It can be tough to decide what food to put your pup on, but one of the main decisions you’ll have to make is between wet and dry dog food. Some people swear by one or the other, but which is really better for your dog?
Dry dog food has a low water content of 3% to 10%. Wet dog food, on the other hand, contains a high water content of 60% to 80%.
Dry dog food typically contains more protein than wet dog food. This is because the manufacturing process for dry food removes more water, which concentrates the protein content. Wet dog food typically contains more fat than dry dog food. This is because the manufacturing process for wet food doesn’t remove as much water, so the fat content isn’t as concentrated.
What Is The Difference Between Wet And Dry Dog Food?
Dry and wet dog foods differ in a lot of subtle ways that will make a huge difference for your dog. There are three of the biggest differences to note, such that you know exactly what you are feeding your dog, whichever way you choose to go.
1. Water Content
Dry dog food is described as dog food preparations where water makes up 10% or less of the total components in a typical dry dog food recipe. It is one of the most popular options for both young and old dogs. The food comes in the form of kibbles that may be offered as main meals or as treats throughout the day.
Wet food, on the other hand, can have as much as 80% water. As a result, the preparations are often a lot softer, with consistencies ranging from soft chews to porridge-like. With this type of food, you do not have to give your dog as much water.
2. Calorie Density
With dry foods, the calories are a lot more densely packed.
This means a little will go a long way in keeping your dog sufficiently energized without weighing them down with uncomfortably heavy stomachs.
With wet food, on the other hand, the higher proportion of water means that the dog has to eat a lot more to get adequate calories and nutrients.
3. Flavor Profile
Even with the same ingredients, wet dog food is widely known to be the more flavorful option. This is due to the preparation and storage methods that do wonders for flavor preservation. With dry dog foods, on the other hand, natural or artificial flavor enhancers may be required to give the same punch.
Which Is Better Dry Or Wet Dog Food?
Both dry and wet dog foods have a lot to offer based on your personal preferences and your dog’s very specific diet needs. In the sections below, we will take a look at the good things and some of the setbacks of both options so you can be in a better position to make an informed decision.
Dry Dog Food
From the previous section, dry dog food easily stands out as the best in terms of small portions with high caloric value. However, there is more to the option in terms of pros and cons, and here are the most important of them.
- Makes for convenient treats
- Easy to serve and clean up after
- Can be left out for hours and even days without going bad
- Designed to help with cleaning teeth
- Have to provide a lot of water on the side to meet daily requirements
- High risk of overeating and obesity
Wet Dog Food
On the other hand, wet dog food is fantastic when it comes to flavors which are perfect if you are dealing with a picky eater. The water content also minimizes your dog’s chances of suffering from dehydration or constipation. Here are a few more pros and some reasons why wet food may be bad for dogs.
- Easier to digest
- Ideal for weight management as it is filling
- Awesome for dogs with dental issues, like missing or misaligned teeth
- Higher content of meat and healthy fats
- Very messy
- Shorter shelf life
- More expensive because of the quantities needed and the low shelf life
- Requires refrigeration
Is It OK To Mix Wet Food With Dry Dog Food?
There is a trick among dog owners to mix dry dog food and wet dog food in order to get the best of both worlds. This is applied mainly during weaning to get puppies used to solid consistencies.
It’s not uncommon for pet owners to ask if it’s okay to mix wet food with dry dog food. After all, wet food is more expensive, and sometimes our dogs can be picky eaters. So, we want to make sure they’re getting the nutrients they need.
The short answer is that it’s generally okay to mix wet food with dry food. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
- First, when mixing wet and dry food, it’s important to offer a variety of textures and flavors. This will help your dog stay interested in their food and prevent them from becoming bored.
- Second, make sure you’re offering a complete and balanced diet. This means offering both wet and dry food that contains important nutrients, like protein and fiber. A good rule of thumb is to offer at least half a cup of wet food for every two cups of dry food.
- Third, keep an eye on your dog’s health and weight. If they become overweight or develop digestive issues when you mix their diet, talk to your vet about other options.
This depends on your individual dog and its preferences. Some dogs may enjoy a mix of wet and dry food, while others may prefer one or the other. Ultimately, it is up to you to experiment with different food combinations to see what your dog enjoys the most.
Adding Water To Dry Dog Food – Is That The Same As Wet Dog Food?
Another hack in the community for getting the best of both dog food options is by adding water to dog food. For the most part, this actually can work, ensuring that your dog gets to enjoy the benefits of wet dog food like hydration.
In this case, you could add about ½ to ¾ of a cup of water for every cup of dry kibble, depending on the consistency that you would prefer for your dog. Just make sure to also make some fresh water available separately for them in order to satisfy the daily water requirements.
Adding water has also been shown to help unlock flavors within dry food kibbles.
This makes it awesome for dogs that are a bit fussier in terms of what they are willing to eat. For this, you can also use other wet substitutes, including milk, bone broth, and even pureed fruits and vegetables.
Despite all these benefits, you may be able to squeeze more out of dry food by simply adding water, but it will never truly be the same as the real thing. First off, the nutrient proportions are more often than not off by quite a bit. Unless you switch portions to adjust to the water, the dog will still be consuming way more calories than it will have with wet dog food.
They will also be missing out on the higher content value of specific nutrients in wet dog food than with the soaked dry varieties. The main here is the meat proteins.
How Often And When Should I Feed My Dog Wet Or Dry Dog Food?
With all the pros and cons on either side, it is safe to say that a dog should not eat the same food every day.
Too much dry food may cause it to end up with dehydration and digestive issues.
Too much wet food may cause it to not get as much energy to live a full and active life.
Mixing is, therefore, something you should consider, in which case here is a simple guide on when and how much dry and wet dog food you should feed your pooch.
As previously mentioned, dry dog food is very calorie-dense. In order to give your dog its required daily calories, you do not need a lot of food.
In fact, toy breeds can survive on as little as ½ cup of food per day, while large dogs require 4 to 5 cups. Make sure to accompany this with 6.7 fl oz water for the little ones and 101 to 202 fl oz for the bigger buddies.
On the flip side, you will need a lot more wet food to get the required caloric intake for the dog. Here, you would need 10 oz for a small breed dog which is about 1½ cups. Medium and larger dogs, on the other hand, need about 30 to 60 oz, which is about 4 to 7½ cups every day.
With wet food, however, you do not need to give the dog as much water. You can give as little as 0.8 to 1.6 fl oz with small dogs and 67 to 135 fl oz with the bigger ones.
Ollie – As a dry dog food option, you should definitely consider Ollie if you want to offer your pooch high-quality and organic meals. They are specially formulated and prepared to ensure the perfect balance between flavor, nutritional value, and convenience.
They also stand out in their protein content, where most dry food options fail miserably. This is because they not only use real meat but also have up to 20% more protein than most other dry dog foods.
They are also dedicated to ensuring your dog has access to essential micronutrients and superfoods, including antioxidant seeds and berries, as well as probiotics like kelp and thyme extracts.
Pet Plate – Pet Plate stands out as one of the best-wet dog food on the market. This is because they use the best quality ingredients on the market, from real meat to organic fruits and vegetables. In addition to being rich in flavor, these formulations ensure that your beloved pooch is truly getting the best quantity and combination of nutrients out there.
Something unique about this brand is the fact that they are free of artificial additives, whether it is flavor enhancers or preservatives. Instead, the food is flash frozen after preparation ensuring that it not only stays fresh for longer but that the flavors are not tampered with.
- Contains (1) 36-count case of 3.5 ounce trays of Cesar Canine cuisine steak lovers variety pack wet dog food: (6)...
- Recipes made with real beef
- Complete and balanced soft food fortified with vitamins and minerals to help adult dogs of all sizes, especially small...
Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food – If you want something more appropriate for your young pup, we recommend you go with Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food. The 36-tray spread variety offers not only high-quality and well-prepared wet dog food but also options to keep mealtimes exciting and interesting for your dog. This is ideal for small dog breeds, as well as for puppies getting introduced to new meal plans.
It includes real cuts of meat that are not only healthier for the dog but also richer in protein content. They are also fortified with minerals and vitamins, ensuring that the dog gets full micronutrient benefits from improved immunity to antioxidant action.