Choosing the right diet for your puppy is a big responsibility. Not only does it affect his day-to-day experience as a young pup, but it can affect his health for the rest of his life. A canned food can give him all the protein, fat and nutrients he needs as well as plenty of moisture to keep him well-hydrated.
Canned puppy food is often more appetizing than dry dog food. This can ensure that a young puppy gets all the food he needs as he's being weaned. Although puppies aren't usually known as picky eaters, the enticing texture and smell of canned food keeps them interested in eating instead of wandering off and playing. It's also easy on puppies who are teething. Canned food also typically has more protein and fewer preservatives or fillers, making it a healthier choice for young pups. Additionally, the high moisture content helps keep puppies hydrated.
Unlike dry kibble, wet puppy food doesn't help keep teeth clean. Canned food can cause bad breath, both from the smell of the food and bacteria that builds up on dirty teeth. Dry food, on the other hand, actually helps scrape away plaque and bacteria as your puppy eats. Wet food is usually more expensive, takes more time to serve, and doesn't last long once it's opened. Puppies are also often messy when they eat and wet food can get stuck on paws, faces and whiskers.
While canned puppy food often has a higher percentage of meat than its dry counterpart, it's still important to check the label and choose a high-quality food for your puppy. The food should state that it is a complete meal rather than supplemental, unless it is not the main component of your puppy's diet. Identified sources of meat are best, such as chicken or beef, instead of byproducts or meal. Whole grains and vegetables instead of their byproducts are also best, and top canned food will not contain preservatives, sweeteners or food coloring.
It's possible to give your puppy the best of both worlds by combining canned and dry puppy food. They can be mixed together in the bowl at each feeding, or alternated. Depending on your puppy's eating habits, it may also be helpful to leave dry food down at all times and give canned food at regular meal times. Canned food can also be used to supplement home-cooked puppy diets.