If you’ve been to your local pet store or pet food specialty store lately, you’ve probably noticed natural dog food is very much ‘in’ right now. Is it better than traditional kibbles, and what are the differences and benefits of both?
Natural Dog Food
You might be wondering, what exactly does natural dog food mean? All-natural or fresh dog food generally contains fewer preservatives with a shorter shelf life. You will often find them packaged as frozen meals in the refrigerators at the pet store. However, some pet parents will ditch the store altogether and cook their animal’s meals from scratch. Keep in mind that fresh dog food and raw dog food are very different.
Pros of all-natural dog food:
- Promotes heart health, higher energy levels, better doggy breath, and a shinier coat.
- Knowledge of exactly what ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included.
- No fillers, by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
Cons of natural dog food:
- Requires more storage in your fridge or freezer.
- Sometimes it requires additional preparation (dethawing, adding supplements etc.)
- Less financially friendly.
If you’re thinking about trying a fresh dog food diet, you should also sign up for a dog wellness plan. Wagmo dog wellness plans cover routine exams and testing. These routine tests can help keep an eye on your dog’s health as they switch over to the new fresh food. You and your vet can keep an eye on test results and better determine if the dog’s health is indeed improving or not.
Dry Dog Kibbles
Dry kibbles are what you are probably used to feeding your dog. But, what are kibbles? They are all the same ingredients that you will find in fresh dog food, but processed together and cooked. Most contain proteins, grains, vegetables, and some include additional antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Pros of dry dog kibbles:
- Improve canine dental hygiene by reducing tartar build-up and improving gum health.
- Reducing the risk of bacteria.
- Easier to store and has a long shelf-life.
Cons of dry dog kibbles:
- Kibble ingredients are not listed in exact quantities, leaving you guessing how much your dog gets.
- Contain a lot of ‘filler’ ingredients like excessive grains.
- Large variability between brands - complex to determine the healthiest and highest quality.
- Easy to overfeed or underfeed accidentally.
When choosing a kibble brand to feed your dog, always make sure a protein is listed first and not a grain. A kibble’s ingredients are listed by volume. While grains are essential for getting necessary carbohydrates, too many grains can cause health issues in many dogs. It is also important to follow the feeding guide on the kibble bag.
How To Transition Between Dog Foods
Transitioning your dog to a new food can be hard on their gut. Since our pet’s diet consists of very few ingredients, it can lead to sensitivities. Changing a dog’s food out of nowhere can lead to diarrhea, nausea, or both. The best thing to do is slowly transition the dog’s food out. Mix the new food with the old food for about a week. Slowly introduce more and more of the new food each day.
Be aware that some dogs have food allergies and intolerances. If you notice any unusual behavior or symptoms after switching your dog’s food, bring them to the vet immediately. Wagmo’s dog insurance plan covers all emergency vet costs in the case of an allergic reaction.
Help Your Dog Reach Optimal Health
If you’re exploring healthy dog food options, you are probably looking to ensure your dog lives its healthiest, happiest life possible. We have that in common. Here at Wagmo, our dog insurance plans and dog wellness plans are designed to keep America’s pets as healthy as can be.
Wagmo dog insurance plans cover:
- Emergency services (injury and illness)
- Prescription medications
- Hospital stays
- Cancer treatment
- End of life care
- Pet ambulance service
- And more!
Wagmo dog wellness plans cover:
- Routine exams
- Fecal exams
- Heartworm prevention
- Flea & tick care
Wagmo has your back. We take care of the details, so you can focus on your pet. Worry less, Wagmo. Get your free coverage quote today.