The Benefits of a Diet of Grain-free Dog Food
Being a Bondi Beach local, I am fully aware of the amount of gluten-free diets as well as every diet that is currently trending. Some of these diets are fads, some are not… We are a vegan, gluten-free family and have been for many years!
When it comes to dog's diets, there has been quite a bit of controversy regarding the Grain-free Dog Foods. Some vets say that is fine for dogs to have grains in their diets, some say to have none. From experience, I have seen the effect of commercial foods full of grain fillers on my own beautiful pup Odin. Constant diarrhea, vomiting, itchy skin and bad breath were what we lived with for the first 6 months of his life. We tried so many different high end commercial dog foods, but with little to no respite of his symptoms. After much research, it was clear that grain-free dog food was the answer.
Here is some of the research that we studied in order to improve the health of our dog.
Why put grains into dog food in the first place?
It seems to be an unusual ingredient to include in a dogs food. Considering that dogs have a common ancestor with wolves (contrary to popular belief, dogs did NOT evolve from wolves), you would think that they would have a diet of mostly meat and some vegetable.
Having said that, if dogs, or wolves, catch prey in the wild, their prey will be a herbivore. Once caught, the canine will eat the stomach and contents first, which is full of broken down plant matter.
Inexpensive fillers such as corn, wheat and barley were first added to mass produced commercial dog food round about the time of the Second World War. These fillers are low in nutritional value for dogs. Not just that, dog’s digestive system is still quite primitive, which makes it difficult to break down and metabolize complex carbohydrates and cereal grains. Once ingested, these insoluble fibres and grains remain undigested in their system, only to be broken down through fermentation in the gut. Over a long period of time, this fermentation can cause damage to the lining of the digestive system causing issues such as
- Bowel inflammation disorders
- Food sensitivities
- Food allergies
The Symptoms of Food Allergies in Dogs
- Excessive flatulence
- Loose stool or diarrhea
- Rash or skin irritations
- Chronic chewing, biting and licking to relieve itch
- Frequent ear infections
Benefits of a grain free diet
Dogs require very specific nutrients, vitamins and minerals in their diet to remain healthy. As you can see, grains are definitely not one of them! The majority of the ingredients in a dog’s meal should be lean meat (approximately 50% of the meal should be meat and 10% should be organs). In many commercial wet and dry dog foods, you can find that they contain up four times as much cereal and grains as meat (quite often cleverly disguised as meat chunks).
The main benefits of grain free dog food are;
- More energy
- Shinier coat
- Fewer and smaller stools
- Less flatulence
- Better smelling breath
- May reduce allergies
- Keeps them fuller for longer
With Food of the Dogs, we make sure that 50% of the meal is lightly cooked mincemeat and 10% organs. The vegetable that we include are put through the food processor and chopped up to small pieces then cooked slowly so as to make them easily digestible for our canine friends
As with any new diet, make sure that you introduce the grain free dog food slowly, mixing it into their regular food so as to allow their digestive system to grow accustomed to the new food.