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For most of us, our pets are a vital part of our daily lives. We love them to bits and only want the best for them. We've all heard the saying, "We are what we eat." The same can be said about our beloved pets. What we feed them influences how they grow into adults. Their balanced diet, such as Hill’s Science Diet, is a very vital part of their livelihood. That's why it's important to pick the right dog food for them.
Is grain-free dog food the right option for your pet? Let's see what experts have to say.
Since all pets were once carnivores and predators, their primary source of nutrition was protein. That's why it's so natural for our furry friends to prefer meat and raw dog food over other foods. Dry pellets tend to contain a lot of nutrition for our pets; they also tend to contain a lot of grain foods. While dry dog food is more convenient for storing and feeding, they don't contain nearly as good quality ingredients as grain-free foods. That's why products like Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Canned Food for dogs have grown in popularity in recent years.
Grain-free canned dog food has protein-based ingredients like real beef, chicken, eggs, salmon, and other healthy protein sources. These ingredients are much better for your pets' growth and development in comparison to the ingredients that are found in dry foods. Because of its composition, grain-free dog food brands also tend to keep pets fuller for longer, meaning there are lesser chances of obesity – a serious problem on the rise. Switching your pet's diet from grain to grain-free food can also help alleviate food allergies. Consult your vet before making any major changes to your pet's diet.
How about pet foods that contain grain?
These can't be ruled out just yet. Reputed pet food products like the Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Beef And Rice dog food have ingredients like whole wheat grains. They do have their benefits. Dogs can digest grains and starches. Most of our pets also need grains to balance out their diet.
Good grains are healthy. But these are also a rather expensive options upfront. Most pet food manufacturers use fillers to make up for the protein-based ingredients that they lack. So instead of feeding your pet a nutritious and balanced meal, he'd be ingesting a lot of food with no specific nutritional value and just empty calories.
Grain-based foods, like the Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains dog food, are not bad for your animals; just be sure of the quality before buying them. Ask your vet for advice. If your pet is suffering from conditions such as obesity, diabetes, or gastrointestinal problems, it's safe to sit down with your vet to devise a feasible diet plan that your pet can stick to. Blindly changing his diet without talking to a professional often does more harm than good.
The Best Grain-Free Dog Foods for Your Pup
Grain-free dog food has become all the rage, and while it may stem from dieting trends for people, in many cases, a grain-free doggy diet, like Blue Buffalo dog food grain-free chicken recipe, can be a good switch. However, just like with any change in diet, you should consult a vet or dietician to ensure that this change is right for you.
What is Grain-Free?
Grain-free is what it sounds like -- food without ingredients like corn, oats, wheat, or rice (aka grains). A diet similar to the many "low carb" diets we are so fond of, these foods promise to fill your pet up with nothing proteins derived from meats -- a diet more closely linked to what they would have eaten in the wild. Also, with a grain-free diet, since every piece of kibble is packed with much more protein, the serving size can be substantially less, resulting in a healthier pet.
Where Can I Find Grain-Free Food?
We have a wide array of different types of grain-free dog food, each with a unique set of flavors and nutritional benefits. Check them out and see which one you think your pup will like best.
Natural Balance Alpha Grain-Free Formula
Blend of high-quality proteins
Balanced for all breeds
Prebiotics feed the beneficial bacteria in your dog's digestive tract
Great source of proteins and fiber
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Formula
Protein-rich, with turkey and chicken
Balanced profile of high-quality ingredients
Supports your pet's inner wellbeing
Carefully controlled quality
Dogswell Nutrisca Dry Dog Food
Contains cage-free chicken or no-hormone lamb
Great source of protein, folic acid, and fiber
Terrific for cardiovascular health
Nature's Variety Instinct Grain-Free
Grandma Lucy's Artisan Grain-Free Dog Food
Frequently Asked Questions
Is grain-free dog food better than grain dog food?
There is no clear consensus on whether grain-free dog food is better than grain-inclusive dog food. Some pet owners and veterinarians believe that grain-free diets can be beneficial for dogs with certain health conditions, such as food allergies or sensitivities to grains. However, others argue that grains can provide important nutrients for dogs, such as carbohydrates and essential fatty acids. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best diet for a particular dog based on its individual needs and health status.
Do vets recommend grain or grain free?
Veterinarians may have varying opinions on whether grain-free or grain-inclusive diets are best for dogs. Some veterinarians may recommend grain-free diets for dogs with certain health conditions, such as food allergies or sensitivities to grains. However, other veterinarians may recommend grain-inclusive diets, as grains can provide important nutrients for dogs.
Do dogs need grain in their food?
Dogs do not strictly "need" grain in their diet to survive, as they are omnivores and can obtain necessary nutrients from a variety of sources. However, grains such as rice, barley, and oats can provide important nutrients for dogs, such as carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients play an important role in maintaining overall health, energy levels, and proper organ function. It is best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best diet for a particular dog based on its individual needs and health status. Some dogs may have food allergies or sensitivities to certain grains and may do better on a grain-free diet, while others may do well on a diet that includes grains. The most important thing is to ensure that the diet is balanced and complete, meaning it provides all the necessary nutrients that your dog needs to thrive.
What are the disadvantages of grain-free dog food?
There are a few potential disadvantages to feeding a grain-free diet to dogs. Grains such as rice, barley, and oats provide important nutrients for dogs, such as carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients play an important role in maintaining overall health, energy levels, and proper organ function. Grain-free dog food is often more expensive than grain-inclusive dog food. Recent reports by the FDA linked a grain-free diet to heart disease in dogs called Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which is a condition that results in the heart's inability to pump blood effectively. Some studies have shown that certain breeds are more prone to this disease. Also, some grain-free diets may contain legumes (peas, lentils, beans) as a replacement for grains, which has been linked to causing health problems in some dogs. However, please bear in mind that these concerns are not necessarily true for all grain-free diets.
How do I know if my dog needs grain-free food?
Your veterinarian can help determine if your dog has any specific health conditions or allergies that may make a grain-free diet more appropriate. Your veterinarian may recommend allergy testing to determine if your dog has an allergy or sensitivity to certain grains. If your dog is experiencing symptoms such as itching, skin irritation, or digestive problems, a grain-free diet may be worth trying. On the other hand, if your dog is thriving, maintaining a healthy weight, and has a shiny coat, it's likely that the current diet is working well for them.