How To Correctly Compare Wet And Dry Pet Foods
Have you ever picked up a can or pack of wet pet food and compared it to a bag of dry pet food, and was surprised to see that the dry food appeared to be higher in protein? Well, what if I told you that isn’t quite correct?There is one very important step most pet owners forget to do when comparing wet and dry pet foods – ACCOUNT FOR THE MOISTURE CONTENT!
Why Accounting For Moisture Is Important
Canned, fresh and raw foods naturally have a higher water content. This is actually a good thing, as dogs require this water for optimal health, proper hydration, and good kidney function. One of the arguments against dry, kibble type foods is the low moisture content. Dogs were physiologically designed to consume foods high in moisture with raw foods being approximately 70-80% water. Compare that to dry foods that are only about 10-12%!
Therefore when doing a direct comparison of these foods, and going by the guaranteed analysis on the label it is important to factor the moisture content into your calculation or else you could be misled. This is called calculating by “dry matter basis” or DMB.
What Is Dry Matter Basis?
Dry matter basis is a reflection of the macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrate) remaining once the moisture has been removed from the product.
The infographic I created below shows you how to correctly compare wet and dry pet foods using dry matter basis….
As you can see in the example above, the wet food actually has a higher protein content (33.3%) than the dry food (25%) when calculated on a dry matter basis, however, at first glance the label would have you believe that the dry food is superior.
If math just isn’t your thang, here is a fantastic little Dry Matter Basis calculator thanks to the Feline Nutrition Awareness Effort website, that will do all the hard work for you. Winning!
The thing to remember is to compare apples with apples, and oranges with oranges. So if you are comparing the nutritional breakdown of a wet food versus a wet food, or a dry food vs a dry food, no calculations are required, but if comparing a wet food versus a dry food then remember to first remove the water content, or otherwise, your results will be skewed.
Let me know in the comments if this was helpful, or whether I have managed to give you a pain in the brain.
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