Every dog owner is concerned with which food is the right one for the four-legged friend. In particular, the decision between wet dog food and dry food causes discussions, doubts, and uncertainty: Both wet food and dry food have numerous advantages and disadvantages in handling and for the health of your four-legged friend. We explain the most important differences and similarities between the two types of food for dogs.
Differences Between Dry and Wet Food
The main difference between wet and dry food is in the name of the two types of food: the moisture content.
While wet food usually contains a high proportion of water (between 60 and 85 percent), dry food has just three to twelve percent moisture.
The moisture content mainly affects the shelf life of the food, because wet food spoils much faster than dry food.
Another difference between the two popular dog foods is the consistency. Wet food consists of a soft mass that is either bite-sized or jelly-like in the bowl. The dog, therefore, has to chew less than with the crispy, hard pieces of dry food.
Wet and Dry Food in Comparison
Finding the right, high-quality dog food for the fur nose is a challenge. As a first step, you should therefore familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of both types of feed.
Benefits of Dry Food
The longer shelf life of dry food is a decisive argument for many dog owners. After all, an opened package can be stored for a long time and the food stays fresh and crispy in tightly closed bags or in dog food cans for weeks or even months.
The simple handling not only saves packaging material but also money: Since dry dog food has a higher energy content than wet food, less food is required overall. The dry variant is, therefore, more cost-effective. Dry food is also advantageous if the dog prefers to eat small portions because the food can easily remain in the bowl throughout the day without spoiling or smelling too unpleasant.
In addition, crumbs and leftovers can be easily removed from the floor if the dog is not so strict about the cleanliness of the food. Some dog owners also emphasize that chewing dry food is good for their teeth and reduces tartar in their four-legged friends. However, this argument is controversial among veterinarians.
Disadvantages of Dry Food
Despite the ease of dosing and the long shelf life, dry food also has disadvantages. The main problem is that the crispy pieces contain almost no moisture at all and therefore no water is supplied to the dog when eating. Dogs that eat dry food must therefore drink a lot to meet their daily fluid requirements.
Another problem is the high energy content. If the dry food is dosed too generously, the dog can quickly become overweight. The ingredients of dry food play an important role here because many types of dry food contain a high proportion of grain, which can contribute more quickly to weight gain and the development of allergies and skin diseases.
Preservatives contained in dry food can also lead to intolerance.
Benefits of Wet Food
Wet food is usually packaged in smaller portions in cans or small bags. The pack is opened fresh every day so that there is no loss of taste due to the storage of opened food. Many dogs appreciate the fresh, juicy taste and look forward to the sound of the can opener every day.
In addition to the taste, the high water content is an advantage, because the dog is supplied with plenty of liquid while eating. For dogs that generally drink too little, wet food is an optimal fluid balance.
In the case of sick dogs, the consistency of the food is a decisive argument: dogs with dental problems do not have to chew much; Medicines and nutritional supplements can be mixed into the feed without any problems and often unnoticed.
Dogs that tend to be overweight also benefit from wet food, because the lower energy content ensures that the dog can eat its fill without consuming too many calories.
Disadvantages of Wet Food
In terms of health, wet food for dogs has few disadvantages as long as it is high-quality food. Inferior varieties that contain sugar or artificial preservatives can, however, in the long run, lead to health problems and promote disease.
Wet food is more of a disadvantage for humans because significantly more packaging units have to be purchased and there is significantly more packaging waste than when feeding dry food. The amount is also noticeable in terms of price because the bottom line is that it costs more to cover the dog’s food needs with wet food.
At the same time, you have to make sure that opened cans do not spoil and that the food is at the right temperature for the dog. Wet food should not remain in the bowl for several hours as it spoils quickly, has an unpleasant smell, and attracts flies.
Mixed Feeding as a Healthy Compromise
Many dog owners choose mixed feeding, which combines wet and dry food.
With mixed feeding, your dog gets the best of both worlds.
The disadvantages compensate each other and at the same time, your dog has more variety in the bowl with mixed feeding. If the dog already receives a mixture of dry and wet food as a puppy, it will get used to both types and, if it is necessary for health reasons, can easily be switched to one of the types of food.
Conclusion: It Depends on the Content
Dogs can be fed healthy and species-appropriate with dry food, wet food, and a mixed diet. Both types of food have numerous advantages and disadvantages in terms of dog health, handling, shelf life, and hygiene.
When choosing the right wet or dry food, you should consider the individual points and choose the variant that works best for you and your dog.
It is important that the dog is fully nourished and consumes all the nutrients it needs for long, healthy life. When buying feed, pay attention to the ingredients and always adapt the type and amount of feed to the state of health, weight, and age of your four-legged friend.