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Many pet parents have questions about mixed feeding, or the practice of combining wet food (canned food) with dry food to feed to their dog or cat. Whether you feed Vetdiet® canned food or Vetdiet® dry food or a combination of both, you can rest assured that you are providing optimal nutrition for your dog or cat. Feeding a combination of Vetdiet® canned food with Vetdiet® dry food is a great way to deliver the benefits of both types of food.
Ways to Feed Vetdiet® Canned and Dry Food Together
Depending on your pet’s preference, there are several options for mixed feeding of canned food and dry food. Cats generally prefer to eat canned food and dry food separately. You can offer them the combination in separate bowls or you can feed each type of food at different times for variety. Dogs often prefer canned food mixed with dry food in the same bowl or you can feed at different times to provide variety.
Balancing Calories With Mixed Feeding
One of the most important parts of feeding your pet is to ensure you are providing the right amount no matter what type of food you feed. To help with this, every Vetdiet® food package lists the number of calories in the food. Additionally, there is a feeding guide to help you target the right amount. Each product’s feeding guide for wet food and dry food provides the amount to feed based on your pet’s ideal weight. When determining how much to feed when mixing canned and dry food, the best way to start is with the recommended amount of dry food for your pet and then decrease the amount of dry food based on the amount of canned food you want to feed.
The most challenging aspect of mixed feeding is figuring out how much of both canned food and dry food to feed to your pet. Every food has a slightly different calorie content and canned food is much lower in calories than dry food on a weight basis. As a rule, when comparing Vetdiet® dry food and Vetdiet® canned food, you can follow a simple rule. The number of calories in a can of Vetdiet® canned food for dogs is approximately equal to one cup of Vetdiet® dry food. Thus, for every can you feed you can replace one cup of dry food. For Vetdiet® cat food, the number of calories in the one can is approximately equal to half a cup of dry food. For every can of Vetdiet® cat food you feed, you can replace 1/2 cup of dry food. These are approximations and our experts recommend that you monitor your pet’s weight and adjust the amount you feed based on weight gain or loss. We have provided some examples below that follow this rule.
Hank is a six-year-old dog that is at his ideal weight of 40 lb (18 kg) and he is a typical dog that lives indoors, goes for walks every day and plays in the park on Saturdays. He enjoys Vetdiet® Adult All Breeds Chicken and Rice Formula and would like to try some wet food to add a little variety. Based on the feeding guide for low activity on Hank’s bag of dry food, he would need 1 3/4 cup (233 g) of dry food every day. To determine the amount of dry food to replace with Vetdiet® Adult All Breeds Chicken and Vegetables Formula canned food, we follow the rule of replacing one cup of dry food for every can. If we want to feed one can per day, we will decrease the amount of dry food and feed Hank 3/4 cup of dry food with the canned food. If we want to feed Hank 1/2 can per day, we will mix it with 1 1/4 cup of dry food.
Jazzy is an eight-year-old cat that lives indoors and spends much of her day napping and watching the birds through the window. She is in ideal weight for cats her size at 6 lb (2.7 kg) and based on her lifestyle she qualifies as a less active cat according to the feeding guide on her bag of Vetdiet® Adult Indoor Chicken and Rice Formula. Jazzy would like a little variety in her food by having some canned food as part of her diet. Based on her bag of Vetdiet® dry food she needs 1/2 cup (53 g) every day. The ideal canned food to match her dry food is Vetdiet® Indoor Adult Chicken Formula. Following the rule, one can provides approximately the same calories as 1/2 cup of dry food. Since Jazzy only needs 1/2 cup of dry food per day, we can feed her 1/4 cup of dry food with 1/2 can per day to meet her requirements. If we want to feed more dry food, we could feed 3/8 cup of dry food with 1/4 can.