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. Rawfeederr says:

    I personally say that a diet of 50% canned & 50% dry is the best if you are choosing to feed a commercial food. But the amount of dry food should always be equal to or more than the amount of canned food you are feeding.

  2. Eric says:

    My opinion is that the ONLY canned food I would ever feed is Merrick or Before Grain from Merrick. It’s made in Merricks family owned facility and has consistently been voted best canned food for years.

    50/50 is not necessarily the best ratio as you are toying with their calorie intake. Most premium kibbles provide a higher K/cal thus putting more energy into the dog at a lower feeding amount than that of canned food.

    I like Merrick Kibble with Merrick 5 star entrees….but I like super premium kibble such as Orijen or Evo even better with no canned food.

    If you are willing to do canned, how much harder is it to open the tub of Aunt Jeni’s and feed them raw?

  3. martha walton says:

    I’ve done raw chicken necks, dry – Solid Gold, and wet. I was putting warm chicken broth or water on the dry. Now I wonder if I shouldn’t but give dry. One problem is my Chihuahua chokes on the dry bec he eats so fast. Should I wet the dry but then it’s wet dog food and not dry any longer and won’t clean teeth, right?

  4. kay says:

    I dont agree that Merrick is a good brand. They have too many dog food recalls for me THIS year alone. (2 over salmonella).

  5. Jess says:

    Let me say this their “DOG FOOD HAS NEVER BEEN RECALLED”!!! Yes, they have had some treats recalled. You would be shocked at how many recalls HUMAN FOOD has every year and if you have kids you most likely feed recalled food to your kids. If you are gonna bad mouth a really good dog food like Merrick please get you facts straight. Oh by the way I do not feed Merrick.

    Now I have to admit I have quit feeding any kind of dog food with chicken in it, with the exception of Orijen. I feed chicken and eggs to my dogs, but I always cook both.


  6. Michelle says:

    Kay-you should really get your facts straight,and do some research before posting TOTALLY WRONG information….Merrick HAS NEVER recalled their DOG FOOD.They have recalled their treats for POSSIBLE salmonella-NO REPORTED ILLNESSES from anyone using those treats.I had food poisoning from canned tuna,nothing wrong with the can(no bulging)it smelled and tasted fine,I DID NOT sue Starkist and to my knowledge it was not recalled,so every time you put any food in your mouth,you are taking a chance…..People food is recalled more than dog food.

  7. Talon says:

    I was feeding canned with dry for the longest time. Now I go to Costco and buy the huge cans of tuna and seperate it into small containers and freeze them. I give each dog a teaspoon of tuna with teaspoon of the juice breakfast and dinner…they love it..it’s cheaper than canned and their fur is soooo soft now. Sometimes I give them salmon as well.

  8. Jenn says:

    @Talon, a teaspoon?! My RATS couldn’t even survive on two teaspoons a day!

  9. Jess says:

    Vital Essentials !!! This is the first time I have ever seen this food. So I got a small bag of the freeze dried sprinkles.. 100% pure meat, huh.. Pretty spendy but it sure looks good and is made by the Green Bay Pet Food Com.

    Beef, beef tripe, beef lung, ground beef bone, beef liver, beef heart, beef kidney, dried organic kelp, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, ferrous sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, cobalt sulfate, choline chloride, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), niacin, calcium pantothenate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin.


  10. Jess says:

    We had a new dog food store (mini chain) open in our area and I had no idea there are so many de-hydrated and freeze dried dog foods available. I counted at least 8 different brands and they had 2 isles dedicated to the stuff. It’s just to bad it is so darn spendy. I bought a little bag of Stella and Chewys, LOL, Tony thinks he is getting treats. It comes in rounds about 3 inchs and maybe 15 to a bag. I break off little pieces for Tony and he loves it.

  11. Jess says:

    Dig this Michelle, that new store has Vita Essential frozen raw foods. LOL, so I got Tony a little package of the frozen beef, 4.99. The recommended amount for Tony is about 4 of those a day. 20 bucks a day, heck he could have 3 nice steaks for that. Dang, he about took my hand off as I was feeding them to him. They are a little bigger than the biggest kibble. I gotta say I was squishing them and looking close at them and they look pretty darn good. But for little dog owners, what a great meal. I am gonna spread the bag over 4 days, then back to his normal treats. I just zap them in the micro…

  12. leya says:

    My dog is on Merrick wet which was recommended by our vet because he was having a hard time with the Science Diets dry food. He and I love Merricks wet food but sometimes his stool is so soft that’s it diarrhea like at times and Merrick puts a serious hole in my pocket..maybe I should switch to Merrick dry..idk

  13. Michelle says:

    Brad, the first part of your post makes absolutely no sense.It seems to me that you are on a mission against Merrick.Also this page is about “Wet or dry food for your dog?” NOT MERRICK DOG FOOD. Also,if you read the Administrator’s post above he is wrong, dry dog food DOES NOT clean your dogs teeth.Think about it,does eating dry,crunchy foods clean your teeth?? Do you clean your teeth with crackers or chips? LOL

  14. Michelle says:

    Brad, It is not illegal, or to use your word smarmy,to own more than one kind of company.So what if Merrick owns a dog food company and a cattle co.? That doesn’t mean that they are doing anything shady.Maybe they use their own beef in their dog food recipes.So what? If you want to speak out about bad dog food,why not go after the grocery store brands,like Ol’roy,Purina,and all of the other cheap crap with horrible ingredients,instead of a good company like Merrick that uses good ingredients.Also one question,if you mistrust them then why do you even use their dog food?

  15. ADA says:

    I have a concern with dried food in that it could be linked to torsion in deep chested dogs when given dry. Dogs nearly always drink heavily after eating thus the dried food is likely to expand inside their stomach. This could lead to gastric torsion in the deeper chested breeds, Dachshunds, Boxers, Rottweilers Dobes etc. If it is mixed with a liquid prior to feeding then it swells before entering the stomach.

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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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