Why diversity in your dog’s diet matters

Many dogs are fed the same food day in, day out. Adding diversity to your dog's diet can have significant benefits.

The microbiome is the collection of microorganisms, such as bacteria, that live in or on your dog. The majority of these organisms support your dog's health by assisting in processes such as the digestion of food or the production of vitamins and nutrients. The microbial population in the gastrointestinal tract will also protect against toxins, carcinogens and allergens, by binding to them to prevent them from damaging the body. It works in a similar way for pathogens, like viruses, fungi and 'bad' bacteria. In addition to that, 'friendly' bacteria can secrete chemicals to kill 'bad' bacteria or compete for their energy source to effectively starve them.

Disruption to the canine microbiome has been linked to health issues such as gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, autoimmune disorders, obesity and many others. Certain conditions that are assumed to be due to genetic flaws or an ageing body may instead be issues which are emerging due to the lack of support for, or the constant assault upon, our dogs' microbiomes.

So - an important question for dog owners is "how can we best support our dogs' microbiome?"

The nature of the microbiome itself is significantly influenced by the diet of the dog. A healthy microbiome contains a diverse and balanced population of 'friendly' bacteria, and a varied diet helps to achieve this. Furthermore, fresh food contributes more to the microbiome than processed food, which has been sterilised to give it a long shelf life.

The idea that dogs should only be fed one recipe or one protein for their entire life has arisen for a number of reasons, but it is not optimal for the microbiome or the overall nutrition of the dog. It is true that too much diversity can sometimes cause digestive upset, but this is typically seen in dogs that are not used to any diversity in their diets. Quite often these dogs have a level of microbial imbalance within their gastrointestinal tract as a result of constantly eating the same processed food. Once this imbalance is addressed, dietary diversity can successfully be introduced.

Different Dog is made from fresh, seasonal, human grade ingredients. With a new menu every week, it not only keeps your dog excited about feeding time, but also delivers diversity in the diet and helps strengthen your dog's microbiome.