Grain-Free Pet Food: Separating Fact from Fiction
In recent years, grain-free pet food has become increasingly popular among pet owners. Many people believe that grain-free pet food is healthier for their pets, as it is believed to be more easily digestible and better suited to a pet's natural diet. However, there is a lot of misinformation and confusion surrounding this topic, so it's important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to grain-free pet food.
Fact: It’s more easily digestible for pets
One of the main arguments for grain-free pet food is that it is more easily digestible for pets. This is because grains, such as corn and wheat, can be difficult for some pets to digest, particularly those with sensitive stomachs or food allergies. However, it's important to note that not all grains are created equal. Some grains, such as oats and barley, are more easily digestible than others. Additionally, many grain-free pet foods contain high levels of protein from sources such as peas, legumes, and potatoes which can also be difficult to digest.
Fiction: It’s more suited to a pet’s natural diet
Another argument for grain-free pet food is that it is more suited to a pet's natural diet. It is true that wild dogs and cats do not typically consume grains as part of their diet. However, domesticated pets have evolved to be able to digest grains, and many pet food companies now use specially formulated grains that are easier for pets to digest. Reference the dog food pyramid to understand more about how to balance your pet’s diet. Dogs should be consuming around 25-30% carbohydrates.
Fact: Some breeds should monitor grain-free pet food consumption
A recent FDA investigation found that some grain-free pet foods are linked to a type of heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The FDA found that certain breeds, such as Golden Retrievers, were particularly at risk for developing DCM when consuming grain-free pet food, and urged pet owners to consult with their veterinarians about their pets' diet.
Fact: Grain-free pet food typically costs more than traditional pet food
There is also the issue of cost, grain-free pet food typically cost more than traditional pet food. This is because grain-free pet food often contains more expensive ingredients, such as peas, legumes, and potatoes. That being said, the ingredients of grain-free pet food can be sourced from better locations, and are prepared in a more health-conscious manner, which can contribute to higher prices. You pay for quality. There are, however, reasonably priced grain-free foods that can provide the same health benefits.
While grain-free pet food may have its benefits, it is important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to this topic. While grain-free pet food may be more easily digestible for some pets, it is not necessarily better for all pets. Additionally, grain-free pet food can be high in protein, which can be difficult for pets to digest, and can lead to health issues such as kidney disease. Pet owners should always consult with their veterinarians about their pets' diet, and consider all options before making a decision about which type of pet food to feed their pets.