7 Best Soft Dry Dog Food – Guide, Benefits, Recipes, Reviews & FAQs

7 Best Soft Dry Dog Food – Guide, Benefits, Recipes, Reviews & FAQs

Soft dry dog food is a type of dog food that falls between hard, dry kibble and luscious, liquid gravies. These foods are dry, pre-packaged and ready-to-eat, too, just like their counterparts. The only difference is that they are tender and chewy.

Dry soft dog food is great for those dogs that either dislike regular hard kibble or have weak teeth. If they have trouble chewing, or their teeth have worn down from old age, soft dry dog food works wonders. Soft dry food is also called semi-moist dog food and comes in a variety of textures. Ranging from all soft to a mix of soft and hard kibble, there’s something for every dog.

What is Soft Dry Dog Food?

Soft dry dog food refers to a category of ready-to-consume dog food. It is neither dry hard kibble nor wet gravy. Such food is given to senior dogs who have trouble chewing or even younger dogs that seem to not enjoy regular kibble.

Soft dry dog food comes in a variety of tastes and textures – stimulating the palatability of the dogs. You can opt for a meal consisting of entirely soft chewable food. Or go for one that adds a little bit of hard kibble to the keep things crunchy. This type of semi-moist dog food is great for when you’re traveling with your pooch. It has the required nutrients and creates no mess at all.

More pet parents are shifting to semi-moist of soft dry dog food because of multiple reasons. For one, a lot of dogs prefer wet dog food over dry kibble because of its similarity to actual meat. It is tasty and easy to eat. However, wet dog food comes with its own set of drawbacks. It is messy and may need refrigeration. It is far fussier than dry kibble which can be bought and stored in large quantities without much problem. Soft dry dog food combines the advantages of both and creates a great palate for your pooch.

Benefits of Soft Dry Food

Soft dry dog food is superior in terms of convenience and value when compared to other food types. Here’s why:


If you really care about what your pet dog eats every day, you will be concerned about the taste of the food they are eating. You obviously want your dog to enjoy their meals and give them food that they actually like. Semi-moist good food packs a lot more flavor than your regular kibble. Dogs do not have the same taste buds that humans do. While we have up to 9000 taste buds, dogs only have 1700. But that does not mean that they’d eat just anything – dogs have preferences too.

They may also be able to gauge what they like and don’t like through their sharp sense of smell and the texture of the food they are eating. Wet food is always a hit because of the texture. However, it isn’t the most convenient or cost-effective option there. So semi-moist or soft dry dog food is a great bet if you need to pack in a punch of taste, texture, and flavor.

flavor of soft dry dog food
Semi-moist dog foods are much tastier than hard kibble!

Shelf Life

All packaged foods come with an expiration date. Dry dog food has a much longer shelf life than wet food does, which makes it a convenient and less fussy choice. Feeding your dog packaged kibble or wet food that is past its expiry can make your dog seriously sick. You must always check the expiry date of the food before you buy it, as a rule. With wet dog foods, the other issue is refrigeration. It begins to decay from the moment you open it and requires instant refrigeration and quick consumption.

To give your dog the best of both worlds – semi-moist dog food or soft dry dog food is the best choice. It comes with the fun and flavor qualities of wet dog food and the shelf life that is close to that of dry dog food.

Less Mess

Dry dog food is the least messy. If your dog loves their kibble, they may even lick the plate. Sadly, this isn’t the case with wet dog food. Your dog may lick the plate clean, but cutting it up and pouring it, out into something is always going to be a messy affair. There is the risk of getting it all over your clothes, furniture or even your car if you are traveling.

Another issue is that a bowl of wet food will always require a rinse. You may even have to wipe your dog’s mouth clean after they’ve slurped it all up. This isn’t the case with semi-moist and soft dry dog food. If you go for the chewable kinds, your dog – whether he/she is old or has weak teeth, will easily be able to gobble it up. And all this without a speck on your precious furniture or car.

Good for Picky Eaters

Soft dry dog food is a great bet for picky dogs, who like their food a certain way. Almost no dog will ever turn its face away from a bowl of wet food, but kibble is a whole other story. You might have to go through multiple brands to finally find the one that your dog likes. With semi-moist dog food and soft dry dog food, this becomes a whole lot easier. The moistness in the food is alluring enough for any dog to want it. You could also try a mixed variety. Where wet food is strewn with chunks of kibble, making the gravy thick and nice, with the occasional crunch.

soft dry dog food for picky eaters
Soft-dry dog food is ideal for picky eaters!


The biggest difference between wet food and dry dog food is the price point. Each pound of wet dog food is about $2-3 more expensive than the dry variety. However, wet food is more nutritious, low carb, and tastier for dogs in general. Semi-moist dog food or soft dry dog food is a great midway between hard and dry kibble and wet, expensive dog food. It strikes a balance, packs more nutrition than kibble, and is priced only a little higher than regular kibble.

So technically speaking, soft dry dog food or semi-moist dog food is the perfect midway. Especially when you’re torn between the two varieties of dog food and want to give your dog the best on a budget.

Possible Drawbacks of Soft Dry Dog Food

While soft dry dog foods are known to be more nutrient-dense than regular kibble, not all brands can boast about having this quality. A lot of brands of semi-moist dog food might fall back when it comes to supplying the right quantity and quality of nutrition. In fact, a few kibble varieties may pack more health than semi-moist dog food. So research is very important before shifting to soft dry dog food.

Soft dry dog food is made from both dry kibble and wet dog food. So it is possible that there are a lot of additives and preservatives in semi-moist dog food. Because soft dry dog food tries to increase the shelf life of the food by making it only slightly dry, it may contain a lot of harmful preservatives, that are used to lengthen its shelf life.

The ingredients in semi-moist dog food or soft dry dog food could be far from natural. To maintain its chewable quality and soft textures, there are additives and more added to the food. While most companies, of course, take care to not add food additives that may be harmful to dogs in general, you never know what your dog might be allergic to.

7 Best Soft Dry Dog Foods

There are not many options available for soft dry dog foods as it is a relatively new and upcoming product. However, we’ve shortlisted some of the best products that will do your dog a lot of good!

1. Purina Moist and Meaty Formula

Purina Moist and Meaty Steak Flavor Dog Food is produced by the American Nestle Purina PetCare Company. The USA is known for its wide range of pet food and products. The soft, substantial nuggets of the moist and meaty dog food are viewed as of the best quality. It is preferred by the dogs as they like these tender meat chunks made from real beef and matching texture.

It is also very nutritious with the goodness of beef and other valuable minerals and vitamins making it a complete diet for the dogs. Their nutritional value is according to the standards established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for providing a balanced intake to an active adult dog. The individual pouch packaging of the food makes it more convenient to serve without the mess and to even measure it as per the requirements.

The quantity of the food given to the dog can be adjusted as per the activities and health of the adult dog. If the dog was provided with other types of food, then a gradual transition into this new food with an increasing amount is recommended.

2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Dry Dog Food

This range of dry food for dogs of Nutrish by Rachel Ray is an all-natural, great product! It is a wholesome diet recipe with natural and farm-fresh ingredients.

The food is loaded with the goodness of fresh chicken, turkey, meat, beef, brown rice, veggies, and fruits from the farms along with minerals and vitamins. These ensure that the food is of superior quality with better shelf life and has less artificial ingredients. They offer three flavors with a combination of various recipes namely Real Chicken and Veggies; Turkey, Brown Rice and Venison; and Real Beef, Pea, and Brown Rice.

Their chicken and veggies recipe also provides further ranges especially formulated for growing puppies, small dogs, and large breed dogs. These are small in size hence easy to chew, can be moistened if required, and the flavorful morsel makes it a digging treasure for the dog.

3. Iams Proactive Health Formula

Iams provides a real wide range of dog food. Their food is designed with a proactive health formula that helps a dog in maintaining their weight and health as per their age and activity. It also aids in strengthening their muscles, gives them more energy, and helps with better digestion. Their food is loaded with nutrients and is overall beneficial to health.

Along with the fresh ingredients, their special health formula includes L-carnitine which helps in burning fat into energy and reducing the storage of it. The other best part of Iams is that they provide tailored food ranges as per the size, age, specific breed, and special requirements. This certainly helps in understanding a dog’s need while selecting their food.

4. Wellness Core Rawrev Natural Formula

Wellness Natural Pet Food has come up with an innovative range of food for dogs that are all-natural in its essence. This dog food is prepared with real meat and no other added ingredients.

This food gives them the taste of actual raw meat which is presented in freeze-dried kibbles with their best of amino acids and minerals. This prevents the nutritional level from being compromised as it usually is seen to happen in process foods. The following protein-packed range of food is available in options of raw chicken, turkey, fish, lamb and also in whole grains in a separate section.

5. I and Love and You Naked Essentials

The very first thing that will make you and your pet fall in love with this food is its heart-shaped kibble! The brand seems to have hit the right spots as far as elegant packaging and food quality is concerned. Their category of Naked Essentials is quite popular for its grain-free food consisting only the pure, fresh and selective meat, fruits and vegetables.

They have substituted the fillers like rice, soy, wheat, corn or other grains with lentils, chickpeas and sweet potatoes to ensure digestive and nutritive benefits to the dog. Available in four flavor combinations, the Naked Essential collection also includes prebiotics and probiotics suitable for all types of dogs.

6. Purina Pro Plan Formula

Pro Plan formula by Purina is more than meeting the food requirements of the pet. This is a well-thought diversification in the dietary concerns for the nourishment of a dog. It is scientifically met with the nutrition plan to make them more athletic and healthier even in old age.

They focus on the nutritional intake of the dog keeping in mind their uniqueness and food preferences. Properly balanced food intake is easily reflected in the dog in their appearance and temper. It also aids every canine in dealing with issues related to their health and environmental adjustments.

Pro Plan is a customized tailored plan with a vast series of 80 assortments already existing in the category. It is worth trying this diet plan for any dog that wants to remain fit till the end.

7. Purina Beneful Incredibites

Beneful is the classic category of nutritious food by Purina. Wonderfully, it comprises of a diverse product catering to the nutrition and flavor requirements of a dog. Of these, Incredibites is a section consisting of both wet and dry food. Currently, with 7 options of flavors in Incredibites, these are made with real chicken, beef, or salmon mixed with blended veggies. Emphasizing the true flavors of the ingredients, there are no added colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, or sugar. Served in chewable size, packed with aromatic, appetizing bites, makes it easy to feed food to our canines of all sizes.

Soft Dry Dog Food – FAQs

Soft dry dog food is a relatively new product on the market, and so it is natural for you to have some questions about this kind of food. Here’s answering some frequently asked questions that most pet parents have.

Is There a Soft Kibble Dog Food?

There is a wide range of soft kibbles available in dog food. They are neither hard and dry or of wet gravy but soft, juicy and chewy. They are ideal for puppies and senior dogs for it is easy to consume, hassle-free and less messy.

Should You Moisten Dry Dog Food?

Moistened dry dog food is very suitable for pups, old dogs, or dogs with dental problems. This food is easy to chew and is palatable. By adding some amount of water or any other prescribed liquid, the food gets softened and is easy to eat. Moistening a dry food for a dog also depends on the food choices of the dog. Some dogs are very picky and fussy about the type, form, and flavor of the food they are served. So, depending on their preferences, one must decide on whether to moisten dry food or not.

chewing on softened dry dog food
Chewing on softened dry dog food is easier; and moisture increases palatability!

Is Soft Dog Food Good For Old Dogs?

As a dog grows old, they tend to develop sensitive and week teeth. Replacing their dry food with soft, wet and moistened food can help them in easing out their eating process. Thus, grinding on hard and dry food can become difficult and painful for them. One can also add some amount of fruits, vegetables, and canned food in their diet to fill in their nutrition requirements.

What is Moist Dog Food?

Generally, there are few types of dog food available in the market from dry-hard and kibbled to wet food which is gravy and mushy. Moist food is another type of food that has a water content of 60-65%. This makes the food moist and not exactly hard or mushy. This type of food makes it easier for a dog to chomp on their food given to its succulence.

The readily available moist foods in the market consist of salt, sugar and artificial flavor at times, making it less natural than other dog foods. Another more reliable way is to moisten certain dry dog food by adding some amount of water to moisten it.

Soft dry dog food provides the best of both wet and dry dog food. It is often more suitable for very young or old dogs and can also help provide a more palatable solution for picky eaters.