Why Grain Free?

Dog Food Advisor Forums Editors Choice Forum Why Grain Free?

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  • #38407 Report Abuse

    Sarah Y
    Member

    So I have noticed a lot of foods, with 4 and 5 stars are not grain free. I was sort of taught that grain free is the best dog food and most easily digestable?

    So when I consider a food, I always look at grain free first. Is it necessary and why would one choose a food that’s grain free over another food that’s not grain free. I’m just hoping to understand and be a little more educated on it. Thans in advance.

    #38408 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    I look at the food (except for ny allergy boy, grainfree for him always) because not all grainfrees are alike. I just went to the review side, chose a few popular grainfrees:

    Earthborn Holistic: 4.5 stars, plant based, moderate amount of meat
    TOTW: 4.5 stars, plant based, moderate amount of meat
    Blue Buffalo Freedom: 4 stars, plant based, moderate amount of meat
    Nutro: 3 stars, plant based, modest amount of meat.

    There are grainfrees that are five stars and meat based with significant amounts of meat and 3 stars with modest meat.

    Now, a few grain inclusives:

    Acana : 5 stars, plant based, significant amount of meat
    Dr Tim’s: 5 stars, meat based, significant meat
    Natures Logic: plant based, notable amount of meat

    There are grain inclusives that are 1 star up to 5 stars, lotsa meat to is there any meat.

    This is why I go by the food. A lot of people think, grainfree is the best and pick up any grainfree. People think grain inclusive is bad & buy cheaper (pricewise) grainfree.

    Me, I’d take any quality grain inclusives, including the three I mentioned above, over any of the grainfrees I mentioned above. It depends on your dog. No problems with grains & no problem with gf but buy a high quality food with a high amount of meat”

    #38411 Report Abuse

    Sarah Y
    Member

    Thanks for your insight…I definitely appreciate it. I was considering blue buffalo wilderness which is 5 stars and grain free. You are right that those of us who don’t have a lot of information are told grain free is the best way. I have heard some grains are good for your dog. I think your perspective about the higher amounts of meat makee sense. Thanks again….

    #38428 Report Abuse

    aquariangt
    Member

    I agree with Marie. There are some grain inclusive foods that I feed in my rotations. There are grains I do avoid-any corn (one of them gets really gassy with any amount of corn, on top of the fact that corn provides very little nutritional value of any sort) things like brewer’s rice (cheap filler that I don’t want to pay for) I try not to have wheat or soy, but if it isn’t bothering your dog and they are thriving on it, there ya go. 2 of mine have oatmeal in their current food, and then one is currently on a grain free.

    Take a look at some of the articles on the library section, and Dr Mike talks about the things that you really want to avoid, and again, it’s very dog dependent.

    #38431 Report Abuse

    Sarah Y
    Member

    will check it out…thank you…I knew about corn and brewers rice. I’ll check out the article. It sounds like some grains are absolutely fine as long as it agrees with your dog. I have noticed some dogs who have an allergy or digestive issues turn to grain free. Assuming its to avoid the grains, but maybe there’s something else there I don’t know about. Appreciate your feedback and again, I’ll check out the article.

    #38433 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    You’re welcome, Sarah. If you want a grainfree, that’s great, just do your research. Grainfrees are not all equal! Good luck.

    #38434 Report Abuse

    InkedMarie
    Member

    In my OP, I meant to say “I’d take HIGH quality grain inclusives” in my last paragraph.

    #38439 Report Abuse

    Sarah Y
    Member

    I see what you are saying…the grain inclusives you listed are all 5 star but the grain free ones you mentioned aren’t 5 stars meaning not all grain free is better. I’ll definitely heed that advice and check for something that works for us.

    #38444 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    One other factor to consider is that grains can be inflamatory, so if your dog has arthritis or some other inflamatory condition, grain free may be important.

    #38996 Report Abuse

    Sarah Y
    Member

    What do you think of Holistic Select (in particiular the senior or duck)? It has grains and I’m considering it over the blue buffalo wildnerness senior. I like that it’s lower in phosphorus, moderate protein and fat. It might just work for my two seniors and it seems a bit cheaper too!

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Sarah Y.
    #39002 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I’ve heard good things about Holistic Select. I think it would be worth a try.

    #39254 Report Abuse

    Nancy C
    Member

    Sarah Y – you mention SENIOR food. Someone more knowledgable please comment on SENIOR FOODS. I hear conversations regarding it is gimmicky and or misleading. Just another marketing effort. I notice that some companies are making food for everyone. I’m trying to picture a senior ancient dog/wolf looking for ONLY “senior” food in the natural world. Makes me chuckle.
    Nancy C

    #39256 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    The point with senior foods is that seniors do not need less protein than adult dogs, but many senior foods lower the protein. Senior dogs are less able to use the protein in their diet and may need as much as 50% more protein just to get the same amount out of it. It is important to give senior dogs high quality proteins so they get the most out of it and have less waste in the bloodstream. Lowering phosphorus is OK, but not necessary for seniors that don’t have kidney issues and it is often done at the expense of protein in the diet.

    #39270 Report Abuse

    Sarah Y
    Member

    I am learning more about that. I don’t know why I think “senior” is more important. I guess it doesn’t matter. I have heard it’s gimmicky too. I do know that it seems senior foods are usually lower in phosphorus. One of mine may have some renal issues. Some of her bloodwork has come back elevated a couple of times. Her urine specific gravity has been low and she drinks a lot of water. Sometimes the bloodwork is normal and the last few times it has been normal. So the vet just wants to watch it. No need for a renal diet, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to find a food lower in phosphorus. Hope that helps a bit with where I’m coming from.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by  Sarah Y.
    #39279 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    Then you may be looking in exactly the right direction. Make sure you contact the company and get an “as fed” phosphorus level. The level on the bag is a minimum.

    #39313 Report Abuse

    Sarah Y
    Member

    Well I called Holistic select and their bag of senior food says not less than .70% but the actual phosphorus is 1.42. I have to say I was pretty shocked. I wasn’t expecting that. Their duck formula is .99%. The food I’m feeding now is wellness complete health senior and that’s .85%. Anyway, thanks for the advice on calling…glad I did that!

    #39325 Report Abuse

    Ann Marie F
    Member

    I m surprised no one mentioned , how grain versus grain free may contribute to a dogs hyperactivity. I recently got a trainer for my 7month lab. I know he s in his adolescent period and tend to be a little more active anyway, but diet can be a factor as well. Since they can t tell us, I m wondering if some of the grains are contributing to this.Is it better to buy grain free anyway?

    #39327 Report Abuse

    Ann Marie F
    Member

    Has anyone given Whole Earth Farms Grain Free , from Merrick to their dog? Any negatives?

    #39330 Report Abuse

    theBCnut
    Member

    I’ve used WEF canned foods and my crew loved it.

    Unless there is an underlying problem for an individual dog, starch is starch to the body, a dog’s need for sugar is very small to nonexistant. Kibbles have 30% or more starch in them to act as a binder, so this alone is a high sugar diet for an animal that doesn’t need sugar. Usually the grain inclusive diets are the ones that have even more starch than the amount needed to make kibble, but that isn’t always the case, some grain frees are equally bad.

    #40364 Report Abuse

    Sarah Y
    Member

    I’m trying Dr. Tims kinesis formula for both my seniors right now. They are on day 3 of the transition. Its not grain free, but I have heard good things about it.

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