NutriSource Blogs

Should I rotate? Your questions answered about rotational feeding

January 26, 2022

Feeding guides for canines are built on one premise: Once you find a food that seems to agree with your pet, keep serving it. But that approach leaves out the benefits from rotational feeding.

Add a longstanding assumption about how switching foods creates digestive and gastrointestinal issues, and it’s no wonder people have questions when we at NutriSource encourage pet parents to practice rotational feeding.

For a great overview of rotational feeding, check out: Want to try rotational feeding for your dog? Here’s how to get started

Won’t rotational feeding cause stomach upset?

Here’s what a traditional feeding guide will tell you. “When you switch foods on your dog, go slowly, start by mixing a small amount, and very gradually up the ratio of new food to old food.”

There’s a grain of truth in the guidelines. If your dog is used to eating the same food for all his life, abrupt changes can be upsetting. In that case, your dog will show signs on gastrointestinal distress, with vomiting, diarrhea, and a diminished appetite.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid rotational feeding. Because it depends on what you feed them.

With NutriSource, you can safely practice rotational feeding across our entire line of foods. Doing so will provide your dog with a rich variety of animal proteins, wholesome grains, and nutritious produce to build a healthy body. What makes our formula better is our focus on gut health.

Gut health is the key to successful rotational feeding

When you practice rotational feeding within the NutriSource line, you’ll find that rotational feeding is far easier and faster than with other brands. That’s because our brand has special ingredients that start working right away to eliminate the bad bacteria that cause gastrointestinal upset. Good 4 Life is a proprietary supplement system from Alltech we include in every bag, can, and carton in our canine and feline product lines.

  • Probiotics: live strains of “good bacteria” that build a healthier microbiome and support your pet’s immune system.
  • Prebiotics that activate and feed the probiotics.
  • Trace minerals that have far-reaching benefits, including digestive support and a healthy coat.
  • Organic selenium that supports metabolic function.

For a deeper dive, read How Good 4 Life makes rotational feeding easier on your dog’s system.

FAQs about rotational feeding with your dog

What happens if you start rotational feeding with your dog? The team at NutriSource has answers to your common questions around rotational feeding, so you know what to expect. If your dog has food sensitivities, you should find these FAQs especially relevant.

How long after transitioning to NutriSource should I start rotational feeding?

First and foremost, you know your dog best. If you transition to NutriSource and find that your dog adapts without a single sign of gastrointestinal distress, then you’re good to go. After a few weeks of successful mealtimes, introduce a second formula.

When should I begin rotational feeding?

Start as soon as you can. Introduce your dog to different meats, grains, and produce found in NutriSource early in life. Exposure and variety from the start will greatly reduce the chance your dog will develop reactions and allergies later in life.

What’s the best mix of animal proteins in rotational feeding?

We like to tell people to think of taking the “air, land and sea” approach to rotating their proteins when rotational feeding with dogs. Start with a formula that emphasizes turkey or chicken (air), followed by a land formula (pork or beef), and complete the cycle with a sea (fish) formula. By rotating the proteins, your dog will get a complete tour through all the essential amino acids.

Are loose stools normal in dogs after starting rotational feeding?

Sometimes, the only issue you may notice in your dog when you start practicing rotational feeding is looser than normal stools. This is temporary for most pets. If there are no other signs of distress — no vomiting, no hesitation at the bowl — then there’s nothing to worry about. As time goes on, and Good 4 Life has had a chance to build a robust microbiome and immune support, this minor issue will fade away.

What if I want to start rotational feeding, but my dog has a sensitive stomach?

If you’ve already seen the signs that your dog’s stomach is sensitive to diet changes, then taking the go-slow approach in introducing NutriSource could give you peace of mind as you get started on rotational feeding. As we said earlier, you know your dog best! However, you may be pleased to find a significant reduction in gastrointestinal issues. And the more you practice rotational feeding, the more resilient your dog’s system will become.

I suspect my dog has allergies. Can rotational feeding help?

If you suspect food allergies because you’ve noticed symptoms such as itching, redness, a yeasty smell, or paw-chewing, start with NutriSource. Stick to the same food for 60 days. Your dog’s problem could be a pathogenic yeast, which our Good 4 Life system can clear up in a couple of months, making your dog’s symptoms disappear. If you don’t see any improvement, the next step is introducing your dog to our limited ingredient diet, NutriSource Pure Vita.

What do I do if NutriSource isn’t helping my pet?

If it’s been more than a week and your dog is still showing signs and symptoms of stomach upset, it’s time to take a more strategic approach. The goal is to discover if your dog is sensitive to a protein or ingredient. NutriSource’s Pure Vita is a limited ingredient line that can help you figure out what’s causing your dog’s sensitive stomach. It has a streamlined ingredient list so you can do trial feedings to discover which proteins your pet best responds to, and which are off-limits.

It may be that your dog has developed a sensitivity to chicken because that is the only thing he’s eaten for much of his life. Then you can practice rotational feeding — just avoid formulas that have the problem ingredients.

But my dog is sensitive to chicken! Should I practice rotational feeding?

Absolutely! One of the biggest mistakes pet parents can make is failing to practice rotational feeding when their pet has sensitivities and intolerances to certain ingredients. For example, if your dog is allergic to chicken, you might find good results after switching to a beef formula. If you continue to stick to the single-food approach, you could create another problem down the road. That problem is your dog developing an intolerance to the beef formula through overexposure.

We hear about these problems all the time. While it may seem safe to stick to one reliable formula, it’s actually better to practice rotational feeding. It might be a limited version where you, say, switch off with beef and fish. This will greatly reduce the odds of your dog developing reactions to other ingredients.

Healthy gut, healthy mutt! That’s the NutriSource way

Good 4 Life is only found in NutriSource. This proprietary line of gut-healing supplements is found across the entire NutriSource line so you can start practicing rotational feeding with ease.

We do things differently at NutriSource because we can.

And we can because of Good 4 Life.

Shop local and buy NutriSource at a local, independent pet retailer.