The Benefits of Wet Food for Cats and Dogs

Jocelyn Bishop
September 21, 2017

Pet Nutrition



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Deciding what food to feed your pet is one of the most significant decisions all pet owners have to make. Think about it. The eating habits you establish now can help determine your pet’s long-term health. So, which food is best for your pet: wet food (canned), or dry food (kibble)?  While dry food may be a great option for some pets, many pet owners find wet food delivers the unique advantages they are looking for in their pet’s food. With so many choices among the two, you might ask yourself, what are the differences between wet and dry pet foods? Is it possible for your pet to enjoy a combination of both?

All great questions! Let Redbarn Pet Products help you understand the different kinds of pet food and the benefits of wet food!

Why does Redbarn care?

For full-feed diets, Redbarn sells wet and semi-moist cat and dog food. But we genuinely believe understanding the differences and benefits between dry, wet, and semi-moist options is the pet parent’s first step in determining the best choice of food for their pet family.

Now, let’s dig into the benefits of wet pet food.

What are the benefits of wet pet food?


The benefits of wet pet food are often overlooked. One of the main advantages of wet food, also referred to as canned pet food, is tastier ingredients.

Wet foods most resemble what your pet would eat in the wild and tend to have higher levels of animal-based proteins. These proteins are crucial to your pet’s development. Canned foods also aren’t exposed to as much heat as dry food is during the cooking process, allowing it to retain more of its initial nutrients.

In general, wet food can contain less wheat, grains, and other carbs found in mass-produced kibble. These carbohydrates aren’t always practical for your pet’s diet and can cause problems for some cats and dogs.

For example, many overweight cats are carbohydrate-intolerant and should be fed low-carbohydrate diets.

Canned pet food can be an excellent source of hydration for pets that don’t drink an adequate amount of water. The higher water content in canned food means your pet can enjoy a larger portion per meal, without adding more calories to their diet. This can help keep your pet at a healthy weight.

The hydration that comes from canned food can help your pet avoid common medical problems like urinary tract infections (UTIs). The water percentage in pet food becomes increasingly more important when an animal is ill, lives in a hot climate, and as they age.


Wet food is great for all life stages. Young pets typically need more protein to help grow up strong.

Wet food can also be an ideal option for older cats and dogs, particularly those with dental problems. Senior pets that have lost some of their sense of smell may be more inclined to eat more palatable food, like canned or rolled food, which have a richer scent and flavor.

As beneficial as wet food can be, there are some drawbacks that pet owners should know before jumping into canned or rolled dog and cat food.

Are there any disadvantages to wet pet food?

Wet cat and dog food come with some distinct benefits, but some attributes of wet food may not work for all pet owners. Canned food may not be as cost-effective to feed your pets. It’s no secret, wet pet food is often more expensive than kibble, and is purchased in smaller amounts.

Wet food can come packed with more premium ingredients like real, hearty meats and natural ingredients, which are more expensive than grains.

The rich ingredients in wet pet food also require refrigeration after opening. The food loses its shelf life once the can is open and typically needs to be consumed within a few days of opening.

However, depending on the expiration date, wet pet food can usually be stored longer than dry food because it is sealed air-tight. (Redbarn Canned Food is good for 36 months unopened!)

Another drawback of canned food is that it is a bit messier than kibble. Pet owners that have enthusiastic eaters may need a mat, or easy to clean area, to place the food for their pets to enjoy. Canned food should not be left in your pet’s bowl for more than an hour or two.

Some vets and pet owners also feel kibble is better at preventing dental problems in cats and dogs because kibble is harder to chew, helping scrape plaque off teeth.

Wet food may have some minor disadvantages that may deter you from giving your pet wet food all the time. Fortunately, a mix of wet and dry food can give your pets the best of both worlds.  

How to switch from dry pet food to wet pet food?

Are you convinced wet food is a good option for you and your pet? Adjusting to a wet pet food can be easy as long as you learn some best practices. Check out our guide for how to properly transition your pet to a new food. The key? Do it slowly to avoid tummy troubles.  

As mentioned, a mix of wet and dry food can help your pet enjoy the features of both. Some pet owners choose to feed kibble in the morning and offer their pet wet food in the evening. Others mix them together in the same bowl or give wet food occasionally. In any case, variety can be good and many pets might appreciate a little change!

Feeding your pet the right amount of food daily is crucial to them enjoying the benefits of any foods. Take a look at these recommendations for how much you should feed your cat.   

Redbarn Premium Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional needs established by the AAFCO Dog Food Profiles for all life stages. For dogs, our feeding suggestions are as follows: Feed 1 can per day for 10 lbs. of body weight for an adult dog. Adjust feeding amount for your dog’s body condition, lactation, growth and gestation.

10 lbs. = 1 can per day

25 lbs. = 2.5 cans per day

55 lbs. = 4 cans per day

Refrigerate unused portion for up to a week. Unopened cans can be stored at room temperature for 36 months.

Redbarn Wet Food

Redbarn’s wet dog and cat food is special in several ways. To start, we use high-quality fresh meat, poultry or fish as the first ingredient. Ingredients must be listed by predominance on the ingredients panel, so having 
real meat, poultry or fish as the first ingredient is key to high-quality food. Additionally, we use limited ingredients, meaning most of our canned food has 13 ingredients or less (plus vitamins and minerals). Sometimes what isn’t included in a pet’s food is as important as what is. You will find no carrageenan or scary ingredients in our wet food. Just simple formulas, with only the essential ingredients.

All canned recipes are grain and gluten-free including no corn or soy. Our wet food is manufactured in the USA and most of the ingredients are sourced from U.S.-based ingredient providers.

For cats and dogs, Redbarn carries a nutritious variety of grain-free pates and stews. Many of them contain functional ingredients that support common health issues like our Ocean Fish Recipe pate for cats, assisting in weight control, or our Chicken pate for dogs which helps support their immune system. Our Redbarn savory stews feature single-ingredient proteins for optimal health. You will find functional ingredients like superfoods salmon oil, New Zealand green lipped mussels and dandelions in our wet food.

Bon appetit!

Take your pet’s health a step further. Check out this cheat sheet for what to look for in your pet’s food.

*This article won the Best Article on Dog Food Award via Pet Life Today, a free resource for pet owners, providing everything from in-depth product reviews to expert pet care advice.  

*All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the organization. makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.

All information is provided on an as-is basis. Please note that each situation is different, and you should always consult your veterinarian should you have any questions about your pet’s health.


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