Grain-free and grain-less are two of the biggest dog food trends currently. Many dog foods boast having more meat in their ingredients than ever before and few (if any) grain products, returning to how early humans ate. But what’s the big deal?
As with human diets, dog food is suffering from a host of dietary problems, from canine allergies to joint pain and various digestion issues. In addition to these common health conditions, grain free dog food has also become popular because of its overall health benefits, and even as an added benefit. These benefits include reduced risk for diabetes, obesity, asthma, and allergies. While many veterinarians still recommend some grain products in dog food, many others have embraced the grain free dog food trend, arguing that it helps to reduce some of these common problems.
Among the most common digestive issues affecting dogs today are flatulence, vomiting, and diarrhea – conditions which can be made worse by eating too much grain-based products. For this reason, grain free dog foods are becoming very popular in both pet supply stores and veterinarian offices. Some of the problems associated with excessive grains in dog food include:
The reasons for these issues are varied and complex, and there are multiple reasons why commercial diets can cause such problems in dogs. One of the most common culprits is a byproduct found in many grain free diets – lippmann grain. This filler is used in all kinds of foods, including many dry dog foods. And while manufacturers claim that the filler is safe, both the FDA have recommended that dogs should not be fed large amounts of lippmann grain, nor should they ever eat it by itself.
While it’s true that dogs do suffer when fed large amounts of grain, the health benefits of a homemade diet are undeniable. It’s true that commercial pet food can cause digestive and metabolic disorders, but many of the ingredients that make up commercial diets are processed at unhealthy temperatures, which exacerbate digestive problems. Moreover, most commercial pet foods contain preservatives and chemicals, which are known to cause health problems. While many people think that commercial foods are nutritionally balanced, the truth is that many of them are simply not. Pet food that has been processed with grain is simply not nutritionally balanced.
But grain free pet food doesn’t have to be entirely about health issues. It can also be made with ingredients that are as beneficial to dogs as they are to humans. In fact, many commercial brands of dog food use ingredients like lamb, rice, corn, and even soy. Feeding a dog a diet consisting of these healthy ingredients can provide them with all of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need, without any additional calories. For example, rice and corn are excellent sources of carbohydrates, which dogs need for energy.
And speaking of carbohydrates, both rice and corn are excellent sources of fiber, which can be very beneficial for your dog. However, both grains are also rich in protein, which can be beneficial for your dog in its fight against canine celiac disease. Dog food that contains wheat (a common ingredient in many commercial dog diets) and soy has been proven not to be effective in treating dogs with this affliction. And just because a dog eats a diet high in protein doesn’t mean that it won’t develop other health problems, including arthritis and other conditions.
Other healthy ingredients to look for in commercial dry dog foods include salmon, garlic, apples, banana, squash, green beans, and alfalfa. Salmon is another good choice as it contains omega-3 fatty acids that are particularly important for your dog. However, just because a salmon product is high in fats doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be better for him. Again, too much fat can be bad for dogs, so only choose fish that are leaner.