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Which dog food is best?

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During your research on good dog food, you may be confused by conflicting information. For example, there are those who claim that raw meat is the very best thing for your dog, while others call this excessive food hype. Who is right, and do these people perhaps have commercial interests in their opinions? In this article, we want to answer some questions that can help you make an informed choice about your dog’s food.

Dog food – should you go for the best kibble or is it better to give canned or even raw meat?

What types of dog food are there?

We start by distinguishing between dry dog food, canned dog food and raw meat. In these types of dog food, the ingredients correspond for the most part. Namely, they consist mainly of meat. Dog kibble contains grains in addition to this meat to provide a dry texture. Canned dog food often has added starch in the form of potato or grains. Dog kibble and canned food have been made sterile during processing, while raw meat still contains all kinds of bacteria. Some additives have also been added to keep the food good longer.

Why are grains added to my dog food? Can my dog digest this?

Dry or canned dog food is very practical. It is hygienic and takes little effort to buy and give. To produce meat in kibble form, carbohydrates are needed. These are obtained from grains. Carbohydrates are also often added in canned food. A dog can digest these grains; its digestive system is adapted to eat plants and grains and get energy from them. This is because a dog, like its ancestor the wolf, is a prey animal, eating not only the organs and bones, but also the stomach and intestinal contents of the prey. These stomach and intestines contain plants and grains.

Is cheap dog food of worse quality than more expensive dog food?

There are quality differences in dog food. However, you can assume that all European complete foods adhere to the law. This stipulates the minimum nutritional values that dog food must meet. It is likely that the cheapest brands will not provide quality beyond this minimum requirement. Also, cheaper brands will use cheaper ingredients. This is not necessarily a bad thing because more expensive ingredients are not necessarily healthier. What you can assume with more expensive brands is that they exercise better controls over their final product and possibly add additional nutrients. So while quality differences certainly exist, there is no dog food that is of poor quality.

What are the benefits of giving raw meat?

Proponents of giving raw meat claim that sterile foods such as canned and kibble foods do not optimally affect a dog’s intestinal flora. Raw meat is said to be better for intestinal flora (presence of natural bacteria), for teeth (less tartar) and for feces (fewer and firmer turds). A food allergy is easier to resolve with raw meat because certain meats can be avoided. Allergies to grains or gluten are also not a problem with this food.

What are the disadvantages of feeding raw meat?

Giving raw meat is considerably more laborious and also more expensive than ready-made food. Because the natural bacteria are still present in the meat, it is necessary to work very hygienically. However, bacteria that are good for your dog can be harmful to humans. In addition, raw meat may contain excessive levels of the thyroid hormone T4, which can eventually cause your dog’s thyroid gland to work too fast. This is a nasty disease. In theory, this hormone could also be in canned and kibble foods, but has not yet been found in excessive concentrations. It is possible that heating during production plays a role in this.

What is best for my dog?

Your dog tells you best which food he does well on. If your dog is healthy, shiny, has no skin or stool problems and likes the food you have made a good choice. Even if it is a cheap variety of dog food. After all, cheap can be good enough. If your dog does have problems, you might consider taking a critical look at the food as well. When switching to other food, do so gradually and seek advice to avoid digestive problems.”

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