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Choosing the Best Wet or Dry Food for Your Dog

Choose The Best Way to Feed Your Dog

So, you have a new dog, cute little thing. Warm and fluffy, right? Now you need to get things for your new pet. Toys, a collar, new bed, and the most important thing – food.

The question here is how do you pick the best food for your dog? Which is better, wet or dry? Can you feed them both? In this article I am going to help you to decide which is the best way to go, wet or dry food.

Dog Food – Wet verses Dry

Okay, so let's start with the difference between the two. The first difference is in the name: the wet food has more/higher water content than the dry. When packaged, tins are used. Other packaging methods used are sealed foil trays, plastic containers, and small bags/packages.

As far as the dry food, the manufacturer is very careful to reduce the food's water content. This is done to ensure that no microbial and fungi life doesn't grow.

For canned food this isn't necessary. The shelf-life is determined by the packaging and temperatures during canning.

Pet food can be ranked into three categories which is determined by its moisture content. The three categories are as follows: Dry Pet Food – moisture content of 14% or less; Semi-Moist Pet Food – moisture content of between 14% and 60%; Wet Pet Food – moisture content of 60% or more.

Upon making a comparison of wet and dry dog food, the dry food usually has more carbohydrates and less protein then the wet food.

These differences are slight – manufacturers always make the effort to keep things unified with the various items that they sell.

The greatest difference here is the vitamins – wet food has much more vitamins than the dry. This is caused by the way the food is processed.

Also consider the manufacturer of the food as this can be more drastic: 40.8% = wet; 31.4% = dry.

As with anything else in life, both diets have their benefits and shortcomings. You, as the pet owner, must make sure the diets are certified, complete, and you follow the feeding instructions closely. As long as you do this, either diet will fulfill your dog's minimum nutritional requirements.

Is One Better Than The Other?

Okay, so we now know that the wet food is richer in protein and some vitamins. Should you even consider the dry food?

Well for starters, dry food is much more economical and easier to portion than wet food.

Also with the dry food dogs eating certain varieties – especially larger sized nuggets – seem to have better oral hygiene as well as healthier teeth and gums. Having said that, this type of food doesn't mean your dog shouldn't have regular check-ups at the vets.

With dry food, feed your pet twice a day as opposed to one big meal. The food can sit out and not spoil – this is an advantage, especially if your dog likes to pick during the day. The dry food will make your pet want to drink more water during the day as well. The reason for this is that the food may expand in the stomach when mixing with the extra water your dog is drinking. This can cause bloating which can cause a life-threatening condition called Gastric Ditation and Volvulus.

Now you may be wondering: if this dry food is so easy to use, economical, better for oral health, and meets the requirements, why use wet food?

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There are reasons to choose wet food so don't be too quick to disregard this choice.

The canned dog food can be a great choice for dogs that are picky eaters. This is also good for those suffering from tooth decay and gum disease.

Diabetic dogs can benefit here as the wet food is high protein and low in carbohydrates. Your pet can feel better with a low glycemic diet. That, along with the higher water content, makes this option good if the dog needs to lose weight.

Be aware of the disadvantages for wet food. This type of food spoils quicker than dry food once you open it. This is due to the high water content and lack of preservatives.

I would not recommend leaving this food in your pet's bowl for more than a few hours. At that point harmful microorganisms may be in the food. Throw it out!!

Any food left over in the can should be sealed, using an airtight lid. Reusable silicone lids work well here. Place the can in the refrigerator and be sure to use this within five to seven days maximum.

Because of the high water content with this type of diet, you will need to feed your pet more food. This will make sure your pet gets all the nutrition they need.

Please note: puppies and dogs with less of an appetite may be full but haven't met their nutritional needs. Nutritional deficiencies can occur because of this so please be very careful.

Dry, Wet, or Both – What Do I Do?

Listed below are some suggestions that will help you decide:

Get the dry dog food for: Convenient, easy to ration diet; economical diet; dogs that eat small amounts of food during the day; can buy enough food for a few weeks and save space at the same time.

Get the wet food for: Dogs that suffer from oral disease or have difficulty chewing; and a preservative-free / low-preservative food.

Mixing the two can be helpful, giving your pet the best of both worlds. If your pet is struggling with dry food alone, this mixture of food can help.

Your veterinarian may place your dog on a prescription diet. This may occur if there is a medical issue that the veterinarian feels requires this type of diet. I had a dog that towards the end of his life developed an underactive thyroid. This means that the dog would gain weight easily no matter how much I tried to be careful with what he ate. I ended up having to purchase canned food from the veterinarian to help control his weight.

Many manufacturers of these special foods have wet and dry food versions. If so, you can use these foods to mix and match.

So, The Bottom Line is What?

So, I hope that this article is beneficial to you so you can make a good, clear choice of food for your dog. The choice should be comfortable to you and at the same time benefit your dog.

If at any time your are unsure of something or uncomfortable, always reach out to your veterinarian. You love your dog or you wouldn't be doing all this work to find the right food. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

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