Canned dog food as an occasional addition to kibble or to a dog’s diet is not a bad thing. There are some dogs, especially those older dogs that have significant tooth loss or even dogs recovering from surgery or illness, that can much more easily chew and digest canned food over dry dibble. Canned food also tends to have far fewer chemicals and preservatives since the canning process eliminates the need for these additives. The list of pros and cons of canned dog foods is quite extensive, but here is a brief summary of the major arguments for and against.
There are some concerns about feeding dogs exclusively canned dog food. One of the biggest problems is that owners tend to not follow rations or recommended feeding levels. They tend to feed dogs “a can” per feeding, or split one can over two feedings per day. Depending on the size of the dog and his or her activity level that may be very appropriate or it may be over or underfeeding. Since many people have a hard time judging the food and a dog will eat more canned food that dry feeding exclusively canned food can lead to weight gain and obesity in some dogs.
The second major concern is the storage of the unused part of the can prior to the next feeding. If owners are careful and remove the product from the can and store in a sealed container in the fridge the food is very safe. Unfortunately for many dogs the cans are left opened on a counter or on a shelf and are not refrigerated, or food is left in the dish unconsumed. This provides an ideal space for bacteria to multiply and even fly and insect eggs to be deposited. Once your dog eats this food they are exposed to the eggs, bacteria and other contaminants that may be present.
The third big argument is that canned food doesn’t provide the scraping action of kibble on the teeth and gums and therefore can create problems with dental hygiene. This is true, however, owners that feed canned foods and also provide good quality chew toys, routinely brush their dog’s teeth and gums or provide lots of time with a safe beef, lamb or other raw bone that will provide that dental health aspect.
Dogs generally, if given the choice, prefer canned foods over dry kibble. They are much more palatable and give off a better smell, making them more attractive to the dog. Even picky eaters tend to love canned food and rarely balk at a meal when canned food is on the menu. Larger breeds are difficult to feed using canned food since they quantity you have to feed can be cost prohibitive.
As a last word about the cons of canned food it is important to carefully read the label and ensure that you are feeding a high quality food. There are cheap canned foods just as there are cheap kibbles and semi-moist foods. Avoid labels that have the words “flavor” or “meal”, instead look for the words “beef, chicken or lamb”. Information provided by Calvin Reid of www.ohmydogsupplies.com, check out our awesome collection of car seat covers for dogs online.