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.

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