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Debbie
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Riley has been on Wellness since about 12 weeks of age. She did well on it. After reading several threads on GRF I decided to start rotating foods. I started with Chicken Soup. I was hoping to rotate this with Wellness because I know it is also a good food and it is significantly cheaper. The problem is that Riley has less than firm poos on the CS. They range from semi formed to very loose. I tried pumpkin which seems to help but the loose poos return as soon as I stop. She has been on the CS for at about 3 weeks now (we did change her gradually from Wellness). Should I return to what I know works, even though it is expensive? The other food I thought about throwing into the rotation is Blue Buffalo. Now I am hesitant to try any new foods.
 

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I firmly believe in finding one food that your dog does well on and sticking with it. If you dog is healthy, has a good coat, firm stools, and plenty of energy on one food, then there is no reason to change. It can potentially cause problems like the ones you are experiencing with digestive upset and loose stools. I would suggest just sticking with the food that was working. There is absolutely no need to change or rotate if she was doing fine on the Wellness.
 

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I agree that you should stick with what works. If price is a factor, try another brand that agrees with her and then no more switching! I'm sure there is something out there that is both kind of your wallet and kind to Riley's digestive tract.
 

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In the Moment
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I do rotate. However, all the foods we use are tolerated well by the entire pack. I think you need to go with what works for your dog. Evidently this is not a food she handles well so I'd go back to the tried and true.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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You know the saying "If it ain't broke don't fix it" ;)
 

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I switched to Pacifica Acana. When he is done with this bag, the store owner suggested I get Grasslands Acana to switch up the flavor. I'm going to rotate flavors after each bag but stay with the same company.
 

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I never rotated and hadn't even heard about rotation before several years ago. I read as much as I could about it and talked to people who rotate. It seemed like a concept worth trying to further enhance my dogs' health. For us it has been successful. Both of my dogs have several different formulas they do well on. Sometimes it can take a little while to find which ones those are.

Kibble didn't even become popular before the 1950s when Ralston Purina fully developed the process using extruder machines. By the 1960s there were huge advertising campaigns by the pet food industry to warn of the "dangers" of feeding dogs anything but dry kibble. What did dogs eat previously? An array of diverse fresh foods left over from people's meals (lots more home cooking in those days). I feed kibble much of the time for convenience, but I'm under no illusion that my dogs are only capable of consuming one pre-set mixture of ingredients and vitamins their entire lives.

Following are some points from a source advocating the benefits of rotation feeding. One I might add, from a practical side, is if there is a recall, change of formula or lack of availability, you have several other foods you know work well for your dog.

Dogs (actually all mammals) are designed to consume a range of different foods, and to obtain differing vitamins and minerals from each. They are not designed to eat “only chicken” or “only lamb” or any other food item for eternity. Rotating foods, importantly the contents of those foods, every so often helps to give them the variety their bodies were designed to thrive on.

_ There is no one dog food in existence that “has it all”. And remember, the feeding trials that foods go through only last for six months (and not all foods are examined the same way). Rotating foods periodically helps to ensure that no dietary deficiencies or excesses build up over time.

_ Variety is the spice of life. Who wants to eat the same food day in and day out? Could you do it? For months or years? Feeding your dog something different helps to ensure that he does not become bored and frustrated with his food. This will not make your dog picky - we are talking about periodic changes here, not serving up something different or adding goodies to tempt him every time he doesn’t like his dinner.
And most importantly of all:

_ It helps to avoid the development of allergies. In a few extreme cases, you (or your dog) may be instantly and violently allergic to something. But that is a few extreme cases only - the vast majority of allergies are things that build up over time and with constant exposure. The surest way to develop an allergy to chicken, for example, is to consume it daily for an extended period. It is no coincidence that the most common allergens are things that have commonly been used in dog foods for many years. The (modern) advice given by nutritionists is that feeding a wide variety of different foods, preferably from a young age, can help to avoid the development of allergies in the first place (that's the advice given for humans too).

Common signs of allergies are itchy skin, red itchy paws, chewing paws, yeast infections, ear infections, and skin infections that may respond to antibiotics but reappear as soon as the antibiotics are discontinued.

That all adds up to rotating the food you feed every once in a while. That means rotatinging to a food with different main ingredients. There is very little benefit to switching from one chicken/rice food to another, for example. If you have been feeding a food with chicken as the main ingredient, then it is far better that the next food is based on lamb, or turkey, or fish, or beef, etc and that the other main ingredients are also varied.
 
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