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Dog Food: Fresh vs Wet And Dried

12 November 2020
by Giadzy
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Not all dog foods are made equal, and here we tackle the most basic question of the dog food debates: fresh vs wet vs dry food!

The question of what to feed your dog is an important one that's been asked by almost every owner at some point in their dog's life. There are many schools of thought, so many different diets out there, and food trends that pop up almost as quickly as they do with people. So today, we're starting with a simple question that's the topic of much debate among dog owners: which is better - fresh dog food, wet dog food, or dry kibble?
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each option - then take a deeper dive into what the best choice is for you and your dog!


wet vs dry dog food
Fresh Dog Food

When we say "fresh" dog food, we really mean fresh - the kind of food that you wouldn't raise eyebrows at if it were put on a plate in front of you! Companies like Freshpet offer refrigerated, fresh and simple dog food that's loaded with gourmet goodness. If you're interested in giving your pet the absolute best diet there is, fresh dog food is really the greatest option out there.
Pros of fresh dog food, as cited by PetMD and Hill's Pet:
•Good source of hydration
•More appealing to pets, especially ones lacking in appetite
•Easier to chew
•Believed to have more nutritional benefit
•Fewer preservatives than dry kibble and canned wet food
•Higher levels of animal-based proteins than dry kibble
Of course, there are cons as well. In general, fresh dog food is a  bit more costly than dried - and because it often needs to be refrigerated, it doesn't store quite as well for long periods of time.
wet vs dry dog food

Canned Wet Food

There are tons of options out there for canned dog food, and the quality ranges greatly between one to another - so be sure to do your research on individual brands on what your dog needs. However, regardless of what's in the individual can, these are the pros and cons of canned wet food for your dog!
Pros of wet dog food, as cited by the VCA and PetMD:
•Generally has a very high water content, which makes it a great source of hydration
•Many dogs enjoy wet dog food over dry dog food
•Higher level of animal-based proteins than dry kibble
One thing to note is that canned wet food has a long shelf life - depending on one's perspective, this can be seen as a pro in terms of convenience, or a con in terms of freshness.
wet vs dry dog food

Dry Kibble

Dry kibble can sometimes get a bad rap, but it certainly has its benefits - and it really comes down to what exactly is in the dog food. While there are some popular brands out there that have always been controversial, there are plenty of great options out there as well - just turn to lists like Dog Food Advisor's Best Dry Dog Foods for 2020.
Pros of dry dog food, as cited by the AKC:
•Reduced dental plaque
•Healthier gums
•Reduced risk of bacteria
•Less risk of spoilage
Among the cons of dry dog food is the necessity for preservatives - that easier storage and lesser risk of spoilage comes at a cost! Some of the preservatives used in dry dog food are debated as not being healthy for dogs, such as ethoxyquin, BHA, and BHT. Additionally, dry kibble has virtually no water content - which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but dogs who eat a dry diet will need more water than a dog on a wet food diet.
Lastly, some dogs really just don't enjoy dried food as much as they love fresh and wet food varieties. Even some of us here at Giadzy can tell you from anecdotal experience that once you start feeding your pooches fresh food, they're too spoiled to go back to dried!

A compromise!

Many people have found that mixing both fresh and dried dog food together for their pups offers them the best of both worlds: the enjoyment and nutrition of fresh food, along with the cost-effectiveness and teeth-health benefits of dried food. Ultimately, what matters most beyond wet or dried food is the quality of the ingredients - so do some research on brands before you decide!
Of course, like all major decisions for your dog, your best resource is your veterinarian! While you can find a wealth of general info online, nobody knows your dog's health like their doctor - so turn to them for help on the most informed decision!
Hill's Pet