- Fresh dog food is a higher quality type of dog diet made up of natural and human-grade ingredients gently cooked.
- Dry dog food or kibble undergoes extrusion process and are cooked in high temperatures so not much nutrients are left, however, it has a longer shelf life.
- Fresh food has more nutritional value but also more expensive; while dry dog food may be harmful to a dog’s health in the long run because of its preservatives, but is more convenient and cheap.
The world of dog food may feel a bit confusing, especially when there are so many options. For many years, commercial and mass-produced dog food has been the staple food for many dogs. That being said, the fresh or raw food is even higher quality. Therefore, researching dog food can be a learning curve as it allows you to discover even more nutritious options. So, how do we compare fresh dog food vs dry kibble? If my dog could talk, he’ll definitely say “fresh dog food all the way!” But then again, not all dogs and dog owners have the same situations and needs.
Heres a quick comparison: Fresh dog food is made up of human-grade ingredients and has zero preservatives, fillers, and enhancers so your dog gets more nutrients; while dry dog food, commonly known as kibble, goes through high-heat processing that most nutrients burn off, although it has longer shelf life.
All dog food, regardless of the type, is also regulated by the Association of American Feed Control (AAFCO). This body makes sure there is nutritional adequacy through printing statements concerning the pet food packaging. Today’s best fresh dog food, for example, requires particular storage and preparation, so the moniker does not apply to everything.
Pros of Fresh Dog Food
One of the good things I love about fresh dog foods, whether it is store-bought or homemade, is the reduced level of processed elements compared to kibble. Dry dog food options, though, would need a shelf life, meaning it must have preservatives to keep the food from going bad. Packaged fresh food brands, though it usually expires quicker.
Wet dog food is also good for those dogs that are picky eaters as it is more digestible. The food is typically more appealing as well. Ground beef, rice, or potatoes taste better to the dog than the typical dehydrated food. Pet parents also have control concerning what things go into your dog’s food and the pet’s body, so you can avoid food allergies and sensitivities. Raw food eliminates the issue of worrying about carcinogens or other hazardous chemicals within the food. Vet nutritionists also help in formulating recipes for most fresh dog food brands to make sure your dog’s particular dietary needs are met.
Dog owners that prefer fresh foods have also reported that it increases the chances of developing a healthy coat and fresh breath. Raw dog food vs kibble is an even easier comparison because of the huge and obvious difference between the two when it comes to nutritional value that lies on the former.
Cons of Fresh Dog Food
Fresh food may be more nutritious compared to commercially mass-produced blends. However, it is much more of a hassle to feed fresh food to your dogs steadily. You may have to spend hours every day preparing homemade dog food, which is impractical for those with busy schedules. Even if the food comes prepackaged, the thawing and freezing of the remainder, so it stays viable will take a bit of time. However, the best dog food delivery service brands today may offer solutions to such issues when it comes to your dog’s mealtime needs.
Fresh food is also typically more expensive considering the ingredients such as beef, chicken, and lamb are human grade. The food is also researched by a team and cleared by the USDA before it can be sold , increasing the end price. Purchasing these regularly will place a strain on the household budget. Similarly, there is an additional cost of transportation to your doorstep.
What is Dry Food?
Dry food has become the most popular commercial pet food option because of its price and convenience. It does feature processed material, though, and it gained traction from the time of the 60s due to mass production. Dry dog food brands are served in the form of kibble, considering the food is extruded during the cooking process.
Extrusion happens through the use of extreme heat and pressure. The nutrients are burned off during this time, but they are sprayed on at a later time. The standard for dry kibble is not very clear cut at the moment, but a closer inspection reveals the reality of the ingredients. Obesity, infections, and cancer in dogs have rapidly increased hence the need to explore fresh dog food such as Nom Nom as well.
Pros of Dry Dog Food
The main reason why kibble is so popular would be the price, convenience, and availability. You can get dry dog foods from any grocery or pet store. They are also available in economic packages, which appeals to pet owners who are cash strapped. Dry dog food also has a longer shelf life meaning you can leave it out in the open for hours at no danger to the dog because there is a reduced risk of bacteria.
Cons of Dry Dog Food
One main problem with dry dog food is its reliance on preservatives. Many dry dog food types have preservatives that are not healthy in the long run, like ethoxyquin, BHT, and BHA. Dry dog food also does not have any water content and tends to suffer from dehydration.
Is It Worth It?
Fresh food is definitely the healthier alternative for every dog because of its nutritional content. You will also not have to worry about short- or long-term health issues. The associated costs and time involved are an issue, though. Ensuring your dog’s health should be a priority, especially with the rising cases of cancer and related conditions. Even if it is an occasional blend of fresh and dry food, it would be beneficial.
Is fresh food better than dry food for dogs?
Dogs prefer the taste of fresh meals to dry food. Fresh food is also healthier due to its nutritional content, resulting in health improvements. Raw diets also do not have preservatives, which is good for the long run. See my dehydrated dog food vs fresh food article for further comparison
Is fresh dog food better than canned?
Most canned foods utilize fresh or frozen meats instead of processed meats. Canned food has more protein and moisture, which would benefit dehydrated dogs. See my canned vs fresh dog food comparison to see how it fares against other diets.
What is the healthiest food to feed your dog?
The best food to feed dogs is green beans, turkey, beef, chicken, and bananas. These are the best fresh pet food options available for dogs.