In recent years, gluten-free and grain-free products have gained much popularity among people and the same trend is followed by the manufacturers of pet food, too.
Nutrition plays a vital role in a dog’s life similar to humans. As we do focus on the point of what is best for our fur babies, it is in trend to feed the best and healthy food to dogs like humans. Well, it is not necessarily what we eat that is good for dogs as well.
Gluten-free and grain-free are the two major food trends today. There is more meat and fewer grains in many dog foods boast, taking back to how the ancestors of pets ate, however, in this article, we want to break down the ideas behind grain-free dog food and let you understand the concept of the veterinarian on this specific food.
What are the advantages of grain-free vs. grain dog food? In this guide, we will discuss grain-free diets and compare them with grain dog food.
What is Grain-Free Dog Food?
Before we proceed towards grain-free dog food, you must know which grains are most specifically used in dog foods. Grain-free dog food is without any grains. Grains are hard and small seeds of food plants like:
According to people, grains present in dog food acts simply as a filler, and elimination of grains from the food will leave their dogs with a more natural and healthy diet, but this is not exactly true.
Why there is a trend to feed dog’s grain-free diet?
With more concern about wellness and overall health, pet parents are more familiar with the impact and importance of nutrition plays in the overall wellbeing of a dog.
As an advocate of a dog making sure they are given the best diet will surely help them live healthy, long, and happy lives.
Whole-food nutrition, home-cooked, and raw dog food diets are in trend these days. An all-natural diet with no artificial preservative or additives are becoming significant when parents of pets select such diets to feed their dogs and these types can surely be nutritious and fulfilling the requirements of our dogs.
Many pet parents have come to believe, however, that what is healthy for humans is also nutritious for dogs. Through hundreds and thousands of years living with humans, pets have adapted to eating human-based foods.
Are these diets the best choice for your dog?
Some supporters of grain-free dog foods declare that grains are not a natural nutrition source for dogs and feel that the ancestors of dogs are not able to digest them in the wild.
Whilst it might be true that dogs want to eat a pasta dinner and don’t sit down, they hunt and eat those animals that are grain-fed, ultimately consuming grains.
As our pets no longer live in the wild, however, dog foods are designed with the dog’s activity levels, heart health, weight, and keeping in mind, the overall well-being.
The ancestors of dogs may have consumed a small proportion of grains in the wild, over the years, dogs have evolved to digest different nutrition types including grain.
Several genes in dogs have been enhanced over time to let them digest gluten and grains. So, in regards to metabolism, it is not mandatory to feed grain-free pet food to your dog.
If a dog is susceptible to having allergies to grains, grain-free food would be a perfect choice. Following symptoms are seen in dogs with allergies.
- Bald patches
- Excessive hair loss
- Inflamed skin
- Hot spots
- Scabs and sores
How do you know if your pet needs grain-free or gluten-free food?
As in dogs, food allergies are very common, grains are not the most common food allergen present in pet food. Protein along with dairy is the most common reason for food allergies in pets.
However, there are some cases related to corn allergies but not much common. If you believe that your dog has a grain allergy consult with your veterinarian. He will perform some sort of physical test to check if the grain-free dog food is suitable. It is necessary to have a food trial with grain-free dog food to judge whether the food is good for your dog or not.
What to look for in grain-free dog food?
It is always good to a knowledge and understanding about the health status of a dog and any issues or problems that might affect the food you select. Consider whether they have a digestive issue or any sort of allergy as well as the activity level, age, and preferences of a pup.
In the first five ingredients especially look for high-quality protein. Go for recipes with good quality grain-free ingredients like peas, lentils, sweet potato, and white potatoes.
They are enriched with fiber and other ingredients while maintaining a low-glycemic index. Avoid ingredients like artificial sweeteners, by-products, corn syrup, and more.
Quality and Value
Go for the grain-free food that is according to the dietary needs and pup’s taste palate. You go for the ones offered in can quantities or bags that work as per your home and are available at an affordable price.
Pet Parents faves
Below is our list of best grain-free dog food that often includes veterinary diet food and raw dog food.
Taste of the Wild
High Prairie Grain-free Roasted Bison and Venison Dry Dog Food
The recipe is proof that grain-free food can also be delicious. The formula contains a lot of tasty veggies and the first and top ingredient is real meat.
- 32% protein serving
- Includes venison and roasted bison
- The recipe includes minerals, vitamins, and superfoods
- no grain, wheat or corn, or artificial colors and flavors
- Omega fatty acid for the health of skin and coat
- Probiotics for healthy digestion
Free Real Texas Beef and Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food
This recipe is a wholesome combination of veggies and beef, the recipe is full of flavor as it is helpful to maintain the overall nutrition. Dogs can enjoy the taste of sweet potatoes and natural beef and get advantages from a considerable level of fatty acid.
- The main ingredients are deboned and real beef
- 65% protein and wholesome fats
- Chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health
- Omega fatty acids for skin and coat
- No artificial colors or flavors
Best Grain-free dog food for all life stages
Grain-free All Life Stages Beef and Pea Formula Dry Dog Food
This natural grain-free food contains no fillers or wheat and has a crunchy texture that can attract many pups. A balanced diet is enriched with nutritious fatty acids.
- Good for dogs of all ages
- The top ingredient is real beef
- To help digestion, it has canine probiotic
- No wheat, corn, soy, and other ingredients
- Antioxidant, vitamin E, Zinc, and Selenium
Original Grain-free High Protein Fresh and Raw Animal Ingredients Dry Dog Food
The recipe attracts picky canine eaters. It has the top ingredients like real, fresh, and raw for most nutrition and appetizing flavor.
- For an appealing taste, it is coated with freeze-dried liver
- The first main ingredients are real and fish or fresh poultry
- Formulated in the USA
- packed with protein to provide energy
- the recipe has 85% fish ingredients and quality poultry
Best Large-breed Grain-free Dog Food
Backcountry Grain-free Raw Infused Big Game Dry Dog Food
This grain-free dog food has carbs and proteins to form a mouth-watering taste designed for discerning pets. From this raw-infused dry food, dogs can get plenty of protein.
- deboned, real lamb is the main ingredient
- real raw meat and freeze-dried adds taste
- omega fatty acids
- made in the USA
- the recipe has peas and sweet potatoes for healthy and nutritious carbs
- in each serving, it has 30% crude protein
Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-free Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food with Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces
This food is full of real chicken, tapioca, peas and is without grains to help in the provision of a balanced diet. It is formulated in the USA with the best and finest ingredients from all over the world.
- the first ingredient is cage-free chicken
- includes raw and freeze-dried chicken
- it has 25% less fat as compared to the traditional Instinct Raw Boost recipe
- to support metabolism it has L- Carnitine
- no preservatives or artificial colors
Best Grain-Free Dog Food for Sensitive Stomachs
1. Real Salmon and Sweet Potato, Limited Ingredient, Grain-free Recipe Dry Dog Food
The recipe is best for dogs with sensitive stomachs and formulated for pups with food sensitivity. Any dog, however, can become a fan of veggies and real meat in this recipe.
- in each recipe, it has 10 main ingredients
- real salmon is always the top ingredient
- supports skin and coat
- antioxidants can enhance immunity
- filled with vitamin A and vitamin E
- nutritious carbs are provided by farm-grown veggies
As an owner, if you are concerned about the health and wellbeing of your dog, then you must pay attention to their diet. If your dog has some allergy or sensitive stomach then focus on feeding them grain-free food. You should go for a wholesome diet not only grain-free but also has premium quality healthy carbs, animal protein and is free of harmful and unwanted ingredients.