Whether to feed your dog dry or wet food is a question asked by many. Some owners find a combination of wet and dry works best but overall, there is no right or wrong answer. It comes down to what you feel is best for you and your dog. The below guide will help highlight the benefits of a dry dog food diet.
The main difference between wet and dry food is the water content with wet food containing around 75% and dry containing anything from around 3 to 11%. Different brands will vary with their contents and it’s useful to know that the most used ingredient will be the first one you see listed on the label.
The calorie content of dry food is usually higher compared to that of wet food meaning dogs may need to eat up to three times more in order to meet their daily calorie needs. This could result in wet food being more expensive in the long term.
One of the main benefits of a dry dog food diet is that it is convenient. And, because it can be stored and transported easily, buying dry dog food in bulk could work out to be more economical.
Dry dog food is generally less messy than wet and can be left out for a while without the worry of it becoming contaminated with bacteria. This is beneficial if you have small children or live with someone whose immune system is compromised.
Food such as kibble is nutrient-dense and packed with protein and carbohydrates. Soaking dry kibble will soften the food which will be of benefit to a puppy that is weaning or an older dog that has tooth problems. Also, if you use warm water to soak the dry food it will bring out the meaty smell which dogs are attracted to. Kibble can also be used as a training treat.
Due to the size of dry dog food, it is easy to hide in toys and this can provide stimulation and entertainment for your pet, especially if they are left at home when you are at work or out for a short while. Another benefit of dry dog food is that it is crunchy and because of its shape, when dogs chew, the sharp edges can act as an oral aid to help reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar, potentially resulting in better breath and healthier gums.
It is worth noting that complete dry dog food will contain all the calories and nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy in each serving. A non-complete dog food will require further supplementation. WCF has a range of tasty and nutritious complete dry dog foods available here.
If you are going to feed your dog a mixed diet, the recommendation is that the two types of wet and dry foods should not be served together but one or the other at different meal times. It is also important to keep an eye on the calorie intake to make sure your dog does not become overweight by consuming too many.
As the water content of dry food is very low it is important to ensure your dog always has access to fresh water in order to stay hydrated.
The nutritional value and contents of your dog’s food are the most important thing to take note of when choosing between wet or dry food. Every dog’s needs are different so it is worth looking at the label and making a decision from there. If you are unsure of what type of food to feed your dog please consult with your vet.
The PDSA has a good article for further reading regarding a dog’s diet if you are unsure of what type of food to buy.