Soft Dry Dog Food - All You Need To Know About Semi-Moist Diet

Have you ever served your dog what seems to be a delicious meal only to have it refuse the food? Something may be wrong with either the dog food you have served or with your dog. Your dear doggo may be suffering from problems with its teeth, gums or stomach, therefore refusing to feed. 

The immediate solution here would be to switch from its normal diet to soft dry dog good. 

In this article, we discuss in greater detail soft dry dog food and answer a few pertinent questions relating to it. 

What is soft dry dog food?

Soft dry dog food is basically dry dog food with soft pieces included in the mix. It falls between hard, dry kibble and liquid gravies. Usually, soft dry dog food is pre-packed and all you have to do is serve it to your dog without any further preparations. 

Soft dry dog food is great for senior dogs who have trouble chewing or for dogs who just do not like chewing. It comes in a variety of tastes and texture so as to suit the different preferences of dogs. 

Like humans, dogs have their own preferences when it comes to food. Some like their food wet because it is tasty and similar to actual meat. However, it may be rather hard to store and can get messy. Other dogs prefer dry kibble, which is more fuss free.

Soft dry dog food combines the advantages of both wet and dry dog food, creating the perfect meal for your furry friend. 

Semi-soft dry dog food 

If you see the words ‘semi-moist’ or ‘semi-soft dry’ on the packaging of the dog food, it basically means the same thing as soft dry food. Go ahead and purchase it if you are keen to feed your dog soft dry dog food. 

benefits of soft dry food
Photo by Kabo on Unsplash

Benefits of soft dry dog food

Many dog owners are switching to semi-moist food for dogs because of multiple reasons. One of which is the multiple benefits it brings. The benefits include: 

  • Flavourful

Soft dry dog food certainly packs a lot more flavour to your dog’s food than regular kibble. Remember that dogs and humans differ in terms of taste buds (among other things). While us humans have 9000 taste buds, dogs only have 1700 taste buds. This does not mean that dogs do not have their preferences when it comes to food! 

When it comes to food, dogs also rely on their sense of smell. This is why wet dog food is so popular with dogs - because the smell of the food wafts to their nose immediately. 

However, as wet dog food is not always the most convenient option, semi-moist dog food is a great alternative if you need to serve flavourful food.

  • Shelf life

Although dry dog food has a much longer shelf life than wet dog food and is a much less fussy choice, you may accidentally keep the dry food for too long. 

With wet dog food, the shelf life is rather short and you have to keep it in the refrigerator. Quick consumption is necessary in order to ensure the wet dog food does not go bad. 

Soft dry dog food is the best of both worlds. It has all the flavour qualities of wet dog food and a shelf life that is close to that of dry dog food. 

That being said, you should still always check the expiry date of the dog food before you buy. 

  • Easier to clean up

Between dry dog food and wet dog food, dry food is the least messy. Your home or living environment will be at risk the minute you give your dog wet food. You will have to be very vigilant and ensure that you give your dog a quick wipe and rinse its dog bowl after it has eaten its meal if it is wet dog food. 

In the case of semi-moist dog food, your dog will be able to eat it easily and without mess, just like how it is with dry dog food. 

  • Great for picky eaters

For dogs who are rather picky eaters and like their food a certain way, soft dry food is a great choice. Chances are, kibble is rejected by your dog but loves a bowl of wet food. 

With soft dry dog food, it becomes much easier to entice your picky dog to eat as the moistness in the food is alluring enough. 

  • Cost-effective

The price point between wet and dry dog food is the biggest difference. While wet dog food is more expensive, it is more nutritious, lower in carbohydrates and tastier for dogs in general. 

Again, the ideal solution for pet owners who are on a budget but want to give your dog the best nutrition is to get semi-moist dog food. Averagely, it is not as expensive as wet dog food but is more nutritious than dry kibble.

  • Easy to chew and digest

If you have a dog that has difficulty chewing, soft dry dog food is easier on the jaw and mouth. It is also easier for your pooch to digest. 

Possible drawbacks of soft dry dog food

While soft dry dog food has its advantages, it certainly has a few drawbacks as well. Among these disadvantages include:

  • Not all brands are nutritious 

While soft dry dog foods are more nutrient-dense than kibble, proper research has to be carried out as not all brands can boast about having this quality. 

Consult your veterinarian to find out exactly what nutrients are needed specific for your dog and read the labels of the semi-moist dog food packet before you buy!

For quality dog food, check out Petcubes range of dog food

  • May contain preservatives and additives 

Producers of semi-moist dog food try to increase its shelf life. This means that there is a possibility of harmful additives and preservatives added to the food. 

When is soft dry dog food needed?

Regardless of age, every dog has individual needs when it comes to its diet. There is no one answer to the question of whether to feed your dog wet, dry or semi-dry dog food. 

With that being said, there are a few reasons why you may want to consider switching your dog over to soft food. 

Soft dry dog food for small dogs

As your pup may still be growing, its stomach may be quite small and not fully developed to be digesting kibbles or wet food on its own. A great option is to incorporate soft dry dog food into your puppy’s diet. 

Not only does it help your dog to get the nutrition it needs, it also exposes your dog to different flavours.

Soft dry dog food for older dogs

As your dog grows older, their teeth may become more sensitive, thus making it harder for it to chew. It may even be painful and uncomfortable. 

Switching to soft dry dog food for older dogs may be best to help in its chewing. Soft dry dog food for older dogs with no teeth may also be necessary to coax them to eat.

Soft dry dog food for senior dogs with sensitive stomachs

Senior dogs with sensitive stomachs are more prone to indigestion and therefore stomach upsets. Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva. If your senior dog is unable to chew properly (see points above) and just swallows its food, soft dry food would be easier on its stomach. 

The semi-moist food is broken down more easily and therefore more easily digested. 

Soft dry dog food for old dogs with pancreatitis

If your dog is suffering from pancreatitis, whether acute or long-running episodes, the first thing you should do is consult your vet before transitioning it to a new diet. 

It has been recommended to feed soft dry dog food to dogs with pancreatitis as it is easily digestible, therefore minimizing the workload on the pancreas. However, we can’t repeat this enough - consult your vet before starting on a new diet! 

Soft dry dog food for dogs with bad teeth

If your dog is experiencing pain during meal times due to mouth issues like tooth decay, switching to soft dry dog food would certainly help in alleviating its oral discomfort when eating. 

However, switching food alone will not remedy the problem. It is best to talk to your vet about dear doggo’s oral care and dental treatments so that pain is minimized or the teeth issues are taken care of.

Low sodium soft dry dog food

The Association of American Feed Control Officials recommends that dry or soft dry dog food contain at least 0.3% sodium to support your dog’s growth. 

Unless ordered to do so by your vet, do not withhold sodium from your dog. Read the label of the soft dry dog food you are buying and if it contains sodium, it is fine. You do not necessarily have to seek out low sodium soft dry dog food for your dog.

Grain free soft dry dog food 

Many people wrongly assume that grain free means low carb. Grain free dog food (even if it's soft dry), may contain alternative carbohydrate sources such as potatoes and peas. As such, this may result in unintentional weight gain. 

Therefore, even if you are feeding your dog soft dry dog food, grain free does not equal healthy or carb free. 

Low fat soft dry dog food

If your dog is overweight and you are keen to feed it low fat food, consider the fact that it may be the portion size that is the problem instead. Remember that dogs also need exercise. 

A combination of smaller portions and exercise will get your dog down to a healthy weight range if there are no underlying health problems. 

Low fat soft dry dog food is therefore only necessary if your dog shows symptoms (eg. difficulty chewing and digesting food) of needing it.


Whether you choose dry, wet or soft dry dog food, always consult your veterinarian before making the switch. Transition slowly in order to prevent any stomach upsets. Soft dry dog food certainly has its advantages, especially for certain dogs who have trouble digesting their food or have issues with their mouth, jaw and teeth.