Why switch dog food?
-rotating meats provides better nutrition-
Source: Steve Brown, Dog Nutritionist
Rotating poultry with ruminant meats (animals feeding on grass) provides a better balance of nutrients than either just poultry or just ruminant meats provide on their own.
Switching meat sources improves the balance of:
- fatty acids
- amino acids
Improved balances mean better nutrition.
Better Fats by switching foods –
Rotating ruminant and poultry provides a better fat balance. Beef is high in saturated fats, and low, far below minimum standards, in the essential polyunsaturated fats, including LA, linoleic acid, first fatty acid deemed essential for dogs. If one feeds just ruminant meats, one needs to add a source of LA, often from vegetable fats or seeds (for instance, hemp seed to improve balance of fats in beef foods). On the other hand, chicken is high in LA, indeed, fatty chicken diets often exceed maximum recommendations, which can be pro-inflammatory.
If one rotates, a day or two of beef, low in LA, and then a day or two of chicken, high in LA, the LA amounts even out; meeting all standards. To save a little money, one can rotate lean beef foods, and fattier (but not high fat) less expensive, chicken parts. But, if one is not rotating, one has to use leaner chicken parts.
Mineral Balance improves when you rotate meals –
Beef and chicken meats provide different levels of minerals. For example, beef liver contains about 10 times more copper than chicken liver.
- Feed a meal of chicken, with chicken liver, and the diet will probably fall short of minimum recommendations for copper.
- Feed a meal of beef, with more than 5% beef liver, and the food will be copper-rich, with perhaps more copper than is advisable on a continual basis.
Rotation solves the problems.
Amino Acid Balance increases –
As most of us know, turkey and chicken are high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid (proteins consists 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. For dogs, lack of tryptophan in high protein diets may lead to aggressive behaviour. Lean (skin and separable fat removed) chicken and turkey breast have about 2.5g of tryptophan per 1000 kcal, while the equivalent leanness beef has about 0.8g of tryptophan per 1000 kcal. It’s important to rotate
Vitamin Balance is achieved when foods are switched regularly –
I’ll use vitamin B12 as an example-
Chicken has more tryptophan than beef, however, beef has more vitamin B12 than chicken. I’ve seen recipes for chicken and vegetable diets with no organ meats. These diets lack vitamin B12. 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.
Remember to rotate!