My sisters and I have been eating a rotation diet for about a year now. Honestly, it was never our plan, but it kind of happened and we feel it is a good thing. If you are not sure what a rotation diet is, I’ll explain the how, what, and why today.
Our Rotation Diet
How did we do it?
Many dogs eat the same food, day in, day out, from a super large bag, and let’s face it…that is boring! Yes, we were those dogs a while back too, but Mom has learned there are better ways to feed dogs. My sisters and I have no food allergies or issues which made switching our food around easy to do, but you should always check with your veterinarian first no matter what.
Our rotation diet started when we switched to a brand of kibble that is for dogs of all ages, and had several proteins we could switch on and off with and have no issues. Mom thought it would be nice for us to have chicken for a couple weeks, then lamb, beef, etc. The food bags were also smaller, only 22 pounds which lasts the three of us just under three weeks. After about six months by chance we reviewed a grain free raw infused kibble and loved it. We continued to rotate proteins, but now with the grain free raw infused kibble.
About six months after we started the raw infused kibble, we tried another brand of grain free raw infused. We loved it just as much and realized if we added it to our rotation, we would have six proteins to rotate through! Variety is the spice of life they say!
Along with our kibble, we had been eating some canned food as a topper which is sometimes grain free, sometimes not. There are endless varieties of the canned food including a whole different line of proteins which only adds to our taste bud’s enjoyment.
Recently we added another brand of wet food to our rotation, so we now have even more fun flavors as toppers. Our mealtime is always a surprise!
What did we do?
We simply went from eating the same food day in, day out, from a large bag over five to six weeks to eating six varieties of raw infused kibbles from two brands, with wet food toppers at dinnertime. Not having any food issues made the switch really easy for us.
Why did we do it?
There are many reasons to switch to a rotation diet, and there are many varieties of rotation diets including adding raw feeding into the rotation, but we are not that far yet.
- Variety – it keeps us excited for mealtime because we never know what we will be eating.
- Rotating the proteins in a dog’s diet helps keep allergies from developing as the dog isn’t eating one protein long enough to react adversely to a protein. There are exceptions, but in general it holds true.
- Our rotation diet has gotten my sister Katie to keep eating. With her health issues, her appetite is down, but the variety keeps her eating better.
- No two brands are identical so by rotating brands, your dog will get the benefits of each brand.
- Pet food isn’t made to last forever! The moment you open the bag, the flavor and nutrients start to slip away. By purchasing smaller bags and switching often, we also get more flavor and nutrients from out food!
- A rotation diet can be whatever you make it. It can be just two brands of kibble, it can be grain free and with grain, with or without wet food. You are the boss of what you feed your dog.
Remember to check with your veterinarian before starting a rotation diet, and start it out slowly so your dog can adjust. The younger the dog is when you start, the easier it will be.
***As a side note, kitty sis Sophie has always been a poor eater. Last fall we inadvertently received a bag of grain free raw infused cat kibble. We fed it to Sophie and she loved it! Sophie is now on her own cat food rotation diet! She has gained some weight, looks fantastic, and is enjoying mealtime these days.***
I like this way to eat… once we heard from a “dog-eggs-pert” that dogs sure can eat the same food for lifetime, because in nature the wolves have to eat what they will get too. We thought that’s complete BS and left this dog-whisperer lessons. The eggspert said then we will never be successful like he is in anything dog… probably… because he grabbed our 45 bucks and the 45 bucks of other people… so that’s a kind of success too :o(((
We used to eat the same thing all the time…borrrinnnggg…now eating is so much more fun!
Ellen Shedlarz says
Wish Katie could do that but she can only eat venision which I have flown in from Texasbonce a month. Not a cheap diet but anything for my sweet girl.
Wow, that really is a limited diet, but out pet parents do what they have to for us furry ones.
Miss Harper Lee says
We’re coming to your house for dinner! I’ve eaten grain free since I was a puppy because the Golden who preceded me had bad allergies and Mommy wanted to try to avoid that with me, which so far we’ve done. I rotate between chicken, beef, duck, lamb, salmon, and rabbit. When we had a big yard with lots of trees, I always had rabbit in fall because it makes my poo darker and easier to pick out among the fallen leaves. There I go again . . . too much poo info. 😉
You are rotating which is a good thing. We still eat grain food sometimes and grain treats as it doesn’t bother us so there is no reason not to. We aren’t allowed to poop in our yard, so how is looks isn’t a factor for us. We always do our business on walks because my mom will not have landmines. First walk, then play in the yard.
Will (MarkingOurTerritory.com) says
A feast fit for royalty! Do you transition directly from one bag to the next, or do it over a few days?
At first we kind of mixed some from the old bag with the new, but then realized it really isn’t necessary since the foods are similar enough and our bodies are used to changing it up. It really makes mealtime a lot more fun! Both of our kibble brands say you can just switch their proteins with no issues and since both brands are similar grain free raw infused, it doesn’t cause issues and we are not food sensitive which also makes a difference. You guys should give it a try.
Reilly-Denny Cowspotdogs says
Well who knew – we have been doing that all our life – Mom says there is no way she would let us eat the same thing all the time – so every month she changes mixtures and flavors – we always have half raw but Mom swaps it out between bison, venison, fish, rabbit and lamb
That is great. My mom was always told never to switch foods because it was hard on us. We now know differently.
We think that is soooooo cool!!! We have been changing things up every couple of months or so…but we have to be careful because 3 of us have have sensitive tummies and Arty has allegies, so right now we keep our kibble the same and make sure to squeeze in some different treats!
Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo
We are super lucky not to have any allergies or tummy issues. At least you guys mix up the treats.
Two French Bulldogs says
Sounds like something I would enjoy
Love & Peas,
Lily & Edward
I think most dogs would enjoy variety.
Frankie and Ernie says
Our mom does this Rotate thingy with our Dry and Wet Blue Buffalo… she orders three different flavors of EACH and then ROTATES them around… We also get WET (canned) as a topper to our dry every evening… along with a walnut sized GLOB of Coconut Oil … GARNISH…
Rotating is not only Delicious… it gives different types of nutrition that we need.
The wet on top of the dry is amazing! We eat the same dry flavor for about three weeks as the food loses something the longer the bag is open, even if you store it in a sealed container, but we are fine with that as the wet food is different every day or two.
M. K. Clinton says
Since Bentley & Pierre eat homemade with our dehydrated pre-mix, they get a different protein and oil at each meal. We use beef, chicken, turkey, and fish or I’ll buy the freeze-dried proteins like rabbit. ☺ I can’t imagine eating the same meal for a lifetime! BOL!
We used to eat the same thing all the time as the old way of thinking was change is too hard on the system. Now we know better and we love all the different flavors. I love that you are getting wabbit! Yum!
Great post, Emma! Zoe and Phoenix love their rotational diet, too! I think it’s great and gives them a wide variety!
The variety definitely makes mealtime much more fun!
I love this idea Emma! That makes sense to me. With raw feeding or homecooked meals dog owners are always trying to mix it up as much as possible for balance and variety. Why wouldn’t you do something similar with dry food? I love that you mix in some canned as well.
On the other hand, I do see benefits for some dogs of not changing too much. Some dogs get upset tummies or have allergies to random ingredients so I understand sometimes you have to stick to what works. I do that with Ace.
The younger a dog starts on a rotation diet the better as their body adjusts. Katie has a sensitive system, but she does well on this too. The foods are similar enough, her tummy can handle it. Now that she doesn’t want to eat, it has been a big help in enticing her to eat something.
Jan K says
You don’t have any issues with digestion, even when switching between brands? We rotate as well, but usually only switch every three months or so. It’s great when we get an opportunity to try something new through a campaign too. We have several brands that we like now, but usually stick to the same one for a few months, switching proteins just within that brand.
Both brands state that the food can be rotated as often as you like because they are so similar, and both food brands are similar, so it works. The canned food hasn’t been a problem either, but it is only a part of our mealtime. Even Katie who is sensitive to things she eats hasn’t had any trouble.
The Island Cats says
Hey, we’re on a rotation diet and didn’t even realize it!
Good for you guys!
That’s a pretty cool approach! We sort of do that, except I have a Sister or two that just want to rotate from bowl to bowl!
Cat bro Bert takes that approach too, even trying to rotate dog food into his mix!
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
Lucky girls to get different stuff. I just don’t have time to tinker with feeding 6 dogs made up food so they get their dry food with a bit of our supper when we are done eating.
I think having a lot of dogs does make it difficult. Three is plenty to handle for us!
Jana Rade says
Cookie typically downs get the same thing for more than couple of days in a row.
We have the same kibble for a couple weeks, but the wet food varies every day or two which spices things up.
I never considered a rotation diet outside of raw feeding, but it makes sense. I wonder if this would have been beneficial for Rodrigo when he was a puppy. At the moment, our dogs eat the same protein for 3 days in a row, then green tripe for 1-2 days, then a new protein. It seems to work well for them and it helps me see if there are any protein intolerances with Rodrigo.
They say the younger you start the better. We just aren’t ready to make the jump to raw, so we are using the real good grain free kibble with raw infused pieces and some canned. It is working really well for us. We are all eating better and seem to be real healthy on this program.
Tails Around the Ranch says
I can always tell when Sam gets bored with his kibbles because he isn’t as eager to eat everything in the bowl right away and will graze over the course of a day; we’re gonna try this strategy out! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I’m always a slow eater, but the rotation keeps my speed up a bit. I like to take the pieces out of the bowl and set them on the floor one by one and then eat them up later.
Tails Around the Ranch says
Sam does that but NEVER eats kibble off the floor. Dang picky dog!
Groovy Goldendoodles says
I tried a rotation diet on Harley when he was younger, didn’t work out too well. Now I just use THK as a base and I add different proteins, fruits and veggies each meal. That’s about as adventurous as we get here in Doodleville.
It might not work for every dog, but we sure enjoy it and none of us have any issues. My mom isn’t ready to commit to adding things from the fridge just yet, so we are going this route.
Dolly the Doxie says
Thanks for the great info! Mom feels so guilty feeding us the same food all of the time. Don’t you need to adjust to the new food each time by doing it gradually? That’s what mom worries about. She couldn’t get my regular food recently and went and got the old one and there wasn’t enough to do a gradual shift so I guess we’re rotating now too! Love Dolly
With Merrick, they tell you their foods are so similar there are no issues switching and our other food is very similar to Merrick. None of us have had any problems at all. I think the first few times you make a major change like grain to grain free you need to do it slowly, but if the foods are similar, it isn’t a big problem unless your dog has food issues.
As a raw feeder I use the rotation diet too. We switch every three days. Ground chicken and chicken necks in the morning and ground beef mix at night for three days, then the next three days are ground turkey mix and ground lamb mix. We do this for all the reasons you mentioned above. The dog’s love it, the problem can be me remembering to defrost the food. 🙂
Luckily, our food isn’t frozen, so there isn’t much to remember! Maybe one day we will get to raw, but right now, Mom isn’t ready to make the leap into that food bowl.
2 Brown Dawgs says
Do you find it hard to maintain a steady weight? Brown dawgs say they will happily eat any food you put in front of them.
Bailie is the only one who loves to eat. I’m slow and picky, and these days Katie doesn’t eat enough and is losing weight. We are all active enough too, that our weights have never been an issue.