What Is Going on With Grain-Free Diets for Pets?

What Is Going on With Grain-Free Diets for Pets?

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Just like human diet fads, pet diet fads are also constantly changing. We have been trying everything from home food to kibble to the latest fad, which is grain-free pet food. Of course, pet parents want only the best for their most beloved companions and trying out these latest diet fads is only to ensure that their pets are getting the right kind of nutrition. But is this new grain free diet trend really good for your pet? There is still a considerable amount of research going on to verify if this diet truly benefits or rather harms your pets. Letโ€™s try and understand all we can about this grain free diet.

What is a grain free diet?

Grain free diet basically refers to pet food that is free of corn, soy, wheat, rice, barley or other grains. These ingredients are instead replaced by other non-grain ingredients like peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans, or potatoes. This diet was introduced with the belief that grain in animal diet, particularly for dogs and cats, are unnecessary. The advocates of grain free diet believe that animals like dogs and cats donโ€™t need grains in their diet as their ancestors did not eat grains. This makes grains an unnatural food for them. Also, it is believed that grains provide excessive carbohydrates in the diet, which your pets donโ€™t need. But does all of this make grain free diets healthy?

Is grain free diet beneficial for your pet?

While many people do believe that cutting down on unnecessary carbs from the diet of their pets is good for them, a balanced diet must contain a limited amount of carbs as well. Also, grain free food does not necessarily mean carb free. Usually, only the source of carbohydrates is replaced in this diet and instead of grains, other ingredients like potatoes or sweet potatoes. In some cases, the carbohydrate content of grain free food may even be higher than normal food because potatoes are a major source of carbs.

There is no proven evidence that grain free food is beneficial for your pets. In fact, FDA is investigating a potential link between a heart disease in dogs with grain free diet. They have found that the number of cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy has been on the rise since 2014 and that 90% of the cases reported used grain free food for a diet. This could be a mere coincidence too, but there is high probability that grain free diet has a role in causing this canine heart disease, which may prove fatal in severe cases. So, it is advisable to not go all out with this grain free diet fad but to try and give your pets an overall balanced diet instead.

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