground bone, pureed vegetables, taurine supplements, and other multivitamin supplements. Some pet owners use human vitamin supplements, and others use vitamin supplements specifically engineered for dogs.