Is grain-free dog-food the best choice for my four-legged friend?
If you think of food for a proper diet of your dog, grain is probably not the first thing, although it is actually an omnivore. However, a large number of feed contain a fairly high proportion of different grain varieties, such as barley. Is this healthy for dogs or is grain-free dog food better? We will answer your questions here.
In addition to their meat content, most dog feeds also contain wheat, rye, oats, barley and other grains. They occur either as flour or cereal flakes, since these are more easily digestible than complete grains. However, the cereal flour usually consists of the inside of the grain kernel, which is why the nutrient-rich shells are missing in the feed. High-quality products consist of crushed grain, which are heated briefly and placed under steam in order to break up the starch. This process allows important nutrients to be retained and the grain to be easily digested.
If a dog feed is grain-free, grain types are dispensed with and instead alternative carbohydrate sources are used.
- Sweet potatoes
These serve as important energy suppliers, like the grain. Your dog needs it to play with you, to chase after his friends or to fulfill his tasks. In addition, it supplies your dog with vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients.
Many dog owners choose grain-free dog food because they consider it a more appropriate diet. Is this correct?
- Dogs come from the wolf, which is known to be a carnivore. They are also fond of eating meat.
- Dogs were domesticated by humans, which has also changed their food sources.
- They can use vegetable protein and digest starchy feed.
- Scientific studies by Swedish researchers have shown that dogs have undergone an evolutionary development over the millennium. This has led them to have the genetic predisposition to digest the starch contained in carbohydrates.
- If you know your dog well, you surely know that he is an omnivore and also likes to nibble on bananas, strawberries and other fruits, as well as carrots, cucumbers and other vegetables. Sometimes you have to stop him, because he would rather eat anything that is on your plate. And this is definitely not healthy because some foods are harmful to dogs, for example grapes, tomatoes and chocolate. Grain does not belong to it, of course.
- But it does not like to eat plant foods, he can digest many of them well and they are healthy for him.
- In addition, even the wolf does not feed only on meat. In order to survive in the wilderness, it has to eat its entire beast. In its gastrointestinal tract, plant constituents are found generally, so that the wolf also receives plants with their food indirectly.
Often, grain-free dog food is unconsciously associated with a high proportion of meat and, consequently, is associated with a proper diet. However, "grain-free" means in the first place that no grain is in the composition. This is usually replaced by alternatives such as potatoes or peas.
In addition, it is important to know that a pure meat-based diet for your dog is not really recommendable, because it can lead to deficiencies. Plant ingredients provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are not present in the meat. In the case of grain-free dog food, it is therefore best to use a balanced mixture of ingredients, so that your four-legged friend is optimally supplied. What is also crucial is that you feed a quality feed. This has high-quality ingredients that ensure a proper and nutrient-optimal diet for your dog.
With the help of the previous explanations, you can easily conclude that you do not generally harm your dog if you feed him with grain-based feed. However, it may become a necessity to feed grain-free dog food. This can happen when allergies occur in your dog or it does not tolerate the feed with grain.
How do you recognize this? In most cases, the animals react with skin reactions such as itching and hair loss. However, it can also be that their ears are inflamed, they get diarrhoea or there are very large amounts of feces. The latter is always a sign that the feed has a low digestibility. In any case, it is advisable to seek out a veterinarian for such symptoms and to check whether these have actually been triggered by the diet. The expert can also help determine the allergenic ingredients and give you tips for alternative feeding.
In the case of a feed allergy, the symptoms are triggered by a certain grain protein, for example from wheat or corn. The most common are wheat allergies and intolerances. In addition, celiac disease or other intolerances may occur in rare cases. This can cause a permanent inflammation of the intestinal mucosa and consequently cause diarrhoea and weight loss. Such intolerances occur rarely in dogs.
In addition to grain, other feed ingredients can also trigger reactions. These include soy as well as animal proteins from beef, pork, poultry or fish. You can find such allergies or intolerances through an exclusion diet or by the veterinarian. As a rule, hypoallergenic dog food solves the problem because it does not contain certain ingredients known to be a trigger for allergies or intolerances. Of course, it does not contain any grain.
Green Petfood's dry-feed consists of alternative carbohydrate and protein sources that are rarely used, and is also free from soy and all artificial additives. The risk that your dog will not tolerate this high-quality, grain-free dog food or is allergic to it will therefore be very low. However, it cannot generally be ruled out that a substance can cause reactions in one or another animal.
Green Petfood offers dog food that is grain-free and vegetarian. You are now asking yourself why you should feed a dog food that has no meat portion at all. This is suitable if your dog is particularly sensitive and reacts to rarely used animal proteins. It is ideally adapted to a meat-free diet and provided with all important nutrients. In this way you can feed your sensitive four-legged animal perfectly and healthily. As long as he is able to tolerate this special dog food and enjoys the best health, you can feed it all his life. If you need advice on the nutrition of your dog, the experts of Green Petfood or a veterinarian can help you.
If you want to feed a vegetarian dog food with conviction, you can do just so without hesitation. By cleverly combining different plant proteins, your dog can ideally meet the requirements of vital nutrients.