Wet or Dry Dog Food – Which Is Best For Your Dog?

Which is better for your dog, wet (canned) food or dry kibble? The answer is…

It depends!

Most dog owners come down forcefully on one side or another and others feed a combination or skip commercial food altogether and make their own. Whether to feed your dog wet or dry food will depend on 1) your dog and their nutritional requirements and 2) your preference.

Let’s look at wet food first. Dogs themselves are often big fans of wet food, as it more closely resembles meat and tends to be more flavorful. Of course wet food contains more moisture than kibble and this can be an important factor in dogs who don’t tend to drink enough water or who are prone to urinary tract infections. 

Another advantage of feeding wet food is that the extra moisture takes up space in your dog’s belly, making him feel more full. If your dog is on a weight loss diet, this can be a good way to keep your dog satisfied. Also younger and more active dogs will appreciate the generally higher protein content found in wet foods. 

A couple of disadvantages include the fact that wet foods don’t clean your dog’s teeth so you will have to pay more attention to dental care. Also, wet food has to be refrigerated after it’s opened and will spoil after a few days.

Dry food has an advantage because it definitely keeps better. But if your dog is really active, he may require more protein that a dry food alone can offer. Some dogs have a facial structure that makes it hard for them to eat dry kibble. 

Both wet and dry dog food have their advantages, so some owners get the best of both worlds by feeding some of each. Check with your veterinarian for help in figuring out the best proportion of each for your dog.

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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