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Wet Food vs. Dry Food: Which Is Actually Best for Dogs?

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Wet Food vs. Dry Food: Which Is Actually Best for Dogs?

Posted by David Louvet on
Updated at: February 07, 2021

Wet Food vs. Dry Food | Innovet Pet

Life would be much easier if our pets could simply tell us what and when they want to eat. Do they like the beef or the tuna more? Neither? Maybe they like the tuna. Heck, maybe what they’re really craving is more of a snack-like dry kibble. Besides, many people use dry pet food as rewards for good behavior when training a dog, so it’s natural for them to associate dry food as a treat that makes them happy.

On top of having to guess your pet’s preferences between things like dry and wet dog food, there are also nutritional and health considerations to make, economic choices, and even storage differences that will ultimately determine which type of food you’re going to feed your dog.


1. The Dry Food Pros
2. The Dry Food Cons
3. The Wet Food Pros
4. The Wet Food Cons

In the end, there’s no decisive winner in the debate, as the best choice is dependent on your dog’s individual needs. So with that said, weigh out some pros and cons for each to make your own decision.

The Dry Food Pros

Dry food is most likely going to be the most convenient choice for you, the owner. It’s more affordable, can be sealed up and stored easily in a container, has a longer shelf life, and can even be left out in a bowl for your dog to eat as it pleases. It’s an easy way to ration out how much your dog may eat in a day without any going to waste as well, rounding out the economic advantages of dry food. On top of all that, dry food can double as a treat for your dog when in training, and another favorite bonus point to it all is that dry food is far less messy than wet food.

The Dry Food Cons

If you are raising a young, growing, dog, then it’s important to keep in mind that dry foods tend to have lower levels of animal-based proteins which are going to be helpful in their growth. And on the opposite spectrum, older dogs often find dry foods less appetizing as their sense of taste and smell are starting to fade.

The Wet Food Pros

Wet food has a richer scent and flavor than its dry counterparts, making it much more preferable in the appetizing department. That’s not to say your dog will always like the taste of wet food more but it is certainly worth considering for older dogs, as mentioned. It also tends to have higher protein as well as fewer carbs than dry food, making it slightly more nutritious in that sense. And this one may seem obvious, but since it is wet food, this is, of course, a considerable option if your dog has a hard time staying hydrated. Finally, if your dog has missing teeth or even a poorly aligned jaw, the wet food will be much easier for them to eat.

The Wet Food Cons

Wet food has a very specific shelf life. In fact, from the moment you open a can of dog food, it’s storage and shelf life is all but over. If your dog doesn’t eat it all when you’ve served them, odds are it’s going to start spoiling very quick. Plus, it sure can get messy. And nobody likes that.


Dry vs. Canned Food
Dry Dog Food VS Wet Food
Dry, Canned, or Semi-Moist
What Is the Best Dog Food?
Dry Dog Food vs. Canned Food


ANNE VANDALINDA - June 30, 2020

Our dogs are fed twice a day with both wet and dry foods. They enjoy their meals!

Geoff Bruce - June 30, 2020

There are numerous freeze dried or dehydrated dog foods available that combine the best of wet & dry dog food.

Sharon - February 29, 2020

Great introductory article. One thing I might add is that, in addition to puppies and senior dogs, there are other classes which have unique nutritional needs. When doing some research online on a prepared food, I was asked to fill out a questionaire which was supposed to determine the best meal formulation for my dogs. My old, arthritic girl (age unknown since she was dumped along a rural highway) fell into the “athlete” category based on the fact that she is outside running or working stock for 1 1/2 hours a day. My puppy (almost 2) was not listed on the scale. In addition to working stock, my pup is a disc dog. She will jump 4-5 feet up after a frisbee. She will run hours, especially playing first bounce or fly. If you have a working dog, herding dog, bird dog or other elite athlete you may have to find a top dressing just to keep ahead of the caloric needs. (On my pup I use a vegetable oil based, calorie rich nutrient and mineral blend with a joint supplement to support her activity and keep her at optimal body condition. She runs 4-6 hours every day.)

We all learn to feed our furbabies in the way that works for us and them. I have been told not to feed human food to dogs by people who give their dogs cheap rawhide chews. The point is to keep our pups happy and healthy and we are able to have quality time with them.

Lee - February 29, 2020

I also feed both wet and dry dog food but with this exception, it is 100% organic. I feed wet with a powder super food additive and I add chicken broth and flax seed. Then later in the evening when she asks I give her a serving of dry food. She is healthy and happy.

ANNE VANDALINDA - February 22, 2020

If one is not better than the other then do what I do. I feed both wet and dry. I also add cooked chicken and chicken broth to each meal.

Sara - February 22, 2020

I make their food. so it does not have advanced gycation end products, like heated dry dog food. I use grass fed beef, sweet potato, veges and bone broth. Also nutritional yeast, to prevent fleas. It varies, with good chicken, or sardines (very good for them) sometimes chicken liver, sometimes organic oatmeal. He loves buckwheat pancakes as a treat. My chihuahua I had previously lived 18 years, may have lived longer if I did not give baby food (as vet said) after she was ill. just did not eat 5 days, fasted, then ate again. Now have a larger dog 18 lbs. Gr turkey would be good also for a larger dog, not as expensive.

Pamela Fill - February 22, 2020

I feed my dogs wet food once a day, high quality, by hand. That way there is no waste. I have 6 little dogs so I feed 2 cans. I leave same brand dry food out for grazing all day. None are over eaters or over weight, so I have no problem with them nibbling all day. It seems to work very well, dogs healthy, happy and the poops are perfect. lol All 6 take cbd at bed time, for a relaxed rest. One dog is 19 so CBD fixes her arthritis. Love and Peace, Pam

Gloria Erickson - January 18, 2019

People should feed their dogs real human grade food !! Not over processed by-products. There are a lot of good products available and people will save on vet bills and have a happy healthy dog . I wish you would of mentioned the other healthier options.

Linda Bowen - January 18, 2019

Wrong and wrong on the dry and wet dog food. I would never feed my dogs either trash. I feed raw, biologically appropriate food with vegetables and fruit. This is what dogs are supposed to eat. People want to feed fast and easy and not be bothered with their dogs. I want to do whats best for my dogs and I feel that it’s my responsibility to educate myself and make time for them. They are never sick. Their teeth and coats are beautiful. And most of all, they are healthy and happy. They are everything to me.

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