Wet Food For Dogs? Absolutely!
Why Moisture Matters
Water is a major component of our health and the same is true for our pets. Many cats and dogs will not drink enough water to properly hydrate themselves on their own. The solution? Put it in their food!
How do you feel when you are dehydrated? Do you feel a little sluggish, tired, or maybe you've got a headache? Our pets cannot tell us when they are thirsty or feeling a little “off” so it’s up to us to get them the proper hydration that they need throughout the day.
It can be tough to determine if your pet has had “enough” water! If your pup is only eating dry food and did not drink enough water during the day, the body will pull moisture from the internal organs in order to digest the food. If this continues to happen over prolonged periods of time it can damage their organs.
What About Wet Food?
Wet food is a convenient way to hydrate your pet and help ease the digestive process. Wet food can be the entire meal, a topper, or fed as a snack! Any amount of wet food in the diet has tremendous benefits for our pet’s overall health. Plus, it’s super tasty for them!
If your pet eats their food quickly, feeding wet food is an excellent way to help them slow down (especially when combined with a slow feeder). You can always add extra water to wet food to help slow your pet down even more! Mealtime should not be over in five seconds. Slowing down mealtime makes it more satisfying and helps your pet feel more satiated.
How To Feed Wet Food
When introducing wet food into your dog’s diet, start slow! Your pup's digestive system is much shorter than that of a human's, so they have less time to recognize, breakdown, and absorb nutrients. When introducing any new food, slow and steady is the mentality to keep in mind.
Start with adding it to the food they are already eating. Depending on your dog’s size you can start with a teaspoon or a few tablespoons and increase the amount from there. Make sure to take kibble out of the bowl when you are putting wet food in! You can save open cans of wet food in the fridge for up to three days. Be sure to cover it with a lid to keep it fresh!
Remember to rotate your wet foods! Try out different brands, proteins, and textures. Keeping things interesting for mealtime keeps our pet’s interested in coming back to the bowl. Different proteins provide different vitamins and amino acids which are essential for making sure our pets have a complete and balanced diet.
Myths About Wet Food
You may have heard that wet food is bad for your dog's teeth, it will make their teeth fall out, it will change the consistency of their poop (for the runnier).
When it comes to dental health, there is a pervasive myth that kibble is good for your dog's teeth and wet food is bad. In truth, kibble does nothing to clean your dog’s teeth or keep your dog's teeth in their mouth! Cats and dogs have sharp, pointed teeth that are designed to rip meat from the bone. They do not have any flat molars and therefore don’t really “chew” their kibble so much as shatter it.
This shattering action means that the kibble is moving through their mouth too quickly to have any benefit for the bottom of their teeth or their gums, which is where many dental issues begin.
Due to the way kibble is processed, there must be a carbohydrate involved in the recipe in order to keep everything “together”. When kibble is in the mouth, the little pieces end up in the grooves between their teeth. Carbohydrates break down into sugar creating a sticky situation that causes tartar to form. Wet food is usually 70-90% moisture and has low or no carbohydrates! Raw food is also a great carb-free option for your pet.
Healthy Gut, Healthy Pup
The digestive system is one of the largest systems in the body and houses most of your pet’s immune system. Balance within the gut is of the utmost importance for the overall health of the body!
Feeding wet food does not have to be all-or-nothing. You can always add it directly on top of kibble, feed it as just one meal per day, or freeze wet food inside of your dog's favorite treat toy (like their Kong) for a healthy treat time!
Wet food is highly palatable, often is lower in carbohydrates and other “filler” ingredients, has more meat-based protein, and doesn’t contain nearly as many preservatives as traditional dry food.
Wet food is perfect for dogs trying to lose weight or your pup that just never seems to “feel” full. A lot of times when they’re begging for food--they’re actually thirsty and just don’t know it.
Feeding canned food is a super-convenient way to get more moisture into your pet's diet, but there are other great toppers too! You can start by adding water to their food, or use a tasty topper like bone broth, raw goat milk, or Green Juju!
There are tons of different cans and pouches, have fun discovering your pet’s favorite!