Is Wet Or Dry Food Better For Dogs
When trying to decide what to choose for your dog, you should first find a pet food that gives them excellent nutrition to fulfill their health needs. Their food should also be something they find appetizing. Wet food is a great way to give your dog a hydration boost, while dry food can support dental health. As wet and dry dog foods have many differing benefits, another option to consider is to feed a mixture of both to give your dog a well-rounded diet that targets all kinds of needs.
Canned Dog Food Safety
Most cans are lined with plastic supposedly for safety. But that plastic contains a chemical called Bisphenol-A . BPA can leach into your dogs food. And thats a problem.
BPA can damage some important biological systems in your dog, like
- and it may increase the risk of breast and prostate cancers
The European Union calls it a substance of very high concern. And California lists BPA on ts Proposition 65 list of harmful chemicals. But the FDA disagrees.
It Contains Lots Of Moisture
Unlike dry or dehydrated food, canned food hasnt had the moisture sucked out of it during processing. The meat in the can is moist, and typically extra water is added during the canning process. This makes canned food a great option for dogs who avoid their water bowl. If youre worried your pup isnt getting enough water, canned food provides a liquid boost.
Wet food can contain up to 85 percent moisture, while dry food often contains around 10 percent moisture. Most moisture is removed from dry food during the kibble manufacturing process.
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Five Key Things To Remember When Feeding Your Dog
Find out how much to feed your dog and other popular vet-answered questions by heading to our guide on how to choose the best dog and cat food.
Commercial Dog Food Is Fast Food
Heavily-processed fast foods and packaged convenience foods can cause major health problems in people. Research shows that processed foods lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases like diabetes, cancer irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and increase all-cause mortality rates. So how can fast food be good for dogs?
Only dog food manufacturers think this nonsense makes sense. Dogs and people share roughly 75% of their genetic makeup, and we have similar nutritional needs. What were doing to our own health with processed foods, were also doing to our dogs. And its happening to them faster.
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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Semi
Semi-moist dog food contains about 60-65% water by weight, making it more expensive per energy calorie than dry food. Unfortunately, semi-moist dog food generally contains more sugar and salt than either dry or canned dog food. The extra sugar and salt mean semi-moist food is not appropriate for every dog.
“The extra sugar and salt mean semi-moist food is not appropriate for every dog.”
Be aware that many semi-moist foods are also loaded with artificial color, chemical preservatives, and chemical flavor enhancers. Perhaps semi-moist foods are best reserved for the occasional treat – the dog version of the hot fudge sundae!
Semi-moist dog food is very convenient because feeding involves opening the pouch and pouring it into the bowl. Work with your veterinarian to determine the calorie content of the semi-moist food and an appropriate daily portion.
Dry Dog Food Could Contribute To Dental Problems
Sure, crunchy kibble can remove some of the plaque near the tops of a dogs teeth. But it can also be ineffective within the critical zone near the gumline.
And thats where plaque and tartar cause their most harm decay and gum disease.
Even industry regulators look the other way when products claim to cleanse or whiten teeth. They simply avoid the issue altogether by labeling these marketing claims as not objectionable1.
In fact, since most kibbles contain a higher percentage of refined carbohydrates, dry dog foods could ultimately increase plaque and tartar levels and thus cause more dental problems than they supposedly prevent.
In a nutshell
Dry dog foods do not necessarily produce healthier teeth and gums
So, when choosing between canned or dry dog food, its OK to choose kibble. However, dont choose it based solely on the assumption its better for your dogs teeth.
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Grain: The Great Debate
Commercial dry foods are formulated with higher proportions of grain and grain-based products than their canned counterparts. Grain elements such as corn, wheat and rice are necessary for binding the formula into pellets and improving the texture. Grains such as corn, wheat and soy also can partially replace meat as a protein source, thereby trimming cost.
Intense debate wages over whether the ubiquitous grains in dry food belong in a dogs diet. Natural food advocates assert that dogs are carnivores that have no metabolic need for plant matter in their food.3 Others, including those in the pet food industry, assert that wild dogs are scavengers that regularly supplement their meat diet with grasses, berries, roots and other vegetable matter,4 not to mention the digested plant matter they inadvertently consume along with their herbivorous prey.
Which Dog Food Survey
Which? customer scores are based on how satisfied customers are with the brand overall, and whether or not theyd recommend it.
To find out which are the best and worst dog food brands, in August 2019 we surveyed 4,684 Which? members who’d bought pet food recently and asked about their experiences with their chosen brand. More than two and a half thousand of these were dog owners.
If you’re considering buying new dog food, head to our guide on choosing a pet food for the latest advice.
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Kibble Has A Longer Storage Life
Of course, unopened cans do have a longer storage life. Were talking about storage lifespan after the can or bag is opened. Thats where kibble wins. Once the bag is opened, proper storage is essential, because exposure to air will eventually make the fats turn rancid and the food will lose its nutrients. To maximize the kibbles shelf life, store the food, bag and all, in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Youll want to keep the food inside the original, opened bag because packaging is designed to maintain freshness.
What About Raw Meat
Supplementing raw meat into your dog’s diet is fine, but only if it is very fresh. The reasoning behind feeding raw meat is usually to mirror your dog’s natural diet, but remember that meat from the shops is not the same as freshly hunted meat. Meat from the butcher has been processed in an abbatoir, and often transported for days before being sold.
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Dry Food Vs Canned Food
Both dry and canned food can be a great choice for your pet. When it comes to decide on the type of food for your pet you will have to consider several factors such as:
- Cost – the costs of dry food are smaller than the costs of canned food.
- The dogs age – puppies and senior dogs should get wet food.
- The dogs health condition – Healthy dogs can get either type of food, but dogs that have liver and kidney problems or diabetes will have to get wet food. Obese and dieting dogs may also do better on canned food.
- Your dogs food preferences – some dogs prefer dry or canned food.
You should also bear in mind that the dry food is more practical. If left outside, the dry food will not go bad for over 24 hours. The cannedfood cannot be left outside for more than 2 hours, as after this interval the food may cause digestive problems in the dog.
History Of Canned Dog Food
Growing up on a farm in the UK, I never saw kibble though it did exist.
My dad was a farmer who didnt appreciate critters eating his crops. So there was usually a pot of some cheaper game like rabbit or pigeons bubbling on the stove for his working Springer Spaniels. But the dogs were fit and athletic and they rarely needed a vet. Sometimes they got our leftovers.
But sometimes he popped open some canned dog food for them. I even remember the brand: PAL, which stood for prolongs active life.
Kibble emerged as a popular dog food in the 1950s. But canned food has been around for about 100 years. Ken-L-Ration was the first canned dog food. During World War II there was less canned food available because they needed the metal for the war effort. But the industry picked up again after the war.
Today, kibble is by far the most popular dog food. US canned dog food sales are about 1/3 of US kibble sales.
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Kibble Offers Flexibility And Convenience
A kibble diet fits a variety of schedules and lifestyles, with less worry of spoilage. Its easy to pack on outings and road trips. And if your dog prefers snacking and grazing, kibble can stay in the bowl all day long, without worry about bacteria growth and spoilage! And theres no need to bother with refrigerating leftover portions. Scoop, measure, fill and youre done.
Keep an eye on the portion and make sure youre measuring the right amount of food for your dogs size. A serving of kibble appears smaller than that of canned, with more calories per ounce, which means overfeeding can happen all too easily.
The Most Reliable Wayto Prevent Dental Disease In Dogs
The only scientifically proven way to decrease plaque and tartar is the same for dogs as it is for humans daily brushing combined with routine tartar removal by a health professional.
Of course, anyone who has tried it already knows: brushing a dogs teeth can be one of the most challenging tasks of pet ownership you can undertake.
Unfortunately, without daily home care and professional cleanings, canine dental disease could be a real possibility.
So, if you decide to give it a try, use a baby-soft toothbrush. And maybe one of those food-flavored canine toothpastes. You could be adding years of better health to your dogs life.
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Understanding The Ideal Food For Dogs
Even before we can start answering the question which between dry kibbles and wet dog food is better for our pooches, it is important to gain understanding of the fundamental nutritional requirements of these pets. Only then can we craft a more sensible answer to the nagging question.
There was a point in mans history when dogs are believed to be carnivorous creatures, having descended from a lineage that includes wolves, jackals, coyotes, and dingoes, just to name a few. Because of this, many thought that by giving domesticated canids meat-based diets on an exclusive basis, we are essentially catering to their innate needs. Sadly, this was not the case as many dogs that have been fed exclusive meat eventually suffered in the long run. Since then, our view of dogs as carnivores changed and we now consider them as omnivores.
Regrettably, many of the dog foods currently available in the market simply dont get the ideal nutrient composition required by domesticated canids. To illustrate our point, let us compare the nutrient composition of dogs in the wild and commercially available dry dog food.
- Wild dog diet 56% protein, 25 to 30% fat, and 14% carbohydrates
- Dry dog food 18 to 32% protein, 8 to 22% fat, and 46 to 74% carbohydrates
Cons Of Homemade Dog Food
- When making fresh dog food from home, it can be easy to forget certain ingredients they need higher risk of nutritional deficiency if you are not careful.
- You will need to add supplements as the food usually prepared is lacking nutrients.
- Feeding canines homemade dog food can be more costly than buying commercial food.
- Making kibble from scratch can be very time consuming.
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The Quality Of Processed Commercial Foods Is Suspect
Dog food may legally contain 4-D meat: meat from dead, dying, diseased and disabled animals. Add a little road kill, mill floor sweepings labeled as grain, and corn contaminated with high levels of pesticide and you have a recipe for ill health. Starches and fillers are other common ingredients, along with artificial colors and preservatives, plus synthetic vitamins and minerals that dont nourish your dog effectively. The cheaper the food, the cheaper the ingredients and the worse the nutrition.
Always read the ingredient list on the food label so you understand what youre buying!
Wet Dog Food: Advantages And Disadvantages
Dogs, especially puppies can be rather picky eaters. Because of wet dog food consistency and smell, wet dog food is more palatable for dogs. Its also less processed, which means that it more closely resembles proteins in their natural state. Wet dog food contains more water, making it more hydrating than kibble.¹ This is extremely helpful for dogs prone to dehydration or those that just dont drink enough water. Wet dog foods are usually better for dogs with any food sensitivities, especially vegetarian wet dog food formulas.
There are some possible downsides to wet dog food though. Even though it has a longer shelf life unopened, if left out, wet dog food can spoil quite quickly. So refrigerate any leftovers immediately. Wet dog food can also be incredibly messy, especially if you have a messy eater.
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Dry Matter Basis Protein Calculator
Find these values on your pet food bag’s Guaranteed Analysis. Looking for another macronutrient? You can substitute ash, fat, or fibre in this equation to find these other actual values.
Crude Protein :
Wild Salmon Formula Wet Dog FoodListed Protein Content: 9.5%ACTUAL Protein Content: 45.24%
When compared using Dry Matter Basis, there is a difference of over 10% in protein content between the wet and dry food formulas of a single high-protein brand! THAT’s a big difference.
If you’re concerned about the protein content of your pet’s food, always calculate your dog food’s guaranteed analysis on a dry matter basis.
To learn more about the different types of dog food, check out Types of Dog food: A Helpful Breakdown.
Wet Versus Dry Pet Food: Is One Better For Your Pet
This article was first published in The Skeptical Inquirer
From improving their joints to making fur shine, dog and cat food companies load their products up with bold claims and flashy buzzwords. Even if youve managed to avoid the often-pseudoscientific trends such as raw diets, organic pet food, or vegan kibble, you may still have some questions about the best practices for feeding your feline and canine friends. One of the most fundamental is: Whats better, wet or dry food?
The good news is that either type of pet food can provide your animal with the complete nutrition they need to grow, run, play, and be merry. You can be sure of this by checking the statement of nutritional adequacy that will be found on any pet food. In North America, these statements are regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials , and there are equivalent authorities in Europe and elsewhere. The statement of nutritional adequacy will read something along the lines of: for all _____ where the blank is filled in with the type of pet this food is for , and the bracketed part may be omitted.
If your pets food bears this sentence, then you can be sure that if you follow the feeding guidelines on the package , your pet is receiving all of the calories, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and protein they need. Many companies will also provide instructions for if you want to feed your pet both wet and dry food.
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The Question Of Digestibility
The reason why dogs need more protein is that their digestive system is not primarily designed for roughage. They are not cows or other grass-feeding animals. Dogs require proteins and fats because their digestive system is more efficient in processing these nutrients.
For example, egg whites are often used as the benchmark for assessing the digestibility of food items. Egg white proteins are easily digested by the canine stomach. As such, it is given a score of 1.0. Let us take a look at the digestibility of some of the common food items that some of us would give to our pets.
- Lean meats 92%
- Wheat 60%
- Corn 54%
As you can see, meats are a lot easier digested by the canine stomach. Fibrous food materials take time to digest if not fully digested at all. For instance, compare corn which has a digestibility of only 54% with lean meats with 92%. This means that the gastrointestinal system of our dogs is inherently designed to process proteins and fats. It can still digest carbohydrates but only to a lesser degree.
Check out our guide on the Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs for more info.