Pet parents sometimes make the decision to feed one type of pet food for the majority of their pet’s life. Contrary to popular belief, here are 6 reasons why you should rotate your pet’s food and Furchild proteins.
Switching fresh meat sources improves the nutritional balances of:
3. Fatty acids
Steve Brown, an expert raw pet food formulator gives the following example. Beef is high in saturated fats but too low in the essential polyunsaturated fats, including LA, (linoleic acid) which is essential for dogs. If you feed only ruminant meats (beef, lamb, bison, goat, venison, etc..) you need to add a source of LA, often from vegetable fats or seeds (for instance, hemp seed) to improve the balance of fats.
Steve is Furchild’s food formulator. His expert knowledge has been paramount in ensuring that all of Furchild Meals are properly balanced including the ratios of fats. In the case of Furchild’s ruminant recipes, we use organic hemp seed oil in our Beef & Organic Veg and Lamb & Organic Veg.
On the other hand, Steve says that chicken is high in LA, and fatty chicken diets often exceed maximum LA recommendations. The results are a diet that can be pro-inflammatory. In the case of Furchild, we use leaner cuts of chicken and add the appropriate oils.
The minerals in beef and chicken are very different. Steve says that beef liver contains about 10 times more Cu (copper) than chicken liver. Therefore if you feed only chicken to your pet, long-term you may be falling short of Cu requirements.
Steve uses vitamin B12 as his example – “Chicken has more tryptophan than beef, however, beef has more vitamin B12 than chicken. If a pet parent prepares a recipe for chicken and vegetable diets with no organ meats, it will lack vitamin B12. As well, the levels of vitamins vary depending on whether you use dark or light colored meats. For example, while “typical lean dark chicken meat has just 3.9mcg (micrograms, 1 millionth of a gram) per 1000 kcal; a moderately fatty beef, 85% lean, has 104mcg per 1000kcal.”
6. Amino Acids
Turkey and chicken are high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid. Proteins consist of long chains of amino acids. On the other hand, beef is low in tryptophan. Some beef diets, using moderately fatty beef, fall short of minimum recommendations for tryptophan. Lean (skin and separable fat removed) chicken and turkey breast have about 2.5g of tryptophan per 1000 kcal, while the equivalent lean beef has about 0.8g of tryptophan per 1000 kcal.
It’s important to rotate, especially if your pets are eating a homemade diet.
Once your pet has transitioned to Furchild meals, ideally aim for 4 varieties of proteins per week. At least one of the meals should be poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) and one, ruminant (beef, lamb). If your pet has food allergies or intolerances, then it may differ.
If you are changing your dog’s diet from dry (kibble), canned or a raw diet without vegetables to a balanced, lean raw nutrition with vegetables like Furchild’s, it is best to slowly introduce the new food and stick to one or two recipes over a period of seven to ten days. During this time you can slowly increase the amount of Furchild food until your pet is eating 100% Furchild.
Read more tips on how to make the switch to Furchild meals.