Wet Versus Dry Food: A Dog Owner’s Guide

So, you made the decision. You have decided to get a puppy, a new furry friend that will bring you years of joy and love! Before anything else, it is important to discern what kind of food will be the best for your new pup. However, both dry and wet foods have their own benefits, and choosing between the two may be difficult. This guide will give you the ins and the outs of wet and dry dog food, and help you to make the most informed choice for your pup.

Dry Food

First, one of the best qualities of dry food is that storage is incredibly easy! It can be stored in any place that is dry, something a majority of homeowners should have. Many stores also sell plastic dog food containers that can properly put your furry friend’s food away. It can also be bought in bulk without much worry, as it won’t go rotten for months. Best of all, dry dog food is usually a cheaper alternative to wet dog food, so it poses less of a financial risk. 

Many dry foods are also designed to double as a means to clean your puppy’s teeth, and are incredibly packed with nutrients. Since dry food has more surface area, it can help clean your pup’s teeth more as compared to wet food.

Due to the removal of water in the making of kibble and other dry dog foods, the food has an incredibly high density of energy. Dry food tends to be packed tightly with proteins and healthy carbs to keep your pup energized throughout the day! This aspect of dry dog food makes it an efficient choice for bigger dogs, and less so for your new puppy. 

However, that doesn’t neccesarily mean dry food is unhealthy for smaller dogs and puppies – it just means to make sure to moderate how much they eat, in order to avoid overeating.

Finally, dry food has the advantage of use in training and other situations outside of mealtime. Due to its small size and ease to clean, it can be carried in your pocket to both get your puppy used to their food, or as a reward for training sessions!

While dry food has many upsides, it also carries some significant downsides. Since the market for dry dog food is heavily contested, many brands try to cut costs by incorporating less-than-ideal ingredients. As a result, there are many cases of false advertising and recalls for dry dog food brands. If you intend to shop for dry dog food on your own, expect to be searching for an acceptable brand for longer than usual. Always do your research before sticking to a brand!

Wet Food

The first major difference between wet food and dry food is the ease of storage. Cans are in metal containers, which can often be bulky and take up more space. Once a can of wet dog food has been opened, it MUST be finished within a few days and be refrigerated. Otherwise, you may end up with mold! Because of this, buying in bulk is a significantly less great option for wet food, unless you have a proper cold, dry location for storage. Wet food is also much more expensive than dry food, so consistently including it in your puppy’s meal plan may require more financial effort.

The main benefit of wet dog food is the hydration it provides. A lot of the time, puppies won’t drink water as much as they should, so wet food can provide them with the hydration they need to grow stronger. It’s energy density may be lower than dry dog food, but as a result your puppy will be able to eat more per meal, ensuring they can get the nutrients they need on a day-to-day basis. Wet food also can help picky eaters, as it is much more enticing to dogs as compared to scentless dry food.

However, just like dry food, wet food is no stranger to several downsides. The most major downside is that wet dog food is not very digestible to most dogs, and will often just pass through their digestive system in a few hours. If you are fine with your puppy pooping more, and are able to make up for that in their nutritional intake, this downside will not affect you too much. Another downside to wet food is it’s tendency to be much more messy, especially for puppies with smaller jaws.

In conclusion, the decision between wet and dry food will be mostly up to you. Each kind has different benefits and downsides for your puppy, and as long as you monitor your puppy’s nutrition and balance their meals, there will be little difficulty. If you are truly unsure, always remember that mixing wet and dry food is always a healthy option as well.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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