Pros Of Mixing Wet And Dry Dog Food
Many people like to mix both wet and dry dog food to give their dogs some variety in their meals and there are many benefits to this practice.
Feeding a mixture is more cost-effective than feeding an all canned food diet, but it still provides some enticement at mealtime for picky eaters. It also helps to increase the amount of moisture a dog consumes which can be beneficial for dogs with specific issues like kidney disease or bladder stones.
Mixing both dry and wet food also still provides crunchy kibble to promote dental health.
Easy Homemade Dog Food Recipe
Jump to RecipeMy easy homemade dog food recipe combines lean ground sirloin, wholesome brown rice, fresh vegetables, hard boiled eggs, and tender herbs
***Please note, I am not a veterinarian, just a very passionate dog owner! The information in this blog post documents our own personal experiences, research, and the recipes that we feed our dogs under our veterinarian’s careful supervision. Please, consult with your vet and use your own personal judgment when considering transitioning to a 100% human-grade food diet for your pup. This post was updated with video August 16, 2020, updated with additional recipe links 9/14/2020, updated 1/7/2021 with metric measurements, updated 1/3/2022 with recipe links for hydrating meals.***
Pros And Cons Of Feeding Canned Dog Food
Should you feed Fluffy canned dog food? That is a tough decision and one that can have far-reaching ramifications. The choice is often more emotional on the part of the owner then that of what is best for the dog and canned dog food is marketed to appeal to the senses of humans, not their pets.
Pros of Feeding Canned Dog Food
- Highly palatable so even the pickiest of eaters usually devour their dinner
- Easy to eat and digest
- Good for dogs that are missing teeth or recovering from an illness
- Excellent choice for dogs with limited kidney function as the extra moisture increases urination and overall kidney health
- Has a long shelf life
Cons of Canned Dog Food
- More expensive then kibble prices range from 50 cents to $6.00 a tin with the average around $2.50 for a mid-quality 14 oz/398ml tin
- Once opened, the tin must be used up in a few days and kept in the refrigerator
- Dogs that eat solely canned dog food require more frequent dental cleanings on average
- Increased moisture content means more trips outside
- Can cause loose stools in some dogs
- Low calorie content means that large dogs must consume several tins per day to equal required calories to maintain weight
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A Long Term Chicken Only Diet May Not Be Healthy
Although we have already discussed it, chicken is a good source of protein short term, but may not be sufficient long term as nutrients slowly deplete from their bodies.
Dogs require a balanced diet, not just for energy, but to maintain health and avoid disease. They need a lot of vitamins, just like us, and they get that through food.
For a truly balanced diet, chicken should only make up around 10 percent of chicken. This is to ensure your dog has a balanced caloric intake.
Chicken has a great treat, and can be used for training purposes, or added to other ingredients. If your dog is crazy for chicken, they may eat around everything else to get the chicken, but that will have to be addressed if it happens.
I grind all the meat together sometimes to make sure my dog eats everything because she cant physically split it all up.
Training Dogs To Live Off Dry Dog Food
If your dog is used to eating wet food, the switch over to dry food may be difficult. Dogs seem to love wet food, but it is messy and more expensive than dry food. Switching to dry food makes sense for a lot of pet owners, plus some dogs need to be on dry food for health reasons. Regardless of why you want to make the switch, you should consult your veterinarian first. If you get the go-ahead from your vet, you will want to slowly add the dry food into the wet food. This will prevent stomach problems for your dog.
During this time, it is a good idea to eliminate any other food sources such as human food or treats, because you will be able to see if the dry food sits well with your dogs stomach or not. Once you have your dog transitioned over to the dry food, you will want to keep feeding your dog the same food. If your dog seems to have problems with the food, consult your veterinarian for advice, as they should be able to point you in the direction of a food that will work better for your pet.
If your veterinarian recommends that you dont switch over to dry dog food, you should listen. They will have a good reason for not wanting you to make the switch. Remember that wet food is better for some dogs than dry food, and that may be the case for your dog. In addition, your vet may also recommend raw food or homemade food if their conditions require it.
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More Meat Protein Than Dry Food
Canned diets in general contain more meat than kibble diets, which is why they are typically more expensive. This is great news for dogs, who require few if any, grain-sourced carbohydrates.
However, dog food labels on dry foods are deceiving. They may make you assume that your food has more protein in it than it actually does.
Best Dog Food For Puppies
The nutritional needs of dogs vary throughout their life. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, and senior dogs have their own nutritional considerations. Most dog food companies carry specially formulated puppy foods for each stage of a dogs life, making it easier to narrow down your choices. If you are concerned about which is the best dog food for your dogs life stage, consult your veterinarian to see what stage food is appropriate for your dog.
Your puppy requires a different nutrient balance than an adult dog. This is especially true for large breeds. Feeding a large breed puppy food can help, as their growth needs to be monitored carefully to prevent bone and joint problems. Other puppies do well on both puppy food and food labeled for all life stages. The best food for your puppy depends on your puppys size and breed. Always consult your veterinarian for recommendations on puppy feeding, and advice on how to switch puppies to adult dog food.
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Ingredients Needed For This Homemade Dog Food Recipe:
This DIY dog food made at home is filled with rich protein, vegetables, and healthy grains. Heres what youll need:
- Coconut oil provides a variety of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, and reducing allergic reactions, just to name a few. And just like us, your dog needs healthy fats in their diet.
- Ground turkey will add necessary protein to your dogs diet, as well as important vitamins and minerals.
- Veggies this homemade dog food recipe uses a mix of zucchini, spinach and carrots. All are safe for dogs and will provide your baby with a variety of nutrients.
- Turmeric a dog-safe seasoning that also provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Egg for extra protein and nutrients.
- Rice a complex carb that provides energy and aids in gastrointestinal function.
Is It Better To Feed Dogs Real Food
The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes the unregulated feeding of raw foods and discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens, because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs, as well as humans.
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Cons Of Dry Food For Puppy
- Very active dogs need ample protein. If you choose a dry dog food for your pup, make sure the amount of protein is adequate if your dog is exceptionally active. Wet foods are generally higher in protein, but you can find dry dog foods such as Red Mills Engage and Leader Supreme with all the protein a hard working dog needs.
- Dry dog food can be difficult for dogs with dental problems to chew. It is more of a concern for senior dogs. Younger dogs should have good, strong teeth, so it isnt an issue in deciding between wet or dry food for a puppy.
Making The Right Choice
There is no single right or wrong way to feed your dog. What matters most is that the food you choose is as healthy as possible and is a good match with your feeding philosophy.
If you feed your dog only canned dog food, give them opportunities to crunch on snacks that can help clean their teeth and satisfy their need for a good chew. Likewise, dogs that are fed dry food may occasionally enjoy a delectably meaty treat. Balancing out the crunchy with the yummy is just one more way you can provide the best possible care for your dog.
To help find the right foods for your dog, check out our Food-Finder Tool. With so many nutritious and delicious choices, your dog will have a hard time deciding which is their favorite.
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What Else Do I Need To Consider When Determining How Much Wet Food My Dog Needs
The larger the dog, the more food they will need to eat each day. Some dog breeds also may require more food than others due to faster metabolism or energy level. Wet food is often more expensive than dry food, so cost may be a barrier to feeding exclusively wet food if you have a larger dog.
Younger dogs need more food than seniors. As dogs age, their metabolism slows down. You may want to re-evaluate your dogs caloric needs as they get older.
If your pup is not at its ideal weight youll want to work with your vet on a diet plan specific to your pup. If your dog needs to gain weight, you will want to work with your vet to help them pack on the pounds the right way. If your pup needs to lose a few pounds, your vet can help with a diet and exercise plan to get your pup back on the right track. You may also want to talk to your vet about your pup’s dietary needs in different seasons. Your pup may need some extra calories in the winter to help them stay warm and keep up their energy.
If your dog runs, hikes or competes in sporting events like agility, flyball, or dock diving they may need more calories, especially when theyre competing. Talk to your vet or a knowledgable nutritionist to make sure your dog is in optimal shape to compete and win.
The Pros And Cons Of Wet Food
Wet puppy food offers a variety of benefits for dogs, including:
Most dogs find wet food more palatable than kibble. In fact, wet foods can be used as toppers to help encourage your picky puppy to eat his kibble.
Canned dog foods are typically made without artificial colors or preservatives.
Wet foods contain more water than dry dog food, which keeps your dog feeling fuller than dry kibble that provides the same number of calories will. Wet foods high water content also has the added benefit of keeping your dog a bit more hydrated, which can be especially helpful if youre worried about dehydration in warmer climates.
The meats included in canned foods are often, yet not always, in a more natural state than those in kibbles.
Most wet foods are richer in protein and fats than dry dog food, which tend to have more carbohydrate content.
Very long shelf-life while unopened.
However, wet food also presents a few problems. Some of the most notable include:
Canned food is more expensive per calorie than dry dog food is.
Canned food is more of a hassle to open and prepare than dry dog food is.
Canned food cannot be left in your puppys dish for more than an hour or so before itll spoil.
Unused portions of canned food must be refrigerated.
Very short shelf-life after being opened.
Wet food can be very messy.
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Choosing The Best Dog Food
The best dog food for your dog is ultimately up to you to decide. As an owner, you are the one who sees your dog on a regular basis. If your dog produces firm, healthy stool, is active and fit, and has a healthy appetite, then your dog food is probably working just fine.
Your veterinarian is a valuable resource to you during this process. They know more about pet nutrition than the average owner, and they also have access to research and resources that owners do not have. Your vet can help you narrow down your options and should be more than happy to help you find the answers to your questions about your dogs food.
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Can Dogs Eat Canned Cat Food
As a pet lover with more than one animal in your home, you probably know how difficult it is to keep them from eating one anothers food.
If you have both a dog and a cat, your pup might be in the habit of getting into your cats wet food.
But, is it safe for dogs to eat canned cat food? Should you allow your dog to eat your cats wet food, or even purchase him his very own cans?
The short answer is no, its not good for your dog to eat canned cat food, and you certainly shouldnt feed him only cat food.
There are many reasons why this is unhealthy for your dog and plenty of ways to keep him out of your kittys bowl.
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The Benefits Of Mixed Feeding
Due to the range of benefits that wet and dry diets boast, a mixed feeding approach can help your dog get the most out of mealtime. Combining both wet and dry to their diet can give them some variety, where they are exposed to different textures that they will generally be more tempted to try. When you offer a picky dog a meal that is a combination of both, youll usually find theyll be drawn to the aromas of this mixed meal in a way that they perhaps werent from an exclusive dry diet. You’ll also find confidence in knowing that by feeding your dog a complete and balanced wet or dry food that they’ll be receiving the nutrition they need.
Add Other Things To Your Dogs Chicken Diet
There are foods you can add to your dogs chicken meal slowly to add in nutrients. It may also get your dog to accept other foods.
- Carrot: I dice this very small and add it to the meat. Carrots contain vitamin A, which is good for the immune system and their skin and coat.
- Green Beans: You can cook or feed them raw. Just make sure you chop them up to avoid choking. If you cook them, dont season them. Apart from a lot of vitamins, green beans contain calcium.
- Salmon and Tuna: Fish is as good for dogs as it is for humans. Fish will benefit their coats, skin and immune system.
- Rice: This is often in store bought dog food anyway. Cooked white rice is best. Some dogs have trouble digesting brown rice, and it may cause stomach upsets.
There are a lot more foods a dog can eat, but I find the best thing to do is ask my vet before I add anything new in to their diet that Im not sure about.
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Are Any Commercial Dog Foods Actually Complete & Balanced
While dog foods commonly claim to be “complete”, commercial dog diets can be lacking in essential nutrients, though you’re unlikely to know which ones. Since vitamins and minerals are not completely absorbed by the body, you can never really be sure how many nutrients your pet is actually getting.
And, while foods do contain a standard minimum amount of essential vitamins, they don’t contain maximums, which means your pet could be getting too many vitamins, which can be just as bad as nutritional deficiencies.
Feeding a varied diet to your pet can prevent minor nutritional deficiencies or overload that might take years to surface in symptoms.
While it can be impossible to tell whether a food truly is complete in itself, you can rest assured knowing that your dog is getting his nutrients from a variety of sources, so he’s less likely to suffer from too much or too little essential nutrients.