Dog Nutrition & Feeding
Why does dog nutrition & feeding matter?
Nutrition is a very important factor in your dog’s life. Through their diet, they have to get everything their body needs; from the nutrients needed to keep their organs functioning, to the energy needed to fetch those balls!
From a puppy right through to adulthood, it is diet more than anything else that will determine not only the quality, but also the length of your dog’s life. But with such a variety of food available, it can be difficult to know what to feed your dog… and unfortunately there is no one correct answer.
Different dogs thrive on different diets. Firstly, you will need to choose which type of food you would like to feed: dry, wet, raw, complete or complementary. Raw diets have become very popular over the last few years as have ‘cold pressed’ diets due to their benefits and increased protein for your dog.
Types of dog food
Complete feeds are by far the most popular choice for dog owners. These types of feed will include all the nutrients needed for your dog to stay healthy and happy. Complete foods can be wet, dry or raw.
Complementary foods are also another popular choice, although because they don’t contain all the nutrients your dog needs, other foods will need to be added to the diet.
Raw food diet
Regarded by many as being the most natural way to feed your dog, raw diets have become increasingly popular over the years. Many people prepare their own raw diets, however there are also companies who have developed pre-prepared and packaged raw foods. The ‘Natural Instinct’ feed company even offer the food in both frozen blocks and nuggets. These provide all the benefits of feeding raw food but with the convenience of dry food. Studies have shown that feeding raw protein has many benefits for your dog, including healthier skin, shinier coat, improved digestion and reduced allergy symptoms.
Dry dog foods are easy to prepare, store and feed, and this is probably the reason why the majority of dogs are fed a dry diet. Although all dry feeds are made from dried and ground ingredients, they can be cooked in a number of different ways. ‘Cold pressing’ is a new technique where by the fresh meat is gently mixed together, pressed into kibble pellets and then very quickly heated at 40-75°C. The use of cooler temperatures in the production allows a lot more of the essential nutrients in the ingredients to remain intact, producing a more ‘natural’ product. This means that the quality of the proteins is better than in standard dry dog food, and more of the vitamins and minerals are preserved.