Kibble vs. Can
October 8, 2007 4:41 PM   Subscribe

Dog Food Question: What are the pros and cons of wet vs. dry food for dogs (assuming both are high quality)?
posted by cal71 to Pets & Animals (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
That girl, she might have been exaggerating. Road kill? You fell for that? Was the sex good?

Wet food costs more, and dogs seem to really like it. As for health benefits I think they are similar foods, with the exception that in my experience older dogs seem to get heavier more easily on wet food, but this is a limited data point.
posted by caddis at 4:56 PM on October 8, 2007

The advice from my vet was dry food was better overall in general, and I believe she said it was specifically better for her teeth. My dog's teeth.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 4:58 PM on October 8, 2007

It's my understanding that dogs benefit somewhat from the moisture in wet food, but I'm not certain that's been proven as fact.

Given that you are assuming high quality foods, why not just a mixture of each? That's what we give our dog, and he gobbles it up with gusto.

**waits for biscotti or ROU_Xenophobe to school us**
posted by ambrosia at 5:06 PM on October 8, 2007

Dry food is less messy and lasts longer; it's also generally less expensive. Supposedly it is better for their teeth. They prefer wet food but it smells foul and (YMMV,) in excess, makes my dogs fart more. This is a situation I devoutly wish to avoid.

So, I mix them. I've always heard that dry food is best for them, but I had one dog who wouldn't eat it without some canned mixed in, so now I just do it routinely. A couple cups of kibble and about 1/4 can mixed in for flavor. They still fart, alas, but then so do we all.
posted by mygothlaundry at 5:48 PM on October 8, 2007

**waits for biscotti or ROU_Xenophobe to school us**

Alls I ever do is channel what I've heard biscotti say before. I'm just biscotti-hearsay.

I'm confident she knows about this, but she hasn't talked about it much in my presence. She feeds our precious boo-boo idiot dogs a mix of dry and wet, or dry and raw. Occasionally they get all wet or all raw.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:02 PM on October 8, 2007

Best answer: Wet food pros: more meat/less or no grain, fewer chemical additives to enhance palatability and appearance (you'd be surprised what gets added to kibble to make the food more appealing to both dogs AND owners, just look at crap like Beneful), fewer/no preservatives, lower/no carb easy to find, easy to digest.

Wet food cons: more expensive to feed, more annoying to transport (refrigeration required for unused portions), less bang for your buck per ounce because it's less concentrated than dry.

Dry food pros: cheaper to feed, easier to transport, low carb/no grain versions are becoming more common, more bang for your buck per ounce (if it's a high quality food with an identified meat meal as at least the first ingredient).

Dry food cons: most contain at least some grain, some dogs can find it hard to digest, preservatives, chemical additives to enhance palatability.

Myths: dry food does not help clean teeth (contrary to popular belief often still espoused by some vets) unless it is a kibble specifically designed to do so like Hill's t/d prescription diet and the Royal Canin analogue (both of which contain by-products and corn and other low-quality ingredients, which means I feed these as treats, but not as a main diet).

Bottom line: I believe that a varied diet is healthy, that dogs benefit from eating different kinds of foods, and as such I feed my dogs high-quality kibble, canned and raw.
posted by biscotti at 6:03 PM on October 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

here's an excellent article from the NYT on dog food.
posted by forallmankind at 9:41 PM on October 8, 2007

caddis: am I missing something?
posted by forallmankind at 9:44 PM on October 8, 2007

yes, the mods deleted the first answer which referred to some gf who claimed that wet food included road kill. It was lame and probably just a big fib from a drunken sot.
posted by caddis at 9:55 PM on October 8, 2007

My purely anecdotal answer: Dry food keeps my dog fuller longer than the wet stuff. She was on dry food until she developed some digestive issues that made our vet switch her to the canned I/D diet stuff. Although she loooooved the canned food, she was always so hungry and moochy and digging in the trash (unheard of before then) all the time even though she was fed the directed amount. Once we transitioned her to all dry I/D diet food (all wet, then mostly wet with some dry, then mostly dry with some wet, then all wet) she's not as hungry and moochy, and her digging in the trash for foodstuffs has ceased.
posted by macadamiaranch at 11:06 PM on October 8, 2007

My understanding is not that dry food cleans teeth but that it promotes dental health, specifically in terms of gums. This would make sense since harder foods (e.g. apples) do the same for people.

Wet food is gross, smelly, and more difficult to transport. Plus it makes the dishes icky. If I want to make dog food a little more of a treat or give it more nutritional variety, I might mix in a bit of tuna water, or a small packet of mayo, or an egg, or even some tomato sauce.
posted by letahl at 11:55 AM on October 9, 2007

Suitable chewies (raw bones, bullies/pizzles, etc.) do a much better job of keeping the teeth and mouth healthy than any kibble, not least because dogs do not start digestion in their mouths the way people do, so they only "chew" as much as is necessary to break their food into bits small enough to swallow, which for many dogs is little or no chewing at all. I don't believe that there are any studies which actually support the idea that dry foods make any difference to oral health whatsoever (other than those few kibbles specifically designed to do so, which are huge, hard kibbles which require a lot of chewing), your average dry food takes one crunch or less per kibble to get it small enough to swallow, and many dogs just swallow the kibbles whole. Don't feed dry food with the idea that it's healthier for the teeth/gums, feed chewies for that.
posted by biscotti at 2:48 PM on October 9, 2007

i know that if your dog eats wet food really fast it will not digest all the way slow food tends to slow them down
posted by unvivid at 6:05 PM on October 9, 2007

« Older Should I break up with my psychoanalyst?   |   Do I have a classic case of "More-ism?" Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.