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Dry Or Wet Dog Food: Which Should You Choose?

Your two main choices are dry dog food and wet dog food when it comes to conveniently available commercial dog food. Dry dog food refers to kibbles or dog pellets. On the other hand, wet dog food is what you know as canned dog food.

But what distinguishes one from the other besides the form they come in? What benefits does either type of dog food offer?

Dry Dog Food

Dry dog food pellets are dry and biscuit-like in consistency. They have low moisture content. Dry dog foods typically contain between 8 and 10% of moisture.

Especially made machines pulverise the ingredients, steam-cook them, then extrude them under high heat and pressure through metal dies.

The metal dies give kibbles their shape. Bone-shaped kibbles have passed through bone-shaped dies, whilst round kibbles are formed using circular dies.

Aside from extrusion, baking is another way dog food manufacturers make dog food.

Benefits of Dry Dog Food

These are some benefits of dry dog food:

  • Affordability: Dry dog foods are more affordable than wet dog food, which is why they are quite popular.
  • Size Variety: Dry dog foods are also available in many sizes. Generally, some dogs prefer larger kibbles, whilst some prefer very tiny ones. Size is important when selecting kibbles. If the kibble is too small, your dog might swallow them whole, which is not good for digestion. On the other hand, your dog might find it hard to swallow large kibbles, which could turn your dog off kibbles altogether. The variety of kibble sizes available means you will surely find the best one for your dog.
  • Anti-Tartar Build-Up: Chewing on dry dog food helps dogs fight tartar build-up. And without tartar build-up, dogs can avoid tooth and gum infections. Tooth and gum infections could lead to tooth loss and organ disease if left untreated.
  • Portion Management: You can measure out the amount of dog food your dog needs for the entire day. Then, you can apportion that day's rations throughout the day. This way, your dog will not under-eat or overeat.

Wet Dog Food

Wet dog food typically comes in cans, pouches, and foil trays. They are referred to as wet food because of their high moisture content, typically around 70 to 80%.

To make wet dog food, dog food manufacturers grind the meat and then mix it with a gravy of additional ingredients, such as grains, vitamins, and minerals. The mixture is then placed in containers, sealed, then sterilised at a set temperature.

Benefits of Wet Dog Food

Below are some of the benefits of wet dog food:

  • High-Moisture Content: Wet dog food is good for hydration because of its high moisture content. When you feed wet dog food to your pet, you can be sure he's getting enough water.
  • Easy to Eat: Wet dog foods are easy to eat as they are soft and easy to chew.
  • High Protein Content: Wet dog foods typically have high protein content. This is true even if the wet dog food label says it contains only 12% protein. To assess the amount of protein a wet dog food has, calculate it against its dry matter content. For instance, if a wet dog food has a moisture content of 80%, its actual dry matter content is 20%. In that case, a 12% protein content on the label translates to a 60% actual protein content. That's 12% protein divided by the 20% dry matter, which is 0.6 or 60%.
  • Taste and Fullness: Wet dog foods have great texture, aromas, and flavours. They also help dogs feel fuller for longer.

Should You Go for Dry or Wet Dog Food?

Imagine you're in a Dubai pet food shop choosing between dry and wet dog foods. Use the following guidelines to arrive at a decision.

When Dry Dog Food Is a Good Choice

Dry dog food is for you if you want to save money. Dry dog foods are relatively inexpensive when compared to wet dog food.

Kibbles are also good if your dog likes to eat frequently. This way, you can manage his portions and ensure that he's getting the correct amount of food for the entire day. And if your dog likes games, you can use kibbles to keep your pup preoccupied by putting it in an interactive dog feeder.

If you want straightforward portion management, choose dry dog foods. Dry dog foods are convenient to portion out and lead to less wastage because you can serve your pet the precise amount he needs per feeding.

Important Note: Since dry dog foods have low moisture content, make sure your pet gets enough water to drink throughout the day.

When Wet Dog Food Is a Good Choice

If a high-protein diet is crucial for your dog’s health, go for wet dog food. Wet dog foods typically have a higher protein content than dry dog foods when compared based on dry matter weight. Of course, there are also high-protein dry dog food alternatives, such as premium dog foods with meat inclusions.

If your dog doesn't drink enough water, wet dog food is better as you won't have to worry about him getting dehydrated.

Wet dog foods also come in precise, single-serve packs. This can be very convenient if the wet dog food's serving size corresponds to your dog's required portion size per feeding. Just open the package, pour the contents into your dog's bowl, and it’s ready to be consumed.

However, this is less than ideal if your dog can't or won't eat the entire contents of the pack in one sitting. You'd have to portion-manage, in this case, which is challenging but still doable. After opening a can of dog food, put the excess portion in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This leftover portion should keep for five to seven days.

Wet dog foods are also a better option for dogs who find chewing dry dog foods difficult. If your dog has misaligned jaws, missing teeth, or a small mouth, he may prefer wet dog food.

Important Note: Brush your dog's teeth regularly since your dog won't have the benefit of chewing on kibbles which are known to help fight tartar build-up.

Wet or Dry Dog Food: It Depends on Your Needs and Preferences

So, which pet food should you give to your dog?

As the above discussion shows, it all depends on your and your dog's needs and preferences. For instance, if you want to save money, choose dry dog food. But if your dog finds it hard to eat kibbles, you may not have a choice but to give him wet dog food.

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