Is a Grain Free Diet
Right for Your Companion?

A grain free diet is the latest trend in dog foods. It is also known as dry kibble diets.

The grain free trend originated with raw dog food diets as many proponents of raw food studied evolutionary dietary habits of our companions’ wild ancestors and decided that grains were unnecessary.

While wolves and wild dogs may graze a bit on greens periodically, most of their nutrition comes from meat – including organ meat and the stomach and intestines of their prey which contain small amounts of partially digested grasses and other vegetation.

No processed grains.

So why is grain in most pet foods?

Basically, because it is a less expensive source of nutrients than meat, and because something has to hold a dry food together, manufacturers of dog food will choose grain of some type. While grains are not necessarily bad for companion animals, they can cause problems for some.

Allergies are becoming more widespread among dogs and cats, and grains seem to play a fairly significant role in aggravating allergies.

Animals with some chronic or acute diseases such as diabetes and cancer often do better on a grain free or low-carbohydrate diet.

Grains and carbohydrates can also contribute to weight problems in our companion animals.

While these diets are reminiscent of the Atkins diet for humans, they may not be the best choice for every overweight animal.

Keep in mind that if the animal is getting what it needs from less food, then you can cut down on the amount you feed.

In other words your dog may have needed 1/2 cup of dog food that contained rice or oats, as a large part of its content.

With a grain free food that is as much as 50% meat, she will not need as much food to obtain the same amount of nutrition–1/3 to 1/4 cup may be all she needs now.

Every animal is different–you will need to be the judge of how much to feed, not the label on the bag.

Very active working and sporting dogs may lose weight on a completely grain free. Rotating a grain free diet food with other foods may be a better option for more active dogs.

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