Is it wise to switch a dog’s food regularly?

Do you think it is wise to switch my dog's food on a regular basis? I've heard that dogs will develop an allergy to anything...


Do you think it is wise to switch my dog’s food
on a regular basis? I’ve heard that dogs will
develop an allergy to anything that they are fed
regulary. I try to switch my dog’s food every thiry days. What do you think?

San Diego

Eating is something pets need to do every day. So it is no surprise that I get so many questions about diet and feeding in my practice and on Dogster and Catster.

The good news about feeding your pet is that, in most cases, you have plenty of options. There is no brand or type of food that is definitively the best for every pet. Most pets thrive whether they are fed once, twice, or more times daily.

What matters is that you feed a high quality food (there are too many of them to list here), and that you feed the right quantity of food (the amount that will cause your pet to maintain a good weight). Other than that, you have lots of leeway.

However, I do have some thoughts on this question.

First, it is not true that all pets will develop allergies to foods that they are fed regularly. I know plenty of healthy dogs and cats that have eaten only one brand of food for their whole lives. Allergies develop only in susceptible individuals, and I doubt that changing foods regularly will prevent them. In fact, the core treatment for food allergies is to feed “novel” foods that the pet has never tried before. If your pet develops allergies, a history of regular diet changes might interfere with treatment.

As well, some pets are prone to upset stomach or diarrhea when their diet is changed. And, if you happen to change to a diet that your pet can’t tolerate, you should expect him to get sick.

It’s true that many pets can tolerate regular diet changes. However, because so many can not, my usual recommendation is to find a high quality diet that works well for your pet and stick with it.

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