Mixing wet and dry food
When it comes to feeding dogs, owners get into heated discussions about whether dry or wet food is better. In fact, the best solution lies in the middle – with mixed feeding.
1. So what exactly is “mixed feeding”? Mixed feeding means that instead of giving dogs an exclusive diet of dry or wet feed they get a mixture of both on a rotating basis.
2. Can puppies have mixed feeding? If your puppy has just moved in, you should avoid changing their diet as that could cause them additional stress. However, once they have settled into their new home there’s nothing to stop you giving your young animal mixed feed. On the contrary, the more variety you give them in the first few months, the fewer eating habit problems they are likely to develop later on. Nonetheless, when giving mixed feed to puppies you should only use junior feed that is appropriate for your pet’s age.
3. Can I change an older pet’s diet to mixed feeding too? Of course you can. However, it’s possible that they won’t accept it at first. Regardless of the age of your pet, you should make a gradual change by first mixing a spoonful of wet feed into the dry feed and then increasing the amount bit by bit.
4. What are the benefits of mixed feeding? Dry feed can be stored more easily, can be taken on holiday and it keeps longer in the bowl in summer as it doesn’t spoil so quickly. Its crunchy consistency also encourages the animal to chew, which strengthens the jaw muscles and helps remove dental plaque. Wet feed contains additional moisture which is ideal for ensuring that the animal receives more water. This is generally recommended in summer but is also of utmost importance for older animals who don’t drink enough, or for those with kidney problems. Let’s not forget that medication is also much easier to hide in wet feed.
5. Why does it make sense to start mixed feeding as early as possible? It allows you to keep all your options open, and could be useful if you ever need to change your pet’s diet for medical reasons. However, if your pet has only ever had dry feed, she might reject the unfamiliar food. Starting with mixed feeding in the first place means that your pet won’t find it difficult to adjust later on.
6. Should I only use wet and dry feed on a rotating basis or can I mix them? As wet and dry feed are digested at different speeds, it is generally recommended that you don’t mix them in the same meal. Nevertheless, it can be useful for tricking your pet into better habits. The reason is, the “right” portion of dry feed often looks rather insubstantial in the bowl, so a lot of pet owners put too much out in the beginning. Mixed feeding fills the bowl up more which stops owners from unconsciously worrying that their pet will go hungry. So although it’s not ideal to use dry and wet feed at the same time, it’s still better than constantly overfeeding your dog.
Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.