Grain vs. Grain Free?

Dog Food Advisor Forums Canine Nutrition Grain vs. Grain Free?

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  • #12400 Report Abuse

    I have a 76 pound White Boxer name Blanca. She has thee worse gas ever. LOL … I feed her the best food but starting to wonder if I should consider switching her to grain free. She currently eats Innova dry food and Merricks wet food mixed. I am trying to figure out the benefits of grain vs. grain free. I know Innova and Merrick both have a grain free option but trying to first see if that is the best route for her to help decrease her gas. She loves the food and looks forward to feeding time every day! 🙂 Anyone have any thoughts of the benefits of grain vs. grain free?

    #12401 Report Abuse
    Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Setrina –

    Grains are not species-appropriate for dogs. Dogs have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates. A dog’s diet should be high in protein, moderate in fat and low in carbohydrates. Most (not all, but most) grain-inclusive foods are low in protein and fat and high in carbohydrates. Grain-free foods tend to be higher in protein and lower and carbohydrates – but you still have to be sure to check the label, there are some companies that just remove the grains and replace them with equal amounts of starches like white potato, tapioca or peas (these aren’t species-appropriate foods either so you want to look for a food with minimal amounts of starches). Because a grain free food will contain some sort of starch, just make sure protein content is at least 30% so you know there’s a high volume of meat in the food. Some other downsides of grains are that many contain gluten (a common trigger of sensitivities), they contain lectins, antinutrients and phytates and grain-inclusive foods are more likely to be contaminated with alfatoxins.

    #12402 Report Abuse

    Give a multistrain probiotic and a digestive enzyme with her meals. It will help with gas and digestion. You can rotate through grain and grain free if you can’t make up your mind as food rotation is a beneficial thing as well. That way she isn’t getting grain all the time. There are some foods with millet which is not a true grain and is gluten free – like Nature’s Logic, or another gluten free choice Solid Gold Sundancer (but that might still be a Diamond produced product, I’m not sure. You’ll have to check on that). Quinoa and millet are gluten free so a better choice than say barley and rye and oats.

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