Thursday, January 24, 2013

What the Boys Are Eating

Merrick Classic Real Lamb with Brown Rice & Apple Dry Dog Food is the staple of Andy's diet. It's a terrific, high-quality dry kibble which I wholeheartedly recommend. I've also been mixing in Wellness Super5Mix Complete Health, Chicken Recipe, as of late. Why the mix? Wellness is a brand I trust and I came across a deal on 6 pound bags of their Super5Mix kibble a couple of months back at Petco that I just couldn't resist - These bags normally sell for $20 a pop, but were on sale for $10, plus I had a $5 off coupon. That means I paid $5 per bag, a quarter of the the regular price, a deal just too good to pass up. The pup seems to enjoy the mix...though I'm pretty sure he'll eat just about anything I put in his bowl! 

Once the Wellness runs out Andy will be back on an all-Merrick diet, until I come across the next irresistible deal that is. There's actually a feeding philosophy some pet owners practice called rotation feeding. What I'm doing with Andy isn't exactly a rotation diet but I thought it would be worth mentioning in case you've never heard of it. A rotation diet involves varying your pet's diet on a daily, weekly, or otherwise regular basis. There are several schools of thought as to why this is a worthwhile practice. According to dogfoodadvisor some folks believe there's no such thing as a perfect manufactured dog food - that every product is either deficient or excessive in some way. The idea is that by rotating your dog's diet these deficiencies or excesses will be minimized. 

Other arguments in support of a rotation diet include reducing the risk of food allergies by exposing your pup to a variety of ingredients, keeping your pet interested in its food, and/or increasing water consumption by including wet foods, among others. For more detailed information on rotation diets check out this article: The Benefits of Rotation Feeding. I don't plan on putting Andy on a full rotation diet any time soon, if ever. Quite honestly, if it ain't broke, why fix it? The diet Andy is currently on works well for him - heck, I'm pretty sure his diet is more nutritionally balanced than my own! I've read arguments both for and against rotation diets and I'm just not convinced it's necessary. Given all the benefits it certainly doesn't sound like a bad thing, it's just not something I'm interested in doing at this point.

In case you're wondering, Pablo and Diego have been eating Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe for about the last 4 months. Diego has had issues with food allergies ever since we adopted him - he would get bouts of dander, lick the fur off his thighs, and the fur on his ears would fall out. After consulting with his vet we out him on a grain-free, fish protein based diet. This worked ok for about a year...and then...his poop started to stink really bad. I know, too much information. We ended up consulting with a cat-specific vet who suggested putting him back on a chicken diet, but to continue going grain-free. Apparently most cats are actually allergic to seafood (oh irony of ironies). This is how Pablo and Diego ended up on the
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe diet. It's a grain-free kibble and so far both cats seems to be doing well on it, which makes me think Diego's issue is primarily with grains. His allergies appear to be under control and I'm happy to say his stinky poops are now virtually non-existent.

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