Should a dog eat only dry food or wet food?
Our veterinarian offers advice by answering one of the most common questions about feeding dogs: should they only get dry or wet food?
We’ll need to understand how dogs approach their food: by sight, taste, or smell… We all know it’s not sight, dogs don’t particularly care about the visual appearance of their food. It’s rather the taste and smell that attracts their attention. Let’s take a closer look at the senses and which one prevails when it comes to selecting food.
No. of taste buds
– Human 9,000
– Dog 1,700
– Cat 470
Square centimetres of olfactory mucosa (where the smell receptors are found)
– Human 3-4 cm²
– Dog 18-150 cm² (depending on the breed and size of the dog)
– Cat 20 cm²
This information clearly shows how dogs are more equipped, and therefore predisposed, to choose and appreciate their food with their sense of smell.
However, dogs are social animals, used to living in packs (families in our case) and sharing mealtimes. Food plays a pivotal part in the relationship with their peers and that’s why it’s important to ensure our dogs are satisfied with the food they are presented with. It’s a great tool for bonding, teaching, and encouraging good behaviour. A rewarding meal is a gesture of affection but it also helps to lay a solid foundation for the relationship between you and your dog.
When it comes to choosing between dry and wet food, we can doubtlessly argue that high-quality dry food is sufficient in meeting their daily nutritional needs.
That said we’d advise against only feeding dry food. Dry food isn’t as gratifying for dogs because it’s less fragrant. On top of that, it misses some of the nutritional benefits that are naturally present in wet food, such as vitamins and minerals. It’s less processed than kibble and therefore retains more nutrients that are naturally present in the ingredients.
On the other hand, if we’d only feed wet food, we’d miss out on the many benefits associated with chewing – our furry friend would eat the meal much faster and skip the first stage of digestion, mastication. Soft food also doesn’t massage their gums and doesn’t assist in keeping their teeth clean.
What to do?
We advise a mixture of dry and wet food, taking advantage of both their benefits.
Mixing one tablespoon of wet food into your dog’s dry food will make the meal more appetising and satisfy their taste buds, whilst the dry food ensures healthy digestion and clean teeth.
Take a look at our handy online tool that provides an overview of all our products and their benefits so that you can choose a combination of dry AND wet food for your dog that will surely satisfy their nostrils, as well as their taste buds.
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Dr Benedetta Giannini, veterinarian and nutrition expert