The Philosophy Behind Rotational Feeding
Rotational feeding is a nutritional philosophy based on the belief that regular changes in your dog's proteins can contribute to overall health. Rotational feeding can mean switching your dog's proteins such as salmon, lamb or chicken or forms such as kibble, canned or raw. Many pet owners believe rotational feeding provides the following benefits:
1. More Protein Variety Helps Minimize Diet Pickiness and Boredom
Many pet owners approach their dog’s diet the way they approach their own: variety can create a more enjoyable eating experience. By switching formulas regularly, dogs can enjoy a variety of different protein sources at meal time.
2. Reduced Food Sensitivity/Intolerance Development
Skin, coat and gastrointestinal (GI) problems can often be associated with food allergies and food sensitivities in dogs and cats. A true food allergy is the result of an abnormal immune response to an ingested dietary protein, known as a food antigen. Normally the immune system has a tolerance to dietary antigens and will not form an immune response as it would against other foreign antigens, such as foreign bacteria or viruses. When a food antigen is seen as foreign, it is attacked by the immune system, resulting in inflammation and problems like skin, paw and ear itchiness, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Food allergy is different from food sensitivity, where the immune system is not involved, but similar clinical signs are seen after eating a food that isn’t tolerated. Examples of common food sensitivities include “upset” stomachs caused by food scavenging (getting into garbage), lactose intolerance and high fat foods in fat-intolerant pets.
Many food sensitivities can develop when dogs are exposed to common ingredients such as chicken, beef, wheat, corn or soy. Many dog owners feel that rotating proteins can help reduce the possibility of the development of food sensitivity, because no specific protein source is fed long enough for the body to become sensitive toward it.
3. Diverse Intake of Naturally Occurring Minerals & Amino Acids
Proteins from red meat, poultry and fish serve as excellent sources for all the essential amino acids. Any amino acid consumed in the diet can be utilized for the building of proteins, as well as the building of other nonessential amino acids. Considered the “building blocks” of protein, amino acids are essential to life. Each protein source provides a unique balance of naturally occurring amino acids and minerals which aid in a variety of structural and physiological functions. Pet owners who follow rotational feeding practices believe that because different proteins have varied nutrient profiles, their dog receives a more diverse intake of trace vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Click here to learn about the different functions amino acids and minerals serve.