Boxes, croquettes or homemade: what is the best diet for your dog?


Today, food industrialization offers many ways to feed our pets, including our dogs. Indeed, different formats are offered to us (boxes of pâtés with various flavors, croquettes, etc.) knowing that we can even cook meals for your dog at home with fresh ingredients, this is called a ” household ration “.

Among these different options, which is the best to feed your dog? We will weigh the pros and cons for each of them.

Food based on croquettes

It is undeniable that choosing a food based on kibble is the easy solution since all the nutrients that the dog needs are in it, it is easy to find, often cheaper and can even offer different compositions according to the needs of the animals. The kibble is also good for the teeth because chewing hard food massages the gums and thus limits the development of the pie thanks to the friction against the teeth.

However, kibbles also have disadvantages. The fact that it is dehydrated food will inevitably make the animal thirsty, so it will need to drink more often and its kidneys, due to the regular drying out, can suffer in the long term, such as if you ate corn flakes without milk at all meals.

Also, the quality is very uneven depending on the ranges of dry food, called standard or premium.

“Standard” range dog food

These standard range croquettes are those that can be found in supermarkets. They are certainly very inexpensive, but the quality is not there, since the meats used are pieces that would not be eaten in their natural form, such as chicken feet and roosters for example.

These kibbles are also more fatty, which often makes them more palatable to the dog, but also much less digestible, which can cause diarrhea, especially in puppies.

In addition, it is still rare to find it with suitable compositions such as specific kibble for sterilized dogs, unlike premium kibbles.

Finally, compared to premium kibbles, the nutritional contribution of standard kibbles is lower, so we must give more kibble to properly feed the dog, while they are more fatty and less digestible.

Premium dog food

These premium croquettes are found in pet stores or at certain veterinarians. The main advantage of these croquettes is mainly the quality. Here, real pieces of meat are used, and the nutritional contributions are much higher than standard croquettes, for a smaller quantity. These croquettes are certainly a little more expensive to buy, but ultimately the rations given daily being less, this hardly impacts the budget more than standard croquettes.

Finally, these premium kibbles offer a wide choice of compositions according to the needs of the animal: a dog the size of a chihuahua will naturally not have the same nutritional needs as a dog the size of a husky.

Canned dog food

Canned pâtés, often more expensive than croquettes, are very palatable for our four-legged friends. For a lot of dogs, they rush over barely it’s served and finish it in under a minute.

They are also quite easy to find, whether in supermarkets or pet stores, but have the same qualities as standard and premium kibbles, namely a much lower quality than those you buy in supermarkets, with basic products. which have few nutritional values.

The pâtés are often composed of 70% to 80% water, so there is not this problem of dehydration as with the croquettes, on the contrary. However, this makes them less nourishing, so you have to give the dog a large enough amount so that he is really full.

The pâtés are also fatter than the croquettes in general, which sometimes makes them less digestible, can make the stools softer and cause gas.

In addition, this type of diet promotes the development of tartar on the dog’s teeth. Indeed, there is not this natural friction as with the croquettes, which makes that the tartar can develop easily.

Finally, you should know that if the boxes are more attractive to the dog, it is because they generally contain flavor enhancers, and are often quite salty.

Homemade food for your dog (daily ration)

The daily ration is surely the best way to feed your dog from a nutritional point of view. The ingredients are fresh, you know where it comes from and you have prepared it yourself. However, even if this method may seem the most attractive, it generates many constraints:

  • it is expensive: indeed, a dog needs a balanced and varied diet. To do this, you will have to buy fresh meat, cereals, vegetables, and that for all his meals, so every day,
  • it takes time: you will need to find the time each day to prepare your dog’s meals, in addition to your own. It can be a heavy workload.
  • it requires knowledge: in order for your dog to have the nutritional contributions he needs, you will need to learn well about what to prepare for him, depending on his age, his physical activity, his state of health and if he is sterilized or not.
  • some dogs won’t want it: this is quite rare, but it happens that some dogs, too accustomed to industrial food, refuse to eat fresh food.

You should know that giving your dog the end of meals, even in substantial quantities, does not constitute a household ration. The food we eat as humans is often too spicy or too salty, and is not at all suitable for the dietary needs of a dog, which can also digest it very badly.

So what is the best diet for your dog?

In view of these different ways of feeding our four-legged friends, it’s difficult to know which is the best. In reality, it all depends on your choices and possibilities. If you have the time, the budget and the desire to cook his meals every day, this is of course the best solution, the food will be fresh, of good quality and your dog will appreciate his meal all the more.

On the other hand, if you don’t have the time or the money to do it, there are kibbles and pâtés, which are both on the same level, with their advantages and disadvantages. The best is to vary between the two to both remedy the problem of dehydration of the kibble, and limit the development of tartar on the dog’s teeth. The most important thing is to choose good quality food.

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