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Hi everyone... this is my first post on this forum so be gentle ;)

I have a 19 month old Golden Retriever named Koda. He ate Innova Large Breed Puppy until he was 16 months, and then switched to EVO. I didn't think he was doing poorly on the Innova, but on the EVO he is doing soo much better! No allergies, shinier coat, happier tummy. So I am definitely a fan, and had always thought I would keep him on EVO forever. However, I have recently heard of the benefits of rotational feeding, and I've decided that I would like to begin feeding Koda on a rotational diet.

The thing is... Koda used to have a VERY sensitive stomach (would throw up all night if he got one spoonful of wet food). Now, he has become more resilient, but still gets loose stools very easily. What would you suggest is the best way to start him off on the rotational feeding without taking forever to switch each time, but not risking stomach upset?

I think I am going to start with just switching between proteins EVO chicken to EVO beef, etc. But I just was wondering if I should take a week to switch him, 2 weeks, 3 weeks? I'd appreciate any advice on rotational feeding.. Thanks!
 

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most dogs dont have trouble going from grain free to grain free especially if its the same brand because the ingredients are mostly identical with exception of protein source, 3-5 days transition time is pretty standard. You can also add some digestive enzymes to help with possible issues like upset stomach.
 

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As post #2 says, switching formulas within a brand may be easier because so many of the ingredients can be the same - as well as the vitamin pre-mix. That makes it good for easy switching, but not as good for getting the full benefits of rotational feeding. By switching to another brand you expose your dog to more varied ingredients and help balance out the highs and lows of all the vitamins and minerals. Brands can vary quite a bit in how much of different vitamins and minerals they use. Also, in case one company has a recall or goes out of business, you have another company's formula you know your dog does well on.

I've done rotational feeding with two dogs for about three years. To me, the key was first finding three different formulas they did well on. A formula did not get included in our permanent rotation until the dogs had been on it exclusively for three months and had no issues with coat, skin, eyes, weight, etc. Dogs can vary so much in how easy they transition to a new food for the first time. My one dog can easily do it in 2-3 days. My other dog does best with 7-10 days. Once my dogs had a specific formula in rotation a number of times, they transition time lessened.

Adding a spoonful of plain canned pumpkin to each meal during the first few days of transition always helped my more sensitive dog. I've found it easier to switch among formulas that aren't drastically different in protein and fat percentages. For example going from a 28% protein / 16% fat formula to a 32% protein/ 18% fat never seems to be a problem. But if a person switched from a 24 % protein / 12% fat to a 42% protein / 20% fat, I think you might find the transition slower.

Another option to rotating kibbles is to find one or two "base" kibbles of moderate protein and add rotating proteins up to a 25% ratio - scrambled eggs, cooked ground turkey, beef, chicken, etc.

Good luck with exploring. It may take a little effort, but the benefits are worth it IMO.
 

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Shellie my golden has a super sensitive tummy as well, before I got her she was treated 3x for gastritis (bloody diarrhea) from abrupt food changes. So when I fed kibble (I feed prey model raw now) I would take her 2 cups that she would get and put 1/8 cup of the new in one day, then 1/4 the next and gradually worked her up to the full amount of the new food over a week period of time, mixing it in with the old. Now she's on Raw she is no longer miss sensitive, I switch proteins daily on her and she has no problems.
 

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I've recently started a rotation diet. Because of sensitivity issues, I have stuck with different formulas of the same brand so far, but he has been doing very well with the transitions so I think I will eventualy incorporate a few other brands. I rotate on a bag-by-bag basis (15 lb. bags, which last me 1-2 months) and gradually wean him onto the new formula when it's time to switch.
 
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