What to Feed Your Dog: Canned or Dry Dog Food? Let's End the Debate

Dogs can eat both, canned and dry food
Whether to feed your dog dry or wet food has become some sort of a conundrum today. Buzzle sheds some light on the most commonly asked questions by pet owners.
Did You Know?
According to a report by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in 2008, dog food sales in the US reached $11.3 billion. The report also mentions that dry dog food is preferred more than wet dog food, and comprised 66% of the total sale of dog food.
Every animal lover treats his pet as his family, and that is why it does not come as a surprise when the owner wants to make sure that his pet consumes the most nutritional meal his pocket allows. If you're fond of dogs, and own one, you'll definitely second me on this.

You've read magazines, bought books, followed the great debate on canned food versus dry dog food, done all the related research, but you're still left confused. If this wasn't enough, the scores of television commercials and exclusive pet stores are definitely not making things any easier. They advertise their products in such a way that you are left wanting for more, in spite of leaving the supermarket with 10 different bags!

So, where do you begin? How do you know which type of food is best for your dog? Following is a guide that will help you approach your dilemma the old-school way by focusing on the pros and cons. Of course, it is always advisable to visit a vet before you plunge into feeding your dog a specified set of diet, but a little homework before you visit the doctor will definitely help. Let's dig a bit deeper and find out what is better for your dog―canned or dry dog food.
Canned Dog Food
Canned dog food
Dogs are often hyperactive and basically like to do everything that involves running around. The problem, however, is that more often than not, dogs do not drink sufficient water. Keeping their dog hydrated should top the priority list of the concerned owner, since this prevents complications of the urinary tract. While looking for options other than water, wet or canned food will help solve the purpose. The moisture content in canned foods is higher than the content present in dry dog foods.

Canned foods are also rich in proteins and vitamins, providing the right palatability, easy digestion, and a good nutritional source for your dog.

In case your dog has missing teeth or jaw problems, pet nutritionists advice owners to feed him wet food which will help in chewing and swallowing. It has been observed, that dogs with certain health problems, such as damage to their sense of smell, often prefer wet food. This is because the aroma of canned food is considerably stronger than dry dog food products. The prominent aroma of such canned foods is what attracts a dog to the meal.

Canned food is a complete no-no for those dogs who are messy eaters. Also, dogs having a prolonged history of dental problems, or a weak set of teeth, should not be given this type of diet since it makes cleaning the canine's teeth all the more difficult.
Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food
The prime reason some people prefer dry dog food over wet dog food is for its convenience factor. Dry dog foods are easy to store and have a better shelf life than wet dog foods. Commonly known as dry kibble in the US, all types of dry dog food are an excellent supplement for every dog's tidy dental health. In fact, some products are exclusively designed in such a way that it cleans the dog's teeth while the canine is chewing it.

Cheaper cost is yet another factor in favor of dry dog foods. Commercially produced dry dog foods often have greater amount of grain and protein content as compared to the canned items. Manufacturers utilize corn, wheat, and other grains as a substitute for meat, thereby reducing the overall cost of the product.

On the downside, kibble does not have any moisture content. This might prove crucial when your pet is sick or needs moisture as a part of its daily diet due to other health reasons.
The Final Verdict
It all comes down to the diet requirements of your pet, and hence, adhering to the vet's recommendations is advised. Nonetheless, the following points will sum up the pros and cons of both types of food.
Canned Food/Wet Dog Food
Pros
✓ More nutritive value
✓ Easier to consume
✓ Better moisture content
✓ Ideal for ailing dogs
Cons
✗ Expensive
✗ Perishable, requires refrigeration
✗ Needs constant dental cleanups

Dry Dog Food
Pros
✓ Easy storage
✓ Reasonably priced
✓ Better option while traveling
✓ Does not affect dental health
Cons
✗ Often contains preservatives
✗ No moisture content
✗ Not suitable for all health conditions
Zeroing-in on a particular type of diet or food for your dog can be a tricky job, since it entirely depends on the health of your pet. Dogs at every age have a different set of nutritional requirements, so consult a vet and understand what your pet really needs.
Disclaimer: This article does not intend to replace the diagnosis and advice imparted by a licensed veterinarian. Kindly opt for professional help prior to the implementation of a diet plan for your pet.