Benefits of Using a Food Rotation Diet
There are many benefits in using a food rotation diet with your Shih Tzu. As a dog owner and a Shih Tzu breeder, I am a big advocate of a food rotation diet. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t enjoy eating the same thing everyday. Variety is a good thing! I know, some of you may be thinking aren’t you supposed to stick with one kibble and that is it. I’m here to tell you that is old school thinking. There are so many benefits when it comes to using food rotation with dogs.
Let me share an example that will hopefully help get my point across. When I gave birth to my son who is now 21, I chose to nurse him. He often broke out into hives after nursing sessions. We took him to an allergy specialist. They did skin testing which and we found out that he was severely allergic to over 10 different foods. I took those foods out of my diet while nursing and he did much better. The allergist told me I should avoid eating top allergen foods while nursing my future offspring. I was also told to avoid feeding my children high allergen foods until they were one to prevent a food allergy.
Fast forward several years later, the same allergist let me know that new studies had come out that signified introducing babies to a variety of foods, even the top allergen foods early on to prevent food allergies. The allergist said that avoiding foods didn’t prevent food allergies and may actually cause them.
The moral of the story is that scientists are always learning new things. We cannot simply allow ourselves to stop learning and get stuck in past ideas. This is why I always try to continue my breeder education. Like any profession, we can always learn new things if we allow ourselves the opportunity. I owe it to the puppies to raise them to live up to be their very best!
Feel free to click here to check out the classes I have taken thus far to learn about proper puppy raising protocols. I once had someone tell me it was simply common sense. I beg to differ! I constantly am learning new things by continuing my breeder education!
I have learned some important things on puppy rearing including: proper pregnancy and whelping protocols, how to tube feed, the importance of socialization, how to temperament test, how to promote good gut colonization in puppies, etc. I take all that I learn and pour it into my breeding program. A a result, my future puppy owners are hopefully getting a Shih Tzu puppy that has been brought up on the latest good puppy rearing practices.
Now back to the topic at hand, food rotating doesn’t just give your pet variety when it comes to diet. Food rotating also allows your dog to receive an assortment of nutrients. I’m here to tell you that not all dog food is created equally. There are so many different dog foods to choose from in today’s market. There is kibble, freeze dried raw kibble, fresh food options, frozen food options, raw food options, the list goes on. Switching out foods daily, weekly or monthly allows your dog to absorb a variety of nutrients through a rotation diet.
Furthermore, rotational feeding may help prevent boredom and help with the fussy eater. Think about it, wild dogs don’t dine on the same thing everyday. They may eat berries for one meal and a bird for the next feast. Boredom and fussiness when it comes to food may also lead to limited nutrient intake. Over time, limited nutrient intake may led to health problems. A bored dog may also reach for unsafe items such as garbage which could become hazardous. A rotational diet will provide enough variety to hopefully satisfy the picky palette.
Changing up your pets diet may also help prevent allergies and food sensitivities by increasing good bacteria. Dogs with great gut microflora are less likely to suffer from allergies according to studies. I recently published a post on the importance of creating good gut colonization in puppies to enhance future health. Feel free to check out the blog post if you want more details. In a nutshell, dogs with diverse gut microbiomes are often healthier and have robust immune systems. A diverse diet helps lead to more beneficial good gut bacteria which in return may help prevent everything from ear infections to food sensitivities.
Some individuals worry that a food rotation diet may lead to stomach upset or loose stools. The key is to take it slow in the beginning. For example, maybe introduce one food a week. Once you’re certain the food isn’t a problem move on to something new. Gradually your dog will get used to the transitions which will make things easier next time around. To date, I haven’t had any issues when introducing a rotation diet to my puppies or dogs. The only time my dogs get an upset stomach is when they over indulge or eat something that wasn’t meant for them to consume. This is just my experience but I thought it would be reassuring.
If your lifestyle doesn’t allow for constant rotating then maybe rotate once a month. Start by maybe just switching out the protein once a month or when the kibble bag is empty. Next, move on to maybe trying a freeze dried raw kibble or a fresh food option. You can also add creativity to your dogs diet by putting different healthy toppers on your dogs kibble.
As you can see, there is a lot of versatility when it comes to creating healthy meals for your dog. I’m a firm believer in feeding our pets a quality rotational diet. It may cost a little more but is well worth the benefits your dog will reap. Our pets are our family! They should be treated as family members. Would you feed your family the same thing everyday if you knew it wasn’t the best thing for them? I will end this post with that thought to ponder.