Is feeding dehydrated dog food a better option than dry food?
I’m sure, like most pet parents, you are constantly reading up about how to improve your dog’s lifestyle and diet. As you read up about the various food options available, you must be coming across the amazing benefits each of these diets offers your pet. Not far behind are pet food companies that are trying just as hard to woo you into opting for their packaged food, or kibble. Dehydrated dog food is the healthiest option if you do not want to feed raw.
Before you make a decision, it’s important for you to find out which is the best dog food for your furry friend. In this article, we will be comparing two options, namely dehydrated foods and kibble, and presenting you the pros and cons of each.
Understanding dehydrated food and kibble
Dehydrated dog food is minimally processed, and its rich flavors and high nutritional content make it a healthy option for your dog. Dehydrated food is made by taking fresh, real-food ingredients and dehydrating them.
Kibble, on the other hand, is a packaged, processed food that comes in a variety of qualities, prices, and nutritional values. You need to read the label of each brand carefully before choosing one for your dog.
Let’s put down a few parameters and check out how dehydrated food and kibble compare.
Dehydrated food is made from fresh food and the process of dehydration retains most of its original vitamins, proteins, and flavors. While the food is subjected to gentle heating to remove moisture, it is not cooked, and hence the natural flavors and tastes remain more or less intact.
The downside of processed kibble, however, is that the process of making it compromises its nutritional content. Also, just like human fast food, to increase its shelf life it is loaded with preservatives, fillers, and artificial ingredients that are not always healthy.
Since there is minimal processing involved in dehydrated food, it retains the natural flavors of the meat, vegetables, and fruits that go into making it. When you add warm water to dehydrated food, it releases an aroma that most dogs find very appealing, and this increases their desire to eat it.
On the flip side, the high-temperature processing of kibble means it loses most of its natural taste. While your dog might eat whatever you put in front of him/her, that doesn’t mean he/she is enjoying the meal. Yes, some kibble companies are looking at healthier alternatives to add to their food. But it’s always good to check the label and keep away from food that is full of grains, preservatives, and unhealthy veggies.
Shelf Life and Storage
can easily be stored outside for around 12-18 months since its moisture content has been removed. The addition of ingredients with antioxidant properties also helps maintain its shelf life. Once you add warm water to the food, it should be consumed immediately and leftovers can be refrigerated for 2-3 days.
This is one area that kibble scores higher since you can safely open a bag of kibble and use it over a period of 6 weeks without worrying about spoilage. However, this should make you wonder about the number of preservatives and artificial ingredients that go into that big heavy bag. And when we say heavy, we’re talking about 20kg bags, which means storage is really going to be a problem.
How much will the food set you back by?
Dehydrated dog food is somewhere in the middle of the dog food price spectrum. Naturally, this depends on the brand that you choose, since some dehydrated dog foods will probably cost you the same as higher-end kibble.
As far as foods go, kibble
is probably the cheapest option you have. That’s because the food is manufactured in bulk and also scores lower on the nutritional value that it offers. The food is usually packed with low-quality meat by-products, unhealthy starch, and cheap grains. And this holds true of even ‘premium grade’ kibble.
Ease of Preparation
Kibble might seem easy to prepare and offer since all you need to do is open the bag, scoop out the required quantity and you’re sorted. But as we’ve outlined above, this ease of preparation hides several disadvantages.
Dehydrated food, on the other hand, doesn’t take you too long either. All you need are 2-3 minutes of prep time to get ready to serve your dog a healthy, nutritious warm meal. Typically you need to add warm water to the food, stir it, wait for it to rehydrate and it’s ready. The biggest problem is going to be getting your pup to wait for those 2-3 minutes. But they are so worth it.
We all want the best for our pets, and choosing the best dog food is one of the main areas of concern. We believe dehydrated food offers much more taste, texture, and nutritional value for your dog than kibble can ever hope to. Moreover, it’s easy to prepare, is affordable, and is also a sustainable diet option. And if you were to compare the convenience, then it is just as easy to store (if not easier) as kibble is.
Have you tried out a dehydrated food option for your dog yet?