Mix it Up: Canned and Dry Cat Food Together

Feeding cat wet and dry food together

I received an email from Susan, a listener to my radio show CAT CHAT® who asked the following question:

I’ve read over and over (and I see on your site you feel the same) that wet food is far superior to dry food and that dry food can cause urinary tract and kidney problems down the line. But I cannot afford to feed only canned food. I’m using Halo Spot’s Stew for my kitty – both wet and dry mixed together. I wonder whether dry food is bad because it’s dry – or because of the process of making it? The ingredients are superior and whole for both the wet and the dry food. I mix the dry and wet food, and add warm water in order to soften the dry food and make a sort of gravy. I’ve done lots of research and can’t seem to find the answer to this question. I make sure my kitten has lots of water (she has a kitty water fountain) and rarely serve dry food “dry.” But I can’t afford to feed her exclusively wet food so I’m trying to find the best of both worlds.

Susan has found a great solution to the quandary of how to feed your cat well and still keep your bank account in a healthy condition, too! You can save money and still approximate a natural “species appropriate” diet by mixing a high quality canned food with a dry food, also made from optimal ingredients. Adding extra water ensures that the kitty is taking in ample fluids – add to that a premium canned food and you’re providing the high protein a cat’s digestive system needs.

Dry food leaves cats dehydrated. A cat’s natural meal in the wild (rodents, birds and insects) would have about a 70 % moisture content, which is sufficient to hydrate a cat without drinking. If kibble is the main food for a cat it can leave her with urine that is too concentrated, which contributes to various medical problems like urinary stones, urinary tract infections and other bladder problems. With a moisture content of around 10%, dry food goes against the basic design of a cat’s digestive system since it is not instinctual for a cat to drink water. Therefore, if you are going to use kibble as part of your cat’s diet, you need to supplement with water the way Susan does and make sure that a portion of the kitty’s diet comes from canned food. Canned food is still the best choice for a cat’s nutrition and long time health, but we also live in the real world and, like Susan, you may want to do right by your pussycat but also have economic challenges.

Feeding a cat only dry food is to blame for many of the serious health problems that plague cats, who are “obligate carnivores” with digestive systems designed to process a naturally high protein diet with very low carbohydrate content (i.e. a mouse!). Although many cats can tolerate an exclusively dry food diet for years, the highly processed carbohydrates in kibble cannot be efficiently digested by the feline digestive system and eventually this will catch up with those cats and can cause the serious and overlooked health issue for today’s cats: obesity. A cat who is fat can become a diabetic cat (diabetes in cats being a “man made” disease linked to obesity) and the cascade of other problems that stem from it. But also keep in mind that “free feeding” a cat is unnatural (cats are not “grazing animals”!) so food should not be left down for any period of time: feed the kitty twice a day and pick up and refrigerate any food she doesn’t eat within 10 minutes.

Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

Halo Pets

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Lisa and Lily’s Love Takes Mother’s Day Photo Grand Prize

winners of the Halo Mother's Day contest

We are happy to announce that Lisa and Lily won the grand prize for their Halo Mother’s Day photo! They will receive a year’s supply of Halo pet food PLUS a donation of 5,000 bowls of Halo Pets food courtesy of Freekibble.com and GreaterGood.org to a shelter of their choice.

Here is Lisa and Lily’s story:

…Lily, my sweet, gentle, 2 year old Schnauzer mix with floppy ears and skinny tail. This precious girl had been dumped at a local pound as a tiny puppy with Parvo and left to die. A girl with a local rescue group found Lily and thought she might could save her. So she got the meds and supplies she would need and spent an entire weekend working round the clock to nurse Lily to health. 2 weeks later, Lily had gained some weight and was causing a ruckus chasing and playing with the other rescued dogs.

At the time, I had 3 wonderful dogs and my husband insisted we didn’t need any more. But I kept seeing so many pictures and hearing sad stories of little ones needing a home. My heart just wouldn’t settle. And I saw a picture of this beautiful little Schnauzer mix desperately needing a home and knew I had to call. The girl that answered told me the dog in the picture had already been adopted, but would I maybe be interested in her sister dog? I drove straight to the Vet’s office that had her and I will never forget that moment the girl came around the corner with Lily in her arms. She was so tiny and pitiful and absolutely beautiful, my heart almost burst out of my chest when I looked in her little face. And I scooped her in my arms and she leaned her head on my chest and closed her eyes like she had just been waiting on me to show up.

Today Lily is the fastest of my girls and can also outlast all of them. She never wants to stop playing! She is a super snuggler, she loves hugs and kisses, and her very best friend is Maci, a 3 year old Salt and Pepper Miniature Schnauzer we saved as a 5 month old from a family ready to take her to a shelter because they were moving. They are pretty much attached at the hip and even share a kennel for bedtime so they can snuggle to sleep. My kids adore her as does my husband who admits he’s thankful I went and got her that day. Most people think I’m a little nuts for having 4 dogs, but I genuinely cannot begin to imagine my life without them.

Lisa has also chosen The Humane Society of Southeast Texas as the recipient for the 5,000-bowl donation.

Thank you Lisa for submitting your photo with your rescue dog and helping shelter pets!

Halo Pets

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Wolf problems in North America

I’m so glad these taxonomy issues are being raised on a popular science Youtube series:


Natural History

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Happy as a Golden Retriever

‘There is something about the human condition. I don’t think dogs are like “If only I was a poodle instead of a golden retriever, I’d be totally happy.” Dogs are happy with who they are.’

~ Michael Ian Black 
RIVIERA DOGS

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Front Pack Dog

A comfortable ‘front pack’ for this shih-tzu as her owner walks around Ventimiglia market in Italy. 
RIVIERA DOGS

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Just Another Desert Hang – An Outfit Post

Casual Boho Style (via Bubby and Bean)
Casual Boho Style (via Bubby and Bean)
Casual Boho Style (via Bubby and Bean)

Last month, I shared an outfit post where Essley and I were just, ya know, hanging in the Sonoran desert in unintentionally matching dresses. And I mentioned in that post that these days, the vast majority of the outfit posts I share (which are probably 3-5 a year, if that) are taken on annual Arizona vacations, because the scenery is just so beautiful. So it will come as no surprise that this outfit post was also taken on our trip there in April. I almost didn’t share these photos because in all honesty, the dress looks a lot better in person – the golden hour sun sort of washed out the details of the cut and pattern, and it almost resembles a hospital gown in these shots if we’re being honest. But in real life I am smitten with the dress, and the background scenery is just to good not to share. So here we are.

Casual Boho Style (via Bubby and Bean)
Casual Boho Style (via Bubby and Bean)
Casual Boho Style (via Bubby and Bean)
Casual Boho Style (via Bubby and Bean)

I wonder if our backyard looked like this if I’d shoot more outfit posts, or if it’s just not my thing anymore in general. Regardless, I have a feeing that even if it comes down to only being one of these posts a year, I’ll never give up shooting them when we’re in the desert. Even when the outfit may be a little lackluster, the landscape makes up for it. Give me all the cacti and desert sun, man.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Would this work similarly when introducing a cat t…

Would this work similarly when introducing a cat to our dog? We have a coonhound mix (about 70 lbs) that we have had for 5 years. We adopted him when he was about one year old, so we don't know what the first year of his life was like. He is very interested in cats when we see them on walks. He first stops and stares at them, then starts baying. We would love to adopt a kitty, but don't know how to do it safely. He has never been in a crate. He is usually a very calm, well behaved dog and we just have never had the need for one. If the cat is the one being introduced to the family, which one would you crate? Any advice you have for us would be MUCH appreciated! Thank you!
BAD RAP Blog

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Special Needs Dogs

  The Fairfax County Times had this sweet article about special needs dogs, written from the perspective of the author’s (Allen Pearson) dog, Noah. They also pen the blog at www.fromthedogspaw.com I’m reproducing the article in its entirety in hopes it will help the cause of getting special needs pets adopted. In life, there are […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Our Little Spring/Summer Outdoor Oasis

A Small Space Summer Outdoor Oasis

Mid May – when spring is in full force and the kiss of summer is so close you can almost taste it – is one of my absolute favorite times of year. There are countless reasons I enjoy this season so much, but one of the biggest is finally being able to spend time outside, especially in the evenings. For me, the joy of transforming our outdoor space from a (literally) barren winter deck to our own little oasis filled with plants and flowers and a comforting vibe is genuinely intoxicating. I love it you guys. Every single day I look forward to finishing work and spending time relaxing in that space with my family. There is nothing better

A Small Space Summer Outdoor Oasis
A Small Space Summer Outdoor Oasis

While adding some outdoor accessories and plants is important to building our little spring and summer sanctuary, the biggest transformation for me (see the “before” directly above; meh) is the ambience created with products from The TIKI Brand Clean Burn Tabletop System. Our outdoor space admittedly isn’t much – it’s a small, elevated deck that overlooks other suburban townhouses. Right now, we don’t have a big yard, or a fire pit or fireplace, or anything impressive happening out back. But with the help of TIKI Brand Clean Burn Firepieces and Fuel, we are able to design an area that, thanks to rich, bright, long-burning flames, feels and looks as warm and glowing as the fanciest summertime yards. For real.

A Small Space Summer Outdoor Oasis

My regular readers know I’ve sung TIKI Brand’s praises before, but I truly can’t say enough about their Clean Burn Tabletop System. TIKI has reinvented fire you guys. I absolutely love that their Clean Burn Torch Fuel is an 85% plant-based formula (which burns much cleaner than traditional fuels) without a smoky mess, and that just one bottle of it provides 24 hours of burn time. I also love that they offer such a wide variety of pieces (and as you can see, we have a bunch of them; I’ll tell you more about my favorites in a minute) in all sorts of different styles – each of which creates a beautiful, bright, brilliant flame that can completely transform any outdoor space. We use them constantly this time of year – for everything from dinner parties and gatherings with friends to family nights outdoors. The three step burner system is also incredible easy to use, which in my admittedly chaotic life (seriously, I am flustered 90% of them time) is a major bonus.

A Small Space Summer Outdoor Oasis
A Small Space Summer Outdoor Oasis

There are several TIKI Brand Firepieces we use for our spring and summertime outdoor spaces, which we rotate depending on occasion and mood. (Sometimes, if we’re really feeling it, we use them all at the same time.) One of my personal favorites is the Clean Burn Tabletop Firepiece in Bronze Ceramic, which is made out of a beautiful bronze finished ceramic with pretty, decorative glass stones and creates the perfect centerpiece. It feels like our own mini backyard firepit, right on our deck table.

A Small Space Summer Outdoor Oasis

I’m also a big fan of the Clean Burn Tabletop Firepiece with FlameShield, which features a gorgeous cutout design through which the flame can literally illuminate the whole tabletop. Two of my other favorites, which stay on our deck all season long, are the Clean Burn Tabletop Firepiece in Burlap and the Earth Tone Citronella Wax Candle. Both of these pieces have an earthy vibe and go so well with our decor. The candle burns for up to 32 hours, and the Firepiece, like the others in the system, burns for 3+ hours with wick technology that minimizes spilling. Other favorites include their colorful, modern Clean Burn Tabletop Firepiece in Red Glass and Teal Glass (which may look familiar if you remember seeing our deck last summer). For gatherings, I also love the Urban Metal Torch, which to me has that quinticesstial TIKI summertime party feel. Combined with the Easy Pour Wide Mouth Canister, it’s also an easy fill, and has a full flame lasts up to 5 hours. Pretty great, right?

A Small Space Summer Outdoor Oasis

I look forward to this time of year for months, and the day where I first get to set it all up feels like Christmas. Sitting out there surrounded by plants and flowers and the warm glow of the goodies from the TIKI Brand Clean Burn Tabletop System feels like paradise to me.

If you’re a fan of creating an outdoor oasis at your home like I am, I highly recommend picking up The TIKI Brand Clean Burn system. There is nothing like the ambience it creates.

Use code TIKI5OFFCB on tikibrand.com for $ 5 off when you purchase the Clean Burn Torch Fuel and a Clean Burn Firepiece. Find more info here.

Happy outdoor season, friends!

This post is in partnership with TIKI® Brand. All opinions are mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Quote fer the Day

“Whether God exists or don’t, don’t matter.  You still owe him.”

Yer Big Dog
2 Dogs 2000 Miles

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