Pet parents are just like all other parents. They want to do what’s best for the little lives in their care. And, just like the parents of little humans, pet parents can often find it difficult to know what “the right thing” is sometimes. With so many conflicting sources of information out there, being a pet parent can feel like walking a tightrope.
One area in which most pet parents feel a little insecure is nutrition. Is your pampered pooch or favoured feline getting the nutrition they need from the food that they eat to lead a long and happy life?
Debate often rages among pet owners, especially when it comes to the wet food vs dry food debate. We think we’re barking up the right tree when we say that we believe pet parents prefer wet food. We’ll get into why in just a moment, but first it’s important to remember that...
Not all wet dog foods are created equal!
Wet or canned dog foods are just like any kind of foods. They vary wildly in nutritional content and the quality of their ingredients. Be wary of cheap tinned dog foods as these can often contain all manner of nasties that can actually do more harm than good. They can include rendered fats (a potential source of salmonella), preservatives which can cause liver and kidney problems, artificial dyes which can lead to intestinal troubles and ethoxyquin; another preservative that’s potentially damaging to the liver and actually illegal in human foods.
Wet foods can be nutritionally superior
With the caveat that it depends on what kind of wet food you buy for your pet, it can offer more nutritional value. Although many dry foods are nutritionally balanced, wet foods offer more essential animal proteins and fewer carbohydrates. While dogs can digest cereals, starches and complex carbohydrates perfectly well (it’s actually one of the few things that separates them from their wolf ancestors) dogs need to balance their macronutrients just like we do.
What’s more, because wet food is packaged in airtight containers, it doesn’t require the use of artificial preservatives to keep it fresh.
Wet food keeps your dog hydrated
It’s right there in the name! Hydration is important for all creatures which is why your dog’s water bowl should always remain full. Just like us, dogs lose more water than their bodies take in and when dogs get dehydrated it can result in serious health problems like diabetes, kidney failure and other internal problems.
Yum yum, smells like food!
As we all know, dogs experience the world differently to us. While we rely mostly on our eyes, the world of our cuddly canine counterparts is a kaleidoscope of scents. While few dog owners enjoy the aromatic waft that drifts up every time they crack open a can of wet dog food, they can’t deny the fervent tail wagging that follows.
Wet food smells more like, well... food to dogs. Especially older dogs whose senses aren’t quite as sharp as they were in their younger years (hey, it happens to the best of us!). Keep in mind, too that taste and smell are two senses that are closely linked. Pinch your nose when you’re about to tuck into a plate of delicious food and it’s bound to be less satisfying. Wet food might smell less than appetising to us, but remember that our noses have only a fraction of the smelling power of our fluffy buddies’.
If you’re thinking of mixing up your pet’s diet (always a good idea- how would you like to eat the same thing for every meal every day?), try gauging their reaction when your present them with wet food to how they react to being served dry food. In our experience, dogs are way more enthusiastic about wet foods!
It’s kinder to damaged jaws and sore teeth and gums
Dry dog foods are often marketed as being good for dogs’ teeth, but if your dog is experiencing tooth and gum pain or has a delicate, injured or misaligned jaw, eating dry food can be an uncomfortable and unsatisfying experience.
How would you feel if you had a toothache and couldn’t eat anything but dry Cheerios?
Wet food, on the other hand, can be much kinder to sore teeth and gums, making it a particularly good choice for older dogs whose teeth may not be as strong as they once were. Small breeds, too, may find chewing and swallowing dry dog food a little problematic and wet food can be much kinder to small mouths.
It helps them to feel full and satisfied
If you ate cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week, how satisfied would you feel?
Wet dog foods tend to have a higher concentration of moisture, proteins and healthy fats which help your dog feel fuller and more satiated after eating.
This means they’ll be less likely to stare longingly at their food bowl throughout the day, staring imploringly up at you with their big brown eyes. Yup, they know how to play us!
The best of both worlds
We’re not saying that wet food is unequivocally better than dry dog food. Heck, if it were, we wouldn’t even sell dry dog food. However, it does have some inherent benefits which diligent dog lovers should take note of.
There are many reasons why pet parents prefer wet food, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t mix things up every now and then or try rotational feeding.
Whichever food is your preference, make sure that your beloved pooch enjoys a healthy, varied and nutritionally balanced diet!