In today’s society it is important to offer convenience and ease of preparation. I guess all forms of pet food have their advantages and disadvantages. We are all aware of the convenience and availability factors with dry-heat processed food. Dry foods keep well after being opened, do not require refrigeration, and require very little preparation before feeding. Many canned and semi-moist foods offer the consumer one meal packages. Frozen raw diets offer the consumer a more appropriate food for the species, requires a freezer to preserve the food integrity, and offers convenient meal portion controlled feeding.
Many pet owners are concerned about the cost of the food. Many foods on the market are billed as more economical to feed and advertise to provide superior nutrition. It is important to know that to produce a low cost product, the ingredients will be of lower quality. It is interesting to note however, that the ingredient panel may not reflect this. The proper way to compare prices are to compare the actual cost to feed the animal, not comparing the actual cost per unit weight of the food. Most lower quality, cheap ingredients have significantly lower digestibility. Consequently, a greater quantity of food with low digestibility must be fed to an animal to provide the same amount nutrition as a food with higher digestibility and nutrient availability. As a result, owners may find that they have to feed significantly larger portions of the cheaper food to their pet. A general rule of thumb- you usually get what you pay for. A word of advice that I have suggested for years is to base your purchase on the product that offers the highest level of nutrient utilization, because that is in the end what is the most important consideration.
A product that spends the least amount of time in the G.I. track and utilizes the most amount of nutrients wins my vote.
posted by Rob Mueller