For years, the most common style of dog food has been kibble. Feeding your dog kibble tends to be convenient and affordable. Most dogs do just fine on a diet of kibble, provided you buy a decent brand. However, more and more dog owners are now choosing to feed their dogs "fresh" diets instead. There are a few different brands that make good-quality, fresh dog foods from whole ingredients. These fresh foods, which you typically find in a refrigerator at the pet food store, are not always right for every dog, but they also have some key advantages that are important to consider. Weigh these pros and cons if you're thinking about switching to fresh food.
Pro: They provide more moisture.
Fresh foods contain more moisture than kibble. Kibble is quite dry and contains very little moisture, whereas fresh foods tend to be made from ingredients like chicken, peas, and beef—all of which contain some water. This can help prevent dogs from becoming dehydrated, and it can also be better for dogs' digestion. Dogs who are prone to intestinal impactions often do better on a fresh diet.
Con: They spoil a lot faster.
While kibble can last months or even years without spoiling, fresh foods tend to go back within a few days. And they need to be refrigerated to keep them from spoiling. As such, you will need to shop for your dog's food more often if you feed them fresh meals.
Pro: They are more palatable to picky dogs and older dogs.
Older dogs may have trouble eating kibble because it is hard for them to chew with their bad teeth. Picky dogs may not enjoy kibble because they don't find it smelly and appealing enough. Fresh foods are easier for older dogs to chew, and they are more appealing to picky dogs. If your pup turns their nose up to kibble for any reason, then fresh food is a good alternative.
Con: They tend to cost more.
Fresh foods do tend to cost more than kibble. And often, the cost difference is substantial. If you are on a tight budget, then fresh food may not be the best option. There are plenty of kibble brands that are safe and enjoyable for dogs while being more affordable than fresh food.
Choosing the right food for your dog is not always easy. Consider the pros and cons above, and talk to your vet for more information. Visit a local store to learn more about dog food.