Taking a break from just speaking about behavior and adult dogs because how we raise our puppies is equally important! These are the top 5 most Frequently Asked Questions I get with every new puppy I get hired to train.
Why You Should Rotate Your Choice Of Protein For Your Puppy
I remember when I used to work at a large pet food store, I would see pet owner’s panic when we were out of their dog’s particular food. Or worse, the food was discontinued. They would talk about how their dog didn’t like any other food, which can be addressed, but many of them spoke about how they’re dog couldn’t eat any other type of food because they couldn’t digest anything outside of it or because their dog had allergies to any other food.
It wasn’t until I was buying food from a small pet food store that I was made aware of why this happens. The store I worked at didn’t carry the brand of food I was feeding my dogs at the time (Taste Of The Wild) so I went to a neighboring store. This was when Lexxi was a puppy so I was buying both adult and puppy food when shopping there, but I always bought the same flavors.
After a couple of months she mentioned that she noticed I always bought the same protein and never rotated and I responded with yes because those were the ones they liked respectively. It was then that she explained to me why it is important to rotate the protein each time you buy a new bag of food. Especially for puppies.
We tend to keep puppies on the same type of food as they’re growing because it helps prevent digestive issues. A common result of switching brands or protein is diarrhea. That’s why everyone will tell you to mix a ratio of old food with the new food to ease them into the new diet and make for an easier transition, but it can still happen.
So why would you want to deal with the possibility of diarrhea with each new bag?
By switching your dog’s/puppy’s food each time, their body is learning how to break down each type of protein. If they are raised the first year of life only being fed a particular brand’s chicken recipe, their body doesn’t know how to break down anything else outside of that and that’s actually where all the issues stem from. From allergies to digestive problems.
There is a very similar thing that happens with people who stop eating meat. Once they’ve stopped consuming a certain protein or proteins, after a while the enzymes needed to break them down drop in levels, so if they decide to go back to eating meat, they get sick initially because the body needs to build up those enzymes again.
Which is why exposing them to fish, chicken, turkey, bison, beef, and etcetera at an early age allows them to develop the enzymes necessary to break all these meats down. This helps build a more resilient and tolerant stomach so that in the future, when a particular food is not available, it’s not a problem. Their body can break down anything by the time they’re an adult.
Now don’t get me wrong, some puppies are just born allergic or unable to digest certain proteins. Don’t try to push it and think they’ll get over it, you’ll only make your puppy sick.
Plus, it gets boring eating the same bland dry food everyday! My dogs are currently on Earthborn Holisitic that I mix with Honest Kitchen to help add some variety in flavor to their meals! Both are really great brands of food and they absolutely CLEAN out their bowls.