As humans, if we’re given the identical food twice a day, we would get bored maybe even irritated before the week is out. But what if the same diet is fed to you day in day out, year after year? Some may consider that to be torture.
A lot of pet food purchases are made out of habit and also familiarity with a certain brand and flavor. It’s convenient. We walk into the store, go straight to the specific aisle, select and pay for the same item on a weekly or monthly basis.
Deep down we believe we are making the right purchase, because after all, our pets eat the food, right?
Although our pets are not as sensitive to a mixed diet as we are, they can still get bored with the same meals all the time. The trouble is they have no way to verbally express their boredom. Unlike Gordon Ramsey, they are not likely to kick their food bowl over in shear disgust.
Our pets can’t tell time but they have an uncanny knack of knowing when food is coming their way. They can anxiously anticipate feeding time even though it’s the same old entrée. Our pets instinctive fear of starvation overcomes their boredom with the food.
A change in their main menu would certainly be a welcome surprise, but how do we facilitate such a transition? The key to transition is a simple gradual change. A total switch of brand and flavor could be a shock to the pets’ system.
If you normally buy a fifty pound bag of food, instead purchase two twenty five pound bags of a different brand and flavor. Over five to seven days gradually decrease the amount of the current food, while increasing the amount of the new food. By blending the foods together your pet will get used to the new consistency and flavors.
Watch for signs of looseness or diarrhea over this time, which can be an indication that the new nutrient levels or ingredients are not suiting the pet.
Rotation feeding is really all about variety, it’s a philosophy that offers your pet a dietary alternative by varying food proteins like chicken, beef and lamb. This way your dog or cat may become accustomed to the taste and texture of the food slowly, especially if you are switching between brands with different formulations.
Some dogs and cats can become uninterested in their food once they are accustomed to certain textures, flavors and even brands. Rotating the daily fare, feedings can be a source excitement in the pet. If you’ve been eating Cheerios for years even Shredded Wheat is a welcome change!
It’s much easier to start rotation feeding while the pet is a puppy or kitten but that’s not to say older dogs and cats can still benefit from and enjoy the variety. It just may take a little bit more patience. Often, it’s recommended that small amounts of the new food be blended into the regular diet.
If you have a pet that suffers regularly from digestive upsets or allergies, please check with your vet before making changes.
The most important part is that you consult a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist before beginning rotation feeding.
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