Barring the endless variety of pet snacks, there are typically two types of dog food products available in the supermarket aisles, dry and wet. Now, there are other diet options such as raw and homemade meals for dogs, but primarily dry and wet are the two major options.
Before we start comparing the two types it’s best to start with a brief disclaimer. Quality of pet food depends totally on the pet food manufacturers and the ingredients. “Healthier” dog food also depends a lot on calories and not just nutrients. Overfeeding your dog by giving it too much healthy dog food (wet or dry) is inherently not healthy.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the topic at hand. Dry food for dogs vs wet food, which one is better? We pitted the two types of food against each other on several different parameters to find out which one is the right choice for you.
Is It a Good Idea to Mix Dry and Wet Dog Food?
You can absolutely mix wet and dry dog food together to get the best of both worlds. The wet food adds a bit of moisture and protein to the mix while the dry kibble ads texture and crunch which in turn enhances palatability.
By mixing dry and wet food, pet parents can save money as opposed to giving their pets 100% wet food. Mainly because wet food products are generally more expensive by adding kibble you can limit the amount of wet food you use per serving.
Dry dog food typically has more carbohydrates. This is necessary as carbohydrate kind of acts as a binding agent that ensures the kibbles retain their shape. Canned wet food typically have more protein, moisture, and fat. This makes wet dog food definitely the more nutritious option. The baking process and the use of preservatives in dry food also make it less nutritious. The water in wet food keeps the dog hydrated and is a good filler to have considering a lot of dry food use corn and grain fillers and have no moisture.
One of the reasons dry dog food is often recommended is because it has a greater shelf life. This means the nutrients do not spoil as quickly as wet food. Therefore, if you are planning to store a portion of the wet food for later use, some of the nutrient value is going to get lost and it will also lose a bit of its flavour. Dry food, on the other hand, is much more resilient and can hold on to its nutritive properties for far longer as long as it’s stored properly inside an airtight container.
Safety of any dog food product, be it dry or wet, boils down to the ingredients. Dry food often contains more preservative. However, most of these preservatives are food grade and are generally considered safe. Dogs can develop digestive issues if dry food contains a lot of grains or other fillers. Wet dog food products generally have fewer carbs and more protein and fat, which is more species appropriate. This usually means less digestive issues.
Both dry and wet foods are safe for dogs barring the occasional digestive problems.
Dogs, like humans, have different preferences. Some like the bite and the crunch of kibble while others prefer the wet flavourful food.
However, it’s seen that dogs are more likely to reject dry food compared to wet food. Sick dogs especially prefer food with moisture as chewing crunchy and hard food becomes a more difficult task.
Wet dog food needs to be refrigerated after the can is opened after which it can last up to 7 days. A large bag of dry kibble, on the other hand, can last for 30 days in a proper storage container.
Therefore, if you are looking for food that’s going to store well without refrigeration, dry food is the way to go.
Wet food doesn’t do anything to improve dental health. In fact, certain types of sticky wet food can actually stick to the teeth surface causing dental issues.
Some dry dog food kibbles have a special texture to gently remove tartar. The dry nature of the kibble also prevents it from sticking to the gum or teeth, which is an added advantage.
Wet food is generally significantly costlier than dry kibble. On top of that, you don’t need to refrigerate dry kibble, so it doesn’t take up your precious fridge space. Feeding your dog dry kibble is undoubtedly the most economical option of the two.
However, it’s important to mix it up a bit to ensure your dog is getting the right blend of nutrition. Giving your pet different food types also keeps things interesting and enhances palatability.