NutriSource Blogs

The Ultimate Guide to Full Circle Feeding

April 25, 2023

Most dogs look forward to mealtime, even if the exact same kibble awaits in their bowl, day in and day out. But is that really good for your dog? Canines thrive with a varied diet that introduces different proteins and other nutritious foods to provide them with a full spectrum of nutrients.

That’s where Full Circle Feeding comes in, where ultimate dog nutrition is achieved through a variety of wholesome foods and enhanced gut health.

Want to experience improving your dog’s nutrition and overall well-being? NutriSource’s Full Circle Feeding offers a simple-to-follow plan that unlocks access to the widest variety of nutrients from our entire line of premium foods.

Better yet, our formulation focuses on gut health support, removing the digestive distress associated with switching foods, making rotational feeding easy on your pet’s system.

Discover the all-around health that awaits your dog by following the five steps for Full Circle Feeding.

The 5 Steps to Full Circle Feeding

Step 1: Choosing a kibble

NutriSource kibble is the foundation of Full Circle Feeding. It provides your pet with a nutritious meal that satisfies the appetite. It has the Good 4 Life system, a special blend of probiotics, prebiotics and trace minerals that build gut health. But with so many varieties and formulas, how do you choose the best food for your dog? Take the following into account, including your pet’s life stage, age and special needs to narrow your selection.

Grain-inclusive or grain-free? Choose an entrée featuring antioxidant-rich whole grains, such as brown rice, barley and oats. Or go for grain-free for a highly digestible source of fiber and B-complex vitamins.

Any food allergies or intolerances to an ingredient? Know the source of your dog’s discomfort and find the foods to help reset his system.

What’s your climate? Did you know climate can be a factor in determining the best foods for your dog? Test drive the theory of food energetics, and see if it increases your pet’s comfort.

Is your pet getting up in years? As your pet ages, meet their changing needs with the right nutrition.

Did you get a puppy? Know the right time to switch to adult food.

Weight problems? Pet obesity is a growing issue in the U.S., but the right kibble can be part of the solution.

Step 2: Mix in wet food for digestion support

Mixing wet food into the kibble is a critical component to Full Circle Feeding. There’s no easier way to introduce new proteins to your dog than to open a can of chicken, beef, fish or lamb and spoon a portion into their bowl as part of the meal. Your pet receives other benefits from this approach:

Aids in digestive support: Wet entrees add much-needed hydration to a dry meal. That’s important because higher protein content requires sufficient hydration to support digestion. We should all be drinking more water — and so should your dog!

Makes mealtime enticing: There’s no denying that the meaty aroma of wet food makes suppertime extra alluring to dogs. If your dog is getting bored with kibble or if you have a picky eater, a wet food mixer often does the trick. Pro tip: Unlock even more aroma by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of warm water — your dog will give the meal two enthusiastic paws up!

However, you don’t want to overdo it when you serve a mix of wet and dry food. Here is a guide to proper portioning when practicing Full Circle Feeding.

Step 3: Treat them to an extra boost

Food toppers are often overlooked, but pet parents can add these to the meal for an extra dimension of aroma and flavor. Keeping these on hand can give your dog’s meal an extra boost.

Come-pooch-a is a savory bone broth topper that comes in three meaty flavors that’s packed with benefits that support your dog’s health.

  • Helps with hydration: Add moisture to the meal or add to your dog’s water to encourage him to drink.
  • Builds a strong microbiome: Come-pooch-a enhances gut health with postbiotics.
  • Soothes an upset stomach: The gut health support helps clear pathogens, aiding in relief and recovery.
  • Tempts picky eaters: It tastes so good, it makes dinner enticing even for the pickiest of eaters.

The topper that supports gut health

What makes Come-pooch-a unique is its gut health enhancing formula that’s powered by postbiotics. What are postbiotics? These microorganisms are the fermented byproduct of probiotics and prebiotics that colonize the microbiome with “good” bacteria. Postbiotics deliver several gut-health benefits:

  • aid digestion and nutrition absorption in the body
  • support the body’s immune and anti-inflammation responses
  • enhance your pet’s health and overall well-being

How often should I add a food topper?

You can safely add a Come-pooch-a as a topper every day — simply find your pet’s serving size by weight listed on the pouch. Pour it over your dog’s food, whether it’s kibble, freeze-dried or a wet entrée. Replace the cap and refrigerate.

Step 4: Rotate protein and carbs

Here’s where you’ll throw out everything you thought was right about feeding your dog.

The traditional approach to feeding dogs involved finding a single formula or flavor of dog food that suited your pet and sticking with it indefinitely. However, this approach can increase the likelihood of your pet developing food intolerances due to prolonged exposure to the same ingredients in a repetitive cycle.

Full Circle Feeding involves regularly changing the proteins and carbohydrates in your dog’s diet. This means that after your dog has been fed a formula containing chicken and rice, you could switch to one with lamb and peas, and then subsequently introduce haddock and heritage grains.

Variety is better for your dog because increasing their sources of proteins and carbs introduces a greater variety of nutrients to build all-around health.

How to get a variety of proteins: To alternate your dog’s protein sources, take the air, land and sea approach:

  • Air: chicken, turkey, pheasant and other poultry
  • Land: beef and pork
  • Sea: salmon, trout and other fish

Achieving variety is critical because each protein source has a unique profile of amino acids, which play different roles in building cells, developing muscle and keeping the body functional. Following the air, land and sea rotation introduces a complete slate of amino acids that provide optimal health to your dog. Discover more about the different proteins and how they benefit your dog.

Variety of carbohydrate sources: Dogs also need high-quality sources of carbohydrates. These provide fuel for the brain and body, but they’re also high in fiber and B-vitamins, as well as minerals, such as iron, magnesium and manganese. To provide the greatest diversity of nutrients, choose between grain-inclusive entrees and grain-free entrees, selecting various grains, legumes and starches. Learn more about balancing protein and carbs.

Preventing intolerance: Pet parents tend to choose one diet for their pet and stick with it for years, for fear that switching will cause stomach upset. But this does more harm than good. Overexposure to the same ingredients leads to intolerances, provoking a reaction of gastrointestinal distress when eating that particular food.

Step 5: Enjoy the results

Once you start Full Circle Feeding, you may notice a transformation in how your pet looks, feels and smells. That’s typical!

Because Good 4 Life is included in all our formulas, the first thing you’ll notice is your dog’s system will settle quickly, transitioning between the protein and carb sources without any signs of tummy issues.

With ongoing support from Good 4 Life, your dog develops a healthier, more diverse microbiome, elevating their well-being from nose to tail. The changes happening on the inside will start showing up on the outside.

  • Enhanced digestion means less poop in the backyard to clean up.
  • Better absorption of nutrients shows up in a softer, healthier coat and more energy.
  • Immune system support means better defenses against ear infections and yeasty odors.
  • Anti-inflammation support reduces irritating skin flareups, along with aches and pains.

Your Full Circle Feeding Questions Answered

Do dogs get tired of the same food?

Yes, dogs can get bored eating the same food every day, which means they sometimes go on strike. If you reach for the same trusty formula every single day year in and year out, your dog may eventually get a hankering for new scents and flavors. Even if your dog seems to be enjoying the same kibble, change is good. Serving up a rich variety of aromas can create more joy and less boredom at mealtime, providing the variety he instinctively craves.

Will changing dog food too quickly cause symptoms?

It depends on the brand. Typically, sudden switching to a new food can cause gastrointestinal distress such as loose stools and vomiting. The ingredients in the new dog food alter the gut’s microorganisms, which can set off digestive upset, which can last several days before the symptoms clear up. To avoid this messy situation, it’s important to introduce new foods gradually and transition over a week, mixing increasing amounts of the new food with decreasing amounts of the old food. This will allow your dog’s digestive system to adjust and avoid any discomfort.

However, many pet parents find that switching to NutriSource doesn’t result in the usual tummy upset associated with switching brands of dog food. Our nutritional system, Good 4 Life, is formulated to support gut health and it starts working immediately to facilitate digestion and remove pathogens. You may discover early on that NutriSource is very easy on your dog’s system, allowing you to speed up the transition.

How do I switch my dog’s food?

By using this guide! If you’re switching to NutriSource from another dog food brand it doesn’t hurt to start slow, mixing in a bit of kibble or wet food with the old.

If you’re using NutriSource it’s safe to switch to other foods within our premium brand because the Good 4 Life system builds gut health. Once you’ve introduced NutriSource to your dog, monitor their reaction between feedings. If they show no sign of gastrointestinal upset, serve a larger portion at the next feeding.

Can I switch dog food flavors if it’s the same brand?

Yes! Once your dog is enjoying NutriSource, you can practice Full Circle Feeding without worry, for all the reasons listed in this guide. As Good 4 Life’s probiotics and prebiotics continue building the healthy microbiome with good bacteria, your dog’s system will become more resilient, handling new ingredients with zero upset.

How often should I rotate my dog’s food?

Ideally, you’re rotating your dog’s food on a meal-to-meal basis, which will keep mealtimes interesting for your dog, while providing their body with optimized nutrition. To maintain freshness, buy smaller bags of kibble and invest in tightly lidded storage containers. However, if a simpler system is more convenient, you can alternate between one or two formulas at a time. You can then stock up on other varieties of wet food to mix with the kibble.

Should I practice Full Circle Feeding if my dog has a sensitive stomach?

Yes, in fact, Full Circle Feeding can help clear up stomach sensitivity over time, when practiced the right way. It is true that a varied diet can help promote a diverse and healthy microbiome in dogs, which can support gut health and overall wellness. The inclusion of various sources of proteins, carbohydrates and fiber can help provide a range of nutrients and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. NutriSource is also formulated to support digestive health, with a blend of probiotics and prebiotics to aid in digestion and remove tummy-upsetting pathogens.

Introducing new foods slowly and gradually can help minimize the risk of digestive upset in your dog. Over time, your dog’s system will settle and acclimate to the rotational feeding approach, and your dog will thank you!

My dog has allergies. Will Full Circle Feeding help?

Eating a variety of foods and fiber sources is beneficial for gut health, which is linked to relief from allergy symptoms, like itchiness, redness, a yeasty odor and paw chewing. A healthy microbiome reduces inflammation that accompanies the allergic response, while also enabling better absorption of nutrients, enabling your dog to better fight off infection. At the same time, Good 4 Life can also clear up pathogenic yeasts that are causing your dog’s allergy symptoms. Either way, Full Circle Feeding can make your allergic dog feel a whole lot better.

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 series is a limited-ingredient line that can help deduce the cause of your dog’s sensitive stomach. Its single-source proteins and streamlined ingredient list allow trial feedings for finding which proteins your pet best responds to, and which are off-limits.

It may be that your dog isn’t allergic to an ingredient, but has developed a sensitivity 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 Full Circle 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 abide to the single-food approach to feeding your dog, you could create another problem down the road. That problem is your dog developing an intolerance to the beef formula through overexposure.

These problems are common. While it may seem safe to stick to one reliable formula, it’s actually better to practice rotational feeding, so your dog doesn’t develop intolerances to other ingredients.

Achieve all-around health with Full Circle Feeding

Now that you know how Full Circle Feeding provides everything your dog needs in their diet, start planning and take our quiz.

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