You gotta mix things up when feeding your cat or dog. Not just because it's the only way your pet will get a balanced diet, but there's a bunch of other equally important reasons why the same ole, same ole just doesn't cut it.
Would you want to eat the same thing every day? Of course not: Well, the same applies to your cat or dog. No wonder so many pets stop eating seemingly out of nowhere. It's especially worse for kibble feeding owners who buy those 40 lbs sacs of ______________(fill in the blank).
2) Nutritional deficiencies
l recall my son's pediatrician insisting that he stop eating kiddie food if he wanted to stay healthy. Fortunately, that warning scared him enough to start eating real food. Today I'm proud to report that my 16-year-old is a healthy, fit six-foot center-fielder, (but whose favorite meal is still mac 'n cheese).
Understand that a cat or dog's body needs a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, protein meats, fish and fresh produce to ensure that they're getting the nutrients and vitamins needed. Your pet can become nutritionally deficient by severely limiting it to the same food daily.
3) Hard to lose weight
Adding in new, healthy foods can be a great way to make restrictive diets more interesting. Studies have shown that increasing the variety of healthy foods may help overweight or obese adults lose weight and fat. The key here is healthy whole foods, not ultra-processed ones like kibble.
4) Risk of metabolic disease
A 2015 study from the Journal of Nutrition found that eating a varied mix of nutrient-dense foods may improve metabolic health, including lower odds of hypertension, HDL cholesterol, and excess fat around the waist. And you wonder why you see so many overweight cats and dogs moping around with bellies dragging along the ground?
5) Miss out on health benefits
A wide array of protein meats and fish is good for your cat or dog especially if you’re indulging your treasured pet with all kinds of red meats, poultry, wild game, fish and fresh veggies and fruit. Sticking with the same food every day can leave out many foods that are loaded with important health benefits.
6) Lose out on good bacteria and gut health
Eating a wide assortment of foods and rotating what your pet eats helps increase the diversity of healthy bacteria in the gut. This good bacteria is important not just for overall health, but also for weight loss. Studies have found that a lower diversity of good bacteria was associated with obesity and abdominal fat.
So mix it up!
Eating the same exact thing every day for every meal isn’t good for your cat or dog. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a blueprint for healthy meals.
Rotate a diet of protein meats of red meats, poultry, game meat and fish. Include some organ meat (about 10%), and for dogs, include green and orange veggies. Even stubborn kibble-feeders can make small changes to their pets' meals - throw in a few cubes of raw food with every meal. Your pet will love it and he may just convince you to go all raw.