Once your pup reaches about a year you should start to switch from the puppy chow into
the adult food. What kind of adult food should you choose? There are three types of dog
food, dry, semi-moist or canned.
Dry foods are usually the more popular choice and they go through a lengthy process to
make. Most companies start out with raw materials such as grain, meat, and fat. Then
they grind them down to help increase the availability of the nutrients and mix the
ingredients. Next is a process that is called extrusion which uses an extruder. An
extruder is a machine that looks like screw inside a barrel. The food cooks as it goes
through the barrel and changes the screw’s turning speed. This is how the dog food is
cooked and the end results are spongy dough. It is then sent through what is known as a
die where it is cut with a knife. The new kibbles now go into a dryer where the moisture
is removed. The last step is called enrobing and it is the addition of either liquids or
powders to the outer of the kibble. This is where the fat and flavor enhancements are
Semi-moist foods are made almost just like dry foods but when they are going through
the extruder the temperature is lower and dryer and then it would be for dry dog food.
Semi-moist foods are obviously higher in moisture and have an increased risk of spoilage
from mold and bacteria. To help prevent this manufactures formulated the semi-moist
foods with mold and bacterial inhibitors and place them in special moisture proof bags.
Canned foods have been around since the 1800s. Canned food (or soft dog food) is food
sealed in a can and then heat sterilized. Raw ingredients are used as they are in Dry food
and semi-moist food. These are then added to a mixer and are cooked. After it is
cooked but still hot, it moves into the filler/seamer. This is when it is placed in the cans
and vacuumed sealed and then sterilized.
Now that who know how each food is made, how do you decide which one is best for
your dog if you are feeding them store-bought food.
You might want to stay away from semi-moist food. Just as you did for puppyhood.
They are quite high in salt and sugar. Sugar can contribute to gingivitis which can lead
to tooth loss. Salt, of course, can lead to dehydration in some dogs. If you really want
semi-moist food for your dog, you can go ahead and add some water to his kibble
already. Be careful though you do not add too much. Kibble tends to swell when it is wet
and it could cause bloating in your dog. Try to stick with dry or canned. To come to an
even better conclusion, you should look at your dog to decide if you should go with the
dry or canned. Is your dog a large breed dog? Large breed dogs tend to eat more than
the smaller breeds and you might benefit more from dry food which is sold in bulk.
Canned foods are better for the smaller breeds of dog, but be careful with this because
sometimes with canned food you can see a faster build-up of tartar and plaque on your
dog. As you will find out, in the end, it is going to be your dog that makes the final
decision for what type of food you feed it. We tried all sorts of dog foods for our dog
before finally deciding on one and it was a lot of trial and error with him.