Dog with a Big Ol' BoneAlthough there may not be as many dog food choices as there are types of food for humans, there are still quite a few varieties.

When deciding what is best for your dog, the most important factor should be to find a food that meets all of your dog’s nutritional needs.

Basically there are 5 main types of dog food:

1. Dry – This is the most economical type of dog food, and therefore chosen by many dog owners.  Other benefits include that it can be stored for a long time without refrigeration, and the dry food fights against tartar buildup on dog’s teeth.  Be sure to look for a brand that uses wholesome food as a primary ingredient.

2. Canned – Most dogs LOVE canned food, but it can be expensive.  When choosing a canned food be sure to check the level of digestible protein, because not all canned foods provide the necessary levels of protein that your dog needs.  Also be aware that canned food is about 75% water, which means that there a fewer nutrients in each can of food.  So your dog will need to eat a larger amount of food to get amount of nutrition needed.  Check the label for “100% nutritionally complete.”

3. Semi-moist – These commercial foods are often shaped as human food such as pork chops, bacon, ect.  Semi-moist foods should be used as treats, but not relied upon for your dog’s nutritional needs.  These foods contain many artificial flavors and colors.

Dog Eating Fish4. Home Cooked – Home cooked meals allow the owner to know exactly what is in everything that her dog eats, but it can also be time-consuming and expensive.  It is imperative that you are knowledgeable in canine nutrition so that you are sure that your dog is not missing out on any vital nutrients.

5. Raw – A raw diet consists of raw meats along with bone and organs mixed in.  This type of diet can work for some dogs since dogs have short intestinal tracts and strong stomach acids, which makes it easy for them to digest raw food.  It is important to talk to your veterinarian about the benefits and risks of this type of diet.

A pet sitter can help you to maintain your dog’s regular diet when you go out of town, whether you are using home-cooked dog food, or a combination of the different types.  Check out Waggy Tails Pet Sitting + Dog Walking for more information about professional pet sitters in Knoxville.