The shape and size of your dog's kibble may seem like a minor detail, but it can actually have a big impact on their digestion, dental health, and overall well-being.
When choosing dry dog food, it's important to select a shape and size that is appropriate for your dog's breed, age, and oral health. For example, large dogs need larger kibble that they have to chew thoroughly, while small dogs and puppies need smaller kibble that they can easily swallow.
There are also different types of dry dog food shapes available, such as round, square, and bone-shaped. Some dogs prefer certain shapes over others, so it's important to experiment to find what your dog likes best.
In this article, we'll discuss the importance of choosing the right dry dog food shape and size for your dog, and we'll provide some tips on how to make the best selection.
Does the size of dog kibble matter?
The answer in this case is yes, but with some nuances. Let's see.
It is perfectly reasonable to ensure that the size of the dog's kibble corresponds to the size of the dog; small dogs should have mini kibble, medium dogs should have medium-sized dog kibble, and large dogs should have large kibble.
However, this is much more logical in the case of large dogs. The key to the correct size of the kibble is in the chewing.
Chewinng the kibble thoroughly can be beneficial in multiple ways:
- It will help the digestion of food.
- It will improve the absorption of nutrients.
- Chewing helps to pull dirt away from the teeth, thus preventing the buildup of tartar on the dog's teeth.
Due to the size of its mouth, a large dog tends to swallow large amounts of food without chewing it, a process known as "gobbling". Therefore, providing small kibbles would be an unsuitable option as he would consume them all in one go!
When selecting feed for large breed puppies, it is important to keep in mind that for them, a larger kibble size that requires them to chew it thoroughly is ideal.
What about small dog breeds?
Are they only limited to tiny croquettes or can they have other types of food as well?
If the furry is very small, a large kibble might be too big to fit in its mouth, and even if it can fit and be chewed, there is the possibility of it choking, so it is best to avoid the risk.
It is essential to make sure that your dog's teeth are in perfect condition in order to chew properly and without causing pain.
If your pet's oral health is optimal and you find that the new small dog kibble you have purchased is a little larger than normal, don't hesitate to offer it to your furry friend.
Of course, now that you know the benefits of proper chewing, don't insist on giving large kibble to a small dog by all means. And by this we mean buying large breed dog kibble for your mini dog.
Remember that the first thing you must take into account when selecting the food for your pet is that it covers its nutritional needs, and a German Shepherd does not need the same as a Chihuahua. If you make a mistake on this point, you can cause health problems to your dog, starting with overweight.
What other characteristics affect the acceptance of kibble for dogs?
Summarizing the previous point, small kibble size has a greater negative effect on large dog breeds than it does on small dog breeds, as long as the small breeds have healthy teeth.
However, other than size and shape, there are other characteristics of kibble that can influence a dog's decision to accept or reject it.
Despite the fact that dogs have the least developed sense of taste compared to other animals, taste still plays an important role in deciding what type of kibble to give them.
The palatability of dog food comes into play here, which is the quality that makes the food enjoyable for the furry friends.
This is one of the most influential characteristics for a pet to accept or reject its food dish.
Optimal palatability will be achieved by choosing high quality ingredients, carrying out a manufacturing process with the best standards, covering the kibble with appetizing odors and ensuring its correct preservation.
The kibble's shape is created by applying high pressure and heat to the food mass for a brief time, followed by pushing the mass through a sieve with the desired shape.
There is a variety of shapes that kibbles can come in, including circular, oval, triangular, and rectangular.
How can the shape of dog kibble influence its acceptance or rejection? Well, it will depend, again, on the oral health of your pet.
For example, if the kibble is elongated and your pet has a problem in only one tooth, perhaps that shape will be more harmful to his chewing than a rounder one.
Likewise, depending on the dog's jaw, one shape or another will suit it. This is especially important in brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs.
Texture and hardness
When discussing textures in canine diets, most people are familiar with wet food such as cans and pouches, and dry food like kibble.
The texture of the kibbles can be altered based on the amount of starch in the dough; smoother or rougher surfaces can be achieved.
This can influence whether a dog finds it more pleasant to put those kibbles in its mouth or less so.
Often, the hardness characteristic of wet food and kibble is wrongly distinguished, as wet food is usually very soft.
Contrary to this, kibbles can vary in hardness; some are hard on the outside and soft on the inside.
This can affect the acceptance or rejection of food, since, for example, an elderly dog, with less jaw strength and even fewer teeth, will need softer kibble when chewing than a young dog with healthy teeth.
As you can see, there are many issues to consider when selecting kibble for dogs. It is true that selecting high quality kibble is the most important thing, but not the only important thing!