A retriever dog eating from a bowlFeeding your pet seems like it should be a relatively simple task; simply buy some food and pour it in your pet’s bowl, right? Of course, most pet owners realize that selecting and feeding our pets is more complicated than that, and many of us struggle with the conflicting information surrounding pet food.

One of the biggest questions when it comes to feeding our pets is whether to choose canned or dry food.  At Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, we understand that your pet’s health and wellness begins with a high quality diet, and we want to help you make informed choices in selecting the right pet food for your furry friend.

Canned Pet Food

Canned pet foods can provide many benefits to a pet, including:

  • More protein—Most canned foods provide a higher level of protein than dry food. This can be especially helpful for cats, as they must have extremely high levels of protein in their diets in order to achieve optimal health.
  • High moisture content—The higher water content of canned pet food can  be of particular value for pets that don’t drink enough water or that live in hot, dry climates.
  • For the older crowd—The soft consistency and strong odor of wet food can be especially useful for older pets, who may be experiencing difficulty chewing due to dental problems or have lost some of their olfactory senses.
  • For digestive issues—A canned food specifically designed for easy digestion can be substituted for a dry food diet, when a gentle alternative is needed.
  • Less is more—Because the canning process naturally preserves the food, there is no need for artificial preservatives or colors. Unopened pet food cans can last for many months when stored in a cool, dry place.

Dry Pet Food

Pet owners often choose dry pet food for the following reasons:

  • Convenience—Due to its low moisture content, dry pet food can be left out in a bowl or storage container without fear of spoiling.
  • Economical—Dry pet food is typically less expensive than canned food, and can be purchased and stored in bulk.
  • Dental health—There is some debate about whether or not a standard dry pet food helps to scrape plaque from the teeth, but prescription dental diets are formulated specifically to reduce plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Useful—Kibble can be used in food puzzles and for training. Using kibble to encourage pets to “hunt” for their food provides excitement and mental stimulation.

Choices, Choices

Your veterinarian should be your number one resource when it comes to choosing the right food for your pet, as he or she will know your pet’s health status and specific dietary needs.

Pet foods, whether canned or dry, vary widely in quality, both in ingredients and nutrient levels, and do not always contain what the label claims.  So, don’t be overly swayed by fancy advertising, as many of these products spend heavily on advertising and little to nothing on the actual research supporting what is in their food and why.

Our veterinarians are always happy to recommend the brand of food and the type of diet that will help your pet achieve and maintain optimal health because, in so many ways, the right food is also good medicine.

Remember, even though you’re providing your pet with the food your veterinarian recommended, it’s still no replacement for regular exams and veterinary care. If we haven’t seen your pet in awhile, give us a call to schedule a checkup. We are always happy to assist you in helping your pet live its healthiest life!