All dogs are different and so are their dietary needs. As a dog owner, you always want to give your dog good quality food from the best dog food brands in India. After doing thorough research, we have reasons to believe that grain free dog food is ideal for most dogs.
Grain-free dog food fulfils all their dietary needs and ensures that they remain healthy. Keep reading to find why it’s worth investing in grain-free dog food.
What Is Grain Free Dog Food?
Dog food devoid of wheat, corn, rice etc. is considered “grain-free”. Grains are the major source of carbohydrates in most dog foods, which is the primary source of energy for a dog. Therefore, grain-free dog food covers the carbs using ingredients such as potatoes and pea flour.
Does Grain Free And Gluten Free Dog Food Mean The Same Thing?
NO, they’re not.
Grain-free dog foods do not contain any grains whereas, gluten-free dog food may or may not contain grain.
Gluten is found in certain grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. Not all grains contain gluten. Hence, gluten-free dog food may or may not be grain-free, while grain-free dog food will always be gluten-free.
Gluten-free dog food may not be as healthy as they are marketed. It is a type of protein found in starchy products. That being said, there are very few gluten-free dog food products out there. Rather, you will find premium quality grain-free dog food.
Reasons Why You Should Consider Grain Free Dog Food
Grains are an atypical source of nourishment. Dogs are carnivores’ and their key source of food should be animal protein and not grains. Yes, wild dogs have adapted to the taste of vegetables hence we can give them fruits and vegetables with minimal cooking. But grains are a strict no no.
Over the years of evolution, dogs have become more accepting of grains. Their bodies can digest grains but, it often leads to allergies and stomach issues. Too much wheat is also known to cause obesity and heart problems.
The primary reason why pet parents should switch their dog to grain-free dog food is food allergies. If you think your dog has a food allergy, visit your veterinarian to evaluate which ingredient is causing the allergy.
Once you know what is causing the allergies, you can make appropriate changes in their diet. Here are some common symptoms of any allergy.
- Excessive hair loss
- Sore and scabs
- Hot spots
- Excessive flatulence
- Loose stool/diarrhoea
- Rash and skin irritations
- Frequent ear infections
If your pup is exhibiting these symptoms, you should take them to the vet immediately.
Pros Of Grain Free Dog Food
Dogs tend to burn fat during intense sporting events. They don’t require carbs. Their carbohydrate needs are easily fulfilled by the small amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diet.
Most grain-free dog foods, including the moist and freeze-dried grain-free products, contain higher quantities of animal protein and fats and lower carbohydrate levels and are therefore digested with ease.
Here are a few other pros of a grain-free diet:
- Grain-free dog food keeps dogs full for longer. You can space out their meals and drastically reduce their chances of obesity
- It reduces the chances of dog food allergies
- Grain-free dog food provides dogs with more energy.
- Dogs on a grain-free diet have a lesser stool volume and reduced flatulence.
- Their skin will become healthy, shiny and you will notice lesser hair fall.
Cons Of Grain Free Dog Food
Just like any other type of dog food, grain-free dog food has a few cons as well. There are companies that sell grain-free dog food but cut down prices through some unhealthy practices.
Grain-free does not mean carb-free and low-grade companies use this to their advantage. They would often stuff their products with vegetable fibres and less than 20% of animal protein. This may cause obesity in the long run.
So, though grain-free dog food is ideal, avoid purchasing low priced grain-free dog food. Chances are these products are just as unhealthy as grain-based dog food. Instead, you can have a look at their ingredients. A good company should give you the percentage of every primary ingredient.
Is It Healthy For Puppies?
On average puppies need a higher amount of protein but since their kidneys are very sensitive, protein percentages above 35% can cause kidney damage.
If you want to start grain-free dog food from a young age, please make sure the formula is made especially for puppies.
How To Go Grain-Free?
If you are giving them grain-free dog food for the first time, introduce it to him slowly. Add 25% of grain-free dog food to their existing diet. Continue this for a few days and then graduate to equal quantities of their existing diet and grain-free dog food.
Keep an eye on their stool, energy levels and interest towards food. If at all they develop canine anorexia, you should take a step back and reduce the quantity of grain-free dog food. Picky eaters tend to struggle with this process, but once you make the change, it should be smooth sailing from this point onwards.
What do you feed your dog? And are you planning to switch them over to grain-free dog food? Let us know in the comment section below.