I have grown up on the rotation diet. That is, my human switches dog food formulas every two months or so. When I was younger I thought she was just persnickety and obsessive. Now I’ve come to understand that rotating proteins and formulas is more in alignment with my wolf ancestors; wolves don’t eat the same meal every day, week in, week out, so a rotation diet for dogs makes perfect sense.
A diverse diet can reduce the risk of food allergies because we canines can become sensitive to the same protein fed to us all the time. By switching brands and formulas, we get a more diversified assortment of nutrients and proteins. Rotation feeding includes varying the proteins (beef, turkey, elk, venison, bison, boar, lamb, salmon, trout, chicken, rabbit, duck, kangaroo) and their various forms: raw, canned, kibble, dehydrated, cooked.
Another advantage of a rotation diet is that we canines stay excited about new foods and textures. This can result in less of the “picky eater” syndrome and more of the “gobble all the food” and “lick the bowl” syndromes.
For the dogs with sensitive stomachs, it’s always advisable to gradually introduce the new dry food. I tell my dog friends to make sure they’re getting a probiotic, because that helps our GI tract adjust to new changes without the unpleasantness of gas that can clear humans out of a room, or any bouts of rather embarrassing diarrhea.
Some humans design a rotation diet for dogs by buying different kinds of the same favorite brand. My human takes it step further; she switches brands almost as often as she switches formulas.
We also get to have different added foods like Kefir, sardines, organic pumpkin meal, chopped kale, some celery and carrots. Buckaroo is wild about peaches (the flesh not the skin), and I like apple slices. This variety ensures that the microbiome of our GI tract doesn’t get so accustomed to one meal that it treats any new food like a foreign invader.
Variety may be the spice of life for humans, but it also contributes to a healthy life for us canines too!
Kemosabe is a three year old Australian shepherd who, when he’s not on the road with Tigger, likes to hang out at BioStar — taste-testing products and herding the FedEx delivery guys.