Going grain free with your dog food offers benefits and opportunity. You need to be aware of what manufacturers will tell you. There are choices. Here are some things to consider.
Growing Interest To Move Away From Grain Based Dog Foods
The trend has not been missed by manufactures. The biggest names have released boutique style brands in an effort to maintain market share.
Dog owners are abandoning the old grain based foods citing dog allergies. The most noticeable allergies are those that affect the dog’s coat and skin. Dog owners who have experienced the patchy hair loss, excessive scratching and open sores understand.
For many if not most dog owners, the dog is more than a pet. They are family. The deep affection people have for their dogs is only exceeded by the devotion a dog has for their master. The desire to do whatever it takes is often the only strategy.
As the news spreads, that once popular dog foods are actually harming dogs, owners will change.
What Is The Truth On Grains
The issue is cereal grains. Most believe it is grain allergens that cause so much trouble for dogs. Others suggest the evidence does not support the belief.
Dr Stephen White, in a study published in the World Small Animal Veterinary Associations, World Congress, reported: The most common proven allergens in dog food are beef, chicken, milk, eggs, corn, wheat, and soy.
There is another issue to support the move away from cereal grains. Chemicals, pesticides, and genetic engineering are all apart of the growing process. They raise real concerns for many consumers.
A third point is the manufacturing process. The high cooking temperatures used to make dry dog food actually cooks out any health benefits the product may have had.
When people, humans, eliminate grains from their diet, they are reducing carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, when consumed, convert to sugar in the system. Eliminating carbs forces the body to burn fat. Often carbs are replaced with protein for energy and protein does not convert to fat.
Without the sugar, fat is burned and people lose weight.
There are others seeking to be gluten free. Eliminating grains is required. While it reduces carbs, the purposes of ‘low carb’ and ‘gluten free’ are totally different.
The concepts can be transferred to dog food. Eliminating grains, increasing protein from meat and dairy has for many, paid real health benefits.
When a dog comes off grain based food, it is not for the carbs but for what many perceive to be allergens. In manufacturing dog food, grains are often a form of binder. Without grain, the process uses other starchy carb foods like potatoes.
Dropping grains usually means adding higher protein foods. Generally they will include meat and dairy. Experts suggest that when balancing a diet, it should include protein, fat and fiber. After that the focus is on vitamins and minerals.
How Do You Know
Reading labels on commercially produced products is important. Just as people read food labels for sugar content, carbs and more, dog owners need to know what’s in the bag.
Watch for whole protein, usually beef, poultry, fish and eggs. Grains should be whole grains. Oats is a good option.
If you are searching for supplements, look for omega 3, plus glucosamine, and chondroitin. The last two are for joint and bone health.
Labeling is tricky. Vague, unspecified ingredients are legal, and are often used. Meat for example leaves the consumer unsure what that is. There are food experts that insist that ‘meat’ contents may actually include euthanized animals such as shelter dogs.
As disgusting as it sounds, there are manufacturers willing to do nearly anything to make a low cost product and price it like a boutique product with a fancy name. The watch words are, buyer beware.
When looking for suggestions or advice you can look to various websites. Many will inform, much like what we do here at HealthyLivingAfter60.com.
What To Watch For
What is recommended?
Are they the best choice, or are they recommendations that the publisher gets paid to promote?
Do your own research. One method is to look at Amazon. Nearly anything available in a store, is also available at Amazon. What you want to know is easily found along with what others are saying. Reviews are documented to be from actual buyers, Not paid promos.
Here is a sample of what Amazon is selling. These three are top sellers for dog food.
—Taste of the Wild Canine Formula.
This is an Amazon primary product, and a #1 best seller. It has more than 10,000 reviews averaging 4+ out of 5 stars. Reading the ingredients, you find a detailed list, beginning with bison.
—Purina ONE Smartblend Lamb and Rice
A popular brand at Amazon with 345 customer reviews averaging 4+ stars out of 5. The ingredients of the popular Purina product are listed beginning with lamb. It includes brewers rice, whole grain corn and wheat.
—CESAR Classic Poultry Flavored Adult
A top seller but it is not dry. This product is wet and served in trays. Everything indicates the intended market is small dogs. The 3.5 oz trays (servings) come with an assortment of grilled chicken, roasted chicken and turkey.
CESAR has an expanded product listing on Amazon.com and enjoys nearly 800 reviews. The rating is 4+ of five stars.
It was noted that one, 2 star rating, pointed to a review website that gave CESAR only 2 stars. In that review site, a veterinarian suggested the low rating stems from the adding of sugar, salt and flavoring to make the product appealing to the taste. None of the ingredients are healthy, but dogs like it.
Want to know more? Here are the three dog foods listed above. Click the link to learn more.
There is another choice. Many dog lovers have opted to make their own dog food. The process, while it requires some time and effort, is reported to be less expensive than buying commercial products, and the ingredients are exactly what you choose.
Most dog owners would have no idea where to start. The initial instinct is to simply feed the dog what ever is for dinner. The dog eats what you eat. Simple, quick, and easy.
But their not so healthy. Canine are not human. Their needs are different.
There are resources to help. A popular resource offers 245 proven dog food recipes you can prepare right at home. Created by legendary dog expert John Miller, the guide for feeding your dog safe, healthy, nutritious foods that give you the results you want.
Want to learn more about making your own dog food? Click this link. Healthy Dog Food: Homemade Recipes.
Dogs are more than pets. They’re family. Assure them safe, healthy and nutritious food.
Going grain free is a good choice. Knowing the choices and options, and understanding the differences is important.
Questions or comments. Drop us a note in the comments section below We would love to hear from you.