Dry Dog Food and Preservatives
Besides the grains, another problem with kibble are preservatives. Of course, a food product coming in large packages and being exposed to air for long periods of time contains ingredients that need preservation. Mostly it’s the fats, because many of the other ingredients stay fresh for longer periods of time just because they have been dried. There are “acceptable” preservatives and “dangerous” preservatives, both used in dog foods. If you want to know more about it, please read this article:
Despite the preservatives that does not mean that a dog food is entirely free of microorganisms. Actually even Salmonella bacteria can be present. This is often the reason behind dog food recalls. It is always a good idea to keep the tools dog food is being handled with clean and to wash hands after handling dog food in order to avoid any infections. For dogs actually, Salmonella bacteria most of the time is not as dangerous as to older people and children. Their stomach is actually able to tolerate a lot more than a human stomach.
Wet dog food is usually a little more expensive than kibble. In comparison to kibble, wet food comes with the advantage of not needing all of those “bad boy” chemical preservatives, because the combination of cooking and canning already does 98% of the job.
However, also with canned foods there are huge differences between the different brands. Cheap canned dog foods often also contain grains as fillers. Also in cheap canned dog foods animal by-products (which basically means, every part of an animal EXCEPT muscle meat) usually make for the majority of the animal protein, not muscle meat. Above all there are ingredients, such as gluten and others, making some canned foods an additional allergy hazard.
There are a number of reputable manufacturers, who put thought and science into their products, such as Acana, Annamaet, Earthborn Holistic, Victor, Orjien and Taste of the Wild … only to name a few of them.
There is also a great site to help find the best food (I use it a lot in my research):
They have a star-based rating and detailed information about the different foods.
Feeding raw is obviously the most healthy, but also the most expensive diet for your dog. That is, if you only look at the actual costs for the food and not at the hundreds and thousands of dollars years of malnutrition can cost you in vet bills after all.
Please be aware that when feeding raw you need to take care of balancing the ingredients, vitamins and minerals yourself. It is not sufficient to just feed a piece of meat to your dog each day. You need to provide the proper calcium-phosphate-ratio to your dog, which does not automatically happen by only feeding meat! If you feed bones in addition, you’re probably already closer to the safe side. If not, you will very likely need to supplement calcium. There are also other things to consider. Please do your homework and research.
One provider of packaged raw food I can really recommend – if you do not like the efforts and mess of making the food at home yourself – is Darwin.
A great nutrition is also well complemented by the right supplements. Find more info on choosing the right supplements for your dog in this article.