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Optimeal® Blog

Optimeal® Blog

Mixing Wet and Dry Pet Food for Your Pet

By Bridget Reed


Your animal companion deserves the best food they can get. If you’re searching for the right nutrition for your furry friend, you’ve probably stumbled across a difficult choice: wet or dry food?

There are many factors on both sides, including your pet’s preferences, your budget, and how much time you have to distribute food and clean up afterward. However, at the end of the day, neither wet food nor dry food is inherently better. Rather, it depends on your pet's needs.

Fortunately, there is a way to get the best of both worlds. We’re referring to mixing wet and dry foods, a creative solution that can offer you and your pet many benefits.

Before making any big decisions about your pet’s diet, we recommend consulting your vet first. They’ll be able to give you tips on the right portions for your dog or cat and help ensure your pet is getting all the nutrients they need.

With that in mind, let’s dive into the wet food and dry food debate and see if we can find a compromise between the two.

What’s the Difference Between Wet Food and Dry Food?

At first, this might seem obvious. Dry food is dry, and wet food is wet. However, if you’d like to know which one is “better” for you and your pet, things get a little more complicated. 

We’ve compiled this list of benefits on each side, so you can see how the two types of food stack up.

Wet Food

Wet food comes in pouches, cans, or plastic cups. It contains more than 11% water, which is very hydrating. For cats, who are used to getting most of their water through their meals, wet food helps keep them from dehydrating.

Wet food is often more appealing to pets because it has stronger smells, more meat-like textures, and closely resembles the kind of food they would eat in the wild. Many picky eaters prefer wet food, and some cats will even refuse to eat dry food entirely.

Dogs with mouth problems, such as missing teeth, gum infections, or weak jaws, will benefit from wet food. It doesn’t require much chewing and can be easily gulped down by any hungry pup.

Overall, wet food is often preferred by pets, and when made with high-quality ingredients, it’s a very healthy and nutritious option. 

At Optimeal®, one of our most popular wet cat food recipes is our Real Shrimp & Salmon In Savory Sauce, which is loved by cats who enjoy seafood. It’s sure to please picky eaters with a blend of meat proteins, delicious sauce, and tender shrimp.

Dry Food

Dry food is often in the form of kibble — small brown pellets that you can easily pour into any pet bowl.

The most significant benefit of dry food is its convenience. It requires little to no preparation or clean-up. There’s no refrigeration required since dry food is shelf-stable and, in most cases, can be used until it’s gone without any special storage or preservation.

Another reason to choose dry food is its high value. Most dry food bags are significantly less expensive than wet food containing the same servings.

Dry food gradually becomes stale when exposed to the air, but it’s a long process, and your pets will likely finish every bag before it can go bad. When sealed in its original bag, dry food can last indefinitely. 

When picking dry food, choosing high-quality recipes with good ingredients will keep your pet happy and healthy — all of our premium dry dog food and cat food recipes are flavorful, nutritious, and made with quality ingredients to support your animal. 

When Should I Mix My Pet’s Food?

We recommend mixing your pet’s food if you want to combine the benefits of dry and wet food. The upsides to this approach are numerous.

The benefits of wet food are clear, but wet food is also pricier than many alternatives. Mixing foods is an excellent way to keep your costs low while still providing your pet with the wet food they might prefer.

If your pet has lost interest in their meals, you can help them return to their dry food bowl by adding some wet food. The new smells and tastes will often reinvigorate their diet. 

Most pets enjoy variety in their food’s shape, aroma, and texture. Therefore, if you’re trying to provide them with the most appealing food, consider switching up one, two, or all three categories by varying the wet and dry food available.

If you’d like to try this method but don’t have any wet food on hand, you can even add some water or low-sodium broth to dry kibble. This will change the texture and smell of the kibble and provide hydration through what becomes a gravy-like texture. 

Finally, mixing food can be a great strategy for shifting your pet’s diet from one type of food to another. Abrupt changes to your pet’s meals can cause them anxiety, reduce their appetite, or upset their tummy. By giving them a transition period, they’ll usually find it much easier to adjust.

For example, if you’re switching your dog from dry food to wet food, we recommend taking a week or two to introduce the new meal gradually. 

Our Tender Morsels In Savory Sauce With Chicken & Beef Recipe is a great wet food for any dog, and its high protein content is easily digestible. You could begin by pouring some wet food on top of your dog’s normal kibble, and increasing the portions until your dog shifts to a fully wet food diet.

What Are the Disadvantages of Mixing Pet Food?

While there are plenty of good reasons to mix your pet’s food, there are also some disadvantages. Before switching to a mixed food diet, you should keep these factors in mind.

For one thing, measuring portion sizes can be significantly harder without a standardized type of food. You run the risk of accidentally overfeeding or underfeeding your pet, so we recommend talking to your vet before altering your pet’s diet or mixing foods together.

Additionally, wet food spoils easily and doesn’t last long. Pouring wet food on top of dry food can render the leftovers completely inedible. Mixing food could create more food waste and cost more money for the same amount of pet food.

Finally, pets on a veterinary diet need specific ingredients to support their health. Mixing other foods with their meal might accidentally counteract the benefits of your pet’s medical diet. Your vet is still the best resource on how different types of pet food might potentially impact your pet.

Should I Mix Wet and Dry Pet Food?

Ultimately, wet and dry foods each have their pros and cons. Mixing pet foods might offer the best of both worlds, but it also might add additional expense and mess to an otherwise simple feeding process.

At the end of the day, you’re the expert on your companion and their preferences. You also know the budgetary constraints affecting which pet foods you can regularly buy. 

Be sure to do your research and think about the effects your decisions will have on your pets, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect type of food to keep them happy, healthy, and well.

We hope we can make the decision a little easier by providing premium, immune-supporting foods that are delicious, nutritious, and have your furry family member in mind!


Mixing Wet and Dry Cat Food | FeedingMyPet

The Pros and Cons of Mixing Wet and Dry Dog Food | The Spruce Pets

5 Dos and Don'ts for Mixing Your Pet's Food | PetMD

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