Dr. Dolittler

Variety’s a virtue when it comes to pet food



Q. My wife and I disagree about feeding our pets. She says we should stay with one brand of food as long as it’s working. I think it’s better to offer them variety by switching brands every few months. Your advice?

Pet food manufacturers go to great lengths to devise nutritionally balanced products. These foods are meticulously formulated to meet the needs of a wide variety of our dogs and cats. What’s more, these formulas are continually reviewed and refined.

Nonetheless, I favor the occasional pet-food formula change for the sake of variety rather than the one-formula-for-life approach.

That said, there are drawbacks to a round-robin approach to feeding, gastrointestinal side effects being foremost among these. That’s why diet changes should be undertaken gradually, by mixing the foods for about a week.

It bears noting that some pets will not take to this feeding philosophy for reasons of digestive sensitivity and/or taste preferences.

There’s this final issue to consider: How can you honestly say that your pet’s brand of food is “working” unless you have something to compare it to?

Even if that doesn’t settle your dispute, at least it’s food for thought.

Dr. Patty Khuly has a veterinary practice in South Miami. Her website is drpattykhuly.com. Send questions to khulyp@bellsouth.net, or Dr. Dolittler, Tropical Life, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172.

Read more Pets stories from the Miami Herald

  • How to care for your pet without breaking the bank

    It's a shame furry friends can't pay for themselves. Though wagging tails after a long day at work may make pet ownership seem worthwhile, a happy pup won't stop those bills from rolling in at the end of the month. Thankfully, quick and easy ways exist for dog owners to cut down on costs.

  • Pet Vet: Rabbits can show aggression, especially males

    Andrea writes in concerning her 18-month-old male Netherland Dwarf rabbit that has suddenly become aggressive, especially when approached in his cage. Andrea has heard that neutering him might help this aggressive behavior and wants to know if, at 18 months of age, he might be too old for that procedure.

  • Dog lovers nationwide unite for ill pitbull Sheba

    The precarious medical condition of Sheba has improved - along with the finances of a Chicago animal rescue group - thanks to a lot of dog lovers who were captivated by her story.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category