Different Ways to Approach Mealtimes with Your Pet
Healthy Cats | December 26, 2020
Nutritional variety is essential for all dogs and cats. No matter how balanced, nutritious and carefully made dog and cat foods are, variety through feeding different proteins to your house carnivores is one of the best ways to support health of your pet.
Variety doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. If you feed kibble, the goal should be adding some less processed protein through a topper of wet or raw food. If that isn’t possible for your household, you can rotate between different flavors of the kibble you buy to make sure your dog or cat is eating different proteins every time you buy a new bag of food.
If you already feed wet or raw food, focus on switching between different proteins and adding less processed sources of protein where you can. And consider adding a fish oil supplement to all foods for a more potent form of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
So please, explore your local Mud Bay by visiting our store or browsing online for a new flavor or food form if it’s been a while since your dog or cat has tried a new food. And if you need help, be sure to talk to a Muddy at your local store. We can make recommendations to fit any budget or diet. And if you’re not sure what will fit your dog or cat’s needs, we have free samples for your pet to try, too.
Ready to add more variety to your cat’s diet? Depending on your cat’s preferences and your household’s needs, there are several approaches to consider. First, think about how many meals you can feed your cat. Cats thrive on many small meals, so if you have the ability to feed them throughout the day, you might want to consider four or five small meals. Second, consider how much variety your cat will accept. Older cats may have preferences that are difficult to change, while kittens will usually accept many varieties of foods. Finally, see how you can add more moisture to your cat’s diet. Cats don’t have the thirst drive of other animals which can lead to chronic dehydration and kidney problems. Feeding moisture-rich foods and supplements can help your cat stay healthy throughout their life.
To see how adding more variety might work for your cat, take a look at these three examples of cat feeding plans.
Dogs often happily accept more variety in their diet, but they can experience stomach upset if they’ve eaten one single food for months or years. Adding a digestive supplement as you slowly add variety to your dog’s diet can significantly reduce or eliminate the chance of digestive issues in most dogs. For larger dogs, budget is also a significant concern when adding variety. At the very least, you should consider rotating among different proteins or brands every time you purchase a new bag of kibble. Better still is using a high-quality kibble as a base and supplementing with another food type. If you’re supplementing with a balanced food form made for dogs, such as wet or raw food, consider a 25% minimally processed food form and 75% kibble split. If you want to supplement with whole foods, such as eggs, sardines and meat, make sure that they are less than 10% of the overall diet. Also, rotate through different foods depending on the day or week for the best nutritional results.
Below are three different meal plans made for three very different dogs that all incorporate variety.