As dog lovers, we all want to provide our dogs with the best food possible. There are so many dog foods today that it can be difficult to know which foods are best. Should you feed your dog a wet food or a dry kibble, for example. There are all kinds of wild marketing claims. Are any of them true? Which ones should you believe? In fact, for some dogs wet food is the best choice. We can help you select the best wet dog food for your dog.
Should you feed your dog a wet dog food or a kibble?
There are pros and cons to both wet foods and kibbles. Here’s a short look at some of them.
Wet dog foods
- Wet dog foods usually have fewer additives than kibbles.
- They are often higher in meat protein than many kibbles.
- Wet dog foods usually have fewer overall ingredients than kibbles.
- Wet dog food nearly always has fewer carbohydrates than kibble.
- Wet dog foods by definition contain more moisture than dry dog foods so your dog is sure to get more moisture when he eats if this is a concern.
- Kibbles are less expensive per ounce than wet dog foods.
- Kibbles are usually easier to carry and store than cans of wet dog food.
- Kibbles can have less fat than wet dog foods – many wet dog foods are high in fat.
As you can see, there are good things about both kinds of food. In general, kibble is less expensive to feed than wet dog food, especially if you have a large dog or multiple dogs. Affordability is an important concern, especially when you are looking at feeding dog food month after month. If you have one or two Toy or small breed dogs, you can probably easily feed them a wet food diet. On the other hand, if you have a Great Dane or three or four, you might have to mortgage your home to feed them a wet food diet. It would take a LOT of canned dog food to satisfy even one Great Dane.
Wet dog food is sometimes recommended for dogs recovering from surgery or experiencing a health problem but these are short-term diets. In these cases you should talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s diet. S/he might recommend a prescription or veterinary formula wet dog food.
Elderly dogs can also benefit from a wet dog food if they have lost interest in eating. Wet dog food is usually very appealing to dogs. Because it does have a high fat content it tastes good to dogs. Dogs that refuse to eat kibble anymore will often perk up and start eating canned dog food.
Some people claim that hard kibble helps keep your dog’s teeth clean and that wet dog food is more likely to cause dental problems but there is little evidence to support this theory. If your dog has dental problems you can look for dog foods with dental formulas to help their teeth. Regular brushing, dental chews, and attention from your veterinarian will also help.
Comparing wet dog food to dry dog food
When you are looking for the best wet dog food you might be confused when you try to compare the nutrient percentages of canned foods and kibbles. The percentages found on bags of dry dog foods will always look like these foods have more protein, fat, fiber, and so on, than those found on canned foods. This is because of the moisture content in wet food. In order to make a true comparison you have to compare the foods by dry matter basis (DMB).
There are several different ways to figure DMB so you can more accurately compare wet food and kibble. In most cases you can simply multiply the figures on the canned food by 4 and you can see how they stand up against kibbles. This is because most canned foods contain about 78 percent moisture/water/broth vs. about 10 percent moisture in kibble. So, a wet food that has 9 percent crude protein, 6 percent crude fat, 1.5 percent crude fiber, and 76 percent moisture will have about 36 percent protein, 24 percent fat, and 6 percent fiber when you multiply the figures by 4. In actuality, this food has 38 percent protein, 25 percent fat, 6 percent fiber, and 31 percent carbs, so multiplying by 4 is not too far off.
You can also find calculators online to help you figure the dry matter basis of dog foods; and you can do the math calculations yourself if you’re good at math.
The best wet dog foods
You might have heard about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 2018 warning http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2018/11/dcm-update/ regarding a possible link between grain free dog foods and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. The FDA is still investigating this possible link. You can read the latest update here https://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/newsevents/ucm630993.htm.
The FDA has advised people against feeding foods that contain peas (including pea protein, pea starch, and pea fiber, and chickpeas), lentils, legumes, other pulses, and potatoes (and sweet potatoes) as main ingredients. Exotic ingredients are also implicated. There are some good groups https://www.facebook.com/groups/TaurineDCM/ on Facebook about this subject, moderated by veterinarians. We have to consider this issue when recommending dog foods. Wet dog foods are less likely than kibbles to contain grains but peas and potatoes can still be a problem when searching for the best wet dog foods. We have made an effort here to identify wet dog foods that don’t have these suspect ingredients.
Newman’s Own Dinner For Dogs Turkey & Chicken Recipe Canned Dog Food
Newman’s Own makes various organic dog foods. The company has an excellent reputation. What’s more important to you, as a dog owner, is that their Dinner for Dogs Turkey & Chicken Recipe Canned Dog Food contains no peas or potatoes. The recipe is made with natural and organic ingredients and it contains no wheat or corn, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. It has 8 percent crude protein and 5.5 percent crude fat. Animal protein in the food includes real organic turkey, organic chicken, and ocean white fish. Organic brown rice provides fiber. We think this is one of the best wet dog foods available right now.
Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Seared Beef, Green Beans & Brown Rice Entree in Gravy Canned Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan is often recommended by veterinary cardiologists involved with research about DCM. It is one of the brands that has professional veterinary nutritionists on staff to formulate the company’s pet foods. As a result, this brand has not been involved in the dilated cardiomyopathy cases that have been reported. PPP Savor Adult Seared Beef, Green Beans & Brown rice Entree in Gravy Canned Dog Food contains antioxidants to support your dog’s immune system. It has 10 percent crude protein and 2.5 percent crude fat. Omega-6 fatty acids help maintain your dog’s healthy skin and coat. This food does not contain any added artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. We are happy to recommend Purina Pro Plan Savor wet dog food and other Purina Pro Plan foods because of their nutritional value.
Triumph Meals of Victory Turkey Recipe in Savory Juices Dog Food Trays
Made in Germany and distributed by Sunshine Mills in the U.S., Triumph Meals of Victory comes in small trays that can be fed to your dog as meals, a tasty food topper, or as a snack. The Turkey Recipe in Savoury Juices Dog Food Trays is made without corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, or fillers. Real turkey is the first ingredient. Vitamins and minerals are added for a healthy, balanced diet. This formula has 9.5 percent crude protein and 5 percent crude fat. Triumph Meals of Victory comes in various recipes.
Royal Canin Shih Tzu Adult Loaf in Sauce Canned Dog Food
Royal Canin makes a number of breed specific dog foods that are tailored to different breeds, such as this Shih Tzu Adult Loaf in Sauce Canned Dog Food. They also make foods for dogs by size and by health condition. Royal Canin is another one of the brands recommended by veterinary cardiologists for anyone concerned about DCM. This formula has sodium, taurine, L-carnitine, and essential amino acids to support a healthy heart, for example, along with omega-3 fatty acids for your dog’s skin and coat. We recommend Royal Canin dog foods.
Iams ProActive Health Adult With Beef & Rice Pate Canned Dog Food
Iams and its sister company Eukanuba have also been recommended by veterinary cardiologists as good brands for anyone concerned about dilated cardiomyopathy. Again, these are companies that employ veterinary nutritionists to formulate their recipes. They have not been linked to the current problems with DCM and dog foods. Iams Proactive Health Adult with Beef & Rice Pate Canned Food is made from slow-cooked ingredients in real broth. It also has added vitamins and minerals to make sure your dog is getting all of the nutrients he needs. Omega fatty acids keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy and Vitamin E boosts his immune system. This formula has 8 percent crude protein and 6 percent crude fat.
Crave Beef Pate Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Crave Beef Pate Grain-Free Canned Dog Food, made by Mars, has real beef as the first ingredient. This is a grain free dog food but it does not contain any corn, wheat, soy, other grains, peas, or potatoes. It has no chicken by-product meal and no artificial flavors or preservatives. It is made by the same people that created EVO pet foods at one time. Of the protein in the food, 99 percent of it comes from animals. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids support your dog’s overall health and nutrition. This recipe has 12 percent crude protein and 5 percent crude fat. It’s said to often appeal to picky eaters.
It’s not always easy to find the best wet dog food at this time that don’t contain peas, potatoes, and some of the other ingredients the FDA has singled out. If you have been taught to look for certain ingredients and avoid others as “good” or “bad” ingredients, you may need to reconsider some of the things you have been told. We recommend that you follow the FDA’s advice and try to avoid the ingredients that may be linked to dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs, at least until the FDA completes its investigation. There are still some good dog foods available but you might have to try some brands you have not fed your dog before. We think the foods recommended here are the best wet dog food around right now. Some of these companies have other recipes that are also good. Check them out and see if they will work for your dog.