Variety is the Spice of Life
(Pet) Food for thought from Dr. Michael Fox…
For decades pet owners have been advised to feed their animals the same kind manufactured food every day in order to avoid digestive and other upsets, many people protesting how “boring” that must be for their animals having to eat the same stuff day in and day out. Human studies on the consequences of such boring consumer habits/lifestyles cast doubt on this erroneous advice being given to pet owners.
Holland’s University of Groningen press release of research by Alexandra Zhernakova and co-workers simply stated “Lifestyle has a strong impact on intestinal bacteria, which has a strong impact on health.” “Lifestyle” means what people eat and drink and essentially the greater the diversity of foods and beverages we consume, the more diverse is bacterial population in our intestines which is good for our digestive and immune systems and overall health. By extension this finding is relevant to what cats and dogs and other domestic animals are fed in terms of diversity of foodstuffs.
See Zhernakova, A et al. Population-based metagenomics analysis reveals markers for gut microbiome composition and diversity. Science, 2016; 352 (6285): 565 DOI: 10.1126/science.aad3369
Dr. Michael Fox
Michael W. Fox BVetMed, PhD, DSc, MRCVS Veterinarian, bioethicist, syndicated columnist (Animal Doctor with Universal-UClick). Website: www.drfoxvet.net
Author of Supercat: How to Raise the Perfect Feline Companion: also Cat Body, Cat Mind, and Dog Body, Dog Mind with Rowman & Littlefield; The Healing Touch for Dogs and The Healing Touch for Cats with Harper Collins & co-author of Not Fit for a Dog: The Truth About Manufactured Cat & Dog Foods with Quill Driver Books