Technical Communication Manager and Veterinarian @Purina
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Why is mixed feeding recommended? How should I feed my pet if I want to give them both dry and wet food?
For many pet owners, dry pet food may be more convenient but feeding your pet with wet food or combining both has some advantages. It is commonly known that water is an essential nutrient and its deficiency causes problems in a very short term. Normally, drinking water is the main source of hydration for cats and dogs, but wet food can be an important source of it for some animals, especially those that don’t drink so much, as happens often in cats. The consumption of wet pet food increases the total amount of urine, which is important to the pets that are predisposed to urinary problems such as idiopathic cystitis in cats or urinary stones in both cats and dogs. An additional advantage of mixed feeding is that your pet will get used to both dry and wet foods. This point is important, especially in cats that tend to be less keen on tasting new types of foods as they reach adulthood, and wet cat food might be recommended in the nutritional management of some illnesses, such as urinary tract disease or obesity.
Water content of dry pet food is below 14%, while wet food contains minimum 60% of water. This means that wet foods contain up to 5 or 6 times more water than dry pet foods. The differences in water content influence the level of energy that the food contains, having dry pet food around 3 times more calories than wet.
Although it is perfectly possible to accomplish the complete energy requirements of the dog or cat with wet food, as long as it is complete and balanced, it can sometimes be more costly (the amount of food needed is higher regarding the lower caloric content). Therefore, a combination of dry and wet food, i.e. mixed feeding, may be a perfect option not only for healthy pets, but also for the ones with some health disorders, such as urinary tract diseases (where wet food helps increase the urine dilution) or obesity (where wet food helps increase the volume of the food to feed).
If you are willing to introduce mixed feeding to your pet’s diet, you can refer to Purina feeding guidelines on the label of each of our product brands that offer both wet and dry pet food ranges. Your veterinarian should also be able to help and guide you on this topic.