Wet or Dry? Choosing the Right Food for Your Dog

The number of dog food brands available is astounding, so it can be very difficult to work out what's best for your pet. Whether you're a new owner or you're reconsidering the food you've been giving your dog for a while, the decision on the ideal feed is made difficult by the sheer choice on offer.

Once you've narrowed down a few brands, the next thing to decide is whether you're going to use a wet, tinned food or a dry kibble. Each type of food has its pros and cons, and a lot of this comes down to your individual dog and your own circumstances. Follow these tips to help you decide.

Wet Food Pros

Some dogs prefer it

Canned dog food is much closer to meat than the dried variety, which some dogs find far more palatable. If you have a fussy dog who's difficult to feed, wet food might be your best chance of getting them eating.

Feels more filling

Although it contains the same nutrients and mass as dried food, canned food can make dogs feel fuller—at least for a short time. This is useful if you need to reduce your dog's food intake without them feeling like they're missing out.

Easier to eat

For dogs with missing teeth or other health issues with the teeth or mouth, dry food is a real struggle. These dogs will most likely find wet food far easier to deal with.

Wet Food Cons

High water content

Canned food contains a lot of water, which bulks it out but can cause digestive upset in some dogs. It also means you're getting less in the way of nutrition for your money. For dogs who need to up their water intake, however, this can be useful.

Extra mess

Messy eaters will get food everywhere, and if it's canned, this can make a terrible mess. Dry food is easier to clean up.

Goes off quickly

With wet food, it's best to clean up as soon as your dog is finished eating. Leaving it out all day will cause it to go off and attract pests.

Dry Food Pros


Dry food is easy to store, and you can leave it out for long periods without worrying about it rotting. This is great if you need to leave your dog on their own during the day.

More concentrated nutrients

Without that water content, each bite has more nutrients in. For dogs that don't eat very much, this helps keep them healthy.

Good for teeth

Some research suggests dry food can help reduce plaque in the mouth and keep a dog's teeth healthier.

Dry Food Cons

Some dogs don't like it

Its crunchy texture and weaker smell put fussy dogs off eating it, so wet food could be the better option.

May contain a lot of grain

Grain in pet food is a controversial area. If you're concerned about it, you're more likely to find it in dry food, although this isn't always the case.