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I have read some info regarding changing of foods & diets for your dogs on a regular basis.
What "theories" or nutritional "factual" literature is there, to base this consensus on?
*What reasons or theories have you heard of?

I am considering changing protein sources off and on for my dogs, and I was wondering if anyone else does.....and what is their reasoning behind it.
*We feed EVO Red Meat ( to some dogs)...and I was considering rotating with EVO Turkey/Chicken....
Also....why is there not much info on Nature's Domain?? (Cosco's Grain Free)?....any experiences with it??

I know...lot's of questions!....please indulge me!
Robin
 

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I have read some info regarding changing of foods & diets for your dogs on a regular basis.
What "theories" or nutritional "factual" literature is there, to base this consensus on?
*What reasons or theories have you heard of?

I am considering changing protein sources off and on for my dogs, and I was wondering if anyone else does.....and what is their reasoning behind it.
*We feed EVO Red Meat ( to some dogs)...and I was considering rotating with EVO Turkey/Chicken....
Also....why is there not much info on Nature's Domain?? (Cosco's Grain Free)?....any experiences with it??

I know...lot's of questions!....please indulge me!
Robin

Rotation diets are a gimmic and potentially harmful. Changing foods can not only make your dog very picky but can also make your life miserable if the dog is predisposed to allergies. True allergies are allergies to meat proteins.

There is no documented benefit to feeding a variety of proteins or mixing kibbles but it there is proof that the more you expose a dog to different proteins, the fewer options you have down the road.

The key to treating a food allergy is to use a protein the dog has never been exposed to. Also, less than 1% of true allergies have anything to do with grain, with exception of wheat. Wheat gluten can be as bad as chicken or beef.

Stick to what you are feeding. In the unlikely event an allergy develops then switch.
 

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Can you provide that documented proof?
Yes but I don't have the data at home. I can assure you that the basis for protein allergies is the same whether you feed chicken, beef, duck, venison, emu or beaver. Even sporadic exposure can make a difference in a dog who's immune system predisposes it to allergies. There are some proteins like menhaden and good ole catfish that don't seem to have this problem because of the way histamine acts.

The OP is using a top but very expensive food made by a very good company. I am sure the scientists there reviewed the amino acid profile. Personally, I would not spend $1.75 lb for any dry dog food.

The other point is that picky dogs are made not born.
 

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There is value in reserving some protein sources in the event of allergies.
A good majority of the raw proponents recommend doing this, and it's a sound practice.
Dogs cannot develop an allergy to things they are never exposed to- allergies typically develop over time, though exposure.

When a dog develops a food allergy, you determine what the dog is allergic to by feeding a completely novel diet- that is, foods that the dog has NEVER consumed before in it's life. The more foods you've fed, the fewer choices of truly novel foods you have.

With that said, any dog who has been fed the overwhelming majority of commercial kibbles, at any point in it's life, has been exposed to a nearly unknowable selection of proteins. Many lower quality foods contain un-named meat sources, making it impossible to ascertain what the dog has or has not consumed. Knowing that, those dogs must be placed on a form of exotic meat for an elimination diet, because potentially, they've consumed every domestically raised meat available in those kibbles. For those dogs, there's no risk whatsoever involved in a rotational diet, as you aren't exposing them to any new proteins.

For dogs raised on a high quality diet with only named meat sources from weaning to present, you need only limit their diet insomuch as to reserve a few completely novel proteins in the event an elimination diet becomes necessary.

Rotating between beef, chicken and turkey isn't going to create an issue. If the dog hasn't ever encountered lamb or fish, then you've got those available as a novel protein.
 

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I have often read the same, Robin, that one should rotate to different foods. Unless, like Sable 123 pointed out, you are dealing with allergies, it makes sense to me. As in raw feeding, variety is important. I have a hard time believing that regardless of the high quality of a kibble, that it would be a "complete" food, it is so far from the natural "complete" prey that a wild canid would eat.

Not sure about dogs because my dogs readily eat most anything, but I have found that rotating cat food (canned and dry varieties and brands) with my cats actually keeps them from getting picky - they have a more educated palate, if you will.

Another thing to consider is digestive health. When faced with a brand-new, never-encountered before food, the body actually has to manufacture the enzymes and chemicals required in the gut to break down that food. When first exposed to something new, it takes two to three days for the body to adjust to the new food, thus the digestive upsets that many dogs experience when first switched to something new, be it a new kibble or raw. That is why when switching over with kibble it helps to just start in small quantities and gradually increase.

I have read that since kibbles and prepared foods are formulated to be 100% (and I don't believe that anyways), that feeding others things in addition to the kibble will unbalance the diet and cause issues. To me, that is pure hogwash fabricated by the dog food companies to make sure that people stay on the kibble only! How in the world has feeding our dogs become so complicated that people need several degrees in chemistry, biology, development, and medicine to do it "right"? We don't need to consume 100% meals at each sitting, nor do we need to find the perfect foods and eat nothing else! We achieve balance over time, and by eating a variety of foods.

I know that people will say that dogs are not people, very true, but canids in the wild will take advantage of the main food sources available depending on the season.

For example, there are a lot of foxes around here. Did you know that come summer, their diets consists heavily of berries and other vegetation? That came as a surprise to me, but during the summer, I come across fox droppings on a daily basis, and indeed, their scats are full of berry seeds and other plant debris. Then come winter, rabbits are their main food source. So their diet balances out over months of different variety.

So my thoughts are that there is absolutely no harm in switching foods around, and it is a good way to add more variety to the dog's diet and ensure a healthier digestive system that can deal with different ingredients fully and efficiently.
 

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The foundation of what Sable is saying, is sound. You can only be allergic to that which you are exposed to, and if you expose a dog to a meat, you cannot feed it to him if he becomes allergic.

However, as seems to be his nature, he's applying that fundamental truth in a black and white manner that isn't consistent with reality. Rotating foods is not synonymous with eliminating every possible novel diet.
 

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There is value in reserving some protein sources in the event of allergies.
A good majority of the raw proponents recommend doing this, and it's a sound practice.
Dogs cannot develop an allergy to things they are never exposed to- allergies typically develop over time, though exposure.

When a dog develops a food allergy, you determine what the dog is allergic to by feeding a completely novel diet- that is, foods that the dog has NEVER consumed before in it's life. The more foods you've fed, the fewer choices of truly novel foods you have.

With that said, any dog who has been fed the overwhelming majority of commercial kibbles, at any point in it's life, has been exposed to a nearly unknowable selection of proteins. Many lower quality foods contain un-named meat sources, making it impossible to ascertain what the dog has or has not consumed. Knowing that, those dogs must be placed on a form of exotic meat for an elimination diet, because potentially, they've consumed every domestically raised meat available in those kibbles. For those dogs, there's no risk whatsoever involved in a rotational diet, as you aren't exposing them to any new proteins.

For dogs raised on a high quality diet with only named meat sources from weaning to present, you need only limit their diet insomuch as to reserve a few completely novel proteins in the event an elimination diet becomes necessary.

Rotating between beef, chicken and turkey isn't going to create an issue. If the dog hasn't ever encountered lamb or fish, then you've got those available as a novel protein.
Since there is nothing to gain by rotating red meat with white meat, the most prudent course is not to rotate. Also, you are being logical. Most people that bounce from kibble to kibble feed every brand, formula and protein imaginable just to satisfy themselves.

Note to the OP, I just looked at EVO Red Meat. There are quite a few "novel" proteins in there already, so for you a "novel" protein might be good ole chicken & turkey.

Stick with that food until you (but hopefully never) have a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
We have been very fortunate....only 2 dogs that have ever had a "food" intolerance...both were to wheat.
We have tried (over the many years) many dif brands.....EVO is the first "grain free" food we tried, but...we have since tried several....always coming back to EVO.
It has been the best for our dogs so far.....
*This topic really interests me...because I have read so many opinions on the subject.* But I try to rely my judgement(s) on facts or nutritional data.
Please keep posting...........
Robin
 

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Rotating foods is important to prevent excesses and deficiencies in the diet. All processed, commercial food is different and there have been issues where health problems were caused in dogs and cats by the food lacking or having too much of certain things in it. Taurine is a good example. Until the 90s, it wasn't believed that dogs needed taurine in their diet, until the lack of taurine in some foods was linked to heart problems. Had the dogs being fed those foods been on a rotation diet, they may have remained healthy.

Also IME dogs who get more variety in their diet tend to be overall healthier and less prone to stomach issues or being picky. Sensitive stomachs and being picky eaters are actually not "normal" for dogs, who as scavengers should be able to handle eating a wide variety of foods. Lack of variety in the diet does not promote good digestive health by conditioning the digestive tract to only have appropriate enzymes and bacteria to handle a specific type of food.

I believe variety is also good for dogs both for physical health and mental well being. Dogs eating nothing but the same kibble day in and day out for their entire lives would be like you eating nothing but the same cereal for every meal. No wonder some dogs pick at their food! No matter where you stand on the kibble debate, there is no denying that it is a very processed food product. IMO healthy, "real" food should be added on a regular basis. All natural yogurt, eggs, cooked or pureed veggies, meat (cooked or raw), healthy leftovers and the such add something to your dog's diet that kibble can't ever provide - the health benefits of fresh, minimally processed food.

The issue of too much variety being a problem if dogs develop allergies is an interesting one. Very often, lack of variety is what promotes food allergies in the first place. The dog eats the same thing everyday and eventually develops a sensitivity to it. So in feeding a diet with more variety, you are actually working towards preventing food allergies from starting. However, it is not a bad idea to avoid using exotic meat or avoid a protein or two, say pork and buffalo just in case you ever need to do an allergy elimination diet (requires the dog have a novel protein).
 

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We have been very fortunate....only 2 dogs that have ever had a "food" intolerance...both were to wheat.
We have tried (over the many years) many dif brands.....EVO is the first "grain free" food we tried, but...we have since tried several....always coming back to EVO.
It has been the best for our dogs so far.....
*This topic really interests me...because I have read so many opinions on the subject.* But I try to rely my judgement(s) on facts or nutritional data.
Please keep posting...........
Robin
I know a few top nutritionists and they think it is silly. The middle priced foods and higher have more nutrition than any companion animal needs. In my field, I see hunting & trial dogs run for hours with horses in 90 degree heat and they eat the "crappiest" kibbles out there. The cheapest I go is Pro Pac, that food is a real value. In fact the GSD I have in my care looks and acts 100% better on it than what my friend was feeding him.

I have one 14 year old bitch that has eaten Annamaet Ultra from weaning to the present. Same amount, same time, same food.

I picked Pro Pac because when I was breeding I didn't want to use something like Annamaet that was pricey or was hard to get for puppy owners. I know some puppy owners that to this day never changed from Pro Pac.

So back to the topic, rotating is a gimmic. I see all downside.
 

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Rotating foods is important to prevent excesses and deficiencies in the diet. All processed, commercial food is different and there have been issues where health problems were caused in dogs and cats by the food lacking or having too much of certain things in it. Taurine is a good example. Until the 90s, it wasn't believed that dogs needed taurine in their diet, until the lack of taurine in some foods was linked to heart problems. Had the dogs being fed those foods been on a rotation diet, they may have remained healthy.

Also IME dogs who get more variety in their diet tend to be overall healthier and less prone to stomach issues or being picky. Sensitive stomachs and being picky eaters are actually not "normal" for dogs, who as scavengers should be able to handle eating a wide variety of foods. Lack of variety in the diet does not promote good digestive health by conditioning the digestive tract to only have appropriate enzymes and bacteria to handle a specific type of food.

I believe variety is also good for dogs both for physical health and mental well being. Dogs eating nothing but the same kibble day in and day out for their entire lives would be like you eating nothing but the same cereal for every meal. No wonder some dogs pick at their food! No matter where you stand on the kibble debate, there is no denying that it is a very processed food product. IMO healthy, "real" food should be added on a regular basis. All natural yogurt, eggs, cooked or pureed veggies, meat (cooked or raw), healthy leftovers and the such add something to your dog's diet that kibble can't ever provide - the health benefits of fresh, minimally processed food.

The issue of too much variety being a problem if dogs develop allergies is an interesting one. Very often, lack of variety is what promotes food allergies in the first place. The dog eats the same thing everyday and eventually develops a sensitivity to it. So in feeding a diet with more variety, you are actually working towards preventing food allergies from starting. However, it is not a bad idea to avoid using exotic meat or avoid a protein or two, say pork and buffalo just in case you ever need to do an allergy elimination diet (requires the dog have a novel protein).
I have to disagree, IMO, if the dog is healthy, maintains a healthy weight, shows no signs of alergies or coat problems, solid stools, solid energy levels and is being fed a quality kibble I don't see a reason to change.
You can't compair a dog eating the same thing everyday to a human and if we did then yes I would function just fine eating oatmeal every morning. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Hi Robin, always nice to see another Evo feeder! Mine do great on Evo, but we like to mix it up and let them have several varieties of the grain-less kibble. The dogs have done well on Acana, and we're soon to try Fromm grain-free, California Naturals grain-free, and Orijen.

I hear the allergy argument. It probably the safest route if you are worried about allergies.

I think my choice to rotate foods and flavors satisfies my own need to provide a flavorful and interesting diet for my dogs. I don't have any research to back my opinion up, just instinct and the fact that I get a kick out of watching my dogs enjoy their meals. They are both great eaters, so I don't run the risk of them getting picky about food.

I would be interested in seeing links to specific research for either side of the argument.
 

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Hi Robin, always nice to see another Evo feeder! Mine do great on Evo, but we like to mix it up and let them have several varieties of the grain-less kibble. The dogs have done well on Acana, and we're soon to try Fromm grain-free, California Naturals grain-free, and Orijen.

I hear the allergy argument. It probably the safest route if you are worried about allergies.

I think my choice to rotate foods and flavors satisfies my own need to provide a flavorful and interesting diet for my dogs. I don't have any research to back my opinion up, just instinct and the fact that I get a kick out of watching my dogs enjoy their meals. They are both great eaters, so I don't run the risk of them getting picky about food.

I would be interested in seeing links to specific research for either side of the argument.
You said exactly what I was waiting to hear. "Your need" The truth is dogs don't care. LOL

The pet food companies luv this because more often than not people throw away food for no reason just to try something different. That is one reason why, say, Natura has Evo, Innova, Karma and Healthwise under one umbrella.

Innova was plenty for any dog.
 

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Ok, I am in no way a dog food expert but this seems to make sense to me....
Rotating between beef, chicken and turkey isn't going to create an issue. If the dog hasn't ever encountered lamb or fish, then you've got those available as a novel protein.
And even if there is no "documented benefit" to rotating foods, that doesn't mean that in reality there is no benefit. I work in the medical field. SO much of what we do on a regular basis does not have "documented" benefits or risks. Some of what we do is done because 1) it makes sense physiologically, 2) the majority of experienced doctors who have been doing this for 30+ years have witnessed the benefits, and 3) many, many research studies that people use to say they have "documented" benefits or risks are complete bogus. A lot of research studies look nice and pretty at first glance, but if you know what to look for you will find that the results have no merit because they did not conduct the study properly.

So if you cover your bases in keeping a couple novel proteins in reserve, why wouldn't you rotate foods? In case there might be a benefit. You aren't harming the dog in the long run if you make sure you have new proteins in your arsenal for possible allergies.

With that said, any dog who has been fed the overwhelming majority of commercial kibbles, at any point in it's life, has been exposed to a nearly unknowable selection of proteins. Many lower quality foods contain un-named meat sources, making it impossible to ascertain what the dog has or has not consumed.
I agree with SchDDR. I really don't trust a lot of dog food companies. Or ingredient lists. Recalls are proof that some stuff not listed on the ingredient list, that shouldn't be in there, do actually end up in the food. So to compensate for possible contamination, or inaccurate ingredient lists, rotating between brands would give you the greatest chance of 1) making sure you dog gets everything he needs and 2) decreasing the chances that you are continually giving him contaminted food. Just my opinion.
 

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i switch my dogs kibble a lot. the last 2 months i've used Orijen.
i have 13 cans of dog food on hand. out of the 13 cans there's 5 different brands. i also feed him salmon in the can (Kosher, no salt, no additives).
i also feed my dog fruit, cooked chicken, raw ground beef, organic yogurt,
raw egg, rice, quinoa. i switch the kibble and can food often because
i read somewhere that the nutritional value may differ from brand to brand
so i mix it up for him. besides, i think feeding the same thing everyday
most be boring. i don't know if my dog finds it that way, :).
 

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i switch my dogs kibble a lot. the last 2 months i've used Orijen.
i have 13 cans of dog food on hand. out of the 13 cans there's 5 different brands. i also feed him salmon in the can (Kosher, no salt, no additives).
i also feed my dog fruit, cooked chicken, raw ground beef, organic yogurt,
raw egg, rice, quinoa. i switch the kibble and can food often because
i read somewhere that the nutritional value may differ from brand to brand
so i mix it up for him. besides, i think feeding the same thing everyday
most be boring. i don't know if my dog finds it that way, :).
Kosher? lol this is taking it to a whole new level!!!! I bet he's glad to know his food was blessed by a Rabbi.
 
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