The Pros And Cons Of Mixing Wet And Dry Dog Food
Dog food options abound when you walk into a pet store and while there are fresh, frozen, and even freeze-dried options, the most common types of food you will find are either dry kibbles or canned, wet dog foods.
Some dog owners will mix both kinds of food for various reasons. It is helpful to know the benefits of both kinds of food individually as well as whether mixing them negates these benefits so that you can provide the best diet for your dog.
Last Bit Of Advice When Choosing Wet Or Dry Dog Food
There isnt a straight answer to which food will be the best option for your dog, and ultimately, the answer to which type of dog food is the best will be up to you to decide. But, keep in mind that the food you choose should fulfill your dogs nutritional requirements. If your dog has health issues, hes an older dog, a fussy eater, or extremely active will all play a role in your final decision.
Also, remember that you can mix both dry and wet food together as an occasional treat.
Complete And Balanced Dog Foods
One of the first things you should look for on a dog food label is the statement is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. This isnt just an advertising slogan. The Association of American Feed Control Officials has strict requirements to make sure that a product is in fact complete and balanced for dogs . Complete and balanced diets must contain the minimum amount of all of the nutrients necessary for dogs, which is also indicated in the guaranteed analysis. This analysis gives the minimum amount of crude protein and fat, along with the maximum amounts of water and crude fiber. The analysis does not, however, give the exact amount of these components, which means there is room for considerable variation. The manufacturers average nutrient profile is often a better tool for evaluating a product.
You can always contact the dog food company directly to get more information about its product. A reputable company that has your dogs interests at heart should be happy to answer your questions and in many cases will give you more information than what is available on the website or product label. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has a helpful sheet with questions you can ask a company representative.
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Is It Possible To Combine Wet And Dry Food
Considering that both wet and dry food has great benefits for your dog, it is very natural to wonder how you can combine the two. Theres nothing wrong with this! However, you have to be careful not to mix the two types of food and feed them at separate times, so not at the same time. Because of the high amount of energy in dry food, you also have to be careful not to exceed your dogs calorie limit.
If your dog has problems with his digestion, it is also advantageous to stick to one type of food and not to combine it. Digesting wet and dry food back and forth can lead to constipation or diarrhea in sensitive stomachs. In general, alternating the two types of food offers no particular health benefits for your dog because he can also get all the nutrients from the food separately. Once you have discovered what your animal likes, you can comfortably stick to that type of food.
The Truth About Dog Foodand Dental Health
Now, I know it looks like Ive forgotten to mention how kibble can be better for your dogs teeth than canned food.
But my own professional background makes that silly rumor difficult to accept.
Find out for yourself. Be sure to read Dry Dog Food and the Myth of Cleaner Teeth to learn the surprising truth.
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In Short: Its About The Content Not The Form
When making the decision about which food to give to your dog, the content is therefore decisive and not so much the form. Your dogs diet is a big part of your dogs health. Dogs need high-quality food that meets all their needs and thus enables healthy development. It is not easy to say exactly which ingredients these are: every dog is different and therefore also has different nutritional needs. When buying food, you should pay attention to various factors such as age, weight, activity level and health status. In general, you can start from 70% meat and 30% vegetables, fats and oils for the perfect dog food. An excessive amount of grains, preservatives, artificial flavors and sweeteners such as sugar have no place in dog food. So remember: before you take the food home, take a look at whats in it!
What You Should Do About Puppy Nutrition
Puppies have different dietary needs than adult dogs, so you can feed them a diet that is specifically designed to meet those needs.
Different quantities of amino acids, as well as different total protein contents, are used in puppy-specific food.
Adult dogs need just 18% of their calories from protein sources, while puppies need 22% of their calories from protein sources.
Furthermore, puppies grow better when given a little more fat, so the AAFCO suggests that at least 8% of their calories come from fat sources, while adults only need 5% of their calories from fat sources.
Fortunately, you dont have to be concerned about these differences simply buy high-quality, AAFCO-compliant puppy food. Youll be able to rest easy knowing that your dog is getting the nutrition he needs.
This also ensures that if you choose a puppy kibble or a puppy wet food formula, your developing dog will get the nutrition he or she needs.
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An Overlooked Dog Food Option
Canned dog food. That was it. Bailey wouldnt eat the kibble. But he sure did love that wet food.
So, I decided to learn more about canned dog food. I knew Bailey liked it. And he liked it a lot more than he liked kibble.
But I had to be sure if it was OK for him to eat. After all, Id always heard that canned dog food wasnt as good for dogs as kibble.
The Final Verdict: Dry Vs Wet Dog Food
There is no clear right or wrong answer regarding the wet vs dry debate, but most owners would probably agree that the benefits of wet food make it the preferred choice for those who can afford it and dont mind foregoing the convenience of dry kibble.
Nevertheless, the quality of the food you provide is undoubtedly more important than the amount of moisture in it, so focus on finding the best food for your puppy, no matter which type you decide to offer.
What kind of food do you feed your little pup? Do you prefer the convenience and low-cost of kibble, or do you like to spoil your little four-footer with canned foods? Does your dog have a preference? Let us know all about your experiences in the comments below.
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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.
Drawbacks To Feeding Wet Foods
As usual, there are some possible drawbacks to these foods. For one thing, if you have a medium-sized or larger dog, feeding a canned food diet can be virtually cost-prohibitive, especially if you try to feed a premium quality canned food.
Some of the top quality canned dog foods can cost $3-4 for a 13 to 14 ounce large can, with two cans per day recommended for a dog weighing 30 pounds and three cans per day recommended for a dog weighing 50 pounds Many people with large dogs only buy canned foods occasionally and use them as a topper or special treat because of the cost.
In terms of ingredients, many canned foods use the thickening agent carrageenan, made from seaweed. Concerns have been raised about carrageenan in connection with inflammatory bowel disease , intestinal ulcers, and other stomach problems.
Other concerns have been raised regarding guar gum, xanthum gum, agar agar, and other thickening agents used in canned foods and whether they are associated with digestive problems in some dogs.
Pet food cans today are also lined with Bisphenol-A , though there do not seem to be any good alternatives at this time.
Other drawbacks include the fact that feeding wet foods can be messy. Some dogs tend to get the wet food on their faces and bodies when they eat. They can also spread the food around the floor and elsewhere.
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What’s Wrong With Preservatives In Dog Food
But what’s the problem with preservatives? For one thing, many preservatives in cheaper pet foods are not naturally derived.
They’re non-foods that would never naturally occur in your pet’s diet. Most provide no other nutritional benefit to your pet’s food other than making it last a long time on the shelf.
Most of the time, a long shelf-life isn’t even a real convenience for you. Generally, you probably buy dog food and use it up within, at most, a few months. This benefit is for the pet food manufacturer and the pet store, instead.
They can have the same food stored in their warehouses, back rooms, and shelves for sometimes years before having to check for expiration dates and refresh their stock. Business-wise, the longer the shelf-life, the less money is lost through expired products that cannot be sold.
Other than providing no real benefit to you or your dog, preservatives may actually harm your pet. Some common preservatives, such as nitrates or nitrites, are known carcinogens.
There are other options out there. Choose foods with natural preservatives whenever possible, or go the no-preservative route with canned foods.
The Most Important Part Of Feeding Your Dog
The reality is that, for the majority of dogs, choosing between dry kibble or a wet canned diet makes very little difference to their health.
If you are choosing to feed a well established diet or either type then either is fine.
What you should be focusing on is how much you feed your dog and how you feed them.
There is an obesity epidemic sweeping through our pet population, with at least 56% of dogs being classified as overweight or obese.
The simple fact is that the impact of pet obesity is so much higher than that of deciding to feed a kibble or canned dog food. Instead of worrying about this decision, you should:
Be clear about your dogs ideal weight – learn to BCS
Work out how much to feed – use scales so not over-feeding
Added to this, boredom and a lack of stimulation have a huge impact on the behavior and mental wellbeing of a significant number of pet dogs. Sitting at home all day with nothing to do while the family is out at work or school is no fun at all .
Better yet, pick up a couple of different types and rotate them to keep your dog guessing and their interest levels high.
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The Cons Of Canned Dog Food
There are some cons to feeding a dog canned dog food. Canned food often uses a number of thickening agents to make the food hold its shape. One of these thickeners is carageenan which has been associated with inflammatory bowel disease , acid reflux, and intestinal ulceration.
In addition, most dog food cans today are lined with Bisphenol-A . BPA has been associated with some health problems in people. Canada has declared the substance a toxin and the European Union, Canada, and recently the United States have banned BPA use in baby bottles. Opinions vary about whether BPA is harmful to the public but there is currently no good alternative for canned dog foods.
Canned food is almost always more expensive than kibble of the same quality. Feeding large dogs a diet of canned dog food can quickly become cost prohibitive, especially if you have more than one dog. Even if you buy canned food by the case or have it delivered to you through online pet food sellers, it tends to be more costly than kibble.
If you have one or two Toy or small dogs then feeding them a diet with canned food is easy and you probably wont notice the expense. Opening a couple of cans of dog food per day is not much trouble when you have small dogs. It can become a major chore when you have to open three or four cans per dog for several dogs if you have big dogs.
What To Look For In Fresh Food
Most fresh food services are offered by subscription and delivered to your door. The best ones work with veterinary nutritionists to formulate a plan customized for your dog. They offer options in recipe choices, portion size, and frequency of delivery. They also provide easy-to-understand information about ingredients, feeding schedules, and how to keep the food fresh.
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Should I Feed My Puppy Wet Or Dry Dog Food
The choices available for feeding your puppy can be overwhelming. But one of the first decisions is between two choices will it be wet or dry dog food for puppy? Each has its fans and its detractors. Is one better than the other? Many dog owners have strong feelings on that! Yet some feed their dog a mix or wet and dry foods to make sure they are covering all the bases.
No single food option is the best for every single dog out there. Even dogs of the same breed can have different nutritional needs. Each owner has to weigh up the pros and cons of wet or dry dog food for their puppy and then consider their choices for whichever they pick. Understanding the pros and cons of wet and dry dog food is the first step to making the best choice for your pet.
Canned Dog Food Benefits
Gone are the days when canned dog food was put on the sidelines of your canines nutrition. While the convenience of dry food still makes it the most popular feeding choice for pets, dogs can benefit from including wet food in their diet, on a regular or even occasional basis. Here are some distinct benefits of canned food for your dog.
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Dry Dog Food Benefits:
Dry dog food seems to be the more popular option for most dog food owners because of its lower price tag and convenience. Kibble is easier to travel and store, also doesnt go bad when left out as opposed to wet dog food. So you can bring it anywhere, leave it anywhere, and even leave it out for your pup to return to. The hard texture also helps maintain healthy dental hygiene for dogs, while also being much less messy. Packed full of carbs and protein, kibble is also more energy dense than wet dog food.
Though cheaper, some lower quality dry dog foods can contain more preservatives and artificial flavors. Thats why AvoDerm Natural® Dry Dog Food prides itself on using only the highest quality ingredients, leaving out preservatives, artificial flavors, and unnecessary fillers. Kibble can also be incredibly difficult for younger puppies to eat because of its hard texture¹, so its not favorable for small and young dogs.
They Have A Long Shelf Life But Once Opened They Must Be Used Up
While kibble also lasts a long time, canned dog food has a long shelf life and can last for years. This is good when you want to buy in bulk when you see a sale because you know that even if a long time passes, you will still be able to feed it to your dogs, provided that the expiry date has not yet passed. But once you open the canned dog food, you will need to have your dog consume it right away.
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Pros Of Feeding Wet Food To Dogs
There are several reasons why wet food is a good choice for many dogs.
First, wet food is typically much more appetizing than kibble to most dogs. It more closely resembles the fresh meat that dogs crave. Wet food is especially good for picky eaters as an alternative or addition to dry food.
Secondly, wet food may be healthier than dry food for the following reasons:
- Wet food tends to be lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein and fat than dry food. High carbohydrate intake may contribute to obesity in dogs, so some wet food can prevent weight gain and even promote weight loss.
- Wet food has high water content and can help dogs maintain hydration. This is good for dogs that don’t drink much water, especially during periods of hot weather.
- Wet food is typically less processed than kibble, which means protein and nutrients are more bioavailable. Kibble goes through a great deal of processing to form it into small crunchy bites.
- In general, wet food has fewer preservatives than most kibble because it is sealed in small containers. Kibble usually contains many preservatives to keep it fresh in the bag.
Not all wet food varieties are the same be sure to check nutrition information and ingredients on the packaging when shopping for dog food. Ask your veterinarian for input about different diets. Read online reviews to see what other pet owners are saying about different foods.