We compared the pros and cons of different types of dog food – kibble, homemade, canned, raw, freeze-dried and dehydrated – to make your decision of what to feed your dog a little easier!
What is the best kind of dog food? Is canned food healthier than kibble? Does a homemade dog food diet require as much work as it appears to? Whole Dog Journal developed a comprehensive pros and cons chart for various dog food options you may be considering. Remember: no one dog food is best for all dogs! Consider your dog’s lifestyle and needs and use this chart to help you decide what kind of food your dog should eat regularly. You might also consider feeding your dog a mix of different food types for greater variety in the diet.
Beneath each table you will find a corresponding Whole Dog Journal article that goes into depth about the kinds of dog foods included here. If you’re looking for a quick breakdown of a dog’s nutritional requirements, check out this Dogster page.
Creating a homemade diet for your dog, whether cooked or raw, requires detailed planning and dedication.
Related: What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?
If you are new to the homemade dog food lifestyle, it is important to familiarize yourself with canine nutrition, and your dog’s individual dietary needs. Mary Straus offers an excellent start in “How to Make Your Own Dog Food“.
2. Dry Dog Food (Kibble)
The benefits of feeding your dog dry food are many, which explains why so many people buy kibble – and only kibble – for their dogs. Whole Dog Journal has a yearly tradition of taking hard looks at the virtually endless variety of dog foods on the market, breaking down why certain foods are good choices, and why you want to avoid others. Find those reviews here.
3. Canned (Wet)
Next to dry dog food, canned food may be the most widely fed kind of dog food in the U.S. Dogs tend to enjoy the taste of wet food noticeably more so than kibble, and the canning process allows you to avoid preservatives and ultra-processing. Like our dry foods, we review the best-canned dog food every year.
4. Store-Bought Raw Dog Food
For those who want both the health benefits of raw dog food and the convenience of a packaged, nutritionally complete diet, commercial raw dog foods may be an option worth exploring. Let editor Nancy Kerns help you make a decision about feeding raw in “The Evolution of the Raw Dog Food Diet“.