Soft dry dog food is a type of dog food that falls between hard, dry kibble and luscious, liquid gravies. These foods can be dry, pre-packaged, and ready-to-eat, 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.
15 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 category. 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 are 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.
- Unbeatable palatability
- Extremely nutritious
- Chunks of tender meat
- A little pricey
- No fish recipe available
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 fewer 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 and hence easy to chew, can be moistened if required, and the flavorful morsel makes it a digging treasure for the dog.
- Picky eaters like the taste
- It gives healthy skin and shiny coats to dogs
- Rich in protein for lean muscle development
- Not suitable for pups with sensitive stomachs
- It can cause allergic reactions in some breeds
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 its 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 needs while selecting their food.
- It has high protein content for super active dogs
- Dog food improves metabolism
- It promotes healthy joints and bones
- Taste is not ideal for picky eaters
- Not suitable for dogs with low activity levels
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 their 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 amino acids and minerals. This prevents the nutritional level from being compromised as it usually is seen to happen in processed 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.
- It helps develop lean muscles
- Healthy and shiny skin and coat
- It improves heart and gut health
- It is expensive
- Lesser soft meat pieces
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 are 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.
- Improves digestion
- It promotes healthy bacteria in the gut
- Higher protein content
- Not suitable for dogs with heart issues
- Picky eaters won’t like this food
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.
- Healthy joints and improved mobility
- It promotes gut health and digestion
- High protein content aids in lean muscle development
- It is a bit more pricey than its counterparts
7. Purina Beneful Incredibites
Beneful is the classic category of nutritious food by Purina. Wonderfully, it comprises 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.
- Improved immunity
- Healthier skin and coat
- It is affordable
- Not for picky eaters
- It may cause digestive issues in some dogs
8. Cesar Small Breed Dry Dog Food
The Cesar dog food for small dogs contains 26 vitamins and minerals essential for small dog breeds. It has a blend of flavorful, crunchy kibble and tender that are very meat pieces without artificial flavors or fillers. Cesar dry dog food is made with real beef as the first ingredient to ensure that they are rich in flavor and nutrients.
Your dogs will love these meals because it’s more than gourmet, their porterhouse flavor and spring vegetable garnish have special H-shaped pieces that help to keep your fur buddies’ teeth and gums healthy. It’s well-packed and has a resealable zipper that helps maintain the freshness of porterhouse steak flavor at every meal.
- A complete and balanced meal for small dogs
- Suitable for dogs with food allergies
- It is reasonably priced
- Picky eaters may not like the food
- It doesn’t smell nice
9. PURINA One Smartblend Natural
The Purina One Smartblend is made with high-quality protein sources, including real lamb as their number one ingredient. It contains omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that help support healthy skin and coat.
Besides these, it acts as a dual-defense antioxidant blend that supports a strong immune system and is a natural source of glucosamine to help maintain healthy joints. Purina ensures that natural nutrition can make a visible difference in 28 days since it balances the microorganism ecosystem in your dog’s gut.
- It improves immunity in dogs
- Promotes gut health
- Suitable for dogs with allergies
- Not suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs
10. PURINA Dog Chow Tender & Crunchy
Dog chow tenders are 100% complete and balanced meals for adult dogs that contain 23 vitamins and minerals. It’s from with real lamb that provides vitamins and minerals to support his energetic life, plus protein for strong muscles.
Purina’s dog chow has tender pieces and crunchy bites that have a medley of flavors and textures that your fur buddies will surely love. Each ingredient promotes your dog’s healthy skin and coat and will help you keep your dog active throughout a long and healthy life together.
- Dogs love the taste of this food
- It improves dental health
- Balanced nutrition
- It contains corn as the first ingredient
11. Blue Buffalo True Solutions Small & Mighty Natural Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
While the Blue buffalo True solution is dry dog food, the kibbles are soft enough that even a dog with dental issues will have no trouble gobbling them down. Although the kibble size is ideal for small dog breeds, even large breed dogs love the flavor of this dog food.
Prebiotics in this dog food improves the digestive system of your dog. It is free of any meat by-products. The main ingredient is real chicken, followed by a chicken meal.
The high-quality ingredients offer 28% protein, providing energy and developing lean muscles in dogs. The vitamins, minerals, and omega-fatty acids offer complete and balanced nutrition to your dog.
This dog food is free of any artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
- Promotes gut health in dogs
- It improves immunity in dogs
- It provides healthy skin and coats
- Picky eaters may not be too fond of the taste
- It is pricey
12. Kibbles ‘n Bits Original Savory Beef & Chicken Flavors Dry Dog Food
Another best soft dry dog food is the Kibbles ‘n Bits’ original savory beef and chicken flavor. It is the best value for money you can get. This dog food has a dual texture with hard kibbles giving the crunch and the soft meaty pieces.
The addition of green beans and carrot provide antioxidants and fiber, which aid in digestion and maintain the overall health of your dog. It also contains 23 essential minerals and vitamins for a 100% balanced diet for a healthy dog.
- It is inexpensive
- The juicy meat chunks are irresistible even for a picky eater
- Easy to digest
- Lower protein content
- Contains chemical preservatives
13. The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Dog Food
The Honest Kitchen dehydrated dog food is an excellent choice for soft dry dog food. You can use it as a complete meal, a topper, or any other dry food for your picky eaters.
Other than chicken, you can also find turkey, beef, chicken & duck, beef & salmon, and different flavors in this dog food range. This dog food formula is free of grains and contains human-grade ingredients. It is suitable for both puppies and adult dogs.
The Honest Kitchen uses a gentle dehydration method to prepare the dog food, ensuring no nutrient loss and maximum flavors.
- It improves digestion
- It helps with skin allergies
- FDA approved
- Picky eaters may not like the texture
- An additional step is to prepare the food
14. Bil-Jac Picky No More Small Breed Chicken Liver Dry Dog Food
Bil-Jac has been a USA-based dog food company since 1947. their Picky no more dry dog food is made using chicken and chicken liver.
It contains omega fatty acids, minerals, and essential vitamins for the overall growth of your dog. The dog food is free of wheat, gluten meals, soy, and other fillers.
The vacuum-drying process and the Nutri-lock cooking technique keep the chicken fresh without losing any nutritional value. The slow cooking process results in a soft and spongy texture of this food that is likable to dogs. The texture makes it suitable for small-breed dogs and dogs with dental issues.
- Improves skin and coat
- Increases immunity in dogs
- Easy to digest
- It contains chicken by-products
- Picky eaters don’t like the taste
15. Yumwoof Perfect Kibble – Oven Baked Low Carb Dog Food with Fresh Meat
Yumwoof perfect kibble is a slow-cooked recipe that offers complete nutrition to your dog.
With only 14 ingredients, this dog food is free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. The first ingredient is fresh meat, the primary protein source.
With the goodness of chia seeds, blueberries, cranberries, seaweed, and MCT oil, it is full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fiber. The food is easy to digest with all-natural ingredients and no fillers.
Since a veterinary and top-rated chef created the recipe for this dog food, it tastes heavenly even to the pickiest eaters.
- It promotes heart health in dogs
- Picky eaters love this food
- Improves dental health
- It is expensive
- The soft texture results in crumbled food inside the packet
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 that are made to boost the appetite of your dogs. You have the option of a meal consisting of entirely soft and chewable food or go for one that adds a little bit of hard kibble to keep things crunchy. This type of semi-moist dog food is great when you’re traveling with your pooch since it has the required nutrients and creates no mess at all.
Now, more pet parents are shifting to semi-moist 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 because it’s tasty and easy to eat. However, wet dog food comes with its own set of disadvantages, it can be messy and may need to be refrigerated. 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. We listed all the top benefits of soft dry dog food that can increase your fur buddies’ appetite and for them to enjoy each meal.
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. As an owner, 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 – humans have up to 9000 taste buds while dogs only have 1700. But that does not mean that they’d eat just anything – dogs have preferences too. Your dogs can also determine 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. Therefore semi-moist or soft dry dog food is a great choice if you need to pack in a punch of taste, texture, and flavor.
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 shelf life that is close to that of dry dog food.
Less of a 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.
Better For Picky Eaters
Soft dry dog food is a great choice 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 the 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.
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 in carbohydrates, 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 has a price that’s 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.
Disadvantages 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.
Ingredients To Look For
When purchasing soft dog food for your pets, here are some of the top ingredients that you need to check to ensure that your dog’s meal is healthy and safe.
Vitamins & Minerals
Soft dry dog food often contains vitamins and minerals since most of them have fruits and vegetables. When choosing a dog food, make sure that it consists of healthy vegetables for dogs such as broccoli, beets, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and more, to provide the right amount of vitamins and minerals.
When it comes to fruits, it is important to include strawberries, apples, and blueberries since they have high vitamins and are a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are important to boost your dog’s immune system, they also prevent diseases and decrease the risk of infection.
Protein has lots of benefits for dogs. It provides them with stronger muscles, greater body mass, improves their nerve function, and gives them a shinier coat and healthier skin. These are the reasons why choosing a soft dry dog food with high protein is very much recommended especially for owners who want their dogs to be healthy and strong.
Always choose a dog food that contains high-quality sources of protein such as turkey, lamb, beef, and chicken but be more cautious when picking brands that use dried out or ground meat since it can lose a lot of nutrients during the process.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fats are usually not present in every dog food since they’re not required like the other ingredients but they do have a lot of benefits to your dog’s health. These fats are good for the brain and eye development, especially in the early stages of your fur buddies.
As your dog ages, omega fats can also provide shiner and softer coats, reduce arthritis, and kidney diseases, and improve your dog’s quality of life. Ingredients such as fish oil and flax are good sources of omega fats, so might as well consider them when purchasing dog food.
Ingredients To Avoid
Ensuring that your dog’s meal is healthy and safe should be your number one goal as a fur parent. Though commercial dog food aims to provide all the nutrients for your dogs, some brands contain harmful ingredients that can affect your dog. Below are the ingredients that you should avoid when buying dog food.
Since dry dog foods are made to last longer compared to wet food, some brands use artificial or chemical preservatives to prevent the food from spoiling faster. These include butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), tert-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
These are the common chemical preservatives that you need to avoid. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), both BHT and BHA are suspicious cancer-causing compounds and possible carcinogens that can cause issues to your dog’s health. When purchasing commercial dog food, make sure to avoid these ingredients to prevent any harm to your pets.
Artificial Food Coloring
Some brands add artificial food coloring to dog food to make them look fun and appealing to dog owners. But these factors are actually unnecessary for pets since dogs focus on smell, taste, and texture. These artificial food colorings can lead to hyperacidity and can cause serious allergic reactions.
If your dogs have a sensitive stomach or are prone to allergies, it’s best to avoid this ingredient to ensure that they will not experience any side effects or health complications.
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.
There is a wide range of soft kibbles available in dog food. They are neither hard and dry nor 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.
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 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.
As a dog grows old, they tend to develop sensitive and weak 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 to their diet to fill in their nutrition requirements.
Generally, there are a 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 its food given to its succulence.
The readily available moist foods in the market consist of salt, sugar, and artificial flavor at times, making them 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.
Mixing wet and dry food is fine as long as both of them contain high-quality ingredients and the nutritional needs of your dogs. Always check your dog’s ingredients and ensure that it has fats, minerals, protein, vitamins, and other vital nutrients. Also, avoid fillers, additives, or preservatives.
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.