Is Wet Dog Food Easier to Digest Than Dry? An Expert’s Answer

The choice between dry and wet dog food is a crucial consideration for those who want to provide the best nutrition for their furry friends.

So is wet dog food easier to digest than dry?

Well, we all understand digestion’s pivotal role in a dog’s overall health and well-being. That’s why, in this article, I will dig into this dishy topic! 

Let’s break down the pros and cons of each food type, spill the beans on nutrients, and find out if that sloppy goodness is really better than its dry counterpart.

Is Wet Dog Food Easier To Digest Than Dry?

dog food wet vs dry

In a nutshell, yes, it is! Wet dog food is easier to digest thanks to its moisture content. As the name states, this type of food contains a significant amount of water.

The moisture softens the food, making it easier for our canine companions to chew and swallow.

This can be particularly beneficial for dogs with dental problems or are prone to dehydration.

Furthermore, the moisture-rich nature of wet dog food also contributes to improved gastrointestinal comfort.

Dogs with constipation or other digestive issues might find relief from the smoother texture of wet food.

This texture reduces the strain on the digestive tract, potentially minimizing discomfort.

Does that mean you should only feed your pet wet food from now on? Is wet dog food better than dry overall? Ironically, that’s not the case! 

While its higher moisture content and potential gastrointestinal comfort are the biggest points in wet food’s favor, dry food also has its own advantages.

The choice between them ultimately comes down to what aligns best with your dog’s health, lifestyle, and dietary requirements.

Some may thrive on a combination of both, while others can do better on one type exclusively.

By understanding the pros and cons of each food type, you can select one that is most suitable for your four-legged friend.

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Wet Dog Food

To make wet dog food, the meat and protein ingredients are ground and mixed with a sauce that contains grains, minerals, and vitamins.


Due to its many advantages, more and more dog owners choose wet food for their pets. Below are just some of them: 

  • Ease of digestion: As mentioned, the moisture content and semi-liquid texture of wet food make it easier for dogs to chew, swallow, and digest. This is especially helpful for puppies, senior dogs, and those recovering from medical procedures.
  • Nutrient availability: Wet food’s composition allows for increased nutrient availability. The moisture helps break down the food, making essential nutrients easier to absorb.
  • Optimal hydration: Like all living creatures, dogs require proper hydration to maintain various body functions. Wet food’s moisture-rich nature contributes to your canine companion’s daily water intake, helping to prevent dehydration and promote overall health.
  • Enhanced palatability: Some dogs might have a more discerning taste, and wet dog food can deliver on palatability. Its easy-to-swallow texture, rich aroma, and variety of flavors make mealtime more exciting for picky eaters.


Despite its many benefits, nothing in this world is perfect, and wet food also has some downsides: 

  • Short shelf life: Wet dog food has a relatively short shelf life once opened. Due to the high moisture content, it is more susceptible to spoilage and bacterial growth.
  • Dental health considerations: The soft texture of wet food doesn’t provide any teeth-cleaning effect. This can lead to dental issues, such as plaque buildup and gum disease.
  • High cost: Wet dog food tends to be more expensive than its dry counterpart. Feeding your pet only wet food can significantly impact your monthly pet care budget. For larger dogs or multi-pet households, the cost difference is quite substantial.
  • Potential for mess and odor: Wet dog food often makes mealtime messier. Spills and splatters are more likely, which lead to stained surfaces and unpleasant odors.
  • Limited convenience and portability: For on-the-go situations, wet dog food is much less convenient. While dry kibble can easily be packed in portable containers, wet food requires proper refrigeration and careful handling.

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Dry Dog Food

which is better dry or wet dog food

Dry dog food is also made by grinding ingredients and combining them into a uniform blend.

However, instead of being mixed with a sauce, it is cooked at high temperatures using extrusion methods and then dried to remove moisture.


While advocates of wet food diets argue that dry food’s extensive processing makes it less healthy, it can still be beneficial for your pets in several ways: 

  • Dental health support: The most outstanding benefit of dry dog food is its positive impact on dental health, like cleaning dogs’ teeth. Kibble’s crunchy texture promotes mechanical tooth cleaning as dogs chew. This reduces plaque buildup and maintains healthier gums.
  • Caloric density and controlled portions: Dry dog food tends to be more calorie-dense than wet food. This means a smaller amount of kibble can provide the same amount of energy, making it a suitable option for active dogs with higher energy needs.

Additionally, the controlled portion sizes that dry food allows can be advantageous for dogs who need to maintain a healthy weight.

  • Longer shelf life: Since dry food has a lower moisture content, it has a longer shelf life than wet food. You can purchase larger quantities and store it for a long term.
  • Convenience and storage: Dry dog food makes mealtime hassle-free.You can store kibble at room temperature for an extended period – an excellent choice for owners with busy schedules or those who enjoy traveling with furry friends.


As you can see, dry dog food has some clear advantages. Still, there has been controversy surrounding it for years due to these reasons: 

  • Digestibility challenges: Some dogs thrive on dry food, while others experience digestive difficulties.

Kibble’s hardness and density may pose challenges for dogs with sensitive stomachs or those prone to gastrointestinal issues. The lack of moisture also makes digestion less efficient for certain dogs, leading to discomfort.

  • Potential for dehydration: Dry food has a significantly low moisture content. This triggers concern about dehydration, particularly for dogs that don’t drink enough water or those with medical conditions that require extra hydration.
  • Potential for allergies and sensitivity: Compared to wet food, dry food often contains more ingredients. These include grain and meat-based products. For dogs with food allergies and sensitivities, the ingredients can trigger adverse reactions.
  • Artificial additives and preservatives: Artificial additives and preservatives work to extend shelf life and enhance palatability but may not be beneficial for your pet’s overall health.
  • Processing and nutrient loss: The extensive processing involved in making dry dog food can lead to nutrient loss.

Tips On Building A Balanced Diet For Your Dog? 

wet dog food vs dry

So, dry dog food or wet?

While the choice depends on your furry friend’s needs, preferences, and specific circumstances, a balanced diet is typically one that contains two of them.

By mixing dry and wet, you can get the best of both worlds!

Below, I have some expert tips for providing a well-rounded and nutritious meal for your canine companion: 

Don’t Hesitate To Mix Dry And Wet Food 

Many brands offer corresponding dry foods to wet foods and vice versa.

Adult dogs also prefer a change in their meal, so you can feed them one meal of wet food and one meal of dry food.

Some pets love to have some wet food added to their kibble. The crunchiness of dry food promotes dental health, while the moisture in wet food contributes to hydration.

Be Careful When Mixing Brands

If you decide to mix different brands of dog food, make sure to do so thoughtfully.

When transitioning from one brand to another, do it gradually by mixing the new food with the old, slowly increasing the proportion of the new brand over several days.

Proportioning Is Crucial 

Balancing your dog’s diet is more than just choosing the right types of food. To prevent overfeeding or underfeeding, portion control is equally crucial.

Remember to follow the feeding guidelines on the package, but also consider your pet’s activity level, age, and overall health. Make changes to portion sizes accordingly.

Take The Label Test

The final tip is to read and understand the ingredient label on dog food.

Whether you choose wet or dry food, look for high-quality protein sources, whole grains, and limited use of artificial additives.

The first few ingredients listed are the most prominent in the food, so ensure that they are wholesome and beneficial for your dog’s health.


Is Wet Dog Food Better For Sensitive Stomach? 

Yes. Due to its softer texture and higher moisture content, wet food is better for sensitive stomachs than dry food.

Can I Switch My Dog’s Food From Dry To Wet? 

You can switch your dog’s food from dry to wet, but it is important to do so gradually. An abrupt change in diet can cause digestive upset.

Is It OK To Feed Your Dog Dry Food Only?

If your dog is not dealing with any digestive problem or prone to dehydration, it might be OK to feed it dry food only.

However, choose a high-quality and balanced dry food that meets its nutritional needs.

Wrapping Up

So, is wet dog food easier to digest than dry?

Wet food’s higher moisture content and softer texture can indeed make it a more suitable option for dogs with sensitive stomachs, dental issues, or dehydration challenges.

However, every dog is unique. Factors like age, health condition, and personal taste play a significant role in determining the optimal choice.

Consulting with a veterinarian and observing your dog’s response to different food will guide you toward the best decision, ensuring their digestive comfort and overall well-being.


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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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