Rotational Feeding and the Microbiome

Rotational Feeding and the Microbiome

The gut microbiome is the collection of trillions of microorganisms that live in our gut and help us digest food and fight off infections. Studies show that the healthiest people have a diverse gut microbiome, while those with poor health have imbalanced microbiomes.

Your pet's gut microbiome is no different. A diverse microbiome means your pet will be able to function at its best—and that means optimal health!

So how does this relate to rotational feeding? Let's say you have a cat who eats a chicken-based kibble for breakfast every day. The first thing that happens is that most of the bacteria in her intestines will be chicken bacteria—and all of those other bacteria will start to die off or become "starved" because there aren't enough nutrients for them anymore. This can lead to an unbalanced microbiome which can lead to all sorts of problems down the road.

Rotating your pet's diet means giving them different types of foods so they can get more varied nutrition and keep their gut microbiomes healthy. 

Benefits of Rotational Feeding

  • Reduced risk of allergies or sensitivities
  • Reduced pickiness
  • Supports better digestion
  • Better overall health

How to Rotate Foods

Variety is the spice of life! Work with your vet to find out if rotation feeding is right for your pet. For many pet parents, rotational feeding involves using one type of food and changing the protein source within that brand regularly. For instance, they’ll use the same kibble, but try turkey, lamb, pork, etc.

When transitioning, it's recommended to start in 25% increments. This means replacing 25% of your pet’s typical food intake with the new product and leaving 75% of the normal food. You can slowly increase to 50% and 50% of each, removing more and more of your pet’s normal food. 

Generally, transitions should be done gradually, about a week or more to fully introduce a new food. This will help your pet’s stomach healthily adjust to the new ingredients.

Rotating Food Isn't for All 

Rotation diets are great, but they don’t make sense for every situation. If your pet has an allergy or digestive issue that makes it difficult to switch foods, then it might not be worth the trouble of rotating their diet. Always speak with your vet or trusted pet professional before making any changes to your pet's diet. 

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