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Soft dry dog food: Should senior dogs with bad teeth eat it?


If you have an older dog, you may be witnessing a decline in their dental health. Soft dry dog food is commonly recommended to dogs who can no longer chew dry kibble.

In this article, we will explore the facts around soft dry dog food and what ingredients it should contain to keep your companion healthy as they age.

What is soft dry dog food?

Soft dry dog food is a unique type of dog food that's chewy in texture and does not need to be refrigerated.

This style of dog food has the look and feel of fresh food, while maintaing the long shelf life of kibble. This makes it a convenient alternative to fresh dog food.

The soft dry dog food category goes by many names. At Yumwoof, we call ours a 'soft and chewy' kibble or sometimes simply soft kibble.

This type of dog food is cooked differently than the dry kibble you commonly find in stores. The unique cooking method used to make 'soft kibble' helps protect the vitamins, minerals and nutrients inside the dog food so your dog can absorb more of them.

soft dry dog food

Is 'soft kibble' healthier than dry kibble?

In short, yes.

The mass produced dry kibble sold globally today is a highly processed food cooked at temperatures up to 500° F.

When food is cooked at these temperatures, the healthy nutrients inside are destroyed and no longer able to fuel your dog's body.

That's not all. The machine used to produce dry kibble, called the extruder, harshly grinds ingredients at high pressure and high heat—further degrading the nutrients in your dog's food. The nutrients are literally destroyed on the molecular level through this process.

Soft kibble is cooked differently. Instead of cooking dog food in an industrialized process, it's more like baking your dog's food.

While all companies have different methods of producing soft kibble, at Yumwoof, our cooking temperatures never exceed 170° F. This means the nutrients inside your dog's food are protected and able to keep your dog healthy.

When should my dog eat soft kibble?

If your dog is aging and is considered a "senior dog" now, it may be time to consider switching his or her food from hard kibble to soft kibble.

You may notice early signs that your dog is having trouble eating hard food. Here are some of the warning signs to look for:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Drooling 
  • Bad breath
  • Dropping food
  • Whimpering
  • Reduced activity level
  • Red or swollen gums

If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is time to take your dog to the vet and see if they might be suffering from dental issues.

Dogs diagnosed with bad teeth problems are often prescribed soft dry dog food to reduce the pain they feel while eating. Even if your vet has not prescribed soft kibble to you, there is no reason why you cannot feed it to your dog. It will provide them much needed pain relief during their meals.

What ingredients should soft dry dog food have?

Like any other dog food, high quality ingredients that fit a canine's biological diet will always be healthiest for your dog.

Dogs are carnivores by nature, and it's vital they have fresh meat in their diet. Fresh meat should always be the first ingredient in soft kibble.  

That's another reason why soft dry dog food is considered superior to other types of dog food. Hard dry kibble is often made from low quality "meat meals" and other highly processed protein alternatives. Only 'soft kibble' uses a cooking method that can prepare fresh meat in a minimally processed way. 

The next ingredient you should look for in soft dry dog food is coconut oil, especially if your dog is aging.

Even though dogs are biologically carnivores by nature, there are many scientifically-proven benefits to coconut oil for dogs, including dental health. The lauric acid in coconut oil has antibacterial properties that has been shown to help reduce gingivitis and gum disease[*].

In addition to benefitting teeth and digestive issues, coconut oil is a great benefit for canine arthritis and hip dysplasia. The fatty acids derived from coconut oil have been suggested to improve mobility and lessen pain by reversing damage that aggravates arthritis symptoms.

Coconut oil has additional benefits for aging dogs too. An interesting study recently demonstrated how MCTs in coconut oil can help improve canine brain function, especially in dogs who are experiencing dimentia[*].

Here is a soft dry dog food with coconut oil we recommend.

Soft dry dog food: great for all ages

While soft dry dog food is a relatively new category in the dog food market, it has quickly become popular with health-conscious dog owners.

Its soft texture is ideal for dogs who can no longer eat dry food, such as dogs who are aging or experiencing oral pain.

But even if your dog is perfectly healthy, soft kibble may be a good option due to the gentle, low temperature cooking method used to bake it. Soft kibble contains more bioavailable nutrients that keep your dog active and healthy.

Bottom line, 'soft dry' dog food is a high quality option for dog parents that want to feed their dog softer food. It doesn't need to be refrigerated and can be stored in the cupboard.

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