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Dog Nutrition: Homemade Food Vs. Processed food

By Segun Itakorode


Feeding your dog is an important aspect of dog care. There are two major categories of dog food; homemade and processed food.


Homemade food is prepared by the dog owners from raw materials available or human meals. Some of the raw materials used to prepare dog meals include:


  • Rice meal, wheat meal, or any suitable grain meal, to provide a carbohydrate base.

  • Fish or meat (chicken or beef) meal for protein.

  • Vegetables help to provide trace nutrients like vitamins and minerals.

  • Fats and oil, to provide calories and increase palatability.


Dogs are naturally omnivores, against the popular notion that they are carnivorous. Thus, plant products form an essential component of their food. Dog owners who opt for homemade food rather than processed food should take note of this. Dog owners are also to note that the protein content of puppy food will be more than that of adults' food.


An advantage of homemade food over processed food is the cost. Homemade food is usually cheaper to produce. You can also alter part of the composition to suit your dog's needs.


To prepare homemade dog food of high quality, you have to consult trained personnel. Otherwise, your meal can cause severe nutritional disorders in your dogs.


Processed feed are compounded feed products specially formulated for dogs. Here, a specific guideline for feed components has been laid down by regulatory bodies. The companies that manufacture these products adhere to these regulations to maintain a minimum standard.


Usually, most dog food manufacturers produce a wide range of products for puppies, adults, pregnant bitches, and seniors–the old aged dogs. Hence, these products will have different compositions and constituents.


The most popular dog food brands and their best products include:


Purina Pro Plan


Purina Pro Plan is regarded as the best dog food product in the US. It is produced by Purina, a subsidiary of Nestle Plc. Purina Pro Plan features a wide range of food formulated for different dog life stages–puppies, adults, and seniors–and for specific categories of dogs like sporting dogs, overweight dogs, and picky/sensitive dogs.


Purina is known for adherence to the Association of American Feed Control Officers (AAFCO). They grow their feed ingredients, ensuring the freshness of the products. Their feed products tend to be quite expensive because of the high-quality ingredients.


Pedigree


Pedigree is a brand widely known for its affordability. Its ingredients are not as top-notch or expensive as those of Purina, but they are just as acceptable and palatable by dogs. They make both wet and dry food types. They also produce a wide range of products for different dogs.


Pedigree is produced by Mars Pets. Mars also owns a pet research institute, where improvements to conventional feed are being researched to ensure quality products.


Royal Canin


Royal Canin is the best brand for dry dog food, with over 80 formulas. They, like Purina, make use of high-quality ingredients in line with their research findings. They also produce feed specific to particular breeds and dog classes. The ingredients are why their feed products tend to be very expensive.


Hill's Science Diet


Hill's Science Diet comprises a range of wet dog food for dog owners who prefer to use wet food. The products are also created for dogs at all developmental stages and with specific medical conditions. To buy prescription diets, one needs to have a prescription from a veterinarian.


The major demerit of Hill's Science Diets is the cost of the products. However, this is expected with the level of research that goes into the development of the feed.


In summary, dog owners choose what to feed their dogs with, homemade or processed feed. While homemade food is cheaper to produce, processed food still has the advantage of higher quality due to intensive research.




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