Grain free dog food.
What's all the fuss about and is it right for my dog?
As with just about everything these days, whether or not to put your dog on a grain-free diet is hotly debated. It's still undecided in the dog world whether dogs are primarily carnivores or omnivores.
Grain free dog foods have become popular and it’s easy to see why.
Compared to the typical kibble or wet food, the best grain free recipes contain more meat protein as well as easy-to-digest animal fats. Wheat, gluten and dairy are the most common
allergens seen in dogs today and account for a whopping 70% of dog allergies.
We're all looking for ways to improve our health and as we become more aware we are also looking more closely at what we feed our pet too. Chances are you know at least one person who has gone gluten or grain free, and for those looking into a healthier path for their dog, a grain free diet is a consideration as we want the same benefits for our dogs wellbeing.
Grocery stores have made shelf space for gluten-free pastas, crackers, cereals, cookies and cake mixes and restaurants offer gluten-free pizza and beer to appeal to grain-free customers.
But what about our four-legged fur babies?
Explore why you might look at feeding your dog a grain free diet and discover how the pros of going grain-free could help them live a happier, healthier life
What does grain free mean?
Grain free means the exclusion of ingredients like wheat, corn, barley, rice and oats. Wholegrains have their place in the canine diet and many dogs can consume it with no problem at all; but as with humans, everything in moderation and wholegrains shouldn't be the main part of a doggy dinner.
With the introduction of mass-produced dog kibble around World War II, inexpensive fillers like corn, wheat and barley were added to dog food to create bulk and keep costs down. Today, many commercial dog foods still include these ingredients at a disproportionately high level , sometimes used in place of protein sources, listing corn or wheat as their main ingredient.
Only around 15% of dog food is actually grain free. A premium high quality food will contain predominantly meat and have fresh meat content.
Grain-free dog foods are more easily digested and therefore easier on the digestive tract.
There is a growing amount of research that suggests dogs with a sensitive digestion will benefit from a grain free diet.
Research in recent years has shown that dogs benefit from inclusion of some fibre in their diet , it can help with satiety and help keep things moving along the digestive tract at a normal rate. Most nutritionist agree that between three and seven percent fibre is considered normal and beneficial. Fibre doesn't have to come from grain, many fruits and vegetables have a great amount of fibre in them.
Our cooking methods of human grade freshly prepared food at low temperatures mean more than 90% is digested!
We all know how uncomfortable it can be to have an achy tummy and our four legged friends can’t let us know when they’re just feeling ‘meh’!
Dogs on a grain-free diet produce less poop and toot less too!
Because our dog’s digestive tract isn’t irritated it is more efficient and so processes more of the healthy high quality food to help their bodies work. A highly digestible food provides a higher proportion of absorbed nutrients. Because many of us feed our dogs the same food over a period of months or years , digestibility levels become vitally important.
The more our dogs can digest the less there is to come out the other end, what does, is usually compact and easy to pick up.
Most high quality food providers will also add
yukka extract to help lessen those less desirable smells.
A grain free diet can help with wind and poor digestion.
Your dog will have more energy and vitality for life!
While considering a grain free diet for our dogs, we should pay attention to the nutritional value of the most important dog food ingredient—meat. Meat, is your dog's number one food of choice and his body does best when fed primarily meat protein.
A diet that includes low-quality grains won't provide your pooch with the energy they need since it will mostly come out as waste. It echoes the way humans consume. If we eat a low-quality, high-carbohydrate diet, we stay hungry and we don't have the energy we need to get through the day.
A healthy un-irritated digestive tract will be able to take all the proteins our dogs needs from the food it consumes ultimately maintaining a normal weight and enjoying better overall health. It can also help with weight loss as a dog who feels well , has more energy to exercise well.
Dogs on a grain-free diet have fewer allergies
Wheat, gluten and dairy are the most common allergens seen in dogs today and account for a whopping 70% of dog allergies.
When a dog is displaying signs of dog food intolerance or food allergy, it becomes absolutely necessary to change to grain free.
Some of the signs that your dog is having a bad reaction to the grains in their food include rash, licking, vomiting, upset tummies, constipation and diarrhoea, skin and coat irritation, ear infections, and a wide variety of other health issues.
If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, of course the first thing you should do is consult your vet but usually a grain-free diet can help to eradicate these symptoms if they are on-going and is worth considering in hand with allergy testing and medications.
Typical ingredients to look out for would be wheat, wheat gluten, barley, rye, corn, maize, dairy and soya. Even dogs without allergies will benefit from a diet that has been formulated specifically to meet their natural nutritional needs.
With no fillers there’s space for more healthy stuff, like vegetables
One common misconception is that grain free dog food is also low-carb.
Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, green peas, potatoes and carrots often replace the grains in grain-free dog foods and have a good carbohydrate content.
Fruit, vegetables and herbs are a healthy addition for our pets and are an important part of their diet, they keep it balanced and contribute to all the
vitamins and minerals our dogs need to sustain a healthy life.
Dogs on a grain-free diet consume less food
Because many grain-free dog foods contain more protein and animal fats, and fewer carbohydrates than their grain-based counterparts, they are more easily digested so our dogs get more energy from the food they are eating, and therefore they consume less.
Having a happier healthier dog full of vitality and the peace of mind knowing their insides are fit whilst still feeling fuelled and energised and at a healthy weight
has got to be worth the investment.
Honest, Clear labelling
We want you to know what is in the food you feed your dog, Trust is a huge part of our relationship with you and your pooch.
Whilst it's not a legal requirement, labelling should ideally have a breakdown of the meat percentages for your convenience so you can see exactly what is in your food. Items are listed with the largest quantity ingredient first. As dog lovers we want to know exactly what we are giving them and can make a clear and informed decision which is the best choice for them, whatever their stage of life.
Variety is the key!
Variation naturally allows for more vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and complete nutrition our dogs need in their diet. Dogs eating the same food day in day out can become bored. Dinner time is often an important and looked forward to time of the day, the variation helps keep them excited about their dinners so it help with fussy eaters too.
“Variety is the spice of life” as they say and we have 10 flavours to choose from! From the humble Chicken and Herbs that never lets us down to the more gourmet Salmon and Asparagus, gentle Haddock and Parsley to meaty Tuna and Broccoli or maybe spring Lamb and Mint to hearty Venison and Mulberry.
You can find out more about our delicious signature dishes and see what might appeal to your pooch here.