Grain-free diet. Is it the right choice?
One dog diet that has become popular in recent years is grain-free diets. Most dog foods are filled with wheat, corn, oats, quinoa and rice but grain-free diets eliminate these type of ingredients. There is always debate about whether a grain-free diet is right for your dog and we recommend to discuss any diet changes with your vet first. If you do decide to go grain-free, transition gradually between old and new food, this will help your dog’s digestive system to adjust properly and always keep an eye out for things like diarrhea or constipation. Here are some benefits of switching to a grain free diet:
1. Higher nutritional value. Grain-free food tends to be higher in nutritional value because the food isn’t bulked up with carb heavy grain. Grain-free food will be higher in vegetables, fibre and healthy protein.
2. Better coat & less shedding. Because of the higher content of protein, grain-free food provides more Omega-3 fatty acids and oils that keep your dog’s coat thick, healthy and shiny.
3. Better Digestion & Weight Control. Long before dog food was kept in bags our canine friends would hunt and capture raw, protein rich meals. Even though dogs have been domesticated for years their digestive system is still pretty primitive. In addition, the higher protein keeps your dog fuller for longer which results in less overeating.
4. More energy. With the higher levels of protein, you will notice more energy in your dog because you are providing a larger amounts of energy sources which can be especially helpful for pregnant and lactating dogs.
5. Helps with allergies. If you find your dog with an itchy behind, licking their feet, runny eyes, itchy ears or diarrhea, they could be suffering from allergies. Many veterinarians recommend to start with a grain-free diet and monitor their progress.
Again we recommend to consult with your vet first before making changes to your dog’s diet. You can always check out AAFCO ( Association of American Feed Control Officials ) which is the organization that regulates pet foods in the United States and provides health guidelines for manufacturers and pet owners. You can visit their website at https://www.aafco.org.