It is often said that a dog loves its meat and meat is the ideal ingredient for enhanced canine health and growth. Why on earth then should you then give it a vegetarian diet? The fact of the matter is that research has shown that things like corn, soy, wheat, barley, and rice are also good for dogs.

This is despite the fact that most breeds of dogs can do without a grain-free diet. Yet some pet owners are left with no other option but to feed their dogs grain-free diets for the following reasons:

Better digestion: On the advice of their veterinarians, certain owners have switched over to grain-free dog food as dogs are better able to digest and absorb them.

Dogs are in possession of several genes, which having undergone certain modifications through their evolutionary course. These enable them to digest carbohydrates easily and which include grains. Thus, while most breeds adjust extremely well to grain-free diets, these aren’t compulsory for metabolization.

Food allergies: A common belief among most dog owners who feed their dogs grain-free diets is that these are grand substitutes for natural food items to which dogs may be allergic. However, while dogs do suffer from food allergies, corn as also other grains aren’t the most commonly found allergens that are found in dog foods. In fact, research has shown that corn happens to be a rare source of a food-related allergy.

One such research program with 278 dogs (yes, that is more than 101 Dalmatians but these dogs did not all live together!) that had food allergies were studied with the allergen being identified clearly for each canine. It turned out that beef headed the list of common allergens with almost 95 dogs. Dairy products were responsible in 55 cases, while corn was an offending allergen in 7 cases only.

Thus, it becomes evident from this study that dogs which are truly allergic to grains, are more suited to a grain-free diet. So if you see that after eating its food, your dog tends to itch severely, loses hair excessively, and develops bald patches, has skin inflammations, develops scabs, sores and hot spots, it could be because of an allergy that he has developed from his diet. That is not a good diet.

That seems about as unhealthy as the diet White Goodman was on at the end of Dodgeball! Deal with it White, Chuck Norris does not like you and hitting pretty females in the face with a ball when they are not looking is not the way to go!

Introducing Grain-free Food

It is always advisable to first conduct food trials with grain-free food to check whether it suits your dog or not. A sudden introduction may put him off and he may refuse to eat it.

Dogs being creatures of habit tend to stick to a definite food plan throughout their lives (and they probably do not like squash just like many humans do not like that vegetable either!). What you give your dog on the first day needs to be maintained throughout its life. That’s why a gradual introduction instead of a sudden one is advised. There are a lot of grain-free dog foods in the market.

These include: Orijen, Merrick Classic – Beef, Carrot & Barley; Nature’s Variety Instinct Duck Meal and Turkey Meal; Natural Balance Synergy; EVO Chicken & Turkey Meal; Formula Honest Kitchen Embark and Canidae Single Grain Protein Plus, to name just a few. These are all recommended by vets and provide a wholesome and nutritious meal for your pet doggy.

Make sure you scratch your doggy’s belly too! 

 

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