4 min read


Can Dogs Live on Just Dry Food?



4 min read


Can Dogs Live on Just Dry Food?


It is no secret that dry food is a convenient, easy option for dog owners. Dogs seem to like dry dog food, and most live happy, healthy lives on almost any brand of dry dog food. Since the invention of canned and refrigerated wet foods, however, some people have become concerned about the nutritional properties of dry food.

Fortunately for pet owners, dogs are just fine eating dry dog food. While many pets prefer wet dog food, because it is more palatable, that doesn’t mean that dry food isn’t a healthy option for dogs. So, let’s look at why dogs can live on dry food alone.


Signs That Dogs Can Live on Just Dry Dog Food

The biggest sign that dogs can live off of just dry dog food is that millions of dogs do it. The most important part of selecting a dry dog food is picking one that works for your dog. So, instead of worrying about the kind of dog food, you should consult with a veterinarian who can point you in the direction of a food that is suitable for your dog.

For decades, dry dog food was the only commercially available dog food on the market, so that is another good indication that dogs can live perfectly healthy lives on just dry dog food alone. Millions of people still use only dry dog food, and dogs are living longer than ever, so it is pretty clear that dry dog food is a perfectly suitable food choice for pooches.

It is always a good idea to speak to a veterinarian before switching dog foods, however, so if you decide to switch to dry food, check with your vet first.

Body Language

Body language says a lot about our pets. If you notice any of the following body language signs, you can be sure that your dog loves their dry dog food:

  • Chewing
  • Wag Tail
  • Pupils Dilated
  • Ears Up

Other Signs

Other signs that your dog is happy with their dry food include:

  • Healthy Weight
  • No Vitamin Deficiencies
  • Eagerly Awaiting Each Meal

History of Dogs Living on Just Dry Dog Food


When commercial dog food was first invented, it was the only option on the market. About 30 years later, wet food was introduced to the consumer. It seems that dogs were able to live happy, healthy lives with the most basic dry dog foods that have ever been on the market, so it seems that dogs are just fine living off of 100 percent dry food.

However, pet nutrition standards have changed a lot since 1890. Since then, dog foods have been made with better ingredients and more nutrients. Dry dog foods are now formulated to contain a certain percentage of protein and fats that are necessary for dogs to be their healthiest. This means that with a commercial dry dog food, you won’t need to feed your dog supplements to be healthy.

When wet dog food was introduced, many people believed it was a healthier option for pets. In reality, both types of dog food are good options. It matters more what is right for your specific dog. You should speak to your vet about what food would be best for your dog. Dogs with dental problems are often put on wet dog food, while dogs with other medical conditions may need dry food to stay healthy.

Science Behind Dogs Living Off Dry Dog Food


The reason that dogs can live off of dry dog food has everything to do with what is inside of it. Good dry dog food brands will contain between 18 and 32 percent protein and eight and 22 percent fat. In addition, dry foods will contain carbohydrates that give your dog energy. All of these ingredients are important for your pooch.

Wet dog foods are often higher in both protein and fats, but lower in carbohydrates. This means that dogs who need less carbohydrates in their diets will do better on wet dog food, while dogs that have a lot of energy may need to be on dry dog food to have enough energy to make it through the day.

Training Dogs to Live Off Dry Dog Food


If your dog is used to eating wet food, the switch over to dry food may be difficult. Dogs seem to love wet food, but it is messy and more expensive than dry food. Switching to dry food makes sense for a lot of pet owners, plus some dogs need to be on dry food for health reasons. Regardless of why you want to make the switch, you should consult your veterinarian first. If you get the go-ahead from your vet, you will want to slowly add the dry food into the wet food. This will prevent stomach problems for your dog.

During this time, it is a good idea to eliminate any other food sources such as human food or treats, because you will be able to see if the dry food sits well with your dog’s stomach or not. Once you have your dog transitioned over to the dry food, you will want to keep feeding your dog the same food. If your dog seems to have problems with the food, consult your veterinarian for advice, as they should be able to point you in the direction of a food that will work better for your pet.

If your veterinarian recommends that you don’t switch over to dry dog food, you should listen. They will have a good reason for not wanting you to make the switch. Remember that wet food is better for some dogs than dry food, and that may be the case for your dog. In addition, your vet may also recommend raw food or homemade food if their conditions require it.

Regardless of the food you feed your dog, you should always consult with your veterinarian and bring your dog to visit regularly for checkups. The vet will evaluate your pet’s health and condition to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need.

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Safety Tips for Dog Living Off Dry Dog Food:

  1. Find a food that contains all the nutrients that your dog needs.
  2. Look for dog foods with the appropriate levels of protein and fats.
  3. Buy dog food with the proper kibble size to prevent choking.

Written by a Pomsky lover Chelsea Mies

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 03/21/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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