Dry vs. Canned Dog Food: A Comparison

The comparison between canned and dry dog food begins with their similarities. The same brand of dog food in a canned or a dry variety will have the same general nutritional value, but protein sources may vary, with dry dog foods having more vegetable-based protein than canned foods. One primary difference between dry and canned food is water content. Dry foods consist of 10% water. Canned dog foods are at least 70% water.

Benefits of dry dog foods include:

  • Easier storage of bag
  • Costs less per serving
  • Unused portions don't require refrigeration
  • May play a role in keeping teeth and gums cleaner

Benefits of canned dog foods include:

  • More palatable
  • Easier to eat for dogs with severe dental issues
  • Usually contain higher amounts of animal protein
  • Longer shelf life while in unopened can

Feeding dry food or canned food usually boils down to owner's personal preference. Some dogs will require one or the other, due to medical issues. Whether dry or canned food is fed, a dog should have a regular diet of high quality food for optimal health.