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Wet Food vs Dry Food per Vet?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've been reading the forums and wet food is considered preferable. At Kali II's last vet visit for a mild case of gingivitis and bad breath my vet highly recommended Science Diet's t/d (all those letters confuse me...lol) to address those issues.

Kali loves it and within a few days the gingivitis/bad breath were gone. So now, after reading the posts here, not sure if Kali should stay on the t/d (vet said it would be better not to feed her wet) or if that was a temporary food due to her symptoms. (I'll ask my vet tomorrow, but wanted to see if anyone had experience with this.)

Also, while I was in PetCo yesterday I saw a food called Sensible Choice. It is advertised as "all natural" and from looking at the label it seems to be as well as having a lot of vitamins added. I have a book called [i]It's a Cat's Life by Anitra Frazier. She includes homemade recipes which include all kinds of supplements. (I made this once for a very sick cat and almost went broke buying the supplements.)

Comments or suggestions are most welcome and thank you in advance.
post #2 of 16
I would stick with the food you think is working best for your cat even if it is dry.
post #3 of 16
As far as commenting- most veterinary schools offer about four hours of instruction on proper pet nutrition, and all of the study material is provided by Hill's. Additionally most veterinarians sell Hill's, so have a vested interest in your feeding it.
Yeah- I'm cynical.

There is an abundance of good information available online- I would study up, ask knowledgeable cat owners for advice, then make my own choice.
Most anecdotal evidence I have read indicates that wet food is best as it contains moisture more close to that of a cats natural diet of prey. Dry feeding supposedly taxes their kidneys if they don't drink enough water, and cats (as desert creatures) don't always drink enough.

Home cooking or raw feeding is good but requires study and diligence to get it right.

Me? I keep dry down overnight and most of the day and pick it up in the evening so they are good and hungry for their nighttime feeding of wet food. Best of both worlds, eh?
post #4 of 16
The new vet I took Scully to seems to know a lot about nutrition, but I wont repeat her views on Hills and other vet sold diets. She does recommend a certain type of food for cats with special nutritional needs but doesn't have diet food etc but recommends a decent wet food with exercise.

To be totally honest, for the price of Hill's diets, I think you could do a lot better than these ingredients by feeding a higher quality food and solve the breath / gingivitis problems with teeth brushing, drops that can be put in water etc

Quote:
Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose 10% (source of fiber), Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor, Calcium Sulfate, Soybean Oil, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, DL-Methionine, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphophate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), preserved with BHT and BHA, Calcium Carbonate, Iodized Salt, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Beta-Carotene.
Hills t/d has increased fiber, which unfortunately in this case means increased carbs which can help cats gain weight. Also the food only works as long as your cat chews its food properly in which case any 'harder kibble' dry food will do the same and many vets say there is very little difference even when they do chew

This article has more info
post #5 of 16
My girls eat both wet and dry food and they do fine. You might want to throw in a can or pouch a day for variety. If she's doing fine on Science Diet keep her on it. If you want to try something different I like Natural Balance and Nature's Variety (the lamb formula, not lamb meal formula- for some reason they have two types of food.) and Natural Choice 3.5 oz. cans of food and pouches. None of those have any byproducts, which unfortunately Science Diet contains a lot of. For the same money and ease of finding, I'd suggest Natural Balance. Petco has a frequent buyer program for Natural Balance.
post #6 of 16
If T/D is working look for another food with big pieces... Senisible choice is good but not great ...

I prefer wet to dry cause dry really doesnt clean teeth but wet can help inhibit bacteria ....

Petco look at Nutro Natural Balence and Solid Gold all are good and free of by products and chemical preservatives ... Look at the TD and read ...
post #7 of 16
t/d doesn't have the most beautiful ingredients but is proven to keep pet's teeth cleaned. My vet's dog whome I dogsit has clean teeth and she eats it. He says he doesn't know how effective it would be in old age, but Bella [the dog] is 5 years old and her teeth are still white like puppy teeth. There is an enzadent enzymatic cat chew that fi yuor cat liked them would keep her teeth cleaned [I use them on my dogs] so you could switch to a food that doesn't include corn and chemical preservatives. T/D is the only food that will clean your pets teeth, the way it is made keeps the pieces together more [so they don't instantly crumble when your pet chews them] and they are made big so that your pet has to chew them.

It kind of depends what you are looking for, if you want clean teeth and don't care about corn [which, there is no placebo controlled study that says corn is horrible] and you don't care about the BHA, BHT and other chemical preservatives, go for it.

My dog's eat the beefhide enzymatic dog chews and do fine, I would have them on t/d but they got itchy on the regular science diet food... so I haven't really gone back to trying their foods.
post #8 of 16
In the 3 years I've had Rosie and Spotty, I have to admit I've gone through multiple brands and types of cat food and at one time the vets did talk me into feeding my cats T/D. It is the only kibble that does have a significant effect on the teeth. But you might ask yourself, are you willing to feed exclusively an expensive food that is made with rather cheap ingredients just because it's good for the teeth? I'll bet you this food helps the vets pay their rent. Gingivitis is much easier to treat than other health problems that could result from this diet, diabetis, urinary tract disease, possible IBD, not that your cat is guaranteed to get these health problems(each cat is different) it's just that there are healthier choices and canned food is nutritionally healthier for cats than dry food. My cat Spotty did not do well on T/D. It's a lower calorie but very high carbohydrate dry food so he had to eat more just to get the nutrition he needed and he often ate too fast and threw up and he ate a lot of it. Sure, he had great teeth, but the vomiting was frequent and he gained weight from high corn content. Eventually I started to become concerned about the quality of the ingredients and the BHA and BHT in the food. Although it saved me money on dental cleanings, I decided it wasn't worth it to feed something to Spotty that isn't any better in quality than Purina Cat Chow. Spotty is a cat who needs to have his teeth cleaned every one to two years and my vet tells me when it's urgent. Right now Spotty could use a dental cleaning but my vet told me it's not an emergency but don't wait more than 6 months. So in the mean time I'm putting some money aside. I'd rather get these cleanings than feed T/D.

If you feel your cat is orally benefiting from the T/D, you can do what one of the vet assistants at the All Care Cat Hospital do where I bring Spotty and Rosie to. She feeds a mainly wet food diet and gives her cats fifteen t/d kibbles at night. She says her cat's teeth are in great shape. You can try it and see if it makes any difference to feed t/d as just a small part of your cat's diet. If it works, your cat will be eating a relatively higher quality diet overall with some effective tarter control treats as a supplement. CET chews can be added too. If it does not help, then I would stop wasting money. You'll know by examining your pet's teeth on a monthly basis, a trial and error experiment.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
THANK YOU all for the wonderful information and suggestions. I figured there was a "money motive" between Hill's products and vets. Kali was doing so well on it, but when I couldn't find it in Petco (unless it's the Science product called "Oral Care" to be sold in pet stores instead of vets) I was searching for something else and read the boards.

I had a bad experience with Science Diet years ago when my Morris was a young cat. He began losing hair. All kinds of tests were run and nothing showed up. The vet decided that he must have a food allergy and prescribed one of the Hills products. That made the situation so much worse that Morris literally was almost bald!! Previously I had been feeding him Cat Chow (he was my first cat and I fed my dogs Dog Chow and they all did well on it) so I put him back on it. That was about the time my husband and I were going through our divorce. Shortly afterwards, Morris grew his hair back. I've always wondered if it was due to stress.

Anyway, for the rest of his life I fed Morris Cat Chow...any other food he would throw up. Occasionally I would give him Fancy Feast. And he lived to be 20.

Now as an "older mom" I want to do the best for Kali that I can. I'm going to take these suggestions, do a bit more research and get a better food for my girl.

This suggestion sounds like a good idea:

"She feeds a mainly wet food diet and gives her cats fifteen t/d kibbles at night."
post #10 of 16
Hill's t/d is a presciption food, so you cannot purchase it at any pet store. It can only be bought at your vet's. You can buy regular Science Diet products at pet stores, but not prescription diets. Just wanted to make that clear.
post #11 of 16
If you do use the dental diet as tarter control treats, The T/D is more effective than the Science Diet Oral Care. Some cats who have switched from the T/D to the Science Diet Oral Care developed tarter. That was told to me by the vets at the All Care Cat Hospital, back in the old days when I was feeding T/D.
post #12 of 16
Our vet, who sells Science Diet, is much more impressed with Nutro's feed lines personally.

We do keep T/D here as tartar control treats once a week as per her recommendations.
She says that long term use of T/D as main diet can cause obesity due to the high carbs.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
This is one reason I love this site...so much accumulated knowledge and experience with cats.

Quote:
moggiegirl: The T/D is more effective than the Science Diet Oral Care. Some cats who have switched from the T/D to the Science Diet Oral Care developed tarter.
Ok, that answers my question on if T/D and the Oral Care are the same food in different packaging. I was feeling the kibble through the Oral Care bag and could tell they were smaller than T/D.

Quote:
Arlyn: Our vet, who sells Science Diet, is much more impressed with Nutro's feed lines personally.

We do keep T/D here as tartar control treats once a week as per her recommendations.
She says that long term use of T/D as main diet can cause obesity due to the high carbs.
Thank you Arlyn and everyone who have suggested brands of food.
post #14 of 16
Well, this was really informative. I have never been one to feed my cats canned food. It seems to give them messy and stinky stools and they throw up alot when I feed it regularly. I feed them Purina One, I go between the Urinary Health and the Adult Cat Maintainance for the big guys and their Kitten food for Lilly. Any suggestions on what canned food is okay to slowly start them on?
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by amy jo
Well, this was really informative. I have never been one to feed my cats canned food. It seems to give them messy and stinky stools and they throw up alot when I feed it regularly. I feed them Purina One, I go between the Urinary Health and the Adult Cat Maintainance for the big guys and their Kitten food for Lilly. Any suggestions on what canned food is okay to slowly start them on?
Try simple recipes like califonia natural ... it has a chn and rice only formula... pro pac make s some basic wet formulas ..
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by amy jo
Well, this was really informative. I have never been one to feed my cats canned food. It seems to give them messy and stinky stools and they throw up alot when I feed it regularly. I feed them Purina One, I go between the Urinary Health and the Adult Cat Maintainance for the big guys and their Kitten food for Lilly. Any suggestions on what canned food is okay to slowly start them on?
I tried about 6-8 different brands (I just looked for brands that had no by-products and good ingredients and took 2 of each home to try) until I found one the kitties liked - in our case it turned out to be Merricks but there are other great ones out there.
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