Types of Dog Foods

The three main types of dog foods are dry, soft-moist and canned products. These vary in a number of characteristics including moisture, cost, palatability and amount of nutrition delivered per pound or ounce of food. Evaluating a dog food should include consideration of all these factors. In spite of these variations, with today’s advanced technology, all types of dog food products can be formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs.

Canned Diets

These diets offer the highest palatability when compared to the dry and soft-moist products. Once a can is opened, unused food should be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for no longer than three days.

Dry Diets

Dry products consist of crunchy kibbles, which help reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar on a dog’s teeth. Dry foods also have the advantage of staying fresh longer than soft-moist and canned products once the package is opened.

Soft-Moist Diets

Soft-moist dog foods generally offer higher palatability as compared to dry diets. These foods are sold in boxes consisting of multiple single serve pouches that are convenient to serve and store easily. They can be more expensive to feed than dry diets.

Targeted Nutrition

These foods are specially formulated and proportioned to meet the special nutritional needs of certain dogs.

Foods designed specifically for puppies usually contain higher levels of the nutrients puppies need during their period of rapid growth and development. Other dog foods, such as those for working and hunting dogs, are formulated to have higher levels of protein and calories to maintain muscles and replenish energy. Weight loss foods are formulated to be lower in calories and fat to help less active and older dogs maintain ideal body weight.