COMPARING PET FOODS
Types Of Pet Foods
The three main types of pet 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 of food. Evaluating a pet food diet should include consideration of all these factors. In spite of these variations, with today's advanced technology, all types of pet food products can be formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs.
Which Products Are Best?
The immense number of choices pet owners have when purchasing pet food sometimes makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly what type of product to buy. The important criteria to consider in choosing the type of product are the place the consumer shops, how much money the pet owner would like to spend and the level of convenience, palatability and digestibility desired. As long as the product offers 100% complete and balanced nutrition, the form of the food and the category are simply a matter of the pet owner's preferences.
Canned dog foods contain between 8% and 15% protein and between 2% and 15% fat, depending on the type(s) of animal tissue used in the diet. The moisture content for canned pet foods is approximately 75% (less than 78%). Canned dog foods deliver 375 to 950 metabolizable kilocalories per pound. Total food consumption is high because of the low caloric content. The nutrient balance is dictated a great deal by the type of animal tissue used in the diet. These diets offer the highest palatability and the highest cost per serving when compared to the dry and soft-moist products. In addition, canned products are less convenient to serve than other product types. Once a can is opened, unused food should be stored in the refrigerator.
Most dry dog foods contain 18% to 27% protein, 7% to 15% fat, less than 12% moisture and 35% to 50% carbohydrate (also expressed as N.F.E. or nitrogen-free extract). These diets deliver between 1,400 and 2,000 metabolizable kilocalories per pound of product. Dry cat foods contain 28% or more protein, 8% to 24% fat, less than 12% moisture and have 1,400 to 2,000 metabolizable kilocalories per pound of diet.