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You need to decide on a pet food, but which do you choose? The tuna or the turkey? The lamb or the beef? The wet or the dry? It can feel confusing, but it is not as complicated as it looks. Some people decide which foods to feed to their pets based on previous experience with pets, some base their decision on what friends feed to their pets, some stick to what the breeder has recommended, and some go by what their veterinarian advises. And then there is the influence of hundreds of television and magazine advertisements, all of which claim to be the highest quality.
So, which do you choose? Let’s get down to some of the brass tacks so that you can make an informed decision in the pet food isle.
Wet Pet Food: Pros and Cons
Not all animals drink as much water as they should. Wet foods can be a good source of hydration if your animal is the type that is reluctant to drink adequate amounts of water. And then there are health considerations that can make wet foods a practical choice. Older animals that have lost some of their olfactory senses may be more inclined to eat a food that has a richer scent and flavor, such as wet foods often are. This is also a good alternative for when a pet is ill and cannot smell as well, or is lacking in appetite. This will assure that they are getting the proteins, vitamins, and minerals they need maintain their health. Wet foods are a good option as well for 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 (and you will want to choose the best quality food within your price range) wet food may be more expensive than dry food, and must be bought in smaller amounts at a time
Dry Pet Foods: Pros and Cons
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.
Anything having to do with an animal’s sense of smell