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Variety Plan for Feeding Your Dog or Cat

Friday, November 14, 2008 by: Susan Thixton
Tags: cat food, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) If the worst would happen, and the pet food you provide your pet is recalled, do you have a back up pet food? Getting prepared for a recall isn't being paranoid; it might prove to be the safest move you can make for the health of your pet.

No one wants to consider the possibility of another pet food recall, yet at the same time no pet owner can stop thinking it is a possibility. If tomorrow, you learned the dog food or cat food you're providing your pet is recalled, are you prepared? What food would you switch to? Would your pet like the new food? Instead of worrying about what you would do, a little preparation in advance can add variety to your pet's diet as well as provide a back up plan in case of an emergency.

The 'plan' is 2 – 4 – 4; two different pet food manufacturers (Pet Food A and Pet Food B – it is important they are made by two completely different manufacturers), four different brands (two from each, Variety One and Two), and changing pet foods every four weeks. By getting your dog or cat accustomed to two different pet food brands, should one of these foods have a problem, you are prepared. And as well, you are providing a variety of flavors and nutrition to your pet.

For dogs: When changing a dog's food to a new manufacturer, the shift needs to be done slowly. Typically it is recommended to add ¼ new food to ¾ old food for four to seven days, ½ to ½ for another four to seven days, and so forth. However, if the dog foods are similar in quality (human grade, high quality meat and similar amount of meat ingredients), the change probably won't need to be as slow.

Start with Pet Food A, Variety One dog food which is fed for 3 weeks (this can be your existing dog food). The start of the fourth week you begin to add and increase amounts of Pet Food A, Variety Two into the meals each day; by the end of week four your dog is completely changed to Pet Food A, Variety Two. Typically, dogs can switch from different varieties made by the same manufacturer without any problems.

Pet Food A, Variety Two is fed for 3 weeks. The fourth week you begin to add small amounts of Pet Food B, Variety One into each meal, each day. By the end of this four week period, your dog will be changed over to Pet Food B, Variety One. Continue with this same process through Pet Food B, Variety Two, then starting all over again. Should your dog show signs of gas or loose stool when switching between Pet Food A and Pet Food B, slow down the change.

Pet owners can provide their dogs with even more variety by adding canned versions of Pet Food A and Pet Food B into the process as well. One option can be one meal dry, one meal canned each day.

For cats: It is not as necessary to change a cat's food slowly, that is unless your cat wants it that way. Cats tend to get accustomed to one food and don't want to change. Some cats like a particular kibble shape and some refuse to eat canned once they are accustomed to kibble. However, if there's a will there's a way.

Pet Food A, Variety One would be the current food you provide your cat. After three weeks, begin to introduce into each meal Pet Food A, Variety Two. Most cats will shift to a different variety of the same brand easily. If you notice you cat is changing over easily, you can make the change from Variety One to Variety Two within one day. The above 'week' transition would be for those cats that don't want to change to the new food. Pet Food A, Variety Two is fed for three weeks, the fourth week you will introduce Pet Food B, Variety One into each meal. Continue with this same process through Pet Food B, Variety Two, then starting all over again.

Once your cat becomes accustomed to changing from different brands and different varieties, the shift to each new food can be done from one day to the next.

Cats tend to not drink enough water. A canned cat food is highly recommended each day to add a necessary amount of liquid into your cat's system; as an example, one meal dry, the next meal canned. If your cat turns its nose up at canned food, try offering at least a tablespoon of canned food a day. Some cats will only be interested in licking a bit of the liquid of the canned food; you can try adding a small amount of warm water to increase the interest.

Dogs can go for several days without eating with no health problems, cats on the other hand need to eat daily. If your cat is refusing to eat a new food, you must provide the old food daily; which makes it ever so challenging to find a second brand of food for finicky cats. Don't give up, keep trying to find two different brands of food from two different manufacturers you cat will eat.

It's best to feed cats and dogs (adults), at least two meals a day.

The point of this effort is to accustom your pet to another variety of dog food or cat food, in preparation of a potential problem with a food. However, a benefit will be providing your pet some variety in his/her diet. Imagine if you had to eat the very same meal day in and day out your entire life; that would get VERY boring. Adding different brands and different varieties into your pet's diet provides a great deal of variety of taste, and nutrition. It's a win/win for you and your pet.

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton

About the author

Susan Thixton has an international pet people following providing dog and cat lovers a trusted source for pet food and pet food ingredient information. She's been called courageous, perseverant, even "the Caped Crusader for Pets" for her 16 year study of pet food. Susan Thixton is the author of hundreds of pet industry articles and the 2006 released book Truth About Pet Food (currently being updated for a second edition). She developed and publishes the pet product consumer magazine Petsumer Report and is a frequent speaker and radio guest all over the U.S. and Canada with more than 70 appearances in the last 2 years.
If you are looking for straight forward pet food information that can have an almost immediate impact on your pet's health - subscribe to the free newsletter, and subscribe to Petsumer Report to see reviews of close to 700 dog and cat foods and treats (adding 40+ each month). Susan Thixton's 'truth' will help you find a safer, healthier dog or cat food that could add years to your pet's life. http://www.TruthAboutPetFood.com

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