The Pet Scoop: Mixing it up with rotational feeding

I have always believed you are never supposed to change your pets’ food. When I was at your store getting my dog groomed, I overheard a conversation about rotational feeding, and feeding different proteins. Please explain.

Bill McQuade and his dog, Purdy.

Bill says: Rotational feeding is changing a pet’s diet on a regular basis.

Conventional thinking about never changing your pets’ food was started by a huge corporation that promotes scientific diets instead of natural. Clever and very effective marketing for sure!

I know someone is going to argue that when they change their pets’ food, the pet gets an upset stomach and sometimes diarrhea. If you ate nothing but hush puppies and potato for an extended period and then someone took you out for a T-bone steak dinner and you ate the whole thing, you would most likely experience a digestive upset. If you ate a varied diet routinely, however, you probably would not have difficulty digesting new food items.

It is our belief that if your pet is fed a rotational diet, he or she will not only be healthier, but will actually experience less digestive upsets.

Unless, of course, your pet is allergic to some ingredient in the food, which brings us to the next reason for feeding a rotational diet; allergies and toxins.

By rotating your pets’ diet regularly, you can reduce the chance of developing allergies and exposure to toxins.

Allergies: Chicken is becoming more prevalent as an allergen in pet food. Chicken meal is a great ingredient but with a continuous diet of chicken protein your pet can become hypersensitive to it. Yes, there are pets fed the same thing all the time and never have trouble, just as there are people who drink alcohol and smoke their entire life and live to be 100.

I will use my own severe allergy as an example. If I accidently eat a tiny portion of sunflower seed, I get very ill. I was never allergic to sunflower seeds when young. As an adult I got sick of wasting money on buying cheap bird seed with lots of corn in it so I mixed my own for years, apparently breathing in the dust from the seed. Now I am hypersensitive from over exposure.

Toxins: Almost all synthetic vitamins and minerals come from China. As most of you are aware, quality control on food items from China is very poor. If you never change your pets diet, your pet could be receiving an excessive dose of a certain vitamin, mineral, or even poison that builds up in his or her system over time causing severe health problems and even death. Rotational feeding helps prevent that possibility.

We have clients that firmly believe in rotational feeding and purchase three or four proteins at one time, plus mix dry, canned and/or raw and feed different ones each day. We have other customers that change proteins each time they purchase food. Most people stay within a brand they trust.

We recommend Natures Logic for this method. It is the only dry kibble made that is completely sourced from whole foods. There is nothing synthetic in the product line anywhere. Chicken, beef, venison, lamb and duck and salmon are the proteins available.

If you have a question for Bill, email it to bill(at)

More information on rotation diet

» Frequently asked questions on rotation diet for dogs –
» The benefits of rotation feeding – Urban Paws Magazine
» Rotation feeding for pets –

Note: The opinions expressed in The Pet Scoop are based on Bill’s 40 years of experience in the pet food industry. When in doubt, always consult with your veterinarian about pet health issues.

Bill McQuade is the owner of The Whole Pet, located at 2423 N. College Ave. in Fayetteville. The Whole Pet specializes in nutrition for cats and dogs and offers a wide variety of quality diets in raw frozen, cans and kibble. The store also offers affordable, unique and high quality pet supplies and accessories. Bill is a professional dog handler, and has worked in the pet care business since 1972.