Thanks for sharing info re Murphy......wonderful young dog by sounds of it.
It can be quite easy to over think dog food......trust me I speak from personal experience.
It may be easier to weigh up pro's and con's of different all in one non d.i.y. food types.
My opinion & comments below...other views exist, some may disagree with my content.
Raw complete :
Appealling in the bowl & many feeders claim of health & nutrition benefits. Not for all.... some dislike mess, smell, cost, storage issues, delivery costs if not available locally. It is possible to feed products of this food type that don't stink, seemingly swim in litres blood & which come in easy to spoon serve to bowl from sealed containers. Carbohydrates are typically low....this is important to me. I currently feed a low carb raw complete dog food having had more than one dog cancer scares. ( I am categorically NOT claiming that some dry extruded kibble mIght feed or support some cancers in dogs). Plenty of choice out there & arguably less hassle than d.i.y. raw, albeit dog should be able to straight change to that later without issues.....For me, if out for the day and no food with me fresh mince at local convenience supermarket can be bought & fed as an alternative without any issues. Compared to prior fed food types, (decently rated dry extruded kibbles & a wet complete), less moulting, smaller stools, less dog smell, less skin complaints, more energy, more enjoyable mealtimes etc. Common sense hygiene care required. Despite this being my current choice I accept that some prefer not to feed it.
Wet complete :
Arguably still has bowl appeal for the dog but be careful as quality varies hugely. Do check composition between products. I have fed these before to my daughters dog here full time with us but after doing maths we decided to switch her dog to raw complete also. Can be stored sealed without concern re food going OFF quickly but there are reasons for this. Supermarkets still sell stacks of cans of tinned dog food...the composition on most is such that I prefer not to feed same.
Dry extruded kibble :
By far the largest choice of decently rated products......assuming you believe a 4 or 5 star rated dry extruded is comparable to a similarly rated food in another category. Personally I struggle to comprehend that a 5 star rated dry extruded kibble is say as good as a 5 star rated quality raw complete. I must stress that this is my personal opinion only. As for enjoyment of eating, my dogs used to swallow the kibble whole in adulthood ! I doubt they savoured the taste, texture or different carefully selected ingredients.....Compared to feeding raw complete or wet complete I personally see kibble as an easy store & serve fuel for my dog rather than me providing my dog the most tasty & enjoyable meal. There is some debate that the dry extrusion process of many kibbles allegedly causes some breakdown of nutritional qualities & vitamins benefit from some ingredients. There is no doubt that the ingredient/composition listings for many dry extruded kibbles read very well. I should add that whilst one kibble might appeal on paper it might not agree with your dog.....as with any food the key is finding something that works for you & your dog. Some kibbles are allegedly baked at lower temps than others, (Orijen & cheaper Acana worth considering maybe....both made by Champion).
Cold Pressed :
Never fed it myself but have seriously considered doing so...I prior came close to switching to this food type. Allegedly breaks down in the stomach far quicker than dry extruded kibble. It needs more common sense when storing than dry extruded kibble as it is fresher than dry extruded kibble due to the pellets/kibble being pressed at far lower temperatures. Usually comes in paper bags to prevent the food sweating & ideally should be stored in a cool dry place. If I was going to cost effectively feed dog food from a bag this would be my current choice. Listed carb levels can be high but this has a lot to do with how carbs are traditionally somewhat basically calculated....some will argue that the carb levels are lower than listed. My main advice re cold pressed would be to give real consideration as to the differences in quality between cold pressed products. For me the Gentle brand would be at the top of my shortlist if presently considering feeding a quality Cold Pressed dog food.....excellent customer service too.
Air dried/freeze dried :
More products coming on the market recently, however, daily feeding costs for decent products in these categories are relatively high. The purpose of these products seem to be giving convenience of dry food but with less ingredient interference than traditional dry extruded methods....perhaps approaching some benefits of raw without the mess & other raw issues. Arguably more would possibly consider feeding this if costs were lower. Certainly an area of the dog food market to watch.
I appreciate ideally a newbie here would get one universal recommendation but the needs wants and preferences of contributors here can vary. Some have time to prepare home cooked, some may have easy access to a local supplier that only stocks certain foods, some may consider raw feeding disgusting, some may be influenced by their vet, friends or fami!y........and all this before considering what suits one dog might not best suit another.
If you find a product you are giving serious consideration then by all means post here - I am sure myself &/or others will happily try to offer balanced non biased constructive comment.