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Do Pets Get Bored with the Same Food?

This Q&A pet nutrition series comes to an end. Thanks to Dr. Marcie Campion, pet nutritionist at Iams, and Iams for donating 1,000 bowls of food to Jersey Animal Coalition, and to all of you who left comments and asked questions at Pet News and Views.

Dr. Marcie Campion with her dog, Tucker. (Photo courtesy of Iams.)

Pet News and Views: We adopted our dog Haley a little over 6 years ago. She is the sweetest dog ever. We just found out she has heart disease. What is the best type of food we should feed her? She is now about 7 years old.
Dr. Marcie Campion: I’m so sorry to hear about Haley. To avoid any potential weight gain in Haley, I’d recommend feeding her IAMS ProActive Health Weight Control or IAMS Healthy Naturals Weight Control; this will ensure she doesn’t pack on any extra pounds which will negatively affect her heart disease condition.

PNAV: I adopted 2 wonderful dogs from the JAC. They bring so much joy to my life. I cannot thank the JAC enough for giving me these two angels! I also have a pug who is overweight. We feed him a little bit of dry food, wet food, peas, and carrots, but he doesn’t seem to be losing weight. Are there any suggestions on what I can feed him to help him lose those extra pounds?
Dr. Campion: Avoid self-feeding. Dogs do better with a controlled amount of food on a schedule. Make smart choices. Try the IAMS Healthy Naturals Weight Control formula and exercise. A great way to keep your dog trim and fit is with some good exercise sessions. Find something you both enjoy together and make it your new routine.

PNAV: I feed my adopted kittens Iams Kitten dry food and my adopted adult cats adult Iams dry food. At what age can I switch the kittens over to the adult formula?
Dr. Campion: You can make the switch from kitten to adult food at age one. Be sure to transition slowly and introduce the new food gradually. Start by mixing 25 percent new food with 75 percent old food. Slowly change the proportions over the next three days or so by gradually increasing the new food and lessening the amount of the old food. At the end of the weaning process, you should be feeding 100 percent of the new food.

PNAV: Do dogs (and cats) get bored with the same food everyday?
Dr. Campion: No. Boredom with food is a human trait. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and usually are happy with just one food. Dogs and cats generally eat to meet their energy or nutritional needs. They have very short digestive systems, and, if their diet is abruptly or constantly changed, digestive disturbances can occur. Also, constant changes can make a pet a finicky eater.

To read the other Q&As, click on the following: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

An Update
Ever since I wrote this, I have to say that my cat, Earl Gray, does get bored with the same food. He is on a special diet for his thyroid, but I do add different types of gravy to his food. He is finicky.

17 comments to Do Pets Get Bored with the Same Food?

  • […] 1000 bowls of food to Jersey Animal Coalition, and to all of you … … Read more here: Do Pets Get Bored with the Same Food? « Pet News and Views ← One of the most common effects of poor cat nutrition. | Tongshu […]

  • I do believe they get bored. I’ve read so many books and reports over the years and there are opinions galore, but my inner core tells me I would not want the same taste day after day. Yes, a dog is a family member to me, so I value what family feels, thinks, and tastes. I mix in different meats and rotate a bit for my dog. If I had to stare at kibble for 14 years I’d probably go out of my mind. I think our pets feel the same way.

  • Kasey Martin

    Like your other readers said, “I would get bored with the same food every day.” So, in our house we add vegetables, beef, chicken, the juice from cooked meats, and other foods we eat. We share with our pets and mix our food into theirs. We have a dog and cat at home.

  • Connie Birch

    We just switched to Iams’ natural dog food, and our dog loves it. We followed Dr. Campion’s advice and added it to our dog’s, Buster, regular food. Now he just gets the Iams. I am hoping Iams will come out with an all natural cat food, and that you will have another Iams contest.

  • Bill Theisen

    I mix various cooked meats and vegetables into our dog’s food to keep his interest. He eats almost anything, and I don’t think he gets bored, but I wouldn’t want to eat the same meal day in and day out.

  • Carmelo Beatty

    Thanks Iams.I look forward to your next contest, Michele. Hopefully Iams will come out with a cat food that is all natural that you can give away. I know you know how much shelters need food and other supplies.

  • Carol Haker

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. Thanks for these great tips.

  • My Weimaraners have great appetites and I’m betting the would eat the same food daily as long as it’s put down in a timely manner. LOL.
    But more the issue is SHOULD they have the same food. That answer is NO. For health reasons as well as the potential of developing a food allergy, feeding a variety of quality food is important.

    I have always rotated my dogs’ food among the top companies, in various forms such as kibble mixed with added meat and veggies, dehydrated raw food, etc. Even though my dogs don’t pick at their food, I can tell when they are enjoying one mixture over another.

    So variety IS the spice of live….. and good health!

  • Madeline Wiseman

    We switched to the Iams all natural dog food because of your giveaway. Thanks Iams. And while our dogs like it, we mix the gravy from our meats in with their foods. It mixes it up and gives them some variety.

  • Rob Marley

    Thanks for the information. I always mix in our food with Hunter’s, our dog.

  • Mary Rodgers

    Great series Michele. And thank you Iams for the food donations. I hope you will do another contest real soon.

  • Robert Conner

    I like how you suggested gradually changing the food from kitten to cat. Same for puppy to dog and for changing food. Gradual changes are more acceptable.

  • I wouldn’t like to eat the same thing everyday, so I’m sure that Jersey & Dexter wouldn’t like to, either. While I stick to the same dehydrated veggie mix, I’m always switching up the meats. Sometimes it chicken, sometimes beef. If there is a sale on fish, I’ll add that to the doggie dinners. Variety is good 🙂

  • While it may be true that dogs will eat the same food day in day out it is not true that changing a dog’s food will cause digestive disturbances (Dr Campion) – the bowel quickly adapts it’s intestinal flora to the food provided, but if that is always the same food the bowel flora becomes stereotyped to that food – a quick change then means the flora required for the new food is unavailable and the dog will get diarrhoea.
    It has been shown that the bowel flora of young animals changes within a very short space of time after they are weaned.
    Giving a dog a variety of foods means their bowel should always be equipped to meet the challenge and so they should not have diarrhoea. They have evolved from being carnivores to be opportunist scavengers and should be able to cope with any food put in front of them. Changing food relatively frequently and giving a selection of different foods should also mean you will not end up with a finicky feeder.

  • Thanks Peter. It is always so helpful to learn from my readers. I really appreciate the information.–Michele

  • Halle

    I’m going to buy this book for my kids. The artwork is wonderful.

  • Shalini

    Animals do actually get bored of the same food. I notice my dog’s reaction when we change his food after a few days of giving him the same thing. He looks very happy and enthusiastic about eating. When he gets the same food for days he would take his time reaching the bowl and leave it the instant its finished. If he gets something new after days he usually keeps licking it till its actually completely clean.

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