What To Look For When Shopping For Dog Food With Grains
When reading dog food labels, the grains youre most likely to see include corn, rice, oats, barley, wheat, rye, and sorghum. These are the standard grains in dog foods, says Brooks. They are all fine for dogs to eat and are a good source of fiber as well.
If you want to maximize your dogs nutrition, however, you should look for dog foods with whole grains . Whole grainsare particularly good as they are a source of energy, protein, vitamin E, and linoleic acid, says Brooks.
Brooks also highly recommends looking for the AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement on the label, which establishes the minimum nutritional requirements for dogs, and not to purchase any dog food product without one.
For more general guidelines about what to look for on the dog food label, see our article, .
Best For Puppies: Wellness Complete Health Puppy
The Complete Health Puppy dry food from Wellness offers a balance of nutrients to support your puppys growth and development during this crucial life stage. This food starts with deboned chicken as its first ingredient and follows with chicken meal, oatmeal, ground barley, and peas.
Wellnesss Complete Health Puppy food also includes salmon, salmon oil, and tomatoes. Salmon is a natural source of vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids salmon oil is a natural source of DHA, which supports brain and eye development and tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C.
In addition to these ingredients, this puppy food provides calcium and phosphorus for bone growth, vitamin A and calcium for healthy teeth and eyes, and other omega fatty acids for healthy skin and a clean coat.
Plus, if you want to keep your puppy eating the same dog food brand as they grow older, Wellness offers a variety of options for adult dogs, including grain-free options, large breed options, small breed options, and more.
Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food is 100% grain free for your adult dogs. It contains a rich mixture of turkey and chicken that is healthy and nutritious. The food also contains salmon oil, vegetables and fruits making it a complete balanced diet.
Fortified with probiotics, antioxidants, minerals, flax Omega, fish and Vitamins the food recipe is not only a healthy and nutritious mix of ingredients but it also helps to give the dog a healthy skin and coat. The meal recipe does not contain any fillers, corn, wheat, soy gluten, colors, flavors, grain and artificial preservatives.
The meal is Wellness guaranteed and the best food you can give your adult dog if you want it to be happy.
Blue Freedom is 100% grain free formula that is both delicious and nutritious. The glute free formula features high quality ingredients that contain real meat with no chicken or poultry by products but real chicken. The tasty recipe is also a satisfying diet formulated for the wellbeing and good health of the dogs.
Victor Grain-Free Active Dog& Puppy is a premium food manufactured to meet the nutritional needs of your furry friend. This formula blends a variety of animal based protein from beef, chicken, fish, and pork. Beans and sweet potatoes are added to aid in digestion and help strengthen the immune system. The ingredients found to meet the nutritional standards of the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrients.
Read Also: Is Iams Dog Food Grain Free
Authority Skin Coat & Digestive Health Fish & Potato Formula Grain
The fish in this food ensures that its packed with omega fatty acids, and the company goes one step further by including a generous amount of canola oil. If your primary concern is giving your dog plenty of antioxidants, this kibble will be tough to beat.
Theres a fair amount of fiber as well, thanks to the sweet potatoes and beet pulp. We also like the inclusion of kale, which is jam-packed with just about every nutrient you can think of.
We only have a few minor quibbles with this food. White potatoes are high on the ingredients list, and they dont bring much to the table, nutritionally-speaking .
Also, dried egg product adds some protein, but many dogs have issues digesting eggs, so that extra meat was probably better left on the factory floor.
- White potatoes have little nutritional value
- Many dogs have issues digesting dried egg product
The Difference Between Grain Free And Gluten Free
Another common misconception surrounding grain free dog food is that it is also gluten free. However, this is not the case. Gluten can be found in certain types of grain, including wheat, rye, barley and oats, but there are other grains which are gluten-free, including rice and maize. If you are unsure about the ingredients in your dogs food, always read the label carefully or ask a vet for advice.
Also Check: Nutro Dog Food Lebanon Tn
A Look At The Ingredients
The following chart shows that these cases may have something to do with common ingredients in grain-free dog food. The findings show high instances of cases reported in foods with ingredients such as peas, lentils, and sweet potatoes.
Image courtesy of FDA
And, to complicate the situation even more, some brands were reported more frequently than others, and some dog breeds also had more cases reported than others.
Image courtesy of FDA
With so many unknowns, its hard to pin down the exact cause of or contributor to these cases. But, as Dr. Patton shares, we should consider how these foods impact our dogs health, and we shouldnt limit our concerns to the risk of DCM. There are other problems that can result from some dog foods that have been labeled grain-free.
White Meat Chicken And Whole Barley Recipe Dog Food By Purina Beyond Simple
Chicken, rice, whole barley, canola meal, and chicken meal are the five primary ingredients.
- Dietary Restriction
- Natural vitamins and minerals are found in abundance.
You get the most bang for your buck with this meal’s abundance of flavor. With just one animal-based protein source at the heart of the dish and an assortment of other healthy ingredients, this is a limited-ingredient diet that’s popular with dog owners.
That’s one of the sweetest dog feeds for your canine companion because it is not only full of high-quality ingredients and nutrients, but it is also quite reasonable in terms of price.
Life Protection Formula by Blue Buffalo A dry dog food recipe that includes chicken and brown rice for adults.
- No soy, wheat, or corn proteins
- Healthy digestion is ensured by a high fiber level.
- Preservative-free and free of hazardous fillers and colors
Blue Buffalo’s latest dish is a favorite of mine, and it’s one of their best ever. An unusual combination of animal protein, anti – oxidant and anti whole grain, plus healthy fats make it a nutritious meal option.
Since it has an exceptional nutrient profile, this blue buffalo mix is among the healthiest dog foods. makes sure your dog gets the right amount of protein & fat to keep them healthy.
Also Check: Can You Buy Dog Food With Foodstamps
Homemade Dog Food Sources
- Meats: chicken, turkey, beef, bison, pork, lamb, venison
- Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, summer squash, spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, thawed frozen peas
- Complex carbohydrates: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, lentils, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, winter squash
Recommended Serving Amounts
- 2 pounds of food per day for a 100-pound dog
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of food per day for a 50-pound dog
- 1/2 to 3/4 pound of food per day for a 25-pound dog
- 5 to 6 1/2 ounces of food per day for a 10-pound dog
This information is not intended to replace professional medical advice. Every dog’s dietary needs are different. Please consult with your veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your own dog’s diet.
Wellness Natural Complete Health Dry Dog Food
- First 3 ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, oatmeal
- Best for: For adult dogs of all breeds
- Price: $$
Wellness is a highly reputable brand with decades of experience supplying pet owners with highly effective and balanced dog food. How does this dry formula with grains stand and fall, then?
The formula is packed with healthy grains as well as a high proportion of premium proteins.
Leading off with lamb as the first ingredient, this food is capable of supporting whole body health in your dog. As long as he doesnt have sensitivities or allergies, you should find he wolfs this food down while becoming fitter and stronger. If your dog does have sensitivities, Wellness offers the Complete Health line in grain-free form, too.
Loaded with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, youll ensure Fidos skin is soft while his coat gleams. Antioxidants perform the same role as they do when we eat them: theyll bolster your dogs immune system to prevent the damage inflicted by free radicals.
All the ingredients are assembled at a facility in the United States delivering your dog everything he needs and nothing he doesnt.
You May Like: Can You Buy Dog Food With Food Stamps
Are Grain Free Dog Foods Healthier
Over the past couple of decades, grain free dog foods have become tremendously popular. Today they are often preferred to other kinds of kibbles, even for dogs that do not have any food allergies or sensitivities.
People often believe that these foods have better quality ingredients that they are lower in carbohydrates/starches than other dog foods and that they have more protein. Not all of these things are true. It always depends on the particular dog food or brand.
Veterinarians tells us that true food allergies are not common in dogs, accounting for about 10 percent of all the allergies diagnosed in dogs. They are only the third most common cause of allergies in dogs, behind flea bite allergies and inhalant allergies. However, if youve ever had a dog with a food allergy or a food sensitivity, you know just how awful they can be.
And, if youve ever spent any time on a dog food message board, you would probably doubt that low percentage. There is never a shortage of dog owners with itchy dogs or dogs with gastrointestinal problems.
Some people even some veterinarians and alternative health practitioners seem to believe that grain free dog foods are healthier for dogs because, by definition, they do not contain the glutens found in some foods with grains.
Actual gluten only comes from wheat and related grains such as barley, rye, oat, and all their species and hybrids . This means that corn and some other grains and cereals do not really have gluten.
Iams Proactive Health Dog Food
Iams Proactive Health Lamb and Rice is one of 15 dry recipes included in our review of the Iams ProActive Health product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Lamb, chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, ground whole grain barley, ground whole grain corn
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Large breed, puppy, mature adult, healthy weight, small breed and more
- Price: $
- See all 15 available recipes
This Iams ProActive Health recipe derives the largest portion of its meat protein from both fresh lamb and chicken by-product meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 28% protein, 16% fat and 49% estimated carbs which produces a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
A solid choice for those looking for a time-proven, grain-inclusive brand with multiple flavor and formula options. Frequently mentioned by veterinarians and professional breeders.
Sample buyer reviewDelivered just as running out of smaller Iams trial bag. Both pups switched to Iams effortlessly and I noticed my golden retrievers skin and coat issues are already looking much better. Great price on the 26 lb. bag, too. I am happy when pups are happy.
This particular Farmina N& D formula derives the bulk of its meat protein from both fresh chicken and dehydrated chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 20% fat and 39% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.
Also Check: How Is Purina Dog Food Rated
Are Grains A Dietary Requirement For My Dog
They are not, no. This means youre in completely safe hands whether you opt for grain-free or grain-inclusive dog food. Although dogs dont strictly need grains, they are capable of digesting most grains, so you shouldnt run into any problems.
2) What benefits are delivered by grains in dog food?Grains are a great source of fiber and this helps to keep your furballs stools healthy and regular. Whole grains contain an array of vitamins and minerals beneficial to your dog. As an added bonus, the majority of grain-free dog foods are quiet expensive. Although grain-inclusive food might not be a giveaway, its generally a more cost-effective option.
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.
Don’t Miss: Darwin Dog Food Review
What About Diy Designer Pet Food
If you choose to prepare your dogs specialty food, make sure the recipe meets your pets nutritional needs. Follow the directions carefully for preparation and storage. Home-made dog food doesnt contain preservatives and needs to be stored safely.
There are nutritional resources with sophisticated computer programs to help calculate the amounts of protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins in a recipe. Some programs take into account a dogs age, health status, and activity level in formulating an appropriate diet. But it can still be tricky verifying that your DIY pet food is nutritionally balanced, i.e., the bioavailability and metabolism of taurine is different in a lamb-based diet compared to a chicken-based diet. Also, the absorption of nutrients may vary with the amount and type of fiber in the diet. To be safe, you may choose to stick with a commercial AAFCO approved pet food.
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: What Stores Carry Rachael Ray Dog Food
Alpo Come & Get It Cookout Classics
ALPO is a known dog food brand that may look to many as a quality pet food. But as turns out, its not. Or at least, this particular recipe isnt.
This formulation does not start with meat. In fact, the first meat ingredient wont be found until the 3rd slot in the list. And the only other meat is in 6th place.
What starts off this food is ground yellow corn, meaning that corn has the most significant volume in the diet. Not only that, there are two more corn ingredients in the recipe and one legume.
Its a formulation that focuses more on carbohydrates rather than protein. It meets the AAFCO standard, yes, but does not really go much above it.
The second thing we dont like is the inclusion of artificial food coloring. Color is not a requirement in dog food, and dogs will be better off without it. The less artificial ingredients in dog food, the better.
The Come & Get It! Cookout Classics is the least of the worst dog foods in our list because it contains real and named meat ingredients.
Recall Info: None for this recipe, and the only recall for the ALPO brand happened way back in 2007 for possible melamine contamination.
Problem Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, corn germ meal, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2, Yellow 6
Whole Earth Farms Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms Adult Recipe is one of 2 dry recipes included in our review of the Whole Earth Farms product line.
- First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, turkey meal, brown rice, oatmeal, barley
- Type: Grain-inclusive
- Other recipes: Puppy recipe, grain-free, wet formulas and more
- Price: $
This Whole Earth Farms selection derives most of its meat protein from both chicken and turkey meals. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 16% fat and 47% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
An affordable option from the maker of Merrick. Highly recommended.
Sample buyer reviewLike a few other reviews here, this was one of the best dog foods I could find for my dog. It isnt filled with unhealthy fillers that many other dog foods are, and it doesnt have peas or lentils in it which are some of the main ingredients linked to heart disease in grain-free foods. My dog loves this, and I love it!
Read Also: Where To Buy Darwin’s Dog Food