Does anyone have a recommendation for how to determine a good ratio of canned to dry food? During one of my dog’s regular exams, three years ago, he had struvite crystals and was put on a Hills prescription diet. Once the tests reflected the crystals were no longer a problem, I switched to a Blue Buffalo dry formula. Since then there have been no struvite problems. However, due to some problems with bad bags(?) of BB and some potential food allergies I am switching him to Wellness Simple Turkey and Potato. I have read that canned food may help prevent urinary problems due to higher water content, however I would like to try a combination of canned and dry food. Wellness provides guidelines for a canned/dry mix, but they’re confusing. We’ve adjusted the recommended daily amounts of the foods we’ve been feeding him to avoid unacceptable weight gain. I assume we’ll need to do that for Wellness as well.
I think that adding canned to dry food is a great idea for every dog and especially important for a dog that has had urinary issues. The extra moisture helps keep the tract “flushed” out.
I add canned food to my dogs’ kibble meals every morning. Yes, you will have to decrease the amount of kibble you feed to compensate for the canned you are adding. I don’t go by the guide lines on the bag. I go by calories. I just figure that most of the kibble I feed is about 400 calories a cup and most of the canned I feed is about 400 calories per can. So when I feed them 1/4 of a can, I decrease their kibble by 1/4 cup. Even though some of the kibble and canned I feed, have different calories, I still use this equation and it seems to work out fine. If your pup starts to gain then feed a little less or visa versa.
For my dogs’ evening meals, I usually add some fresh ingredients such as eggs, sardines or left overs.
If the guidelines on the bag work for you, then… better yet! Wellness is a great brand. I hope it works out for you. Good luck!
Thank you so much for your advice. It’s very helpful and just what I needed to know. I like the idea of giving him canned food in the morning and kibble in the evening. I also appreciate your thoughts on Wellness. I’ve been researching a number of options and am feeling more comfortable about my decision. Thanks again!!
No problem, Cheryl, I’ve learned a lot on this site. One thing to remember is that you don’t have to pick a food and stick with it forever. Many believe, including myself, that it is best to offer a variety of foods. Here is a link with some information on a rotation diet: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/diet-rotation-for-dogs/
I feed a couple different brands of both kibble and canned foods to my dogs and cats. Also, as I mentioned above, I also add some fresh foods as well.
One of my cats also had struvite crystals and ended up with a urinary blockage which landed him in the emergency clinic. So, I really now know the importance of adding moisture to their diets!
These changes don’t have to happen all at once. Take your time and try out new things to see what works!
I am planning on trying out some other foods from time to time, but right now I’m looking for a good food to switch him to following some bad experiences and a recent illness. The dog I had before Winston had a number of health problems including urinary crystals (not struvite) and diabetes. She was on a special diet for the crystals but had to switch to one for her diabetes. Unfortunately her crystals came back resulting in a blockage sending us to an emergency vet in the middle of the night. I’m obsessive about making sure Winston doesn’t have to go through what Chloe did. I know a whole lot more today than I did then, thanks to this site and people like you!
Oh boy, do I never know what you mean, sister! LOL! Unfortunately, sometimes we learn through trial and error. Thanks for the compliment and I wish you the best!
Hi Crazy4cats. I just read some of the posts you referred me to regarding food rotations and I now have another question. During Winston’s recent illness my vet stated that since he is 7-1/2 years old, he should eat a diet lower in protein. She also recommended “senior” dog foods, specifically Science diet.9 Before he got sick I had already purchased a bag of Fromms 4 Star Grain Free Lamb and Lentils and fed him a small amount to start a transition process away from the Blue Buffalo. Although I’ve read there is controversy over her assertion regarding lowering protein levels for older dogs, I decided to try Wellness Simple rather than Fromm’s because of the lower protein content and because he is still under her care. I am going to mix Wellness Simple canned with Wellness Simple dry. I am considering a Fromm’s rotation, but the Fromm’s canned that I hoped to try is hard to find locally and I’d like to try a couple of test cans before committing to the rotation. Should the same brand and formula of the dog food be used when feeding a canned/dry mix?
Did I mention I’m obsessed?
Welcome to the club! Pretty much everyone on here is obsessed! I don’t really feel qualified to comment much on protein levels for a dog with a health condition. There are others on this site with some actual education in the field that may be more helpful. Generally speaking, however, a healthy senior dog is recommended to be fed a higher more quality protein level because they start to lose the ability to process it as well. Just like us humans. But as far as feeding the same brands of dry and wet together, it is not necessary. I feed mine all different brands of canned. Mostly Kirkland, 4Health, and Pure Balance Stews. I buy Wellness if I have a coupon! I mostly feed Victor kibble and they don’t make canned food. Welcome to DFA!
I have had a good experience with the rotational diet with my puppy. He doesn’t seem to have an aversion to anything, which is nice because the price of dog food is a bit ridiculous when going for the best quality.
I keep my eye out for sales & markdowns then google this site on the phone to do some on the spot homework. So far we’ve mixed up kibbles & wet, flavors & brands. As he will most likely be a large dog, I keep my eye on calcium but I don’t stress out too much over a little higher when it’s a 4 lb bag, as I add some wet that is on par.
I’m hoping this is not jeopardizing his future health, so any input to steer me right if this may not be the best idea would be greatly appreciated!
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