NutriSource Blogs

Is it allergies, intolerance or yeast? Can a rotational diet help?

December 08, 2021

Let’s take a look at one of the most common scenarios dog owners face around feeding time. Their dog has been fed, say, a chicken-based food for years with no observable adverse effects. The dog always eats enthusiastically, and their health seems good. Then, seemingly out of the blue, the dog starts to react. They exhibit symptoms like vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. What’s gone wrong so suddenly?

Often, an owner will reach the conclusion that their dog has developed an allergy. They’ll feed their dog a new formula without the chicken, and the symptoms go away. Hypothesis confirmed, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. More often than not, this pattern is a sign of an intolerance, not an allergy. And while switching up the food certainly does the trick, there’s more to it if your goal is to feed your dog in the healthiest way possible, and to prevent more intolerances from developing in the future.

The solution lies with a rotational diet

We’re going to cover the differences between true allergies and acquired food intolerances. However, we do have a bit of a spoiler to share up front: both issues can be addressed effectively by rotationally feeding with exceptional quality food and supplements.

The steps just look a bit different depending on what ails your pup, so read on to learn more.

Allergies vs. Intolerance

Allergy problems and food intolerance problems can look very similar in your dog. So much so that the two conditions are often (wrongly) used interchangeably. So first, let’s define our terms.


An allergy is an immune system reaction that happens due to exposure to a particular allergen. An uncountable number of substances and environmental stimuli are potential allergens, though some are far more common than others.

In the case of food allergies, the allergen is something your dog consumes. Proteins are the most common food allergens for dogs.

Allergies can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Itchy skin that leads to dogs scratching and biting themselves
  • Flatulence, diarrhea, vomiting and other signs of gastrointestinal distress
  • Poor growth in puppies
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, eyes and/or ears

Allergies can manifest at any time in your dog’s life, and they worsen over time with repeat exposure to the allergen. Dogs who develop one food allergy are more likely to develop additional food allergies.


The main difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance is that an intolerance does not involve an immune system response. Food intolerances can come on suddenly and are often related to poor gut health.

While a food intolerance mimics many allergy symptoms, they tend to be more constrained to the GI tract. Intolerances are much more common than food allergies. The good news is they’re also less dangerous than allergies. The bad news is, they still cause a great deal of discomfort and can lead to some disastrous messes and expensive vet visits.

How does a rotational diet help?

You’ll often hear the argument that dogs get bored of eating the same meal over and over. This is probably true, and not a bad reason to consider rotational feeding. But the practice is about much, much more than just adding a bit of flavor diversity.

A repetitive, identical diet fed year after year can easily lead to poor gut health, particularly if the food doesn’t provide good pre- and probiotics. By regularly and thoughtfully introducing new proteins and carbs in a pre- and probiotic rich formula, you can get dramatic improvements to the bacterial colonies of a dog’s gut. Colonies that can boost immunity and longevity for a long and healthy life.

Why do proteins and carbs have such a powerful effect?

Different proteins provide different amino acid profiles to your dog. Rotating through a variety of protein sources gives a broader variety of those amino acids. This does a much better job of mimicking the nutritional profile that carnivores feeding in the wild would get. That means your dog gets closer to achieving the same natural gut environment as its wild ancestors.

On the other hand, rotating carbs is particularly beneficial for providing variation in micronutrients. This can help minimize the risk of developing an intolerance due to an imbalance of any one vitamin or mineral. Rotating between grain and grain-free carbs can also help reduce the odds of your dog developing a gluten intolerance.

Supplementing rotational feeding with Good 4 Life

For rotational feeding to have the best possible results alleviating allergies or an intolerance, the quality of the foods and supplements in rotation are paramount. That’s because, while rotating protein and carb sources has lots of benefits, exceptional dog food recipes with pre- and probiotics as well as top-of-the-line supplements are necessary if you really want to fully support your dog’s health and well-being.

Good 4 Life offers the kinds of supplements you need to make rotational feeding a resounding success.

Every formula in the Good 4 Life line is specifically crafted for proper nutrient absorption, immune system support and gut health. Combining a rotation of NutriSource foods with Good 4 Life supplements is a highly effective strategy for treating and preventing any type of food intolerance.

What’s unique about a rotation diet for dogs with allergies?

To treat a food intolerance, a true Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) isn’t typically necessary. The rotation of a high-quality food with high-quality supplements will usually fix the problem, no problem.

However, addressing an allergy requires a slightly different approach. If you or your vet suspect your dog has a true food allergy, then rotating through the LID Pure Vita foods by NutriSource will help. Since each PureVita formula only has one animal protein source, you can pinpoint the protein that’s triggering an immune response through the process of elimination. This identification stage is critical, as it’s very important to eliminate exposure to this food so your dog’s allergy symptoms don’t worsen.

After the allergen is identified, you can safely establish a rotational feeding schedule that only uses foods without the offending ingredient. Just remember, a dog with one food allergy is more likely to develop another food allergy later in life.

Keep an eye on how your dog is responding to the different foods they eat. If they display signs of an allergy again, you’ll want to repeat the process of identifying the offending ingredient and eliminating it from their diet.

Good 4 Life is the key to easy rotation and a recipe for good health

Check out our Good 4 LifeNutriSource and PureVita pages to learn more about what makes these foods and supplements so exceptional. From recipe formulation to manufacturing and delivery, we set the highest standards for our products. Because your dog deserves a long, healthy, happy life — and that all starts with eating right.