When thinking about dog food, one of the questions that may arise is how certain characteristics of dog kibble (size, texture, palatability...) influence the feeding of these animals. In this article we will answer your questions!
Does the size of dog kibble matter?
The answer in this case is yes, but with some nuances. Let's see.
There is nothing strange in thinking that the size of the kibble has to be according to the size of the dog: small dog, mini kibble, medium dog, with kibble for medium-sized dogs and large kibble for large dogs.
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.
A good chewing of the kibble will help in several functions:
- It will facilitate the digestion of food.
- It will improve the absorption of nutrients.
- When chewing, dirt is better dragged from the teeth, helping to prevent the formation of tartar on the dog's teeth.
A large dog, simply because of the size of its mouth, tends to gobble, i.e. swallow large amounts of food without chewing it. That's why, in his case, giving him tiny kibbles would be a mistake, he would swallow them all whole!
For them, a larger kibble size that forces them to chew it well is ideal, so keep this in mind even when you choose the feed for large breed puppies!
What about small dog breeds?
Only tiny croquettes for them? Well, it doesn't always have to be that way.
It is true that if it is a very small furry, a very big kibble may not even fit in his mouth. And even if it does fit and he can chew it, we can't take the risk that in an oversight he might choke.
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.
Other characteristics that influence the acceptance of kibble for dogs
Summarizing the previous point, as for the size of the kibble for dogs, this has a more negative influence if it is small in large breeds than the other way around, as long as the small dogs have good teeth.
However, there are other characteristics of kibble that can make it easier for dogs to reject or accept.
Although it is true that the sense of taste is the least developed in dogs, this does not mean that taste is not a determining factor when choosing kibble for dogs.
Here comes into play the palatability in dog food, that is to say, the quality that the food has to be pleasant to the palate of the little furry ones.
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 shape of the croquette is achieved by subjecting the food mass to a very high pressure and temperature for a few moments. Then, it is passed through a sieve with a determined shape that will be the same as the final croquette.
Some croquettes are circular, others are oval, triangular, 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 we talk about textures in dog food, we usually think only of the variants of wet food (cans or sachets) or dry food (kibble).
However, depending on the expansion of the starch contained in the croquette dough itself, different textures can be given to the croquettes, with smoother or rougher surfaces.
This can influence whether a dog finds it more pleasant to put those kibbles in its mouth or less so.
As for the hardness characteristic, it is also only often wrongly distinguished between wet food, which is very soft, and kibble.
But this is not so, since there are croquettes of different hardness. Some are even 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!