Lots of meat, some vegetables and little or no grain. This is the formula many dog lovers use to describe a healthy diet for their four-legged friends. But why is feed with too much grain considered inferior and even harmful? Can dogs do without grain entirely? Here we tell you when it makes sense to switch to a grain-free diet and what to look out for when buying grain-free foods.
Natural dog food
It is fashionable to feed dogs as naturally as possible. This is confirmed by the rise in the BARF diet. The BARF (Biological Appropriate Raw Food Diet) is an alternative raw food diet designed to provide dogs with a modified homemade diet that consists of raw meat, bones, vegetables, and fruits and eliminates all processed foods. It is based on the composition of the wolf feed. Many dog food manufacturers choose the most natural food possible. Food with selected organic ingredients that resemble the prey of the wolf.
The topic of grain plays an important role in this context. Compared to the proportion of animal protein, the wolf eats very few carbohydrates. Therefore, a high percentage of grain in dog foods is considered unsuitable. And it was seen as even harmful to our four-legged animals. Those who prefer a BARF diet do without grain entirely. Instead of going raw, there are many types of prepackaged dog foods that do not contain grain. Is It True That Grain Free Dog Food Is Healthier?
Important Nutrients for dogs
Can dogs survive without grain? Let’s take a look at the essential nutrients that dogs need. We know these wolf’s offspring primarily require protein. Protein is used for cell regeneration and provides them with most of their energy. Undoubtedly the most important source of protein for dogs is meat. The variety and quality of the meat used affect digestibility and good protein intake.
Muscle, heart, and fish are easy to digest and high in protein. Derivatives such as bones or other organ meats provide very little protein. However, even the best piece of meat is not enough if it is the only part of the food. In addition to animal protein, the carnivorous dog needs other nutrients. The wolf eats its prey with bones, blood, and intestines. The wolf and dog also need water, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins for long and healthy lives.
Do dogs need Cereals?
Your dog can get carbohydrates from various ingredients it is Food. Ingredients such as potatoes, rice or other grains such as wheat, oats, corn, barley, millet, or spelled. Grains are a valuable source of carbohydrates as long as they are processed properly. Too much grain can upset the stomach. Very sensitive stomachs react to too much grain with digestive problems such as diarrhea. In addition, cereals can trigger allergies. The proportion of grain in dog food should be around 10% and never more than 20%.
Is Grain free Good for dogs?
To avoid the risk of digestive problems or allergies, many dog owners do not use grain in the food of their four-legged dog. In fact, the necessary nutrients and fiber can be found in potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or other vegetables. Therefore, a grain-free diet can provide all of the essential nutrients for your four-legged dog. As long as your dog’s individual needs are taken into account.
The intestinal tract of dogs is quite short compared to humans. This can make unprocessed grain carbohydrates difficult to digest. In contrast to wolves, domesticated dogs already have amylases in their genetic make-up. That said, there can be too many enzymes to aid digestion and conversion of unprocessed grains, and nutrients cannot be absorbed.
When is grain-free Food Recommended?
Grain-free food is particularly recommended for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Dogs with persistent digestive problems, or those with diarrhea or constipation, can benefit from grain-free foods. Dogs with a high chance of developing allergies are also safer with grain-free foods. Certain cereal ingredients such as wheat or corn can cause allergic skin reactions in sensitive dogs. These reactions can be itchy, especially on the paws, ears, and armpits.
The itching can cause dogs to scratch or lick themselves so hard that the fur around the area falls out. This area can become infected. If your loyal canine friend has symptoms like diarrhea or itching, eating grain-free foods can be a good solution the Health problems.
Grain-free, Gluten-free, or Hypoallergenic? What is the Best Dog Food?
Hypoallergenic dog food completely avoids the most common allergens and uses rare types of meat. These rare types of meat can be a kangaroo, horse, gazelle, or water buffalo. Wheat is also avoided and is often replaced with rice, millet, or corn. Grain-free eating is best if your furry friend has an allergy to various grains.
As in people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance is rare in dogs. And so far it has only been detected in the Irish setter breed. Gluten-free dog food does not contain wheat, rye, and barley, but other grains such as rice, corn, and millet.
Properties of Grain-Free Dog food
Grain-free foods can be of good quality and very tolerable. If it has a high meat content that will provide the dog with sufficient animal protein. Fresh ingredients, muscles, and offal can be carefully prepared and supplemented with vegetables, fruits, important oils, or herbs. This feed contains hard-to-digest carbohydrates such as wheat, oats, rye, barley, millet, corn, and rice. Manufacturers take into account the individual energy and nutritional needs of dogs. This will vary significantly depending on your age. You can offer grain-free food for older and adult dogs, as well as for puppies.
Quality grain-free foods
Grain-free foods are not always of better quality than grain-based foods. After all, the quality of a product does not only depend on the lack of ingredients such as cereals. Meat must be of good quality, an indication of this are foods that do not contain added sugar and other additives. If it contains flavor enhancers, artificial flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners, it is a sign of inferior quality. It is therefore the description of the ingredients that tell us about the quality of a product and not its price.
Turn your Dog to a grain-free diet
Switching to a grain-free diet can be a good idea for dogs who are prone to digestive problems or allergies. It is ideal if you want to give your dog food that is very well tolerated. This is because it is made from a lot of meat and natural ingredients. The most important thing in choosing a grain, whether grain-free or grain-free, is that it meets your dog’s nutritional needs.
Your decision should be based on your dog’s age, breed, weight, daily activity level, or general health. These factors determine your individual nutritional needs. A puppy or very active dog who spends hours in the dog park will have a lot more energy than an older dog who just wants to lie on the couch. Many manufacturers offer grain-free dog food for different age groups and activity levels.
Do my Dog like grain-free food?
There’s no point if your dog’s food is the healthiest and the dog doesn’t like it and doesn’t eat it. It is important that you gradually get your dog used to the new food. When you have fed your dog grain food you can’t just switch it to a new strain overnight. Some dogs are overwhelmed by this change. It can cause digestive problems like diarrhea or heavy Constipation. You can also simply refuse to eat it.
Make the change by feeding gradually and replacing a small portion of the usual food with the new food. Every day you can increase the proportion of new foods. And in about two weeks, there will only be grain-free food in the bowl. If your dog absolutely refuses to eat the new brand, there are several variations you should try. Switch between wet and dry food. Not only should the food be of good quality and provide your dog with the nutrients he needs, he should also like it!
Dogs and cats can digest and metabolize carbohydrates. You can digest grain. Grain-free foods are usually not bad for your pets. However, there is no evidence to suggest that it is the optimal diet. Grain-free cat foods can be lower in total carbohydrates than grain foods. But no type of food is completely carbohydrate-free. Grain-free foods may not reflect the macronutrient profile that domestic cats and dogs prefer.
It’s important to note that a food with a low total carbohydrate content must, by definition, be higher in protein and fat. Therefore, these foods may not be suitable for animals with certain health conditions. These can be chronic kidney disease or conditions that require lower fat in the diet.
Simply switching to a grain-free food does not necessarily mean an improvement in clinical symptoms of RAA, as the most likely cause of RAA is animal ingredients and dry grain-free foods typically contain two of the most common ingredients associated with RAA the cat. No cross-reactivity with other grains with any particular grain has been reported in cats and dogs with RAA, and it is likely to affect only 25% in humans.
The most important thing is to confirm that the pet is doing well with a well-formulated grain-free food without forgetting the potential risk of CMD, as explained above. However, if a grain-free food is used to provide a more organic stock feed, avoid unnecessary blood sugar fluctuations, improve the digestibility of the food in general, and/or avoid food allergies, it is possible that a grain-free diet does not show any additional benefits.