Although the price may be more expensive, wet food is a great alternative for any dog, no matter the age or size. Compared to dry food, wet food can help your dog’s digestive system as well as hydrate them if they’re older and do not consume enough water.
Especially for younger pups, wet food requires smaller bites and can be healthier to their mouths if their teeth haven’t fully grown in yet. But, as great as it may be, not every dog benefits from eating wet food. Together we will go over go over why you should feed your dog wet food, what ingredients to avoid, how to choose the best wet food, and finally, the top 4 wet food dog brands.
Why Should You Feed Your Dog Wet Food?
Wet foods are ideal for feeding as an addition to a regular meal of dry food. This can be as either a special treat or supplementary meal. Not all dogs drink as much water as they should. Wet food can provide a good source of hydration for your pet. There are also some dogs that simply seem to enjoy wet food more. This may largely be due to the scent. Dogs, especially older dogs with impaired olfactory senses, may find the richer and more flavorful scent of the wet food to be preferable. This makes wet food perfect for dogs who are ill, cannot smell as well, or are lacking an appetite. Wet dog foods are also a great option for dogs with health issues such as missing teeth, jaw issues, or smaller mouths.
What Ingredients Should You Look For and Which Should You Avoid?
To determine if a wet food is good or not, the first place you should look is the ingredients list. These are the ingredients you should look for:
Protein should always be the first food listed on the ingredients list. It should also always name a specific animal protein. Chicken is the most popular protein, but foods also come in lamb, beef, duck, and even kangaroo.
Look for foods that contain whole and unprocessed grains, like rice and barley. Stay away from foods that contain corn and wheat. You may also choose to stay away from grains altogether and simply look for a grain-free food.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and veggies are often used in dog food as a thickener. This should be the sixth or seventh ingredient on the list. Find foods that include potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomato paste, carrots, alfalfa, or apples.
Vitamins and Minerals
Your dog’s food should also contain some vitamins and minerals. For vitamins, look for A, D, K, and E. As far as minerals go, your food should contain calcium, chloride, copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and more.
These are ingredients you should avoid at all cost:
Low-quality foods will contain meat byproducts or byproduct meal instead of a pure protein. These are highly processed and contain a low amount of nutrients. Avoid byproducts at all cost.
Sweeteners contain no nutritional value for dogs, but manufacturers still add them in to make their food taste better. Stay away from foods that contain sugar, molasses, and corn syrup.
Artificial Colors and Preservatives
You will also want to avoid wet foods that contain artificial colors and preservatives. Any dog food that is not a shade of brown probably contains artificial colors. Luckily artificial preservatives are not too common in wet foods, but still be on the lookout for them.
How to Find the Best Wet Food for Your Dog
In order to find the best food for your dog, there are some things you need to consider:
The activity level of your dog will help you pick out the best food for your dog. Dogs that are not active need fewer calories and proteins. Otherwise, they are at risk of becoming overweight and developing health problems. Highly active dogs need more protein and calories so that they have enough energy for their lifestyle.
Nutrition should be a top concern when choosing a new wet food. Look for foods with top quality ingredients and no unnecessary fillers. Check the ingredient panel on each can of food to verify the nutritional content.
Taste and Texture
These are two big factors that are very important to your dog. Some dogs are pickier than others, so it may take some trial and error to find the right flavor and texture of food. Dogs tend to judge food by smell first, so the more pungent, the better.
Cost and Availability
Cost is an important factor to take into consideration. Usually, the higher the cost, the better the food will be. If you are on a budget, however, there are still good quality foods that are quite affordable. Availability is another big concern. True you can find most things for sale online, but there is nothing like the convenience of going down to your local pet store and picking up whatever you need. Check with your pet store to see which high quality wet foods they have for sale.
Special Dietary Concerns
We discuss this in depth in the next section.
Special Dietary Concerns
Not all wet food is suited for all dogs. There are some dogs that have special dietary needs. Some of these may include:
Because puppies are still growing, they have extra nutritional requirements. To support your puppy’s active lifestyle, you will want to look for foods with higher levels of fats, calories, proteins. You can check the ingredients panel on the back of the dog food cans or look for puppy specific foods. These ones will usually have the correct nutritional requirements.
Older dogs have special diet requirements as well. Because they are less active and are more prone to becoming overweight, you will want to look for food that has lower levels of protein, fat, and caloric content. Look for senior formulas as they will have the right nutritional requirements. These formulas sometimes also contain supplements that are good for senior health and joint function, such as glucosamine and chondroitin.
Overweight and Obese Dogs
Overweight dogs have similar nutritional needs to senior dogs. Look for foods with low levels of protein, fats, and calories. It is also helpful to feed your dog limited portions until they are back down to their ideal weight.
Dogs with Allergies
As with all health issues, visit your vet before making any dietary changes or diagnosing your dog yourself. That being said, there are plenty of wet foods on the market to suit the needs of dogs with allergies. The right food will, of course, depend on your dog’s allergy, but look for grain-free and limited ingredient diet wet foods. Be sure to check the ingredients panel before you buy anything.
Dogs with Other Health Issues
You must consult your vet before choosing a new wet food, however, here are a few suggestions. Look for low fat foods for dogs with intestinal problems. Find a low protein food for dogs with kidney and liver problems and bladder stones. Ultra-low carb foods are necessary for dogs with cancer.
Top Wet Dog Food Brands
Canidae is the perfect mix of any breed of dog that accompanies you. With its grain free formula, it is a great alternative choice for dogs with more sensitive stomachs. Only using 10, easy to recognize ingredients, also make it a safer choice compared to unnatural brands such as IAMS. Canidae also offers vet formulated food to better serve dogs that are older, have chronic problems, or any other condition. Bottom line is that if you have a sensitive dog with allergies or vet related issues, choosing Canidae is a great pick.
2. Nature’s Variety
Nature’s Variety offers another excellent variation of natural wet dog food. Their wet food is based on their instinct and raw formulas. These formulas delve in what dogs would eat in the wild: meat or poultry, vegetables or fruit, and no glutens or grains. Creating a recipe like this for dogs offers a healthier diet for more sensitive dogs to help them thrive since it contains more nutrients and easily digestible food.
3. Natural Balance
Natural Balance has been making the best tail waggin’ formula since the 1990’s. Their food encompasses a healthier tradition of whole meats and plenty of vegetables and fruits. On of the biggest moral codes behind Natural Balance is the health and safety of pets as a first priority. No matter you’d want to choose this popular brand! As one of the first limited ingredients food on the market, they paved a path for healthier dog food options. There are also multiple types of wet food the company makes to treat dogs with different health conditions, or to spice up the flavor for pickier dogs.
4. Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo is another true healthy dog food brand that specializes in dry and wet food. They have a wide selection of food such as their wilderness and freedom food. The best thing about these specialized options is that they are geared for dogs that are more active or less active. Having an array of food for every time of dog you have. Besides its amazing assortment, Blue Buffalo is an amazing company that lets their staff bring their pets to work, promoting healthy company moral codes.
I hope we managed to teach you more about wet dog food and its advantages and disadvantages. Before buying, always look over the top 4 brands we outlined and make sure to pick the one that better suits your dog’s needs. If you have any questions we couldn’t answer in this blog, the best solution is to ask the recommendation of your local vet.