Grain free dog food is extremely popular right now, but is it really the best thing for your pet? If you want your dog to live the longest and healthiest life it possibly can, it is very important that you take the time to do your research to find out what exactly you should feed it.
It is important to keep in mind that this type of dog food was developed more because there was such a demand from consumers as opposed to purely for nutritional benefits, though there are definitely some that you should be aware of.
Things To Consider
The most important thing to consider when choosing the right food to give your dog is whether or not it offers them all of the nutrients they need, whether or not it contains grain. If the food you are giving your dog doesn’t make for a healthy, balanced diet, you will definitely need to rethink what you are giving it.
Each of the ingredients in the food you give your dog should provide them with what they need in terms of overall nutrition. Feeding your dog food that lacks essential nutrients can lead to a decline in its health, which is something that no dog owner wants.
Grain Free Diet
While it may be true that some dogs do well on a grain free diet, the gluten that is found in grain provides dogs with quality protein, which is essential for a healthy diet. While the protein cannot be absorbed by the intestines, such as with eggs, it is much better than meat and other foods.
Even though ingesting enough gluten over time can lead to celiac disease in humans, which can be extremely painful and even debilitating, most dogs do not experience this problem.
It is important to keep in mind that dogs are different from humans in this way, and it is a common misconception that they are vulnerable to celiac disease as well.
If you are going to feed your dog grain free food, you will need to make sure that it is a quality overall product that meets all the nutritional needs of your pet. While grain free dog food is not inherently harmful to dogs, it can be if it does not have everything it needs in terms of essential nutrients.
Your dog needs certain nutrients to be healthy and live a long life, so you will therefore need to make sure that you take the time to find the right grain free food to feed it.
Improve Gastrointestinal Health
Many pet owners have noticed a significant improvement in their dogs after feeding them grain free food for a while, and it is because it can help to improve gastrointestinal health as well as boost energy levels.
Most grain free dog food products contain premium, high-quality ingredients, though this is not always the case. Even if a certain dog food product is grain free, you will still need to make sure that it is healthy to give your pet.
Play It Safe
Another reason why many dog owners give their pets grain free food is because they believe that cereal grains are the most common cause of allergies in these animals, though this may not be the case. There isn’t yet a lot of information available to confirm or deny this assertion, but some dog owners just like to play it safe.
Some dogs also have problems digesting grain foods because they lack a certain digestive enzyme known as amylase. As long as you thoroughly cook the grains first though, your dog should be able to digest them without any issues.
One popular myth regarding grain free dog food is that it contains no carbs, but this is simply not true. The process that is required to make kibble involves a significant number of carbohydrates so they hold everything together.
Even in non-grain recipes, there are still carbs from vegetables like potatoes and legumes. If you are looking for a very high-quality grain free dog food, search for one that has earned 4 or more stars and is advertised as having no grains in it.
Health vs Unhealthy
When it comes to grain free dog food, it isn’t simply a black and white matter of healthy vs. unhealthy.
There are plenty of grain free dog food products that are healthy for these animals and provide them with everything they need, just as there are certain grain free varieties that are unhealthy as a whole because they lack essential nutrients.
Most vets will not recommend grain free diets for puppies, simply because they are still growing and need to eat food that has grains in it. If you have an adult dog on the other hand, you will be able to feed it grain free food, as long as it gives them all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Feed On Adult
Right now there is simply not enough research regarding grain free dog food to say whether it is healthier or unhealthier than normal dog food with grains in it. As long as you are feeding the grain free food to an adult dog and not a puppy, there should be no adverse health effects whatsoever.
While grains do get a bad rap, the truth is that they are only bad the product as a whole is not healthy. Grains do not make dog food unhealthy, but rather the other ingredients that may or may not be included.
The overall quality of the grains in most dog foods is one of the most important things to focus on, because they are not all the same quality. Grains in dog foods can also be unhealthy when they are fractionated or not ground whole, as well as when they are not human grade or organic.
Take the time to look for a dog food product that will keep your dog healthy, whether or not it is grain free. Many dogs thrive on grain free diets, but it is important to keep in mind that this isn’t the only or even the best option available.