Are Grain Free Foods Better In Quality
As for the issue of whether grain free dog foods are better in quality than foods that include grains, there is probably some truth in this belief, but not because the foods do not contain grains. Its probably because grain free foods are more likely to be manufactured by some of the companies in the natural/holistic dog food niche.
These small companies have positioned themselves in the market with the idea that they make better food. Some of them use human grade ingredients and take other steps to make sure their ingredients are high quality. Big players like Purina, Eukanuba, and Mars have been relatively late in producing grain free dog foods.
The small niche companies were able to appeal to dog owners by claiming that their grain free foods were healthier and more natural for dogs.
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To be frank, at times there has probably been some degree of elitism associated with feeding grain free foods from small niche companies which has made the foods seem more desirable to other dog owners. Today grain free dog foods are so common they have probably lost this superiority.
Most dog food companies make grain free and grain-inclusive foods. Its simply a matter of choice whether you feed your dog a grain free food or not. Some dogs can eat both grain free and grain-inclusive foods equally well while other dogs seem to do better on one or the other.
What Surprises Many Pet Owners Is That Grains Are Actually Uncommon Causes Of Food Allergies Most Pets Are Allergic To Animal Proteins
The Tufts clinical nutrition team states that the occasional pet may be allergic to a specific grain, but that this is less common than an allergy to an animal protein. Even if your dog does react to one particular grain like wheat, an entirely grain-free diet is likely not appropriate.
“Unfortunately, this information doesnt prevent hundreds of companies from advertising their grain-free diets as being good for pets with allergies,” say the experts at Tufts.
A recent study by Mueller, et al. found that the top three food allergens in dogs were beef, dairy products, and chicken — ingredients commonly found in traditional pet food.
Overall, it’s important to tailor your dog’s diet to their personal needs. If your pup is one of the countless of itchy, allergy-prone dogs with tummy troubles, hot spots, or other allergic reactions to food, we recommend you check out our “Allergies” page – full of dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages thriving on plant-based dog food made with healthy grains.
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V-dog contains 100% balanced plant-based nutrition for your pup. Our products are expertly formulated, veterinarian recommended and meet/exceed all AAFCO standards. Since our formula is highly-digestible, we’ve seen countless itchy, allergic dogs experience complete turnarounds on our kibble. Read their stories here or learn more about v-dog on our FAQ page!
Grain Free Dog Food Vs Regular
Recently, there has been some debate over what a healthy diet for dogs looks like. For the longest time, dog food either came in a big paper sack or a can. Today there are many choices for those who are very particular about what they will feed their pet.
One of the more popular options for dogs today is going grain free. Some people believe that its the proper way for a dog to eat, but not everyone is convinced.
Whats the difference between grain free dog food vs regular dog food? Read below to find out more.
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Does Grain Free Dog Food Help With Allergies
If your dog is suffering from allergy symptoms, it might be tempting to immediately rush out to buy a variety of new dog foods including grain-free options. Before you rush off to the nearest shop its worth first assessing whether food is the culprit.
First things first, its important to consult with your vet before making any changes at home. Environmental triggers are far more common than food intolerances. Shampoos, washing powders, dust and cleaning products are all common dog allergies that will display similar symptoms to food allergies. Consult with your vet to make sure your dogs symptoms arent due to environmental causes before you make any unnecessary changes to your dogs diet.
If you do find that your dogs allergies are food related, its a process of elimination to discover the true culprit. Weve already discussed that its much more likely that your pooch will have an allergy to beef, eggs, chicken, dairy or wheat rather than grains so opting for a grain-free food which contains the ingredient your dog is sensitive to isnt going to help. Whilst it can be tempting to opt for a fast saliva or blood test, rather than going down the lengthy elimination diet process, wed recommend avoiding these tests. They not only put your dog under stress but also yield inaccurate results as high as 50-60% false positives.
The Benefits Of Grain
There are some different pros and cons dog owners should consider when looking into grain-free dog food.
If your dog has a grain allergy, of course, you can put him on a grain-free diet, which should address his health issues. Additionally, grain-free pet foods could be beneficial if your dog has digestive issues, since carbohydrates can be difficult for some dogs to digest.
Dog foods with grains may use wheat gluten or corn meal, which are cheap fillers that have little nutritional value and reduce the quality of the kibble or wet food. However, many grain-free dog foods will not use fillers, and instead may use better quality ingredients.
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Taurine & Amino Acids
Nutritional research indicates that taurine is generally not considered an essential amino acid for dogs, because these animals can synthesize taurine from cysteine and methionine. Nearly all the grain-free products had methionine-cystine values above the minimum nutritional requirement of 0.65 percent for adult maintenance food for dogs published in the AAFCO Official Publication .
The FDA is still gathering information to better understand if taurine metabolism may have a role in these reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy.
What Dog Food Brands Are Associated With Dcm
The FDA recently published the 16 brands of pet food that were linked to greater than 10 cases of DCM in dogs.
Here are the brands the FDA is focusing on and the number of cases for each brand:
But before you avoid those foods and move on, theres more you need to understand about taurine.
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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.
What Does Grain Free Mean
Grain free dog food is made using a recipe without cereal. That means no wheat, rye, barley, oats, maize, sorghum, millet, triticale or rice. However, this doesnt mean the food is any less delicious! We replace the cereals with a mix of tasty vegetables, including potatoes and peas, to ensure that the texture and flavour of your dogs food are still just as appealing. A common misconception about grain free dog food is that it is also low-carb or even carbohydrate free. However, as grain free dog food often uses carbohydrates such as sweet potato to replace grains, this does not make it a carb free dog food. Although ingredients like meat are the most important factor in a healthy dogs diet, carbohydrates can be a useful energy source for your dog.
It is possible for a dog to have an intolerance to anything.
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Is Excessive Protein In Dog Food Bad For My Pet
Protein is a calorie dense nutrient and many of the high protein diets are extremely high in calories and can quickly lead to weight gain. With over 50% of dogs in the U.S. considered overweight or obese, dog owners need to be aware of where those extra calories are hiding. If a dog has kidney or liver issues consuming too much protein can increase the workload on these organs and upset the balance of nutrients leading to exacerbation of disease.
Rather than look for a dog food that contains excessive levels of protein you should find one that is specifically formulated for your dogs lifestyle, life stage, and size. A working sled dog, for example, will have significantly different nutrient and caloric requirements than the average pet dog that ventures outside for a few walks a day and spends the rest of the time lounging. These two dogs should not be fed the same diet.
Puppies, meanwhile, require more protein than adult dogs because their bodies are busy growing. Among breeds of puppies there are different requirements for nutrients as well. For instance large breed puppies like Labrador retrievers need a much different diet than a Yorkie for optimal growth. Feeding large breed puppies something that is too high in protein may make them put on weight too quickly causing abnormal joint development and making them more prone to issues like arthritis in the future.
What Is Dog Food With Grain
In general, most regular dog foods have grains in them. We don’t specifically call these out as “grain-containing foods,” and it’s just an understood thing. If you look at regular dog food, you may see one or more grain types. Some of the most common are:
All the ingredients listed above are types of grains. While there are some gluten-free dog foods, they often will still contain some grains in them. In the case of gluten-free dog foods, they simply dont include gluten-containing grains such as wheat. Unless a dog food is specifically labelled as grain-free, its usually safe to bet that it has some type of grain as one of the main ingredients.
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Taurine And Heart Disease
Taurine, an amino acid thats abundant in meat, was implicated in cases of cat DCM 30 years ago. It turned out commercial cat foods didnt contain sufficient taurine. When taurine was added to the food, DCM in cats basically disappeared.
Taurine immediately became suspect in dog DCM, but relatively few instances of taurine-deficient DCM have been identified in dogs. Certain diets, however, notably those high in lamb, rice bran, or fiber and very lowprotein diets have been associated with canine taurine deficiency.
Fast-forward to 2018. Veterinary cardiologists started noticing higher than usual numbers of dogs with DCM. At Tufts University, Lisa Freeman, DVM, Ph.D., DACVIM, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist with a research emphasis on nutritional effects of heart disease, reported an alarming number of these dogs were eating what she called BEG diets.
Boutique diets are produced by small companies without nutritional testing facilities. Exotic-ingredient diets use unusual sources, such as kangaroo or duck, which have not received extensive testing more common sources such as chicken or beef have. Grain-free diets replace grains such as rice and corn with potatoes or legumes as a carbohydrate source. No study has ever shown grain-free to be superior to grain-inclusive diets.
Recovery Of Grain Free Allergies In Dogs
Once the source of the allergen is removed from your dog& rsquo s diet, he should make a full recovery without a problem. Since you will be removing the item causing his immune system to over-react, it will be able to return to its full strength and protect him from actual threats, not false ones. Since your dog& rsquo s food provides him the nutrients for life, once he receives what he actually needs and not what makes him sick, he will be back to his healthy self with no more scratching or chronic infections. Just because a new diet is out on the market, it does not mean it is the best one for your dog. Talk with your veterinarian about your dog& rsquo s diet. Together, you will come up with the best source of nutrients for your dog.
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Grain Free Allergies Average Cost
From 523 quotes ranging from $200 – $800
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What We Do Know
First Question: What is a grain? Well, in pet foods it includes corn, soy, wheat, barley, oats and rice. Grains are used in both dry and canned pet food to provide carbohydrate, protein and fiber. They are used to help bring into balance the nutrient profile of a specific diet.What does grain – free mean? It means the food should be free of grains, although some foods labeled as grain free contain barley – which is a grain. The term also implys that having grains is somehow bad for your pet. Grains are not bad or good. They are a type of food.
What About the Food Allergic Pet
In my practice, food allergy is a common problem. FOOD ALLERGY IN DOGS AND CATS is caused by your pets immune system misidentifying a food protein as foreign and potentially harmful, then OVER reacting to it leading to an adverse reaction . The culprit can be ANYTHING that has been a part of your pets current or past dietINCLUDING animal proteins and plant proteins .
Links To Heart Disease
A study by the University of California, Davis, found a link between dogs being fed grain-free and legume-rich diets and types of heart disease, known as taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy .
Research is still ongoing to determine the biological processes at play, and how the affected dogs diets contribute.
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Diet Information From Reported Cases
Review of the canine reports shows that most reports were for dry dog food formulations, but raw food, semi-moist food, and wet foods were also represented.
When examining the most commonly reported pet food brands named in DCM reports submitted to the FDA, it is important to note that the graph below is based on reports that included brand information and that some reports named multiple brands. Brands that were named ten or more times are featured below. For a granular, case-by-case breakdown of DCM reports submitted to the FDA, see Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy Complaints Submitted to FDA-CVM Through April 30, 2019. FDA urges pet owners to work with their veterinarians, who may consult a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, to obtain the most appropriate dietary advice for their pet’s specific needs prior to making diet changes.
To better characterize diets reported in DCM cases, product labels were examined to determine whether the product was grain-free , and whether the products contained peas, other lentils including chickpeas and beans, or potatoes . Because so many products contained peas and/or lentils, a category was created for peas and/or lentils. More than 90 percent of products were grain-free, and 93 percent of reported products had peas and/or lentils. A far smaller proportion contained potatoes.
Should You Switch To A Grain
Pet parents may want to know if they should put their dogs on a grain-free diet. You should only switch your dogs good to a grain-free diet if you have permission from your veterinarian. Above all else, your dog needs to eat pet food that does not trigger any allergies and also provides all their nutritional needs.
Aside from ensuring that your dogs food has the right ingredients, it should also be suitable for your pets age . For instance, puppies need puppy food, adults need adult food, and seniors need senior food.
As long as you do your research and talk to your vet, youll know whether or not your dog needs to go on a grain-free diet.
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What Brand Of Dog Food Is Killing Dogs
A pet food recall is widening after the Food and Drug Administration announced that more than two dozen dogs died after eating Sportmix brand dry kibble. The statement issued on Monday said that the suspect is aflatoxin, a byproduct of a corn mold Aspergillus flavus, which at high levels can kill pets.
The Dangers Of High Protein Dog Foods
Choosing what to feed your dog can be an overwhelming decision. Pet food stores are packed with row after row of different brands of food all containing clever marketing slogans to convince you they are the best for your dog. Many of these dog foods boast about containing extremely high levels of protein that claim to satisfy your dogs instinctual need for meat as well as make them healthier and live longer.
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