Should You Switch Your Dog To Or From A Grain
Your veterinarian should be consulted regarding the best dietary choices for your dog.
There have not been any recommendations issued by the FDA advising whether you should or should not feed your dog a grain-free diet, as their study is ongoing.
The most important consideration in choosing a dog food is that it provides complete and balanced nutrition.
If you are thinking of switching your dog to a grain-free diet, discuss the risks and benefits of feeding a grain-free diet with your veterinarian first.
If your dog is already on a grain-free diet, and you want to know if you should switch to a dog food that has grains, ask your veterinarian what the best dog food option would be for your particular dog.
Is Grain Or Grain Free Better For Dogs
However, some of the carbs used in grain-free pet foods are better options for your dog’s food, because they’re generally healthier than corn or wheat.
Grain- or gluten-free wet dog food can be higher in protein and contain fewer carbohydrates, so that may be a better option.
While every pet has unique nutritional needs, all pets need vitamins and healthy substances found primarily in grain. Research shows that grain free isn’t necessarily better for pets, except for the 10% of pets who have a grain allergy or intolerance.
What Grains Can I Add To My Dogs Food
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.
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How Do You Know If Your Dog Needs Grain Free Food
If you see any of these symptoms, talk to your veterinarian!The following are symptoms that would be expected in dogs that have food allergies or other types of allergies, including environmental and flea allergies: Itchiness. Excessive hair loss. Bald patches. Inflamed skin. Sores and scabs. Hot spots.
Healthman’s Stressed Friend: Dogs Feel Owners’ Anxiety
Gelzer isnt sure what the results will be if those early stage dogs are switched to a different food. Some get better when the diet is changed, she said. Some stay the same and keep the status quo with medications and some die despite changing the diet and getting all the heart medications we can give.
While its clear that pet owners are feeding these brands because they are trying to do what they perceive as the right thing for their dogs, unless the dog has a documented sensitivity to grains, its probably not worth the risk at this point to feed these products, said Dr. Bruce Kornreich, a veterinary cardiologist in the department of clinical sciences at the Veterinary College of Cornell University and associate director of the Cornell Feline Health Center.
What we dont know is if used in these diets in place of grains are causing the problem, Kornreich said. Its also possible that could be some kind of toxin.
Kornreich suggests pet owners switch to a brand produced by a company with a long-standing history.
If a pet dog is showing any symptoms of the heart condition, including decreased energy, cough or difficulty breathing, the FDA urges owners to contact a vet as soon as possible.
Linda Carroll is a regular health contributor to NBC News and Reuters Health. She is coauthor of “The Concussion Crisis: Anatomy of a Silent Epidemic” and “Out of the Clouds: The Unlikely Horseman and the Unwanted Colt Who Conquered the Sport of Kings.”
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How To Choose The Best Grain
Lets take a look at a few important characteristics that high-quality grain-free dog foods should possess, and how this could impact the health of your pup.
- High in Meat Protein – High-quality grain-free dog food will list real meat as the main ingredient not unnecessary fillers such as potatoes and starches. Dogs are primarily carnivorous and thrive on a meat-based diet. When real meat is listed as the first ingredient, you can be sure your dog’s food contains a high ratio of a quality protein source that will support their overall health.
- Minimally Processed – The best grain-free dog foods are made with minimally processed, whole, and natural ingredients. Dry dog foods are cooked multiple times at high heat, which destroys nutrients and diminishes flavor. By comparison, minimally processed wet foods contain ingredients and nutrients closer to their original state.
Moisture Rich – A dog’s natural, carnivorous diet contains around 70% moisture. High-quality, wet grain-free dog food mirrors mother nature by providing adequate moisture to help the body function. Unlike dry dog food, it’s biologically appropriate and can help prevent health problems including urinary tract infections, digestive issues, and obesity.
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.
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Taste Of The Wild Grain
Taste of the Wild offers a unique pet experience by offering dry foods based on your dogs ancestral diet. I have chosen the venison variety as the first ingredient, although there is a range of other flavors to choose from such as wild boar, salmon, trout, beef, turkey, or lamb.
This company is also family-owned and operated, and they make sure to follow the most advanced food safety protocols at all times.
- Venison as a first ingredient 28% protein
- Gluten-free recipe
- Added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals
- No artificial flavors
- Probiotic blends included for optimal digestive health
- Made in the USA
And What It Has To Do With His Heart
You mightve heard a lot of hype around grain-free dog food being good for your pup, but it turns out its not the best diet for most dogs.
Grain-free dog food is actually intended for pets with a grain allergy or intolerance. This isnt a problem for most dogs, so theres really no benefit for them to eat grain-free dog food.
And since its been linked to heart disease, a regular diet of grain-free food can even do more harm than good.
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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.
Why Were Grains Removed From Dog Foods In The First Place
The myth that domestic dogs are unable to digest grains is likely to be a factor in the growing popularity of the grain-free diet. It has been well-documented that dogs can thrive on a grain-inclusive diet and have done so historically!
The great evolutionary success of the dog can be traced back to its evolution alongside human populations. This was achieved, in part, by the dogs ability to adapt to consuming the carbohydrate-rich scraps and leftovers. There are no studies that have shown grain-inclusive diets to be detrimental to the health of our domestic dogs. In fact, the cooked grains in commercial diets provide many beneficial nutrients to the diet including vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
The grain-free statement on the label itself has also proven to be an attractive feature of certain dog foods. The absence claim labelling trend is on the rise as has been seen with the popularity of free-from foods on British shelves.
This category of products was originally created to satisfy the needs of individuals with allergies and intolerances. However, free-from foods are now being appreciated by the wider market and are perceived to be healthier than ones without a claim. Similarly, with dog foods, absence claims can make a diet seem like a better choice even when the reasons arent clear.
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Im Not Saying You Should Feed Your Dog A Bowl Full Of Corn
These ingredients are no more natural or healthy for your cat than grains. Your veterinarian may recommend this diet on a trial basis to see if symptoms improve. This is because an alternate form of starch is needed for kibbles to be extruded. Im not saying you should feed your dog a bowl full of corn. Following that might be something like chicken meal and fat. The fda received 515 reports of dcm in dogs between january 1, 2014, and april 30, 2019.
However, its worth noting that the majority of food allergies dogs have are to protein sources, not to grains. Note that before buying food for your dog first see the label. Following that might be something like chicken meal and fat. Im not saying you should feed your dog a bowl full of corn. However, its worth noting that the majority of food allergies dogs have are to protein sources, not to grains.
They can help you identify any allergies or sensitivities and recommend a therapeutic diet to avoid allergens. What i am saying is that grains are not bad for most dogs, and getting a complete and balanced diet, is what really counts. dr. This will ensure your dog continues to get the nutrition he needs. These ingredients are no more natural or healthy for your cat than grains. While there can be specific dietary reasons to limit or eliminate grains for some individual dogs, there is no reliable evidence that grains as an entire food group are always a poor choice for every dog.
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.
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Best Dog Food With Grains
To find the best dog food that has grains in it, your safest option is to consult your vet. Since they know all about your pups medical history and food sensitivities, theyll be able to recommend the right food with the right protein.
There are a bunch of brands like Hills Science Diet and Royal Canin that vets really trust and recommend to their patients all the time, and their dog foods have the perfect balance of grains and proteins.
Another great option is Natural Balance, which is what Dr. Bustamante feeds her own dog.
So even though it might be intriguing to try a super trendy grain-free diet, it could cause your pup some pretty big problems in the long run. Thats why its always best to chat with your vet about which food is right for your dog before making a selection.
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Recommended Options For Grain Free Dog Food
ZiwiPeak uses exclusively free-range, grass-fed lamb sourced from a sustainable New Zealand farm. The dry food recipe is 98 percent fresh meat, organs, bones, and New Zealand green mussels, which are an all-natural source of minerals that support joint health. On top of excluding grains, the recipe also avoids potatoes, rice, fillers, sugars, and preservatives. The company claims the food is so dense with nutrients that you can feed your dog smaller portions. And thats a great thing not only for your dogs food, but for your wallet.
Forthglade makes 100 percent natural natural pet food wet food, dry food and dog treats in Devon. This Just Chicken option is grain-free, hypoallergenic and naturally low in fat plus it contains 90 percent chicken.
You can find a list of other well-reviewed brands which offer grain-free options in our article, The Top 13 Affordable Grain-Free Dog Foods of 2020.
Whether your dog prefers a chicken recipe, grain-free turkey, or a sweet potato recipe, youll find plenty of options.
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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
Does Grain Free Dog Food Cause Heart Disease
Recent news stories report a link between legume and potato levels in dog food and heart disease. As a result, some pet parents are choosing to avoid grain-free recipes. Once again, grain-free doesnt mean a food necessarily has legume or potato levels look at the ingredient make up to determine if its a food youre comfortable feeding.
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What Are The Pros Of Grains For Your Dog
Dogs can enjoy the taste and nutritional benefit of a number of grains, just like us. But, like everything else we feed our dogs, its important to make healthy choices and not just opt for the same grains you or I would enjoy. Dogs are different. For example human toothpaste is a no no when it comes to brushing your dogs teeth.
Whole grains are our favourite type of grain for your pooch, providing the most nutrients and goodness. By definition, these are grains that have 100% of the natural kernel, meaning nothing has been removed during production. Brown rice and oats are whole grains that avoid gluten and offer an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
High in fibre
Whole grains, particularly brown rice, are full of fibre and a great source of magnesium and selenium, helping to ease digestion and keep your dogs gut healthy.
Many whole grains are packed with antioxidants the superhero of nutrients! They can help your dog in a number of ways, including aiding weight loss, stabilising blood sugar and promoting good heart health.
Overreaching By Those With An Axe To Grind
It was bad enough to see the FDAs warning reduced by a combination of poor reporting, poor reader comprehension, and social media hysteria to grain-free foods cause canine heart disease. But some media outlets also included statements from an animal nutrition expert whose opinions on diets are consistent with those of the pet food industry corporate giants she has repeatedly been quoted as implicating boutique pet foods in the current rash of reported cases of DCM. Whats a boutique food? She doesnt define this, but we suspect its anything made by any company whose annual sales are less than umpteen million
This same expert has also implicated foods that contain exotic ingredients, which she provided a partial list for in one article: kangaroo, lentils, duck, pea, fava bean, buffalo, tapioca, salmon, lamb, barley, bison, venison, and chickpeas. Hmm.
All in all, we have lost track of the number of times she has been quoted as saying that pet owners should avoid boutique, grain-free, or exotic ingredient diets and, unfortunately, this over-broad and ill-defined description is finding its way into more and more discussions of this concerning issue.
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