Concerned About Pet Food Recalls? Consider a Rotation Diet

Sometimes, it can seem as if there is a new pet food recall every other week. There are lots of reasons for recalls of pet foods such as possible contamination by Salmonella or another contaminant like melamine or foreign objects, or the finding of too much or too little of an important nutrient. Every pet food on the market, even the highest quality dog and cat foods, may potentially be subject to a recall at some point. Even though it is impossible to be certain the food your pet eats will never be recalled, there is something you can do to lessen the impact of a pet food recall: try a rotation diet!

A rotation diet is one in which you vary your pet’s food by feeding a different food on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. A varied diet can improve your pet’s nutrition, reduce the likelihood of your pet developing food allergies or of becoming a finicky eater. But there is another benefit you may not have considered: if your pet’s food is subject to a recall, your dog or cat will be less impacted. If your pet eats the same pet food for every meal for a prolonged period, then he or she will have ingested a large quantity of the affected food should it have a problem resulting in a recall. However, if you rotate your pet’s food it will be much easier to transition off the affected food, in case of a recall. Also, your pet will have eaten that food for a more limited period if you were rotating his or her diet.

I was feeding my cats Nature’s Variety frozen raw medallions when their Chicken Formula raw frozen medallions were recalled March 2010. I was glad that my own cats only ate the chicken version about once a week, and when I returned the bags for a refund, my cats didn’t even notice it missing from their rotation for a couple of weeks. Because we switch to different proteins and forms of food (raw and canned), they also readily accept different flavors and textures.

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