Diet Rotation for Dogs

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The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisor’s most frequently asked questions about diet rotation for dogs.

What is diet rotation?

Unlike a conventional feeding plan where the same food is served at each meal, diet rotation involves varying a dog’s menu on a daily, weekly, or other periodic basis.

Why should I consider diet rotation for my dog?

Since there’s no such thing as a perfect dog food, it’s reasonable to assume every product is deficient or excessive in some way.

Too much of one nutrient… or too little of another. Plus many foods can contain traces of dangerous toxins.

So, built-in flaws tend to be magnified when the same food is fed continuously… day-in and day-out… for a lifetime.

By periodically switching dog foods, the unhealthy consequences of serving the same imperfect products can be minimized.

Isn’t changing dog foods dangerous for the animal?

Although some pets can’t tolerate menu changes, I’ve never been able to find a single scientific study proving diet rotation to be unhealthy or detrimental to a dog.

Does diet rotation mean mixing two or more different dog foods together and serving them at the same meal?

No. The benefits of diet rotation are optimized only when cycling between different products on a periodic basis.

How often should dog foods be switched?

There’s no fixed feeding plan that works better than the others. So, it depends on your own imgenuity.

Some switch foods daily. Others change weekly. And still others prefer to empty one bag of kibble before beginning the next.

Is there a downside to diet rotation?

There are mainly two disadvantages to diet rotation…

  • Avoiding GI upset
  • Maintaining product freshness

Since some dogs have sensitive stomachs, the potential for GI upset can be an issue for certain pets.

And because alternating between two or more kibbles can make each bag take longer to use up, it can be difficult to maintain the freshness of each product.

What’s the best way to transition to a new dog food?

Most experts recommend transitioning to a new food gradually — starting with about 20-25% “new” and slowly increasing that amount to a full 100% over a 7 to 10 day period.

Be patient and don’t rush the transitioning process. Take your time to minimize the chance of GI upset.

Can you provide an example of diet rotation?

For Bailey, we mix one-fourth of a small can of a single-species wet food (chicken, lamb, rabbit, etc.) with his kibble. As each can runs out, we switch to a different canned product from the same brand.

Then, when each bag of kibble is empty, we start with a different kibble (usually, but not always, from the same brand).

Over the long term (twice a year), we gradually switch brands, too.

  • el doctor

    Hi Josie

    I’m glad that you are looking into a homemade diet for your dog!

    You didn’t mention your dog’s weight, but a good starting point for a dog that is not high or low energy is about 2.5% of their body weight fed daily split into 2 meals. You would then adjust accordingly based on your pup’s results.

    I cook everything “rare”. I also use a very low heat to preserve as much of the nutrients as possible while eliminating excessive bacteria.

    All my recipes use supplements. I recommend you read this book, it has a wealth of information and some recipes.

    http://www.amazon.com/Beckers-Real-Food-Healthy-Dogs/dp/0982533128/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1439445721&sr=1-1&keywords=Dr.+Becker%27s+Real+Food+for+Healthy+Dogs+and+Cats%3A+Simple+Homemade+Food+4th+edition

    Here are 2 recipes for a 100 lb dog. You can make them as they are and then feed the appropriate amount for your dog based on its weight.

    The main supplement can be purchased here

    https://secure.balanceit.com/marketplace2.2/index.php?m=homemade

    Smashed peas and Turkey recipe;
    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/dogfoodadvisor/off_topic_discussion/#comment-2042396522

    Beef and Veggies recipe;
    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/dogfoodadvisor/off_topic_discussion/#comment-2038557729

    Pic of Beef and Veggies
    http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/2072/251/original.jpg

    Good Luck 😉

  • Josie Pacheco

    I was wondering what a good homemade dog food diet (recipe and amount daily) is best for a 2yr old Lab, Australian cattle dog mix. Who’s also sensative to gluten?..

  • Joe Adams

    I’ve been feeding my 2 French bulldogs purizon Angus beef for the past 6 months it’s a good quality food with a high protein% however they seem to have gone of it. I guess they’re bored of it so I’ve switched to TOW which they now love.. my question is can I feed them TOW one day then purizion the next day and keep rotating like that?

  • Joe Adams

    I’ve been feeding my 2 French bulldogs purizon Angus beef for the past 6 months it’s a good quality food with a high protein% however they seem to have gone of it. I guess they’re bored of it so I’ve switched to TOW which they now love.. my question is can I feed them TOW one day then purizion the next day and keep rotating like that?

  • el doctor

    Hi 1fedup1,

    I think it’s great that you supplement your dog’s diet with fresh human-grade foods!

    I feed my dogs a homemade diet, and If you would like any help in figuring out how to do the same for your pups, I would be glad to help.

    Dogs do have different requirements than we do, but once you learn how, you will find it’s not that difficult or time consuming at all, and as far as quality goes, nothing beats it 😉

  • jesse

    Yeah I feed him fromm and taste of the wild now