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Wet vs. Dry Dog Food - Which is Best?
By hannah hollinger
Published: 05/23/2019, edited: 11/19/2021
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Every dog owner wants to make sure that their best buddy is in optimal health. Exercise is essential, but the food you give to them is a crucial part of their all-around well being, too. A healthy diet means an energetic and happy dog.
The type of food you choose should be based on your pet’s age, size, and health status, as well as their typical exercise regimen and energy levels in general. Other factors will be in the picture, too, such as their dental health and underlying illnesses that may be affecting them day to day. Read on to see whether dry food or wet food will suit your dog best.
Dry Food: Dogs Love The Crunch
Every pet parent will agree that dry dog food is high on the convenience scale. Dry kibble is an economical choice of dog food; it stays fresh and is easy to store. Doling out the chow at mealtime is a snap when you use a measuring cup, allowing you to monitor your pup’s dietary intake accurately. Not free-feeding your pup is imperative. It is critical to not overfeed a large breed like a Great Dane or Saint Bernard, especially when they are growing. Too much phosphorus and calcium can lead to diseases that affect quickly growing bones.
Specific foods described as a dental formula can help clean your dog’s teeth. A small breed dog like a Pomeranian or Pug will do best with a kibble designed for their tiny mouth and teeth. Not all kibble is made alike, though; a dental brand of food will work better than a regular kibble because it is formulated to be harder and clean the plaque better.
Dry food can be used in puzzle toys aimed at slowing down a dog that eats too fast. As well, you can entertain your pooch while you are out by adding a small amount of dry dog food to a toy that provides mental stimulation for them.
Of course, a dry food diet is not ideal for every dog. The fact that dry food is less aromatic than wet food can make it less palatable to some dogs. If you have a pet who needs to eat a certain amount of food for health reasons, for example, a diabetic dog who needs to eat regular meals to maintain their blood sugar levels, you will need a form of nourishment they are eager to eat.
Dry dog kibble can contain more preservatives than wet food; if you are considering a dry food diet for your furry buddy, check the ingredients for fillers and additives and never buy the cheapest brand.
Wet Food: Dogs Love The Smell
Most dogs love wet food. They love the taste, and most importantly, they love the smell. Dogs have fine-tuned and super-strong olfactory receptors. Their sense of smell will point them right in the direction of the delicious canned dog food that you are dishing up, and that makes wet dog food a smart choice if you have a pup who is a particularly finicky eater.
Not only does wet food taste superb to your canine friend, but also is full of nutrients. It’s low in carbohydrates and has no synthetic preservatives. It’s easily digestible, and the high water content keeps your dog’s system well hydrated and running smoothly. Breeds susceptible to kidney diseases, such as Cocker Spaniels and German Shepherds, will require adequate hydration.
An older dog with dental issues will find a bowl of wet food easier to manage, allowing them to enjoy the meal without any discomfort caused by missing teeth or sensitive gums. With an older dog, the sense of smell comes into play again – if they have a lessened sense of smell due to age, the wet food will attract them more and encourage them to eat the amount they should.
While an older dog may be relieved at the ease of chewing provided by a wet food eating regimen, a younger dog enjoys the crunching action and in fact, the chewing stage of the meal is an important part of the digestion process.
Wet food will not give the teeth and gums of your canine a workout either; a dental-type kibble gives your dog a chance to work the teeth via eating, which is not possible with a wet diet. However, when we consider the other end of the age spectrum, small puppies will do better on wet food until their teeth and gums are ready to tackle the hard variety.
Should I Feed My Dog Dry Food or Wet Food?
There are several factors to take into consideration. Does your dog finish all of their food in one sitting, or do they like to come back and nibble throughout the day? If this is the case, a good quality dry food may be the right choice. Dry kibble can stay fresh in the bowl all day whereas a tasty, but moist dog food cannot be left out longer than one or two hours at most, due to the chance of bacterial formation.
Other things to consider are your buddy’s current weight, health status, and age. Which form of nutrition will support their needs? Some pet parents will combine both options to give their dogs the best of both worlds. A consultation with your veterinarian or a qualified pet nutritionist can provide an answer to your questions and ensure that you are feeding your furry friend the best food for optimal health.