Grain free dog foods are currently very popular. But are they really healthier for your dog than other types of dog foods? Let’s take a closer look at that question.
While it is true that many dogs do well on grain free diets, it is also true that these foods were developed more in response to consumer (i.e., human) preference than to the actual nutritional needs of our dogs.
Nutritionally, the most important aspect of a dog food is whether the food provides complete and balanced nutrition. If the food contains excesses or deficiencies of specific nutrients, the dog will suffer as a result. This concept is true regardless of whether the food contains grains or not.
Each ingredient provides a unique set of nutrients to the overall makeup of the dog food. Together, the ingredients need to combine to provide a complete nutrient profile for your dog, without any excesses or deficiencies that can cause illness for your dog. It is certainly possible for grain free dog foods to provide this type of complete nutrition for your dog. However, these foods are not the only option, or even necessarily the best option, for each individual dog. There is no one nutrition or type of food that is perfect for all dogs. In other words, no dog food is a one-size-fits-all nutritional solution.
Does Grain Free Mean Carb Free?
Another popular feeding concept that often seems to go hand in hand with feeding grain free dog food is the feeding of a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. However, it is important not to assume that a grain free nutrition is a low carbohydrate food. In fact, some grain free dog foods contain carbohydrate levels similar to or even higher than foods containing grains. In many grain free dog foods, ingredients such as potatoes replace the grains in the dog food and often these ingredients have more carbohydrates than the common grains used in dog food. As a result, grain free and low carbohydrate dog foods are not always synonymous with one another.
For the complete article on what grain free dog food, really is, visit petMD