Your four-legged friend may be choosy about food. He would prefer eating from your plate to nibbling on the kibble given to him in his dog bowl. Your dog’s fussiness towards food may have left you contemplating whether to continue with the branded store-bought food or to start cooking for him at home.
Before you jump to any conclusion, it is essential to know the boons and banes of kibble and homemade dog food. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and one often surpasses the other in some aspects.
Which one is Better: Homemade Dog Food or Kibble?
Kibble meets the nutritional needs of dogs. But homemade food satisfies their taste buds. It isn’t easy to declare one a clear winner over the other. Let us judge the benefits of commercially-manufactured and homemade food from several aspects.
1. Nutritional Value
You might think homemade food ranks high in nutrition because of the fresh veggies and fruits you have at hand. Yet, this isn’t completely correct. True, nothing can beat the nutritional content of food made at home. Yet, it must be mentioned that store-bought food is tailor-made.
Special care is taken to induce nutrients that meet specific breeds’ requirements. For example, brands designated for small breeds, such as the Yorkie and Maltese, contain smaller kibbles and high amounts of Vitamin A, protein, and fatty acids. Moreover, the kibbles are also age-specific – with most brands having a separate kibble for pups, adults, and seniors.
While pampering your dog with homemade food, you might unknowingly expose him to additional calories.
The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine evaluated over 200 homemade foods and deduced that at least 95% of them lacked at least one key nutrient.
So, when nutritional value is the point of concern, store-bought food weighs higher than its homemade counterparts.
When it comes to safety, both kibble and homemade food are at par. Over the years, companies have voluntarily recalled their dog food brands since many of them were responsible for causing minor to major complications in dogs, including kidney disease and even death in extreme cases.
At the same time, homemade food also cannot guarantee complete safety. A 2010 study recorded that pet food was responsible for less than 2% of foodborne illnesses. However, this number is nothing compared to the 76 million cases of foodborne illnesses worldwide responsible for human deaths.
So, the takeaway is to do thorough research while going for commercial foods. Also, look at the Withdrawal and Recall list on the USDA website to know the brands you must avoid. Many pet foods could have artificial preservatives. This is a ploy used by certain companies to increase the food’s shelf life. So, be watchful and choose the appropriate brand of dog food.
Similarly, refrain from using recipe books or online guides when planning a homemade diet. Instead, consult a veterinarian who will guide you on what to give your pooch and what to avoid.
It is a misconception that homemade food costs less than commercially-manufactured ones. For example, the price of dry dog food is around $1 for dogs weighing 25 pounds and $2 for dogs weighing as much as 55 pounds.
When choosing a homemade diet, some ingredients may be hard to find and costly. E.g., many dog foods have ducks and turkeys as their main ingredients. However, you wouldn’t find ducks that easily while replicating the same thing at home. It is even more expensive than chicken. For pet
So, while trying to cook something tasty for your dog, ensure you stay on the main ingredients needed for his overall growth.
4. Time Factor
There are no extra points for guessing that kibble is a clear winner in this regard. All you need to do for store-bought food is open the packet, follow the instructions, and serve on the plate. Whereas, for homemade food, the list of to-dos is endless – shop for the right ingredient, and then cook the meals correctly to suit your dog’s taste and nutritional needs.
Pros and Cons of Homemade Food and Kibble
Let’s consider the pros and cons of homemade food and kibble to see how much one weighs over the other. Also, while preparing homemade food, please check what your dog should eat and what he shouldn’t—interested in knowing if you could add some pickles or onions to your dog’s food. You will get all your answers here at petfoodbrands.net. Do give it a read so that you know the foods you should and shouldn’t give your pooch.
- Dogs would find it more appealing.
- It works well for fussy eaters who are reluctant to feed on the kibble in their dog bowl.
- It has a greater moisture content than kibble.
- It takes more effort to prepare.
- Storing the food is difficul During the times when you have to take your dog out on a trip, you would face trouble if he isn’t accustomed to kibble.
- It may not cater to your pet’s nutrition requirements. As a result, your dog may not get all the essential nutrients he is entitled to get. On the flip side, he may receive additional calories, surpassing his daily requirement. The outcome is an overweight or underweight dog.
- It is easy to store and carry. So, if your dog is habituated towards eating commercially-manufactured food, you needn’t worry.
- It provides increased nutritional requirements to dogs.
- Most of the time, kibble is less expensive than homemade food.
- The moisture content of kibble, mainly dry dog food, is less than that of homemade food. Dry dog food contains around 10-12% moisture. However, wet foods are higher in water content, about 75-78%. So, if feeding your dog dry dog food, take extra care about your dog’s water intake, lest your four-legged friend may be at risk of urinary infection.
- Some food brands might have artificial preservatives and coloring that could affect your dog’s health.
When deciding on the food for your dog, a lot of things go into consideration – his age, overall health, activity levels, and so on. If you have breeds like a Frenchie or Pug, you must take extra care regarding their weight. These flat-faced dogs are at an increased risk of obesity, which can trigger complications like breathing problems.
In severe cases, it may prove fatal as well. So, under such circumstances, you don’t have the liberty to cook for them at home. Instead, it is better to put them on a balanced diet that is achieved through good-quality kibble.
Thus, before depending on a particular diet, talk to a veterinarian or dog nutritionist, and work together to fix an appropriate schedule.