Everyone loves food, and that includes dogs. In fact, a dog’s mealtime is a tasty, nutritious, and joyful experience. However, depending on dietary needs, some dog food is better for your dog than others. Here’s everything you need to know about kibble and fresh dog food and how to introduce the switch to your dog.
Kibble vs Fresh Pet Dog Food: What’s the Difference?
Just like human food, there are differences in dog food, but not every owner knows them. Here’s everything you need to know about kibble and fresh pet dog food.
Factors to Consider
Before you make your decision on what kind of food to feed your dog, it’s important to note that you should speak with your veterinarian. This ensures that whatever food you feed your dog will meet their dietary and nutritional needs. Your veterinarian will be able to guide you to the best food choice based on a number of factors, such as:
- Activity level
- Adverse food reactions (allergies)
- Preferred tastes (chicken, turkey, beef, etc)
All of these factors are important to consider when deciding on your dog’s meal plan. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian in depth before making any changes.
Fresh pet dog food includes real and natural ingredients like chicken, carrots, sweet potatoes, lamb, and so on. A fresh food diet can do wonders for a dog’s overall well-being, including:
- Shinier coat
- Better heart health
- Increased energy levels
- Better smelling breath
- Improved eyesight
- Improvement in stool
- Boosted Immunity
It’s important to note that cooking food for your dog takes time and research, as well as a discussion with your veterinarian. However, there are dog food options that are pre-made with fresh ingredients and nutrition-packed.
Some dog owners are drawn to kibble because it’s prepped and already cooked, making it easy to pour and serve if they have a busy lifestyle. However, kibble is a one-size-fits-all solution to a dog’s dietary needs and its usually filled with artificial ingredients, preservatives, and fillers like meat meals which are harmful for dogs.
Since it’s not customized to fit your specific dog’s needs and may not suit their taste buds, you may also find yourself on a trial-and-error journey with commercial foods.
Switching to Fresh Dog Food
If you’re looking to switch from kibble to fresh dog food, it’s important to remember that the process should be gradual rather than sudden. Switching too quickly can cause issues like:
To make the transition easy for you and your dog, the process should be gradual and should last over the course of a week. During this transition, you can slowly increase the fresh food while decreasing the kibble. A good transition period looks like this:
- Day 1 and 2: 25% new diet, 75% old diet
- Day 3 and 4: 50% new diet, 50% old diet
- Day 5 and 6: 75% new diet, 25% old diet
- Day 7: 100% new diet
It’s important to note that this transitional period could be extended depending on your dog’s reaction. If their reaction is concerning or negative, this is a sign to slow down and speak with your veterinarian.
Keep an Eye Out for Adverse Food Reactions
Like humans, dogs have individual adverse food reactions. It’s important to note that adverse food reactions are different from allergies. True allergies cause a specific response in a dog’s body and are often hard to diagnose.
Therefore, the term “adverse food reaction” is more accurate. Adverse food reactions include:
- Changes in appetite
- Skin inflammation
- Hair loss
Keep in mind that other illnesses can cause similar symptoms. So it’s important to visit your veterinarian if these symptoms occur.
Proof Is In The Poop
If you’re looking to monitor changes from a new diet, the proof is in the poop. In fact, it’s the best way for a dog owner to monitor digestive health. While slight variations in color and consistency are normal, any major changes are signs of concern.
Start Fresh with Get Joy
At Get Joy, we pride ourselves on using fresh and high-quality ingredients that are packed with nutrition. We also offer assistance with meal planning, which will help keep your dog’s diet on track. Elevate your dog’s mealtime today.