Dog food – for a long time no one is the same. Fresh-meat dog food, dry food, wet-dry food or canned food are just a few of the varieties available on the market. For the best friend of man, you certainly expect a good dog food that meets certain requirements and expectations of the dog owners and the dog. The products differ not only in the dosage form but also in their ingredients. We would like to show you all that in our large dog food comparison. In the following guide, you will learn everything about dog food. Among other things, it is about which types of dog food are available, where the differences lie and how a good “Fressi” should be composed for your four-legged friend. It also gives you valuable tips on what to look for when buying dog food.
Top 10 Dog Foods
- Contains one (1) 33 lb. bag of PEDIGREE Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food, Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor
- This dry food recipe helps maintain a healthy lifestyle with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, in the delicious chicken flavor dogs love
- Provides whole grains and helps support healthy digestion
- 40 lb. Bag - Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Chicken & Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
- Real chicken is the ingredient
- Dual-defense antioxidant blend to help support a strong immune system
- ORIJEN Original dog food delivers a diet rich and varied in fresh, whole animal ingredients from free-run chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish, and...
- With 85% quality animal ingredients, ORIJEN nourishes dogs according to their natural, biological needs
- Using fresh and raw animal ingredients, including meat, organs, cartilage, and bone, ORIJEN is the Biologically Appropriate, grain-free diet that dogs...
- PACKED WITH REAL CHICKEN: A recipe made to satisfy your dog’s natural love for meat, this high protein dog food features real chicken to help build...
- HEALTHY INGREDIENTS: Blue Wilderness grain free dog food, made with healthy carbohydrates including sweet potatoes and peas, helps fuel your adult...
- ANTIOXIDANT-RICH LIFESOURCE BITS: A precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal...
- Contains one (1) 15 lb. bag of IAMS Adult Minichunks Dry Dog Food Chicken
- 1st ingredient is real, farm-raised chicken, and features smaller kibble size
- Promotes healthy digestion with a tailored blend of wholesome fibers and prebiotics
- Contains (1) 40 Pound Bag of Dry Dog Food. For a limited time, you may receive either bag while we update our packaging
- Farm-raised chicken is the #1 ingredient
- Natural dog food with added vitamins & minerals
- This dry food is formulated for specific aging needs of your toy or small breed dog
- Easy to digest ingredients help support energy levels, and keep a healthy immune system
- Balanced minerals for heart & kidney health
- Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe for large breed dogs ages 18 months...
- Made with non-GMO ingredients*; no chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy*
- High quality protein source is the #1 ingredient in the delicious dry kibble
- (1) 22.0 pound Bag - Merrick grain free dry dog food real texas beef & sweet potato recipe
- Real deboned beef is always the first ingredient in this poultry free dog food
- Dry food for dogs with 65% protein and healthy fat ingredients and 35% produce, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other natural ingredients
- Breakthrough adult dry dog food clinically proven for weight management
- Over 70 % of adult dogs lost weight within 10 weeks when fed this safe & effective weight management dog food
- Help your grown dog maintain a healthy weight with this dog food
The different types of dog food at a glance
Which dog food is the right food for your dog is not easy to answer. Just as every person has their own nutritional needs, so is the dog. The diet of the dog food must be based on the breed, age, activity and health of the dog. As a “rough” subdivision of the dog food according to the age of the dogs you can see the following: Puppies are still growing and need special nutrients. Besides, their digestive system is not that powerful yet.
In contrast, a full-grown dog needs carbohydrates, fats, oils, proteins, and minerals. His dog food should, therefore, be balanced and offer him what he needs at this age. Older dogs, on the other hand, have a slow metabolism and are less active. That’s why they need less energy, meaning calories. However, dog food should be easy to digest and contain many proteins. In addition, the dog food is differentiated according to composition, method of production and consistency:
Composition – sole or supplementary feed A complete feed – like all products featured in our comparison – is made up to contain all the nutrients your dog needs on a daily basis. Here, the proportion of proteins, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals is further differentiated and the ingredients on the age, activity and any allergies of the four-legged matched. Complete food may be either dry or wet food. Supplementary feed can be flakes that you mix in the feed or even a variety of treats. The declaration tells you what it is all about.
Type of production
- Industrially produced dog food is the most common type of dog food. It is both dry food and wet food, which is available in pet shops and supermarkets. The filling of the wet food produced in industrial production often takes place in cans or small aluminium dishes. The latter are usually filled by the amount so that they are sufficient for one serving. However, some manufacturers of industrial dog food access genetically modified raw materials and additives.
- Natural dog food uses only raw materials derived from plant, animal or other natural sources – unprocessed or further processed. No chemically synthesized additives should be included, however, certain synthetic vitamins and minerals are allowed. When it comes to packaging, there are hardly any differences between them and industrial feed. Natural dog food is also packaged in cans or as dry food.
- Organic feeds must meet stricter ingredient guidelines. Thus, numerous substances such as genetically modified ingredients, hormones, pesticides and the like may not be included. At the same time there are differences: “100 per cent organic” means that no unwanted ingredients were processed. In the case of “Bio”, the ingredients are 95% organic and when labelled “organic”, the product contains 70% organic ingredients. Even with organic food, there is a dry or wet variety.
- Meanwhile, vegan and vegetarian dog food can be found on the market. This dog food gets by without any meat but still supplies the dog with the important nutrients. However, vegetarian and vegan dog foods contain a lot of vegetables and cereals, which can cause problems if the dog is intolerant.
- An alternative and special form of dog feeding is BARF, which stands for “biologically appropriate feeding”. This type of feeding is based on the natural ancestor of the dog – the wolf.
Difference between extruded and cold-pressed dry food For dry food, there is still a difference in the production process – the cold pressing and the extrusion process:
- For cold-pressed dog food, the raw materials are first dried and then ground and mixed. This mass is then pressed by a roller through the openings of a drum wall and comes out as shaped and compressed chunks of food on the other side. This creates temperatures around 90 degrees Celsius, which apparently contradicts the term “cold pressing”. But significantly lower temperatures are used than during extrusion.
- In the extrusion process, the ingredients for dog food are exposed to high temperatures. Many nutrients are lost, which must be artificially added to the feed after processing. As it is being processed, the dough-like extruded feed is conveyed through nozzles at high pressure. Food prepared in this way will swell up when liquid is added.
What is better – wet food or dry food?
As the name of the two dog foods already says, wet and dry food differ in their water content. Dry food contains very little water, which has a positive effect on the longevity of the dog food. Not infrequently, the dry dog food is stable for several years. Dogs fed dry food have to chew more, which in turn is good for the dog’s teeth. The feeding of dry food in the dog is almost the same as brushing your teeth. For dogs who drink very little, feeding with dry food can be a disadvantage. They can dehydrate when fed exclusively with dry food. Therefore, it is important that your dog is supplied with enough water. The advantages and disadvantages of dry food at a glance:
- Long durability
- Good dental care for the dog
- Cheaper than wet food
- Easier feeding on the way
- Easy to store
- By heating during production almost germ-free
- Protects the environment better than canned food
- Often the acceptance by the dog is lower
- The body of the dog is deprived of water, so he has to drink more
- Can lead to overweight faster
- Danger of mould or mite formation if stored incorrectly
- Often contain too much grain
In wet dog food, dog food has a high water content. It is usually portioned in cans or bowls so that a package often corresponds to a meal. Many dogs enjoy wet food much better than dry food. In contrast to dry food, the wet food for dogs – when it is open – can only be kept for a few days. The dog food should be used up to a maximum of 2 days after opening. To summarize, we summarize the advantages and disadvantages of wet food for you once again:
- High acceptance among most four-legged friends
- Packed in handy portions
- Dog does not need so much extra liquid due to the high water content
- If necessary, medicines can be given well with wet food
- Not so easy to store after opening
- Larger dogs require a relatively large amount of space for storage
- Lets you transport and feed harder on the go
- Smells more intense
- Costs more than dry food
- Produces more garbage
Which type of dog food is better or worse for your dog, flat rate can not be said. The dog ultimately decides which dog food he likes, that is, which variant he prefers. To find out which type of dog food your dog tastes better and which one he can tolerate better, try both options.
How much meat, carbohydrates and nutrients are in the dog food?
If you – like most dog owners – look after a balanced and healthy diet for your dog, the quality of the dog food plays a major role. It is important that the dog food contains healthy ingredients and nutrients – whether wet or dry food. Also, the right composition is crucial for a good digestion and the health of your four-legged friend.
How much meat should the food contain?
The digestive tract of the dog is similar to that of the wolf. That’s why it’s all about meat – but not only. Because of the domestication, the genetics and needs of dogs have changed and the digestion of dog and wolf are no longer 100 per cent consistent. In the meantime, the digestive enzyme in the dog can also break down into starch, so that your four-legged friend can thoroughly digest vegetable food in smaller quantities as well. First and foremost, meat provides protein for the dog. Proteins are needed by your four-legged friend for his muscles and bones, for healthy teeth and nerves, strong tissue, and not least to gain energy for his activities.
As a result, a dog senior has less protein requirement because he is not as active as young or adult animals. According to experts, the dog food should generally contain between 50 and 70 per cent of meat or 2 per cent of the bodyweight of your adult dog for daily consumption. Nevertheless, other ingredients in the feed are important. If you only feed meat to your four-legged friend, this can lead to digestive problems, stress on kidneys and liver due to excess protein and deficiency symptoms. High meat content in feed is influenced by several factors related to your dog:
- health status
Vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates in dog food?
In a balanced dog, nutrition include nutrients that are not found in the meat. These include vitamins and minerals found in vegetables and fruits or fatty acids from healthy oils. Also, carbohydrates needs your four-legged friend in his food. For example, wolves eat the stomach and intestinal contents of their prey, and occasionally berries and grass. You’ve probably already seen the latter with your dog. Dogs demonstrably convert starch from rice, potatoes and grain into energy and even need it for their intestinal flora. However, only a small amount of carbohydrates is needed to meet the demand.
Fillers from plant waste such as press residues from oil production, stalks, peelings or straw are readily added to the feed. In contrast, high-quality carbohydrates are found in rice and potatoes, but also in millet, corn, amaranth or buckwheat. Animal fats provide the dog twice as much energy as proteins. Therefore, depending on the activity of the animal, they should only be included in the feed-in moderation to prevent overweight. Lamb and poultry fats are among the saturated fatty acids that are stored in the body as an emergency ration and are intended for bad times. Meat and vegetable oil contain saturated omega-6 fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. In addition, omega-3 oils found in fish are extremely valuable for cell metabolism.
Can I recognize high-quality dog food?
In general, all dog food that is sold in Germany must be marked by specific mandatory information. These include:
- Address and name of the manufacturer
- Date of manufacture or best before date
- feed name
- net weight
- Moisture content in canned food
With regard to the ingredients, various details are permitted by the legislature: A closed declaration only refers to groups of ingredients, for example, such as “with cereals” and “vegetable by-products”. In the semi-open declaration, although the individual raw materials are listed, but not their percentage share. The open declaration indicates both the composition in per cent and the respective raw material sources. This last version is, of course, a sign of high-quality dog food. When you read the label, you should also consider the following three factors:
- Many manufacturers like to split the term cereals into individual groups. The reason: The large total appears smaller. For example, maize starch, maize meal, maize meal, corn gluten or cereals are made from corn. The grains provide carbohydrates and saturate well, but should not be too large.
- The ingredients are named according to their quantity in descending order. The further up the label an ingredient is listed, the more of it is included in the dog food. Conversely, a listing far back means that only a small proportion of the ingredient is found in the feed.
Other aspects of recognizing the quality of the food are:
- Indication of the exact type of meat
- Meat share from 50 to 70 per cent
- Little vegetable and animal by-products and offals included
- Share of cereals and vegetables between 25 and a maximum of 50 per cent
- Free from artificial antioxidants and chemical preservatives
- Contains no or very little industrially produced sugar
- Do not contain inferior fibre such as dry chips
- Balanced ingredients with all necessary vitamins and minerals
The other possible ingredients in dog food, we explain in a nutshell:
- The value for meat and animal by-products indicates the meat content in the dog food. Often it is not exactly stated what it is – it could be both high-quality muscle meat or offal and inferior slaughterhouse waste. The latter include, among other things, sting meat, rumen or lips. Animal by-products include, for example, hair, bones, hooves, blood or beaks.
- Fish and its by-products include fish fillets, fish bones and fish heads. Otherwise, it is the same here as with the meat.
- Vegetable by-products include vegetables, cereals and legumes and oilseeds. Again, it is partly health and digestive food components.
- As technological additives preservatives, release agents and binders, stabilizers, thickening and gelling agents and acidity regulators are referred to. Some of them are important, such as emulsifiers, which provide a consistent consistency of oil and water, while natural antioxidants are supposed to prevent rancid fat.
- Nutritional supplements are designed to support the health of your four-legged friend. They should be in the right composition, for example, as vitamins, provitamins, amino acids, minerals and trace elements.
- To influence the performance and health of your dog, zootechnical additives can be added to the feed – such as stabilizers for the intestinal flora or digestive enzymes.
- The sensory additives influence the appearance and taste of the dog food. These include flavourings and dyes.
FAQ – Frequently asked questions about dog food
Finally, we would like to answer some important and frequently asked questions about dog food.
What do I have to look for in dog food for puppies?
If the weaning of the dog mom is in progress, the puppy food must be administered. Here, puppies need a very different dog food than adult dogs. Thus, the ingredients and ingredients of the puppy dog food must be specially tailored to the growing dogs. For your dog’s baby, the immune system, the bones, muscles, coat and teeth must first develop – and therefore a puppy needs a specially tailored to his needs food. Here is the puppy dog food, the nutrient supply in the foreground. Most importantly, certain essential minerals and vitamins must be present in the puppy food. To ensure that the small puppy’s digestive system is not overwhelmed, dog puppy food also has a lower food volume than adult quadrupeds.
When do I start using dog food for adult dogs?
This depends on the breed: Small to medium breeds are considered adult between the 9th and 12th month. For large breeds, the recommendation is to give adult food from the 12th to the 15th month and for very large breeds a little later – from the 18th to the 24th month.
When should my dog get food for seniors?
Dogs are generally considered senior if they are between 7 and 10 years old. Also here the race plays a role, but also the health of your dog. If this is the case, it is advisable to discuss the feed change with the veterinarian.
How do I best store dry food?
It is important that the dry food is kept hermetically sealed. It is best to use a jar of glass or plastic without plasticizer. Packagings with an internal metal layer are also suitable for storing dry food. In addition, you should store the container or the packaging in a dry and not too warm place. Otherwise, the food can become “sticky” and lose flavour and nutrients. At worst, it can even start mould.
The abbreviation BARF is originally from English and means Born-Again Raw Feeder, which means reborn raw food. In German, it became “biologically appropriate raw feeding”. If you bark, then the dog does not receive any ready-made food. Rather, you give your pet unprocessed food such as meat, offal and bone, supplemented with vegetables, fruits, oils and carbohydrates for a balanced supply of nutrients. In the meantime, you will get retail and freeze-dried BARF food or deep-frozen meat. This you then complete with necessary components.
What should I watch out for when changing the diet of my dog?
The conversion of the feed should be done slowly anyway. In an abrupt change, especially sensitive quadrupeds suffer quickly, sometimes with significant digestive problems. Usually, a phase of one week is recommended for getting used to. On day 1 and 2 you replace the usual food of your dog for about a quarter with the new food. On the third and fourth day, the ratio is half and on the 5th and 6th day the proportion of the new dog food has already reached three-quarters. On day 7 the conversion is completed. If your dog reacts sensitively and gets diarrhoea, for example, in the first few days of changing the diet, you will extend the period of getting used to and increase the addition of the new food only minimally. If your pet does not like it at all, you probably need to look for an alternative.
What to do if my dog does not like dry food?
In that case, it makes sense to soak the dry food. This has several advantages: As dogs often eat dry food beyond hunger, it can easily lead to overweight and also to bloating, because it only swells in the stomach. If, on the other hand, it is already swollen in the water, it makes you feel full faster and is easier to digest. In addition, you will ensure the necessary care of your four-legged friend with fluid right away.
What digestion time does dry food have?
Usually, your dog digests the dry food within 5 to 8 hours. At the same time, it also plays a role in how well the metabolism works. Thus, a young dog usually has a faster metabolism than an older animal. The quantity is also important, as small portions are digested faster than large quantities. In addition, insoluble fibre stays shorter in the stomach than soluble, while low-fat food also causes faster digestion. Also, the more liquid the food you give your dog, the shorter the digestion time.
Are animal experiments carried out for dog food?
In fact, there are quite a few manufacturers who are still conducting animal testing to test the effects and tolerability of their newly developed feeds. PETA’s website publishes a list of manufacturers who do not require animal testing.
Which dog food brands are there?
There are numerous manufacturers of dog food. These include Pedigree, Royal Canin, Josera, Wolf Blood, MERA, Bosch, Animonda or Finnern, which make the brand “Rinti”.