The key to keeping your dog healthy is to provide him with a wholesome and nutritious diet. With so many different options available, however, it can be difficult to choose the right pet food. To make sure that you choose the healthiest food for your dog, take the time to learn the difference between the various alternatives, and the pros and cons of each. Once you understand the difference between canned food and kibble, you will be able to decide which is right for your dog.
Pros and Cons of Canned Food
Many dog owners do not even consider the option of canned food for their dogs because dry food is so popular. In reading the list below, however, you will find that wet dog food has many advantages:
Pro: Wet food more closely resembles the natural canine diet and many dogs prefer the taste and smell of wet food to dry food.
Pro: As wet dog food is much higher in moisture than dry food, it can be beneficial for dogs with urinary tract problems, diabetes, and dogs that do not tend to drink much water on their own.
Pro: The moisture content of wet food will make your dog feel fuller while consuming fewer calories – this is beneficial for overweight dogs.
Pro: Canned foods are typically higher in protein and fat, which is essential for the growth and development of puppies, as well as the energy needs of active dogs.
Con: Wet dog foods are much more expensive than dry dog food on a per-ounce basis.
Con: Canned dog foods do not last as long as dry dog food – they must be refrigerated after opening and only last five to seven days.
Con: Wet dog food does not help to clean your dog’s teeth as he eats and it may get stuck in his teeth more easily, contributing to tooth decay.
Pros and Cons of Dry Food
Dry food, or kibble, is definitely the most common choice among dog owners. But before you make your choice, consider the pros and cons of this type of dog food:
Pro: Dry dog food is easier to measure out than wet food. This makes it easier to monitor your dog’s consumption so that he does not overindulge.
Pro: Kibble is more economical than wet dog food. Not only is it cheaper on a per-ounce basis, it is also available in larger packages.
Pro: Dry dog food has a much longer shelf life than canned food once opened and does not start losing nutritional value until about six weeks after opening.
Con: Many dog food manufacturers reduce the fat content and increase the carbohydrate content of dry dog food to increase its shelf life.
Con: Some dogs have a hard time consuming dry food, especially very small dogs and dogs with dental problems.
Feeding Tips for Dogs
In the end, it is your choice and your choice alone whether you feed your dog wet food or dry food. Some owners of small dogs find that wet food is easier for their pet to eat, while others simply choose small-breed kibble formulas with smaller pieces. Many dog owners have even begun to feed their dogs a mixture of wet and dry foods. The benefit of this option is that your dog will be able to enjoy the flavor of wet food without you having to pay the cost of a wet-food-only diet. If you need help determining which type of dog food is best for your dog, consult your veterinarian.