Transition: Before You Switch To A Grain
Hopefully, you feel better prepared to deal with all of the questions around picking the right food for your dog, whether that includes grains or not.
Young pups are sure to love our top pick: Taste of the Wild.
By picking the right food, you can extend your pets life, give them an energy boost.
Feel good knowing that youre doing what you can to keep them happy and healthy. Be sure to let us know which food you end up choosing!
Be sure to talk with a trusted vet before changing your dogs diet.
Whats the best grain-free dog food for your fur baby? Share it with us and fellow paw parents by commenting below.
Specific Benefits Of Grain
Some people believe that puppies should be fed grain-free foods because dogs may develop allergies over time as their bodies reject grains. Theres NO evidence thats true.
That said, grain-free is generally higher in protein and more nutrient-dense, so it will be more likely to give your growing dog all the energy it needs to be healthy and to grow big and strong.
You may also find that grain-free is better for small breeds and giant breeds for that same reason.
Some dog owners also find that grain-free food gives their dogs better stools. That means the color is dark brown and the texture is firm but not hard.
If so, thats a good sign that the food youre giving your dog is a good choice for your best friend.
The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Grain
Ingredients: If youre looking for wholesome, quality ingredients, you need this grain-free turkey blend from the Honest Kitchen. This dog food blend is formulated for all breeds, sizes, and ages, and packs a punch with the best ingredients, including turkey and coconut oil for healthy skin and hair.
Price/Where To Buy: You can buy this awesome whole food grain-free blend at Petco.com and in stores. You can also find it at several online pet outlets and in retail stores.
The Difference: When it comes to dog food, The Honest Kitchen takes a pledge of transparency and quality that you and your best friend will love.
Read Also: Do Edible Arrangements Take Ebt
Recommended Serving Amounts For Homemade Dog Food
As a general rule, dogs will eat around 2 to 3 percent of their ideal body weight in fresh food daily. Larger breeds may need as little as 1 1/2 percent, and smaller breeds may need as much as 4 percent.
This works out to be approximately:
- 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
There is much variation in what the ideal amount should be as it depends on how much your dog weighs and how active she is.
I feel that the best approach is to feed and watch if your dog is losing weight, give more, and if your dog is gaining weight, give less.
For our pugs, we feed a scoop each in the morning and a scoop each in the evening, plus all their supplements.
We have an easy system for this: homemade food is refrigerated in a sealed container with a measuring cup , and all the supplements are lined up together in a cupboard in the kitchen. Keeping your ingredients organized and accessible will make feeding time fast and smooth.
Compared to feeding commercial food, where you might scoop out kibbles or open up a can, feeding homemade food with all the supplements takes maybe 10 seconds more. And even if it took 10 minutes more, fresh wholesome food for our furbabies is worth it.
The Importance Of Protein And Fat
Today, many dog foods are incredibly high in carbohydrates. The majority on the market appear to be near 50% fat when the moisture content is removed from the equation. Many dogs can get away with eating this many carbohydrates. However, that doesnt mean they can thrive on this diet.
Every animal needs a certain amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to survive. These three nutrients are called macronutrients. Studies have shown that dogs prefer a macronutrient content containing 30% protein, 63% fat, and 7% carbohydrates. This is the ratio they are naturally meant to consume and what they need to eat to thrive.
When searching for dog food, it is in your pets best interest to choose a food that lines up with the ratio as closely as possible. Unfortunately, it is tough to find a food that even comes close to this ratio on the market today. Instead, we recommend aiming to choose food that is as low in carbohydrates as possible.
When reviewing each food, we compared it to this ratio as well. Some foods are ranked very low mostly because they completely miss the mark on their macronutrient content.
Read Also: Darwins Dog Food
Natural Balance Lid Limited Ingredient Diets High
If your looking for a high-protein, grain-free dry dog food brand, check out the Natural Balance LID product line. With only one animal protein source and two carbohydrate sources, Natural Balance avoids ingredients that trigger food allergies. The #1 ingredient found in this grain-free dry dog food brand is real beef. This is followed by pea protein, beef meal, chickpeas and peas.
Further into the ingredient list, nutrients from vitamins and calcium help balance out the Limited Ingredient Diet. This grain-free diet contains zero grain, potatoes, fillers of animal by-products as well.
Ingredients: Beef, Pea Protein, Beef Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Canola Oil , Pea Starch, Natural Flavor, Pea Fiber, Flaxseed, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Menhaden Oil , Choline Chloride, Minerals , Vitamins , Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
Caloric Content: 3475 kcal/kg, 325 kcal/cup
How To Make Healthy Homemade Dog Food With Beef
Did you know that many brands of commercially-prepared dog food are filled with gross additives, highly-processed ingredients, and unspecified meat byproducts? If youre like us, just reading that gives you chills.
Because of this, many dog owners have turned to homemade dog food. After all, you want the best for your dogand that includes providing healthy, nutrient-packed meals throughout the day. Going the DIY route ensures you know exactly what your pup is eating.
Beef, in particular, is a fantastic ingredient to include in your homemade dog food. Not only is it high in protein, its full of important vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and selenium. Add in some carrots and sweet potatoes for beta-carotene and fiber, and youll have a delicious dinner your pup will love.
Note: The recipe below is also grain-free, which some pet owners find is easier on their dogs sensitive tummy. While most healthy dogs can tolerate grains, keep an eye on adverse reactions to foodlike excessive gas, itching, or vomitingand talk to your vet if you suspect an allergy.
Don’t Miss: Pomeranians Food
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 Chewy.com. 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.
The Fda Gets Involved
Freeman collaborated with several veterinary cardiologists and alerted the Food and Drug Administration . In July 2018, the FDA announced it had found sufficient evidence to investigate. In November 2018, Freeman and her collaborators issued a commentary published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. It would become one of the most downloaded articles in the history of that publication.
The FDA has since issued several updates. From January 2018 through April 2019, the FDA received reports of 553 dogs with DCM compared with previous years that ranged from zero to three dogs. These included 95 Goldens, 62 mixed-breeds, 47 Labrador Retrievers, 25 Great Danes, and more than 50 additional breeds with more than one report.
The FDA report lists 16 dog-food companies that had 10 or more cases of DCM associated with their food, but many more foods are involved. The brands themselves are probably not the important part of the report, but rather what these foods have in common.
Recommended Reading: Is Caesar Dog Food Healthy
What To Look For In Dog Food In Order Of Importance:
AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement: This is the most crucial factor in determining whether a dog food is healthy or not. Any food you feed your dog should say on the label that it meets the nutritional standards established by the AAFCO. This means the food is “complete and balanced” for the dog’s life stage. You can find out more about these standards and definitions in the next slide.
Guaranteed analysis: This is where you’ll find the percentages of the most important nutrients in the food: protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. Sometimes, you might find other nutrients like glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids listed in the guaranteed analysis, too. It’s worth checking if the brand routinely tests their finished product to ensure it meets standards, Shepherd says. All of the foods in this guide have moderate to high protein and low to moderate fat .
Healthy extras: Some foods contain extra ingredients intended to support healthy skin, coat, and joints, Swanson notes. Examples include long-chain omega-3 fatty acids , omega-6 fatty acids , glucosamine, chondroitin, green-lipped mussels, and additional vitamins and minerals . Probiotics, prebiotics, and yeast can also benefit a puppy’s immature GI tract and probiotics may help boost overall immunity in senior dogs.
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 recipes will always be gluten free.
Also Check: What Is The Best Dog Food For Pomeranians
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.
Lifes Abundance All Life Stage Grain
Ingredients: Lifes Abundance combines the convenience of dry food with the wholesome, natural ingredients the brand is so well-known for. Inside, youll find only high-quality ingredients like chicken, eggs, antioxidants, healthy fats, and more. Every ingredient is sourced naturally and sustainably when possible, so youre supporting a brand that cares about the future of our planet as well as the health of your dog.
Price/Where To Buy: Lifes Abundance All Life Stage Grain-Free Dog Food is available on the Lifes Abundance website. You can get a 36-lb. for about $88. If you subscribe to an auto-ship plan, you can save up to $7 per bag!
The Difference: Lifes Abundance is made for dogs of all sizes and breeds with health in mind. All-natural ingredients and no fillers make a huge difference that you can see, and your dog can feel.
Don’t Miss: Mixing Wet Dog Food With Dry
Weighing In On The Grain Debate: Is Grain
Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap lately. Maybe people are going gluten-free because they have food allergies or they believe that itll help them lose weight. Should it apply to a dogs diet, though?
This trend has also made its way into the world of pet food, as many dry dog food and wet food brands have grain-free offerings. Pet owners may be wondering: Is grain-free dog food better for your pup? And should you put him on a grain-free diet?
When trying to decide whether or not to go grain-free, you should first learn about this type of food and whether or not itll be beneficial for your dog.
The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe
Another very expensive recipe, this food offers something a little bit different. The ingredients in this recipe are dehydrated rather than cooked. This means that they dont lose any of their nutrients to the cooking process, so this recipe contains even more of the goodness that your dog needs.
This food starts with dehydrated food as its first and only animal-based protein. It is coupled with organic barley and oats, dehydrated potatoes, and peas as its source of carbohydrates. While the recipe then also utilizes a nutrient pack, it also contains a range of dehydrated fruits and vegetables, ensuring that your dog gets most of their vitamins and minerals delivered directly in the way that nature intended.
This recipe is one of the most nutritious things that you can feed your dog however, it is by far the most expensive food on this list. It is an investment in your dogs health. The food is also very high in calories, at around 4,300 calories per kilogram. But thats OK, the price-tag means that you will want to feed it to your dog in moderation.
- High in calories
If you are looking for the best and healthiest possible dry food to fill your dogs bowl, you cant beat this dehydrated recipe from The Honest Kitchen.
You May Like: Is Pedigree Better Than Purina
Stella & Chewys Freeze
Requires extra prep
Like our first choice food, this diet uses a unique processing method to assure all the nutrients in the recipe are well preserved and available to your pooch. Stella & Chewys Freeze-Dried meals are the perfect grain-free option for the owner who expects a lot out of their dogs food.
This food comes in 12 great flavors, making it easy to find the best-tasting grain-free dog food for your particular pup. All flavors include a number of animal ingredients listed first, like duck, rabbit, and turkey meal.
All flavors, with the exception of rabbit, contain 95% animal ingredients. The remaining ingredients are nutrient-dense, organic superfoods like spinach, pumpkin seeds, and beets.
Like our first choice food, this diet doesnt contain any legumes or potatoes. And, because it is freeze-dried raw food, you can be sure that the nutrients remain intact and are ready to be put to use to keep your dog strong and healthy.
Protein levels vary by flavor, but most contain around 45%. Like Ziwi Peak, you can expect to pay for all the quality included in this diet.
A General Guideline For Preparing Homemade Dog Food
My DIY dog food recipe is more of a general guideline, rather than an exact meal plan that I follow each week. My dogs diet changes the same way ours does, depending on what we do and what we buy or grow.
However, we almost always stay with this basic formula:
- 50 percent cooked protein
- 25 percent cooked complex carbohydrates
- Fats and supplements
Protein is always meat and usually chicken, though weve also used turkey, pork, and beef. We feed any and all parts of the animals, but most commonly, we saute chicken breasts or chicken thighs in coconut oil and ground turmeric.
Coconut oil has a host of health benefits for dogs, such as improving the skin and coat, increasing energy, aiding digestion, reducing allergic reactions, promoting wound healing, preventing yeast and fungal infections, and supporting arthritis or ligament problems.
Turmeric has long been studied for its powerful medicinal properties, including its use as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
We add it to the coconut oil since it is fat-soluble, and use it to support our pugs joint health.
Speaking of dark meat, we feed thighs and breasts interchangeably. While well remove the skin from poultry and trim off excessive fat from red meat, we dont worry about buying the leanest meat possible for our dogs.
A little fat is necessary for a well-rounded diet.
They tend to be the leftovers in our produce bin, so we never have to buy, say, a whole head of cauliflower just for the dogs.
Don’t Miss: Bulk Buy Pedigree Dog Food
Natures Recipe: Best Seafood
Our fur-babies should constantly be moving, regardless of old age or breed. Through administering quality nourishment which will add to their prosperity and empower, you can achieve this. The ideal meal, in this case, is no more than Natures branded seasoned food with salmon as the key Integrant. It was produced using supplement slow-releasing energy foods, for instance, sweet potatoes and calves, to make a truly delectable dry nourishment.
- The quality of online store products are poor in relation to physical markets
- It is expensive
What Is The Best Food I Can Feed My Dog
There’s no end-all-be-all, best dog food ever. That’s because every dog is different. Some dogs may do better with more protein or fat and some with less. Dogs handle amounts of fiber differently too.It’s also important to find a food your dog enjoys eating, which can take some trial and error. According to Shepherd, you’ll know you’re feeding your dog a food that’s right for them, when they maintain a healthy weight have formed stool that’s easy to pick up, but not so firm that they’re having a hard time pooping aren’t vomiting between meals have healthy skin and coat and are growing appropriately if they’re a puppy.Other signs of good health, Osborne says, include clear eyes and nose, ears that aren’t smelly, and bowel movements that are homogeneous, meaning they don’t have little undigested pieces of food in them.
Recommended Reading: Dr Pol Dog Food Reviews