How many of us have found a food our pets like and eat well so we stick with that? We feed them the same thing at every meal, day in and day out. How would that go over with you? How healthy do you think your diet would be if you ate like that? I doubt we would choose that for ourselves, yet we choose it for our pets.
3 Reasons to Rotate Proteins
I think this one is pretty obvious once you think about it. We would find eating the same food every day pretty boring, at least eventually. I realize we are not dogs or cats, but in the wild, our pets’ ancestors did not eat the same thing every day. They are designed to eat multiple sources of protein to meet their nutritional needs. Different tastes and textures will make mealtime more exciting for your pet and reduce the chance of them becoming a picky eater. Once they are used to the same thing over and over they are less likely to want to try new foods.
More Complete Nutrition
Just like we need a variety of foods for complete nutrition, so do our pets. All pet food on the market must meet the standards set by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials); however, it is unlikely that any one formula is the ideal food for the life of your pet. No matter how complete and balanced a food claims to be, it is unlikely it contains everything all dogs or cats need for their entire lifetime. If a formula is low in a particular nutrient, your pet could become dangerously deficient. Nutrients like amino acids, fatty acids and minerals all vary from protein to protein. Varying what your pet eats means they will get a better balance of nutrients.
Prevent or Heal Food Allergies and Intolerances
Pet food allergies develop due to overexposure. For decades, pet food has been made from chicken and beef which, by no coincidence, are the most common pet allergens. In order to make pet food cheaper, animal protein was partially replaced with plant protein from corn and wheat, the two most common grain allergens. By rotating proteins and feeding foods that are grain-free you will reduce the risk of your pet developing a food allergy or intolerance and can likely heal an existing one.
You can rotate proteins in your pet’s diet using a combination of canned, freeze dried, and raw. I don’t recommend dry food but at least dogs don’t have the hydration issue with dry that cats do. Rotate brands as well as protein sources.
Remember to change food gradually if your pet has a sensitive stomach and is used to one food. I feed my cats homemade raw food and change their protein with every batch I make — about every 10 days. They are used to eating a variety and don’t require a gradual change.
Rotating proteins will help your pet live a longer, healthier life.
Are you already feeding your pet a rotation diet? How does it work for you? If not, have you considered it?
I was silly enough to just throw some meat on top of my dog’s dry food bowl. But he’s doing alright now.
Thank you for the helpful post!
I will try this with a couple of our finicky cats.
When I was feeding raw, I rotated between chicken, turkey, and rabbit. Since I’ve been back on a canned diet, I rotate chicken and turkey. I’ve been working on getting back into raw though — just bought some ground chicken the other day. The kitties have been loving it!!
I made that mistake with my previous Persian and she became very finicky and when the company discontinued or changed the formula, I had a hard time finding a food she would. Truffle and Brulee do eat a variety of protein and I try to change it each day, although they don’t eat too much fish.
When I first started making raw, I made chicken and that’s all I made for over two years. It’s good that we continue to learn and improve upon the way we feed our pets.