Pet meals without grains are highly popular right now. But do they truly provide your pet with healthier nutrition than other kinds of pet food? Let’s examine the query in more detail.
Although many animals thrive on grain-free meals, these diets were created more in reaction to customer (i.e., human) choice than to the real.
The most crucial nutritional factor in pet food is whether it provide full and balanced nutrition. The pet will suffer if the diet has too much of one nutrient or not enough of another. Whether the food contains grains or not makes no difference in the validity of this idea.
Every component of the diet contributes a distinct collection of nutrients to the overall nutritional profile of the meal. The components must work together to give your pet a full nutritional profile, free of any excesses or deficiencies that can make them unwell. Grain-free diets may undoubtedly give your pet this kind of comprehensive nutrition. These diets, however, are not the only or even always the best option for any single pet. There isn’t a single diet or diet category that is ideal for all dogs. To put it another way, there is no one-size-fits-all nutritional answer for pet food.
Does Grain Free Mean Carb Free?
Feeding a high protein, low carbohydrate diet is another well-liked providing strategy that frequently appears to go hand in hand with feeding grain-free pet food. Diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates do have a place, especially when it comes to feeding diabetic cats. It’s crucial to remember that a diet free of grains is not always low in carbohydrates. In fact, some grain-free pet meals include carbohydrate levels that are on par with or greater than those seen in diets that include grains. Many grain-free diets include items instead of grains, like as potatoes, which frequently contain more carbs than the typical grains found in pet food. As a result, low carbohydrate and grain-free pet diets are not usually the same thing.
Is Grain Free Pet Food More ‘Natural’?
Grain-free diet proponents occasionally assert that grains are an unnatural source of nutrients for our dogs. They contend that dogs and cats did not consume wheat in the past. One may counter that grains are no more “natural” for our dogs than potatoes and other types of carbs. Fortunately, both dogs and cats can digest grains and a variety of other kinds of carbs thanks to evolution (including potatoes).
What About Cat and Dog Food Allergies?
The idea that grain-free meals are the healthiest for pets with food allergies is another widespread myth that many pet owners fall prey to. Although pets can develop food allergies, maize and other grains are not among the most prevalent food allergens. In reality, maize is among the least likely origins of food allergies, according to some of the evidence that is currently accessible. In one assessment of the literature1, 278 food-allergic dogs were assessed, and each dog’s problematic component was determined. 95 of the reported cases of allergy were related to beef, making it the most common allergen. Dairy was the second most common cause, accounting for 55 cases.
Only 7 instances had corn as the offending substance. The issue is similar with cats. This investigation2 assessed 56 cats. 45 of the food allergies were brought on by consuming meat, dairy products, or seafood. Meanwhile, there were just 4 instances related to corn.
It is a valid alternative to feed your pet a grain-free diet. However, selecting a food that offers your pet adequate and balanced nutrients is still necessary when feeding a grain-free diet. Pick substances that you feel comfortable using as a pet owner. But keep in mind that over time, the nutrient profile, not the specific ingredients in the pet food, is what matters.
The veterinarian is your finest resource for information about pet foods, as they are for all matters pertaining to the health of your pet. Your veterinarian can advise you on the finest diet for your pet because they are aware about various kind of pet food.
Featured Image: cirano83/iStock