How to Choose Between Dry or Canned Dog Food

Three Methods:Recognizing the Pros and Cons of Dry Dog FoodLooking at the Benefits and Drawbacks of Canned Dog FoodTalking to Your Vet

As a pet owner, you may struggle to figure out which type of food, dry or wet, to feed your dog. How do you know which one is the right one for your furry friend? You can choose between these two types by comparing them in terms of quality, safety, and cost. You may also decide to consult with your vet to find the best dog food for your pet.

Method 1
Recognizing the Pros and Cons of Dry Dog Food

  1. 1
    Choose dry dog food if you are on a budget. One of the major pros of dry dog food is that it is budget friendly, as a bag of dry dog food is relatively cheap. Dry dog food is known as “kibble” and often comes in the form of small pellets that you pour into your dog’s food bowl. Kibble has a long shelf life, so if you buy dry dog food in bulk, you may not have to go shopping that often for food.[1]
    • Dry dog food is also ideal if you do not have a lot of fridge space to store your dog’s food. Unlike canned dog food, you can simply roll up the bag of dry dog food once it is opened and store it on a shelf. You do not need to worry about finding room in the fridge to keep the food cold.
  2. 2
    Go for dry food if you are away from home often. Dry dog food can also be ideal if you do not want to have to keep a close eye on your dog’s food bowl. You can leave out dry dog food in your pet’s bowl without the risk of it spoiling. You may fill your dog’s bowl with enough food for an entire day or for several days, depending on the size and appetite of your dog.[2]
    • This could be very convenient if you tend to take brief trips away from home and do not want to have to worry about your dog’s food spoiling. This may also work well if you tend to work long hours and do not have the time to check on your dog’s food throughout the day.
  3. 3
    Pick dry food for its potential health benefits. Some dry dog food has been formulated to maintain your dog’s oral health and improve your dog’s teeth. You may opt for dry dog food that has these properties, especially if your dog has dental issues.[3]
    • Keep in mind some pet experts are skeptical of this potential health benefit in dry dog food. You should speak to your vet about this health benefit before you give your dog dry food, especially if if is a deciding factor for you as an owner.[4]
  4. 4
    Stay away from low quality dry food. There is often a lower meat protein and natural fat content in dry dog food compared to canned dog food. Dry dog food may also have a higher carbohydrate content, which can be unhealthy for your dog. If you decide to go with dry dog food, you should look for one that is higher quality, with a more balanced amount of meat protein and natural fat.[5]
    • Some dry dog foods are sprayed with animal fat, which is an unnecessary and unhealthy ingredient in your dog’s food. There may also be synthetic preservatives and artificial flavorings or colorings in dry food as well.
    • You should check the label of the dry dog food for a list of ingredients. If the first ingredient is not meat or meat protein, it may not be very good quality. You should also watch for any additives or preservatives listed in the ingredients.
  5. 5
    Avoid dry food if your dog has allergies. You should be wary of dry dog food if your dog has allergies to gluten or dairy, as many dry dog foods contain a high amount of gluten and dairy. If you do opt for dry dog food for your pet, make it sure it is low in gluten or dairy.[6]
    • Always consult with your vet before giving dry dog food to your pup if he is prone to allergies. You do not want to trigger any allergic reactions or issues in your dog.
    • You should read the label of the dry dog food to check for any ingredients that may be allergens, such as wheat or dairy.

Method 2
Looking at the Benefits and Drawbacks of Canned Dog Food

  1. 1
    Give your dog canned food if he has certain health issues. Canned dog food often has a higher water content and a lower carbohydrate content. This can be beneficial for dogs who have urinary tract disorders, as added water in their food can help with their issue. Canned dog food can also be good for dogs who tend to get dehydrated, especially if it is very hot outside or they are very active.[7]
    • Canned dog food can be better for dogs who have delicate gums and missing teeth. Dogs with jaw issues or smaller mouths can also benefit from canned dog food.
    • If your dog has lost his appetite due to illness or age, the smell of canned dog food can encourage him to eat more.
  2. 2
    Pick canned food for its high protein content. Canned dog food often contains more meat protein and natural fats than dry dog food. Your dog may benefit from a higher protein diet, as dogs tend to do well on high-protein diets.[8]
    • High quality canned food can also contain less preservatives and by-products than dry dog food. If your dog is sensitive to these ingredients, you may opt for canned food over dry food.
    • You may go for canned dog food if your dog is overweight, as obese dogs need food high in protein. Canned food can make obese dogs feel full for longer, so they tend to eat less.
  3. 3
    Go for canned food if you have a puppy. Puppies do better with canned food because it keeps them hydrated and is easier on their teeth. You may consider giving your puppy mostly canned food and some dry food.[9]
    • If you have a dog that is older, he may benefit from having canned food over dry food. Older dogs often need more moisture in their food and dry dog food does not provide much water content.
  4. 4
    Note the higher cost of canned food. Canned dog food is often more expensive than dry dog food and does not have a long shelf life once it has been opened. This means you may have to set aside time to go to the pet store every week and get more canned food for your pup.[10]
    • Keep in mind you can keep canned dog food if it is unopened and sealed for a long period of time.
  5. 5
    Recognize the health risks of canned food. Canned dog food cannot be left sitting out in your dog’s bowl for more than one to two hours. Once wet food is exposed to the air, bacteria can grow quickly and it can become contaminated. You need to make sure your dog eats his food within one to two hours and throw away any uneaten food right away.[11]
    • You must always refrigerate any open cans of food and make sure your dog eats it within two to three days. This will reduce the risk of bacteria and contamination.
  6. 6
    Try combining dry food and canned food. If you cannot decide between dry and canned dog food, you may try combining them or alternating between the two types. You may mix a little bit of both types of food together in your dog’s bowl, called “topping”. If you do this, make sure your dog eats all of his wet food right away to reduce the risk of contamination.[12]
    • You may also try alternating between the two types. Feed your dog dry food four to five times a week and then give him canned food one to two times a week. This may also be a more cost effective option.[13]
    • Keep in mind combining two types can lead to added calories for your dog. You should consult with your vet to make sure your dog is not at risk of weight issues due to his diet.

Method 3
Talking to Your Vet

  1. 1
    Discuss the best food option for your dog. Before you choose a dog food, you should consult with your vet. They will likely be able to recommend dry or canned dog food for your pet, and suggest how much food you should give your dog every meal. Your dog may also benefit from mixing the two types of food, depending on his health and dietary needs.[14]
    • Your vet may also recommend dry or canned dog food based on your dog’s age and breed.
  2. 2
    Ask your vet where you can buy the best dog food. Your vet may know of suppliers who can provide the highest quality dog food for your pet or refer you to a local pet store that stocks high quality food. Discuss your budget with your vet and see if they can suggest a dog food brand that is within your budget and beneficial for your dog.[15]
  3. 3
    Follow up with your vet. Once you have chosen a type of dog food for your pet, you should schedule a follow up appointment with your vet. You may do this a few weeks after you start to feed your dog his food. Notice if your dog starts to develop any health or behavioral issues on his new diet. You may consult with your vet to determine if the food is beneficial for your pet and if any changes to this diet need to be made.[16]

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Categories: Feeding Dogs