We all want the best for our furry best friends and with countless dog food brands and feeding methods available, choosing the right option can feel like a bit of a minefield. Fear not! In this blog, we will explore the difference between wet and dry dog food and provide some top tips on giving your pooch the very best nutrition for their lifestyle. If you don’t get the answer you’re looking for here please get in touch with our team or pop in store for free nutritional advice for your dog.
What are Dogs’ Basic Nutritional Requirements?
Dogs are omnivores, they can fulfil their nutritional requirements from a combination of both meat and plant sources. Their ancestors, wolves, are found to consume plants within the stomachs of their prey. In simple terms, dogs prefer meat but do require some plant-based products too if they’re going to thrive.
You might remember a time when dogs were fed scraps from the family dinner table or offcuts from the butchers. This is an outdated concept from a time before we had a real understanding of dog’s nutritional requirements for long-term health and feeding in this way can lead to severe nutritional deficiencies. This is where premade dog food comes in! Dog food is now available in a variety of different formats. For today we will just be focusing on the differences between wet dog food and dry dog food.
The best dog food for one dog might not be the best for another. Many factors such as breed, age, weight and activity levels influence their daily needs so it’s important to take this into account. We stock many different varieties to make sure there is something suitable for every dog!
Dry Dog Food
The Benefits of Dry Dog Food
Dry Dog food is commonly cheaper to feed than wet food. Its lower moisture content helps keep it fresher for longer and provides a higher level of nutrients per bite. Dry food’s higher calorific content means dogs need to eat less of it to meet their daily needs. It’s often much easier to buy in bulk which brings your daily feeding cost down significantly. Dry food is also considered the more environmentally friendly choice given it’s fed in lower quantities and requires much less packaging.
Dry dog kibble or biscuits are also an extremely convenient and easy way to feed your dog. Most brands of dog food will have a feeding guide on the bag to help you with portion control and weight management. Dry food also creates much less mess than wet food, which can cling to long-eared and bearded dog fur.
The abrasive nature of dry food also makes it a better option for general dental health as the kibble moves over the teeth and prevents excessive build-up of plaque and tartar.
The Drawbacks of Dry Dog Food
If you have a fussy dog, it may be that they find dry kibble less palatable than wet foods. This is because it has a lower moisture content, is less smelly and therefore less appealing to some dogs. The long-lasting dry food format does not provide the same level of hydration as wet food and might not be the best option for dogs with kidney issues or the ones that don’t drink much water.
Dry dog food can also be a little tougher to chew for senior dogs or dogs with dental issues. It Is possible to soften most biscuits by soaking them in water but some dogs may find it more comfortable eating food offered in a wet format.
Wet Dog Food
The Benefits of Wet Dog Food
One main benefit of wet dog food is that it contains water which makes it a great option for dogs that need their hydration levels boosted if they don’t drink enough water directly. This moisture brings with it a much softer texture which makes it easier for dogs that suffer from mouth pain or dental issues to eat.
Wet dog food is often stronger in smell than dry foods which can make it a more tempting proposition for dogs that are fussy eaters. This combined with the hydrating effects of wet food make it a useful tool for dogs that are suffering from illness or recovering from surgery when appetite levels might be low.
The Drawbacks of Wet Dog Food
Feeding wet dog food can be more costly than dry dog food given that your dog will need to eat more to get their daily calorie requirements. It is more difficult to buy in bulk than dry dog food and often comes with a shorter shelf life.
While its potent smell is great for our four-legged friends, wet dog food can produce a lingering odour in the household that some owners find off-putting. Wet food spoils quicker than dry food and therefore might not be the best option for dogs who prefer to graze throughout the day.
Wet food also tends to linger around the mouth and can leave a sticky residue around the dog’s muzzle, staining its beard. There is some evidence that dogs that are fed a purely wet diet have a higher chance of suffering from dental problems.
Can I Feed Both Wet and Dry Food Together?
Given there are advantages to feeding both wet and dry food, it makes sense that many owners choose to include both in their dog’s daily diet. This is a completely possible option but we do recommend that the two types of food are fed separately where possible to help the dog digest their dinner more comfortably. This might mean feeding dry food in the morning allowing your dog to graze throughout the day and then topping off with a moisture-packed wet dinner in the evening.
The most important thing when feeding a mix of wet and dry food is to keep it consistent and ensure the amount you are feeding is adjusted to ensure they aren’t being over or underfed.
Quality is What Counts
Now that we’ve covered the differences between wet and dry feeding the next thing to consider is the quality of the food. Not all dog foods are made equal and some are more nutritionally dense than others. When choosing a dog food try to avoid formulations that contain cheap and unnecessary fillers or bulking agents. Ideally, choose a food where the first ingredient is a good quality meat source. As a rule, the higher the quality you choose, the lower the volume you will need to feed per day. This will not only make sure you are getting good value for money but your dog is getting a more easily digestible meal without extra ingredients that will end up as waste.
It's Up to You and Your Dog!
To summarise, the choice between wet and dry food is entirely up to you and your dog. Different dogs might have different preferences in their food format, what matters is that they are getting quality nutrition that helps them thrive.
Riber Pets stocks several dog foods in both wet and dry forms. We’ve taken care to ensure that you will never find a product in store that hasn’t been formulated with quality ingredients and consideration of overall health requirements. You can see all our available dog foods here.
Got Any Questions?
If you’d like further information on dietary requirements or other options for feeding your pooch why not pop into the store or get in touch with us, we don’t bite!