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How Much Wet Food to Feed a Dog (Calculations From Experts)

Key Takeaways

  • Feeding wet food to dogs should be according to the dog’s weight. Specifically, we should offer pets around 3 oz of wet food for every 3.5 pounds of their body weight.
  • When switching from dry to wet doggy meals, note that a 1/4 cup of dry is equal to 3 oz of wet.
  • Slight adjustments can be made on the portions if feeding for weight loss, weight gain, or perhaps for nursing moms. Seniors dogs and puppies eat differently and follow different rations since they’re in different life stages.

Dogs should get around 3 oz of wet food for every 3.5 pounds of body weight. This should be divided into two meals and then served to your dog – one in the morning and another one in the afternoon. Some dog owners I know like to mix wet and dry food. Note though that the two aren’t equal – usually, 3 oz of wet feed is the same as a 1/4 cup of dry food I like to weigh them separately before mixing. On the plus side, I find that mixing dry and wet food prevents my dogs from being picky – which helps in case their regular food isn’t available yet!

Reasons Why Wet Food is Good for Dogs

Additional moisture

Wet meals have more moisture, of course, compared to dry food. It is also suitable for dogs that do not drink enough water and are prone to dehydration. I typically feed wet food to my rescues since its more hydrating and gentler to their deprived stomachs. It can also be good for those dogs that experience kidney problems. I’ve noticed though that quickly making the change from dry to wet food can also cause health problems – like diarrhea. I would always consult the vet and follow a slow transition so there’s time for my rescue to adapt.

It is easier to chew

Does your senior dog eat slowly? For older adult dogs that cannot handle dry kibble because of their teeth, canned or wet food is great because it goes down easier and helps them chew the food. It can also help prevent pain which happens in senior dogs with poor dental care. I suggest checking out some of the best fresh dog food brands that offer nutritious wet pet meals.

How Much Wet Food to Feed a Dog

Higher protein levels

One of the exciting things about wet feed is that they are formulated with higher levels of protein and less carbohydrate than dry kibble. So basically, the meat content is higher in wet feed compared to kibble. Though not all wet dog food is made the same way, it would still be important to read the ingredients to confirm the protein content before settling on one wet canned dog food. Brands like Midwestern Pet Foods also offer insight on how they make and formulate their food so I find it more assuring to buy from these names.

It is more palatable

Most canned foods are made with natural ingredients that a dog eats more happily. That is because the actual chunks of meat and vegetables make the food more appealing to the dog. Dogs have a more developed sense of smell [1] than people, so they can sense when the food is organic and has fewer preservatives. It probably attracts them more to canned food as well because the moisture helps to bring the aroma out. Fresh meals, however, are still different in terms of palatability. Check out my canned vs fresh dog food comparison to learn more.

How Much Wet food to Feed Your Dog

Wet dog food.

Giving a dog about 3 oz of wet food per three pounds of the dog’s weight would be advisable. That means a 30-pound dog must consume 1.8 pounds of a wet meal. That is also divided into two or more meals. The amount can be adjusted as needed to help maintain the dog’s ideal body condition.

There are also age recommendations. For example, I would often give puppies more wet dog food since they have higher caloric requirements than adult dogs. I also make a point of keeping the supply of crisp water easily and constantly accessible. Medically accepted feeding guidelines typically change too so I also like to subscribe to any of today’s best dog food delivery service companies that provide balanced meals for your dog’s specific needs.

Tips for Giving Your Dog Wet Food

Deciding with a mix of wet food and the dry dog food

Some dogs enjoy canned or wet dog food when it is mixed together with dry food. It is because both come with nutritional benefits. I typically call this a “topping” or an add-on to the dog’s overall caloric consumption. It can make the dry food that much more exciting for the dog as well. When I do this, I make sure to compute the overall calories separately so I know exactly how much my dog is getting.

Determine the right portion size

As stated before, medium breeds like a 30-pound Australian Cattle would need close to two pounds of wet dog food, and this is divided over two meals. For large breed dogs, it can eat more food – around two cups of wet feed daily, while the amount is substantially reduced for small breed dogs. However, that is also dependent on the activities and health conditions. If the dog is not active or suffering from obesity, it would be better to reduce the dog’s food to just one cup per day or as needed. Since I get lots of rescues, I usually have a feeding chart at home to guide me with the pet’s food.

Fresh water

It’s crucial that dogs have access to fresh and clean water all the time. You can feed your dog wet meals – but that’s no replacement to pure, crisp water. The water bowl should be kept clean throughout the day. Dogs usually do not like water that has already been sitting for a time as well. I like to use a hanging water dispenser so the water is always fresh but it requires a bit of training for the dogs. There are also circulating water bowls which are great for both cats and dogs.


Is it okay to feed YOUR dog wet food only?

The truth is it is entirely the choice of dog owners if you want to feed your dog wet, canned food, or dry food. The goal is to choose balanced food according to the dog’s age, size, and activity.

How much food should I feed my dog?

If the dog is between 26 and 50 pounds, it can be fed two cups of wet feed. 50 to 75 pounds can be fed between two and two-thirds to three cups of wet feed. Again, this principle may change depending on whether the dog is overweight, underweight, nursing, a puppy, or a senior dog.

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1 thought on “How Much Wet Food to Feed a Dog (Calculations From Experts)”

  1. my dog is 8 years old. and weight is 15 pounds .But should be 8-9.
    . She a mix breed part chihuahua & Pomeranian.
    how much wet or dry food should she get a meal.


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