Mixing Things Up: Do Dogs Need Variety in Their Diet?
When it comes to food, us humans love variety. Even our favourite meal would start to feel a little stomach-churning if we ate nothing else for the rest of our lives! So, is it the same for dogs?
Some owners think so, and go above and beyond to mix up their dog’s mealtimes with new foods and novel combinations, sometimes practising what’s been coined ‘rotational feeding’.
Yet, we believe that variety is often more important to the owner than the canine companion. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that feeding the same high quality food could be better for dogs - and their digestive systems - than trying to mix things up.
Trend Alert: Rotational Feeding
A recent trend in the doggy diet space is ‘rotational feeding’. This calls for owners to constantly switch up what they feed their pups. We’ve seen advocates of this diet suggest that owners swap to a different food weekly or even daily!
The main argument behind rotational feeding? That eating the same food every day causes mealtime boredom. This logic follows the idea that dogs are like people; after all, would we be excited to tuck into the exact same dinner night after night?
Yet, as you’ve probably noticed, a lot of dogs don’t exactly have the most distinguished palettes. The amount of times you’ve had to prise something questionable (or just downright disgusting…) from your dog’s mouth speaks to this!
In fact, dogs have significantly fewer taste buds than us - 1,700 for the average dog compared to 9,000 for humans. That explains why pooches are not as discriminating as us when it comes to what they put in their mouths - and shows that they simply don’t appreciate different tastes in the same way us humans do.
So, the same meal night after night will still get a wagging tail of approval from most pooches. The way dogs relate to food - and the way their stomach digests it - is hugely different to us humans. That’s why consistency wins when it comes to filling up your pup’s bowl.
Consistency is King
The truth is, dogs thrive on routine. From taking a walk at the same time to scheduled toilet trips, our pups feel calmest when they have consistency. This applies for mealtimes too; eating the same meal at the same time each day is great for your dog’s wellbeing.
Equally, constantly switching up your dog’s food could cause digestive problems. Dogs have a much shorter digestive tract than humans, so everything they ingest affects them much more dramatically.
Once a dog’s stomach gets used to one food composition, they can seriously struggle to adjust to a new one. This can cause discomfort and a whole host of painful symptoms such as bloating, gas and diarrhoea.
Another reason some owners think they need to switch things up? They’re concerned that their canine pal isn’t getting the full spectrum of nutrients they need from one food.
Yet, in reality, when you choose high-quality, balanced food, your pup will be getting all the nutrition they need. From amino acids to vitamins and minerals, a great food will include everything they need to stay healthy and thrive.
So, instead of cycling through a variety of sub-par options, take a close look at labels to find a complete, high-quality nutrition source that dogs can enjoy day after day.
When Change is Good
The bottom line? It’s always best to prioritise nutrition over flavour. Yet, whilst we’re not advocates of rotational feeding, we know that there are times when an owner should consider switching up their dog’s diet.
If your canine pal suddenly starts refusing food or you notice diet-related health problems such as bloating, gas or constipation, it’s time to do some diet detective work.
Many dogs are sensitive, or even intolerant, to ingredients commonly found in low-quality dog foods. If you suspect your dog has a sensitivity to certain ingredients, for example wheat or soy, it may be wise to switch to a hypoallergenic or grain-free option. If you observe a difference in symptoms or energy levels? Make it a lasting change!
Just remember to make any changes gradually. As sudden shifts in diet could cause gastrointestinal upset, it’s best to transition slowly; mix your dog’s original food with the new one for the first few days.
Consistently Great Nutrition With McDug
Here at McDug, our mission is making nutritious food with a delicious taste - one that keeps your pup’s tail wagging at every meal! Perfectly balanced to meet the specific needs of puppies and different sized breeds, our foods provide complete nutrition, day after day.
We only partner with trusted farms and fisheries to responsibly source premium-quality fresh produce. By using it in recipes packed with lean protein, essential amino acids and vitamins, all of our foods are designed to support the long-term health and vitality of our canine pals.
With mouth-watering recipes like Salmon with Trout, Sweet Potato & Asparagus and Venison with Sweet Potato & Mulberry we have a flavour for even the fussiest furry friends. With grain-free options and each ingredient clearly labelled, you can make sure you’re giving any sensitive tummies the best, every single day.
Sounds like something your pup would love? Explore all of our delicious recipes here.
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