Wet vs. dry food for dogs? for your dog, or both?

Wet vs. dry food for dogs? for your dog, or both?
Wet vs. dry food for dogs? for your dog, or both?

Some people think wet dog food is bad for their teeth, and others think it gives dogs cavities. If you want to keep your pet’s teeth healthy, not all wet food is created equal. Taking care of your dog’s teeth at home is the best way to keep them in good shape. Most wet foods still have leftovers and processed meat in them. There may be parts of animals in canned food that can’t be linked to a certain animal.

Wet vs. dry food for dogs? for your dog, or both?
Wet vs. dry food for dogs? for your dog, or both?

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether your dog should eat wet or dry food. The main difference between dry and wet dog food is how much water it has. Wet food is about 75% water, while dry food is between 3% and 11% water. Different brands have different ingredients, and the first ingredient on the label is the one that is used the most. Dry dog food is simple and easy to prepare, but that’s about it.

Dry food doesn’t have much water in it, so make sure your dog always has access to fresh water. Almost any kind of meat-related ingredient, no matter how rancid or gross it might be, can be used in dog food. Most dog food is made of things that have been processed with a lot of heat. The byproducts of rendering can cause cancer, which could be bad for your dog’s health in the long run. Raw dog food, on the other hand, is made with natural ingredients that are similar to what dogs were meant to eat.

Wet vs. dry food for dogs? for your dog, or both?
Wet vs. dry food for dogs? for your dog, or both?

There are often bacteria and harmful mycotoxins in kibble. Mycotoxicosis is a toxic chemical made by some fungal infections in crops, like those used to make pet food. In a 2016 study, at least one mycotoxin was found in 90% of the dry dog food samples. Dry dog food contains chemicals that can hurt the liver and thyroid, cause bleeding, and even cause cancer. One of the best things you can do for your dog’s health is to feed it raw food. There are many good reasons to give dry food instead of wet food to your dog.

Wet dog food has advantages.

Some old ideas about wet dog food are still held by pet owners. Some people think it gives dogs cavities, and others think it’s not as healthy as dry dog food, but it’s time to rethink these ideas.

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The real deal

Studies on the dental health of pets don’t find much difference between dogs that eat dry food and dogs that eat wet food when it comes to tooth decay. In fact, not all dry food is the same when it comes to keeping your pet’s teeth healthy. Studies have shown that only dog food formulas with a Veterinary Oral Health Council seal improve dental health.

No matter what kind of food your dog likes, the best way to keep its teeth in good shape is to do preventive dental care at home.

What’s good about wet food?

Quality canned, fresh, or frozen wet food is just as full of nutrients as quality dry food. There are now wet-food formulas for almost every kind of dog diet, such as organic, grain-free, novel protein, weight-maintenance, sensitive stomach, and more.

Wet food has its own advantages as well.

Wet food has more water in it, so it can help your pet stay hydrated and avoid problems with its urinary tract.
Wet food has the same amount of protein as dry food but less carbs. That can be a big help for dogs that are too fat or have food allergies.
Most picky eaters like wet food better than dry food.

The tastes? You can get things like turkey, salmon, pumpkin, quail eggs, chicken potpie, and seafood bisque.

Why wet dog food isn’t good

People say that wet food is better than kibble. Some people think it’s better because it has more water, and some dogs seem to like it more than dry food. However, these cans may appear to be something other than what they are. We talked to John Gicking, who is board certified in veterinary emergency and critical care and works for BluePearl Veterinary Partners. He helped us bust some of the myths about wet food.

Not all wet food ingredients are high quality.

Most wet foods still have by-products and meat that has been processed. Gicking suggested we look at the labels of a few brands. One of them has ingredients like potassium chloride, choline chloride, cobalt proteinate, chicken meal, and a lot of other things that are hard to say. Other canned food has parts of animals that can’t be traced back to a specific animal, like liver, heart, or tripe. Some have an artificial sweetener in them.

Not all of those chunks of meat are real meat.

Glicking says that many wet foods have glues that hold the meat together so that it looks like chunks of meat. These may be made with wheat gluten or gum, which can be a problem for dogs that are allergic to gluten or cause stomach problems like diarrhea.

BPA may be in canned food.

Researchers at the University of Missouri found that dogs who ate two popular brands of canned dog food were exposed to BPA after just two weeks. During that time, their BPA levels tripled. Exposure to BPA has been linked to high blood pressure, problems with the nervous system, and maybe even cancer.

The way to cook is hard to explain.

People don’t just cut up some meat and vegetables and put them in a can. The raw ingredients, such as chicken breasts, heads, feet, kidneys, hearts, livers, stomachs, and intestines, are put together for the canned food method. Then, grains, minerals, and vitamins are added to the gravy, along with thickeners and gels.

You can find the so-called benefits elsewhere.

Dogs with kidney and bladder problems are often given wet food because the extra moisture is good for them. However, freshly cooked food also has more water in it. The same is true for puppies with bad teeth: both wet and freshly cooked food are easier for them to eat.

Advantages of feeding a dog dry food

Many people wonder whether they should feed their dog dry food or wet food. Some owners find that a mix of wet and dry works best, but there is no right or wrong answer in general. It comes down to what you and your dog think is best. This guide will help you see why dry dog food is good for your dog.

How Dry and Wet Dog Foods Are Different

The main difference between wet and dry food is how much water it has. Wet food has about 75% water, while dry food has anywhere from 3% to 11%. Different brands have different ingredients, and it’s helpful to know that the first ingredient on the label is the one that’s used the most.

Wet food usually has more calories than dry food, so dogs may need to eat up to three times as much dry food to get the calories they need every day. This could cause the price of wet food to go up in the long run.

Why dry dog food is better

One of the best things about dry dog food is that it is easy to use. And because it’s easy to store and move, buying dry dog food in bulk could end up being cheaper.

Dry dog food is usually less messy than wet food, and you don’t have to worry about bacteria growing on it if you leave it out for a while. This is helpful if you have young kids or live with someone who has a weak immune system.

Foods like kibble are high in nutrients and full of protein and carbs. Soaking dry kibble will soften it, which is good for a puppy who is learning to eat solid food or an older dog with tooth problems. Also, soaking the dry food in warm water will bring out the smell of meat that dogs like. Dogs can also be trained with kibble.

Because dry dog food is small, it is easy to hide in toys. This can keep your pet busy and stimulated, especially if you have to leave them at home while you go to work or go out for a short time. Another benefit of dry dog food is that it is crunchy. Because of the way it is shaped, when dogs chew on it, the sharp edges can help prevent plaque and tartar from building up in their mouths, which could lead to better breath and healthier gums.

It’s important to know that each serving of complete dry dog food has all the calories and nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy. A dog food that isn’t complete will need to be supplemented with something else. Here, you can choose from a variety of tasty and healthy dry dog foods from WCF Select.

Things to keep in mind

If you want to feed your dog a mix of wet and dry foods, it is best to serve one or the other at each meal. Also, you should keep an eye on how many calories your dog is eating to make sure he or she doesn’t get too fat by eating too much.

Dry food doesn’t have much water in it, so it’s important to make sure your dog always has access to fresh water.

When deciding between wet and dry food for your dog, the most important thing to think about is its nutritional value and what it contains. Every dog has different needs, so it’s best to look at the label and decide from there. If you don’t know what kind of food to give your dog, you should talk to your vet.

If you aren’t sure what kind of food to buy for your dog, the PDSA has a good article you can read to learn more.

What’s wrong with dry dog food?

Any living thing needs to eat the foods it has evolved to eat in order to stay healthy. This is called “species-appropriate nutrition,” and vets and dog owners are starting to talk about it more and more.

It’s important to talk about because kibble, which has only been around for a little over a hundred years, is now the most common way to feed our pets. As more research is done on how dry dog food affects a dog’s health, it seems like we only find more and more reasons to stay away from it.

Dry dog food is easy and convenient, but that’s about it. It’s also not too expensive. But none of these things is more important to dog owners than their dogs’ health. Because of this, it’s important to know why dry dog food is bad. With this in mind, here are seven reasons why you shouldn’t feed your dog kibble and should instead feed it natural foods:

Subpar ingredients

Several sources, including an alarming 2007 report by Earth Island Journal, say that dog food can have almost any kind of meat-related ingredient, no matter how rancid or disgusting it might be. This includes grease from restaurants, dead pets, sick farm animals, and a wide range of other questionable sources.

This is fair because of the process of “rendering,” which is how the ingredients are cleaned up. It has to go through hours of high-heat processing to kill any viruses or bacteria. Rendering has its place because it’s a way to reuse things that aren’t good enough for people to eat. But that doesn’t mean that they are any better for a dog to eat.

Nutritional loss

One of the worst things about high-heat processing is that it gets rid of almost all of the nutrients in the food. Not to mention the fact that rendering can make cancer-causing byproducts like heterocyclic amines and other carcinogens that could hurt your dog’s health in the long run.

Flavor enhancers and artificial nutrients are added to the food to make up for the lack of nutrients. It’s not clear if they really add any nutrition or if they just let companies list more vitamins and minerals on their packaging.


Dry dog food is full of grains and other carbs with a lot of starch. This includes corn that has been changed genetically or something else like wheat, rice, or potatoes. Some foods say “grain-free” on the label, but they still have peas or legumes, which are just starchy carbs.

Most kibble is made up of these kinds of ingredients. As a result of the insulin, glucose, and cortisol spikes that they cause, they are linked to a wide range of health problems. High-starch carbs are also a big reason why so many dogs are overweight now, which was never a problem before processed foods became the norm.

Carbohydrates are also a major cause of pancreatitis in dogs because they put an abnormal amount of stress on the organ when it tries to break down starches.

If you’re not sure what that is, raw dog food is made from natural ingredients that are similar to what dogs were meant to eat. Bella and Duke can make a custom raw diet plan for your dog based on its needs and ship it right to your door at no extra cost, so it’s a good option to think about.

Chance of germs

Kibble often has bacteria and dangerous mycotoxins in it. This is a toxic chemical made by certain fungal infections in crops, like those used to make pet food. In a 2016 study of 387 corn samples used to make dog food, at least one mycotoxin was found in 90% of the samples.

Depending on what kind and how much is eaten, mycotoxicosis can cause some or all of the following:

Muscle tremors
speeding up of the heart

Even worse, mycotoxins aren’t the only thing to worry about when it comes to contaminants. For example, there are also aflatoxins, which have caused many recalls and disease outbreaks over the past few decades. They are made by fungal infections, just like mycotoxins, and dogs are especially sensitive to their effects.

Here are some of the most well-known signs of being poisoned by aflatoxin:

Severe vomiting
Problems with babies

As if things couldn’t get any worse, storage mites can also be found in dry pet food. These tiny creatures start out in grain silos. They then move to kibble and have a lot of babies quickly. Dogs can become very sensitive to storage mites, which can lead to ear infections, hair loss, and skin problems, among other things.

Moisture content

Dry food is, well, dry. It’s almost completely dry, so your dog is always dehydrated. Imagine that you had nothing to eat all day but salted crackers. That makes the poor dog have to spend a lot of uncomfortable time at the water bowl, and being dehydrated can also cause other serious problems.

This includes dangerous signs like losing your appetite, panting, and having less energy. It can also make the eyes, gums, and nose dry out. Dehydration also makes your dog’s skin less flexible. Each of these symptoms can cause other health problems on their own. This is called a “domino effect,” and it doesn’t lead anywhere good.


As soon as you open a bag of kibble, the fats that are sprayed on and in the food start to go bad. This can cause a lot of trouble in the long run. The nutrients in kibble are destroyed by rancid fats. This means that your dog will eat something that has even fewer vitamins and proteins than it did before.

Bad fats are linked to a lot of health problems. This includes, but isn’t limited to, the known problems below:

Hair loss
Problems with babies
Liver and kidney disease

At this point, it should be pretty clear why more and more pet owners are avoiding dry food. But it doesn’t end here.

Chemicals and other add-ons

A lot of dog food contains dangerous ingredients. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is one of the most common. It is used to preserve fats and slow down the process of them going bad. Considering what you’ve just read, that might sound like a good thing. But BHA isn’t any better because many studies have shown that it makes cancer grow.

Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), ethoxyquin, propylene glycol, and food dyes are some of the other chemicals you might find in dry food. The effects of ethoxyquin, which is often called “fish meal,” are what make it stand out. These effects include liver damage, thyroid damage, bleeding, and cancer.

There are many good reasons to think about giving your dog dry food instead of wet food. Raw dog food is one example, and because it is good for your dog’s health, you should look into it. One of the best things you can do for your dog’s health is to get them off of kibble and feed them something else.

How should we proceed?

Whether you decide to feed your dog wet dog food, dry dog food, or soft dry dog food, always read the packaging carefully so you know what you’re buying. Make sure the food is 100% complete and balanced, and look at the label to make sure it has good ingredients. Before you buy, it’s also a good idea to talk to your vet so you can be sure you’re getting a food that will keep your dog happy and healthy.

You could also choose both wet and dry foods. You can do this by mixing the dry and wet foods in the same bowl, giving them dry food in the morning and wet food in the evening (or vice versa), or giving them wet food as a “treat” for good behavior. Just make sure you’re not giving your dog more calories than he needs, especially if he’s on a diet to lose weight.

Don’t mix different brands of dog food, especially if your dog is on a therapeutic diet. Hill’s Pet Nutrition foods are made to meet your pet’s needs, and if you mix different brands together, you can throw off the exact balance of Hill’s nutrition.

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