Many pet parents always wonder whether mixing wet and dry dog food is safe and healthy for their pups. According to renowned vets, it is absolutely OK to mix wet dog food with dry kibble. However, you’ll need to take into account the overall health of your pet, their dietary needs and food preferences, as well as your budget. In this post, we discuss the facts about mixing wet and dry dog food ratio and the benefits of doing it correctly.
Benefits of Mixing Wet and Dry Dog Food
Mixing wet and dry pet food is fine as long as both options are of high-quality and meet your pup’s nutritional and health needs. Quality wet and dry dog foods are formulated to provide all the protein, vitamins, fat, minerals, and other vital nutrients your pup needs to thrive.
However, if your dog suffers from a health complication and needs a specific type of diet, such as wet foods for kidney disease, avoid making any dietary change without first talking to your vet.
Overall, there are several reasons why dog parents might consider mixing wet and dry dog food. They include:
1: Improves Water Intake
The main difference between wet and dry dog foods is moisture content. Dry food formulations contain only about 10 percent water while wet foods are generally 68-78 percent water.
If your dog is not a good drinker of plain water, adding in some wet pet food is a simple way to increase their water consumption.
2: Increases Palatability
Mixing wet and dry dog food can make the diet extra palatable for many pups. If your pooch is not enjoying their dry food, then a little wet food may be the “secret sauce” they need to wipe clean their feeding bowls. You may have noticed that many pets find wet formulations tastier than dry foods.
3: Helps Control Weight Gain
Adding some wet food to your dog’s diet can significantly help with weight loss since the extra water makes pets feel full and more satisfied after meals. On the flip side, adding in some dry food can provide extra calories if your pooch struggles with eating adequate wet food to meet their daily energy requirements. Dry foods are typically more nutrient-dense since they are less diluted with moisture.
4: Save Costs
Wet dog food is generally more expensive than dry foods of comparable quality. That’s why many pet owners tend to mix both formulations to get the best of both worlds without breaking the bank.
5: Provide a Balanced Meal
When you do a mixed feeding for your pup, you are giving them a balanced meal. Your furry friend gets the chance to enjoy both textures and to reap the benefits of both food types. When they get a choice of both dry and wet formulations, it encourages them to lick their bowls clean and improve their overall health.
If you have a fussy dog, the exciting smells of a mixed plate can draw their attention to try something new. Moreover, mixing wet and dry dog food is extremely nutritional for your pooch.
What’s the Correct Ratio for Mixing Wet and Dry Dog Food?
Vets advise that dogs should consume one 10 oz container for every 10½ – 12½ pounds of their body weight every day, divided into two or three meals. You can adjust this amount as needed to help maintain your pup’s ideal body condition. When mixing wet and dry dog food, one 10 oz container of wet dog food should replace about ¾ – 1 cup of dry dog food.
Here are some extra tips to help you mix wet and dry dog foods correctly:
Maintain Portion Control
Many super-premium dog foods will have a specific portion size to give to your pup based on their body weight. Portion levels can be very different when dealing with a mixture of wet and dry foods.
For example, there are fewer calories per gram in wet foods. When you are changing from a specific diet to mixed feeding, the decision should not be just about half a cup of this and a half a cup of that.
Check the nutrient content of each package to ensure that the portions suit your dog’s weight for enhanced health. If you’re in doubt, be sure to consult with your vet.
Introduce the Changes Gradually
Many pet parents often assume that their dogs will gulp up anything and everything they offer. However, the truth is that some pets have sensitive stomachs. You want to gradually disrupt their diets to mixed foods over a few days.
It allows your dog’s digestive system to adjust to the new food. A nice tip is to mix a small portion on the first day and gradually increase the composition of the new formulation over a seven-day period until everything is fully mixed on the final day.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Mixing Wet and Dry Dog Food
- Mix foods that have different textures, shapes, and aromas to help tune up your dog’s appetite. Try to change things up every time by creating a mix of these characteristics.
- Try adding water to your dog’s kibble. Although it can be difficult to break some pups from their beloved kibble, consider adding some water the moment their interest starts to drift off. Try about 1/4 cup of water on top of the kibble for moistening purposes and to add some flavor.
- Mix canned and dry foods to help with moistening and to ease up on the cost. When selecting your wet dog food, make sure it matches with your pooch’s diet.
- Don’t begin mixing anything before calling your local vet for advice. You want to take into consideration your pet’s current health condition and diet to avoid negative effects. Your pup may react adversely to certain dairy products such as whipped cream and vitamins or minerals embedded in some wet dog foods. Instead of guessing, consult your vet to prevent any issues or health complications with your pet.
- Don’t mix therapeutic foods with other types of dog food or spicy human foods like hot pickles. Consult with your vet on this to get sound advice.
Mixing When Your Pet Is on a Prescription Diet
If you wish to mix wet and dry dog foods for your pooch on a prescription diet, be careful to use only the prescription diet in both dry and wet forms. For example, if your pet is on Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities dry pet food as a result of a food allergy, you should only mix that with Hill’s Prescription Diet z/d Skin/Food Sensitivities wet pet food. By mixing with anything else, you run the risk of negating the beneficial effects of the prescription diet.
Overall, mixing wet and dry dog food not only offers a myriad of dietary benefits but also helps your pooch enjoy his/her food better. Just make sure you have a good balance, work out the right portions based on your dog’s body weight, make the process gradual, and remember to consider your pup’s tastes and stomach sensitivity. More importantly, don’t begin mixing anything until you have consulted with your vet.
Dr. Belinda Hawks earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 2006 and has been practicing veterinary medicine since then. Dr. Belinda currently works as a passionate rancher and mixed animal veterinarian in a rural town in South Carolina. When not practicing veterinary medicine or writing, she spends her free time with her lovely husband and three kids (2 boys and a lovely girl) in South Carolina.