Hello, I’ve been reading the reviews for quite a while now on the site and decided to join the forum. I have a one year old beagle named Maisie. I’m fairly new to the idea of rotational diet or changing up her food frequently. Currently, she is eating Merrick Healthy Weight dry food and occasionally, she will get some canned food mixed in. I have her on the Healthy Weight food primarily because I live in Iowa and we’ve had a very cold winter and I haven’t been able to get her out and exercise how as much as I would like and she’s gain some weight over the winter. According to the vet she should be about 25 pounds and she weighs 28 right now.
Anyway, I’ve noticed with trying different dry foods, she seems to do better during the transitional period (more energy, stools are healthy, non-stinky) than she seems to do once she has fully transitioned to a new food. For example with the Merrick, I’ve noticed her stools are well formed, but her poop is stinky. She hasn’t had any diarrhea on the Merrick, but she’s had a couple of loose stools that I believe was caused by something she picked up on our walks.
I was wondering if there would be any benefits of mixing two dry foods together for her meals? Instead of just sticking to one formula? Like 50 percent old food and 50 percent new food? Would there be any nutritional benefit to this? Or would this possibly cause an upset tummy?
Hello, Missie and Maisie! Welcome to DFA!
Good thing you’re trying to keep Maisie’s weight under control! I have reduced my Bruno’s portions over the winter due to lack of exercise also. So you don’t NECESSARILY have to use a weight-management food, you can also simply reduce the calories from regular food by reducing the amount to induce weight-loss, or weight maintenance.
As for the mixing of foods, myself and other forumers have done it and some probably still do. I also have a friend who feeds her pack of 5 dogs nothing but various mixes, and I used to do it myself, until I realized that with just one small 15-lb terrier mix, any mix of even just 2 small bags of food, even if they’re different flavors or brands, will produce 8-10lbs of a “single-flavor” food that my Bruno will have to eat twice as long as a “single-flavor” food for 1 month and then a different single-flavor food for another month. Does this make sense? Basically, once you mix and feed the food day in and day out for a while, the dog will taste different bites, but in its head, it is all the same food because it’s served together kind of. Like, if you ate beef and salmon (surf and turf) for two months – it is still different proteins and different ways to cook the salmon and the beef, with different “spices”, but overall it is one dish. Next two months, you would be eating chicken and pork (for example), two separate recipes, but in one dish. Vs. one month beef, one month salmon, one month chicken, one month pork, etc. Nutritionally though, if you mix separate brands and flavors, that will expose it to more protein variety and vitamin and mineral composition, which is good. That is what my friend does, she always mixes different brands AND flavors, and that’s kind of what I used to do (I would mix same flavors, different brands – brand A chicken + brand B chicken). The only other caveat to mixing is that should Maisie get sick on a mix, you wouldn’t be able to tell which food made her sick (unless you give each food about 2 weeks separately to be sure that neither makes her sick), and you would not be able to alert the manufacturer(s) because you wouldn’t know which made her sick, so you also wouldn’t be able to return their food for testing and/or a refund. This is another reason I stopped mixing and now I just switch foods with every small bag (more or less).
I would probably look for a food that while I’m transitioning to it, my dog has better stools and less gas, and hope that when I fully feed it, the results will stay the same. But, you can do what you think is best for Maisie. 🙂
I always serve a mixture. The foods I mix aren’t always the same.
Thank you for responding and the welcome! 🙂
I thought it would be okay to mix, but I wanted to make sure from others who have done the same. I thought the benefits of adding different proteins and nutrients would help her as well. Of course I didn’t think about her getting sick from one food and not knowing which. My immediate plan was to keep her on the Merrick Healthy Weight (Beef and Chicken meal) for the time being and maybe adding a salmon or fish recipe to the mix. I probably wouldn’t mix the two together in the same storage container, I would just do a 50/50 of each food. A few months back I did try her on Wellness Complete Health Whitefish and Sweet Potato recipe, but I noticed she had a strong odor from it, her breath was bad and she just had a bad smell to her. Once I took her off it, she was fine, no smell. It may have been just the Wellness and may not happen with another brand. Plus the Wellness recipe had barley in it and I now have her off grains and have noticed she doesn’t itch as much and she doesn’t smell.
Has anyone else fed their dog Wellness Complete Health Whitefish and Sweet Potato and notice an odor coming from them?
My issue with mixing would be if a problem arose, you may not know which food caused the problem.
Other than that, I agree with naturella, I have 2 20 lb dogs that don’t share food, they only go through a 5 lb bag in about a month, so that would last me far too long
I’ve read from others where eating a fish based food causes an odor, even from good brands. Currently my mix does contain some fish, but it’s only 1/3 of their food. You can give the benefits of fish by just feeding some canned sardines (in water or oil, no salt added) a couple times a week.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by pugmomsandy.
I’ve thought about just adding sardines to her diet as well. With it being winter and all, I’ve noticed a little dry skin. Nothing too terrible, but I thought she might benefit from some fish. I have a couple of samples coming from Zignature’s Trout recipe, maybe I’ll just try her on that and see how she does.
Some added fish oil and coconut oil can help with dry skin. Just watch the calories!
Missie, I second what everyone else said. And whenever I mixed (and when my friend mixes), I used to mix the foods in the same container back when I discarded the bags and kept food into the container itself. I then used to keep the food bag into the storage container and now I use sandwich/freezer bags to bag smaller portions of food at a time and keep the rest in the fridge or closet, lol. But I feel bad about it since I’m using so many plastic baggies and there aren’t enough recycling places around where I live… 🙁 Anyway, nvm about that.
Also when I used to mix, I would keep Bruno on one food for a week, then add the next over the following week, and then just mix freely if he wasn’t sick.
I also think that Wellness is a quality brand and maybe Maisie just reacted to the fish in the food with BO. It happens to some dogs. Bruno (my little guy) must be a lucky exception because he doesn’t get smelly on fish-based kibble.
But canned sardines and coconut oil, and fish oil are high-quality additives that I also feed to Bruno (once/week he gets 1/2 of a 3.75oz can of sardines and twice/week he gets a teaspoon of coconut oil. About once/week he gets a dehydrated fish skin to chew on too). His skin and coat are really great on those additives. But like pugmomsandy said, just make sure to keep her caloric intake consistent and at the level for her desired weight (25lbs or less). You can use the food calculator tool on this page to see how many calories/day she needs approximately and adjust from there with the additives and by removing some of her kibble when you add the extra stuff. 🙂
Good luck and keep us posted! 🙂
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