Your dog may need healthy grains, such as whole grains, to meet all of their nutritional needs. For example, grains contain magnesium, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber, which have many health benefits for your puppy. Any dog food made without wheat, corn, rice and other grains is considered “grain free”. However, dogs still need carbohydrates for energy.
Therefore, grain-free dog foods use alternative sources of carbohydrates, such as potatoes and pea flour. Are there benefits of grain-free dog food? For some dogs, yes. However, Venator explains that “there is a myth that is not supported by veterinary medicine that grains cause allergies. The reality is that true food allergies are extremely low in dogs and cats, and the offending substances are usually not grains.
In fact, cereal allergies in dogs are so rare that they affect less than one percent of dogs. They are more likely to be allergic to proteins such as beef or chicken. If you suspect that your dog has an allergy or sensitivity to food, we recommend that you work with your veterinarian to find the source. They can help you identify any allergies or sensitivities and recommend a therapeutic diet to avoid allergens.
This will ensure that your dog continues to receive the nutrition it needs. Despite the benefits for some dogs, there are disadvantages to feeding a grain-free dog food. Many people assume that grain-free means low carbs, but that's not the case. In fact, some grain-free dog foods are higher in alternative carbohydrate sources, such as potatoes and peas.
This could cause unintended weight gain. That's why it's so important to work with your veterinarian. Doing so will ensure that your dog gets the nutrition it needs from the right sources. With so many unknowns, it is difficult to determine the exact cause or contributor to these cases.
Patton shares that we need to consider how these foods affect the health of our dogs, and we shouldn't limit our concerns to the risk of MCD. There are other problems that can result from some dog foods that have been labeled “grain-free”, but that actually only replace grains with similar (or even unhealthy) ingredients. While our dogs' ancestors may have eaten only a small portion of grain in nature, dogs have evolved over the years to digest different types of nutrition, including cereals. There are several genes in dogs that have been modified over the years to allow them to digest grains and gluten.
Therefore, in terms of metabolism, there is no need to feed your dogs grain-free pet food. Boutique diets are produced by small businesses without nutritional testing facilities. Diets with exotic ingredients use unusual sources, such as kangaroo or duck, that have not been extensively tested. More common sources such as chicken or beef have.
Grain-free diets replace grains such as rice and corn with potatoes or legumes (beans, peas and lentils) as a source of carbohydrates. No study has ever shown that grain-free diets are superior to diets that include grains. While every pet has unique nutritional needs, all pets need vitamins and healthy substances found primarily in cereals. Research shows that grain-free food isn't necessarily better for pets, except for 10% of pets who have cereal allergies or intolerances.
That means that, for most pet owners, there is no right or wrong answer when deciding between the two. PetFood Industry continues to note that “some professionals have questioned the validity of FDA findings. Others discuss the logic behind alerting the public while so many questions remain. The grain-free debate is a controversial and heated topic in the canine world, especially when it comes to special dog foods.
For example, in dogs suspected of having food allergies (also known as adverse food reactions), a grain-free diet might be recommended as a test to see if symptoms improve. Gluten-free and grain-free diets for dogs have become increasingly popular in recent years due to concerns about food allergies or high amounts of carbohydrates in traditional dog foods. One of the best advantages of grain-free dog food, especially premium dog food companies, is that the food usually contains a small amount of ingredients. Some advocates of grain-free dog food diets choose this form of nutrition for their dogs because they believe that their dogs are allergic or intolerant to grains.
Longtime dog food brands, as well as new brands, created their version of grain-free dog food to keep up with demand, as many people assumed that grains were now bad. The most important consideration when choosing a dog food is that it provides complete and balanced nutrition. When it comes to dog food, there are a lot of opinions about what is considered “healthy for your dog”. Taurine became an immediate suspect in canine DCM, but relatively few cases of taurine-deficient DCM have been identified in dogs.
Limited Ingredients May Help Dogs with Serious Food Allergies, But They're Not Always the Best Dietary Choice. Although grain-free dog foods do not contain grains, they do replace other sources of carbohydrates, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils, peas or quinoa. There are many reasons why a dog owner would choose and should choose one over the other, especially if it's a veterinarian's recommendation and the right diet for their dog. Not all grain-free dog foods are created equal; some grain-free foods simply replace grains with other high-carb fillers that are equally unhealthy for your dog and may even be related to DCM.