Grain-Free Pet Food: Health or Hype?

In recent years, grain-free pet foods have become extremely popular. This trend was most likely developed in a consumer response to human nutrition trends, rather than responding to the nutritional needs of our pets in general.

When it comes to choosing the best food for your pet, the most important aspect is providing a complete and balanced nutritional diet, based on the specific needs of the pet.

Is Grain-Free Food Healthier For My Dog or Cat?

Like the answer to many questions when it comes to nutrition and supplements, the answer is “it depends.” It truly begins with your purpose for feeding it.

health benefits of grain free foods

Does Grain-Free Pet Food Mean Carb Free?

 Grain-free diets are frequently as high or higher in carbohydrates than diets that contain grain. Grains like rice are replaced with white potatoes, sweet potatoes and tapioca starch as their carbohydrate source. 

Does Grain-Free Pet Food Help With Allergies and Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Most specialists believe it is usually the protein source that is causing the trouble with these two conditions. One study found that the most likely food allergens for dogs are beef, dairy products, chicken, and wheat. The study found that cats are most likely to be allergic to beef, fish, and chicken. Rice and corn did not place on the list for either species.

There is definitely a small subset of dogs and cats that are gluten intolerant and improve on a wheat-free diet. It is certainly worth a try; however, we believe you would be much better off using a limited ingredient diet or a hydrolyzed diet food trial for 8-12 weeks. Ask us for the diets that best suits your pet. 

grain free health benefits for pets

 

What Should I Feed My Pet?

We have been told that people just want to know what they should feed their pet. Well, it just isn’t that simple. Pets are individuals and different foods do different things in an individual body, just as in humans. As pet owners we have to be paying attention to what a certain food does to our pet. Are they thriving? Is their coat shiny and sleek? Are they well muscled? Are they fat? Do they have flatulence? Is their stool solid or loose? Change only one thing at a time with your pet’s diet and see what changes. You are the best one to know.

We have been in the business long enough to have seen many food and supplement fads come and go - there is a new one every year.

Is grain-free a fad? A lot of people think so. We think grain-free diets may have a place, but they are not a panacea for all pets, and probably not even that many. Cats, unlike dogs, are true carnivores so their digestive systems are not designed to metabolize carbohydrates of any kind very well. 

If we suspect your pet has food allergies, we will suggest a limited ingredient diet made by one of the manufacturers that guarantees that the food is made on a machine dedicated to that diet only.  Food trials must be done for 2-3 months to know if they are effective.  

Still not sure if you should have your dog or cat on a grain free diet? Contact us!

 

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