Picky Pets? Add Variety!

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Do you have a finicky eater in the family? As a proud pet parent, you know your pet is unique and has his own special set of tastes and preferences when it comes to the food in his bowl. But did you know that you can help influence your finicky, furry friend’s particular preferences? Pickiness at mealtime isn’t just genetics – it can be the result of a lack of variety in your pet’s diet, eating poor quality foods, free feeding (leaving food out all the time), or simply an inconsistent feeding schedule.

The best prevention – or solution – for picky pets is to feed a variety of flavors and textures through a wholesome Rotation Diet. In addition to helping picky eaters stay happy, the Rotation Diet also provides numerous health benefits, including increased energy, healthy teeth & gums, increased hydration, a lustrous coat, and in some cases the prevention of allergies. Here’s how it works:

Variety offers Complete Nutrition. Healthy pets can and should have variety in their diet to ensure they receive a full range of the proper vitamins and minerals. Rotating different forms (kibble, cans, and raw frozen) and protein sources (meat, poultry, and fish) will maximize the micro-nutrient intake for your pet.

Variety adds a Surprise. Just like you wouldn’t want to eat the same thing day after day, neither does your dog or cat. By offering your pets a new form of food and various protein sources, they will be on a variable reward schedule and will always have a reason to be interested in their food dish. Introducing the Nature’s Variety Rotation Diet is easy.

Below are a few tips to help your picky pet make the adjustment:

  • Start with a small amount of the new form (kibble, canned, or raw frozen diet) or the new protein (such as beef, duck, or salmon) and mix it into their current food. Each day, gradually increase the amount of new food as you decrease the amount of old food. Once your pet is accustomed to the new form or flavor, rotating between varieties can be a smoother transition as long as you stay within the Nature’s Variety products, which are all formulated for rotation.
  • To get pets interested and accustomed to eating raw frozen diets, try serving a small medallion as a treat to get them to enjoy the taste and texture. You can also try mixing the raw food with kibble or canned diets as a way of introducing this new form.
  • Try adding a wholesome, healthy topper to the food such as Nature’s Variety Freeze Dried Raw, tuna water, or broth. This may help entice your pet to try a new food.
  • Many people find that hand feeding works well when introducing something new to their pets, because it is a comforting gesture.
  • Try warming your pet’s food (except for raw) before you serve it – some pets prefer their food to be slightly heated.
  • It’s best to avoid giving pets their pills with their meals, as dogs and cats can often detect medication or supplements in their food and will refuse to eat it. Avoid this practice if you can. Try to keep mealtime a positive experience for your dog or cat.
  • If your pet suddenly becomes a picky eater, or displays a general lack of interest in eating, you should consult your trusted veterinarian.

Other actions can also impact how your pet views eating, so it’s important to set general parameters at mealtime. Avoid free feeding (a significant contributor to pet obesity); instead, feed at regular scheduled times, preferably before your own meals – this will encourage pets to anticipate their meals and can help discourage begging. Keep in mind that if you provide wholesome table scraps to your pet in addition to his complete and balanced diet, the extra food contributes to his daily caloric intake – and should reduce the amount of food he needs at his scheduled meal. Finally, if you have a new puppy, kitten, or recently adopted pet, remember to start them out right with a Rotation Diet. The health benefits are endless, and you’ll be helping to prevent the development of picky eating habits later on.

For picky pets, trying the Nature’s Variety Rotation Diet is easy. Your pet can taste Instinct or Prairie kibble for free when you ask your local retail store associate for a 3 oz kibble sample. Nature’s Variety also makes a convenient and affordable ($4.99) raw food 0.75 lb trial sized package called “A Taste of Raw.” Look for it in the freezer! And always remember, all Nature’s Variety products are 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed, so if for ANY reason (even pickiness!) you aren’t completely satisfied with the product, just return the bag or can to your local retail store for a full refund.

Try the Rotation Diet to keep your picky pet happy and healthy for years to come. With the complete offering of Nature’s Variety food forms (kibble, cans, and raw frozen) and protein sources (meat, poultry, and fish), there will always be a healthy, nutritious choice to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

Article provided by Susan Blake Davis, CCN Pet Nutritionist of