The Definitive Dog Food Glossary

In this dog food glossary, we explain the definition of 10 of the most common and newest types of dog food and how to tell which is right for your dog, nutritionally speaking, with the help of a pet food expert.

Dog nutrition is constantly evolving. If you consider 20 or even 30 years ago, dog food choices were considerably limited compared to the choice in front of us on today’s pet food shelves, whether you’re shopping on the high street or online.

It can be a bit overwhelming trying to keep up with the latest rising trends and so this month with the help of Katy Horner at Cobbydog, we have put together a comprehensive dog food glossary. We’ll also cover how to tell which diet is right for your dog.

Regardless which food you are going to use for your dog, according to Herb by just adding a few drops of CBD oil for pets to their food can help regulate the digestive system and get it back on track. If your furry companion is having difficulties eating or has had an adverse effect from food, this oil, can be integrated into their daily diet for quick relief.

The Dog Food Glossary

In this article we’ll be explaining more about these 10 types of dog food, how to spot them on the market and how to know if they're best for your dog:

  • Cold pressed dog food
  • Complete dog food
  • High protein dog food (wet and dry)
  • Gluten free dog food
  • Grain free dog food
  • Hypoallergenic dog food
  • Lifestage dog food
  • Prescription dog food
  • Working dog food
  • Vegan dog food

Cold pressed dog food

Cold pressed dog food is a dry dog food that is created by cooking the food very quickly at a low temperature without the use of steam and has many benefits to dogs, internally and externally.

What Is Cold Pressed Dog Food?
To illustrate cold pressed dog food in this dog food glossary, here's a graphic showing cold pressed dog food (right) vs regular baked dry dog food (left) and how each dissolves (explained below)

Katy explains more about cold pressed dog food:

The cold pressed cooking process allows a lot more of the essential nutrients in the ingredients to remain intact and ensures the preservation of nutrients, especially those of the oils.

By cooking at a low temperature, it also ensures that free radicals (which can put a strain on the dog’s metabolism and damage skin and coat health) are not produced in cold pressed dog food.

One of the biggest benefits of cold pressed dog food to dogs of a certain size is that as a result of how the dog food is made, when eaten it dissolves in a dog’s gut from the outside in (unlike baked foods), so it guards against the risk of bloat (gastric dilation-volvulus syndrome).

The Definitive Dog Food Glossary

Not all cold pressed dog foods are grain free because this type of dog food is nutritionally dense, you don’t need to feed as much as you would a standard dry kibble or raw dog food.

Cobbydog’s cold pressed dog food includes additional ingredients derived from a blend of turmeric, linseed oil, black pepper, apple cider vinegar and yucca, which makes the food unique in the market. This special blend helps to support dogs from the inside out.

Complete dog food

Complete dog food provides all the energy and nutrients a dog needs. So a complete food means that the dog owner can rest assured they are giving their dog everything they need to stay fit and healthy.

dog food glossary

Katy explains more about complete dog food:

A complete food like the ones from victor dog food suppliers can be fed on its own, without the need to combine it with another food. It can be wet or dry. It is a very convenient and cost-effective way of feeding dogs.

Most of the types of foods covered in this dog food glossary are complete dog foods.

High protein dog food

High protein dog foods generally contain at least 70 per cent of protein in its ingredients.

Katy explains more about wet and dry high protein dog food:

High protein dog food may be a raw dog food (usually ready-made meals include other ingredients such as carrots or peas and herbs, for example) or it may be a dry dog food. The latter has grown in popularity over the last few years.

The Definitive Dog Food Glossary

A high protein diet can help dogs have a shiny coat. Protein also improves muscle and energy levels which is perfect for working and very active dogs.

Gluten free dog food

Gluten is the name for the proteins in wheat, barley or rye and so gluten free dog food is a complete food that does not contain wheat, barley or rye.

Katy explains more about gluten free dog food:

Unless you have been advised by a veterinarian to feed a gluten free diet, it is really a lifestyle choice and your preference. Some complete food states they are “wheat gluten free”, such as our Lamb and Rice and Chicken and Rice.

Some dogs with skin allergies have had success with these two feeds.

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The Definitive Dog Food Glossary

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Grain free dog food

Grain free dog food contains no grains, such as wheat, barley, rice and rye.

Katy explains more about grain free dog food:

It is a complete food and can come in an extruded and cold pressed form.

Hypoallergenic dog food

This type of food was originally given its name by a well-known dog food brand. Essentially it means it’s a type of food that excludes ingredients most often associated with allergies.

Is My Dog Bored or Tired?

Common signs of intolerances to food include digestive upsets and skin irritation, such as chewing feet or scratching.

Often hypoallergenic dog foods will be maize, soy and dairy free. Some will include brown rice, some will not. You might also see a hypoallergenic dog food has sweet potato listed as an ingredient as a good source of fibre.

Essentially, hypoallergenic pet foods on the market are often varied to give owners a chance to select a food that excludes ingredients that their dog has shown intolerances towards.

Lifestage dog food

Lifestage pet food has evolved from being predominantly puppy and senior food, and extended food ranges now offer owners the chance to select a food that suits their adult dog’s lifestyle based on their dog's size.

The Definitive Dog Food Glossary

Young dogs are usually fed a puppy diet until they reach between nine and 12 months old, depending on their breed/size, where an adult diet then takes over.

Senior dog foods are sometimes also referred to as ‘light’ foods, this is because typically older dogs need fewer calories as they aren’t running the miles they once were and need to take fewer calories on board to ensure they don't put weight on to avoid straining ageing joints and internal organs, such as the liver.

Prescription dog food

Prescription diets are tailored dog foods designed to help dogs manage health conditions, such as diabetes, urinary tract disease, liver disease and heart disease.

The decision to switch a dog's diet to a prescription diet is often one decided in conjunction with a veterinary professional but you don’t always have to buy it from your vet.

The Definitive Dog Food Glossary
Beagles are one of the dog breeds more susceptible to diabetes (here's a guide to common symptoms)

Nowadays you can source a large range of prescription dog foods online, but it is always worth sticking to the plan of choosing the food recommended by your vet.

Working dog food

Working dog food isn’t always only fed to dogs with jobs (such as sheepdog or gundogs), owners of active dogs sometimes prefer it and it is often considered a cost-effective diet.

Essentially working dog food is an adult diet that contains all the proteins and carbohydrates a healthy, active dog needs. To give an example of affordability, the Cobbydog Country Active working dog food costs £21 for 15kg.

The Definitive Dog Food Glossary

Vegan dog food

Vegan dog food is somewhat controversial, going against what some pet experts believe to be best suited for a dog’s needs. Some say that while it can be fed, it’s harder to get right, nutritionally speaking, than other dog diets.

We hope our Dog Food Glossary covered everything you ever wanted to know about popular dog diets. If we missed any off and you'd like some assistance, comment and let us know.


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  • Cold Pressed at Low Temperatures – Less volume, less stomach load. Nutritionally dense, so less is needed compared to a kibble or raw diet
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  • Rich in Fish – Highly digestible and an excellent source of natural, bio-appropriate amino acids needed for growth, repair, and maintenance
  • Rich in Essential Omega 3 and 6 Oils – For healthy joints, coat condition, skin condition, heart health and brain development and function
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  • Suitable for all Life Stages – Supports the body’s natural inflammation processes and supports healthy joints, skin and coat
  • Full of Good Stuff, None of the Rest – Free from chemical additives, artificial colours, flavourings and preservative
  • Good for Healthy Tums – It aids digestion, it has a positive effect on the microflora that occurs naturally in the stomach

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The Definitive Dog Food Glossary

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