The homogenized types contain such ingredients as ce real grains, vegetable products, meat and fish meals, fat, milk products, and vitamin and mineral supplements. The kibbles and biscuits are baked products, made by mixing such ingredients as wheat and soybean flour, meat meal, milk products, yeast, and vitamins and minerals.
The homogenized and kibble types can be served dry (with water on the side), moistened with broth or water (some form a gravy when water is added), or with a little meat to enhance the taste. The biscuit types usually are not fed as the sole diet (although most brands are nutritionally complete and balanced), but rather used as snacks or training treats.
Dry foods contain about 90 percent food solids and 10 percent moisture, and have a caloric value of about 1,500 to 1,600 per pound (300 to 400 calories per cup).
Soft moist or semimoist foods are combinations of beef or other meats and their by products, soybeans, fats, carbohy drates, vitamins, and minerals. Complete and balanced, they are especially palatable to dogs. Soft moist foods are packaged in airtight cellophane bags or individually wrapped patties that do not require refrigeration. They are convenient and clean to handle, the portions being premeasured for easy use.
Soft moist foods contain from 70 to 75 percent food solids and 25 percent moisture. There are about 275 digestible calories in a three ounce patty, and 550 digestible calories in a six ounce pouch. Six ounces of soft moist food are nutritionally equal to approximately fifteen ounces of a complete and balanced canned dog food.
Canned foods contain about 25 percent food solids and 75 percent moisture. Depending on the ingredients, they supply between 500 and 750 calories per pound. There are three types of canned dog foods:
1. Complete and balanced canned foods are blends of ingredients such as meat by products and meat, cereal grains, vegetables, and vitamins and minerals. The newest addition to this food category is the Gaines Cycle products, specially formulated for the following important stages in the life of a dog: puppyhood, the normally active adult dog, the overweight or inactive adult dog, and the older dog.
2. Canned meats supplemented with vitamins and minerals are combinations of beef, pork, horsemeat, poultry or fish, and meat by products, supplemented with vitamins and minerals to make them nutritionally complete.
3. All meat canned foods consist of beef, chicken, tur key, liver, and other meats, packaged without cereal, vita mins or minerals added. These are not considered complete diets, and should only be used for mixing with complete dog foods to add palatability.
You shouldn’t have to add vitamin mineral supplements when feeding a complete and balanced food. Nutritional supplements or extra fat may be necessary in special cases, such as for hardworking hunting dogs, sled dogs, or racing dogs; when a female is in whelp; or when puppies are in their early rapid growth period. Don’t add these, however, without checking with your veterinarian.
Most dog food packages recommend the amount to feed. It’s always a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s suggestions. Quantity requirements vary with the age, weight, and size of the dog, and also with temperament, activity, climate, and digestive efficiency. The amounts suggested on the package should serve as a guide, but can be reduced or increased if your dog seems to be getting too much or not enough. Always rely on your veterinarian’s advice on feeding problems.