The Great Debate, Dry Food or Canned?

by admin on September 3, 2012


 I get this question a lot. Which is better for my dog, dry food or canned? I’ve used both and I think this is an important topic to discuss. This is not an easy topic to review, since each dog requires different nutritional needs as they grow and get older. I’m not even going to touch raw food in this blog.  There are so many types of dog food in your pet aisles to choose from.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder that owners are always asking my advice.  My answer differs, for each dog and their nutritional needs. And this answer changes throughout their dogs’ lifetime. Always consult your vet as your dogs’ growth and health depends on the food your feed him.

I’ve put together my list of pros and cons that I think you might be interested in reviewing.  And I think this is such a great topic to discuss, canned vs dry.

What about Dry Food?

1. Well, the 1st pro on feeding dry food is that it’s thought to be good for your dog’s teeth. The crunching of dry food is associated with strengthening and cleaning your dog’s teeth.  It also relieves  your dog’s natural instinct to chew and can reduce his desire to chew things he shouldn’t be nibbling on.

2. Another pro is to dry food, is that is relatively inexpensive and easy to find.

3. ‘Dry food is less time sensitive than canned food. Canned food spoils quickly. In fact, it can spoil and smell in just a couple of hours when opened.  Whereas, dry food doesn’t go rancid for longer periods of time.

Ok, here comes my cons for dry food:

1. I mentioned that dry food doesn’t go rancid for a longer period of time, right? Well, that’s because it has more fillers and preservatives, which can mean your dog is getting less nutritional value using dry food.  Remember, just because a food doesn’t spoil faster doesn’t mean it won’t go stale.

2.  Dry food by definition, contains very little moisture, which can cause digestion problems for sensitive tummies.  Many dogs don’t drink enough water and having a kibble diet can be difficult.

What About Canned Food?

There are so many popular choice now for canned food.  As with dry food, there are several things that make canned food a good option.

1. Canned food can contain higher protein content as well as more moisture, alleviating dehydration.

2. Canned food tends to have more flavor and the smell is far more appealing to a dog’s noise.

3.  Canned food may be easier for your dog to eat than kibble. Especially for that picky eater.

No food is perfect.

1.  Canned food can be more expensive than some dry foods.

2.  Canned food, when opened, smells stronger and must be consumed in a shorter amount of time or it will spoil.

3.  Canned food does have more moisture and this can add to stomach issues, like diarrhea.

The brand does matter!  Not all dog food is created equally, either canned or dry.  Cheaper brands use far more fillers. And, as I’ve mentioned there is no nutritional value in fillers and can be harmful to your dog. These fillers can make your dog hungry again and they might experience malnutrition or weight gain.

When choosing dog food, choice a food high in quality, nutritional ingredients.  There are so many options for you to choose from.

It’s true that better quality dog food in going to be more expensive than a generic brand.

Which dog food is best?  In the end that choice is up to you.  Ask your vet for their advice on what’s right for your dog.  And know that if your dog is eating food that is good for him you will be able to see healthy and shiny coats, loads of energy, and neither weight gain or weight loss.

Your dog’s diet is a choice that affects him throughout his lifetime.  Make the right one and you’ll have a happy and healthy dog.

Let me know what you decide.

Follow me on facebook; Alanna aka The Dog Buddha and sign up for my blog. It’s easy. Find my picture and follow the prompts.

Hugs and Licks.






Share your thoughts with our Community!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

sara wales September 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm

This was great!!! Very informative.


admin September 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Sara, thank you for the read. Made me happy to see you here.


Bill Long September 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I feed a little of both. My primary objection to most of them including three high end foods is their way of labeling protein content.. They use vegetable ( an incomplete protein) as part of the protein content. Also you run into the melamine (plastic) problem. It brings up the protein content but can be toxic.


admin September 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm

You spot on Bill! I wrote another blog a bit farther back called Food Glorious Food, which has a site on there to check out the quality of the food folks use, both canned and dry. Love that reading your comments always.


Hanya September 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm

raw diet, dehydrated or fresh with high quiatly kibble (natural ingredients). It’s all natural stuff, no preservatives or filler. They love it and my dog’s have improved dramatically since I started to feed them a raw diet.They’re coats are shinier, they’re breath smells better and they are happier with more energy. I also put my cat on the cat raw food. He used to vomit a few times a week. No once since I changed his food.


admin September 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Wonderful Hanya, that you are using a raw diet for you dog and cat. I will be writing a future blog post on this topic. When using raw products, you should make sure the meat is lean and good quality. Your butcher can give you the better cuts of meat.
You are spot on about kibble and fillers. I addressed that in this aritcle and another article called Glorious Food.
I look forward to your comments on the “all natural/raw” food diet debate that I will be writing. Vets don’t always agree with that diet, but let’s see what I come up with to show the pros and cons, which I like to do.
Keep me posted on your little ones. I love that you care enough to give them the very best. Thank you for the read and your great comments. Cheers!


laura September 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Love your FB page and blog!! always learning something new from you!<3<3<3


admin September 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Hi Laura! So happy you enjoy The Dog Buddha page and now I get to see you here on my blog post too! I’m taking all your hearts and sending you my HEARTS as well. I look forward to seeing you here more too :)


Shelly September 4, 2012 at 2:19 am

Ok Madam over here who is smiling at this moment, the mischiefmaker LOL, will not eat dry food, soo what I do is mix it in with a wonderful dogfood which is kept in the refridgerator called DeliFresh by FreshPets and she loves it, shhhhhh she does not realize she is eating the kibbles :) Canned food is a no go as I am concerned as to what goes in it woooofffffff with love to all of you.


admin September 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Shelly, I know you’re a fabulous chef and Madame gets all the benefits of your home cooked meals. I will check out DeliFresh for sure. Kissed to Madame for me, always.


Shelly September 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm

ALanna, looking forward to hearing your input on the DeliFresh, licks from Madam back to you xxxxx


admin September 10, 2012 at 11:55 am

Shelly, I will do my research and see what I can find out out DeliFresh for you. I know Madam is very particular about what she likes. So stay tuned.


Hinode September 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm

You really don’t have to spend a lot of money, for a preuimm food.Some key things to watch:1-Watch for corn and other fillersCorn tends to be an allergy trigger-as seen by scratching, ear infections, excessive shedding2-No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives3-By products-Chicken by PRODUCTS usually contain chicken heads, feet and intestinesGOOD things to look for:1-REAL protein-the word MEAL- chicken meal is pure protein without water, bones,better than plain chicken, which still has water in it more protein2-Human grade food yes, same stuff you put on the table for your family! (I am not saying give your dog human food! LOL-I’m talking QUALITY)3- 100% guarantee-if the company doesn’t back their food, I’d question it!


admin September 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Hinode, you have done your homework. I agree with you. As you know, reading the back of the package for ingrediants is an eye opener. Fillers are all noted there on the first line. Read Food Glorious Food too. That blog posts explains the best way to pick up food for your dog.
I really enjoyed reading your post here. Great comment. Keep up the wonderful work. Bravo for getting your learn on about about what fillers can do for your dog: allergies, weight gain, poor coat conditions, etc.
I look forward to seeing more of you comments here. Thanks for the read. Cheers!

Bhaskaran September 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I feed very little paperred dog food due to all the preservitive and colouring added not to mention the disgusting rubbish they put in claiming it to be chicken,beef etc.I feed raw chicken necks, Cooked Liver stews with veg and rice added.Raw pet mince. Tuna cassaroles, Scrambled eggs with cheese. Cooked pet mince stews and a small amount of dog roll with NO preservitive plus fresh Brisket bones. I leave a cup of dry food down in case they get peckish but this is very rarely eaten. Maybe 1 cup a week with my four dogs.This feeding is actually cheaper than buying the paperred stuff but does take a bit long to prepare.


admin September 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Hi Bhaskaran! Wonderful that you take the time to feed your crew a home cooked meal. The great debate will continue about Canned vs Dry. I will be writing a blog in the future addressing a raw/more natural diet. Sounds like you have done your research. Cooked bones alway worry me, due to choking. That’s just my opinion.
We will have to discuss more about this when my other blog comes out regarding the natural way to go. I agree with you 100%. I’ve never been a fan of colored kibble. To me, it has no nutritional value for our kids.
You are ahead of the curve here Bhaskaran. I enjoyed reading what you’re doing. Keep up the great work and keep me posted on how they are doing. I hope you’re following me on facebook too: Alanna aka The Dog Buddha. I would love to see a photos of your kids.
Hope I see you again here. I really enjoyed reading about how you’re feeding your kids. Cheers!


Lupita September 28, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Rather than having to buy two difrefent foods, why not go with something that is appropriate for all life stages? Pinnacle and Taste of the Wild are two that come to mind. They have no corn, wheat, or soy which can cause problems for a lot of dogs. You will pay a bit more for a good food but the dogs body will use more of the food so you end up feeding less and cleaning up less piles of poop. Food that have a lot of corn and fillers don’t fill your dogs up so they always seem hungry, eat more, and poop it out in your backyard.


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