Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Is Grain Free Dog Food Better For Dogs

Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Turkey & Oatmeal

Pet Nutritionist Explains Grain Free vs Grain Inclusive Pet Foods | Which is Better?

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

About:Diamond Naturals is a beef-based grain-inclusive dog food recipe featuring beef meal as the primary ingredient, along with peas, white rice, and egg.

It takes our pick when it comes to most affordable non-grain-free dog foods, making it an excellent choice for any budget. This recipe provides plenty of protein and quality for your dollar.

  • Ground white rice and rice bran as main grain sources. Also contains peas as another carbohydrate source.
  • Also includes fruits and veggies for antioxidants
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • No corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
  • 25% Protein / 15% Fat / 42% Carbohydrates

Beef Meal, Peas, Ground White Rice, Egg Product, Dried Yeast…,


Diamond Naturals is our winner for an affordable quality grain-inclusion food. It has good numbers and ingredients without breaking the bank, and is a great pick for those on a budget.


The inclusion of white rice and egg may be problematic for some dogs, and some owners are adamant about avoiding all Diamond products, but we think this food is a solid option.

How Should You Select A Food For Your Pet

When selecting a diet for your pet, the best advice is to ask your veterinarian. Veterinarians receive training in animal nutrition while in school and at educational conferences throughout their career they are much better suited to advise you about proper diets than a pet store employee. It is worth noting that there have been no reported cases of dogs developing nutritionally mediated DCM while eating a food that meets the World Small Animal Veterinary Association guidelines, so that is a good place to start.

Does Breed Play A Role In Taurine Deficiency

Recently, some studies have looked into breed-specific impacts of grain-free diets. One such study was conducted by veterinary cardiologist Dr. Joshua Stern from the University of California at Davis. His and other research suggest that Golden Retrievers might have a genetic predisposition to taurine deficiency.

Taurine deficiency has been linked with certain diets in several breeds, such as the Newfoundland, American Cocker Spaniels, English Setter, Labrador Retriever, and several others. Further studies are needed to investigate genetic predispositions to taurine deficiency in other breeds.

You May Like: Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat Ingredients

Factors To Consider While Choosing A Particular Diet For Your Dog

We all want our dogs to have what we think is the best food for them but our wishes can sometimes cloud our judgment. In most cases, changing a dogs diet when they are doing just fine is always more about fitting into a fad than improving their lifestyle. The truth is that some dogs are better on a grain-free diet while others are more suited to grain-based foods.

If you are thinking of making the switch to grain-free dog foods, here are some factors you should consider:

1. Your dogs lifestyle

When it comes to dog food, theres no one-size-fits-all formula. Your dogs nutritional requirements will be determined by how active they are. A chihuahua will not have the same needs as a German shepherd. Highly active dogs will need a high-protein diet that is found in grain-free foods. Older and less active dogs will not.

2. Health conditions

You will also need to make sure that your dog does not have any health problems that will be worsened by a grain-free or high-protein diet.

3. Expert advice

It is important to consult your dogs vet before making the switch to a grain-free diet. They will be able to advise on the best diet for the dog depending on factors such as the breed, its age, activity levels, and the overall health condition. They may even be able to advise on the best grain-free brands for your dog.

4. The dogs eating habits

Faqs With Our Vet Nutritionist

Beyond Grain Free Natural Dry Dog Food, White Meat Chicken ...

How do I serve this beef recipe to my pup?

You can serve this recipe right away while its still warm, or cool it in the fridge first. If your pup prefers wet food, you can also thin out the recipe with some beef broth. Serving size will vary depending on your dogs size check with your vet for a more specific recommendation.

How do I store this recipe?

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days you can also freeze this recipe and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.

What if my dog doesnt like this recipe?

Similar to humans, some dogs are just picky eaters! Keep trying out recipes to find one your pup loves. If you notice any gastrointestinal issues or skin infections, talk to your vet. You may need to opt for an alternative protein thats gentler on the tummy, such as lamb.

Can I feed beef to my dog every day?

Lean ground beef is a fantastic ingredient to feed your dog, but its also important that your pup gets a balanced diet! While many of the homemade dog food recipes you can find are easy to cook, studies have shown that most DIY recipes still lack all the necessary nutrients that would make it an adequate everyday meal.

To ensure your pup is getting everything they need to stay healthy and happy, we recommend working with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist.

How do I know if my dog should avoid grains?

Don’t Miss: Rachael Ray Dog Food Petsmart

Cases Reported To Fda

For the purposes of this investigation, the FDA defines a case as an illness reported to FDA involving a dog or cat that includes a diagnosis of DCM. Many of the reports submitted to the FDA included extensive clinical information, including echocardiogram results, cardiology/veterinary records, and detailed diet histories. The numbers below only include reports in which the dog or cat was diagnosed with DCM by a veterinarian and/or veterinary cardiologist. We did not include in these numbers the many general cardiac reports submitted to the FDA that did not have a DCM diagnosis. However, this case information is still valuable, as it may show heart changes that occur before a dog develops symptomatic DCM. . Although the FDA first received a few sporadic reports of DCM as early as 2014, the vast majority of the reports were submitted after the agency notified the public about the potential DCM/diet issue in July 2018.

Before You Switch To A Grain

If you do decide to go grain-free, transition gradually between old food and new food. Start out with 90 percent old food / 10 percent new food and slowly alter the proportions until youre serving only new food. This will help your dogs digestive system adjust properly. Keep an eye on your dogs bathroom excursions during the transition and keep an eye out for diarrhea or constipation.

As always, its a good idea to consult your vet before making changes to your dogs diet, and be sure to check for the AAFCO-verified nutritional value on the label. AAFCO, or the Association of American Feed Control Officials, regulates pet foods in the United States an provides health guidelines for manufacturers and pet owners.

You May Like: Can You Buy Dog Food With Food Stamps In Florida

Caution: Grain Products To Avoid Or Limit

Although some grains can be a valuable addition to your dogs diet, you should try to avoid other low-quality ingredients. High-quality whole grains are the best healthy grains for your dog.

But, dogs with intolerances will still have adverse reactions to whole ingredients if they are allergic to that grain.

Common grain allergies include wheat and corn. Rarer, ancient grains may be a more suitable alternative for your sensitive dog.

Grain by-products frequently appear on dog food labels due to their affordability. Yet, these leftovers from manufacturing often have reduced nutritional content compared to whole grains.

Lower quality cereal grains and by-products may be safe pet food ingredients. But limiting these ingredients in favor of high-quality grains with more significant health benefits can help you create an optimal diet for your dog.

These grain products appear in dry dog food for their convenience and affordability, not their nutritional value. Selecting a formula that uses whole-grain ingredients instead of grain by-products ensures that your dogs diet prioritizes his health over profit margins.

Try to limit these grain products when shopping for a new grain-inclusive pet food.

  • Wheat Gluten This dry powder is a highly processed product from wheat often used as a cheap protein source to manipulate a high protein content. Animal proteins are much more bioavailable to dogs. And gluten can be problematic for pups with food allergies.

What Is Canine Heart Disease Or Dilated Cardiomyopathy

FDA investigating link between grain-free food and heart failure in dogs

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a type of canine heart disease that affects the heart muscle. The hearts of dogs with DCM have a decreased ability to pump blood, which often results in congestive heart failure.

Some breeds, especially large and giant breeds, have a predisposition to DCM. These breeds include Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, and Saint Bernards. While DCM is less common in medium and small breeds, English and American Cocker Spaniels are also predisposed to this condition.

The reports submitted to the FDA span a wide range of breeds, including many without a known genetic predisposition. When early reports from the veterinary cardiology community indicated that recent, atypical cases in breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Whippets, Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus all consistently ate grain alternatives in their diets, the FDA took notice.

You May Like: Darwin Raw Dog Food Reviews

Should Your Dog Be On A Grain

Theres been a lot of buzz about the FDAs recently-released Grain-Free Diet Alert, which has left many dog owners concerned about potential impacts of grain-free foods on their pets health. The alert came after the FDA investigated reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy essentially an enlarged heartin dogs eating certain types of dog foods, many of them labeled grain-free.

With the growing popularity of grain-free dog food and many leading healthy dog food brands making the list, dog owners who feed their dogs these foods are faced with many uncertainties: How safe is it to feed my dog grain-free foods? Should I switch my dog to a different diet or brand of food? Should my dog even eat grain-free food? Are some foods safer than others?

With all the confusion out there, weve put together key considerations from our expert animal nutritionist, Dr. Richard Patton, to help you decide which diet is best for your dog.

What Should I Feed My Dog Instead Of Grain

The best thing you can do is to consult your veterinarian, who understands animal nutrition and is best suited to advise you about which high-quality dog food is right for your individual pet.

Still unsure? You may want to look for recommendations made by board-certified veterinary nutritionists , who have completed four years of vet school as well as a two- to three-year residency specifically in veterinary nutrition. The terminology can be tricky, as the phrases “animal nutritionist” or “dog nutrition specialist” sound similar to board-certified veterinary nutritionist, but do not carry the extensive education and training behind them.

You May Like: Is Iams Dog Food Any Good

Does Grain Free Dog Food Cause Weight Gain

Grain-free doesnt mean low carb. Some pawrents decide to make the switch from standard to grain-free dog food as they want to put their pooch on a low-carb or carb-free diet. Whether its for weight management, health concerns or simply their own preference, reduced carb diets are popular for both pets and humans nowadays.

Dry food needs a binding ingredient to create the kibble. In a lot of grain-free dog foods, the grains are substituted out with alternative starchy ingredients including legumes and potatoes. So, in reality, youre not actually cutting carbs at all and could actually be increasing it. As always, its important to look at the full ingredient make up to assess the quality of the food and ensure youre delivering on what your dog needs.

What Exactly Was The Fda Report On Dcm And Grain

Iams Proactive Heath Sensitive Systems Grain Free, Chicken ...

So is grain-free good for dogs and why are we talking about amino acids and arrhythmias?

In 2018, the FDA released a report warning about a possible link between grain-free diets for dogs and the development of canine DCM. This report was mainly concerning because it noted DCM occurring in breeds without a genetic predisposition.

The initial report did not include any numbers or statistics, but noted that the cases frequently involved dogs fed grain-free dog food with multiple legumes or potatoes, and their protein, starch, and fiber sources as main ingredients.

A year later, the FDA released another article detailing the cases of 560 dogs and 14 cats with DCM, as reported to the FDA between January 1, 2014 and April 30, 2019.

Of the cases where dietary information was included, 90% of products were labeled grain-free, 93% included peas and/or lentils as main ingredients, and 42% contained potatoes/sweet potatoes.

Initially, it was thought that these grain-free foods might be insufficient in taurine or its precursors. However, it was reported that almost all the grain-free products exceeded the minimum nutritional requirements, indicating that other factors might be inhibiting taurine status in dogs.

In both reports, the FDA stated they are still gathering information to understand if and how taurine absorption and excretion plays a role in canine DCM.

Also Check: Iams Intestinal Plus Dog Food

Dilated Cardiomyopathy In Dogs

Researchers have found a lot of dogs on grain-free diets have developed a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, which can be pretty serious.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a heart condition where the heart is too large, Dr. Bustamante said. DCM is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes weak and the heart chambers become too wide and large, which makes the heart unable to pump blood appropriately, which leads to problems such as collapse, coughing and even heart failure.

Breeds like boxers and Dobermans are genetically predisposed to dilated cardiomyopathy. But lately, more and more breeds that arent predisposed have been getting diagnosed and the common factor seems to be grain-free diets.

In recent years, veterinarians have diagnosed in other breeds that were not found to have this condition before, Dr. Bustamante said. When studying the history of these pets, it has been found that there is a combination of similarities between cases which include grain-free diets.

The connection seems even more apparent when you consider that some dogs conditions get better when theyre taken off grain-free diets.

Interestingly, when they have started giving different diets to these dogs, their condition improves, which is very, very rare in dogs with heart problems, Dr. Bustamante said.

Wheat Free Dog Food And Treats

Wheat is used as a thickening agent or other type of filler. Both food and treats can be purchased which contain other grains except for wheat. If your dog is sensitive to wheat, or if you are trying to cut down on the amount of grains that they consume, consider making the switch.

Products are available for all breeds, sizes, and life stages. With the wide variety of flavours available from manufacturers, a bit of experimentation might be needed to find the one your pet prefers. Ask your pet store what brands they sell the most of to others who have the same type of dog you do.

Recommended Reading: Is Iams Dog Food Any Good

Wholegrains Boast Lots Of Benefits For Dogs

For more than 40 years in my career as a veterinary surgeon I have championed the valuable role that whole grains can play in managing health problems in dogs. Brown rice, oats and maize are excellent whole grains that can help a variety of ailments including skin disorders, digestive problems and even behaviour issues. Regardless of whether these ingredients are home cooked or commercially produced, they can play an important role in supporting pet health, meaning fewer trips to the vets and a happier pup all round. Natural, wholesome grain-based food has stood the test of time!

Taste Of The Wild High Prairieine Formula Dry Dog Food

Dogs Naturally Magazine TV – Grain Free Dog Foods – Are They Really Better For Your Dog?

Taste of the wild grain-free dry dog food is an all-life stage food that uses real roasted bison and venison as a major source of animal protein.

This grain-free dry dog food comes in four flavors: High Prairie, Wetlands, Pacific Stream, and Sierra Mountain.

This grain-free dry dog food promises to provide your pet with antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, omega fatty acids from fish sources, vitamins from nutrient-rich vegetables and fruit extracts, chelated minerals that are easier for your pet to absorb than other minerals plus it even contains probiotics! If youd like to learn more about this popular grain-free dog food brand visit their website here.

Read Also: Is Iams Dog Food Grain Free

Is Rice A Grain

Let us get this confusing question out of the way first. Many people are unsure if rice is a grain or not. The answer is yes, rice is a cereal grain. African rice and Asian rice , are both grasses and rice is the seed. Hundreds of millions of tonnes are consumed worldwide annually. Brown rice has more nutritional value and is a quality ingredient in most dog foods.

Why Is The Fda Investigating Grain

It is easy to panic anytime we see an FDA headline about pet food. After all, keeping our dogs healthy is essential to us, and we know that diet can make a big difference in a dogs well-being. We reached out to Dr. Jerry Klein, the Chief Veterinary Officer of the AKC, to hear his thoughts on the ongoing FDA investigation.

The FDA is investigating a potential dietary link between canine dilated cardiomyopathy and dogs eating certain grain-free dog foods. The foods of concern are those containing legumes such as peas or lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes listed as primary ingredients. The FDA began investigating this matter after it received reports of DCM in dogs that had been eating these diets for a period of months to years. DCM itself is not considered rare in dogs, but these reports are unusual because the disease occurred in breeds of dogs not typically prone to the disease.

Between January 1, 2014 and April 30, 2019, the FDA received 524 reports of DCM , and most reports were submitted after the FDAs first public alert in July 2018. The total number of pets affected is greater than 524 because some reports included multi-pet households.

Don’t Miss: Is Iams Dog Food Grain Free

Popular Articles
Related news