Monday, February 8, 2016

Peek Inside Our Rotation Diet!

Hey, everyone!

It should come as no surprise that I'm a complete and utter dog food nerd. I get pathetically excited when it's time to order dog food, and spend a good chunk of time exploring the different benefits of a varied diet for the pups, as well as discovering what they like best and what works the best. I've fed everything from homemade to kibble, dehydrated to freeze dried, prey model raw to canned, and pretty much anything else you can think of, and the absolute best thing I have found is a the rotation diet.

What Is A Rotation Diet? It sounds like some weight loss fad. 

I'm glad you asked! A rotation diet is where you change up what your dog eats on a periodic basis; this could mean daily, weekly, bimonthly, monthly, or any other cycle that works for the pet and owner.
Rather than feeding the same brand and flavor of dog food bag after bag, a rotation diet allows you to mix brand and flavor/protein, and even the type of food your dog eats (you can feed kibble one meal, canned the next, raw after get the idea!). Since no dog food is perfect, rotation feeding allows you to get a wide range of different nutrients and cover all your bases.

For my anecdotal evidence supporting feeding a varied diet, I've noticed that my dogs have stomachs of steal. It's very, very rare that anyone has an upset stomach around here, and it's never been from food. It helps to stave off Pike's pickiness, and keeps the dogs eager to eat. Aside from Nola, there's 0 food allergies in the group (I didn't do a varied diet with Nola until after her food allergies developed). 

I'll be honest and say that my favorite thing about this kind of feed is how it saves me money; since my dogs aren't on one single food, I can take advantage of various deals and sales on dog food. It's also really helpful to be able to have options when months may be tighter, money wise. I can't always afford a $90 bag of dog food, and it's nice to have other choices when they're needed. 

Raw turkey and some yogurt.

What Do I Feed?

Nola is the only dog of mine that has specific dietary needs, and she's a bit more limited on what I can feed her than the other ones. She's allergic to corn and soy (which I don't feed anyways), and doesn't handle pork well (the smell of pork farts....good god). Grains do not agree with her, and she needs a minimum of 30% protein to hold her weight. There's only a handful of kibble brands that work for her, unfortunately. She needs high protein, low carb food.

Here is what I feed Nola:

Kibble: Orijen, Acana Regionals, Annamaet (grain free), Canidae PURE (grain free) Wellness CORE and ZiwiPeak

Wet/Canned: Earthborn Holistics, Fromm, Go!, I and Love and You, Nature's Variety Instinct, Wellness Core, Canidae

Freeze Dried/Dehydrated Raw: Primal, Sojos Wild, Orijen, Nature's Variety Instinct, Vital Essentials

I'm going to start consistently giving real raw a few times a week soon. Little Miss had a chicken neck for breakfast yesterday! 

Wellness TruFood wet 

Everyone else is easy, thankfully! Grain free or grain inclusive, 24% protein or 38% protein, any kind of meat, ect and they're not phased. They're the ones that benefit from sales more often than not!

Kibble: Wellness, Taste of The Wild, Annamaet, Avoderm, Canidae, Earthborn Holistic, Victor (a new favorite!), Fromm, Solid Gold, Acana, I and Love and You, Holistic Select

Wet/Canned: Same as Nola

Freeze Dried/Dehydrated: The Honest Kitchen, Sojos, Grandma Lucy's 

Same with Nola on adding in "real" raw, especially things like chicken wings for Pike's teeth. 

When Do I Switch?

Sojos Wild

Kibble is their main diet, making up about 60% of what they eat. I give canned or dehydrated/freeze dried a few times a week, and will do the same once the raw is added in. This is, of course, done cold turkey. 
For kibble brand, I switch cold turkey whenever the bag is empty. For Nola, that's anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. For everyone else, it's 4-8 weeks.

I feed once a daily usually, since I do a good bit of training and they eat throughout the day from that. If someone is acting especially hungry or is looking skinny (this is almost always Nola, though Pike sometimes gets bony), they may be fed twice a day.

What about you? What's your pup's diet look like?

- Dachshund Mommy


  1. I am with you in dog food nerd land! I honestly can't imagine feeding any other way. It seems so silly now that I once thought dogs should eat the same thing every day forever. Like your crew, Ruby and Boca have iron tummies. Ruby has only thrown up twice in the three years I've had her, both times for ingesting pieces of dog toys (frighteningly, I could not even identify one of the things - it didn't look like a piece of anything we had and I decided she must have found it outside on the patio or possibly on a walk). I would love to feed more raw but just can't seem to get comfortable with it outside of the Instinct Raw Bites.

  2. This is really interesting for me because Cocoa is not super interested in her food so maybe this would help her get more excited.

  3. Oh wow you do great with this! Maddie is SUCH a picky eater. I've tried with the homemade food (receipts I got for a raw diet online) and she liked it for awhile. Then, she got bored with it and we went into Fussbucket mode. I think BabyBelle would eat anything honestly. But Maddie has gotten really particular in her older years. And to get her to eat...I'm willing to do anything lol.

  4. We have recently discovered Victor. I feed the Ultra Pro 42 and loving what it is doing for the dogs. Teach was on Purina One Sensitive System and then Pro Plan Sensitive and we just couldn't get past the dull coat and the flaky skin. Tucker was on TOTW High Prairie and did good with it for about a year but then started getting dull and flaky too. That's when I discovered Victor and wow what a difference. Nice shiny coats, Teach still has minimal flaky but I'm thinking its more environment that anything, and both have really great muscle tone. Will be sticking with this for now. Oh ... and it doesn't break the bank!!

  5. I'm glad you have found a diet that works for Nola, it is difficult when they have trouble digesting food. Dip has always been a challenge with her colitis. Even the smallest thing can set it off.
    Lynne x

  6. We feed a rotational diet, too! The girls love all of those brands you feed, too! I think their favorite is Orijen, though! You're so right, I love being able to take advantage of the deals, too!

  7. Sounds interesting. Must give this diet some thought.

  8. The past few months we have been changing up our diets too.
    Lily & Edward

  9. Very interesting. Your dogs eat well!

  10. We feed rotational too! Slightly different though, I switch every 4-6 months. Either we'll do same brand different protein, or same protein different brand. Dante seems to have a chicken intolerance, Ziva a beef issue....So we do mainly fish. We like Merrick, Petcurean Go!, Canidae and I want to try Solid Gold next.

  11. Hi Nola! I'm so glad your Mommy has found a food plan that is working for you. Mommy has found what works for me too, and that's homemade food most all the time. I am allergic to corn, wheat and soy too, so I get a base of chicken, rice and oatmeal, and then a mix up of various veggies and fruits in that. I get several small meals a day due to my medicine schedule, so she might give me apples, bananas, kale, mango chia and blueberries for breakfast, then for lunch give me sweet potato, peas, carrots, beets, and bananas, or something along those lines. I LOVE IT!!!
    Love, Pixel


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