Deciding what dog food is best for you and your dog can be an overwhelming task with the number of options available.
One of the first questions people ask is whether to buy wet dog food or dry dog food?
The correct answer to this question is that it depends. Here are the 5 most important factors to consider in deciding which is best for you and your dog.
1. Is your dog getting enough water?
This is the main argument of pro-wet food dog owners. Wet food has a higher moisture content which is beneficial as dogs often don’t drink enough water. Many dog breeds are susceptible to urinary health conditions which is more of a risk when your dog isn’t drinking enough water.
Having wet food in your dog’s diet is a great way to keep them more hydrated and reduce the risks of urinary conditions such as struvite crystals or kidney stones.
While this is all correct, wet food is not the only solution to doggy dehydration. For example, you can also get your dog to drink more water by getting a water fountain bowl. Dogs are naturally attracted to running water which is why products like the Drinkwell Pet Fountain come highly recommended by vets.
2. How is your dog’s dental health?
Dry food is naturally better for your dog’s oral care than wet food. The dry kibble scrapes against the teeth and removes tartar and plaque. This helps prevent nasty dog breath, gingivitis and dental disease. This is especially true when you buy a dental care focused dog food like Hills Science Diet Oral Care.
Pet owners who insist on a solely wet food diet are strongly encouraged to maintain daily tooth brushing and ideally 6 monthly dental clean check-ups at the vet.
3. How old is your dog?
Wet food can be beneficial for much older dogs for a couple of reasons. Firstly, some dogs lose their appetite as they age due to their reduced sense of taste and smell. The strong aroma of wet food may help bring back the lost appetite. Secondly, wet food can be easier for ageing dogs to chew and digest.
These issues do not impact all dogs. If you’re concerned about any of these factors and not sure whether you should switch to wet food as a result, speak with your vet.
4. Cost & convenience?
When it comes to convenience and affordability, dry food beats wet food paws down. Dry food is less messy, less smelly, and can sit out for extended periods without going bad. Dry food is also significantly more cost effective than wet food. The easier storage and transport of dry food reduces costs for manufacturers and distributors and these savings are generally passed on to the consumer.
And being more cost effective does not mean it is less quality. Dry food is not only cheaper per pound but also more energy dense than canned food. This is because dry food has a very small water content whereas wet food is actually majority water. It takes a much larger volume of canned food to supply the nutrients your dog needs. This may be ok for small toy dogs but larger dogs will have trouble getting all their energy needs from canned food alone. The cost and bulk of so many cans make a dry food diet much more sensible for larger dogs.
5. Quality matters!
When making you’re final decision, the most important factor to consider is the quality of the brand you’re buying. Budget supermarket brands are basically the fast food equivalent of dog food. These brands use lower quality ingredients that are usually high in fillers and contain little nutritional value. Inadequate nutrition directly impacts your dog’s health and happiness, and increases the risk of behavioural problems like aggression and anxiety.
The key message here is this. Dry food diets are much more popular among dog owners due to their convenience and cost effectiveness. And that is fine as, just because wet food is often more expensive and more inconvenient, that doesn’t mean it is better for your dog. HOWEVER, if you do choose a dry food only diet, buy quality brands. You’re still saving money compared to wet food and you won’t have to worry about your dog developing serious health or behavioural issues as a result of poor diet! Premium dry food brands like Black Hawk, Hills Science Diet and Advance are the way to go.