It’s time to talk about every dog’s favourite time of the day- feeding time! You might think it’s just a matter of dropping some food in a bowl and letting them go wild, but really, there’s quite a lot to consider when it comes to dinner time.
Just like you put time and thought into your own meals, your dog will appreciate you doing the same for them. It’s not simply a matter of the biggest bulk for the lowest cost- different dogs have different nutritional needs and tastes.
We personally recommend Royal Canin branded foods- we believe they offer the best balance between cost, quality and, of course, taste (the fact that it’s also one of the most commonly vet-recommended brands doesn’t hurt either).
Of course, there are other brands out there that are perfectly good too and even within the Royal Canin family of foods, there’s a bewildering range. That’s why we thought it’d be a good idea to talk about some of the things to consider when it comes to selecting your doggy’s dinner.
- Wet vs Dry
We could write a whole post about the various pros and cons of the kibble vs can debate (and we might in the future) but today we’ll just have a quick overview.
Wet and dry foods contain mainly the same ingredients. The main difference is that canned food is soaked in gravy or jelly where as dry is pulverised, shaped and then baked.
The main advantages of canned food are it has a stronger taste, more moisture content (important if your dog doesn’t drink as much as they should). It can be a great way to get a dog that’s been under the weather or is just a bit fussy to eat.
With dry food there are a few advantages. Firstly, dental health- hard food encourages chewing which helps fight plaque and tartar. Convenience – dry food goes off more slowly and it’s easy to portion out for the day. Enrichment- you can try techniques like scatter feeding, brain training puzzles and slow feeders with kibble. Dry foods can also be the most economical option- you can get a lot for your money.
We’d recommend a mixture with the majority of your dog’s meals being dry food and canned being a treat.
- Puppy Vs Adult vs Senior
Surely dogfood is dogfood? Not at all! Just like with humans, dogs have different needs at different times in their lives.
A puppy grows at a prestigious rate. They also like to bounce around getting into trouble. That requires a lot of resources in terms of energy and nutrition, so puppy food has been concocted to provide the things they need in a concentrated form.
Adult dogs who’ve reached their full size need less calories and dogs who’ve reached their senior years have different requirements again.
Selecting a food that’s been prepared with your dog’s time of life in mind can help with all kinds of issues and ensure they’re getting the most from their food.
- Large Breed vs Small Breed
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a bigger dog needs more food and a smaller one needs less, and in some ways, this is true. It’s not until you start to read up on it that you discover that it’s actually a lot more nuanced than a simple quantity valuation.
The most obvious difference between the foods aimed at smaller and larger breeds is size. Small dogs have small mouths; big dogs have bigger mouths- obvious, right? Smaller biscuits are easier for smaller dogs to eat and vice versa, but the differences don’t stop there.
A bigger breed has a bigger stomach and mouth, but they also have a slower digestive process, so foods for larger dogs tend to be bulkier but contain less calories. Small dogs tend to have faster metabolisms, so they need higher energy food in smaller quantities.
- Breed Specific Foods
If you come and visit us in store, you might be surprised to find that we stock a range of foods specifically aimed at each of the major breeds. While these are not strictly necessary to ensure your dog is getting all the goodness they need, they do serve a purpose.
Each breed has its own health and welfare requirements. If your dog is of a type with long silky hair, food rich in certain oils can help keep her coat healthy. If your breed is prone to digestive issues, joint problems or another health matter, a carefully selected range of ingredients can help with the effects.
Of course, your dog might be perfectly happy eating a standard-all-purpose food and never have any breed-specific issues, or have health problems that aren’t usually associated with their breed.
So, in conclusion, there’s a lot more to think about than simply biggest bowl for your buck when it comes to dinner. Each dog is an individual and their meals should reflect their particular needs and tastes. If you’d like to discuss your doggy’s diet, we’re more than happy to talk you through our range of foods and help out with any tips and tricks.