Wet or canned dog foods are one of the most expensive canine nutrition you can ever find. These are especially formulated to mimic the natural diet of pooches in the wild. Rich in moisture and fortified with all the nutrients that canids need, soft dog food can be an excellent source of nutrition for certain types and breeds of dogs. Unfortunately, because of its rather unique formulation, expect that the best wet canine food will have a hefty price tag compared to dry kibbles. Not to worry though as we’re going to take a look at the 10 best wet dog foods in 2017 that are not only highly nutritious for your pet but are friendlier on your pocket as well.
Wet & Canned Dog Food Buying Guide
Choosing the right wet and canned dog food often entails careful consideration of a variety of things. These types of dog food are not inexpensive and as such may not really be a good idea for those whose primary concern is the economy of feeding their pets. However, if such is not really a concern to you, then you will have to understand the very nature of wet dog foods, especially when compared to a dry kibble.
The nutritional composition of wet dog food is one of the few things that you really have to understand as it may not fare well compared to dry dog food. As such, even before we help you identify the things you have to look for when buying wet and canned dog food, it is essential to understand the unique differences between dry kibbles and wet dog food. Hopefully, by then you will be able to make a more reliable decision as to the kind of wet dog food that you are going to purchase.
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Wet Food vs. Dry Food
The debate between dry and wet dog food has been going on since pet food manufacturers have begun dissecting the anatomy of the ideal canine diet. On one hand, there are those that say canned wet foods are better since they contain moisture that can help keep dogs stay hydrated. On the other hand, those who say that dry kibbles are better essentially point to the greater nutrient value per kibble. Choosing the right food for your pet requires an understanding of these two basic types of doggie chow.
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Dry dog food
Proponents of the dry kibble maintain that, given on a per weight basis, dry kibbles contain more nutrients than wet dog food for the simple fact that it has lesser proportion of moisture which is essentially water. For instance, if you have 100 grams of dry kibble that contains only 10% moisture, this means that the remaining 90% are actually the dry matter ingredients – proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Typically, a dry kibble will contain a minimum of 30% protein and 15% fat accounting for at least 45 grams in our example. This leaves us with another 45 grams to make the remaining 90 grams of nutrients. Does this mean the 45 grams are actually carbs? Or does it account for fillers?
The good thing is that the macronutrient content is always expressed in the minimum for both protein and fat and maximum for moisture and fiber. But providing limits doesn’t give you an actual figure to work with.
Nevertheless, dry dog food has quite a number of advantages. It’s more economical and a lot more convenient to give to dogs since they don’t spoil that easily. You can pour a cupful into your dog’s bowl in the morning and still feel safe that it won’t be spoiled once you come home from work. The rather hard and rough texture of the kibbles also serves as toothbrush for your pooch to help enhance its dental and oral health.
On the downside, you don’t get to provide adequate hydration for your pet. This should not really be a concern especially if you can get your dog to drink from its water bowl or even its pet fountain.
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Wet dog food
The major issue with wet doggie chow is that they contain too much moisture that its nutritional value is generally considered less than a dry dog food. In our example of a 100-gram preparation, let us suppose the moisture content is 80%. This essentially means your dog is left with only 20% of the food accounting for its nutrients. That is why if you’re going to look closely at our list of the 10 best wet dog foods in 2017, you’ll notice that the minimum amount of protein is between 8 and 11 percent with the exception of Purina’s Moist & Meaty Burger with 18 percent. Still, this is still a far cry from the minimum 30% protein in dry dog food.
Additionally, moist dog food is inherently more expensive than dry kibbles for the simple fact that the processes involved are more technical. Moreover, they spoil easily. Once spoiled, you simply cannot give them to your pooch anymore, further increasing the cost.
This is not to say that wet dog food is bad for pooches. On the contrary, these food items are very useful in dogs that do not drink too much as well as canines who are sick, debilitated, or are recovering from an illness, injury, or even labor and delivery. It is also exceptional for senior dogs whose taste buds and sense of smell may already be decreased. Giving them moist dog food can help them eat a lot better since these types of food are way more palatable and more delicious than dry kibbles. These mimic the food that we eat. No wonder pooches love them.
Given that both dry kibbles and wet dog food have their advantages and disadvantages, it is not uncommon to see pet owners combine the two. The rich moisture content and exemplary taste of wet dog food will blend well with the nutrient-dense, albeit bland formulation of dry kibbles. Mixing the two is like giving your pet the best of both worlds.
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What to Look For When Buying Wet Dog Food
In case you would like to look for your own moist canine food to give to your pet, here are some things you need to look for.
- Animal protein as first ingredient
The first ingredient should always be an animal protein. As a matter of fact, you need to read the first 5 ingredients to make sure that its protein source comes from a specified animal. Don’t go for those labeled as ‘meat’ alone as there is no telling what kind of animal was used. Go for products with very clear animal source labels such as ‘beef’ and ‘chicken’ among others.
- Guaranteed analysis of ingredients
While this is just a very rough estimate of the nutrient composition of the dog food, it should give you an idea of just how much proteins, fats, fiber, and moisture you’re giving to your pet. Always go for higher minimum crude protein content.
- Inclusion of vegetables and whole grains
These are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals while whole grains provide energy for your pet as well as certain essential amino acids that can help augment those found in animal proteins.
- No artificial ingredients
You really shouldn’t give any product that is laden with artificial ingredients as well as any other harmful chemical that are typically added to add flavor, color, and even to prolong the shelf life of the product. While you may think that a small dose is okay, these can still pose a threat to your pet’s health.
Wet dog foods provide pets with exceptional amounts of moisture in a formulation that closely resembles the taste and consistency of human food. While these are more expensive than dry kibbles, they are nonetheless valued in certain types of dogs that will benefit more with a moisture-rich and delicious doggie meal. However, because they do contain lesser concentrations of nutrients than dry kibbles, you might want to give more moist canine food if not to mix it with dry kibbles. At any rate, wet dog food can be very valuable since they do mimic the kind of food that their human masters eat.