If you are trying to decide what to feed your dog you have a number of choices. Dog food has come a long way from giving your dog table scraps or a hard biscuit. Today you can choose from kibble, canned (tinned) food, semi-moist food in a pouch, or freeze dried food. Or, you can mix and match some of these options. Most people, however, choose a kibble or canned diet. In fact, dogs today are living longer in part because they have such good nutrition available.
Kibble is the most popular form of commercial pet food. Billions of tons of kibble are made and sold annually. In order to make kibble, pet food manufacturers first come up with a recipe that should meet the necessary nutritional requirements. Ingredients are chosen and delivered to the plant where the pet food is made. A mix of dry and wet ingredients are mixed together in large quantities to create a dough and the dough is put through a machine known as an expander. This machine uses hot water or pressurized steam to cook the ingredients. While it is cooking inside the expander the dough is under high temperatures and great pressure.
At this point the dough is forced through or “extruded” through small holes called die where it is cut to form the small pieces of kibble. This has to be done while the dough is still compact from the pressure since the pieces will puff up when the pressure eases.
The kibble then goes through a dryer and most of the remaining moisture is removed. At this point the kibble is sprayed with added vitamins, minerals, fats, and other additives. It is eventually bagged and shipped to a store so you can buy it.
Canned (tinned or wet) pet food has some things in common with other canned foods, though with dog food ingredients. Meats are typically ground and steamed before they are ready to cook in a large kettle. Water or broth will be added to the kettle for cooking and the kettle is heated. The mixture is slowly stirred by large blades to create a gravy. Then the other ingredients in the formula will be added.
The food will eventually be moved through pipes to a machine that fills the waiting cans. Then the cans are sealed and stamped with a batch code and shipped.
Kibble is more popular among most owners because it generally costs less than canned food. If you have a medium or large dog, or several dogs, it is more economical. A bag of kibble is also easier to carry and store than cans of pet food. However, many people with Toy dogs or a small dog like to feed canned food. Most dogs love canned food because of the taste and smell. It usually has a lot of protein and fat that dogs love. Both kibble and canned foods are fine to feed your dog. It’s really a personal choice.
What is your dog’s food preference? Let us know below or join us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to join in our dog-loving conversations.