Wet vs. Dry Dog Food: What You Should Know

Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
By Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS
Updated: 5/16/20241-2 minutes
A dog sniffs the food

Most dog owners have heard of dry dog food and wet (canned) dog food formulas, but did you know that there’s also soft dry dog food formulas?

With all of the dog food options out there, choosing one for your dog can feel overwhelming. A good first step is deciding which form of dog food is right for your dog.

Dry Dog Food Formulas

Made of crunchy, dry kibble pieces, dry food for dogs has many benefits. For one, it’s convenient. It’s sold in larger portions than wet food, which means fewer trips to the store and possibly a cost savings. It also takes longer to spoil and does not need to be refrigerated after it’s opened, so it can be left out for longer periods of time. If you choose to feed your dog dry food formulas, it may be beneficial to his teeth, too, because crunchy kibble can help remove plaque from dogs’ teeth as they chew.

Wet Dog Food Formulas

Wet dog food formulas have the highest water content, so it is the softest of the three forms. It is a great choice for dogs that are picky eaters or have difficulty chewing hard kibble due to dental problems or illness. It can be fed on its own or as a topper on dry kibble to provide a boost of flavor and moisture.

Soft Dry Dog Food Formulas

A category between wet and dry may be referred to as soft dry dog food formulas. Some dog food brands contain both dry kibble and tender, chewy pieces, which are the soft dry pieces. For example, most Purina ONE® SmartBlend® formulas combine dry kibble with tender, meaty morsels, which enhance palatability and add textural variety.

Whether you decide to feed your dog wet dog food, dry food or soft dry dog food, always read the packaging carefully so you understand what you’re buying. Make sure the food is 100% complete and balanced, and check the ingredient label for high-quality ingredients. It’s also a good idea to consult your veterinarian before purchasing, so you can confidently choose a food that will help your dog stay happy and healthy.

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