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Home > Dogs > Dry Moist vs Semi-Dry Moist Dog Food: Which is Best For Your Dog?

Dry Moist vs Semi-Dry Moist Dog Food: Which is Best For Your Dog?

Golden Retriever dog eating

With all these trendy diets, homemade recipes, and endless commercial foods on the market—how do you keep them all straight? If you have heard of dry moist or semi-moist dog food, you may wonder what the difference is and if it’s significant.

We did all the guessing work for you. We thoroughly researched and compared these types of food to explain the gray areas between dry kibble and canned food. Hopefully, our information and reviews can give you all of the information you need if you’re considering a diet switch.


About Dry Moist & Semi-Dry Moist Dog Food

Dry moist, or semi-dry moist, dog foods are essentially the same thing—they offer more moisture than dry kibble but less than wet food. Dry moist to semi-moist dog foods offer a diet with higher moisture content and softer pieces than standard dry dog food.

Some recipes have a combination of semi-moist pieces with dry kibble, while others are strictly soft. Entirely soft foods usually come in individual pouches for easy measurement and storage. Combination kibble comes in regular bags but might have a shorter shelf-life than traditional dry dog food.

You can also buy semi-moist toppers to add to your regular kibble selection. Each semi-moist recipe has varying moisture levels, so make sure to check the content of every brand.

To summarize, dry moist and semi-dry moist dog foods are one category. You might also hear these recipes referred to as “soft food.” So, if it’s a commercial diet using any of the previously mentioned keywords, you’re viewing dog food in the spectrum between dry and wet.


The 3 Most Popular Brand Dry Moist + Semi-Dry Moist Dog Food Recipes

Here are our top three favorite recipe picks that offer solid nutrition for your pooch.

1. Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Natural Adult Dry Dog Food & Wet Dog Food — Overall Favorite

Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Natural Adult Dry Dog Food & Wet Dog Food

The Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Natural Adult Dry Dog Food & Wet Dog Food is a nice blend of dry kibble and soft, meaty morsels. It’s enough to kickstart your pooch’s appetite, even if they are a bit picky. It has a strong aroma, rousing interest.

Aside from being tasty, this recipe offers adequate nutrition, providing whole salmon as the number one ingredient. In this recipe, there is 30% crude protein, 17% crude fat, 3% crude fiber, and 12% moisture.

Each ingredient caters to a different aspect of canine health like immunity, skin health, and muscle maintenance. There are twice as many soft, delicious morsels in this recipe compared to others, so you know your dog is getting a solid dose of crunchy kibble and easy-to-chew bites.

  • Real meat as the first ingredient
  • Easy-to-chew morsels
  • Covers total body nutrition
  • Not completely soft

2. Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers —Best Topper

Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers

These Stella & Chewy’s Meal Mixers are a perfect dry kibble topper. You can serve them any way you choose—freeze-dried or softened. Since they are freeze-dried, they easily reabsorb water. That’s super helpful if you have a senior that could use some extra assistance at mealtime.

These meal mixers come in seven different meaty combos, including beef, chicken, duck, lamb, pork, salmon & cod, turkey, and seafood—but we picked the beef. In this recipe, there is 44% crude protein, 35% crude fat, 5% crude fiber, and 5% moisture.

These easy topper pieces are sure to pique the interest of your pup. Each serving enhances the protein and moisture content of food, stimulating appetite and overall nutrition. If you’re looking for a topper that is soft out of the package, this food does require a few more steps for extra water content.

  • Easily reabsorbs water
  • Multiple flavor choices
  • Enhances appetite
  • Must add water to soften

3. Purina Moist & Meaty Steak Flavor — Best Fully Soft Food

Purina Moist & Meaty Steak Flavor

Purina Moist & Meaty Steak Flavor is an entirely soft meal choice that is individually wrapped for convenience. It provides a powerfully enticing scent to attract even finicky eaters. You can fully seal it up after you portion out the meal to keep it nice and fresh for next time.

You can use this food as a topper, snack, or standalone diet—totally up to you. In each serving, you have 18% crude protein, 7% crude fat, 3% crude fiber, and 33% moisture. The first ingredient is a beef byproduct, which can be irritating to some dog’s tummies.

This all-soft food is perfect for dogs that have dental issues or pain while eating. There is no need to crunch vigorously, but this also means teeth brushing is essential. This recipe also contains fillers and artificial flavors—so it’s not for sensitive diets.

  • High moisture content
  • Great for dental issues
  • It can be a topper, treat, or solitary diet
  • It contains byproducts and fillers
  • May trigger allergies

Dry Moist or Semi-Dry Moist Dog Food: Pros & Cons

So, you might be wondering what semi-moist dog food does for our pooches. Each dietary choice is up to you as a pet owner. But educating yourself about the pros and cons is a perfect way to make sure your dog gets exactly what they need.

Semi-dry moist dog food has its perks:
Like anything, it also has downfalls:
  • High-calorie content
  • Shorter shelf-life
  • Can cause plaque or tartar buildup
  • Usually has artificial color, preservatives, and flavor enhancers
  • Higher sugar and salt content

Only you and your veterinarian can determine if semi-moist food is a good choice for your pooch.

Shetland sheepdog eats food from a food bowl
Image Credit: filmbildfabrik, Shutterstock

Homemade Diets

If you have been looking for a dry kibble alternative but don’t like all the ingredients in semi-moist foods, consider homemade diets. With the help of your vet, you can offer your pooch a soft, warm meal that is easy to chew and appealing to the taste buds.

With homemade diets, each ingredient should offer balanced nutrition. These meal types are often a healthier option to semi-dry moist or wet food diets. Speak with a veterinary professional about homemade diet nutrition.



What do you think about dry moist or semi-moist dog food? It has some positives and negatives that you have to consider thoroughly before making a diet switch. It has a more appealing smell, comes with easy packaging, and has lots of moisture.

But it might not last as long as dry kibble as far as storage is concerned. It might also have unnecessary ingredients that can be harmful to your pooch. Speak with your vet for professional guidance and advice.

Featured Image Credit: chendongshan, Shutterstock

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