Best Grain-Free Dog Food
Loving and caring for your pet has no limits and every single pet parent is blissfully aware of this fact. From finding new and improved toys that your baby will enjoy to going to lengths in order to find just the right treats and other accessories for your pooch, there is very little a dog parent wouldn’t do for them. However, there are things that come before fulfilling the whims of your dog which is to find the right diet for your dog according to what suits him and what doesn’t. Understanding the ingredients, and the nutritional value of the dog is highly important for its health since not all ingredients are mixed in an equal proportion and not all of them are going to sit right with your dog.
The most common kind of dog food that you will find in the market is regular food which initially means the kind of food with no addition or removal of one or more ingredients. While dogs are inherently carnivores, the pet ones have the ability to sustain on both vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets since they have been living with humans for a very long time as their pets and friends. This means that all vegetarian ingredients including grains are perfectly fine to be eaten by your pet dog. However, the opinion that grain-free foods are actually much better for maintaining a healthy lifestyle for dogs. Grain-free foods definitely have a lot of benefits to them and are quite helpful for gods who are allergic to grains – one certain kind of more. Let us find out more about what grain-free foods are, what are their types and how are they helpful to maintain a healthy lifestyle for your dog.
What is Grain-free Dog Food?
Dog foods that are made without using grains like wheat, corn, rice, barley, oats, rye, and soy – basically any grain that you can possibly think of. Since grains are the main source of carbs and fiber, grain-free dog foods use other ingredients that are high in carbohydrates like potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils, quinoa, or pea flour. So, the presumption that grain-free dog food is low in carbohydrates is completely wrong. The content of carbohydrates is almost the same in both dog food with grains and the grain-free variants. Grain-free dog foods also have a higher meat content in them to make up for the lack of grains. One to mind when learning about grain-free food or while considering it for your pooch is that grain-free dog food does not mean that it is gluten-free as well. While grains like wheat do contain gluten but the absence of said grains does not mean that the food is gluten-free as there are several other ingredients that contain gluten.
Grain vs Grain-Free Food for Dog
There are several arguments over the fact whether grain food is better for dogs or the variants with grains in them. Grain dog foods are quite rich in nutrients like Vitamin B, selenium, magnesium, and carbs. While there are a few replacements to makes up for the deficiency of carbs that the absence of grains brings in but the rest of the nutrients are harder to recover, most importantly the fiber that aid in digesting the food.
However, grain-free food is the safer option for dogs with food allergies. It is very unlikely that a dog will develop a food allergy towards a certain kind of grain but not impossible. These allergies may cause severe skin problems and other issues so if your dogs happen to have a bad reaction to any kind of grain, it is best to get your vet’s advice and change the diet to a grain-free variant. Since there are several other additional ingredients added to the mix. Assuming that the variant you choose for your dog includes all top-quality ingredients, the grain-free dog food turns out to be a better pick in terms of providing nutrients like protein due to the high content of meat products. This incidentally makes grain-free foods a great choice of diet for your pet dog.
- Grain-Free Dog Food for Small Breed Dogs: Ideally designed for small dog breeds like pugs and poodles, grain-free dog food for small dog breeds has the nutritional value and the ingredients that are catered to the bodily needs of small dogs. Since smaller breeds get and need lesser exercise, they require a lesser number of calories and other nutrients which makes the specialized version of grain-free food necessary. Ensure that you have checked the label for nutritional value and ingredients before investing in a brand. You can also choose to take a few pointers from this list of our favorite picks. Also, do not forget to check grain-free dog food reviews.
- Grain-Free Food for Large Breed Dogs: Suited for extensive needs of the body of a large dog from breeds like german shepherds, pit bulls, and labradors. Most foods from this category contain crude protein and other nutrients in their crude forms. Grain-free food for large dogs can also be used for brachycephalic dog breeds like bulldogs but ensure that you check the quantity that you are supposed to administer which is generally given on the back of the box.
- Grain-Free Dog Food for Puppies: Apart from the breeds, grain-free food for dogs is also manufactured according to the age of the dog. Since puppies are smaller and have a relatively more sensitive digestive system, dog food from this category is rich in easily soluble fibers which aid in digestion. However, most part of the food will be made with meat products. Ensure that you get the food that is made for the puppies of the dog breed that you have – big or small as the segregation goes both ways.
- Grain-Free Food for Adult Dogs: Made for adult dogs from all dog breeds, the adult grain-free dog food is exceptionally high in protein and other building compounds that are required to keep an adult body up and running. Depending on the breed that you have, you can easily choose your grain-free variant that will suit your dog the best. Although make sure that you stick to the dosage that is suggested on the back of the pack which is generally dependent on the physical activity, exact age, and weight of the dog. We have a custom-made list of our top favorite picks for grain-free dog food for adult dogs. You can check that out for some inspiration.
When Can You Switch to This Type of Food?
It is safe to say that both grain-free and grained dog food are the ideal choices for every dog out there. The answer to the question of whether you should go with a grain-free or all-inclusive diet should really depend on the preference of your dog and their health requirements. While grain-free dog food will be a bit heavier on your pocket as compared to the general variants, it is a good way to make sure that your dog does not keep getting irritated by any allergies and other problems that are being caused by the inclusion of grains in his diet.
The bottom line is to ensure that your pet is getting a fully-balanced diet. If and when you decide to switch to a grain-free diet, ensure that you consult your vet first. Since grain-free food for dogs is high in other very healthy ingredients, it is a great idea to administer a diet that contains a little bit of grain-free food so that nutrients like proteins and omegas are provided to your pooch in a healthy, concentrated manner without running any health risks that come with the complete withdrawal of grains and also solves the dilemma that many pet parents face. There are times when dogs are allergic to grains but do not show any visible symptoms which makes consulting the vet. So, switch to grain-free food for dogs when you feel that your pet is ready for a high-protein diet and requires to be separated from grains to some extent and when your vet gives you a green light. You can check out these top-rated grain-free dog food to get an idea for your next purchase.
There are several benefits of administering grain-free food to your dogs and that includes everything from the very generic ones like maintaining overall health to the very specific ones like preventing allergies and such. Following are some of the top benefits that grain-free dog foods bring into the picture.
Prevents the Risks of Allergies
As established before, grains can cause severe allergic reactions in some dogs, however, it is highly unlikely. These allergies can include anything from skin deformities to an upset stomach or indigestion. These allergies, regardless of their severeness, can be very uncomfortable for dogs. So, if you are seeing some episodes of indigestion or some allergies on the skin that cannot be explained by anything else on the list of medical reasons, then it is probably because of the grains that are a part of the food that your dog is consuming.
The top grains that cause food allergy reactions in dogs are wheat, soy, and corn, and incidentally, these are the most common grains that are found in dog food that is manufactured by almost all top brands. The symptoms that you should be looking out for are excessive gas, irritation or rashes on the skin, vomiting, loose and frequent stool, itchy skin, and ear infection. Diet shall be paid attention to and changed as soon as any of these signs appear but only after consulting with the vet as there can be many other reasons for these signs to appear. Needless to say, grain-free foods will help keep the tummy of your dog calm and healthy.
Better and High-Quality Nutrition
Grain-free dog foods substitute the grain with high-quality ingredients that are perfect for helping with a generous dose of nutrients that any dog would require to stay healthy. The grains in grain-free food are replaced with ingredients like chicken, mutton, fish, or pork – all of which are rich in proteins, omegas, and other essential nutrients that are needed for the proper development of the body. Grain-free dog foods are generally made with exceptional ingredients which are the best ones available to give to your pets. A little more expensive than the generic food that is found for dogs in the market. But the benefits that it provides are well worth the price.
Healthier Skin and Coat
The high-protein and healthy fat-rich diet that grain-free dog foods establish ensures that the coat and skin of your dog always remain in their best form. Healthy skin and hair are all about intaking enough amount of omegas in the diet. Ingredients like fish are the top sources of these healthy fatty acids, also known as fish oil. While the fatty acids ensure that the skin of your pooch is in top condition, the blend of proteins, fibers, complex carbs, and other nutrients makes the coat shiner, healthier and stronger coat that will also shed less.