When I adopted my dog, Juniper, the shelter handed me a baggie dog food and told me they had fed her a grain free diet, so it was best I did the same. They were adamant it would keep her coat shiny and her health in tip-top shape. I was a new dog owner, so of course I took their advice!
For almost three years, I kept the pantry stocked with high-end grain free food, which cost me a whopping $60 a bag. But it was healthy and kept her coat shiny, right? According to this article, grain-free food dominates the top of the niche pet food markets and caters to people like me, without having any scientific evidence to back their claims of being better suited for dog’s digestion. Surprised to learn that? Here are four other things that you may not know about grain-free food, broken down into fact vs. fiction…
Fiction: Grain-free means carb free.
Fact: In most instances, “grain-free” dog food still has carbohydrates in it, usually in the form of sweet potatoes, cassava, yams, and other high-starch ingredients, which are not necessarily better for dogs, and in some instances might be harder to digest than whole grains.
Fiction: A grain free diet will help with your dog’s food allergies.
Fact: In one study on food allergies tested on 278 dogs, beef, not grain, was actually the most common allergen, followed by dairy. Only 7 dogs were allergic to grain (in the form of corn).
Fiction: Grains are bad for dogs
Fact: Rather than focusing on grain itself, pet owners should be considering their furry friend’s entire diet. “Grain-free diets offer no more health benefits than a diet with grains,” states the article, “and each diet should be considered based on the overall nutrient profile rather than individual ingredients.”
Of course, always check with your veterinarian when making an adjustment in your four-legged friend’s diet.