What Are The Disadvantages Of Dry Dog Food? 10 Common Cons

Kibble, or dry food for dogs, has increased its popularity over the past few years thanks to its convenience and other utilities.

But are you curious about the disadvantages of dry dog food?

Suppose you still look at this kind of pup meal through a rose-tinted glass.

In this case, I will present 10 common demerits of dry food that can impact your pet’s health negatively. Keep scrolling down for further information!

What Is Dry Food For Dogs?

disadvantages of dry dog food

Dry dog food, or kibble, is usually created by grinding and mixing all ingredients, like grains and nutritional additives.

After the mix-up process, they will be shaped into tiny kernels and cooked at a high temperature to get rid of all water.

A dry food portion typically contains less fat and water than wet food. Besides, it provides more carbs, but its protein level is much lower than wet food.

Notwithstanding the above facts, this kind of pet food is still recommended by numerous vets in some situations.

When your puppy is prone to toothache, consuming dry food facilitates the cleaning process. It also costs a lower price.

Despite these benefits, you should pay close attention to the many drawbacks of feeding your pooch with dry food.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Dry Dog Food?

There are several potential demerits of dry dog food, but the most common is dehydration or body water shortage.

Other harmful impacts induced by poor nutrition, preservatives, flavors, etc., should be noted as well. 

Let’s check them out!


Dehydration is the state that your canine’s body severely lacks water and moisture content, which are essential for its organs to operate properly.

A dog could exist without food for up to three weeks, but this cannot be applied to the water shortage.

The primary cause behind this issue is a low level of water content in dry food.

Most kibbles don’t provide enough water like wet foods, and dogs usually absorb this source of water to hydrate their internal organs.

Serious consequences include damage to its body parts, such as the kidney being flushed or the spread of diseases.

More Grain Than Meat

The main component of a dry food portion is cereals and grains that cost a lower price than meat content but are harder to digest than wet food.

Remember that dogs are omnivores, and they primarily take nutrients, especially protein from meat.

With this in mind, overconsumption of dry food does not tailor a canine’s demand for nutrition and wreaks havoc on its well-being in the long run. 

Some obvious signs of protein deficiency, such as weight loss, bristle hair, poor coat, and reduced growth rate, could be enumerated.

Poor Nutrition Usability And Feces

What are the disadvantages of eating dry food? Not all food contents are digested by a puppy’s body.

Various substances in a dog meal can be excreted, and their nutrients are not fully absorbed.

And dry food is on the list due to its poor nutritional process within the gastrointestinal tract.

The usability of dry food is only from 30 to 40 percent while this figure is higher, at 80% for a cooked meal and 55% for industrial wet food.

There are so many ways of estimating one pet food’s usability.

Among those approaches, measuring the number of feces produced is commonly used to tell whether this food is appropriate for the species.

Preservatives And Flavor Enhancers

pros and cons of kibble dog food

The processing stage of dry food entails lots of preservation.

Many substances, such as BHT, BHA, formaldehyde, and ethoxyquin, are added to the dry food during its production with the purpose of raising the flavor and softening the mixture.

However, if added in multitudes, they have great repercussions for your pooch when consuming dry food, as shown by allergic reactions or skin irritations.

Remember to feed your canine with dry food in moderation to avert worse scenarios.

Sensory Additives

Like preservatives and flavor enhancers, sensory additives are also added to dry food in the production stage.

Due to a shortage of meat content, these additives must be provided to eliminate the extreme grain odor and better the taste.

These functions help whet your canine’s appetite, and when it likes eating this kind of food, you will likely purchase this item next time.

However, the over-addition of sensory additives also sacrifices your puppy’s health.

Damage To Teeth And Gums

Dry food helps clean your dog’s teeth, which seems more important and necessary when it has a toothache. But its harmful effects on teeth and gums are undeniable.

After being consumed for a long time, dry food components will alter the saliva’s pH level.

When the environment within the mouth changes, your canine’s teeth are more prone to damage, creating good conditions for bacteria to destroy them.

Overweight Problems And Possible Stomach Rot

As mentioned earlier, dry food mostly contains grains and carbohydrates, which will be converted into sugar after being digested.

This is one of the main culprits behind its low energy source, contributing to the low level of movement and heightening the chances of obesity issues in a canine.

Deprivation Of Natural Ingredients

Most dry kibbles lack natural ingredients, like fresh vegetables or meat content, because their primary ingredients are grains, cereals, additives, and preservatives.

Consuming this portion for a while might put your furry friend’s health at risk since the supply of nutrients from natural sources is limited.

Less protein as well as water but more fat and carbs are what dry pet food provides.

Mites And Moulds

The input or dry food mostly derives from grain and cereal. These ingredients cannot avoid being contaminated with mites and bacteria.

In bad conditions, mold could flourish over their surfaces.

That’s why you should purchase dry food products from a reliable store or famous brand.

Fake brands and bad manufacturers may take these unhygienic sources of grains and cereals to make dry food for your puppy.

When eating them, it runs a risk of getting allergies, skin rashes, intolerances, and other potential ailments.

Risk Of Salmonella

The dry food composition leads to a perfect habitat for salmonella’s growth.

Although your stomach could destroy this type of bacteria without a hitch, its functions seem to degrade after a long time of confronting salmonella.

In other words, the overwhelming invasion of salmonella seriously threatens the stomach’s operation.

Without proper measures, it will greatly burden the stomach acid and result in several health issues.

Should I Feed Dry Food To My Dog?

The answer depends on each situation. If you are too busy and have many business concerns, dry food is an optimal choice, thanks to its convenience.

All you need to do is purchase a pack of dry food and pour it over a bowl for your canine.

Besides, dry food is easier to store than wet dog food; you don’t have to worry about it congealing after being left out in the air for a while.

Hence, you save much time in storing and keeping this food type.

But is it okay to feed your dog dry food everyday? You should combine it with other types of food to ensure sufficient nutrition.

Never over-rely on kibble, as various related health issues are mentioned above.

What Should Dogs Eat Instead?

What are the disadvantages of eating dry food

A balanced diet for dogs must include fresh foods made from human-grade ingredients. If possible, they should be free-range, grass-fed, and organic.

If you cannot prepare cooked meat or vegetables for your pooch, raw food is ideal.

Instead of choosing dry food, you could feed it with a raw meal, including whole foods that are uncooked and minimally processed.

Under a few circumstances, a raw portion seems richer in nutrients by containing important naturally occurring vitamins and enzymes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Best Dry Food Brands For Your Dog?

You can consider the top three brands producing dry dog food on the market: Merrick, Wellness, and Nature’s Logic.

They all set high standards for fat, vitamins, minerals, and protein percentages in dog food based on two life stages: growth and reproduction.

Foods for all stages must adapt to the nutrition requirements of about 8% fat and 22% protein.

Given the maintenance foods, 5% fat and 18% protein are suitable nutrient percentages.

Although the products’ price tags are higher above average, you are always relieved about these well-regarded brands.

What Are The Cheapest Dry Dog Foods?

Suppose you are a middle-class household living on a tight budget; Blue Buffalo, Rachael Ray Nutrish, and Natural Balance are three suitable names for cheap dry dog foods.

With those options, you cannot expect premium ingredients and high-quality components of dog food.

But your canines could still gain sufficient nutrition from budget foods, so don’t worry too much.

The Bottom Line

This post has solved the mystery of the disadvantages of dry dog food for many pet owners.

Kibble is not a bad option in some cases, yet you should not always feed your canine with this food type because it does not contain rich nutrients and minerals like wet foods.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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