You are what you eat… it’s true for you and your dog! Choosing the right dog food for your pup is no simple task with the countless companies, brands, age-specific foods, and more. Just look at all the shelves upon shelves of food in the dog food aisle! The good news is you have many great options.
One of the biggest questions dog owners face is should they use dry food or wet food? There’s a definite price difference with wet food being more expensive. Should you spend the extra on wet food? The answer is not so clear-cut, because both options have advantages for you to consider, along with your pet's specific needs.
Is One Type of Dog Food More Nutritious Than the Other?
First, the good news is that plenty of wet food and dry food brands offer well-balanced nutrition for dogs. Your dog can (and should) be eating a well-balanced diet of meats, veggies, grains, and fruits. Again, the keyword here is balance. You don't want to neglect certain foods. Some brands may not have grains or fruits. Some may be meat-heavy. Getting a good balance means your dog is getting all of the nutrients he or she needs, including vitamins, minerals, and fiber for healthy eyes, bones and a shiny coat.
Understanding the Way Different Dog Foods Are Made
Before going through each option's pros, it's useful to know a bit about how wet food and dry food are made or how they're "processed". Generally, wet food for dogs is made by grinding up proteins and other ingredients with a gravy-like substance that contains various nutrients. That mixture is cooked and stored in cans or pouches. The gravy mixture is what makes wet food "wet." There is more moisture in wet food, meaning there is more water.
Dry food also contains similar nutrients, but instead of being mixed with a gravy-like substance, dry food is pounded into a dough that is cooked, dried, and sprayed with oils to keep the kibble from falling apart. Dry food for dogs comes in various-sized bites good for different-sized dogs. Older dogs may also appreciate smaller bits, making it easier on their teeth.
Knowing the differences in processing helps highlight many of the advantages and differences discussed below.
Advantages of Wet Dog Food
The fact that wet food contains a ton of water gives it many advantages over dry food. The water content makes the food softer, which is easier for dogs with dental problems or difficulty chewing. Further, wet food offers more hydration for your dog which can be good in the hot desert climate of Tucson. The high water content is great for animals suffering from certain health conditions. For example, if your dog has any kidney problems or urinary problems, wet food is the way to go because the increased moisture content helps to improve hydration, and allows the body to process the nutrition from the food easier.
Wet food also has a very strong scent. It's much more aromatic than dry food. This makes it more appetizing for your dog. This is especially great for older dogs who lose their senses. Like humans, when dogs lose their sense of smell (either due to old age or sickness), their appetite decreases. The strong aroma can help stimulate appetite and food intake to help keep your old pup strong for years to come.
Finally, wet food typically gives dogs more of a sense of "fullness" than dry food. Your dog will feel satisfied and full. It doesn’t mean they’ll stop begging in the kitchen though! But feeling full is good for dogs that are overweight or obese so they don’t constantly look for more food all day long.
Advantages of Dry Dog Food
Dry food has its own unique advantages. Due to the harder structure, dry food requires more chewing. The mechanical chewing of harder substances helps physically clean your dog's teeth. With plenty of kibble options being enhanced for dental cleaning, dry food is a great option to keep up with oral hygiene for dogs. Talk with your dog’s veterinarian if your dog appears to be in pain or is having difficulty chewing dry food.
Another key advantage of dry dog food is related to storage. There's no need to refrigerate dry food after opening it. Kibble bits last a long time, and they can even be left out in your dog's bowl throughout the day because not every dog vacuums up their food right away. For these “grazer" type dogs, dry food is the better option.
Dry foods can also be more economical, although brands with better quality ingredients will tend to be more expensive than other options.
Finally, dry food is great for training. If you don't want to overfeed your dog treats (which you shouldn't!), using pieces of kibble as training incentives are a good alternative. Of course, some dogs may be onto you and recognize that the kibble isn't a treat. But for others, it's a great option.
The Verdict on Wet Food vs. Dry Food for Dogs
Wet food and dry food each have unique advantages for your four-legged companion. The decision often comes down to your preference and what your dog likes most.
You should also consider your specific dog's needs such as:
Are they having health issues (ie: kidneys)? Perhaps some of both would be good, with recipes meant for your dog’s health condition
Are they getting enough water? Wet food may be good
Are they a grazer? Dry food is a good option.
Do they have a lot of plaque on their teeth? Dry food will help scrape the teeth.
Your answers to these questions and more will help you make the final decision before you buy dog food next time.
Check out this blog: Picking the Right Dog Food For Your Dog
Contact Central Pet for Vet-Approved Dog Food Options
One of the most important things you can do is to take the time to figure out what you're feeding your dog. Read the label. Talk to our knowledgeable staff about the dog foods we sell at Central Pet Tucson. They can help with any of your questions.
Because we believe that high-quality dog food is important we offer several brands of dog food that meet our standards – and your dog’s! We have an incredible array of quality wet and dry food options for your animals.