This post was most recently updated on October 8, 2021
Comparing Health Benefits of Fresh Dog Food and Dry Food
Is fresh food better for dogs? As humans, we're becoming increasingly aware of the critical role diet and nutrition can play in our pet's overall health and wellness. After all, if your dog is missing key nutrients in their food, it may lead to more vet visits in the future (another reason to invest in pet insurance!)
So perhaps it's not surprising that this trend has expanded in recent years to include animals, and pet owners are opting into feeding their dogs fresh dog food.
There's always a debate in pet parenting on what's best for our furry family member: whether wet dog food is actually a better alternative to dry kibble.
The history of dog food is quite interesting—most dog owners who relied on their dogs for work typically spent more money on higher-quality foods to put in their dog's diets.
Today, people are spending the most money in history on their dogs’ health, but one of the most controversial topics in the pet space remains the same; nutrition.
Below you’ll find all the advantages and disadvantages of fresh, homemade dog food and dry dog food.
Consider your dog's lifestyle and the following factors to help you decide what is best for your dog.
Fresh dog food is homemade.
Fresh dog food is homemade meals that humans can consume; that consists of high-quality protein sources, veggies, grains, and supplements to meet nutritional needs.
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Preparing fresh dog food is very similar to how we humans meal prep for the week.
Note that when preparing fresh dog food, it is important to talk with a veterinary nutritionist about the nutritional guidelines for dogs to ensure your pup is being fed everything they need to stay strong and healthy.
Dry Dog Food is 'kibble'.
Dry dog food (kibble) is a mixture of meat sources, grains, starches, fruits and & vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. Higher-quality kibble contains more protein than starches, and many brands are even grain-free.
Homemade Dog Food vs Kibble
What are the benefits and drawbacks of fresh vs. dry dog food? There are advantages and disadvantages to each diet. But this debate begins with the question: What do you think is best for your dog?
Not only do you have to consider your dog, but you also need to assess which type of diet best suits your individual lifestyle, too.
Here are the benefits and drawbacks of fresh dog food and dry dog food, including health implications.
Benefits Of Homemade Dog Food
Here are some advantages of feeding dogs fresh food:
- Fresh dog food has a wider variety of healthful foods and nutrients.
- You know precisely what you're feeding your dog.
- Dogs often prefer the taste of fresh meals to dry dog food
- Ingredients are minimally processed.
- Freshly prepared dog food is healthier for dogs and results in marked health improvements for many dogs.
Cons Of Homemade Dog Food
Here are some disadvantages of feeding dogs fresh food:
- When making fresh dog food from home, it can be easy to forget certain ingredients they need – higher risk of nutritional deficiency if you are not careful.
- You will need to add supplements as the food usually prepared is lacking nutrients.
- Feeding canines homemade dog food can be more costly than buying commercial food.
- Making kibble from scratch can be very time-consuming.
Benefits Of Kibble
Here are the advantages of feeding dogs kibble:
- Currently, kibble is the most researched and effective diet you can give to your dog.
- Dry food has a much longer shelf life than fresh dog food.
- Commercial kibble includes a guarantee of nutritional completeness (but always be sure to read the nutrition label on the packaging.)
- Dry dog food has a wide range of flavors and costs.
- Dry food also has health benefits, providing plenty of added vitamins.
- There is no preparation time.
Cons Of Kibble
Here are the disadvantages of feeding dogs kibble:
- Commercial pet food typically includes low-quality ingredients like meat products, added sugar, and preservatives.
- Most kibble brands are carb-heavy (fattening) which can harm dogs' heart health over time.
- It's harder for pet parents to know exactly what they're feeding their dogs and if it is a balanced diet.
- You might have a picky dog that doesn't like the taste of certain dog foods, making it difficult to know which brand to buy.
6 Tips For A Homemade Dog Food Diet:
If you want to give your dog fresh (homemade) dog food, then you should speak to your vet before starting to make sure it's suitable for your pup.
- Keep your pup's health in check and make sure not to add ingredients that may be okay for humans, but harmful to dogs.
- Keep in mind any food allergies your dog may have.
- Always use trusted sources and do not believe every recipe you see online. This will help keep measurements accurate and make meal prepping the fresh dog food easier, so you only have to prepare the menu once a week, at most.
- Know when each meal expires. You don't want to have an emergency vet visit on your hands from feeding your pup rotten food!
- Remember to only use fresh ingredients.
- Dogs don't need us to spice up their food. Don't add salt, pepper, or any other seasoning.
There are plentiful reasons why you might choose fresh food or kibble over the other. Many experts suggest that homemade dog food isn't right for every dog. If you prefer to feed your dog fresh food meals, you should take extra precautions to meet nutritional requirements for your canine.
So, is fresh dog food a better option?
Is it worth it to feed your pup fresh dog food? Fresh food is the healthier option for dogs and results in health improvements. However, when deciding between fresh and dry dog food, there are other considerations, including your lifestyle.
Now that you have the drawbacks and benefits of fresh dog food, you can make the decision that’s best for your dog’s health. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what is best for your furry family, as long as they're getting the proper care they deserve.
ALSO READ: Get your free quote today!
If you have any questions about dog health, and dry vs fresh dog food, Spot Pet Insurance is here to help. Learn more about our dog insurance coverage and enroll your pup today.