Two Dogs Eating Dog Food

Does Wet Dog Food Cause Diarrhea?

Wet dog food, also known as canned dog food, is a popular choice for many pet owners.

It’s available in a variety of flavors and textures, and it often appears to be a delicious treat for our furry friends.

However, some dogs may experience digestive issues when fed wet food.

So, one common concern among pet parents is whether wet dog food can cause diarrhea.

Quick Answer:

In the grand scheme of things, wet dog food doesn’t inherently cause diarrhea. However, it can indeed lead to diarrhea under certain circumstances.

What is Wet Dog Food?

Wet dog food is a type of dog food that contains a higher moisture content compared to dry dog food.

It typically comes in cans or pouches and offers a variety of flavors and formulations.

Many dogs find wet food more palatable due to its aroma and texture.

The Link Between Wet Dog Food and Diarrhea

Let’s break down the factors that may contribute to this issue.

1. The Ingredients Matter

The quality of ingredients used in wet dog food varies widely between brands. Some may use high-quality, easily digestible components, while others might incorporate fillers and additives. It’s essential to read the labels and opt for products that prioritize your dog’s health.

2. Sudden Diet Changes

Switching your dog’s diet suddenly, especially to wet food from a predominantly dry food diet, can lead to digestive upsets, including diarrhea. It’s crucial to transition gradually, mixing the new food with the old, to allow your pet’s stomach to adapt.

3. Allergies and Sensitivities

Just like humans, dogs can have food allergies or sensitivities. If your dog is allergic to specific ingredients in their wet food, it can trigger diarrhea. Pay attention to any adverse reactions and consult your veterinarian if necessary.

4. Bacterial Contamination

Improper handling or storage of wet dog food can lead to bacterial contamination, which in turn may cause gastrointestinal issues. Always follow recommended storage and handling instructions.

5. Overfeeding

Feeding your dog excessive amounts of wet food can overwhelm their digestive system, leading to diarrhea. Ensure you’re following the recommended serving sizes for your pet’s weight and size.

How to Prevent Diarrhea from Wet Dog Food

If you’re considering adding wet dog food to your pet’s diet, here are some tips to do it right:

1. Choose High-Quality Brands

Opt for reputable and high-quality wet dog food brands. Reading reviews and consulting with your veterinarian can guide you in making the right choice.

2. Gradual Transition

When transitioning your dog to wet food, do it slowly over a week or two. Mixing a small amount with their current diet can ease the adjustment.

3. Monitor for Allergies

If you suspect your dog has allergies or sensitivities, consult your vet for guidance. They may recommend an elimination diet to identify the problematic ingredient.


In conclusion, the question “Can Wet Dog Food Cause Diarrhea?” is not a simple yes or no.

While it can cause diarrhea in some dogs, a gradual introduction and close monitoring can prevent digestive upsets.

Remember that each dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I tell if my dog has diarrhea?

Common signs of diarrhea in dogs include loose, watery stools, increased frequency of bowel movements, and discomfort.

How Long Should the Transition Period Last?

The transition period can last from a few days to a couple of weeks. It depends on your dog’s individual tolerance and adaptability.

Can wet dog food help with hydration?

Yes, wet dog food can be an excellent source of hydration due to its high moisture content. Sometimes you can add water to dry dog food to increase the moisture content.


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