Changing Dog Food Regularly is Good? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
Joyce
 
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Changing Dog Food Regularly is Good?

At the end of Brookie's obedience classes, there is always some type of informational lecture. Last week it was on the importance of good dog food of which I am well aware. The trainer did say something that I had never heard before: she said that you should change dog foods on a regular basis both for variety and for preventing developing food allergies. She made a point, of course, of introducing the new food gradually. How often do you change dog foods?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 04:44 PM
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I haven't heard that before, and I'e only changed Kodi's food once... from his puppy food to the adult food I have him on now. Both times I did a fair amount of research, and chose a food that I felt was excellent quality and would be good for him.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 05:20 PM
Dave T
 
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Yeah ,that can be a good choice. Here is what Sabine recommends....

"Won't my dog get bored eating the same food all the time? Dogs are creatures of habit, so they do not have a problem eating the same food all the time. This doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't provide some variety though! For this you don't have to feed different brands of food at the same time (see "Myths about Dog Nutrition"), but you may want to consider rotating between several quality products instead of feeding the same one for many years. Don't stress the animal by switching food too often either.

Personally I recommend giving some variety in meals by adding different fresh, unprocessed foods such as leftover bits of meat or vegetables, plain yogurt or cottage cheese, an egg, pieces of fruit and other things as often as possible. Dogs love it and that way they will get nutrients that are less likely to be present in ample amounts in commercial dog food. "
She recommended switching between two or three of your choices ,every three to four months.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 05:24 PM
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Here's a link to the Nature's Variety website where they explain "The Rotation Diet". There are several resources, including a video that tells what it is and how it works. I've had Tori on it for about a year now and she's doing very well.

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Last edited by Leslie; 07-06-2010 at 05:26 PM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 05:35 PM
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Here is some more info regarding allergies and feeding. ...
An important note on variety and various sources of protein:
To provide some variety, it would not be a bad idea at all to rotate between several high quality
brands of dry food every 3-4 months - provided your dog accepts and tolerates a food switch
every so often. Especially alternating between dark and white meat sources is beneficial for
overall nutritional balance.
But while variety is good, you should be aware that it is not beneficial at all to feed your dog every
protein source you can get your hands on! Stick with the more common ones like chicken, turkey,
lamb, beef and fish and avoid the more exotic ones like buffalo/bison, elk, venison rabbit,
pheasant, duck etc.
This applies not only to dry food, but also to other food options and treats.
The reasoning behind this is that in case dogs develop food allergies, they will need to be
switched to food ingredients they have never previously been exposed to before in life. The more
different sources you have previously fed, the more difficult it will be for you to come up with a
good feeding plan in such a situation.
So make sure you always read ingredient labels before buying food and treats, and keep the
"exotic" meats in reserve should you need them one day.
Be vigilant though, since more and more manufacturers, competing with each other, are offering
new “flavors” that include smaller amounts of “exotic” meat sources further down the list – no
matter how small the amount included, if your dog’s body mistakenly flags a food ingredient as
“dangerous” (which is what causes allergic reactions later in life) and produces antibodies to
attack the “enemy”, they will recognize that enemy every single time.
This is not a reason to feel guilty about possibly depriving your furry friend of new, exciting foods
and treats, you can provide lots of variety by simply using products of different manufacturers that
use similar ingredients.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 06:21 PM
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I haven't changed the food in awhile....I guess.....I am not tired of the food yet. Dexter appetite really improved since Jack's arrival. Jack is a gobbling machine! Now, Dexter finishes up the meals before Jack.

Changing foods does make sense because you get different things in different brands. I also agree to give them supplements like Dave as suggested.

I remember...........................changing foods almost every 3-5 months on Dexter that first year...............Not fun....No wonder Dexter's appetite was a bit off at times...he was holding out for something better.

The boys like the food they eat now....and we are good for at least a couple of months until the appetites start to shift a good bit. If the boy's appetites are good, then I am good.

If they do not eat....I guess they are not hungry and they will eat better at the next meal. That's my philosophy and I am sticking to it!



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Last edited by HavaneseSoon; 07-06-2010 at 10:10 PM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie View Post
Here's a link to the Nature's Variety website where they explain "The Rotation Diet". There are several resources, including a video that tells what it is and how it works. I've had Tori on it for about a year now and she's doing very well.
Hi Leslie., I checked that site out. I think there is a little conflict of interest here, in my opinion. That nutritionist has links to this company which sells all three of the recommended groups. To me , if you believe raw is superior ,or whether you believe home cooked or canned is superior, it makes no sense to rotate with an "inferior " type such as kibble. Just my opinion.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 07:29 PM
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I generally rotate foods every 6-12 months. I used to work at a Greyhound rescue, and they do surprisingly poorly on top-end foods, so they didn't mind sending me home with 4 lbs a month of the good stuff - in that case, Clover rotated monthly. I usually switch brands because I don't really think rotating a protein source within a brand maximizes the benefits of various nutrients and preventing the "build up" that can result in allergies. Clover is blessed with an iron stomach though :-)

Although I understand the point above about avoiding more exotic meats, I'm not sure avoiding all of them all together is necessary he way to go either. It seems like they'd be missing out on some good nutrients in the off chance they end up with a severe allergy. That is definitely a pros-cons personal choice though.

My biggest argument FOR switching foods is that you can think your dog is doing really well on a food until you put them on something else they do REALLY fabulous on. Otherwise you'd never know.

~K
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 09:04 PM
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Letter from Sabine about this. ..
According to my comparison of detailed analyses of various food brands, it's pretty much six of one or half a dozen of the other, because nutrient contents can vary so much even from one formula to another within one single line of products from the same company. Even if there aren't any tremendous differences between two food formulas apart from the type of protein used (e.g. California Natural lamb vs. chicken).

AAFCO mandates that certain minimum nutrient requirements are met, but how much the individual product exceeds them doesn't matter all that much. To give you a tangible example, the following products are all made by the same company, are within the same line of products, and are pretty simple formulations (no long list of ingredients):

Formula, calcium; phosphorus; copper; iron; zinc, all in mg per kg:
1. 22,900; 15,300; 16.0; 348.8; 68.8
2. 4,800; 3,000; 1.0; 31.0; 17.0
3. 35,600; 22,700; 2.2; 98.6; 54.8
4. 22,500; 14,700; 2.6; 69.3; 71.8
5. 18,100; 12,900; 2.9; 98.5, 52.7

Personally I tell people if they want to rotate, let their dog be the guide in regards to what works best. For instance, one dog may not do well on anything but fish-based foods, then rotate between fish-based foods from several manufacturers. If it doesn't matter for the dog, you can rotate among different "flavors" of the same line, or different manufacturers, or both.

Sabine

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I've learned so much from everyone's comments. Keep them coming. Dave, thanks for all your research and insights.

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