Cereals provide valuable roughage and easily digestible carbohydrates. But some dogs don’t take it well. Here we explain when grain-free dog food makes sense.
Dog food without grain – useful for allergies and sensitive stomachs
Wolves are carnivores, so are dogs? That cannot be answered in general terms. In fact, of course, wolves do not only eat meat but whole prey. In addition to muscle meat, these also consist of plenty of connective tissue, bones, organs, and their contents. Carrion, berries, and herbs are also on the wolf menu.
Dogs have been domesticated for a long time and live with humans. During this time, their organism has become accustomed to using what is leftover from human meals. This has significantly expanded her diet. Cooked vegetables and grains are usually not a problem for the dog’s digestive tract. On the contrary: They provide healthy fiber and easily digestible carbohydrates. Both are essential for healthy intestinal flora. In addition, a certain proportion of grain in the feed gives them real energy.
Grainless Dog Food Better?
Basically – as explained above – no. The sources of high-quality proteins and fats and their digestibility are much more important than the grain itself. Because not all of the protein contained in the food can be used by the dog’s body, i.e. “digested”. (On some feeds, the proportion of “digestible protein” is shown separately, which is very helpful when assessing quality.)
However, there are dogs that are actually sensitive to grains in dog food. If you suspect this in your darling, please talk to your vet about it. There are various other feed ingredients to which dogs can react with intolerance or allergies. After an appropriate diagnosis and elimination diet, it can then be said with some certainty which feeds component is problematic. If your dog does not tolerate grain well, there are high-quality grain-free dog foods available.
Good grain-free dog food
Sufficient protein and carbohydrates in moderation are the rule of thumb for optimal dog nutrition. Furthermore, all essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals must be contained in the correct ratio.
Therefore, pay attention to the following criteria when you buy grain-free dog food:
- High-quality dog food has a high meat content.
- It contains no added sugar.
- High-quality muscle meat and offal provide proteins, fats, and some vitamins.
- Vegetables provide carbohydrates and fiber instead of grains.
- High-quality oils, herbs, and fruit supplement the diet with high-quality fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
The menu in the bowl should be tailored to the age and activity level of the dog. Agile animals, puppies, or lactating bitches have a higher protein and energy requirement. Older dogs or dogs with kidney disease, on the other hand, need smaller amounts of protein, but from high-quality sources.
If in doubt, the veterinarian will give tips on the right nutrition for your four-legged friend.
Quality, digestibility, and price are important criteria. But even the very best dog food is of little use if the fur nose doesn’t like it. Therefore, the four-legged friend should be allowed to try different types of food.
Dog food without grain in the test
There are many websites that compare different grain-free (and sugar-free) dog foods. In addition to many useful hints, the comparison of the ingredients is particularly helpful and clear.
Unfortunately, myths are also reproduced on such sites that are not correct. The pure meat content is not decisive for the protein supply of a dog (see above for digestibility). Also, grain per se is not responsible for feed intolerance or allergy. Instead, it can also depend on the type of meat used or are contained preservatives if a dog does not tolerate its food.
Dog food without grain: conclusion
Most dogs do well with a certain amount of grain in their diet, and it provides valuable nutrients. However, if it turns out that your darling is sensitive to grain, grain-free dog food is a good alternative.