As you wander the pet store isles, you’re faced not only with the decision of what brand to buy, you also have to choose between soft, canned food and dry, hard food. Weigh your options before your next dog food purchase.
Soft dog food is called interchangeably canned, wet or moist dog food. This stuff is packaged in sealed cans and these cans come in various sizes. As the name states, this dog food choice is soft, moist and has a high water content.
Soft dog food is the an optimal choice for a puppy that is being weaned from his mother, starting around 3 to 4 weeks of age. At 7 weeks, however, puppies usually are transitioned to dry kibble over the course of a week. Soft food also is recommended for dogs with sore gums or missing teeth as hard food may cause discomfort while eating. When a dog is feeling ill or is refusing to eat dry food, she often will sink her teeth into some soft grub.
Consider the upside to this kind of food. While the soft food is sealed in its can, it has a longer shelf life compared to dry food. Since the food is sealed, there are fewer or no preservatives added to keep the food fresh. Often soft food has more meat protein content and lower carbohydrates than its dry food counterpart. Soft food is processed less and contains less fillers than dry food. The extra water content in soft food can help an overweight pooch feel satisfied without eating extra food.
As with any other product, soft food has some negative aspects to think about. Once opened, the soft food must be used within a few days and cannot be left out at room temperature for more than an hour. Otherwise, bacteria can start to grow on it and make you dog sick if she eats it. Compared to dry kibble, soft food costs more. Unfortunately, due to its soft, sticky consistency, soft food can get caught between a dog’s teeth and cause tooth decay. Keeping up with brushing her teeth can help reduce this factor, however.
- American Kennel Club: Nutrition and Feeding
- Dog Food Advisor: Canned or Dry Dog Food -- What’s the Better Choice?
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Ten Steps to Your Dog’s Dental Health
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Making the Transition to Dry Dog Food
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