Wet or Dry Dog Food for Puppies – Comparison of Pros & Cons

wet or dry dog food for puppies

Wet or dry dog food for puppies? Such is the question, and in our analysis, you are going to discover their respective pros and cons. Once you finish our guide, you will be able to decide which type of food will be the best for your pup.

We are also going to show you how to turn dry dog food into wet, so you can test the waters and see how your dog reacts. Furthermore, we are also going to bring you a chart and feeding guide for both types of food, so you can feed your puppy the right amount!

Wet Food for Puppies

Let us start with wet food for puppies. We are going to bring you a complete balance, letting you know the wet dog food benefits, the possible complications, and tips on how to introduce your pup to this type of food.

Pros

Wet food has important benefits for puppies, principally because they provide more nutrition, especially when it comes to protein. Let us check each pro in detail.

Higher Moisture and Protein Content

Wet food, as its name clearly suggests, is moist and therefore more palatable for many puppies. In fact, such texture can make your puppy prefer it during teething because it will alleviate oral irritation.

Furthermore, your dog will obtain most of its nutrition from animal protein, and wet food contains far more meat and therefore protein than regular kibble. In consequence, your puppy will eat more and higher quality protein. In fact, let us check the normal distribution of macronutrients in most wet dog food:

Macronutrient Distribution
ProteinCarbohydratesFat
Wet Food28 to 50%18 to 57%20 to 32%
Dry Food18 to 32%46 to 74%8 to 22%
Range of macronutrient distribution between wet and dry dog food.

As you can see, wet food contains far more protein, and it contains fewer carbohydrates, which as we are going to see, happens because wet food tends to contain fewer fillers. Your puppy needs plenty of high-quality protein when growing up, and fortunately, wet food contains fewer fillers, and in some cases, they are completely free from them.

On the other hand, dry food usually contains fillers such as soy meal, corn, and grains. which do not bring nutrition to your dog, and for some puppies, they can trigger allergies. Finally, wet food will allow your dog to stay hydrated, because some puppies do not drink enough water, and it is even more important if they tend to play a lot and if you live in a zone with high temperatures.

benefits of wet dog food
Wet dog food can make your pup feel more energetic!

Makes Your Dog Feel Full

Because of the higher moisture, your puppy will feel full as well, which will increase its satisfaction, and even something as small as this can be tremendously helpful when your puppy is teething, so it has one problem less that bothers it.

Furthermore, it will help your puppy to control its weight, because it will use the exact amount of food it needs to thrive, so it can feel full of energy and vitality. In addition, it will make digestion easier.

If you have been feeding your dog with dry food, and you have found that it does not feel full, then try to add 1/3 to 1/4 a cup of water to its kibble. It is a great way to test wet food and see how your dog reacts.

Cons

Every great thing has cons as well, and therefore, you need to be aware of them, to see if the benefits weight more than the complications, or not.

Messy

Wet food – be it canned or homemade – is messier than dry food, and therefore, your dog is likely to get dirty once it has finished its meal. In many cases, you will have to clean your dog afterwards, and that will consume some time. When unsupervised, your dog can create a real mess.

In addition, refrigerating it can become an issue, because chances are your puppy will not like it the same afterwards. Hence, in terms of convenience, it falls short in comparison to dry food.

Dental Problems

It does not mean that your dog will develop dental problems due to wet food, but unfortunately, this type of food will not clean the teeth as your dog eats it, which means that plaque, tartar, and calculus will build up.

However, you can counteract this by mixing it with some dry food, or giving your dog a good chew toy, or alternatively, a firm bone to chew, which could be from goat, lamb, beef or bison.

wet dog food can get messy
Wet dog food is messier than dry dog food.

Dry Food for Puppies

Now let us explore the benefits and disadvantages of dry food for puppies, to let you see what reasons would make it a great choice.

Pros

Let us explore the advantages of dry food because for some owners, it will be the best choice. Find all the details below.

Convenient

When it comes to convenience, nothing comes close to kibble. You only have to serve it, and that is all. If you are in a hurry, then it will not take you more than a couple of minutes to serve the meal for your puppy. Therefore, if you are often busy, then having a bag of kibble can save you many times.

If you travel regularly, then you can also bring it with you, and as it needs no refrigeration, and you can store it easily, it is a great travel meal for your puppy.

Therefore, in terms of convenience, dry food is the absolute champion. You can serve it on the go, you can bring it with you when you travel or anywhere you want. Just zip lock it and that is all you need to do.

Economic

Kibble is more affordable than wet food, especially if it is canned. Let us check a live example from Purina, so you can see that dry food is more affordable per pound.

Dry FoodPricePrice Per Pound
Purina Pro Plan Dry Puppy Food (34 lbs.)$47.98 $1.41
Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Puppy Canned Wet Dog Food (12 cans, 13 oz. each) 9.75 lbs in total$20.40 $2.09
Price per pound comparison between same-brand wet and dry dog food.

As a result, dry food from the same product line, in this case from Purina Pro Plan, is 32% cheaper than wet food, and that makes a huge difference in the long term. Therefore, even if you prefer wet food, buying some kibble could help you to reduce costs.

However, it comes with the drawback that you get less protein content, and several times, kibble includes fillers such as cornmeal, soy meal, starches, etc. which could affect your puppy negatively.

Good for Brain Games

Your puppy also needs mental stimulation, and fortunately, dry food can help you to make it easy and tasty. In addition, it is a good way to train your dog, especially if it really loves a specific type of kibble.

For example, you can buy your dog a food-dispensing toy and fill it with the kibble your puppy loves the most. Such toys can be quite challenging, and they will keep your dog mentally stimulated and entertained for a long time.

Our advice is to rotate between different food-dispensing toys, so your puppy always has a new challenge at hand. Additionally, you can play other games such as find the treat. Basically, you hide its favorite treat, and by following its scent, your dog must find it.

Cons

Dry food has important points in its favor, but it also has contraindications that you should consider. Below, find all the details.

Low Fat and High Carbohydrates Content

As we saw in the section about wet dog food, dry food tends to contain less protein, less natural fats and a high concentration of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, a big part of mainstream kibble products has a poor nutrient profile, and therefore, they will not nourish your puppy properly.

You can overcome this contraindication by reading the ingredients label, to ensure that they include high-quality ingredients such as beef, lamb, salmon or bison, as well as healthy carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes.

You will find that high-quality kibble is more expensive than normal dry food you find at any local store, but it is still more affordable than canned food, as we saw in the example of Purina food for puppies.

Problematic Fillers

As we said, many kibble brands are not that good, and therefore, you need to go through several options until finding a good one. Many dry dog foods contain problematic fillers that may cause upset or allergic reactions in your puppy.

Nonetheless, with due diligence, you can overcome this con. Only consider that you will have to spend a fair share of time reading ingredients labels, so you can discard those with problematic fillers such as soy meal and cornmeal, as well as suspicious additives and chemicals.

Final Verdict

Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of each type of dog food, you know which one to choose depending on your budget and preferences. If you are on a tight budget and you prefer to have a ready-to-go meal for your puppy, then kibble is the way to go. However, remember to read the label of ingredients carefully, to ensure that you are feeding your puppy the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive.

If you do not mind spending about 20-30% extra on dog food, and if your dog is especially picky about food, then you should go with wet food. Our recommendation is to use a mix of both types of food, so you can give your puppy the best from both worlds. Additionally, you can add bone broth to the mix, to make the meal even tastier.

In conclusion, what matters the most, in the end, is the quality of nutrition that you are bringing your puppy, regardless of the type of food, be it dry or wet.

dry dog food for puppies
Wait until your puppy is 6-8 weeks old before you give it dry dog food.

Wet or Dry Dog Food for Puppies – FAQs

The wet vs dry puppy food debate generates plenty of controversy, and a result, we have detected the following questions to be the most common. Below, find a proper and concise answer.

Should I Feed my Puppy Wet or Dry Food?

Wet and dry food both have benefits towards your puppy’s health. If your puppy is fussy about food, and it turns its nose away from dry food, then you should feed it wet puppy food. As it is moist, it is far tastier and more palatable than kibble, and hence, your puppy will like it better. In addition, if it is teething, then your pup will prefer wet food because it will be easier on its teeth and gums.

In case you want to test how your puppy reacts to wet food, try adding ¼ a cup of warm water to kibble, wait 10 minutes, and then serve it to your dog. Another great alternative to water is a bone broth in order to make high-quality and high-palatability puppy gruel.

Is Wet or Dry Food Best for Dogs?

Dogs tend to like wet food better because it is tastier, moister and more palatable, and in addition, it has a higher protein content, as well as a healthy content of natural fats and it is lower in carbohydrates, in comparison to dry dog food.

In addition, wet food will help your dog to keep its hydration in check since many dogs tend to not drink enough water, which is essential to avoid if you live in a zone that registers high temperatures regularly.

Can Puppies Eat Wet Food?

Puppies can eat wet food and you will find wet food that has been specialized formulated for puppies because they contain a higher protein content, as well as specific nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that will help your pup during its development.

It will help you to nourish it properly, and in addition, wet food will help you to control its weight, as it contains less calories than regular kibble.

When can a Puppy Eat Dry Food?

A puppy will not want to eat dry food during the first weeks of its life, as it lacks the teeth to eat it properly. Therefore, if you want to feed it kibble, then you should wait until it turns 6-8 weeks old, so you can try to make it eat dry puppy food.

Even then, we would suggest you mix it with ¼ a cup of water, or for instance, bone broth, to make it semi-moist. You will see that your pup will enjoy it a lot more this way.

Ultimately the choice is yours. Puppies may have their own individual preferences towards wet or dry food. Also, these foods hold their own benefits and disadvantages. Take your time to choose the right food for your dog.

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