Chances are that you’ve seen items in grocery stores and restaurants labeled as “grain-free”—so, what’s all the fuss over eating grains? We would like to start by saying that grains are a perfectly healthy ingredient to be included in pet food, as well as grain-free diets. Either choice is perfectly fine for the nutritional health of your pet. However, they must be formulated correctly. When selecting a diet with grain, whole grains (like brown rice and quinoa) are often better choices, but it all comes down to the individual needs of the pet and the preference of the pet parent. Continue reading to learn some top grain-free food benefits!
Grain-Free Diets Provide Health from the Inside Out
Your pet’s digestive tract goes far beyond just processing the food your pet eats: the gut plays a key role in supporting your dog’s natural immunity to disease. New research shows that having a blend of carefully selected fiber sources can produce an optimal environment in the digestive tract. Having a diverse blend of prebiotics provides nourishment for the gut bacteria, which in turn, nourishes the entire body. Grain-free formulas truly provide health from the inside out.
Grain-Free Diets Come with Less Risk of Food Allergies
Food sensitivities or allergies can be frustrating and cause health problems and discomfort for dogs. In fact, many dog owners are unaware that their dog may be allergic to their food. While food intolerances describe any scenario in which a dog has difficulty digesting a certain ingredient - think lactose intolerance in humans - a food allergy is a bit different. Food allergies in dogs occur when their immune systems have an extreme response. As it turns out, three of the most perceived ingredients that cause food allergies in dogs are wheat, corn, and soy. Not surprisingly, wheat, corn, and soy are three of the most common grains found in those grocery store dog kibble brands.
Grain-Free Diets Provide Better Nutrients
As is the case with most super-premium dog foods, you can usually count on reducing the amount of food you need to give your pup once you switch to grain-free to maintain a healthy weight. The feeding guidelines of the bag provide instructions based on your pet’s age, weight, and health condition. This can help you to offset some of the added cost of feeding your pet a grain-free kibble. Some pet parents feel “sticker shock” when they see prices of super-premium, grain-free foods. But when you factor in the smaller amount you can feed your dog as well as the reduction in health problems and potential resulting vet visits, you may find that super-premium, grain-free foods are the more affordable option.
Grain-Free Foods Encourage Healthy Skin and Coat
When it comes to skin and coat health, healthy fats and oils are the names of the game. Grain-free formulas provide healthy oil and fats to maintain a healthy, shiny coat with soft, supple skin. Not only do grain-free formulas make your dog’s skin and coat healthier, but also the quality of protein, fats, fiber and complex carbohydrates found in grain-free foods contributes to a stronger coat, which in turn can lead to less shedding. If there is one benefit that every pet parent can relate to, it is less hair to deal with around the house!
Sometimes your pet may be experiencing several digestive issues that you cannot attribute to a specific condition or cause. Switching to a grain-free diet is a great option because they often avoid ingredients that could be causing an issue for your dog. You may be delighted to see that the switch to grain-free alone might save you money in allergy tests and medications, and always be sure to consult your veterinarian for any serious health conditions! If your pets are exhibiting any signs of illness, please give your local Bayshore Animal Hospital veterinarians a call to ensure that they receive the best pet care available!