As pet owners, we always want to give the best nourishment to our dogs. However, we can’t help but wonder, is it ok to mix two different brands of dog food together?
Below, I share my personal tips as a dog owner for decades. Nevertheless, you should remember that your dog’s veterinarian is still the best person to consult for your pet’s nutrition.
Is it safe to mix two dog food brands?
Mixing dog food brands like Canidae or Orijen are common practice by many pet owners. If done right, it can be beneficial for the canine.
While most pet food brands adhere to regulatory guidelines like those from AAFCO, their formulations vary widely. Each brand uses different ingredients, methods of preparation, and overall nutritional profile.
Each dog food brand designs its products based on its own matrix system. Pet food manufacturers have their own understanding of pet nutrition, which makes it difficult to balance when mixing two brands.
With this, the biggest problem with mixing two dog food brands is the risk of having deficiencies or excesses on your pet’s diet.
Aside from that, you risk disrupting your dog’s digestion, which can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
Mixing two dog food brands is riskier for growing puppies. It’s easy to tip the balance of your pup’s diet if you haphazardly mix food products that don’t go well.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that mixing food brands are totally evil. You can still do so after a consultation with your dog’s veterinarian.
Tips in mixing dog food brands
Mixing different dog food brands is still a good idea if you do it carefully. Here are a few important reminders before you change your pet’s diet:
1. Consult the veterinarian first.
It’s crucial to talk to your dog’s vet before you perform any diet changes. This way, the vet can advise you on the right food brand, food type, nutritional profile, and more.
Also, the veterinarian’s advice is based on your dog’s overall health, lifestyle, and unique needs. This is to prevent unnecessary weight gain, deficiencies, and overconsumption of nutrients.
When it comes to your dog’s nutrition, you should never trust guesswork. Consulting a professional early on will save your dog from emergency vet visits in the future.
2. Mind the life stage of the food product
The biggest mistake you can ever do is mixing two food brands with different life stages. This will mess up your dog’s diet and is guaranteed to cause problems along the way.
Aside from that, you should never mix therapeutic or special diets with typical food products. This applies even if the food products came from the same brand.
In the long run, mixing special diets with other brands may do more harm than help to your already-ailing dog.
3. Don’t forget about portion control
When mixing two pet food products, it’s easy to forget about portion control. This is something you should avoid as excessive food intake will lead to obesity.
Take note that portion control isn’t just about the physical quantity of the food. You have to consider the nutritional value of each dog food product before mixing it.
4. Mix the food gradually
If the vet green-lit your plan to mix two different dog food brands, you should do it gradually. This is the same process as when switching your pet to a whole new diet.
By mixing small amounts at a time, you can observe your dog for any potential adverse reaction. This will also limit any risk in case the mix proves unsuitable for your pet.
5. Mixing may not be the solution
If your dog starts to lose interest in its food, mixing another food brand may not be the solution you need. Sometimes, adding some kitchen items to your dog’s food may solve the issue.
For example, some dogs will refuse cold kibble. In this case, adding warm water into the dry food may help entice the pet’s appetite.
Aside from that, you can add a drop of fish oil or some treats on top of the dog food. Your dog probably needs a head start to eat its meal.
Can you mix wet and dry dog food?
Mixing wet food with dry food is an excellent idea for pet owners with picky dogs. But just like mixing any food products, you should still consult your dog’s veterinarian.
You have to ensure that the wet food complements the dry food. This involves checking the nutritional value, life stage, and ingredients of the two products.
Aside from that, you have to provide the right ratio of dry to wet food. This way, your dog’s diet will remain balanced.
Is it okay to change your dog’s food within the same brand?
In general, it’s totally fine to change your dog’s food, regardless of the brand. This is much so if your pet’s current food is no longer meeting your dog’s nutritional needs.
Overall, it will take at least five days to switch a dog’s diet into a new food product. But for dogs with very sensitive tummies, you may need a few weeks to perform the switch.
Do dogs get bored with the same food?
Dogs don’t really get bored of the food they eat. After all, they have fewer taste buds than humans, so they have a reduced ability to appreciate complex flavors.
However, some dogs may grow picky over time. Breeds like Husky, Greyhound, Maltese, and Bulldogs are known to have finicky appetites.
These dogs will often refuse to eat the same food after some time. It could be due to allergic reactions, flavor, scent, or simply random fussiness.
In this case, pet owners will benefit a lot from cycling two to three food products. Like mixing, cycling should be done after consultation with the dog’s veterinarian.
How long does it take for dogs to adjust to a new food?
Each dog is different and so is its ability to adjust to a new diet. In general, canines will take around a week to transition to a new food product.
However, those with sensitive digestion and picky appetite may need more time to adjust. This involves replacing their meals with the new food product little by little.
What will happen if you don’t gradually change your dog’s food?
Switching your dog to a new food all of a sudden will cause all sorts of gastrointestinal disturbances. Your pet may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, and even allergic reactions.
When a dog associates the new food with discomfort, it will likely refuse to eat. This will create more problems.
So if you plan to introduce your dog to a new food brand or product, you should be patient in gradually switching its diet. This will save you from a lot of trouble later on.
Is it ok to mix two different brands of dog food together? Yes, but you have to do so under the supervision of your dog’s veterinarian.
Mixing two different dog food products can create dietary and digestive problems. It’s important to delve deep into the nutritional profile of the products before trying to give them to your dog.
Doing your research, consulting an expert, and planning the change is crucial to ensure that your pet’s diet remains complete and balanced.