Rotational Dieting – Myths vs Facts

What food is going into your pets? Ever considered rotating proteins?

What is rotational dieting? Rotational dieting in the pet food industry is the act of changing proteins, food type (kibble, freeze-dried, frozen, raw) or even brands to give your pet a better, all-around diet. There are many benefits to rotational dieting for your pet. Here are the top 5 Myths that we hear all the time regarding rotational dieting followed by the facts that we know to be true:

Myth #1 – My pet can only eat chicken and nothing else

Fact:Chicken has been the staple food for pets since the beginning of meat inclusion in the pet food industry. It is so common to see “Chicken and Rice,” “Chicken and Pea,” or some other combination of “Chicken and . . .” for your pet. The reason for this is that Chicken is the most common, and cheapest meat-based protein to use. In addition, pets have begun to develop chicken based allergies because of overexposure to the same meat. While chicken is a highly palatable protein that serves to give natural glucosamine and chondroitin, pets do not need just chicken. Imagine if we were to just eat chicken day in and day out for the rest of our lives? There are many benefits to other proteins as you will see below. Pets can eat, and will certainly enjoy, many different proteins to spice up their food life.

Myth #2 – Changing the protein will create stomach upsets.

Fact: This myth can be true if protein allergies exist in your pet. Our pet’s stomachs are very similar to ours in being able to handle a wide variety of proteins. Stomach and bowel upsets normally occur in formula changes (i.e. switching from a grocery brand of food to premium food) that cause your pet’s stomach to process food differently. Their stomach goes from processing a majority of fillers (corn, soy, wheat) to processing whole, rich food that are nutrient dense (salmon, menhaden meal, brown rice, etc.). It would be the same as us going from eating fast food every day of our life to eating a nice, home-cooked, healthy balanced meal. The protein will not cause stomach problems. The formula itself or even the nutritional change often can cause these problems.

Myth #3 – My pet has always eaten the same food, so there is no need to try a different flavor.

Fact: While I will always stand by the truth that a pet owner knows their pet better than I ever could, eating the same protein every day for many years can cause unforeseen problems in pets. Protein-based allergies occur from overexposure or possibly pre-disposed situation in a certain breed or blood-line. If there is a particular brand of premium food that you have done the research on but are stuck on just one protein, it is highly recommended to switch it up. Here at Koch’s, we guarantee all of our food to ensure if your pet does not eat the food, you will receive a full refund. There is nothing to lose in many cases when trying a different protein base and a new nutrition experience for your pet to gain. Again, just imagine yourself eating nothing but the same protein daily.

Myth #4 – All pet food is the same. Changing the meat will not make a difference.

Fact: Not all pet food is created equal. While all foods must fall under a “complete and balanced” standard set by AAFCO, different companies have varying nutritional content. While you may be able to purchase a 50 lb. bag of dog food for the low price of $19.98, the feeding rate and nutrition content meets the base minimum for your pet. To feed a 100 lb. dog of that food would ask for 7-9 cups per day since the meat count is so low. Names such as “poultry by-product meal” or the famous “meat and bone meal” fill these lower end foods. Feeding your pet actual chicken, salmon, lamb, pork, or beef leads towards a healthier based food that will fulfill their needs.  7-9 cups per day falls to 2 ½ to 3 cups. The next time you pick up a bag of food, check the protein source. If it is something you question, be skeptical of it. Ask your local independent pet store (i.e. Koch’s Farm Service) what the ingredients mean. Your pet is not just an animal walking around your house, he / she is a part of the family.

Myth #5 – It costs too much to try different pet food proteins.

Fact: With advancements in the pet food industry, it has become easier than ever to engage in rotational dieting. Many companies feature what is called “line-pricing,” meaning all the bags at that size are the same price no matter what the protein is. Each month you can easily switch to a different protein at no extra charge while still working towards frequent buyer rewards and keeping your pet’s taste buds intrigued. While some brands make rotational dieting difficult within pricing, we carry many brands with line-pricing or comparable pricing. These include Elevate, Taste of the Wild, Acana, Nutrisource, Merrick, and many more!

Interested in rotational dieting or getting a better food for your pet today? Let us know! We would love to assist you in getting the best diet possible for your pet!

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