Wet or Dry Dog Food for Your Dog?

December 9, 2009  
Filed under Dog Food Tips

Have you ever wondered the difference between dry dog food and wet dog food?  Find out the benefits and drawbacks of each type of food so you can make an informed decision next time you are food shopping for your beloved friend.


As a pet owner, your dog’s nutrition is entirely your own responsibility. Making the choice about the best brand of food to feed your dog is hard enough, but another choice you will have to make is if you want to feed canned or dry food to your dog. There are certain advantages and disadvantages associated with both of these food formulas, which may affect the decision you make about which one is best for your dog. Choosing a food formula is a very important part of pet care, since it will allow you to have direct control over the quality of food that your dog consumes. Here is some general information about wet and dry dog food formulas, which will help you to have a much easier time making a decision.


Wet dog food is usually marketed as a canned formula, though is sometimes available in single-serving plastic pouches. Wet dog food is usually highly concentrated, designed to give your dog a full meal with less of the ‘bulk’ that is commonly contained in dry dog food. Since wet dog food does not require some of the filler ingredients that are added to some low-quality dry dog food kibble, it is said by some people to provide a better source of nutrition to your dog.

However, wet dog food is not without its setbacks. Because of the additional packaging and production process of wet dog food, it tends to be much more expensive for the same amount of nutrition as some high-quality dry dog food formulas. In addition to this, wet dog food does not promote healthy teeth in dogs, since it does not remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. Wet dog food can also become caught between a dog’s teeth, which can result in cavities.


Dry dog food is said to be the most nutritious and cost-effective method to feed a dog. If you purchase a high-quality dry dog food formula, you are often able to give your dog the same quality of nutrients provided in canned dog food formulas for much less money. In addition to this, dry dog food formulas promote healthy growth and development of jaw muscles in puppies, as well as adult dogs. Dry dog food formulas do not spoil if left out, which leads to a slightly longer shelf life. Dry kibble dog food formulas also have a scraping effect on your dog’s teeth, reducing the buildup of plaque and tartar. This promotes good dental health, and can even aid in banishing bad breath in dogs.


If your dog is currently consuming a wet dog food formula, and you wish to switch them to a dry dog food formula (or vice versa), you need to use caution. Most dogs do not respond well to rapid changes in diet, often having gastrointestinal problems as a result. Make the transition slowly, mixing some of the new formula in with your dog’s old food formula. If you wish, you can even compromise, and feed your dog a permanent mixture of both canned and dry dog food as their staple diet.

Do you feed your dog wet or dry food, and why?  Please comment below!

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22 Responses to “Wet or Dry Dog Food for Your Dog?”
  1. Junie says:

    Wet is the more tasty choice for dogs. If given a choice, most will go for wet than dry food. However, wet is more expensive and causes bad breath unless the owner brushes the dog’s teeth. Most owners I’ve come across will give dry food if their dog takes well to it. Some will add wet to the dry so that the dog eats it better.

  2. Mark says:

    I use dry food, a high quality one, after trying a few different ones that my dog liked.

    I agree that it’s more convenient than wet, and may be better for teeth and oral health.

    However, I was just told by an owner of a holistic pet store that wet is better for the coat and skin… I really have doubts about that and would concur with the author of your piece.

  3. Briana says:

    My two dogs love wet food, and I noticed that it was hard to get them to just eat dry food. In the beginning they were only introduced to dry food, but once they tried wet food they didnt want to go back. This is not a problem because I enjoy brushing their teeth, and they like it as well. However, for the past couple of months they have had horribly smelling gas, and its making me think that the wet food is causing digestive problems.

  4. Blue says:

    Wet foods contain moisture, hopefully of high quality which emulates the percentages found in prey, a dogs natural food. Studies suggest this lack of moisture can cause organ failure…
    As critical to moisture kibble containing high quality/quantity of protein is harder to find with some notable exceptions. It’s a myth that dry foods have any dental advantage over wet. Frankly you can’t get the shearing required to simulate a bone or the many alternatives available.

  5. Sara says:

    In my opinion, it really is important to feed dry food. At least half of what they eat. Here’s something I do: Put half the amount of dry food into the bowl, then add just enough hot water to moisten. Mix and let sit for 2 minutes. Quickly combine the remaining half of food and serve. Half moist, half dry. No price difference for you, no stomach upset for the dog. Everyone’s happy.

  6. cucko says:

    I, from India, too follow the same procedure as mentioned by Sara. My small size (7-8 kg) German Spitz of 5 years, an abandoned dog that we adopted two years back, licks off the left over water as if it is soup. However, my problem is that it does not like kibble for adult dogs because of the size of the kibble and yet prefers puppy kibble as the size is smaller. But then the protein content is 28% in puppy kibble as compared to 20% for adult. It is on Nefrotec DS (http://www.himalayahealthcare.com/products/nefrotec_ds.htm)for nephrolithiasis. I feed my friend Venky’s Regale Puppy (http://www.venkys.com/products/pet-food-and-health-care/pet-food-and-treats/regale-pup/). Pedigree, Lam and even Royal Canin now owned by MNCs have poor rating. Any advice would be most appreciated.

  7. Tabitha says:

    I feed my 18 month old yellow lab a mixture of both wet and dry dog food. She gets the filler of the dry dog food and the good taste she loves from the wet food. When she was a puppy she was only fed dry food and when she was about a yr old she didn’t want to eat it anymore. So, I decided to try other expensive dry foods, but once I gave her the wet food with her dry she loved it and I didn’t have any problems with her eating anymore. I worry about her teeth and her weight because of the negative side affects of wet food. So far, so good. But what can I do I have to give her what she wants. She’s got to eat.

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Should you have a concern regarding the diet of your dog, you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is the opinion of the author, and is presented solely for informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving professional veterinary care for your dog(s).
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