Grain-free food can be interpreted exactly the way it sounds. It is dog food with no wheat, millet, corn, rice, soy, oats, or barley. That sounds like all of the good stuff, but it does not necessarily mean the dog food brand has bland treats. Instead, dog owners replace it with a mix of vegetables like potatoes and peas to compensate for the texture. It is important to note that a grain-free diet is not the same as gluten free. Gluten free foods do not have particular grains such as barley, rye, and wheat. Though, they may contain others like millet or arrowroot.
Reasons to Give Your Dog Grain-Free Food
Dogs that are sensitive to carbs may benefit more from the best grain-free dog food you can offer. These dogs may find it difficult to digest cereals, so a diet with vegetables and animal protein would be more appealing to the dog. Though, if you believe your dog is suffering from a grain allergy , it would be advisable to consult a veterinary nutritionist to help identify the cause. A suitable diet would be recommended going forward to avoid food allergies. Typically, the vet may advise you to give the best dog food for sensitive stomach concerns.
Grain-free dog food allows for more digestion, so little waste is left over. It also results in smaller stools that are more compact and easier to pick up. Picking up after your dog is definitely not the most enjoyable job, but it would be better if the stool is neater, so to speak.
Grain-free foods also give your dog more energy, unlike the cheaper dog foods that tend to have lots of processed grains which are not easily digestible. Meat and vegetable-based foods, such as those used in today’s best fresh dog food, have relevant nutrients allowing for consistent energy rather than the spikes and crashes from gluten filled meals.
Similarly, grain-free food is good for pregnant dogs. Their bodies are under significant stress as they are sustaining two bodies. Your dog cannot eat just anything because every meal counts. Grain-free food will provide them with the energy and nutritional elements they need to be productive even after pregnancy.
Did you know that grain-free food helps your dog’s breath as well? Dog food with grains usually leaves a film over the dog’s teeth, meaning there are more bacteria than usual within the dog’s mouth. Eventually, it gets washed away by water and saliva, but it does cause the breath to smell. Because grain-free food does not produce film on the teeth, your dog’s breath does not smell as bad.
Disadvantages of Grain-Free Food
A grain-free food may afford nutritious options, but there are also downsides. For example, grain-free dog treats can increase weight, especially if Fido is not very active. It is also not the best alternative for those dogs that are already obese.
Similarly, grain-free dog food may not always mean it is solely protein as it can be carbohydrates from non-grain ingredients. Dogs cannot process high levels of carbs, which can also lead to weight gain and other health issues in the long term.
Grain-free diets are also costly. This is because of their increasing popularity and availability. The local stores are likely to run out of grain-free foods, so when you get one, chances are the prices are a bit high.
The Link Between Grain-Free Food with Heart Disease
Recently there have been some concerns about the safety of grain-free foods. The Food and Drug Administration is looking into the connection between these foods and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs . This investigation was opened because of the increasing incidence of cardiomyopathy.
It was found that 90 percent of the products fed to the participant dogs were labeled as grain-free. According to Dr. Steven Solomon  from the Center for Veterinary Medicine, there has been an association between certain diets and the condition. It is not yet at the level that would cause panic for dog food recalls considering dilated cardiomyopathy does entail more factors than the grain-free food in the first place.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dog’s Diet
There is no one size fits all formula with dogs though one of the main factors is how active they are. A Chihuahua, for example, does not need much activity and would not need rich food compared to a breed like the German shepherd. Highly active or bigger dogs need rich food from protein, so they would benefit from grain-free foods.
The dog’s overall health condition is a factor as well because it may need certain bland food, especially if the problem is gastrointestinal. A grain-free diet is not the way to go in this case.
Should it be picky with its dog food, there is a higher likelihood of responding to changes in the diet or the process on how to transition dog food. You can try this and gradually introduce them to a grain-free diet if you want to improve their nutrient intake. The gradual approach is, so they do not get a stomach upset in the process.
Can puppies eat grain-free dog food?
Puppies require nutrient-rich dog food, so they develop the right way. It would be good to give them grain-free dog foods as long as it has the right balance of nutrients. Puppies showing signs of sensitivity to the food could also benefit from changing to grain-free dog diets.
Is grain-free dog food good for dogs with allergies?
Hypoallergenic dog food is good for pets that are sensitive to cereals. Dog owners should give their pets grain-free dog food so they have the nutritional elements to lead a healthy life. Raw dog food is a good alternative.