Understanding Protein Rotation

By Bradley Quest, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM).

Dr. Bradley Quest graduated from Missouri State University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and has been working in the pet food industry developing new products, working in nutrition formulation, doing clinical studies, and working in Veterinary professional services since 2004. He is an active member of AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), MVMA, FoVD and Phi Zeta Veterinary Society.
Dr. Quest has over 11 years of experience in clinical Veterinary practice and over 15 years of experience in the pet food industry.

BENEFITS OF ROTATION FEEDING:

  • Overall Health – “By changing up the different types of proteins in your pet’s diet with a systematic approach you can actually help improve your pet’s overall health. This because different proteins can offer different amino acid profiles,” says Bradley Quest, DVM. “Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and varying amino acid profiles (varying high quality proteins) can decrease the chance for long term diet inadequacies, that may result from feeding the same diet all the time.”
  • Reduced Risk of Food Allergies and Intolerances – Dr. Quest tells us, “Many food allergies and intolerances can be attributed to repeated and continued exposure to a certain protein source. Over time the pet’s body can have a negative immune reaction to a single protein. By rotating protein sources we may reduce the frequency of food allergies and intolerances in our pets.”
  • Improved Hydration – Some health problems in pets stem from long-term dehydration, which can be avoided by rotating in high moisture content products like canned or raw based diets. Dr. Quest adds, “Water intake may not be adequate in some of our pets for various reasons. By adding in higher moisture type foods, we can help mitigate some of these problems and also give pets variety. “
  • Healthier Digestion – By varying diet through rotation we can help promote digestive health. “A pet’s GI tract health has a lot to do with the good bacteria needed to aid in our pets’ digestion. When we feed one diet continuously we can limit types of these beneficial micro-organisms,” said Dr. Quest.
  • Reduced Pickiness – Pets generally love the variety of proteins and food types in their diet. With rotation feeding, pets can enjoy the freshness in their ever-changing diet, which will decrease the chances of them becoming picky.

HOW TO ROTATE

STEP ONE: Pick a particular type of food, such as a grain free kibble and rotate the protein sources within that type. For example, switch from turkey, to lamb, to pork, to fish, etc. “By rotating protein source(s), it is also less likely your pet will develop an allergy or intolerance to a certain protein,” said Dr. Quest.

STEP TWO: Rotate different types of food, such as varying from kibble, to canned, to raw food. This type of rotation enables the pet to receive the benefits of each variety of food. Dr. Quest reminds us, “It is always important to feed a high-quality nutritionally complete and balanced diet when rotating different types of food.”

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