Can I Mix Different Brands of Dog Food? Is It Safe?

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Written by: Celestine Gomez
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There are many reasons why dog owners to mix different brands of dog food gradual diet including; to aid gradual dietary change, add unique flavors to their food, vary the texture, or enhance the palatability.

Hence, mixing dog food brands is something that may come in handy at some point in their dog’s life.

Generally, It is safe to mix different brands of dog food. However, it should be done carefully, slowly and only when the need arises. This will ensure that your dog is well-adjusted to the new food and that there is healthy combination of all the vital nutrients.

It’s advisable to consult a veterinarian about specific dog food brands and the appropriate mixing ratio.

Opt for high-quality dog food brands suitable for your dog’s size, health, and life stage.

If you just want your dog to have a taste of different varieties of food, it’s still best to just add bone broth, fruits, fresh veggies, goat milk, biscuit and other healthy treats. This will prevent nutritional excesses or inadequacy that can issue from combining different dog food brands.

Vets often recommended that you make a gradual transition when changing to a new dog food and that can only be achieved by mixing the two dog foods and increasing the amount of the new food bit by bit until the transition is completed.

Is it Bad To Feed Your Dog A Mix Of Different Brands Of Dog Food?

Feeding your dog a mixture of two or more dog food brands isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Just make sure you take into account the quality of the dog foods, the nutrition contents, and your dog’s size, age, and health condition.

Sometimes, your pooch could experience stomach upset but it’s just a matter of time till they adjust totally to the new food in the mixture.

If you notice any gastrointestinal issues, you can cut down on the size of the new food further slowing the transition, or switch back to their old food if you are worried about their health. Moreover, you can always talk to your dog-tor about any of such problems.

A common concern about mixing different brands or types of dog food is that you could eventually create a picky eater. However, this is not always the case but it’s not recommended to offer your dog different food varieties when you plan to switch back to their old food in the future.

If you have a dog breed known for pickiness, you don’t necessarily need to mix different food brands. You make his food variety-rich by adding food boosters like broth, dairy products, meat, carrots, and more.

Is it Necessary To Mix Different Brands Of Dog Food?

It’s not a necessity to serve your dog a mix of different brands of dog food except that you are in the process of switching to a new dog food or when carrying out rotational feeding.

Otherwise, just stick to a single brand or type of dog food to prevent nutritional imbalance, gastrointestinal upset, allergies, or undesired weight gain.

If your dog develops food-related problems when you are mixing more than two dog foods brands, it’ll be difficult to find the particular food causing the problem. But that wouldn’t be the case if you maintain one dog food.

Each dog food is formulated with great precision to suit the nutritional needs of your dog according to AAFCO requirements, hence, If you don’t have a solid reason to mix different brands of dog food, simply stick to one dog food.

With the mixed diet, your doggo can easily get excess of one or more nutrients and less of others. The vitamins, minerals, or fats in your dog’s food can easily be in excess. Hence, your doggo will be better off with a single dog food.

In reality, mixing different dog food may just be an unnecessary hassle. It simply doesn’t make much sense to take the mixing route when your dog can get all the essential nutrients they need from a single dog food.

Do Dogs Like Variety In Their Food?

While dogs can live on just dry food or wet food and do not need varieties in their food to live a healthy life, they become lovers of variety when raised in that manner. If you have been feeding your dog only dry food from the get-go, he’s likely going to have fewer cravings for variety.

If you are sticking to only dry food or wet food, it’s a good idea to at least rotate between a few brands. One of the reasons why dogs suddenly develop GI issues when you switch their food is because they’ve been eating the same food over and over. A little bit of variety from time to time can prepare your pooch for a diet change.

Don’t make it a habit to always mix two different dog food brands. Mixing one or two dog food brands is considered beneficial when you are in the process of switching to a new brand.

You can also give them treats occasionally but this should not interfere with their feeding routine and should only make up less than 10% of their dietary intake.

How To Mix Different Brands Of Dog Food

While mixing two dog food brands is unnecessary most of the time, it doesn’t mean it’s completely bad. In fact, mixing dog food brands may be incredibly beneficial to your doggo friend in the case of switching to a new food. Here are some important steps to take if you’re planning to add any mix to your dog food.

  • Seek advice from your vet before going ahead to mix your dog. Different brands of dog food are made up of special formulations and nutrient profiles appropriate for your dog according to his age, size, and health conditions. If all these are not taken into account, there could be nutritional excesses and deficiencies.
  • Mixing two or more dog food brands manufactured for different life stages of dogs is detrimental to your canine friend. It could become even worse if you are adding low-quality dog food into your dog’s diet.
  • While dogs are creatures of habits and may stick to one type of food if that’s only what you offer them. They still prefer variety in their food so consider mixing dog food brands with different shapes, textures, and flavors.
  • Every dog owner should be aware that the dog’s digestive system needs time to adjust to new food. You can start by gradually adding a little amount of the new food, then increasing the amount gradually until your dog has fully adjusted to the new food.

Also Read: Can Dogs Live Longer On Human Food? (What You Need To Know)

Is it a Good Idea To Change Dog Food Brand Often?

It’s not recommended to change your dog’s food brand often. Your doggo is better off with high-quality dog food throughout his life. However, if your dog suddenly becomes allergic to any ingredients in his food, then a change may be necessary after the allergy-provoking ingredient has been identified. Your vet can help you in that regard.

While rotational feeding may help your pooch easily adjust to new proteins, your dog may experience GI disturbances especially if they are new to this feeding method.

Millions of dogs have led healthy lives with the conventional feeding plan where they are fed the same food every day. Hence, if your dog is doing just fine eating the same food, there’s absolutely no need to switch to a new dog food.

How To Make Your Dry Dog Food Taste and Smell Better

Keep It Fresh And Clean

Not only that dry dog food is a very convenient and cheap option, it not very difficult to store and preserve. Hence, it doesn’t take much to keep your dog’s kibble fresh. All that’s needed is an airtight container for your dog food to remain fresh.

Also, ensure that your dog’s feeding bowl is clean each time you serve him. This will not only ensure that your dog loves their food more but also prevent any chance of food contamination that can cause health problems in dogs.

Add Broth or Warm Water

If you have a finicky dog, this very easy and affordable approach to improving the smell and taste of your dog’s food. It’ll help to add new flavor to your dog food or enhancement of the food’s original flavor.

This will also make it less of a hassle for dogs with dental problems to eat their kibble.

Add a quarter to a half cup of broth or clean water to your dog’s dry food. You can allow it to either moisten their food or let the water absorb into the kibble before feeding them. It all depends on your dog’s taste.

Exercise Your Dog Before Feeding

Engaging your dog in physical activities like walking, jogging, or playing fetch before each meal is a natural way to boost your dog’s appetite. They’ll have more cravings for food since they’ll need food to replace their lost energy.

Cut Down On Treats and Table Food

It’s very important not to spoil your dog with too many treats and table food. Of course, your canine friend is not stupid. He’ll definitely prefer those tasty junks to his kibble-based diet. Avoid feeding your dog those treats in between meals because they can easily associate eating their kibble with nibbling at treats. This can only make him pickier.

Do not share your food with your doggo or feed him table scraps and leftovers. Chances are that he’ll always choose them over his kibble. Make sure your dog has a feeding routine and take away their food once their mealtime is over. This will make them value their food more.

Add Other Food Boosters (Canned Food, Yogurt, Fruits, and Animal Products)

You can consider this option if the other methods listed above fail. Your pooch might find his food more appetizing if you add other tasty ingredients like chicken breast, white rice, goat milk, salmon, banana, turkey, and more. However, you have to be careful with the type of ingredients you add to your dog food because many human-safe ingredients are not dog-friendly.

If you notice any adverse reactions with any of the additional ingredients, make sure to do away with it.

Can I Mix Different Brands Of Wet And Dry Dog Food?

Mixing different brands of wet and dry dog food can help combine the nutrients and benefits of both foods, but it’s not without its downsides. Talk to your vet on whether to feed your dog either dry or wet food, or mixture of both.

A major problem with mixing different brands of dog food is the possibility of nutritional inadequacy. Each dog brand formulates its products to stick to a specific nutritional profile.

Hence, when there is a mixture between two brands, you may have an excess of some nutrients and deficiencies of others. However, in the best-case scenario, you can still get the best of both dog food.

Remember, adjusting to the mixture is gradual for your dog, and any abrupt food change can lead to stomach upset. You have to make sure that the ingredients in the dry food is compatible with those in the wet food and that the ratio of dry food to wet food is appropriate.

Can I Mix Different Brands Of Dry Dog Food?

With major dog food brands advertising dry dog as a convenient and cost-effective solution, it is the most popular form of dog food.

You can find different brands of dry dog food available in the market, and it’s so easy to get spoilt for choice and actually decide to have a mix of two or more brands.

Individually, dry dog food brands already does an excellent job, hence, it’s not important to mix different brands to obtain a balanced nutrition. Besides, you can potentially alter the nutritional profile of your dog food by so doing.

Just select one dry dog food brand and stick to it and your pooch will be just fine. You can add some food food boosters to your dog’s kibble for better palatability but be careful not to turn your dog into a finicky friend and make sure to apply moderation in feeding your dog these items. 

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Celestine Gomez

I'm Celestine Gomez, worked for 5 years in an animal shelter in Los Angeles, California. Having noticed the inherent passion and zeal in me to care for pets, I took a step further to create a team of I and like-minded individuals to provide an informative resource in order to broaden the knowledge base of a regular pet owners.