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What Should I Feed My Dog: Wet Vs Dry Dog Food

What Should I Feed My Dog: Wet Vs Dry Dog Food

As a pet parent, selecting the right food for your dog is one of the most important decisions you can make regarding their health and well-being.  But, with so much going on in our lives, and so many pet food options how do we know we are making the right choice for our dog?   

Dog food is commonly available in the form of wet and dry food. Wet food has a higher moisture content, and some dogs will find it more appealing. Whereas dry food can be considered more convenient to feed as it doesn’t spoil as easily, and it is potentially more affordable.

Making the decision to feed your dog a wet, dry, or mixed diet will be determined by your dog’s age and health, as well as their preference to food texture, flavour and lifestyle needs. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two types of food, help you assess the options and decide which one is best for your dog.   

The benefits of wet dog food (also known as canned or tinned food).  

  • Higher moisture content: Some dogs that may need increased moisture in their diet to maintain better hydration. Medical reasons for this might include urinary disease, kidney disease and constipation.  
  • Palatability: Wet food can be more appealing to fussy eaters.  Dogs that are unwell with a reduced appetite may also prefer it. 
  • Easier to chew: Wet food may be more suitable for dogs with disease of the mouth or the jaw as it is easier to chew. It may be more appealing to sick or elderly dogs

The benefits of dry dog food (also known as kibble or biscuits) 

  • Dental health benefits: Chewing on dry food can help prevent tartar build up and subsequent dental disease. There are types of dry food specifically designed to maintain dental health. 
  • Convenience: Dry food doesn’t spoil as quickly as wet food once opened and is easier to store. It can be better for grazers and slow eaters. 
  • Affordable: Dry food is more nutrient dense, so a smaller amount can be fed to meet your pet’s nutritional requirements.  
  • Behavioural enrichment: Dry food is easier to dispense in slow feeders and food puzzles which help prevent boredom 

Can I mix wet and dry food?  

Yes!  You may decide to feed a mixed diet of both wet and dry food with some dogs enjoying this variety in their diet. If you choose to do so, it is important to calculate your dog’s daily food intake factoring in both types of food. If you don’t, you might accidently under or over feed your dog.  

What do vets recommend wet or dry food?  

Vets recommend nutrition based on your dog’s individual needs and preferences.  Many premium diets will have both a wet and dry option, however your vet may recommend a specific wet or dry food depending on your dog’s age, health and if they are undergoing any treatment. Both options will provide a complete and balanced diet if provided according to packet instructions.  

What else do I need to consider when deciding on wet or dry food?  

Your decision on whether to feed wet or dry food will be guided by your individual dog’s tastes and nutritional requirements, as well as what is most suitable for your family.  Other factors to consider when selecting a wet or dry based diet include: 

  • Age: Young puppies and elderly dogs may prefer a wet food. Keep in mind that sufficient amounts need to be provided to meet nutritional requirements, especially in a growing puppy. 
  • Medical requirements: Your dog might have a medical condition that influences the choice in diet. A veterinarian can help you decide if you need a prescription diet for a specific condition. 
  • Body condition: Your dog might need a more nutrient dense dry food if underweight, or a less dense wet food if overweight. 
  • Budget: Wet food can be more expensive to provide than dry food as greater amounts are needed to meet nutritional requirements. Your choice will also be influenced by your budget and what is most convenient for your family. 

Regardless of whether you decide on a wet or dry food, it is worth investing in a premium quality diet made by a reputable brands. Providing your pet with a superior diet made from high-quality ingredients will give them the best chance at having a long and healthy life. And to support you in better pet care, our vets put together a helpful guide on how to shop for the best dog food brand that can help you to decide which brand is fit for your dog's needs. 

If you need further assistance in selecting a diet that is best for your dog, you can ask the advice of your local veterinarian. Alternativley you can submit a question via the Ask our Experts page, and one of our in-house team of experts will answer within one business day. Individual nutritional advice is especially recommended if your dog has a medical condition or specific dietary requirements. 

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