Variety In Your Pet’s Diet
Varying your dog’s diet – also known as “rotational feeding” – not only keeps your pet from becoming bored with his food but also may have significant health benefits. Believe it or not, many processed foods like kibble or canned foods may not actually be 100% complete and balanced – even if the packaging says it is.
The truth is that many companies don’t complete 3rd party analysis on their finished products to ensure proper nutrient levels. Therefore, feeding the same food all the time can cause nutritional deficiencies. By implementing “rotational feeding” it may reduce the risk of these deficiencies and prevent your dog from becoming bored with their food.
Some evidence suggests that changing up your dog’s food can also help prevent food allergies that can develop over time from feeding the same diet. Varying proteins and even brands can also help with digestive issues because this helps to diversify and enhance the function and colonization of healthy gut bacteria, which are known as the microbiome.
If feeding kibble, rotational Feeding is best done monthly. You can still add in about 10% of their calories from fresh meat (cooked or raw), goats milk, fresh and cooked vegetables, and fruit! Antioxidants from fresh fruit and vegetables can also provide additional nutrients and antioxidants.
If feeding canned, freeze-dried, or raw, rotation of proteins and varieties within the same brand can be done daily, weekly, or monthly. When switching brands – the frequency really depends on how well your pet handles the variety – once acclimated to any one of these types of foods most dogs handle frequent variety well.
When switching foods, or trying a new food for the first time spend a few days transitioning between foods by replacing the old food with the new in gradually larger proportions. This gives your dog’s digestive system time to adjust.
*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to provide medical advice or replace the advice of a qualified veterinarian.
Nicci is the owner of award-winning NorthPoint Pets & Company, in Connecticut. She is also the Founder & CEO of Undogmatic Inc. Her undergraduate and graduate education includes biology, chemistry, business, and nutrition. She has worked in the pharmaceutical industry on multiple R&D projects and has had the privilege to learn from leading international figures in the human and pet health industry. She regularly lectures at national conferences, including federal, state, and municipal K9 events. Her current research involves identifying pathogenic risk factors and transmission among raw fed pets through a comprehensive worldwide survey.