I read on another site something about rotating a dog's diet....not having them on the same food year in year out even though the food their on might suit them just fine. I'm not sure of the frequency of change, but I gathered that they might be on one food for a period of time and then switch to another for that same amount of time and then back etc. Other than my last dog (not a lab and who had a very sensitive stomach) I have never obsessed over dog foods and what to feed until my current dog. This isn't because she has stomach problems either, but I guess because we've all become more conscience over the years of what good and bad ingredients are, and we're looking for the perfect food or as close as we can get. I recently started a switch over to a different food after much analysing, because my dog is having some mild allergy problems which may be food connected. My last Lab (a good number of years ago) ate a varied diet and never had any problems whatsoever with her stomach, skin, ears etc. I could have changed her food overnight (rather than over the week or so) and it wouldn't have bothered her. She lived a happy and healthy 14 years. Anyway reading this got me thinking. Is there any benefit(s) to changing their foods periodically/rotating foods? Anybody do this?
I use Nature's Variety which is designed for rotation. They are made so that you can rotate between the protein sources as well as the different varieties. Mine do great on it. Mine also have been on lots of food in their short lives, plus they are allowed people food, and we have no issues with allergies or food sensitivities. Could be the genetics of it though. Some thing genetics play into whether dogs have some issues....
I've heard the same about rotating... that way if the particular food that they are eating day in day out day in day out is lacking in anything, at least they won't be lacking their entire lives...
Am I right in saying that the old school of thought was to stay with one protein in case there were food allergy issues somewhere down the road? If so, I'm toast.. Henery has had every protein source imaginable out there!! Chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, goat, rabbit, bison, beef...
... but no food allergies/sensitivities to speak of *knock wood*
I guess some of this obviously depends on the individual dog and whether they are prone to food allergies. Not comparing people to dogs, but I imagine if we ate the same thing day in day out for months, changing diets would upset us too. We always used to feed our dogs a variety and never had a problem with stomach upsets due to a dog food change.
I'm almost totally switched over to Go! Natural Salmon and Oatmeal now. Dee's allergy (to whatever) is mild, but I thought it was worth trying her on something different. Go! Natural is "one protein, one grain, one oil." Once she's totally switched over (in the next few days) we'll have to watch what she eats carefully so that we can figure out (hopefully) if it is a food allergy that's making her itch. We may end up having her tested, but as it's not at all severe I thought we'd give a different food a try first. From what I've read it seems most allergies are not food related.
CYNLABS - That makes sense. I mean when you think about it it seems odd that a dog should live on one protein source all the time. I suspect Dee's itchies are not food related, but we'll see.
I don't see the need for switching periodically IF the food you're feeding is adequate BUT I defer to Nick's views on matters like this -- I think he has the educated training in this area.
Laboratory animals get the same food daily as far as I know, and their physiological functioning and health is apparently adequate to assess health issues for humans.
My Puff eats Costco's C&R/Diamond Naturals C&R. I supplement that with G&C, fish oil, plus some small pieces of salmon added to each evening meal as well as occasional, sporadic scraps from my supper (salmon skin, chicken skin or joints, beef bones).
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
I did read in a "bloat" article that sudden changes in food can increase the risk of bloat and it recommended a gradual change over 7 - 10 days, but I'm not sure how this would apply if you were following a protocol of rotating the same foods.....such as CYNLABS mentioned. (a different protein source, but not something they've never had before) With Dee I switched her over to the new food over a couple of weeks because I had a fair bit of the old food left. She doesn't get table scraps, but we do sometimes give her a bit of what we're having....providing it's something I think she should have. I've always given her a bit of salmon once or twice a week. Now she is on a salmon based dog food, but I still add the fresh/canned salmon. So far so good.