The FDA recently issued a press release stating that there might be a possible link between diet and canine DCM in dogs. Well, a few seconds later, social media flooded with questions, curiosity, worries and of course debates. Pet parents are trying to derive a proper conclusion out of all the speculations. Hence, it’s time to sort the confusion and reveal the truth. Most of you must be worried about grain free dog food products. Let’s take a dig into the recent topic of concern.
What Is Grain Free Dog Food?
Being a pet parent is not an easy task. You would always want to provide your pets with best dietary supplements. Almost all the pet store shelves will display grain free limited ingredient dog food. It is quite obvious that dogs or other carnivores would not naturally hunger after grains.
In fact, it’s unnatural to find a dog losing its mind over a field of corn or so. Imagine a vegan tricked into having a cake which is not eggless. That is surely offensive. You would not want to fool your pet who has nothing but a heart full of love and trust for his parent. Fellas, it’s time to free them from the shackles of grain.
Grain-free dog foods include high-quality ingredients such as chicken, turkey, whitefish, eggs, salmon, etc. Undoubtedly, these high protein sources are a better substitute than byproducts.
Gluten Diet Vs. Paleo Diets
Glutens are primarily diets of wheat, barley, and other grain products. Whereas, the Paleo diet is the mimic of food habits followed by the primitives. This diet chiefly consists of meat, fish, and fruits. In today’s world, however, we refer to Paleo diets as something exclusive of grain or dairy products.
The debate over which is good and which is not is a never-ending topic. So, we thought of providing you with all the essential points. In the end, you are free to use your judgment and conscience to opt for the best pet diet.
Birth Of Gluten Diet
It was only around World War II, grains such as wheat, corn, barley, etc. were added in dog food as fillers. The sole purpose was to add bulk and consecutively to reduce the overall cost. The war needed men on the battlefield, and these men needed their dogs to guard their houses and families.
In the era of crisis, this was found as a great alternative to keep their pets stuffed. However, over the years, the same practice became more prominent. Today we find wheat or corn as one of the primary ingredients in dog food.
Are Grains Good For Dogs?
You might come across pet parents who find it offensive if you call their dogs as ‘Dogs’. Well, that’s really amazing of you to treat your pets as some internet celebrity. But, they are yet to adapt their digestive system to that of humans.
Unfortunately, dogs don’t have well-developed digestive support mechanism to metabolize complex grains or carbs. You can’t even blame the poor souls. In a nutshell, the undigested fibres take a long time to ferment. As a result, the lining of the digestive system gets damaged. Disease such as bowel inflammation disorders, obesity, food allergies has become more frequent.
Let’s take a 360-degree turn to analyze if grains are bad for dogs? If you consider the time frame, it is quite evident that dogs have started to digest grains. There is no problem if you feed your pet with a gluten diet once in a while. Your dog also needs a change of taste.
However, if you start feeding it regularly, that’s something you should immediately stop. Good-quality dog food should contain protein, but shouldn’t be packed with unnecessary fillers. It is as simple as that. In fact, additives such as low-quality meat byproducts or excessive potato in grain-free foods are harmful too.
What Is A Perfect Dog Food?
A balanced dog diet should have 50% vegetables, 40% protein (meat) and only 10% of grains. Next time, when you go to fetch your pet’s food, make sure it adheres to the following constraints. You have to find a grain-free dog food that has more meat protein than the carbohydrates.
How Is A Grain-Free Dog Food Better?
There are certain points that every pet owner must keep in mind. Dogs take time in digesting grains and hence should not consume them in high quantities. Similarly, there are certain grain free dog diets that have high calories, far more than what is required.
So, if you end up buying those, even that is harmful. What is to be noted is there are a few criteria that you should consider before choosing a dog meal. Take a look:
- Avoid buying a super-high-calorie meal.
- Do not reduce the amount of food in fear of obesity. Instead, cut on the carbs.
- Make sure he/she gets the right amount of vitamins along with minerals.
Reports have revealed that high fibre diets like that of soya bean or rice diets are stimulating the development of canine DCM.
What’s The Take On Grain-Free Dog Food?
Nevertheless, grain-free products are recommended by vets more often. Find the right grain-free food for your dog. We are going to help you with that as well. So, keep up with us until the end. For now, we shall tell of you the pros of grain free limited ingredient dog food.
- Your dog will stay full longer and will not crave for more every second hour.
- It will keep them more energetic.
- Stools will be smaller. Also, you don’t have to keep cleaning stools frequently. What can be better than this?
- Healthy and glowing skin with shinier coats.
- No more excessive shedding.
- Reduced flatulence and better breath.
You get all of these, at the price of swapping from gluten diet to paleo diet. Isn’t it amazing? Wish there was something of this sort for us too. How about having a meal that reduces your frequent errands to loos, improves your breath, and makes you look young and radiant. Seems like a dream. Well, if not you; your pets can get all that and more.
Before You Welcome A Grain-Free Diet
Before you walk up in excitement to buy a pack of a grain-free diet, take a note. Do not abruptly start feeding the new diet. Make it gradual. Initially, start by intermixing 90% of gluten diet along with the substitute. Continue, altering the proportion, until you are left with no more old food. This will help you in two ways.
Firstly, this will help the digestive system of the dog to adjust correctly. And, even your hard earned money that you invested in buying the former diet will not get wasted. Meanwhile, keep a watch at your pet’s activities. Remember, there are many brands providing dog food. There may be instances when he/she fall allergic to a particular brand. In that case, you have to find the right one. Hence, it is advised to buy a small pack at first. Proceed with the same, only after the thorough confirmation.
It is always a smart move to consult the vet before attempting to make a change in your pet’s diet. Never forget to check the nutritional value approved by AAFCO on the label.
What About The FDA Controversy?
Sometime back FDA claimed to investigate a connection between diet and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. This one statement was twisted and tweaked. Finally, something like ‘boutique foods might kill your dog”; “grain-free food causes DCM,” and other baseless assumptions made it to the headlines.
What started merely as a link or association, evolved into a self-proclaimed cause. You would come across many such blogs and posts, written by ‘so-called’ experts who have modified the truth as per their will.
The actual truth, however, is manipulated. FDA did not specifically mention anything about “grain-free” dog food. If you clearly read the statement, you will see that they predicted a direct link between some grain-free food and DCM. Hope the FDA myth breaks here.
Is Grain-Free = Carb-Free?
A portion of grain-free food is not the way to lower your dog’s carb intake. Some grain-free dog diet contains a lot of potatoes as a substitute for wheat. Without proper verification, you can end up increasing the overall carb intake. However, some types of carbs are better options over corn or wheat. Pea protein, sweet potatoes are indeed a good substitute.
To create the hard kibble, something starchy is required. The gluten-free wet dog food has high protein and also, includes a lesser amount of carbohydrates. Different breeds of dog have a different nutritional requirement.
Hence, consult a vet and find the exact calorie intake required for your pet. This way you can ensure a healthy life for your dog. Once you know the value, you can buy the the dietary supplements accordingly.It may look like a huge responsibility, but it’s worth the result.
What’s The Diet Plan For Puppies?
Puppies are delicate, tiny, harmless creatures. High-protein diets are not always the right thing for them. So if your pet is a newbie, it demands more care and concern. There are some grain-free dog food brands which are strictly for adult dogs.
Therefore, you need to be a bit careful while buying such products. There are brands that use different formulas for the different life stages of a dog. The best way is to consult a vet.
However, if you lack time, take help from the internet. Never play in assumption. That can bring in unnecessary hassles.
Top 6 Grain Free Dog Food
All the products mentioned here are recommended by senior vets. We have also kept in mind the popularity and as well as brand name while compiling this list. Read along and pick the best one for your four-legged member of your family. Here we go:
ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Dog Cuisine
The ingredient includes exclusively grass-fed fresh lamb meat, along with green mussels, and bones. They help in strengthening the joint, adding more stamina. Not just grains, but also the potatoes, fillers, and preservatives are excluded from the recipe.
Small portions are sufficient to keep your full for a good stretch of time. Well, that something good for your wallet. It is also available in different flavours such as Venison, Mackerel & Lamb, Tripe & Lamb, Chicken, and Beef. The price depends on the pounds.
Merrick Grain Free Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
Merrick’s grain-free dog food is enormously popular for its quality, nutrition value, and taste. Dogs seem to chew this recipe heartily. Dogs are not that particular for tastes, they nearly eat anything and everything. Yet they are seen to enjoy this meal.
That’s what pet owners say about this brand. It has either deboned meat, fish or poultry as one of its primary ingredient. Along with fresh fruits like blueberries, and vegetables like peas, sweet potatoes, etc. It is known to contain permitted levels of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Also, this is one of the best grain free fish dog food.
Orijen Adult Dog Food
Orijen Adult Dog food brings about a perfect balance of proteins and vitamins and minerals. This is particularly a poultry-based food product. The recipe has about 80 % chicken and turkey meat. Additionally, it includes chicken liver, eggs, fish and fruits. It also includes a slight amount of carbohydrates, prebiotics, and probiotics. Orijen food is a delicious way to keep your pet healthy and active.
Instinct Raw Boost
Instinct Raw Boost from the Raw Brand is a healthy grain-free recipe with real chicken. It has guaranteed levels of natural probiotics, Omega, and antioxidants for healthy skin and better immunity. There are no traces of potato, additives or artificial colours. Instead, it has L-Carnitine to burn lipids or fats for a steady Metabolism.
So, with just a bowl of Instinct Raw Boost, you can unlock your dog’s potential to a greater extent. A wholesome meal of nutrition and heart full of love is what your pet expects of you. Show them love. Feed them nutrition and not calories.
The Acana Dry Dog Food
The composition of Acana Dry Dog food is 60% meat protein and 40% vegetables, added with some proportions of fruits. To make it stand out from the rest, the makers have added sea vegetables to stimulate metabolism.
Further, you can pick up a fish or a poultry one. Both ways, it will keep the digestive tract more active. It also has unified protein options, like that of Lamb or Apple formula. Whether your pet prefers a chicken recipe or a sweet potato recipe, you have plenty of options to choose from this brand.
Blue Buffalo Blue Wilderness
The brand Blue Buffalo is another reputed brand that manufactures grain-free dog food. Taken inspiration from the diet of the wild wolves, they have formulated Blue Wilderness. This is a protein-rich recipe that has more content of delicious chicken. That’s not all. It has a good quantity of fruits such as cranberries, blueberries, and carrots. All of these are known to prepare with natural and fresh ingredients. It also includes a bit of pea and potatoes.
Don’t Just Be A Pet Parent, Be A Smart Parent
The fact that you reading this article, shows your profound interest, concern and of course love for your furry kids. Hence, to provide them with the best of everything, you have to be smart. Do you know what smart pet parents do?
They instil their time in research and consult a vet. We have provided a list of the best grain-free dog food. Now, it’s your turn to find the right one out. There are a few factors that you should keep in mind. Here are they:
- Correct nutrition requirement- Different brands follow the different nutritional scheme. So, find out how much your dog requires and buy accordingly.
- Price- Never go with brands which you think is expensive for you. Switching from brands frequently is something you should avoid. Always opt for the one which is convenient for you to buy through all times.
- Flavours- You can choose different flavours of the same brand to give your pet’s taste buds a relishing change.
- Consult a vet and verify your move and choice of grain-free dog food.
Thank You For Your Patience
We appreciate your effort for making it till the end. You are a superb pet parent, and we are proud of you. To make your job a smidge easier, we had provided this article. Here, we have discussed everything that everyone should know or want to learn about grain-free dog food. We take our leave with the hope that you will be able to find the right gluten-free supplements.
Do let us know of your choice. Your feedback is important for us and will motivate us to come up more such blogs in the future. Looking forward to some constructive criticism. Till then, have a happy and healthy life with your pets. See you soon.