Some dog keepers feed their pets wet food. Others choose dry. Everyone has their own reasons and should choose what best suits their pet. However, there is also a third group. These are people who feed – or want to do – both wet and dry food. Combining these two types of food has a name – it’s mixed nutrition. Does this solution make sense?
Advantages of wet food
Wet foods, i.e. those that we buy in cans or sachets, contain approx. 75% water. This is great news, because a dog fed with such food additionally absorbs the necessary amount of fluid. It’s good to know that some dogs, especially the older ones, no longer drink as much as puppies, so any way to stay hydrated is fine. Wet food also has the advantage that it is always fresh – a can or sachet that we open is usually a portion for one or two times. So food has no time to spoil. In addition, wet food is characterized by high palatability – which means that it will be liked by virtually every dog, even a poor eater. Not everyone is aware of the fact that wet food is given up to four times more than dry food! This is important information for hungry people who can be served a much larger meal with canned food.
Advantages of dry food
Dry foods are convenient to serve and easy to store. They are also economical, so this type of nutrition is most often chosen by owners of large dogs. It is worth being aware that dry food is a kind of concentrate – although a handful of this food may look inconspicuous, it has a lot of calories in it. The calorific value of dry food is four times higher than that of wet food, therefore – by volume – it is given much less. This food does not spoil, as long as it is stored properly – in a tightly closed bag, in a dry and cool place, and not longer than six weeks after opening.
How to introduce mixed nutrition?
The most important thing is to act deliberately. We cannot switch to mixed nutrition overnight, because in this way we will treat the dog to a gastric revolution. The change should be made gradually, slowly adding to the diet a food that the dog does not know (for a pet fed with dry food, wet food will be new, and vice versa). We allocate 7-10 days for a change, increasing the dose of new food each day. Remember that the products we choose must be complete – the packaging may also indicate that they are „balanced” food.
Rules for mixing wet and dry food
Nutritionists recommend giving different types of food in separate meals. This means that mixing wet and dry in one bowl is a bad idea – all because the dog digests these foods differently. Therefore, it is best to assume that the dog always gets a portion of dry food in the morning (more or less at the same time), and always in the evening – a wet portion. Of course, it may be the other way around, but if we establish a pattern, we must stick to it. A few hours between meals will ensure proper digestion.
How much food to serve?
The question of quantity remains – if we give two different feeds, what dosage should we take? We should make sure that the dog gets the optimal amount of calories and minerals, which is what it would consume when eating one food. For your convenience, however, we can follow the feeding tables on the packages of the food we choose. Suppose we give the dog two meals a day. So we check the daily amount of dry food – and give half of it – as well as the dose of a specific wet food – and give it half of it in another meal.
Mixed nutrition on an example
Finally, a small exercise – let’s see how it should look like on an example. We have a dog named Reksio who weighs 20 kg. We want to feed him Luger’s dry dog food with chicken and lamb and wet dog food Luger’s Lamb and Beef Beetroot. Our Reksio is supposed to eat dry food in the morning and wet food in the evening. According to the dosing table, he should be getting 285 g of Luger’s dry food a day, so half the dose we give him for breakfast is 142.5 g. And for dinner, we’re going to be giving him a wet meal. On the packaging you can read that the daily amount for a dog such as Reksio is 2.5 cans (i.e. 1000 g). For one meal, Reksio should get 500 g of wet food. By the way, you can clearly see how the calorific value and dosage of these two types of food differ!
Now mixed food should no longer have any secrets from you. In this way, we can feed a dog that likes a varied diet, and at the same time we are sure that it will be a balanced and microbiologically safe diet. However, if we observe that our dog is not good at it and mixed nutrition is too burdensome for his body, do not hesitate to switch to feeding one type of food.