As people have started questioning the role of grains in their own diets, they have also started questioning their purpose in the food of their dog. Most dog owners want to know what reason grains are used in dog food and whether they are really needed by Fido. Understanding the difference between standard and grain-free dog food will help you choose which choice is right for your dog.
Standard Dog Food Vs Grain-Free Dog Food
When we say “standard dog food,” we mean dog food that contains grans. Dog food with grains is still a popular choice for many owners. Getting on shelves is simple and often more competitive than grain-free varieties. But, what are the ingredients in dog food?
If you look at a normal dog food label, you may see some of the following combinations:
Note that gluten-free dog food does not include gluten-containing grains such as wheat. However, it may include other grains, such as maize and rice. Now that you know some of the most common grains used in dog food, you may wonder, “What is the purpose of grains?”
Although some consider it irrelevant, grains play an important role in the dog’s diet, providing a number of benefits.
They have carbohydrates that provide energy and nutrients for your dog to facilitate digestion. Grains also provide essential nutrients such as protein and linoleic acid, a dog’s essential fatty acid.
Grain-Free Dog Food
Any dog food made without wheat, maize, rice and other grains is known to be “grain-free.” But, for nutrition, dogs still need carbohydrates. No-grain dog foods are therefore using alternative sources of carbohydrates such as potatoes and pea flour.
Does the grain-free dog food have any benefits? Yes, just a few puppies. Although there are rare grain allergies in dogs (affecting less than 1% of dogs), they can occur. However, dogs are more likely to have an allergy to a protein such as beef.
When you suspect the food allergy or reaction of your dog, we suggest that you consult with your vet to find the source. We will help you to identify allergies or sensitivities and prescribe a safe diet in order to prevent allergens. This will ensure that the nutrition your dog needs continues to get.
Despite the advantages of feeding grain-free dog food for some dogs, there are drawbacks. Most people believe that grain-free means low carb, but this is not the case.
In fact in alternative sources of carbohydrates such as potatoes and peas, some dog foods without grains are higher. This could lead to an unintended increase in weight.
This is why working with your veterinarian is so important. This will ensure that your dog receives from the appropriate sources the nutrition he needs.
Is Grain-Free Dog Food Better Than Normal?
Grain-free dog food may have some advantages, but the final decision depends on what you and your dog want.
Before moving your dog to a grain-free diet, we recommend contacting your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will help you determine whether this is your dog’s best dietary choice or whether there are better alternatives based on your dog’s age, fitness, and other specific factors.
When you agree that your dog must have a grain-free diet, discover Petvet’s Top 5 Grain Free Dog Food Benefits.