Variety Vs. Consistency in Homemade Dog Food

Autumn is a sweet, sensitive soul… inside and out.

When it comes to diet, she has a sensitive GI tract. If I add too many new ingredients too fast, she may experience GI upset including diarrhea.

She is also an emotional, sensitive dog and if things aren’t quite right or ideal, she may also get diarrhea.

On the other hand, I truly believe it is important to include a variety of nutritious foods in her diet — just like we should do for ourselves.

So how do we balance this?

This is an individual learning process that’s unique to each dog. In my situation, if I see any change in GI habits – diarrhea or loose stool for example – I need to tone down the diet for a bit. One protein, one vegetable, a little olive oil, and some rice. I will continue this for several days, and see if there is any change. If the stool normalizes, fantastic. Then we add one new ingredient the next week, and continue to monitor things. If she continues to be stable, then we can continue to add one new ingredient each week until we are incorporating a nice, wide variety of healthy foods.

If the problems continue despite a limited diet, it’s possible there is a sensitivity to the protein that is being used.  It is also important to make sure your dog is free of parasites or other conditions that could cause diarrhea.

As wholesome and nutritious a home cooked diet can / should be, I also like to add supplements at least several times a week. I do this for myself, too. Not because our diets are not wholesome, but because nobody eats 100% perfectly all the time, and because our food supply is often depleted of its original nutrients.

In addition to a high quality multivitamin / mineral supplement for dogs, a good probiotic can also help balance the beneficial bacteria in the gut, thereby normalizing and optimizing GI health.

My holistic vet also recommends a specific blend of anti-inflammatory herbs for dogs with GI issues – contact me if you would like more info on that.

Good luck and best wishes finding that balance between variety and consistency!