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- Canned dog food can spoil easily after opening if not refrigerated. It can also get costly overtime. Similarly, fresh dog food has a short shelf life and because of high-quality ingredients, it can get expensive—but cheaper options are available.
- Experts consider fresh dog food better than canned dog food because it does not contain preservatives. However, fresh food done with low quality ingredients, is inferior to high quality wet food.
- When choosing a dog food type, make sure the meal has low carb and fat, more protein, and with a healthy amount of vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. Having AAFCO certification is also a plus, but most importantly, consider your dog’s unique dietary needs.
Are you thinking about switching Fido’s diet from dry to wet dog food? For years, wet and dry dog food dominated the market with wet food typically seen as the “healthier” choice compared to kibble. With the introduction of fresh food, dehydrated food, and raw food diets however, pet owners have more basis for comparison.
In this article, I’ll take a good look at canned vs fresh dog foods and discuss exactly how they compare with each other.
Canned Dog Food Pros and Cons
- Wet food is typically more appealing to many canines. The taste and texture are more prominent with wet foods so there’s less chance of your dog ignoring the meal. It’s a good choice for picky eaters.
- Since they’re canned, this food type tends to have a longer shelf life. Like most canned goods, these meals are designed to last until the apocalypse.
- The moisture content of canned foods make them heavier in the stomach. This makes it ideal for dogs who are trying to prevent unhealthy weight gain.
- Canned meals also have less carbohydrates in them which can prevent obesity in dogs.
- The canning process helps guarantee that the food is free from any pathogens.
- A wet dog food diet is easier on the digestive system. Compared to kibble, pets on canned food have better bowel movements and are more likely to avoid bloating. It’s been shown that dry pet foods with too much fat can increase the risks of bloating.
Of course, there are drawbacks associated with canned meals starting with the cost of the product. Wet meals can also cause dental health issues as it promotes the buildup of tartar. Note that once opened up, wet meals can spoil quickly.
Fresh Dog Food Pros and Cons
- Fresh meals are equally appetizing to dogs since they’re as close as possible to the natural state of a dog’s diet.
- Compared to canned dog foods, fresh meals undergo minimal processing and may be customized depending on the desired health benefits on the dog.
- Fresh food, especially if you prepare it yourself, have the benefit of variety. Owners can swap out animal proteins, experiment with ingredient, upgrade ingredient quality, and essentially expose their dogs to more food sources.
- Fresh meals can be prepared in conjunction with human meals. There’s less food waste to worry about if meal preparations are done with the dog in mind. You can swap ingredients, share leftovers, and basically give your dog more variety in his meals.
- Customization is highly likely when it comes to fresh dog food. It can be adjusted for food allergies, adult dogs, older dogs, puppies, canines with heart disease, and so on. Pet food deliveries will offer you the convenience of custom meals too using ingredients that are human grade.
- Fresh food undergoes little processing and therefore have ingredients that are at their peak form when fed to the dog.
- Fresh meals for dogs also contribute to a better digestive system. Regular, firm, and easy bowel movements are likely with fresh meals compared to dry dog food.
When I make fresh meals, I include boiled chicken, carrots, raw foods, or basically any home cooked diet with human food as ingredients—the quality is so high they are fit for human consumption. Choosing to do this can be very time consuming for dog owners. It can also be difficult to properly guess the amount of food you serve. While commercial meals have feeding guidelines, fresh meals need a bit of calculation. You have to consider the dog’s health, dog’s lifestyle, and life stage.
Which is Better? Canned vs Fresh Dog Foods
Both canned food and fresh meals have something positive about them. If you have to pick however, make sure to inspect different dog foods at an ingredient-level. This means checking each and every single item in the ingredient list. Ideally, the meal should be low carb, little animal fat, more protein, and with a healthy amount of vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. Look for the AAFCO certification  which is the gold standard when it comes to animal feeds today.
Note that while canned and fresh food are two popular options, there are more pet products available in the market. A new food type is freeze dried doggy meals which basically dehydrates the food using low temperature. There are also raw meat diets, dog meal delivery systems, and of course the dry dog foods. No matter what you pick, keep in mind that the pet food should meet the unique requirements of your pet. Ideally, you should get veterinary advice before giving or switching your dog’s food.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is fresh food better than canned food?
Fresh dog food is viewed as better for the simple reason that it doesn’t come with preservatives. However, the impact of these two food types really depends on all the nutrients included in each one. You want to feed your dog the right food based on their breed, energy requirements, and medical conditions. Fresh food, if done with low quality ingredients, is inferior to high quality wet food.
Is it OK to feed dogs wet food only?
Yes, as long as the wet food provides a balanced diet for your dog. The meal should deliver as many calories as necessary. Keep in mind that larger breed dogs like a German Shepherd will have very different nutritional demands compared to a small dog breed. Note though that since your dog’s teeth will be affected by semi moist dog food, it’s a good idea to have their teeth cleaned routinely. Introducing chew toys to clean their teeth is also a good idea.
Is canned dog food as healthy as dry dog food?
Taken point by point, canned dog meals are actually healthier than dry dog foods. There’s more moisture in the meal, the carbohydrate content is less, and preservatives used are lower. Note though that no matter what you feed your dog, the meals should be approved by a board certified veterinary nutritionist.
What are 3 advantages of canned dog food?
Most canned foods have better nutritional value, more protein, grain free, and with less preservatives. Additionally, they’re more shelf stable and it’s not hard to coax dogs into welcoming this in their diet.
Should I mix wet and dry food?
It’s possible to mix the two and get the benefits of both worlds. Adding wet to dry helps introduce more moisture to the meal while improving the taste of the dry product. This also helps control your budget and allow for some experimentation.