Budgets – Wet vs Dry Food, Cats vs Dogs

Mocha

Really? Dry food?

Q: We have 2 young cats and one middle-age dog.  We feed them a strictly grain-free wet food diet.  We’re looking for ways to reduce our household costs and one thought was to do dry food half of the time for all our pets.  But, I worry that this may not be safe.  Is there a safe middle ground or is it not worth it?

Dr. Frank:  In my opinion, there is a short answer and a slightly longer answer to this question.  The short answer in general is, yes (with caveats) there is a safe middle ground for your dog, and no, it is usually not worth it for your cats.

The longer answer is:
For your middle-age dog, doing a mixture of wet and dry food can be a safe cost-cutting measure as long as the dry is a very high-quality low or grain-free dry food.

On the other hand, for your two cats the benefits of keeping them on a good quality wet food diet far outweigh the higher cost.  Because cats don’t instinctively drink much water on their own, they need a wet, raw or re-hydrated diet to get the optimum amount of water for their bodies to be their best.

However, the primary reason I recommend keeping your cats on all wet food is that vets have found a high percentage of cats on dry food who develop medical issues compared to cats on strictly wet food diets.   This of course means that cats on dry food frequently have much higher medical expenses over their lifetime than cats on a wet food diet.

The cost savings you get from adding dry food to your cats’ diets may well be lost in additional medical expenses in years to come.

Reminder + Small Business Saturday

Amber Lynn – How can you resist?

Friday is not only a big shopping day, it’s also an extremely busy day for emergency vet visits.

In addition to what we talked about in our Thanksgiving Tip post last year, please be aware that some people foods can be very bad for your dogs and/or cats.  Onions (including onion powder) are extremely toxic to your pet and even small amounts of chocolate can be poisonous for your dog or cat, so save the chocolates for people only please.

Best rule of thumb – If you want to give your pets extra on Thanksgiving, treat your dog or cat with moderate amounts of their food or treats, not yours.  And ask your guests not to feed Emma, your Cavalier King Charles, from the appetizer tray, no matter how cute she begs!!
Two ideas to help:

  • Have a small bowl of pet treats handy to offer your guests to give little Emma or Amber Lynn instead of that piece of cheese, when a guest just can’t resist the cuteness.
  • Break every treat up in half or quarters.  That way, even if guests go a little overboard, you are less likely to be dealing with your pet’s stomach ache from too many treats on Friday.

One other very important thing today…

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday sits Small Business Saturday®, a day dedicated to celebrating and supporting small businesses and all they do for our communities.

Look around your town or neighborhood…

Your BFF meditates, so you’d like to buy her a meditation CD this year.  Most local yoga studios sell meditation CDs, with the added benefit of knowledgeable staff if you know nothing about meditation.

You’d like to bring a unique Thank You gift to a holiday party.  You know the hostess LOVES tea… How about visiting that herbal shop in the middle of town and asking the owner for a relaxing blend for your hostess?

And of course, pet presents…  That independent pet store on the edge of town probably has a great raincoat for your sister’s Doberman and a nice selection of catnip toys for your uncle’s new kitten.  Have you been there recently?  Check it out!

Owners, managers and staff of independent small businesses are our neighbors and friends.  They help our communities thrive through participation in community leadership and projects.  They coach soccer and softball teams.  They sing in the local choir, and donate time and money to local organizations they believe in… animal rescue and foster care organizations – homeless shelters and food banks.

November 24, 2012
Small Business Saturday®

Remember, when you purchase products and services from an independent small business, you have a direct, positive impact on local families in countless ways.

We at Harmony Animal Wellness Center are proud to take part in Small Business Saturday and we want to encourage you to Shop Small® on November 24th.  Thank you for supporting Small Business Saturday 2012!

Your Pet’s Weight – Healthy or Tubby?

Sunday’s unexpectedly warm afternoon in an otherwise much cooler than normal summer here in the Seattle area was a little much for Tucker below, though it doesn’t seem to have bothered Abbey at all. 

Tucker and Abbey

Unlike other parts of the country this summer, our days of very warm weather have been few so far this year.  Hot summer weather can be even more stressful on our cats and dogs if they are overwieght.  Since we control what our pets eat, you’d think it would be simple to keep our pets at a healthy weight. 

But for many people it’s not easy, nor does it feel simple at all.  Continue reading

Food and your pet – Food Energetics

My apologies for the gap since our last info-rich post.  As the clinic gets busier during the summer months, we’ve needed to adjust timing a bit.  The good news is, this post has a boatload of great information for you.  And we’ll be working very hard to post more frequently going forward – Yea!

Two of three cuties at their appointment

Most of us know our pets can have mild or severe food allergies.  Your new kitten gets diarrhea every time you feed him a canned food with salmon in it, though that doesn’t happen with the same brand that contains only chicken.  Or your Saint Bernard has the same problem every time you feed her a dry food or treat with corn in it. 

And many of us know how we personally feel different when we eat different foods – eating a salad gives you more energy, while eating a salad calms your best friend down.  But few of us know how to determine what foods may affect our pets in subtle or not-so-subtle ways. 

Today Dr. Frank answers questions on Food Energetics, a fascinating topic he is passionate about.  Continue reading