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Food glorious food; dog nutrition explained

There are several ways to a dog’s heart:

  1. Buy food 
  2. Make them food
  3. Be food
  4. Food

For our canine pals, the belly really does rule the heart. Taking this into account, you need to make sure you get their meals right! With a huge range of dog food varieties on supermarket shelves and a wealth of conflicting advice on what’s healthy and what’s not, making the right choices when it comes to feeding your pup is easier said than done. Read on for Meatiful’s simple guide on the different food options available and make sure your dog is getting everything they need to live a happy and healthy life. 

Wet dog food Vs dry dog food

It’s a tale as old as time and a topic that is still heavily debated in the pet food industry: wet food versus dry food. Wet food tends to be less calorific, higher in water and generally more pleasing to a dogs’ sophisticated palate. On the other hand, dry food stays fresh for longer, can be left out without smelling and there is even evidence to suggest that it helps clean a dog’s teeth. The varieties you choose should depend on your dog’s breed and size as you want to make sure they are getting all the calories they need for optimum cognitive function and physical health. 

Verdict: A combination of wet and dry food seems to work best for most dog parents. Both provide essential vitamins and minerals, as long as you’re choosing high-quality products with the right composition. Remember: there tends to be a lot more calories in dry food than wet food so keep this in mind when distributing portions. 

Raw dog food Vs cooked dog food

Traditionally, we’ve always fed our fur babies cooked dog food, but there has been a huge shift in preference towards raw food in recent years. Many claim that a raw diet helps promote shinier coats and healthier skin, improve energy levels and improve digestion. Having said that, the research around raw food is inconclusive and there are various risks associated with dogs eating raw food. For example, dogs sustaining injuries from eating bones. Source 

It is also worth considering the time and effort involved with feeding raw food. It needs to be handled with care and prepared in a sanitary environment. Contamination is also much more likely with raw food, so if there’s anyone in your house that may be immunocompromised- it’s probably best to stay clear. 

That aside, just because studies on the benefits of raw food are limited, this doesn’t mean that the diet isn’t beneficial, it just means that there isn’t enough evidence for us to fully get on board. Ultimately, the decision to go raw and overall responsibility remains with you, the owner. 

Verdict: While many claim there are huge benefits to a raw food diet, it’s perhaps best to follow a more traditional path until there is a bit more science behind the advantages of raw food. Meatiful offers some delicious raw dog food alternatives. 

Homemade dog food Vs shop bought dog food

Cooking is an act of love and what better way to show your pet you love them than with a homemade meal? There are many benefits of making your own dog food; you know exactly what is going into the food you prepare and there’s also the added bonus that dogs can’t get enough of people food! Make sure to use plenty of fresh meat and vegetables and stay away from any ingredients that may be toxic to your furry friend. 

However, it is worth remembering that it can be hard to get the nutritional balance right when it comes to making your own food. Dogs’ nutritional needs vary enormously from breed to breed so you might need to do quite a lot of research before you whip up a homemade dog dish. Shop bought dog food is ideal because the experts have already done all the research for you, so you can feel safe knowing that your pal is getting exactly what they need.

Verdict: There are countless benefits to making homemade dog food, but if you’re going to go down this route, make sure you do plenty of research in order to keep your pet safe and healthy. 

Gluten-free dog food Vs non gluten-free dog food

As trends for the way we eat change, trends for the way we feed our dogs change too. Gluten-free dog food is free from certain grains, such as wheat, barley, rye, oats & soy. Sometimes dogs are intolerant to these grains, so if your pooch has a sensitive tummy and you’re not sure why, trying out gluten-free or grain-free dog food is well worth it.

However, it is important to note that just because our eating habits are changing, this doesn’t mean gluten containing grains are necessarily bad for dogs. Grains contain carbohydrates which are essential for energy and well-being. Every dog is different and whether they can tolerate a kind of food or not is down to the individual pup.

Verdict: Both gluten-free and non gluten-free dog food can meet a dog’s nutritional needs and be part of a healthy and balanced diet. If your dog is showing signs of an intolerance, it is worth trying gluten-free dog food to see if the change in diet helps. 

Hypoallergenic dog food Vs non hypoallergenic dog food 

There are several culprits when it comes to allergy triggers in dogs. These are commonly wheat, soya, dairy, eggs and beef. Whilst many dogs will tolerate these ingredients just fine, some dogs have a sensitive tummy and do better on a single protein source, without any of the nasties that are added to a lot of dog food varieties.

Meatiful are proud to provide single-source, hypoallergenic dog food that will leave your pooch feeling happy and satisfied. If your dog suffers from an upset tummy, skin irritation or is scratching excessively (without the presence of fleas!) then you may want to give our range a try.

Verdict: Many dogs thrive on non hypoallergenic food but if your fur baby is showing signs of a food allergy, switch their diet to hypoallergenic and see if their symptoms improve. Find out more about hypoallergenic dog food right here.