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Cook for your dog | Making dog food from scratch for your active dog

Commercial Dog Food

Deciding on what commercial dog food to buy your dog can be overwhelming. With all the options available  like kibble, canned, frozen, organic etc. there’s now way of telling what is best. 

Most dog owners choose to feed their dogs a commercially prepared diet. But even a dog food labeled organic, premium or super premium is no guarantee that the manufacturer used only the  highest quality ingredients available. The dog food industry is well regulated but many terms often applied to dog food are not. The more knowledgeable you are about dog food the better you can understand what the label actually means. Making you more prepared to make the best choice for your dog. 

Types of dog food choices

There are two common nutritional choices of commercial dog food. We have kibble and canned varieties. Both kibble and canned dog foods have basic differences but both contain protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fat. 

Kibble and canned food each have their advantages. Some people like to mix them, which gives their dog a little of each. 

kibble dog food

When removing the water from kibble dog food the process of extrusion is used. This dries the dog food out making it hard and crunchy. All crunchy dog food you find in bags is referred to as “kibble”. During the extrusion process high pressure and temperatures are used, resulting in reduced vitamins and enzymes originally present in the meat and grains. To replace what was lost, manufactures spray the kibble with vitamin spray and fat to bring proportions up to the recommended levels. Flavorings are also added to make the kibble more appetizing to dogs. 

Kibble doesn’t look like chicken and rice, or beef and corn. Although the label says these ingredients are in the food you would never be able to tell. 

The process of turning basic food ingredients into kibble is designed to best preserve the nutrients in the original ingredients while creating a food with a long shelf life and dogs find appetizing. 

Some of the benefits of kibble dog food is that the cost is significantly lower than canned dog food, depending on what brand you buy. Kibble lasts a lot longer than canned dog food after it has been opened. There is no need to refrigerate kibble. Fiber is also a lot higher in kibble than canned dog food. There are a large variety of custom formulas available in the form of kibble dog food. 

canned dog food

Canned dog food retains its initial moisture content, so it is mandatory to be sealed in a can to keep fresh. Eliminating the extrusion process from canned food allows the ingredients to retain vitamins and enzymes. 

The taste and smell of canned dog food is more appetizing to dogs and great for picky eaters. The food is already soft and easy to chew. Canned dog food has a longer shelf life. There is a lot of moisture in the food so it can actually help hydrate dogs.