Dog food... dry or canned?

I have a 1 1/2 year old Boston Terrier, Darcy. She has been eating Innova since I got her when she was 11 weeks old. Lately I feel that she isn't eating as much as she used to or as much as she should be. She is very active and healthy, she also gets regular treats and we try not to give table food, but once in a while she gets a "treat". I was thinking about mixing some canned food in with her dry food but I'm not sure if it's a good idea. Any advice?

Asked by Darcy on Nov 15th 2009 in Wet Dog Food
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Hi Darcy!

I had the same experience at your age (I'm 2 1/2 now), and I think it's because my metabolism slowed as I matured. I have also been on premium kibble since I was a pup, and I am very active and healthy.

Canned food is OK, but it tends to cause more tooth decay than kibble because it doesn't scrape tartar off your teeth as you eat it. Using it to entice you to eat more is not a good idea, unless the vet is concerned that you are underweight.

The main concern is not how much you're eating, but whether your current intake is the right amount for your size, breed, activity level, and health. If you are at a healthy weight, then you are eating the right amount. Ask your humans to check your weight with your vet, or they can also check by running their hand along your side. They should feel your ribs, not sticking out, but under a thin layer of muscle/fat. They should feel an indentation at your waist. If they stand above you and look down, they should see your waist, too.

Katie answered on 11/15/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 4 Report this answer

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011)

Mixing wet in with the dry is absolutely a-okay. My GSD's diet consists of a rotation diet of a few select brands of kibble (Solid Gold, Diamond Naturals, and Chicken Soup), plus one can of Blue Buffalo a month.

She gets table scraps and raw suppliments, too. Some are healthy, some are not. Meaty tables scraps are the best. (Cooked turkey skin is to be avoided according to to several sources. Because of the fat content, as I remember) Some vegetables are okay to feed, too. Basically, avoid grapes/raisins, chocolate, and nuts. On days where we feed a lot of table scraps, I don't feed Cookie her kibble for that day to avoid puting any unwanted weight on her frame.

There is a controversy on adding table scraps to a dog's diet. Some feel that it should be a big no-no, mostly it seems because they feel that it creates a large deficiency in the dog's diet. And I suppose it can, if you feed a large percentage of table scraps. Others like me feel that it's fine, depending on what you feed. Let's face the music, kibble is not "completely" balanced. Balanced enough to keep the dog alive, and depending on the ingredients content, perhaps enough for the dog to thrive more than it would on say corn-based kibble. It is not my experience, nor have I have found any evidence that thwarts my experience, that feeding table scraps in moderation is harmful to the dog.

Also, some have been suggesting that people like me have only speculation based on ingredients rather than information on essential nutrients. Well, what do you call this spreadsheet used by many of us raw-feeders(?):

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011) answered on 11/15/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Stick to the dry food. Giving a dog table scraps can lead to a fat, sickly dog. It is impossible to know just what the dog can digest of what it is getting. Many of the problems from a bad diet don't show up for years, and by the time they do, it is too late.

Your dog definitely should be narrower at the waist than the hips and chest. You should be able to easily feel the ribs, but not see them. Each dog is different. Standard recommendations are a good place to start, but each dog must have its food and exercise adjusted to its individual needs. Here is a link to a good illustrated guide, www.longliveyourdog.com

As mentioned, you may need to be feeding less. A dry chow makes it easier to measure out what the dog needs. It also helps clean clean the teeth for those dogs that chew their food.

Put down what the dog needs. Take up what isn't eaten in 15 minutes.

Aster answered on 11/16/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Miss Priss

Boston Terrier weight concerns: I am sure she is doing just fine. She needs a little less food now that she is older.
Sure - you can do a topper of Wellness or innova canned on top of the dry - a few teaspoons at each meal.
*it makes a nice treat for her.
See here - Boston Terrier experts..

Miss Priss answered on 11/16/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


kibble is best
There teeth need to be cleaned as well as they are adults.
Treats in a box don't have much nutritional value.
If you want to add a 1/3 cup of canned once in awhile then you can. I use Innova puppy in the can.
These dogs are hogs so alot of dogs in this breed can become obsese so be careful not to over feed.
I feed Baxter mostly kibble. Then I clean his teeth every 3 months for plaque.
He is 9 yrs now.
For treats I use hard boiled eggs. 1/2 egg every other day is way plenty.

Baxter answered on 11/16/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


HI there , I am going through the same thing with my 2 year old Min Pin. He started to refuse the dry food and I felt he was not eating enough and getting too thing. Soooo I switched him to canned food. I would have rather not done that but he just would not eat. I tired mixing it with the dry food but he woudl spit out the dry food and only eat the wet food. I guess what I will do for his teeth is five him hard dog biscuits to clean them. Good luck and best wishes to you.

Buster answered on 11/16/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Wet food (a good brand, anyway) is less processed than dry kibbles and has a much higher moisture content, which are both points that make it superior to dry kibble. They also typically have less filler than kibble, since kibble needs a carbohydrate to hold it together/keep its shape, such as species-inappropriate grains.

Dry kibbles do not clean teeth... I am not sure how this fallacy survives. If dry kibbles clean teeth then why is there such a monumentally high percentage of dogs suffering from periodontal disease by the age of 2? That's like saying eating cookies and pretzels cleans your teeth...

A downside to canned is that high-quality canned (I'm talking like Wellness, not Alpo) can get very expensive to feed by itself. With a small breed it might be more do-able though.

If I absolutely HAD to feed processed foods, then I'd mix canned in with the dry kibbles for sure.

Kolbe answered on 11/16/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I personally feed a mix of wet and dry. I feel like the wet/canned food is far better for dogs than kibble alone and I think Jack loves the variety of kibble and canned mixed together.

I mix a ratio of about 2 parts meat to 1 part kibble, so the meat is the "main course" and the kibble is the "side dish" so to speak!

Even though it isn't strictly a carb, I think of kibble as such and the meat as a main protein source.

Kibble does NOT clean the teeth any more than eating croutons with every meal would clean our teeth.

So, long answer short....yes, perfectly okay to feed canned. And, in fact, preferable to just kibble.

She's awfully cute!

Jack answered on 11/16/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer