Why is grain not good for dogs and what are the benefits of grain free dog food?
Here is a reply I found to this question from a few years ago that I agree with. I know there are several others that feel differently about grains. Hopefully they will chime in also and give their opinions in order for you to make good decisions when feeding your dogs.
December 14, 2012 at 7:30 am #10877 REPLY
Hound Dog Mom
I agree. I think some are led to believe a grain-free or grain-free/white potato free food is automatically superior or “species appropriate”, which isn’t the case. There are some wonderful grain-free and white potato free foods, but many more that are low protein, high carb and in no way species-appropriate. Whether the binder is grain, potato, tapioca or legumes – one must keep in mind that none are appropriate foods for a dog (carnivore) to be eating. The most important thing when feeding dry food is – in my opinion – focus more on maximizing meat content and protein content rather than picking a food based on which binder it uses. It’s also important to remember that just because a food contains an ingredient that is high glycemic doesn’t necessarily mean that the food is high glycemic – for an example, Orijen – which contains white potato – is one of the few foods certified low glycemic by the glycemic research institute. I think the only way one can truly avoid these high carb fillers is to go with an all meat or all meat and non-starchy vegetable canned food or feed a homemade diet free from grains and other starches.
Here is a viewpoint from Dr Karen Becker:
There’s a carbohydrate section in this page too:
The only time I object to using grains specifically is for dogs with inflammatory conditions and dogs with grain allergies. For SOME of these dogs, getting off grains really helps.
I will honestly admit that in the beginning when we adopted our Bruno, I got on the “grainfree” bandwagon and really did think grain-free is necessary and better. Now I know better thanks to the above ladies and many more, and as far as dry food is concerned, I’d look for high-protein, low-carb foods, with loads of meat as first few ingredients. Many of the foods I have stocked up on happen to be grain-free for this year, but it is not a rule at our household to keep it this way.
I do eventually want to work up to feeding balanced raw though, which I consider the ultimate best/species-appropriate food.
Jumping in, I agree with what everyone says-part of the reason for dry dog food i tend to go towards grain free, is the protein is often higher-which is one of my major points in kibble
There are pros and cons to every ingredient. I see the “grain free” ideology as more of a personal preference than anything based in science as to any real “across the board” benefit.
Certainly there will be a few individuals who develop an adverse food reaction to grain just as they some have reactions to beef or chicken or whatever.
Here are two informative posts by a holistic vet who accurately discusses the use of grains in pet food.
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