Dry or wet dog food? How to Choose the Best food

February 10, 2023
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Dry or wet dog food? How to Choose the Best food

Dog Food: How to Choose the Best Lunch for Your Favorite Four-Legged Friend

Properly selected diet is the basis of the health of any four-legged family member. The appearance of the dog – the condition of his coat and skin – also depends on how balanced and rich in nutrients the food is. What should be in the composition of dog food, what ingredients should be excluded from the diet and which is better – dry or wet food?

Is "natural" so bad?

Let's start with the main thing: the dog is a predator, but the predator is not strictly carnivorous. In conditions where there is little or no meat at all, dogs are able to survive on other sources of energy. Moreover, in a certain amount, cereals, legumes, herbs, roots and berries are necessary for these animals for a quality life. And if for wild canids (wolves, coyotes) the amount of protein is important in order to survive in natural conditions, then the amount of protein in pet food depends on their breed and activity.

A natural diet is ideally a diet of raw or thermally processed foods, as close as possible to what a dog eats in the wild. But often the owners call “natural” either food from their table, or cereals from cereals, cooked with the addition of a small amount of meat. The first option is dangerous for animals (sometimes fatal due to salt, spices and other additives). The second is simply not useful and can provoke chronic diseases. High-quality natural nutrition should be 50% or more meat.

The advantages of "natural":

Clear control composition.

Dogs do not need to be specially trained to eat natural food.

Price. Meat is an expensive best storage container, and a lot of it is required.

Raw meat can be infected with parasites, and heat treatment deprives it of substances necessary for the dog.

The owner has to not only cook a lot and constantly, but also calculate the diet according to KBJU, add vitamins and minerals if necessary, and introduce new best storage containers. Not everyone wants to spend their time cooking for a pet.

Industrial feed: when owners can exhale

The history of dry food began in the middle of the 19th century. Traveler James Spratt, during a trip to the UK, noticed how dogs living in the port pounced on biscuits thrown out by sailors. Returning home, he mixed ground meat, flour and beet pulp, baked this mixture and offered it to his dog. The pet liked the resulting delicacy, and the enterprising Spratt created a small production of such biscuits, calling it Spratt's Meat Biscuits for Dogs. After 30 years, dry food has become incredibly popular in the US due to the fact that it saved a huge amount of time and effort for dog owners.

In the 30s of the XX century, manufacturers replaced expensive meat in feed with offal and meat meal. At the same time, the amount of cereals and other added carbohydrates in the feed composition increased. Partly the reason for this was the economic crisis and the outbreak of World War II: food became more expensive, it became difficult for people to feed dogs with almost pure meat.

The first dietary food for dogs with various diseases appeared in the 70s of the XX century. And only in the 80s, manufacturers approached the feed from the point of view of zoology. During this period, there was more meat, vitamins, minerals and fiber in the feed. There was a division of feed into classes: economy, premium, super premium and holistic.

Dry or wet: which is better?

Dry dog food is granules or pads made from a mixture of ingredients such as: animal protein sources (meat or organ meats), dehydrated meat, carbohydrates (cereals, legumes or potatoes), animal fats (fish or chicken), and fiber (sugar beet pulp). And etc.). Vitamin-mineral complexes are added after the preparation of the feed in the form of spraying, as they do not withstand heat treatment. All best storage containers, except flour, are crushed to a state of fine minced meat, then heated to a temperature of 90–150 degrees and passed through an extruder. The resulting mass is formed into balls or granules, dried and sent for packaging.

Pros of dry dog food

Price. Dry food is much cheaper for owners than wet food or natural food.

It is convenient to store it. Dry food is sold in ziplock dog food storage containers: they are easy to close, preventing oxygen and moisture from entering.

Huge selection. Manufacturers offer lines for different breeds of animals, special diet food, food for dogs with allergies, etc.

Good dry food fully provides the dog with useful substances.

Cons of dry dog food

Dry food contains almost no moisture, and water is vital for dogs: they need to receive 40 ml of water per 1 kg of body weight per day (for puppies, the need for water is 2 times more). In case of lack of moisture, the development of kidney disease is possible. You can compensate for the lack of fluid by constant access to fresh water at any time of the day.

Buyers cannot know exactly the composition of such feed.

Wet dog food is canned meat with the addition of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates. For small dogs, manufacturers most often offer canned food in the form of pates and small pieces in jelly or sauce.


Wet food looks better than dry food. Some dogs that ignore "drying" are very fond of wet food.

Such feeds maintain water balance.

Soft food in the form of pate is suitable for older dogs with dental problems.


Any canned food spoils quickly. The shelf life of open food in the refrigerator is up to 24 hours, while dry food can be stored for quite a long time.

Wet food is more expensive than dry food and consumes much more.


We figure out what ingredients you should pay attention to when buying.


In the composition of any food for dogs, first of all, there should be proteins necessary for growth and tissue repair. Ideally, the amount of meat contained should be at least 30-40%. Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, rabbit are best digested.

In the economy class feed, part of the meat best storage container is replaced by offal: kidneys, tripe, lungs, etc. Meat meal is used for dry feed. Some manufacturers have dehydrated vegetable and animal proteins in their economy class feeds, but they can cause allergies and are less digestible.

Fats in the composition of feed are necessary for the normal functioning of the dog's body – the transport of nutrients and the production of hormones. In addition, they are a concentrated source of energy.

Animal fats (usually chicken and fish) and vegetable oils (most often flaxseed) are most often added to dog food. They should be up to 18% of the total volume.


Carbohydrates in the composition of animal feed are represented by cereals, potatoes or flour from them. Cereals, splitting in the stomach, turn into an important source of energy – glucose. The percentage of carbohydrates in the feed should be no more than 5-8% of the total volume.

Wheat and corn, rich in allergenic gluten, is not the best source of carbohydrates. It is desirable that macronutrients are represented by brown rice, millet or barley.

There are celebrous dog foods, but most researchers are inclined to the fact that they can be harmful to animals. The studies have shown that dogs, in the diet of which grain crops are not represented, are prone to the development of heart disease, in particular dilatation cardiomyopathy.


It is necessary for the normal operation of the digestive system. For dog feed, the pulp of sugar beets remains after processing (pulp). It is useful for the intestines.


These are additives that stimulate the growth and development of healthy intestinal bacteria. In dog feeds as a prebiotic, a chicory root containing inulin or inulin in its pure form is often used.


Probiotics also stimulate the development of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines, but, unlike prebiotics, they themselves contain such bacteria. It is necessary in feed for weakened animals with diarrhea and other disorders of the digestive system, "fallen" immunity. Indispensable for restoration of dogs after poisoning.


As natural harmless antioxidants, vitamin E (a mixture of tocopherols) and rosemary extract are used. They increase the shelf life of feed and do not allow the contained fats to oxidize under the influence of the environment.


The most popular and maximum harmless preservative is a sorbate of potassium, aka E202. It is not an allergen, it can be added to the feed for pregnant dogs, since it does not affect the intrauterine development of future puppies.

Propyllab (E310) is also added to the food. It is not recommended to buy food with this additive if the dog is prone to allergies.

Useful additives

The amino acid Taurin is responsible for the normal functioning of the heart and the cardiovascular system.

Choline chloride is necessary for the normal growth and development of animals. It participates in the creation of fibers to protect cells of the nervous system. With a lack of chloride, choline is disturbed by Bones and the growth and development of puppies is delayed.

Schidiger's yukki extract is often added to dog food, especially to the line of specialized feed for elderly pets. Normalizes digestion, removes ammonia and neutralizes the bacteria and spores of fungal mold.

Flavors and flavor enhancers

As a rule, they are found in the composition of inexpensive feeds containing by-best storage containers, in particular the tripe. For feed above the premium class are used extremely rarely.

Dry or wet dog food? How to Choose the Best food economy class feeds, but they

Dry or wet dog food? How to choose the best food

Classification of dog food by class


Economy class feed can be bought at any nearby store, they are inexpensive. In the composition of such feeds, proteins are most often represented by offal, and cereals – wheat, corn and soy.

Suitable for daily use, but in this case it is necessary to supplement the dog's diet with vitamins, minerals and protein best storage containers. For regular use without additives, it is better not to use them, but to replace them with premium feeds.

Brands: Chappi, "Our brand", "Meal", Pedigree, "Psarny yard", "Stout", etc.


The most popular class of feed, presented both in pet stores and in regular supermarkets. The price is not much different from economy class feed, while the quality can be much higher.

The main source of protein is meat. In some cases, by-best storage containers are added.

Vitamins and minerals are added to premium best storage containers during production.

Brands: Gemon, Meglium, Mnyams, Purina One, Dog Chow, Happy Dog, Animonda, Berkley, Cesar, Darling, Yummy, Gourmet, RosPes, etc.

Super premium

The super premium category includes feeds with a high content of natural meat, in particular varieties such as lamb, chicken, chicken meat, rabbit meat, etc. Quality 1st category meat by bestdogfood.expert best storage containers can also be presented: liver, tongue and kidneys. The composition does not contain flavor enhancers and dyes, natural harmless antioxidants and preservatives are used.

Super-premium feeds are balanced, so additional vitamin complexes are not required.

The super-premium class is represented by both regular lines for everyday nutrition, and dietary dog food containers – for elderly, pregnant or weakened dogs.

They are usually sold in pet stores, online stores or veterinary centers.

Brands: Hill's, Pro Plan, Royal Canin, Bozita, Brit, Schesir, Monge, Pronature, Arden Grange, Grandin, Trainer, Avva, Belcando, Biomill, Carnilove, Acana, Orijen, Purina, Ownat, 1st Choice, etc.


The most expensive and rare food for sale, found only on the shelves of specialized stores. The composition of holistics includes natural meat, fish, vegetables, cereals and cereals, vitamin and mineral complexes. Animal protein can be 65-80% of the total.

Due to the high protein content, this category of food is ideal for puppies, pregnant and lactating dogs, debilitated and sick animals.

Brands: Primordial, Acana, Now Fresh, Canidae, Applaws, Summit, Holistic Blend, Pronature Holistic, Savarra, Orijen, Grandorf, etc.

Specialized feed

Specialized foods usually mean separate lines for puppies up to a year old and for older dogs. Dog food for small breeds is also different from the usual everyday foods used for large dogs: they not only have a slightly different composition with more vitamins to strengthen Bones, but also a smaller kibble size that is easy to chew on.

Specialized feed can be consumed daily.

Medicinal feeds differ from everyday feeds in their composition, enriched with certain substances. So, potassium and magnesium are added to treats for dogs with heart disease, and phosphorus compounds are added to those with kidney failure. The diet for overweight animals includes an increased amount of fiber.

Medicated feed is prescribed by a veterinarian, they are used strictly in courses.

Diet food does not contain any drugs and is intended for the daily nutrition of animals with obesity, diabetes, digestive tract disorders and allergies to any substances. Hypoallergenic food also falls into this category.

Dog treats are a way to reward success in training. They are strips of dried meat, Bones, crispy biscuits. They do not carry a functional value, however, there are special types of treats for brushing teeth and eliminating bad breath.

How to transfer a pet to industrial food

If the dog initially ate "natural food", the transition to "drying" should not be sharp. The gastrointestinal tract of the animal must gradually adapt to the new type of food.

When switching from a natural diet to wet food, veterinarians recommend mixing new food into old food at a ratio of 25% to 75%, gradually adding a dose of new food with each meal. The total translation time should be 10-12 days.

When switching to dry food for container storage, it is recommended to soak the granules with water in order to bring it closer in appearance to natural.


Shanna Derrick About Author

Author of dog food articles with a deep understanding of healthy dog nutrition.

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