I’ve been searching the forums for info on how we can calculate the ratio of dry to wet food (or other mixers) for those who like to mix it up. I want to make sure I can calculate correctly so the meals remain complete/balanced without adding too many calories. Do people just rely on the caloric number to determine the ratio, or do you calculate other percentages as well?
I looked online for a calculator online that can do this and only found one by Merrick. They have a very clever calculator that can help you figure out the proper ratios of their dry/wet/mixers in order to ensure a balanced meal. BUT, given they’re owned by Purina now (AFAIK), I’m unlikely to use their dog food any time soon. I would likely use Acana for dry food and whatever 5 star brand for wet (and 5 star brand for raw mixers), so there’s no doubt I’ll be using various brands to put a proper diet together.
P.S. I read the editor’s quick suggestion on how he adds 1/4 of a can of a singular meat wet food to dry food, but didn’t indicate how much he reduces dry food to compensate for calories, or if he does that at all.
Thanks for any advice or suggestions!anonymousMember
I don’t measure anything, except the kibble. I just add a glob/tablespoon of cooked protein, chicken, turkey, scrambled egg or something, and a splash/1/4 cup of water.
I would estimate 2/3rds kibble and 1/3 topper twice a day, a carrot or something for a snack here and there.
Make sure the dog is getting adequate exercise (walks for 1 hour per day), if the dog appears to be putting on weight, decrease the amount of food and increase exercise.
Calculators are not always accurate, and dogs metabolisms differ.
Weigh the dog once a week and you will find what works. Good luck
Thanks for the response, in your case are you reducing the feeding guideline for the kibble by 1/3 to compensate for toppings, or just measure normally?anonymousMember
That’s what I do . It seems to work, depending on the dog, sometimes I go half and half, if It agrees with them. I use a quality kibble as a base. I suppose I do decrease the amount of kibble by adding a topper.
I like to give them some real food, I don’t trust kibble alone to do that
Sometimes I add some plain homemade chicken broth instead of water. I had a dog that developed bladder stones because he didn’t drink enough fluids. That’s why I do that. For seniors I presoak the kibble.
PS: Don’t go by the recommended amount on the bag of kibble, it’s usually too much (IMO)
Start with the lowest amount…
I always add toppers to my dogs’ kibble meals. I do measure everything. If you are using a topper such as canned, which probably is already complete and balanced, you can feed whatever ratio you want and it will be balanced. You should keep unbalanced ingredients less than 25% of their diet. That could be over a week’s time, not necessarily every meal.
I do go by calories. I figured out using the dog food calculator on this site to compute total calories I should feed. I add about 100 calories of topper per meal and subtract 100 calories of kibble per meal. I have two very large lab mix males. I’ve had to lower the total number of calories at times due to inactivity, neutering and age every now and then. I usually just decrease the kibble, not the toppers when I do this. Luckily, most food lists the calories on the bag or can.
They get 1/4 of a can each in their morning meals and fresh, frozen or canned in their afternoon meals.
Hope this helps!
Thanks for the suggestions, anon101, crazy4cats!
I like the option of adding real food whenever I can, as long as I can ensure that I’m not overfeeding. I’m still researching, but raw mixers, quality wet food, and even healthy food I’m eating (that are equally safe and healthy for dogs) are some of the ways I’m looking to add variety to my dog’s diet. The 25% guideline seems like a good start to keep things simple. 🙂
Yes, simple is good! Mine get a lot of left over vegetables, lightly cooked eggs, raw tripe, sardines and commercial raw mixed in their afternoon meals. The biggest problem is when you start doing this, they expect it. And, boy, do I get the stink eye if I have the nerve to give them plain dry food! 😃
>>>do I get the stink eye if I have the nerve to give them plain dry food!
I’m sure that’s a look my mother was very familiar with when I was young too. 😀
Yes, she probably was. 😉
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