When choosing a dog food, the first step is to pick the form you want to feed – wet or dry dog food. Both can offer healthy, complete and balanced nutrition, but is one better than the other? Which is best for your dog?
Dry Dog Food
There are many benefits to feeding your dog dry food. For example:
- Convenience – Dry food for dogs does not require refrigeration after opening. This not only simplifies storage, but also makes feeding easier when traveling with your dog. Also, dry formulas typically have a longer shelf life than wet formulas and come in larger quantities. A large bag of dry dog food can last weeks, which means fewer trips to the store. And, because it doesn’t spoil as quickly as wet food, dry food can be left out longer, which is helpful if your dog tends to graze throughout the day.
- Dental health –Dry, crunchy kibbles can help keep teeth clean and reduce plaque build-up on your dog’s teeth as he chews.
- Cost effective – Dry formulas are typically less expensive to feed than wet formulas.
Wet Dog Food
Wet, or canned, dog food is a wonderful option for many dogs. It offers:
- Palatability - Wet dog food offers rich flavor and aroma. This can be great for picky eaters.
- Soft texture - Wet dog foods are more tender and easier to chew than dry dog foods, which is beneficial for dogs with sensitive teeth and gums. Senior dogs, for example, sometimes experience dental issues and may have difficulty chewing hard kibble.
- Moisture – Because of their high water content, wet foods can contribute to overall water intake for dogs. Since wet foods consist of 65% or more moisture…. (work on this)
- A third option is to feed both forms of dog food – dry and wet. Adding a scoop of wet food on top of a dry formula provides a boost of flavor and moisture that many dogs love. It’s also a great way to give your dog variety while keeping his dry formula consistent since too much change can cause dietary upset. If you choose add wet food to your dog’s dry formula, be sure to reduce the amount of dry food, to make sure you don’t overfeed your dog. Mix things up with different tastes and textures, like smooth pâtés or hearty slices in gravy. Some dry food formulas offer texture variety as well, like Purina® Pro Plan® Savor® Shredded Blend Formulas, which combine tender, meaty shreds with crunchy kibble.
You want your dog to enjoy his meals, but also to have his nutritional needs met. Talk to your veterinarian about ways you can ensure both, while also considering your budget and lifestyle. Perhaps it’s feeding a high-quality, dry dog food formula at mealtime, and giving a spoonful of wet food as a daily treat. If it keeps your dog healthy and happy, it must be right.