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Should I feed wet or dry food? What is the difference?

By March 11, 2016 February 28th, 2019 Uncategorized

Why would you choose wet food?

Not all animals drink as much water as they should. If your animal is the type that is reluctant to drink adequate amounts of water, the veterinarians in Markham may recommend wet foods as they can be a good source of hydration . And then there are health considerations that can make wet foods a practical choice. Wet foods are often richer in scent and flavor which can be beneficial when feeding an older animalthat may have lost some of their ability to smell and might be more inclined to eat a food stronger in taste and smell. This is also a good alternative for when a pet is ill and cannot smell as well, or is lacking in appetite, or needs to be medicated. Hiding medications in a canned food is sometimes the only way to trick a sick pet into taking their medication.  This will assure that they are getting the proteins, vitamins, and minerals they need to maintain their health. Wet foods are a good option as well for cats and dogs with missing teeth, poorly aligned jaws, or smaller mouths.

There are several drawbacks for wet food. Some pets will make a mess while eating wet food, and those with a predisposition to developing dental problems will need more attentive dental care. Wet food, once it has been opened, has lost any shelf life it had. It needs to be covered and refrigerated and used quickly before it can spoil. In some cases, wet food is not as economical as dry food.  Depending on the quality of the food (you will want to choose the best quality food as recommended by your veterinarians in Markham) wet food may be more expensive than dry food, and must be bought in smaller amounts at a time


Why would you choose dry food?

The most convenient type of food, for storage and for feeding, is dry kibble. The food can be left out for the pet to eat at its own pace without fear of spoilage. In fact, many pet owners appreciate the convenience of filling a bowl with enough food to feed the pet for the entire day, if not days, in the case of cats that are left at home while owners take brief trips away from home.  Dry foods are easier to store — a large plastic bin with a tight lid is usually enough to keep the food fresh and safe from insects and rodents (and from pets) — and is more economically cost-effective when feeding multiple pets. Dry kibble can also be used as an effective training treat and as a dental health supplement. Some dry foods are specially formulated and shaped to clean the teeth as the animal chews it.  Of course, dry foods do not provide as much moisture as wet foods do, something that becomes more important as an animal ages, when an animal is ill, and in dry, hot climates. In those cases, a wet food diet can be more practical.


Basically, either of these choices should satisfy your pet’s nutritional requirements as long as they are well balanced and are made with quality ingredients. Your veterinarians in Markham can help you understand what to look for when purchasing your pet’s food so that you ensure you are feeding a veterinary recommended diet.  It’s just a matter of which one will be best for your pet over the long term and which fits your lifestyle. Another option is to choose both wet and dry; mixing them together in the same bowl, or giving the wet food as an occasional “treat.” Talk to your veterinarian in Markham if you have any concerns, since there may be particular considerations for your dog’s breed or age.

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Dr. Ernst Marsig, veterinarian in Markham

Practicing Veterinary Medicine in Markham for a Long and Happy Life of ALL Your Pets.

Animal Hospital of Unionville, a veterinary clinic on the north side of Hwy 7, serving all pets in Markham, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, and North York since 1966. We are your family vets for dogs, cats, pocket pets (rabbits, chinchillas, gerbils, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, skinny pigs, etc.), ferrets, and birds (budgies, cockatiel, parrots, amazon, cockatoo, love birds, conures, African greys, finches, canaries, etc.).

Disclaimer: No part of this website constitutes medical advice. Readers are advised to consult with their veterinarian.

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