The start of a new year is a time where many people reevaluate their lifestyle choices and look to make positive changes in their lives. It’s also a perfect time to do the same for your dog or cat! There are many reasons why you might want to think about changing up your pet’s food, but we’re breaking down the top 5 reasons with the help of some of our team members.
1. Your Pet Isn’t Eating
Just like humans, dogs and cats can be picky eaters and will grow bored of foods that they eat all the time. If you are on autopilot and buy your pet the same food every month, consider switching it up! This is one of Rene Alvarado’s, Spot Manager at Manhattan Beach, favorite tips to share with customers. He recommends changing the proteins within the brand of food you’re feeding to keep your pet interested.
Adding new textures goes a long way too! Using frozen raw, gently cooked foods, or our brand new Super Sprinkles as a topper in your pet’s bowl can excite them. Cats tend to be extra picky, so adding a tasty topper can be a game-changer. Rhonda Haug, Spot Manager at Santa Monica, loves to suggest Inaba Ciao as a topper because most cats love the taste and it helps with the transition.
2. Your Pet Has Allergies
Is your pet itchy, have skin conditions or have yeast on their paws? These are key indicators that they may have allergies or intolerances. Some of the most common sensitivities are to chicken, beef or even kibble due to the grain that binds it together. If this is the case, Healthy Spot can help! Experience Regional Manager Jorge Irigoyen speaks to our methods: “Immediately, we eliminate [different types of] protein and switch to single-protein foods. We’ll suggest trying a rarer meat, like venison.”
To eliminate any sensitivities to grains, team members also suggest giving frozen raw or raw alternative foods a try. Irigoyen loves recommending Primal, Stella & Chewy’s and Smallbatch because these foods have limited ingredients, which helps keep your pet’s diet clean. “We also like to use goat’s milk which helps with allergies because it is anti-inflammatory,” says Irigoyen. “Fish oil and coconut oil are great too. You can put fish oil on the food or even right on their skin.”
3. Your Pet Is Overweight
The very first thing to consider if your pet is overweight is how much you’re feeding them. If they are constantly eating or you leave their food bowl down all day, that may be the culprit. The type of food you feed your pet plays a big role as well. Irigoyen says, “We know, as with humans, that heavily processed foods are a lot of waste. It builds up and creates fatty tissue.” To combat this, our team members suggest foods with high meat content and fewer fillers. One great brand that Irigoyen recommends is ZIWI because of its very high meat content.
Another tip is to add in fresh foods. Spot Area Manager Bethany MacInnes stresses to her customers that, “We want our pups to eat as much fresh food as possible as it helps to fight against common ailments we see in our pets like obesity, diabetes, IBD, kidney and liver disease, etc.” The best way to do this is to feed frozen raw food and treats.
4. Your Pet Has An Upset Stomach
Even if your pet is eating the food that you’re giving them, they may have an upset stomach that sometimes leads to soft stool or vomiting. In this scenario, it’s a good idea to start eliminating proteins and grains, similar to if your pet has allergies.
Haug also suggests adding bone broth or goat’s milk to help aid digestion. Bone broth is rich in collagen, which helps support healthy functioning of the digestive tract. Goat’s milk has anti-inflammatory properties and contains probiotics. Read more about bone broth’s benefits on Open Farm’s site here and goat’s milk benefits on The Honest Kitchen site here
5. You Want To Add More Nutrition To Your Pet’s Diet
If you’re ready to up your pet’s nutrition game, taking a look at their food is the place to start! Choosing a food that is made with wholesome, natural, fresh ingredients is important to optimizing your dog’s or cat’s health and wellness. At Healthy Spot, we suggest trying frozen raw or raw alternative foods because of the high meat content, clean ingredient panel and palatability.
Not ready to make the leap to raw just yet? There’s still other ways to improve your pet’s diet. “You don't need to spend a lot to enhance the diet of your fur baby, just do what you can!” says McInnes. “Just adding a topper like bone broth or goat's milk can do wonders to a dog or cat's life and is an inexpensive way to build a better bowl for our pets.” You can also top your pet’s food with frozen raw or raw alternative to add an element of fresh food to their bowl.
No matter the reason for wanting to switch your cat’s or dog’s food, Healthy Spot is happy to help. Not quite sure where to start? Take our Fresh Start Food Quiz below and bring your results to your local Healthy Spot to find the perfect food match for them!