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Is Dry And Wet Dog Food The Same? Dry VS Wet Dog Food

The dry vs wet dog food debate is one that stumps even seasoned dog owners. Like most first time dog owners, I had a particularly hard time understanding what the difference was and which of the two had the most to offer my first set of doggies. However, from experience and a ton of research I now know not only what the difference is but also what the best options are for any dog passing through my home. And if you have been struggling with the same dilemma then you have come to the right place.

So, is there really a difference between wet dog food and dry dog food? The answer is yes. The main difference between wet dog food and dry dog food is in the quantity of water present in the dog food formulation. Dry dog food has about 3% to 10% water while wet dog food has 60% to 80% water. Let us take a closer look at these and other differences between the options.

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. Here are 3 of the biggest differences so you know exactly what you are feeding your dog whichever way you choose to go.

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 doggies. 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.

Calorie density

With dry foods, the calories are a lot more densely packed.

This means a little will go a long way keeping your dog sufficiently energized without weighing them down with uncomfortably heavy stomachs.

With wet food on the other hands, the higher proportion of water means that the dog has to eat a lot more to get adequate calories and nutrients.

Flavor profile

Even with the same ingredients, wet dog food has always shone through as 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?

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Both dry and wet dog food 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 of the good things and some of the setbacks of both options so you are 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 is 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 as well as 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?

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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 harder consistencies than they were used to.

However, it is a practice with a whole lot to offer both you and your furry best friend.

The fact that you can feed your dog wet and dry food does not mean that you have to come up with some Frankenstein food combination with both options in one feeding bowl every single meal. You could serve them in separate bowls with every meal or alternate between the two with every feeding or on a daily basis.

In the case of alternating between meals, the dry kibble is more often than not preferred for lighter meals or snacks. This is because they are high in energy while also being light enough that the dog can go about their day playing and doing what dogs love to do.

The wet food on the other hand is left for larger meals where satiety is the intention. The high water content means that the dog will easily feel satisfied therefore preventing overeating before periods of sedentariness like sleep.

How much wet and dry dog food you feed your pooch will depend on your mixing pattern. If you offer both for each meal, you could half the quantity of each food.

So when you feed the dog 1 cup of dry or wet food you offer a half of each. With intervals, on the other hand, the important thing is to ensure that the daily caloric requirements are met based on the dog’s age and size. 

Adding Water To Dry Dog Food – Is That The Same As Wet Dog Food?

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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 doggy. 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 could 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 out of dry food by simply adding water, 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 they would 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 are the meat proteins. 

How Often And When Should I Feed My Dog Wet Or Dry Dog Food?

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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 and they may end up with dehydration and digestive issues.

Too much wet food and they may not get as much energy to live full and active lives.

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 their daily required 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 doggies require 4 to 5 cups. Make sure to accompany this with 200ml water for the little ones and 3 to 6 liters 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 1 ½ cups. Medium and larger dogs on the other hand need about 30 to 60 oz. which is about 4 to 7 ½ cups every day.

With wet food, however, you do not need to give the dog as much water. You could give as little as 25 to 50 ml with small dogs and 2 to 4 Liters with the bigger ones. 

Recommended Products

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.

Get 20% OFF your first order with Ollie by clicking here!

Pet Plate Pet Plate stands out as one of the best wet dog food in 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 doggy is truly getting the best quantity and combination of nutrients out there.

Something unique about Pet Plate 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.

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Cesar Gourmet Wet Dog Food If you want something more appropriate for your young doggy, 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 meal times nice and interesting for the doggy. This is ideal for small dog breeds as well as for puppies getting introduced to new meal plans.

It includes real cuts of meat which 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. 

CESAR Soft Wet Dog Food Classic Loaf in Sauce Steak Variety Pack, 7.9 lb
  • Contains (1) 36-count case of 3.5 ounce trays of Cesar Canine cuisine steak lovers variety pack wet dog food: (6) classic loaf in sauce filet mignon flavor, (6) classic loaf in sauce porterhouse steak...

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