Thursday, April 18, 2024

What Are Grain Free Dog Foods

Check The Ingredient List Especially The First Five Ingredients

Ask the Vet: The Issues of Grain-Free Dog Food

Always check the ingredient list. Items are listed in a weighted orderso a dog food that has corn, beef meal, potatoes, peas, and chicken as the first five ingredients has more corn than chicken by weight.

What else should you know?

  • Meal” means that the water and fat have been removed. It does not include hair, horns, or nails but usually organ meat like livers, kidneys, hearts, etc.

  • Natural flavor does not mean organic. This flavor can come from any plant or animal source, and the product must contain enough to be detected.

  • Chemical-sounding names are usually vitamins, minerals, and other supplements.

  • Some dog foods will have probiotics added, such as Bacillus coagulans fermentation product or Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product. Probiotics are live cultures of gut microorganisms. They may be beneficial but would have to be added to dry dog food after baking to be effective.

In the end, the only way to figure out if its the best dog food for your pet is to try it out. If your pet has good muscling, a great haircoat, normal and regular poop, great energy, and a good appetite, youve probably found it.

What Should I Not Feed My Puppy

Do not treat your dog as a garbage disposable unit. When you introduce a new food to a dog even if it is an approved food it may upset their stomach and cause diarrhea or vomiting. Foods that are toxic to all dogs and should never be fed are:

  • Chocolate
  • Garlic & Onions
  • Seasonings & Spices

Feeding a dog their own specially prepared food ensures those dogs with food sensitivities are not exposed to foods that may trigger allergies. So as much as your dog will beg to eat what we are eating, it is in their best interest to stick to their simple homemade dog food diet.

What Is The Difference Between Grain

Before we get into the pros and cons it is important to understand the difference between grain-free and regular dog food. Grain-free dog food does not contain any grains in the ingredients. Grains include wheat, rice, oats, and even corn.

Regular dog food usually contains grains in the ingredients. Some natural and organic dog foods contain whole grains which are grains that are unprocessed so they maintain the full nutritional profile of the grain. Whole grains tend to be viewed as healthier because they are not degraded by processing. The best way to determine if a dog food is grain-free, contains grain, or uses whole grain is by reading the ingredients label.

Also Check: What Is The Best Dog Food For Senior Dogs

What Human Food Can My Puppy Eat

Dogs are omnivores which means they can eat both carbohydrates and protein. A very simple overview of food dogs can eat is:


  • Cereal plain no sugar – Bran cereals – WeetBix, Couscous
  • Grains Rice, Tapioca, Flour, Pasta, Barley, Oats, Corn
  • Vegetables Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Kale, Lentils, Peas, Potato, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Zucchini,
  • Fiber Beans , Chickpeas, Quinoa


  • Poultry Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Goose
  • Wild Game Venison, Rabbit, Squirrel
  • Lamb
  • Dairy Cheese, Yogurt plain, Cottage Cheese
  • Soy Tofu

We strongly recommend following one of the Azestfor homemade dog food recipes to make sure your dogs homemade dog food diet is complete and balanced. The Azestfor recipes were formulated by an animal nutritionist.

Should My Dog Eat A Grain

Grain Free

Its always best to ask your veterinarian before feeding your pooch a grain-free diet. Whole grains offer essential nutrients, like magnesium, fiber, carbohydrates, selenium, and others. You dont want to take out those ingredients unless its necessary. Grain-free foods might be beneficial for dogs that are allergic to grain sources, but this type of diet isnt necessary for most dogs. The best thing to do is work closely with your vet when it comes to Fidos dietary and nutritional requirements.

Want to learn more about grain-free dog food? Contact your local animal clinic to speak to a veterinarian.

Recommended Reading: Where Can I Buy Hill’s Science Diet Dog Food

Get Recommendations To Discuss With Your Vet

Talk to your family and friends who have dogs. Get a sense of the brands theyve used or liked, and take a look at their pet. Does their dog have a great haircoat? Is he active and energetic?

Also look at online reviews. Remember that there is no brand of food that is best for all dogs, but this step will help to narrow your choice. Then you can take a list of brands to your veterinarian to get their feedback.

What Is The Difference Between Grain Free And Gluten Free

Gluten is the protein that is found in specific types of grain, such as wheat, barley and rye. Gluten free food is, of course, free of these proteins. However, not all grains contain gluten. Therefore, gluten free dog food may or may not be grain free, while grain free dog food will always be gluten free.

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Is Grain Bad For Allergies

If your furry friend is susceptible to allergies, we suggest looking at our blog on hypoallergenic dog food.

Although at Beco all our food is grain free and hypoallergenic, that does not mean that all brands selling grainless food will be hypoallergenic. Grain-free food reduces the chance of reactions, due to grains being a common cause of dog allergies, however they won’t necessarily be completely hypoallergenic.

If, your dog does have allergies make sure you eliminate typical commercial ingredients like corn, wheat or soy. Feeding them novel proteins, as this narrows down what could be causing them to have reactions, can also help. A novel protein, is a protein that is not commonly used, such as:

  • Wild Boar

Tip: Save Time With Petplate

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

Want to make life a little easier? PetPlates here to help. Our vet nutritionist, Dr. Renee Streeter, has been with us since day one, crafting each of our recipes to ensure theyre both highly palatable and perfectly balanced.

With four recipes to choose fromall made with high-quality, human-grade, and whole-food ingredientsyoure bound to find one that your dog loves. Plus, meals are delivered right to your door and on your schedule. Youll have more time to spend with your furry family members, backed with the peace of mind that youre serving them the best.

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Are These Diets The Best Choice For Your Dog

Some proponents of the grain-free dog diets claim that grains are an unnatural source of nutrition for dogs and feel that dogs ancestors did not digest grains in the wild. While it may be true that dogs didnt sit down to eat a pasta dinner, they did hunt and consume animals that ate grains therefore indirectly ingesting grains themselves!

However, since our pets no longer live in the wild, dog foods are formulated with our dogs activity levels, weight, heart health, and overall wellbeing in mind.

While our dogs ancestors may have eaten only a small portion of grains in the wild, dogs have evolved over the years to digest different types of nutrition, including grain. There are several genes in dogs that have been modified over the years to allow them to digest grains and gluten. So, in terms of metabolism, it is not necessary to feed your dogs grain-free pet food.

Some proponents of grain-free dog food diets choose this form of nutrition for their dogs because they believe their dogs are allergic or intolerant to grains. Grain-free and gluten-free diets for dogs are becoming increasingly popular. While these diets are particularly helpful for PEOPLE suffering from celiac disease, gluten intolerances, or allergies to wheat, most dogs do NOT suffer from these same ailments.


Health Extension Chicken & Brown Rice Review

Health Extension is a family-owned company based in the United States. Health Extension has very impressive transparency about the source of its ingredients, including an interactive map for visitors to their site to explore.

This level of transparency is unprecedented in the pet food industry and is something that many brands could learn from. Health Extension has a moderately sized product range, which includes some very common recipes, like Chicken & Rice, but also some less common ones.

You can learn more about Health Extension and its transparency in our Health Extension Brand Review.

The Health Extensions Chicken and Rice recipe makes use of a mix of Chicken ingredients, including Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Chicken Fat. The recipes primary plant-based ingredient is Brown Rice. Most people believe that Brown Rice is preferred to White Rice or cheaper rice-based ingredients.

However, for those willing to look further down the ingredient list, Health Extensions Chicken & Brown Rice contains some other meat and non-meat ingredients in substantial portions. Examples of these ingredients include Lamb Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, and Oatmeal. These ingredients are welcome additions and can provide additional protein, fat, and other nutrients.

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Honest Kitchen Limited Ingredient Chicken

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

Chicken, organic quinoa, sweet potatoes, spinach, parsley…,

organic kelp, minerals , vitamins EPA, DHA


Honest Kitchen features high-quality dog foods that are human-grade, which means you could eat them yourself if you wanted to! It has one of the shortest ingredient lists weve seen, so its great for dogs with intolerances or allergies.


This food is on the pricier side, and since its dehydrates it requires a bit of work to prepare (its still quite easy though just add water!

Grain Free With Lily’s Kitchen

Country Kibble Grain

We have a delicious menu of nutritionally complete, grain free recipes for dogs at Lilys Kitchen, which are also free of common dietary allergens. Bursting with goodness, these delicious dishes and treats are ideal for dogs with sensitive tums or who are on a grain free diet.The proper meat in our food is either fresh or freshly prepared. No meat meal and no nasties in sight – just the very best natural ingredients, all chosen for their high nutritional content to help keep your dog in tip top condition.

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Can My Puppy Eat Homemade Dog Food

Yes – Puppies who are weaned off their mothers milk and eating solid food can eat homemade dog food.

  • Protein – venison, chicken, beef, fish,
  • Carbohydrate – vegetables, cereals, grains, beans
  • Vitamins and Minerals – Azestfor Homemade Dog Food Vitamins
  • Fat- Source of linoleic acid – sunflower oil, flax seed oil, Walnut oil
  • The Azestfor Homemade Dog Food Recipes are suitable for puppies, adult and senior dogs. We have 24 recipes available here.

    Are Grains Bad For Dogs

    Theres a lot of debate about whether or not grains should be in your dogs diet. Dogs have no dietary requirement for grains they dont need them in their diet. However, grains certainly wont hurt your dog.

    Dogs are not strict carnivores their stomachs have evolved to process many of the foods we eat, like fruits, veggies, and yes- grains!

    This actually has something to do with us. Wolves cant digest grains well, but domesticated dogs evolved to digest starches so that they could take advantage of our leftovers.

    The problem of course is the amount of grain in your dogs diet. While dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats, most experts agree that a dogs diet should still primarily consist of meat protein.

    The issue is not so much the grains themselves, but that grain-inclusive foods tend to have a higher carbohydrate composition with less protein and fat. Ideally, your dogs diet will be high protein, contain a moderate amount of fat, and be low in carbs.

    Even grain-free diets are guilty of relying on a higher carbohydrate count than is ideal. Many companies just substitute grains for potatoes, peas, legumes, and tapioca. Dogs dont nutritionally require starch in their diet either, so switching out grains for starch wont necessarily result in a better diet for your dog.

    Ultimately, you should be less concerned with grains vs starches decision and instead owners should simply be aiming for a diet that is high in protein and relatively low in carbohydrates.

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    The Ultimate Guide To Grain Free Dog Food

    We answer your key questions on grain free dry dog food. Is grain free better than normal dog food? Is it ok for puppies? Are non grain free foods bad?

    Food is always a hot topic and recently people have become increasingly aware of the impact our diet has on our health and the environment.

    One of the major talking points: how do we eat food in its most natural form? This means food choices are constantly up for debate. This mind-set has a big say in what we choose to eat, and now, what we buy our dogs.

    Its fantastic to see so many owners passing their healthy diets on to their dogs. It’s important to feed them the right stuff. However, as with all things relating to diet, theres a lot of confusion as to what the best food options are.

    There is a dog food debate in full swing. The major question is: should I be feeding my dog grain free food? So, heres our attempt at explaining everything you need to know.

    Best Affordable: Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Real Salmon And Potato Recipe

    Warning against grain-free dog food

    Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Real Salmon And Potato Recipe

    • Lifestage: All life stages | Breed Size: All breed sizes
    • Flavor: Salmon and potato | Form: Dry
    • Ingredients: Salmon, fish meal, potatoes, lentils, peas, fava beans, canola oil, flaxseed
    • Protein: 25.0% | Fat: 14.0% | Fiber: 4.5% | Moisture: 10.0%
    • Not Contain: Corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

    This Diamond Naturals dry dog food comes at a relatively smaller price tag per ounce to cater to dog owners shopping for high-quality grain-free dog food with a tight budget.

    Because real salmon is the number one ingredient, this grain-free food not only provides a high-quality protein but also omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat care. Better yet, with the brightly colored fruits and vegetables, it is a source of poly nutrients and a wide array of vitamins.

    The dog food includes preparatory probiotics for the digestive system and immune support, and it uses essential hypoallergenic ingredients that are safe for dogs prone to allergies.

    This dog food does not have the best smell, but most dogs will not have an issue with this once they get used to the food.


    • Smell is not very pleasant

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    I And Love And You Nude Super Food Grain

    Ingredients: When it comes to grain-free dog food, I and Love and You had to make the top 13 list. This particular nude super food blend contains red meat as the first ingredient and doesnt have any of the fake stuff the other guys put in their food.

    Price/Where To Buy: You can buy a 23-lb. bag of I and Love and You Nude Super Food Grain-Free Dog Food online for about $58, depending on the outlet. This product is available on and other pet food supply stores.

    The Difference: I and Love and You was founded with pets in mind by people who love their own pets. That makes a huge difference in quality and consistency!

    Grandma Lucys Artisan Chicken Grain

    Ingredients: Grandma Lucy has a lot to say about dog food mainly that there arent enough high-quality options out there, and the brand has changed that with its awesome artisan chicken recipe. Completely grain-free and made from premium chicken, your dog will come running when you crack open a bag of this potent premium dog food.

    Price/Where To Buy: Grandma Lucys Artisan Chicken Grain-Free Recipe is available online at The only drawback is that you can only buy up to a 10-lb. bag. This will cost you about $79.

    The Difference: Grandma Lucys potent, premium artisan chicken blend combines flavor and quality in a way that every dog can get behind. Its a bit expensive, but youre paying for high-quality ingredients and service.

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    Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Turkey & Oatmeal

    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 Raw Dog Food Is Different

    A list of the 10 Best Grain Free Dog Foods

    Raw dog food is naturally grain-free rather than modified to exclude grains. As Dr. Patton notes, raw food isnt grain-free in the sense that grain-free traditional kibble is. Its grain-free because the only ingredients are what nature intendedmeat, vital organs, and bones, which means more protein and fewer soluble carbohydrates.

    Raw dog food products like those from Vital Essentials arent just grain-free, but theyre also free of any of the other ingredients that could potentially cause problems. Grain-free is a non-issue to begin with in Vital Essentials foods, Dr. Patton says. Vital Essentials doesnt have to use special recipes to exclude grains because the grains arent there in the first place.

    And thats how nature intended it, says Dr. Patton.

    So, should you choose grain-free?

    It all comes down to what grain-free means in terms of the food and, of course, whats best for your pet. A raw dog food diet is a good way to reap the benefits of a truly grain-free diet without having to worry about risks that come from fillers or ingredients used to replace grains.

    Learn more about Vital Essentials ingredients here or locate a store near you if you want to start giving your dog the benefits of a raw food diet.

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