What is a ‘Grain Free’ Dog Food Anyway? And Should My Dog Be Eating It?
What is a grain-free dog food diet and should your dog be eating one?
Recently, grain-free diets have become very popular among humans. Which has led to some people believing that it is what’s lead the dog industry toward “grain-free” options for dogs. Notwithstanding, this is a false assumption.
The advancements in modern technology have allowed for unprecedented growth within the animal food sector. Science now helps us combat the ailments and diseases that are plaguing our animals. Ways to prevent and overcome cancer, illness, obesity and other health concerns affecting the lifespans of our 4-legged loved ones. Research gives insight into the importance of actually going ‘back in time’, how our pets were designed to eat. Revealing the importance of feeding them as nature intended.
It’s impossible to imagine our dogs’ wild ancestors going crazy over a field of corn or wheat. Why feed our dogs unnecessary ingredients they don’t naturally hunger after? Should we not free them from the shackles of common grains?! Join the movement to take fillers out of your dog’s diet and bring them back to life!
WHY WOULD MY DOG NEED A GRAIN FREE DIET?
From a biological standpoint, scientists have proven your dog’s digestive system is almost identical to that of a wild animal. It contains special enzymes and good bacteria that break down raw meat. The enzymes in their saliva help with this process. The rest of their bodies are designed for breaking down proteins to turn into energy.
It is important to understand what Grain-Free means. Grain-Free dog food requires the elimination of all grains which include barley, corn, durum, kamut, millet, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, spelt, tuff, triticale, wheat (all varieties), wild rice and whole grains.
Grain-free dog food diets allow dogs to eat as if they were in the wild. The intended desire for their bodies. Grains are an unnatural source of nutrition for our dogs. The ancestors of our current-day dogs did not eat grains. Although dogs have evolved over centuries, it is still unnatural for them to easily digest carbohydrates. Despite most dogs developing a tolerance for digesting grains, this does not mean it is good for them. Certainly not how nature intended them to eat. Evolution has allocated for significant change over the last 30,000 years of dogs living with humans, but the ability to digest grains does not make it part of the original biological makeup of these animals.
Many dog owners choose to feed grain-free dog food or gluten-free foods for many health reasons and for the overall well being of their pets. However, there are a lot of paw parents who don’t even realize they NEED to switch for the plethora of medical reasons. Many pet parents choose to feed their dog naturally because grain-free diets are an ideal choice for dogs that have food allergies.
Your fur-baby may have an allergy to grains or other fillers in their food if they experience the following symptoms:
- Excessive hair loss
- Bald patches
- Inflamed skin
- Sore and scabs
- “Hot spots”
WHAT WOULD MY DOG EAT INSTEAD OF GRAINS OR FILLER?
If the food your dog is eating is free of grain, by-products, cornmeal and numerous chemicals you can not pronounce, it leaves more room for MEAT and PROTEIN. A dog’s body craves protein for optimal performance. Top quality grain-free dog foods use higher-quality ingredients in general, such as real chicken, beef, whitefish, salmon, turkey, tuna, and egg shells.
Note: a raw diet with concentrated sources of protein, such as chicken (bone-in) and salmon are the ideal source. Make sure to double-check the label for the source, as mentioned above.
Lower-quality brands rely heavily on starches, grains, and byproducts as fillers which help keep the cost down on production. In addition to these fillers, certain store brands of kibble include majority genetically-modified corn or wheat. Frighteningly, we still don’t fully understand the effects of GMO ingredients on dogs.
IF IT IS GRAIN FREE, IS IT CARB FREE?
Based on the logic we use in regards to human diets, grain-free and carb-free or “low carb” usually go hand in hand. However, grain-free dog food is the feeding of a high protein, low carbohydrate diet but that does not always mean low or no carb. It is imperative to read the labels and understand what ingredients may be replacing grain-free ingredients. Many raw dehydrated options provide this low carb benefit but surprisingly some grain-free pet foods contain carbohydrate levels similar to or even higher than diets containing grains. With the exception of raw diet options, some store bought grain-free dog foods use ingredients such as potatoes to replace the grains in the food. Often, these ingredients have more carbohydrates than the common grains used in pet food.
YOUR PET, YOUR PRIORITY, YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
It is important to keep in mind that all dogs have different, specific nutritional needs when choosing a food. Furthermore, instinctually as wild animals, the food they crave is universal. There is no one exact food that is perfect for all dogs. Thankfully, brand and ingredient awareness will make your decision much easier.
Your 4-legged family member relies on you to provide them with the best life which includes their diet! By doing your research on nutrition, you can find the right balance to meet your deserving fur-baby’s biological needs.
I’d love to help you answer any questions you may have about the food we feed our dogs here at Waggles. Here is the brand, you’ll have to answer the survey to see how much food your dog would need. This is by far the best food on the market and we say so enthusiastically, just like DogFood Advisor does.