Grain free dog food is the next big thing in the pet industry.
It seems that grain free is everywhere. We went to an industry trade show recently and anything grain free was being promoted like crazy. There were so many grain free products, I was almost expecting to see grain free dog toys! Kibble, even grain free, grain-free kibble isn’t preferred while treating Demodectic mange nor for overall health, You have to do the best you can.
There are a number of reasons why grain free is the way to go. It’s better for health in the long run, but especially beneficial for with dogs with mange and skin problems. No matter what form of food you feed, grain free will always be better. Also, regardless of what you feed, your goal is a balanced diet with the fewest number of carbohydrates possible
The What and Why of Grain Free
A variety of grains can be found in most commercial dog food. The ones dog owners should be the most concerned about are cereal grains. Cereal grains include wheat, wheat derivatives, corn, oats and millet. Barley, oats, soy, white rice are cereal grains but can still be used as a high carb filler. They’re not as bad as cereal grains but we still count them as unhealthy. Technically, it isn’t a grain, but soy or any of its derivatives should not be in your pet’s food. As a rule all grains and fillers are low quality, feed grade (animal grade) ingredients that can be contaminated with mold, insects and toxic substances.
Grains are empty calorie fillers that are difficult for dogs to digest and replace proteins nutrients dogs need. Dog owners are a pretty savvy lot and many have figured this out. Now that there is more consumer demand, even mainstream companies like Purina are cranking our grain free varieties. You have to be careful because not all grain free dog foods are equal. Just because the label says grain free, it may not necessarily be high quality or good for your pet. We’ve read enough labels to tell you some of it is just a marketing gimmick. When say grain free, we mean a premium all natural grain free dog food that’s rich in real meat products (not by-products) and protein, contain a well-rounded balance of nutrients, easy-to-digest animal fats and not include fillers or questionable ingredients.
How Grain Free Relates to Mange
Because a grain free diet promotes better overall health and healing, it is beneficial to dogs with Sarcoptic mange. But when it comes to preventing and managing Demodectic mange, going grain free isn’t just smart, it’s essential. Sometimes grains can create enough of an immune imbalance on their own to allow Demodectic mites to overrun a healthy dog. In dogs that already have mange, grains trigger reactions that harm an already compromised immune system. They can also create inflammation, spawn histamine responses that spell trouble, magnify mange symptoms and cause setbacks. A dog that’s overrun with Demodex needs tremendous immune support, but grains and fillers displace or replace quality ingredients, robbing a sick animal of nutrients that could provide immune support. Another serious problem is how grains and fillers are metabolized. Unused calories quickly get turned into sugar in your dog’s blood — which is absolutely the last thing a dog with Demodectic mange needs. The sugar ultimately feeds yeast, which is precisely what Demodex mites eat. Mites in a yeast-rich environment thrive and multiply rapidly, preventing long term recovery. It’s unlikely that you’ll starve enough mites to cure Demodectic mange, but there’s no sense in enabling them to feast on an all-you-can-eat buffet. There’s also no sane reason to create conditions that make life much easier for them. Feeding grains and fillers to a dog with demodicosis, or any high carbohydrate diet for that matter, is just plain counter-productive.
Grain Free Matters To All Dogs!
Your dog descended from carnivores that would primarily consume meat and more meat along with the few fruits and veggies from the stomach contents of their prey. They have no evolved need of carbohydrates in their diet. Dogs are carnivores, and the appropriate diet for these animals must be based on meat not cheap fillers. Giving food that matches the diet he’d be eating in nature allows your dog to absorb the most nutrition, since a dog’s stomach and digestive system is really not meant to handle grains. Ideally the best dog food is a species-appropriate raw diet that mimics the ancestral diet of your dog’s predecessors in the wild. A natural, high quality grain free dog food that is devoid of allergens and junk ingredients is the second best choice. Grains offer little to no nutritional benefit. Essentially feeding a food with grain and highly processed ingredients can be compared to a you eating fast food at every meal. You wouldn’t be at you best. Neither will your dog. Long term, it’s detrimental to every dog.
Complex carbohydrates, or starches, are left undigested in the gut because your dog does not naturally produce the enzymes that are needed to break them down. In some cases, he will rely on fermentation to complete digestion, and for some, the material will remain in the gut. In time, this undigested food breaks down and compromises the lining of the gut, making the dog prone to allergies, leaky gut, obesity, and bowel inflammation disorders. More reasons to switch to a grain free diet.
Dogs with allergies will also be helped by eliminating grains from their diet. Dogs do not have to be allergic to grains in order to benefit from having them removed from their diet. It is similar to people with allergies using hypoallergenic products. Grain-free food is hypo-allergenic for dogs. Even for the normal dog it can be beneficial to feed grain-free as it may help prevent immune system issues such as allergies and sensitive digestive disorders like Inflammatory Bowel Disease. It’s just a win-win all the way around.
Grains are in pet food because they’re cheaper than meat products. They’re not there for the health and well being of your dog. It’s really a matter of the health and well being of the manufacturer’s bottom line.
The better grain free dog food formulas are natural and contain high quality ingredients. This means they’ll be a bit more expensive than dog food with fillers. However you may still save come out ahead in the financial department. Dogs on grain free food eat less. This oddity happens because dogs don’t need to eat so much to feel full or to gain energy as they would with of a low nutrient, grain-rich food. Research also bears out that going grain free also adds up to big savings in the long run because dogs with high quality natural nutrition have fewer trips to the vet over their lifetime.
Other benefits of grain free include:
- Fewer allergies and better health
- Less shedding and healthier coats
- More energy
- Less waste
- Better overall health
- Weight loss
- Better breath
Ultimately, your dog’s health depends on you giving him the correct nutrition with the right type of food. A dog that’s healthy on the inside will reflect it on the outside. And isn’t a happy, healthy dog really what we want? If you aren’t feeding your dog grain free now, make the switch. The web offers many opportunities to check what you’re currently feeding or look for a new dog food.
Start your education here Dog Food Advisor.
Learn to make grain free low-carb treas to help get those supplements into your dog in a healthy wa at Dog Treat Kitchen