Every dog owner wants to make sure that they are doing the best thing possible for their pets, especially when it comes to providing them with a good diet. One of the most important question that all dog owners will have to ask themselves is whether to go with dry dog food or wet dog food, and though most will try to have a bit of both, one will definitely become more prevalent.
Well the good news is that in terms of nutritional value both wet and dry dog foods are potentially the same. Dry dog food does not inherently provide a more balanced diet than wet, or vice versa, and it is very much down to the individual dog food recipe that dictates what ingredients are used, and therefore the food's nutritional value. So if the difference is not in relation to nutrition, what benefits does one have over the other?
As you have likely been able to intuit for yourselves, wet dog food has a great deal more moisture than dry dog food, making it the ideal choice for dogs who live in the more arid areas of the world. It is also a good choice for dogs who engage in a good deal of exercise, as they are more likely to become dehydrated and the moisture in the wet dog food can help combat this. Wet dog foods is also best given to dogs who are ill or those who are becoming advanced in years, although there are many dry dog foods that have been specially formulated specifically for senior dogs.
The issues with wet dog food are not problems so much as they are inconveniences. Wet dog food, by its very nature, is messier than its dry counterpart, and dogs with longer coats may inadvertently cover themselves in food. It also doesn't keep as well as dry dog food either, and once a can has been opened it needs to be eaten immediately, or covered and kept in the fridge for no longer than a week. Finally, cost can be a very important factor to dog owners, and when it comes down to price dry dog food beats wet paws down.
Dry dog food is undeniably more convenient than wet dog food; it's easier to store, can be safely left out all day, and it will last much, much longer than wet dog food ever could. For owners with multiple pets, dry dog food is also vastly superior to wet, as it can be bought in far larger quantities and will not spoil. Some dry dog foods even have additional benefits, for example some kibbles are designed to improve a dog's dental hygiene, and others are designed to encourage ample mastication.
Although dry dog food is the more convenient choice, it does not provide dogs with any additional moisture, which could be an issue for dogs as they get older. Dry dog food, though not less nutritious, is often less appealing to dogs than wet dog food, which means if your dog is ill and has a poor appetite, dry food is less likely to coax them into eating. Lastly, dry food is more likely to contain artificial additives, especially preservatives, though it should be noted that many brands – such as Lovejoys, Symply and Barking Heads – pride themselves on producing all-natural dog food.
Unless your dog has specific dietary requirements that precludes either one or the other it is impossible to say which food is better for your dog. You may find that grain free dog food will suit your them better, aiding digestion and reducing tummy upsets. Variety is the spice of life, as the old adage goes, and there is no doubt that every dog could do with a change from time to time. Dry dog food is ideal the majority of the time, but a bit of wet dog food during the warm summer months, or even as a treat when your dog has been particularly well behaved, will never go amiss.