Truth of grains? Are they really better than potatoes?

Dog Food Advisor Forums Dog Food Ingredients Truth of grains? Are they really better than potatoes?

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  • #33661 Report Abuse

    Shasta220
    Member

    Honestly, I get so confused these days. Grains are good, grains are horrible, certain grains are good, all are bad, etc etc.

    What is the truth about grains in a kibble? Is an average GF food /always/ going to be better than a grain-inclusive food? Sure, I understand that many dogs have grain intolerances, but not every dog does. How are foods full of potatoes and peas really better than those with rice and barley?

    I understand that grains are not a part of a dog’s natural diet, and they don’t need the extra carbs… But potatoes ain’t exactly health food either, eh?

    Ultimately, I would love to do a raw home made diet for my dogs, but I won’t have the money, resources, or fridge-space for it until I move out. So for now, my dogs will have to stick to the kibble.

    #33666 Report Abuse

    Neither is better nor worse than the other. It depends on the individual dog. Grains aren’t better for a dog that can’t handle them, same goes for potatoes and peas.

    In my opinion, going by just ingredients, the “best” kibbles are ones that are high in meat content. Regardless if it has peas, potatoes, barley or oatmeal, I want a food that has a majority of its protein coming from meat. I also choose foods with lower ash. To me, these details show a foods quality a lot more than the companies choice of carbs.

    #33671 Report Abuse

    slvet2
    Member

    You are right, grains aren’t what dogs need in their diets. Grains are put into kibble dog and cat food as a filler, and the grain is used as part of the protein and carbohydrate analysis noted on every bag. Unfortunately, grains are difficult for dogs to digest (they don’t have four stomachs like a cow; multiple stomachs use bacterial fermentation to break down the rough grains). Dogs need easy to digest carbohydrates like potatoes and rice in a ratio of about 2 parts carbohydrate to one part protein in the food. This is easily accomplished by following simple recipes for homemade dog food-recommend a cookbook called HOW TO COOK FOR YOUR PET, c. 2009.

    Raw food for dogs-not recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association, and veterinarians. Possible food poisoning with Salmonella, E.Coli bacteria, and is poorly digested by dogs. Cooked foods are more digestible, and healthier.

    #33681 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    No raw meat is not difficult for a dog to digest, raw meat has active enzymes in it that help with digestion. Enzymes are destroyed by the cooking process. And kibble can also be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. Healthy dogs don’t have problems with bacteria due to their short digestive tract. It is people who have to worry about bacterial contamination and they are much more likely to be properly careful handling raw meat that they are handling kibble that they think is safe.

    #33697 Report Abuse

    Shasta220
    Member

    Thanks for the thoughts guys, I guess I was relatively on the right track. I always make sure real meat is at least the first 2 ingredients in the kibble that I buy.

    Patty is right, slvet2 – dogs are designed to handle the raw meats very well, even better than cooked meat. Always good to consider what they would eat in the wild… I don’t think a wild dog/wolf knows how to build a fire and roast his venison over it.

    Where do you find that dogs should have 2 parts carbs for 1 part protein? I just always find myself thinking about a natural diet they’d have in the wild, and I cant think of anything they’d naturally eat that would give them carbs, except possibly grain remnants in a stomach or something… Not that I know much about great nutrition, as I’ve never studied out dog nutrition or had personal experience too much.

    #33709 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    The 2 parts carbs 1 part protein garbage is based on feeding your dog the minimum to get by with, instead of what is best.

    #33720 Report Abuse

    Shasta220
    Member

    Ah, I see. That makes much more sense to me for sure! Dogs don’t even need carbs do they – I mean there’s no carbs in meat, is there? I remember the vet asking what we fed our cat (she’s too picky for cat food), I told her raw chicken and she gets an occasional treat of oatmeal and peanut butter (it’s her fave, LOL!), the vet made sure I knew to avoid the oatmeal for her…

    #33730 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Dogs that are endurance athletes may need carbs after a work out to restore what was used, but dogs are very efficient at getting what they need from a meat diet. Carbs are to make it cheaper, not better, and kibble needs carbs to stick together otherwise you would have meat granules.

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