Dr. Dolittler

Variety’s a virtue when it comes to pet food

 

khulyp@bellsouth.net

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

  • Animal Island: End kitten's biting 'play' with a sock toy

    Q: We adopted a kitten when she was 10 weeks old. She is now 5 months old and loves to be cuddled and is very affectionate. She also likes to grab your arm and hold on with her claws and also bites. One minute she is cuddling with you, and then suddenly she will just bite you. We have tried spraying her with water, which works at that moment, but then she will do it again a short time later. Is this a kitten thing, or is there something we can do to stop this?

  • Talking Dogs: Salutes and tips for owning a canine friend

    Dog lovers had cause to rejoice the last week of August, as the 25th was National Dog Day. This "Howliday" was started in 2004 to encourage the adoption of dogs in shelters - and bring attention to the ridiculously high numbers of such dogs. If you've decided you're ready for the responsibility of owning and caring for a dog, consider finding your new companion at your local shelter or a pure breed rescue organization.

  • What a treat! Your dog might enjoy a kennel stay: study

    Many dog owners have had their vacations marred because they were so worried about how little Scruffy was faring in the boarding kennel back home.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

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