When it comes to your pet’s diet, variety could be the single most important factor to consider. Pet food companies have perpetuated the myth that you should choose a food and never change! And every time you do change, you need to do it gradually so as not to cause stomach upset. Think about it, if you had some oatmeal for breakfast and want a burrito for lunch, do you need to “save back” some oatmeal to put on your burrito to make the transition? No! You eat a variety of foods, so transitioning is not an obstacle for you. Now if you ate nothing but oatmeal for five years and then decided to have a burrito, that might present a problem!
If you, or your pet, eat the same thing daily for three months or longer, you can develop an allergy or intolerance to that food item. So if you have a potato every day for lunch, after three months there could be so much potato protein floating around that your blood cells can view it as a foreign body and launch an immune response. If you stop eating a potato every day (because you are allergic to potatoes now!) and start eating an artichoke every day instead, in three months you could be allergic to artichokes. That is why you should choose several foods with different ingredients for your pet’s rotation.
There is no “One Perfect Food” on the market. Our pets can get nutrients for their brains from fish, for their hearts from bison, for their vision from blueberries, and so on. Providing them with a variety of foods ensures that they are getting the most complete balance of nutrients possible. This brings up the topic of adding synthetic vitamins and minerals to pet food. Most commercial foods contain a premix that is usually made up of chemically made synthetic ingredients. If your pet is immune compromised, it is very likely that they will have an allergic reaction to these synthetics if they are consumed every day. Nature’s Logic brand has developed a whole food vitamin/mineral mix that can give your pet a break from the synthetics when added into their food rotation.
What if the “one” food that your pet can eat is no longer available due to a recall or manufacturing set back? What if your pet is sheltered due to an emergency or being lost? If not used to switching foods, the stress could be devastating. These are great reasons to have a couple of different brands of food in your rotation. Minimally processed foods like raw, dehydrated and canned provide your pet with more moisture in their diet and should be added to the rotation. Many pet owners really want to give their pet the very best foods available, but it does not fit into the budget. Feeding a higher quality food just once or twice a week will still be beneficial. Every little bit counts! If you are feeding dry food, switch brands and proteins every time you get a new bag. If you are feeding raw, dehydrated or canned you can feed something different every day! But make sure that at least one food in your rotation is free from synthetics and ideally, at least once a week, provide your pet with something fresh like raw meat, steamed veggies, eggs or raw goat milk.