I have a Plott Hound/ Lab and a Cattle Dog/Border Collie, They are both 3 and have been on Merrick Whole Earth most of their lives. My girls are healthy, have wonderful coats, active, and happy. However Merrick was recently sold and as a result I am in the market for a new food that is good for them and affordable. I have researched Champion(A bit too expensive for my budget), Horizon, and Fromm, I like all three companies. But have decided on Horizon and Fromm for now.
I had not heard of the rotation diet before and would like to know more about it. I understand the switch SLOWLY concept from past experience with previous dogs. I was wondering if I switched proteins, for example a chicken formula, then fish,… would this cause problems? Any other advice you can give to a “Rotation Newbe?”
Hi, I have always rotated my dogs food, since they were puppies. I have one 12 year old, a 9 year old rescue and 2 bernese, 1 year old and one six months old. I have 5 different foods and rotate daily. For example I have Fromm, Wellness, Evo, Acadia, Health Extension and Orijen. The puppy has different puppy formulas. They are all different proteins, like, fish, chicken, buffalo, etc. I buy at different times so I am not replacing all foods at once. Usually I am replacing one bag every two months. I only use 5 star rated foods from this site or from Whole Dog Journal.
When I had just the small dogs, it was relatively cheap as I was using small bags. Now since I have the big girls I have to have storage bins. As I run out of one food, I will get another one they haven’t had in the last 6 months.
It just makes sense to me that they should eat a variety of foods. Because they get such a variety they can eat anything. They never have gas, they never have loose stools. They are very healthy. It has never made sense to me that you should have a dog on one food forever. Since mine have always been on rotation, I have never had to slowly change food. Again they get a different food daily.
Pamela gave you great info. I’ll add to it by saying that rotational diet means different things to different people. Some people rotate proteins within the same brand (like you were talking about), others switch not only the protein, but the brand like myself and Pamela do.
Switching within the same line, you don’t need to blend food. The only reason they SHOULD get GI upset is if they were intolerant to an ingredient in the food. Other than that they should be fine.
How I started my pitbull on a rotational diet was, I added Kefir (very popular milk type drink in the Jewish community that contains strains of healthy bacteria which allows dogs to digest different foods) to his food for the 7-10 day window where you would be tranistioning foods. I also added a digestive supplement from The Honest Kitchen called Perfect Form. I did this for a few switches, however now, I no longer have to do that. I can switch every meal to a new food (I don’t except for some samples of different foods here and there) without GI upset. Veterinary Nutritionists like Dr. Susan Wrynn are even recommending rotational feeding to make sure your dog is not nutritionally defeciant in anything on just one food.
My experience with rotational feeding has been fun and it’s made my dog interested in food again. I used to feed lots of different brands, however now, because of skin conditions he has I need to feed 1-2 foods to see if the food is making a difference or not. Thats just my situtation though. If your dog is completely healthy I think rotational feeding is excellent.
Pamela and Pitlove,
Thank you for the advice and encouragement. I feel much more confidant in my choice to feed a rotation diet! I am impressed by, The Honest Kitchen website and Dr. Wrynn’s blog on, “Pet Health and Nutrition.” Kefir will need a bit more research, I may add it to my own diet. My girls and I thank you both for the wealth of information. I’ll update the form with how things go so others may learn along with me. Wish us luck!
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