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Dry Pet Foods
Most dry dog foods contain 16 to 27 percent protein, 7 to 12 percent fat, less than 12 percent moisture and 35 to 50 percent carbohydrates (also expressed as N.F.E. or nitrogen-free extract). These diets deliver between 1,400 and 2,000 digestible kilocalories per pound of product. Generally dry cat foods contain 30 percent or more protein, 8 to 12 percent fat, less than 12 percent moisture, and have 1,500 to 1,700 digestible kilocalories per pound of product.

Dry pet foods also include super premium foods which usually contain higher levels of protein and fat. These foods generally offer more concentrated nutrition in dense particles, which means that a pet can be fed less than most other foods to meet its nutrient requirements.

Dry pet foods can also play an important part in a pet’s dental health. The chewing action employed while eating a dry food acts like a toothbrush as the particles scrape against the teeth to help remove plaque and tarter build-up. If left unchecked, this build-up can lead to inflammation of the gums and subsequent dental problems.

Usually dry pet foods are more economical to feed than the semi-moist and canned varieties, and are more convenient to serve and to store.


Diets Semi-moist pet foods usually contain 16 to 25 percent protein, 5 to 10 percent fat, 25 to 35 percent carbohydrates and 25 to 34 percent water. Quality semi-moist foods offer high palatability, are convenient to serve, and store easily without requiring refrigeration. They are usually more expensive to feed than dry diets.

Soft-dry Diets
Soft-dry dog foods offer unique combinations of dry and soft textures. These foods contain approximately 20 to 24 percent protein, 8 to 10 percent fat, and 12 to 14 percent moisture. They are generally more palatable to dogs than a dry food. No refrigeration is needed.

Canned Diets
Canned pet foods usually contain between 8 to 15 percent protein in dog food diets and 10 to 20 percent protein in cat food products. Both types of diets contain 2 to 10 percent fat, depending upon the type(s) and amounts of animal tissue use
These diets, particularly with high meat/meat by-product levels, usually offer the highest palatability. Total food consumption is high, usually two to three times that of a dry diet, because of the low dry matter (or caloric) content. The nutrient balance is dictated by the type of formulation.

Canned diets have the highest cost per serving when compared to the dry and semi-moist categories.

Once a canned pet food is opened, the unused portion should be covered and stored in the refrigerator. Bring this stored portion to room temperature before feeding to enhance the palatability.
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