Does Wet Food Cause Diarrhea In Dogs? – A Surprising Answer

Transitioning your dog’s diet to wet dog food can be useful in some cases. There are some mixed opinions about this food because it is known for some side effects. So does wet food cause diarrhea in dogs?

Wet food can cause diarrhea in dogs if introduced suddenly or if the food is spoiled. Gradual transition and quality control are key. There are a few other key things you need to do when introducing this food to your dog.

What can trigger diarrhea in dogs?

One common reason for dog diarrhea is scavenging. Dogs often find random stuff on the street and they pick it up to eat. Sometimes, that can be toxic and cause digestive issues. Parasite infections are another common reason. You can use a natural dewormer to kill dog worms though.

Underlying diseases like gut infections and inflammatory bowel disease are also known to cause canine gastrointestinal problems. They are usually accompanied by other symptoms though.

Is wet dog food a direct cause of diarrhea?

Even if it is watery, wet food itself is not a direct cause of diarrhea in dogs. That said, if it’s your first time introducing this food to your dog, it might experience this problem. Abrupt dietary changes can upset your pup’s tummy.

Dogs rely on enzymes and gut flora to break down food. Then, the food is absorbed through the intestinal walls so the dog can use it. Also, wet food is already moist, making it easier to digest.

Wet food can lead to diarrhea in dogs if they eat too much of it. There are dogs that don’t know when to stop eating and will overeat if you don’t stop them. Different brands of dog food will also cause different side effects.

What are the pros and cons of wet dog food?

There are a few reasons why you should give this food to your dog. It’s often more palatable and attracts dogs that tend to be picky with their food. Then, wet food has fewer preservatives which means it has fewer artificial ingredients inside. This food usually boasts a higher protein content too. The fiber content in wet dog food can be appropriate but it varies depending on the formula.

However, this food also has a few drawbacks. It is usually given in larger serving sizes due to the fact it contains a lot of water. This means that you will have to buy it more often and pay more compared to dry food. Because it doesn’t have preservatives, this food can spoil faster. Therefore, you have to buy it more often rather than buying it in bulk.

Should you choose dry dog food instead?

Because the effects of wet food on your dogs’ stomach can be negative for some dogs, you can always choose dry food instead. The positive of this food is that it is made to last longer, even though this means it has more preservatives. It also comes in bigger bags, even up to 50 pounds, shortening the amounts you need to go to the store for dog food. You also give less of it because it has no water so it will last you longer, thus costing you less. It might contain less protein and more artificial ingredients and filler though.

Some people also choose to get their dogs on a raw food diet. This means feeding dogs only raw meats and vegetables. Even if it might sound enticing, it has many drawbacks. Choosing the right meat for your dog can be tough and expensive. Its digestive tract might also not react well to the raw diet.

How can you safely introduce wet food into a dog’s diet?

Because diarrhea in dogs due to wet food can happen, there are guidelines on how to properly offer it. You must have in mind to gradually transition your dog’s diet from dry to wet food. To do this, mix a small amount of wet food with your dog’s current diet and increase the ratio gradually over several days.

Your dog might have a food allergy and can not eat this food. Monitor its stool and overall health during the transition. Check for the consistency and smell of the poop and the presence of blood. If you notice something wrong, you can slow down the process and reduce the amount. Also, if you see your dog throwing up, it might be a sign to make changes.

Is wet dog food good for puppies and senior dogs?

Even though there are cases of diarrhea in dogs from wet food, it is considered safe for both puppies and old dogs. Once puppies are weaned off their mothers, around the age of six weeks, they can be fed wet food. It is actually beneficial for them because their teeth are still not big enough to chew dry kibble. Just make sure to choose proper food with higher calories and a lot of protein.

Senior dogs can also benefit from this diet because eating softer food can be easier for them. The delicious taste of the food will also make it more enjoyable and better their appetite. Keep in mind that the wet food for older dogs should be lower in calories to avoid gaining weight. Also, consider finding formulas that have glucosamine and chondroitin included as they help with joint pain. Dr. Rania Gollakner for VCA animal hospitals says:

Glucosamine acts as a mild anti-inflammatory and is used by the joints to make cartilage components and by the urinary tract for protection. Chondroitin inhibits destruction and promotes production of cartilage components.

What are effective home remedies for firming up a dog’s stool?

If your dog has a sensitive stomach and diarrhea from wet dog food, there are a few ways to help it. Pumpkin is great for dog diarrhea and can be given boiled or canned. Plain-boiled rice can also help to firm up the stool. If you want, you can also make mashed carrots which are filled with vitamins and fiber. Boiled chicken breast is another great option that provides a lot of proteins for dogs.

Besides helping with the diarrhea, you should also worry about the health of the dog. Make sure you give enough water to prevent it from becoming dehydrated. You can also get some probiotics to get the gut to work properly again. “Probiotics can help decrease the duration and the intensity of diarrhea, thus decreasing the dog’s discomfort.”, says Dr. Anant Shastri. Asking for veterinary recommendations for your dog’s diet can also help a lot and prevent further complications.

Final thoughts – Does wet food cause diarrhea in dogs?

Wet dog food can be a great option for your dog’s diet. It’s got a higher amount of water content which means it’s great for hydration. Then, it is also filled with protein and low in filler and other dog food ingredients to avoid.

The claim that this food causes diarrhea is false. It actually happens because the food is not properly introduced to the dog’s diet. That’s why you have to do this process slowly and carefully while monitoring the dog for any changes.

If your dog does experience problems from eating wet food, there is always the option to feed it dry kibble. Some people also choose to give raw food to their dogs, but this can come with many risks.


Is it okay if your dog only eats wet food?

Yes, technically you can choose to only feed wet food to your dog if you deem it beneficial. Most people do recommend a balanced diet as the variety can be very good for dogs’ nutrition and digestive health.

Is wet dog food bad for dogs’ teeth?

Wet food does not cause diarrhea in dogs and it won’t affect their teeth. There are arguments for this as people say that dry kibble is better at cleaning dog teeth compared to wet food. But this can easily be fixed with proper dental hygiene.

Can you heat up wet dog food?

Yes, in fact, dogs prefer to have their food be slightly warm. You can do this by putting it in the microwave or mixing it with warm water. Just make sure it isn’t too hot as dog mouths are very sensitive to high temperatures.

More dog nutrition resources

Here are a few other resources talking about giving certain foods to dogs and the effect they have on their health.

You can find a lot more information on the types of food you can feed your dog on our site Dogisa!

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