What In The Actual Hell Is Rotation Feeding?
A Brief Introduction & Some Of The Benefits
You may be asking yourself, “What in the actual hell is rotation feeding?” Well, today I’m going to share a brief introduction to rotation feeding and some of its benefits to your dog and his overall health and well-being. But before I begin, there’s two things you should know about me. First, I’m not a vet, and second…
I Hate Eating
I have a weird relationship with food. And by weird, I mean that I hate eating and find it disruptive. I can think of a million things I’d rather do than eat, like hunting new street art murals or playing with my dogs.
Hell, I’d even prefer darning socks or going to the DMV over spooning chunky casseroles with creamy sauces into my mouth.
And don’t get me started on those seriously absurd fusion cuisines. (Indonesian-Dutch? WTF… are you kidding me??)
I’m definitely not a foodie and my palate would be more accurately described as a pallet.
For me, eating is a chore and I put it off for as long as I can. If I get two solid squares a day, I’m doing good.
Basically, I eat because I have to. Period. End of story.
But when it comes to my dogs, I have a very different attitude towards food and nutrition. Since I choose what my dogs eat, when they eat and, hell, even where they eat, I feel it is my responsibility to make sure they are getting the complete and healthy nutrition.
One way I ensure my dogs are getting the most complete nutrition is through rotation feeding.
What Is Rotation Feeding?
In short, rotation feeding is a holistic nutritional philosophy that emphasizes the importance of providing your dog different proteins, vegetables, fruits and other ingredients on a regular basis to make sure your dog is getting the most complete nutrient profile possible. But, practically speaking, what does this mean?
If you feed a kibble, you can rotate different protein sources and/or formulas from your chosen brand. Alternatively, you can rotate between different brands of kibble. Or you can add different types of canned food to your dog’s bowl. Or you can add a bit of healthy fresh-cooked proteins to your dog’s kibble. If you’re ready to try your hand at feeding a fresh-prepared or raw diet, you can add a small amount of a rehydrated pre-mix base or frozen raw protein to your dog’s kibble.
If you feed a fresh-prepared meal from a pre-mix base, such as Dr. Harvey’s line of foods, you can rotate between different protein sources or even between different formulas! You can also toss in some healthy, dog-friendly fresh fruits and veggies. I’m currently rotating between two different pre-mix bases and also rotating both proteins and healthy oils. Stay tuned for more information on this!
If you feed a homemade raw diet, in addition to making sure your dog’s meal is complete and nutritionally balanced, you can rotate different protein sources and other ingredients.
And if you feed a commercially-prepared raw food, such as Darwin’s Pet, you can rotate between different formulas and/or proteins.
If rotating foods or proteins and other ingredients every day isn’t possible, even rotating one or two meals a week will make a difference in your dog’s health!
Rotation Feeding Benefit #1: More Complete Nutrition
All dog foods are created with different ingredients, which means that each food contains different types and quantities of protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Optimal health requires that dogs receive these components from different sources and in different amounts.
Rotating proteins is especially important since no single protein source provides all the amino acids a dog needs. By consistently rotating different protein sources, you can help make sure your dog is getting the most complete amino acid profile.
Rotation Feeding Benefit #2: Variety
Another key goal of rotational feeding is adding variety to meal time with different flavors or textures that comes along with switching up the foods or ingredients that you feed your dog.
The vast majority of dogs eat the same food, twice a day, for his entire life. Can you imagine eating the same exact meal every time you sat down to eat? You’d probably revolt.
But this is precisely what many pet parents do because they’ve been told this is how dogs should be fed.
If you begin rotating foods or even just protein sources, you’ll be amazed at how excited your dogs will be when you set down their bowl!
Rotation Feeding Benefit #3: Avoiding Food Allergies
This short video by Dr. Karen Becker explains how rotation feeding can actually help prevent food allergies in both cats and dogs. She explains it better than I ever could, so push that “play” button and learn from one of my living heroes!
Video by Dr. Karen Becker courtesy of Healthy Pets & Mercola
How Often Should You Rotate Foods?
In my vet-tech-but-not-veterinarian opinion, the more frequently you can rotate ingredients, the better. Since I’m not a veterinarian, you should definitely talk to your veterinarian or consult with a holistic vet or veterinary nutritionist to help determine what is best for your dog and any health conditions he may be experiencing.
Personally, I’ve been rotating fresh lightly-cooked or raw proteins every day and rotate other other ingredients weekly.’
Have a question about rotation feeding? Leave a comment & I will get you the answer you need!
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