Dog owners have a number of options as to how they can feed their pets or working dogs. Different types of dog foods offer their own benefits and drawbacks. As proper feeding is so integral to owning a dog, this area deserves due consideration and should not merely be an afterthought.
Kibble is the most common type of dog food. It is a dried “compound” feed and resembles small biscuits. Kibble is a blend of carbohydrates and proteins, and as it has been dehydrated is shelf-stable and has a long life. It is commonly available in supermarkets, affordable, and very convenient. It is also readily accepted by most dogs and easy to measure. However, it does have its drawbacks. In a bid to reduce costs and increase profits, kibble manufacturers often prioritise carbohydrate over protein content. Lower quality kibbles simply do not fully support dogs in meeting their nutritional needs and may actually promote obesity and dental issues because of their sugary nature.
This does not necessarily mean that kibble should be avoided, though. Healthier kibble is widely available, with price generally being a good indicator of quality. Brands with higher protein contents are preferable options, and small family-owned businesses can be better choices than what is available in supermarkets or online retailers. A kibble-based diet should be supplemented with regular walks and exercise to promote a healthy weight, and regular dental oversight to prevent tooth decay.
Canned dog food is another option which has its own benefits and drawbacks. Canned feeds have a very long shelf life, are space efficient to store as they are stackable, and tend to contain fewer sugars and carbohydrates than kibble. Their high liquid content can also help keep dogs hydrated in hot weather. Nevertheless, cheaper options are often low in protein, and they can be somewhat messier to serve than kibble.
Personally, we raw feed our dogs. A raw diet is primarily based on lean muscle meat, organ meat, and other uncooked foodstuffs such as vegetables, fish oils, and eggshells. We have found this to be very healthy, and the best way of providing our dogs with optimal nutrition. While it is preferable to seek advice from your vet before starting your dog on a raw diet, it is something we would advise all dog owners to consider where practicable.
Mastiffs are a type of dogs which were developed for protection work, hunting, and blood sports such as bull-baiting. They are large, powerful, and best characterised by their droopy ears, bulky heads, and short muzzles. Mastiff-type breeds include the Rottweiler, Cane Corso, Presa Canario, Fila Brasiliero, English Mastiff, Boerboel, Boxer,…